Weekend Tour of Pittsburgh

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pittsburgh Map

My parents were recently in Pittsburgh, and so I gave them a tour of the basic sites to see in Pittsburgh over the weekend. I've posted our itinerary below, along with some additional options and minor modifications, in case certain attractions we did don't tickle your fancy. It's a basic list of what there is to do in Pittsburgh in a few days.

I also keep a Google Map of Pittsburgh Attractions and Restaurants organized by neighborhood, for added inspiration.

[Half] Day #1/Thursday: Arrival + Shadyside
Shadyside: Walnut Street Shadyside: Walnut Street

After arriving in Pittsburgh, head to Walnut Street in Shadyside and walk around a bit. Shadyside (especially Walnut Street) is known for semi-upscale shops, independent boutiques, and bars.

Shadyside: La Feria Shadyside: La Feria

When you're hungry for dinner, head to La Feria for some tasty and affordable Peruvian food, with an ever-changing menu. [Or, alternatively, you could head to Girasole for seasonal Italian cusine. Even with reservations you'll end up waiting).

Walk off your dinner by heading to Oh Yeah! Ice Cream and get sweet cream ice cream with baclava and lemon peel...or peach cobbler ice cream with ginger...or... Walk off your dessert by heading back to your car ;)

[Optional: There's plenty of bars on Walnut Street, like Doc's Place and Shady Grove if you don't feel like turning in yet.]

Day #2/Friday: North Shore + Southside
North Shore: Andy Warhol Museum North Shore: Andy Warhol Museum

Start the morning off with breakfast at home/hotel, then head to the Andy Warhol Museum. 2 hours should be about right for this museum, and if you've already done the Andy Warhol, you might want to consider the Mattress Factory Art Museum.

[Alternatively, the Andy Warhol is open until 10pm on Fridays, so do the Mattress Factory Art Museum in the morning and the Andy Warhol at night. This is for the museum-fanatics out there].

North Shore: Max's Allegheny Tavern North Shore: Max's Allegheny Tavern

Walk the <1 mile to Max's Allegheny Tavern for some traditional German fare.

[Alternatively, the Andy Warhol cafeteria supplies sandwiches, soups, and cupcakes from Pittsburgh's own cupcake chain, Dozen.]

North Shore: National Aviary North Shore: National Aviary

After lunch, walk to the National Aviary. Be sure to check the feeding schedule, but I recommend making it to the 2pm Wetlands feeding, the 2-3pm feeding of the Lorries, and the 3pm Tropical Forest feeding.

[Alternatively, you could maybe stick the Children's Museum in here somewhere, if you have little ones. Look for the former post office with three giant fish in front of it.]

Southside: Tusca Southside: Tusca

Drive to Southside Works, for global tapas at Tusca. If you don't get the creme brulee tapas for dessert, I'm pretty sure you're not living your best life ;)

[Alternatively, there's lots of other good places to eat around the Southside. Try Gypsy Cafe, or Ibiza Spanish Tapas, or Mallorca Spanish Cuisine, or Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh.]

If there's time to kill, you can wander around Southside Works and do some shopping at H&M, Sur La Table, Nine West, the Goodwill Store, etc. Southside is really nice during the day, too, with lots of diners and vintage toy/clothing shops. Oh, and don't forget the Milkshake Factory [and chocolate shop].

Southside: Hofbräuhaus Southside: Hofbräuhaus

At this point, my parents and I headed to Moondog's in Blawnox, PA to see The Nighthawks, but you could just as easily stick around Southside and grab some drinks at the Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh (pictured above), Fatheads, or any of the myriad bars located on Carson Street. There's also dancing at Lava Lounge.

Day #3/Saturday: Strip District + Mt. Washington
Lawrenceville: Coca Cafe Lawrenceville: Coca Cafe

Brunch at Coca Cafe. I love this place. LOVE.
There's usually a half-hour wait to be seated, so feel free to browse the boutiques on Butler Street, until you're summoned.

The Strip District The Strip District

'Head to the Strip District around 17th & Penn (on a Saturday- sort of a necessity). There's a lot of street vendors and stores on Penn, great for party supplies and Steelers gear. Parking can be tricky, though. Be sure to get there before 3pm, or everything may be already shut down.

The Strip District: Penn Mac The Strip District: Art of Steel

Strip District shops you shouldn't miss: Wholey's Meat/Fish Market, Pennsylvania Macaroni Company, Penzey's Spices, Mon Aimee Chocolate+Gelato, Loom Textiles, and Art of Steel.

