Last Updated on February 7, 2023 by Jeremy
Disclaimer: Our site uses demographic data, email opt-ins, display advertising, and affiliate links. Please check out our Terms and Conditions. Pricing, operating hours, or menus may have changed since our initial visit and may not be reflected in subsequent updates. Please confirm these directly with any business or attraction prior to visiting.
Unlike other attractions in the city, you'll have no problem spotting Randyland from a distance.
This outdoor art studio, if you can call it that, is quite possibly the most colorful spot in all of Pittsburgh– and that is only the first impression from looking at it on the outside.
Once you enter, a world of incredible art and whimsy is yours to explore.
The Backstory of Randyland
The space now known as Randyland started in 1995 when Randy Gilson purchased a few rundown buildings in the North Side, on credit card no less, and started turning it into an incredible art center. Over the years the installations have grown and the property has become a local treasure that receives national and international attention time and time again.
As popular of an attraction as it is, we do have to admit that it was one we had only recently heard of (I know, blasphemy!).
It wasn't until we moved to the North Side that we discovered Randyland, and after talking to many friends who live in the city, our visit was the first they heard of it as well.
Thankfully, this new found knowledge will allow us to return several times in the future as Randyland is one of those places you will want to visit anytime you need to smile. It is simply impossible to be unhappy when surrounded by so much color.
Our Favorite Art Installations
To be honest, you could probably spend several days inside Randyland and not fully see it all. The art installations are so abundant (and not to mention compact) that you will easily overlook many subtle details, and like most art pieces several can be appreciated from different angles.
As a photographer, my favorite pieces here are some of the more interactive ones where you and your subject (in this case Angie) can become part of the exhibit through simply sitting in the many chairs, benches, and stairs present in the inner courtyard.
Just be sure to wear something colorful, as this is one place where a boring business suit just doesn't cut it.
..although, now that I think about it, that would look pretty cool too.
Do you love Randyland as much as we do? Comment below to share your experience at this unique and unusual attraction!
Randyland is located at 1501 Arch Street in the North Side and is open “most everyday”, with somewhat variable opening hours. Randyland is free but accepts donations if you enjoyed your visit (please tip if you can). Be sure to spend some time talking to Randy if he is around as he is full of incredible stories and advice about the city!
Note: Randyland may close during the winter depending on the weather.
For more attractions in Pittsburgh's North Side, check out the Photo Antiquities Museum, Johnny Angel's Ginchy Stuff, the Mattress Factory, or Bicycle Heaven. Or, if you're looking for a restaurant, why not check out El Burro or Nicky's Thai Kitchen!
8 thoughts on “Randyland is a Colorful Must See Attraction in Pittsburgh”
Thanks for the call out, I truly appreciate your kind words and endorsement for Pittsburgh Arts, by the way ,I truly Love your site, it’s never dull, I find myself stopping at every one of your many articles, and sharing your Pittsburgh Stories with all my friends around the world, Thanks for your Friendship, Peace and Love Randy Gilson, Randyland Pittsburgh
I was just sent this link, inticing me to visit Randland when I come to Pittsburgh this summer during the MINI Takes The States 2016 Rally. (Yes close to 1000 MINIs and very colorful MINIac personalities will be part of the invasion on the Burgh!)
I absolutely love the colorful, creative, fun, magical, odd, whimsical, out of the box personalities found in both people, art, expression, life, and interaction with our world.
My points of interest as I travel are not the normal sights. ‘Not Normal’ is fully embraced in my preference for fun, friendship, family and exploration.
One of Pitsburgh’s own amazing artists-Pamela Haithcoat Wagner came to Atlanta, Georgia last year, and turned my business, Swimmerman Swim School into the most brilliantly devoted, magical inticing space possible.
Jeremy, Thank you for this article. Art inspires on so many levels.
Randy, I would do love to coordinate a time during my visit to meet you. Thank you all.
Melina Rorie Slotnick
That’s excellent! I’m going to have to check out the MINI rally when it comes here, that sounds awesome. If you like unusual spots, I also recommend visiting Bicycle Heaven and possibly La Hutte Royal too. They’re both really awesome.
If you check Randyland’s Facebook page or website you can reach out to Randy directly to make sure he is there when you are visiting.
Randyland is one of my very favorite spots in Pittsburgh- and Randy is one of my very favorite people! I’ve visited there several times, including twice with a friend from Oregon who is a photographer and loves Randy’s art.
If you can, go on a nice day in the afternoon- Randy may be available “in person” to tell you about the place and all of his past and present projects. He’s a primo ambassador for our wonderful city!
While you’re in the neighborhood, you can also see the City of Asylum houses (for international writers/artists), which are only a few blocks away, and visit the Alphabet City Bookstore on North Avenue where you can get a map of the houses/history of this humanitarian project.
Be sure to stop here if you visit our city!!
Randyland is great for children on the outside courtyard!!! It has a giant sand pit in the summer and buckets shovels, they have little tables to eat on so we packed a lunch and ate there. The cost is a donation to get in.
love this !!!
At advice from this blog we attempted to visit RandyLand this past weekend. Unfortunately, our schedule didn’t allow for it, BUT we were at a restaurant across from our hotel on our last night in the city, and who do we get to meet? Randy himself. My husband, myself and another couple sat with him for over 3 hours and just listened. He is such an inspiration and we really, really enjoyed his company. His positivity on life is like nothing else. It definitely made us pause and be thankful.
That is awesome you got to run into Randy despite not making it over to Randyland. So glad to hear you had a good time!