Last Updated on by Jeremy
Pittsburgh is truly fortunate to have a number of things to do in the city. But outside of the city there is a whole world of different opportunities ranging from discovering nature to learning about the region's rich history.
If you're looking to get out and explore on a longer day trip, check one of these attractions- all within an hour of the city limits!
On your way back, take the long way home to check out a few great spots in nearby towns.
Moraine State Park, Return via Butler
Located about an hour north of Pittsburgh, Moraine State Park is a 16,725-acre park in Butler County with a large lake and many hiking trails worth exploring. Visit the south shore in the morning for hikes on the Sunken Garden and Hilltop Trails- two of our favorites.
McConnells Mill, Return via Harmony
McConnells Mill State Park is known for having a historical mill, a beautiful covered bridge, and many waterfalls that can be seen from the many hiking trails (one of the easiest being the Hell's Hollow trail located about 15 minutes drive from the mill).
On your way back to Pittsburgh, swing by Harmony for lunch at The Harmony Inn. The restaurant is owned by North Country Brewing so you can also grab some delicious beer here.
If you need a bit more to do and can time your visit right, stop at The Harmony Museum for some history of the region as well or detour to Evans City to check out The Living Dead Museum– dedicated to the film franchise that started zombie culture!
Raccoon Creek State Park, Return via Coraopolis
Located about 45 minutes west of Pittsburgh, Raccoon Creek State Park is 7,572 acres and features many hiking trails where you can truly be alone with nature. (Be sure to take a copy of the park map with you as the trails can be quite long.)
In late April and August the park is home to annual wildflower blooms that are sure to impress those who visit during peak season- especially during the spring bloom!
Mingo Creek County Park, Return via Finleyville
Mingo Creek County Park is located roughly 45 minutes south of Pittsburgh and is 2,600 acres. The main stretch of the park features a paved walking trail between two historical covered bridges and is the perfect morning out without hiking through the woods.
On your way back, visit central Finleyville for a barbecue lunch at Brian's Barbecue (seasonal)!
Todd Nature Reserve, Return via Springdale
Todd Nature Reserve is located about 30 minutes northeast of Pittsburgh and is one of several reserves managed by the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. This spot is known for its bird watching, and trained naturalists lead bird walks every Friday morning from April to September.
Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Return via Cecil
Located an hour west of Pittsburgh is a unique archaeological site, the Meadowcroft Rockshelter. Human artifacts were found here in 1955 and many more were found in subsequent excavations- the oldest finds date back as far as 16,000 years!
This seasonal spot is perfect for a day out of the city, and on your return trip be sure to stop at the Golden Pig in Cecil for Korean food that has a die-hard following!
Fort Ligonier, Return via Mt. Pleasant
Fort Ligonier in the borough of the same name is a full reconstruction of the 18th century fort and offers tours highlighting the region's early history.
This seasonal attraction can be enjoyed in just a few hours, so afterwards head a few miles down the road to the kid-oriented theme park Idlewild or, if you are returning without kids, make the detour via Mount Pleasant to the local favorite brewery, Helltown.
Looking for more day trip options a bit further out? Head down to the Laurel Highlands to hike or go white water rafting at Ohiopyle State Park or go skiing in the winter at Seven Springs– both just a bit more than an hour away from Pittsburgh!
Looking for more things to do in Pittsburgh? Check out the previous link for a number of our favorite options! Or if you are looking for Pittsburgh weekend trips, click for more ideas a bit further out!
Help us out! When visiting local businesses or attractions, be sure to say you found them on Discover the Burgh!
Looking for a Pittsburgh hotel? Check out our favorites below!
- Hampton Inn - Free parking in Downtown/Strip District
- Embassy Suites - Stellar views in many rooms, all from high floors
- Sheraton Pittsburgh - Excellent city view in river view rooms
- Hotel Monaco - A great value option Downtown (and dogs stay free)