Duquesne Incline Duquesne Incline

Head to the Duquesne Incline (not to be confused with the Monongahela Incline) on West Carson Street for a ride in the funicular and gorgeous views of the Pittsburgh skyline. It costs $2 each way, runs constantly, and stops running at 12:40am. Parking is free.

Duquesne Incline: Monterey Bay Fish Grotto Duquesne Incline: Monterey Bay Fish Grotto

If you have reservations grab a sort of pricey/nice dinner at the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto on top of a large apartment building. I'm pretty sure we saw the inspiration for the Mr. Roger's neighborhood model from our dinner table, lol.

[Alternatively, there's other fancy places to eat atop Mt. Washington to get a view while eating. There's Le Mont, Isabella's on Grandview, and the Georgetowne Inn, among others.]

We were tired at this point, so we laid around the apartment/hotel the rest of the evening, but you might want to head to nearby Station Square, once you descend the incline. There's a variety of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, including a Hard Rock Cafe. The Station Square website will do a better job at listing good places there.

Day #4/Sunday: Squirrel Hill + Fallingwater
Squirrel Hill: Pamela's Diner Squirrel Hill: Pamela's Diner

Grab breakfast at Pittsburgh's famous Pamela's Diner in Squirrel Hill. It's famous for its hotcakes, which the Obamas have had nearly every time they've been in town, even having the owners visit the Whitehouse to make their famous thin pancakes. Wait in line outside, and hope the weather's not too bad!

Squirrel Hill: Forbes Avenue Squirrel Hill

After breakfast, wander around Squirrel Hill on Forbes Avenue and Murray Avenue. There's lots of interesting shops selling toys, board games, chocolate, loose leaf teas, and even a GINORMOUS record store. Personally, I'm a big fan of admiring the Curves for Women gym located between a Dozen Cupcake Shop and a Coldstone Creamery.

Squirrel Hill: RazzyFresh Squirrel Hill: RazzyFresh

If you feel up to it, grab some frozen yogurt at Razzy Fresh. Get as many flavors as you want, put on as many toppings as you like, and then get charged by the weight! (So many more options than Karmic Yogurt in Shadyside).

Ohiopyle: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Ohiopyle: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater

And now, make the 1 hour drive to Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater. Be sure you have reservations! Last regular Fallingwater tour appears to be around 3:30pm. We caught the 2:30pm tour which gave us plenty of time to walk around the grounds and take photos, before heading to nearby Ohiopyle State Park.

Ohiopyle: State Park Ohiopyle: State Park

Ohiopyle State Park is known for its whitewater rapids, which you can raft in warmer weathers. There's lots of hiking trails and waterfalls as well.

Ohiopyle: Cucumber Falls Ohiopyle: Cucumber Falls

Cucumber Falls is a waterfall with a 30 foot drop, located within Ohiopyle State Park. It has rocks that are fun to climb around and a lot of gorgeous scenery.

At this point you may want to head back to Pittsburgh, maybe catching dinner on the way home at a Pittsburgh-popular diner, Eat'n Park, or within the city at another Pittsburgh-famous restaurant, Primanti Brothers. Both places will provide you with your choice of salads and sandwiches topped with french fries ;)

Day #5/Monday: Departure
Do whatever there's left to do, and then say goodbye to Pittsburgh!

If I forgot anything important, please let me know.
I also keep a Google Map of Pittsburgh Attractions and Restaurants organized by neighborhood.


homesprout said...

Holy Iris! Nice post!

You mentioned bunches of places that I've been, and bunches more that I haven't. It was really funny to see some pics and actually recognize the place. I loved that you mentioned La Feria! We go there every time were in Pittsburgh. I really want to try the rafting at some point.

h said...

Heh, yeah, sometimes I recognize familiar scenes on your blog as well. It's taken me nearly 1.5 years to amass this knowledge of the city and there's still more to try.

homesprout said...

We went to the casino last time we were there. That's would be something you can pass:)

h said...

Haha, well, that's an easy one. I don't gamble, plus about half of my extended family lives in Atlantic City + Las Vegas.

There are better ways to spend your money in Pittsburgh, I think.

Anonymous said...

Pittsburgh has it all.!!The place is indeed good and magnificent,I went to the La Feria and I enjoyed when I visit the place,I love there food,the ambiance of the place is nice.!!Hopefully I can visit the Cucumber Falls..Nice photos.!Good job.

cafe south side pittsburgh

Elle said...

Great post - my mom and sister are actually coming in town tonight so I may try to do some of the stuff on here - I haven't done much touristy stuff in Pittsburgh yet :)

Thanks for the suggestions!!

Orchid Grey said...

thank you so much for leaving the links to your posts on my blog, this one in particular was super helpful and gave me some additional ideas for what to do with my mom while she's here!

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