If spring in Pittsburgh is when things come to life, summer is when the city shines.
Long, hot sunny days in Pittsburgh are in short commodity, and even if the weather during the summer can borderline on the absurd with regards to heat and humidity, there are still a number of great things to do in Pittsburgh this season.
Today we want to share seven of our favorite activities to do during summer in Pittsburgh. To learn more about each spot, click the links below!
Enjoy the Fireworks
Pittsburgh fireworks are what dreams are made of, there is no doubt about that. We have them all the time during the summer months.
From the Fourth of July, to the many fireworks nights at PNC Park, to the celebration at the Three Rivers Regatta, or even just a random Tuesday night, summers in the Burgh have no shortage of opportunities to get out and enjoy an impressive display of pyrotechnics.
Just be sure to grab your spot early if heading out to enjoy the Regatta or Fourth of July in Pittsburgh- prime viewing spots go quickly!
Cinema and Music in the Parks
We love our parks in Pittsburgh, and in the summer months there is almost always something go it on be it live music, a-list movie screenings, and more!
On the music end there are numerous options at Riverview Jazz at Riverview Park (Saturdays), Bach, Beethoven and Brunch at Mellon Park (Sundays), Reservoir Jazz at Highland Park (Sundays), and the Wednesday Night Concert Series at Flagstaff Hill.
There are also other music series at South Park Amphitheater (Fridays), Summer Fridays at the Frick, Station Square Jam, Jam on Walnut, and Hartwood Acres Ampitheater as well. In fact, you could spend just about every week in summer hitting a new spot for live music around Pittsburgh without a single repeat!
On the movie end of the spectrum there are numerous options in the city's Cinema in the Park feature at about eight parks around the city. Our favorites are the ones at Riverview Park (taking place right after Riverview Jazz) and Grandview Park for the gorgeous view!
Attend an Event
At the start of this article, we mentioned that the city of Pittsburgh shines in summer, and this is seen especially in our event schedule. To put it bluntly, the summer months are packed full every single weekend.
A cross section of events that occur throughout the summer include the following: Open Streets Pittsburgh, Anthrocon, Deutschtown Music Festival, Vintage Grand Prix, Picklesburgh, Summer Beerfest, Night in the Tropics, Three Rivers Regatta, Restaurant Week, Little Italy Days, Renaissance Festival, and Thrival- and that is just naming some of the big ones! (Click the links, when available, to read our posts on the events we've featured to date!)
There are also lesser visited events including cultural and food festivals, neighborhood house tours, and so much more for those who want to take in some truly seasonal specialties.
Gateway Clipper Tour
The Gateway Clipper is one of Pittsburgh's star tourist attractions, and there should be no surprise why that is- seeing the city from the water is unlike any other vantage point you can find!
Head on down to the docks at Station Square to take an hour long tour of the city when it is at its best- during the height of summer!
Been on a Gateway Clipper tour already? Try a Just Ducky tour to get out on the water a different way.
Go Fruit Picking
While we personally promote the things going on in the city on this site, we would be remiss if we did not talk about one of the perks about what is going on outside of the city limits- namely the incoming harvest!
We are quite fortunate in western Pennsylvania to be surrounded by gorgeous nature and farmland, and the region is home to numerous farms that grows a wide array of crops. In the summer time, fruit reaches its peak with cherries at the start of summer, raspberries and blackberries coming in at the end of June, peaches and blueberries coming in around July and August, and the start of apple season toward the middle of September.
Suffice it to say, if you want to get out and pick your own fruit in Pittsburgh, there are a number of options just a few miles away from the city center. You can't beat that!
Can't make it out to a nearby farm to go fruit picking? Head out to a neighborhood farmers market instead or the Squirrel Hill or Market Square night markets on Saturday nights in the summer as well! (Note that the Squirrel Hill night market is typically only once a month whereas Market Square's is weekly.)
Carrie Furnace Tours
Pittsburgh is home to a number of seasonal tour opportunities in any given season, and none is perhaps more unique to the city than the tours at Carrie Furnace in Rankin.
This site is the remains of a few blast furnaces from the city's steel making days that were left in disarray when the industry collapsed. The Rivers of Steel heritage foundation came in, saved what remained, and transformed it into a historical site in order to save a bit of Pittsburgh's steel making history for the generations.
This tour is only available in the summer months and is one of the highlights that we think makes Pittsburgh great. Don't miss it!
Already checked out Carrie Furnace? Head out to the Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Avella, PA, to check out an archaeological site that is home to over 16,000 years of continuous human in-habitation- more than anywhere else!
Visit an Area Winery
Nothing beats lounging on a hot summer day with a chilled bottle of wine and a few good friends, so why not head out to a new Pittsburgh winery for a long day of drinking this summer?
We certainly have a number of delicious Pittsburgh wineries to choose from, but if you want a cross section of our personal favorites give Casa Narcisi in Gibsonia, Kavic Winery in Carnegie, Pittsburgh Winery in the Strip District, Enginehouse 25 in Lawrenceville, Christian Klay winery near Ohiopyle, or Vinoski Winery in Belle Vernon a try!
Each of these spots excels at their craft and offers something a bit unique for all visitors in addition to great wines.
Overall, Pittsburgh is home to a number of fabulous activities in the summer months, and if you attempt to hit some of the above, you'll be certain to have your best summer yet!
Book a Hotel in Pittsburgh
Looking for a Pittsburgh hotel? Check out the following!
- Hampton Inn - Free parking in Downtown
- Embassy Suites - Stellar views in many rooms
- Sheraton Pittsburgh - City view in river view rooms
- Hotel Monaco - Highly rated on TripAdvisor
- Hampton Inn Green Tree - Great value option!
Looking for more? Search for a great deal on Booking.com!
Shop for Pittsburgh Products
For more products, check out our Pittsburgh shopping guide!