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We've been doing our best here at Discover the Burgh to help you find new things to do in Pittsburgh, and since founding our site in 2015 we've published hundreds of articles on what to see, do, and eat in southwest Pennsylvania.
Before starting our personal goal of doing everything in the region, we really weren't sure how much was out there. Now that we've been exploring for several years, we realized that there is truly an extraordinary amount of things to do- with enough to keep you busy from January 1st to December 31st and quite literally every day in between.
So whether you're looking for what to do in Pittsburgh today, this weekend, three months from now, or a combination of everything, this guide to our great city will truly keep you busy 365 days of the year.
This guide features attractions, parks, nature, public spots, events, libations, and select food experiences like cafes, ice cream shops, and bakeries within Pittsburgh and the greater metro area (up to about 60-90 minutes away from downtown). We do not feature Pittsburgh restaurants in this guide and recommend checking out our full restaurant feature at the previous link for more options!
Navigate Things to Do in Pittsburgh
This guide is broken up into multiple sections based off of your interests. To jump between each section, click the following links:
- Top 10 Pittsburgh Attractions
- Attractions, Museums, and Experiences
- Parks & Nature
- Libations (Bars, Breweries, Distilleries)
- Cafes, Ice Cream, and Bakeries
- Music Venues
- Seasonal and Annual Events
Notes: While Discover the Burgh features our quest to visit every spot in southwest PA, we are still working our way through doing them all. We have enjoyed the vast majority of the list below personally, and when available we link to full reviews of each spot so you can read more. Some of these are through dedicated articles for each attraction, others are via broader guides and will be noted accordingly. If we have not visited a spot yet, we'll link directly to the relevant website when available in some cases as well.
While this guide may not feature everything there is to do in Pittsburgh, we are focusing on highlighting some of the very best. No matter what you do, if you experience most of what is featured in this guide you'll end up with a wonderful appreciation for all things Pittsburgh!
The Top 10 Pittsburgh Attractions
Are you planning to visit Pittsburgh or want to make sure you've seen the very best the city has to offer? Our Top 10 list is where to start.
Out of hundreds upon hundreds of attractions visited, we think of these as our very favorites. These are the best places in Pittsburgh that should be ranked highly on anyone's list when exploring the city. Whether you live here or are simply visiting, our Top 10 will give a wonderful introduction to what Pittsburgh is all about. So if you haven't done these yet, now is the time.
Please note that the top 10 is presented in no particular order.
1. Duquesne Incline
Before cars became commonplace in Pittsburgh, workers needed a way to traverse the hillsides to get from their houses (typically on top) to the mills and factories (typically oriented along the river). During that time many funicular inclines opened to move people up and down the hills. But as cars became commonplace, many of the inclines closed and were dismantled. Today, two remain (both on Mount Washington), and one, the Duquesne Incline, is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike- not just because it is over 140 years old, but also because the ride features one of the most breathtaking skyline views of Pittsburgh you'll ever see!
2. Phipps Conservatory
Phipps Conservatory is the premier conservatory and botanical gardens in the area and is one of our favorite spots in the city. Why is that? Apart from the fact that the conservatory offers beautiful flowers any time of year, they also put on many seasonal flower shows that are must-sees. While the shows are always excellent, we highly recommend the Spring Flower Show (March to Early April) and Winter Flower Show (late November to early January) for their vibrancy, themes, and overall ambiance. Truly a must see in Oakland!
3. Point State Park
Point State Park is an interesting spot for its geographical features and history. On the geographical side, the park is located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh at the confluence of Pittsburgh's three rivers- the Allegheny, the Monongahela, and the Ohio. And on the history side was the site of several forts due to the strategic advantage of the location (of which only outlines of the forts, historical markers, and a blockhouse remain). Now the park is a great place to walk through as a reprieve from the bustle downtown, enjoy the beauty of the confluence and the fountain (seasonal), and learn a bit more about Pittsburgh's early history.
4. The Strip District
The Strip District is one of Pittsburgh's most vibrant neighborhoods. This section of the city was once home to heavy industry and produce terminals/markets, making for an interesting dichotomy. The mills ultimately left and the produce vendors and markets remained. Since then, many international markets, restaurants, and boutique shops have moved in which makes this neighborhood a great place to walk around and shop, eat, and drink. When visiting, keep in mind that many of the non-restaurant vendors close early (~3pm) even on weekends, so this one is definitely a spot to hit in the morning or early afternoon!
5. Warhol Museum
Many artists have come out of Pittsburgh, but none have works more prolific than Andy Warhol. To honor this iconic artist, the Andy Warhol Museum was opened in the North Side. This seven floor museum is the largest in North America dedicated to a single artist, and offers a glimpse into many different styles from Warhol's career- well beyond the iconic soup can. You may not like everything you see (you probably won't as his art is often unusual), but the museum does a great job highlighting this native artist's vast portfolio.
6. Heinz History Center
We can't have a Top 10 list about Pittsburgh attractions without featuring a museum all about the region, and the Heinz History Center will teach you everything you've ever wanted to learn about the area! This six-floor museum features nearly every aspect of Pittsburgh's history including its early settlements, modernization, industries that called the region home (such as glass, iron, and steel), sports history, local inventions, and so much more.
Randyland is often considered to be Pittsburgh's most colorful spot, and once you arrive you'll quickly understand why that is. This attraction has been the passion project of Randy, a local artist who decided to bring color and happiness to the North Side in the mid-90s. He bought two houses on credit card and turned them to the wonderful work of art we know and love today. This one you really need to see to believe.
8. Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
You may not think of Pittsburgh being home to one of the country's top art museums, but the Carnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Museum of Natural History are just that. While we treat this museum as two when talking about it, the museums are actually in the same building and able to be viewed with one single ticket! Visitors are treated to dozens of room with some of the world's best art exhibits and natual history collections.
Don't miss Dinosaurs in Their Time, Hillman Hall of Gems and Minerals, and Hall of Architecture– three of our favorites!
Frank Lloyd Wright is not a native Pittsburgher, but one of his most acclaimed works, Fallingwater, was built in the 1930s for a notable department store owner from the city. This house, located in the Laurel Highlands about an hour southeast of the city, is famous for its distinctive perch overtop a waterfall, with all of Wright's famed intricacies on display for all to see. A bit of a drive, but truly a must see. Be sure to book tickets to this one several weeks in advance if visiting!
10. Carrie Furnaces
We offer a number of great museums and attractions in this guide, and many focus on Pittsburgh's great history. But sometimes going to a museum is not enough and you need to see the history for yourself. The seasonal (late spring to early fall) tour of the Carrie Furnaces in Rankin is one of those places. Here you can see some of the last remaining blast furnaces in the city and learn more about how Pittsburgh became the epicenter of all things steel in the late 1800s and early 1900s- thus giving the city its nickname of The Steel City. Advanced reservations required.
Looking for more things to do in Pittsburgh? Scroll down to read the best spots by category. If you wish to learn more, be sure to click the link to be taken to our review or the official website!
Attractions, Museums, and Experiences
If you are looking for an attraction, museum, or unique experience in southwest Pennsylvania, we have a number of options for you.
The following is organized loosely by location and attraction type. We start with well-known attractions in Pittsburgh proper, then branch out to sub-categories like sports, lesser-known/unusual museums, and regional attractions.
- Cathedral of Learning – Oakland – A skyscraper on Pitt's campus that features the Nationality Rooms- dozens of themed classrooms from around the world.
- Children's Museum – North Side – Pittsburgh's museum dedicated to children's activities.
- Carnegie Science Center – North Side – A science focused museum with multiple wings, special exhibits (extra ticket), and more.
- Rangos Giant Cinema at the Science Center – North Side – IMAX screen at the Science Center showing Hollywood movies and documentaries.
- USS Requin – North Side – A submarine open for tours at the Science Center. Included with Science Center ticket or available a la carte for visitors.
- Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium – Highland Park – Combination zoo and aquarium on a single ticket.
- Rivers of Steel PGH 101 – North Side – A ~90 minute river cruise by the Rivers of Steel Heritage Foundation.
- Gateway Clipper – South Side – A popular 60 minute river cruise for sightseeing.
- Free Pittsburgh Walking Tours – Downtown – Free walking tours of the city to learn its history, quirks, and charm. Neighborhood tours available as well!
- Discover the Burgh's Walking Tour – Many Neighborhoods – Take our five-mile, self-guided walking tour through Downtown, Station Square, Mount Washington, and the North Side!
- Primanti Brothers – Strip District – The only restaurant featured in this guide as it is a local institution for fries and coleslaw on a sandwich. Best in the Strip Distirct. Better when drinking.
- Explore the 90 Neighborhoods – Exploring a new neighborhood is one of our favorite activities, and Pittsburgh has 90 of them to choose from!
- Bicycle Heaven – North Side – The world's largest bicycle store and museum. Don't miss the 2nd floor showroom!
- Johnny Angel's Ginchy Stuff – North Side – A music store all about local musician Johnny Angel and his long career (right next to Bicycle Heaven).
- Frick House – Point Breeze – Mansion tour for steel magnate Henry Clay Frick. Great to learn local steel history.
- National Aviary– North Side – All things birds at the Aviary with a few non-winged creatures as well!
- Roberto Clemente Museum – Lawrenceville – A small museum dedicated to the Pittsburgh Pirates legend.
- Fort Pitt Museum – Downtown – A modest museum at Point State Park dedicated to the history of the early settlements in the area.
- Mattress Factory – North Side – A contemporary art museum that truly has something for everyone.
- Penguins Game – Downtown – Cheer on the Penguins for some hockey!
- Penguins Practice at the Lemieux Complex – Cranberry – Watch the Penguins at their public practices.
- Steelers Game – North Side – Find out why we're called Steeler nation at a football game.
- Steelers Training Camp – Latrobe – Pre-season training camp in July and August.
- Pitt Panthers Game – North Side – Cheer on the Panthers during a college game at Heinz Field.
- Pirates Game – North Side – Check out the Pirates while enjoying one of the most beautiful ballparks in the country.
- Riverhounds Game – South Side – Root for our local soccer team with some stunning city views in the background.
- PNC Park Tour – North Side – Take a tour of PNC Park and visit on a non-game, non-travel day to get into the Club House!
- Heinz Field Tour – North Side – Take a behind the scenes tour of Heinz Field.
- PPG Paints Arena Tour – Downtown – Take a behind the scenes tour of PPG Paints Arena
- Mario Lemieux Sports Complex Tour – Cranberry – Check out the practice rinks at the Lemieux complex for a behind the scenes tour or to simply watch the Pens practice during the season.
- Lumberjaxes Ax Throwing – Multiple Locations – Take some steam off by throwing sharp objects at a wooden target.
- Sliders Curling (Seasonal) – Millvale – Hit the ice for a variant of curling at this pop-up complex at Lumberjaxes Millvale.
- Holocaust Center – Greenfield – Small exhibit for the Holocaust and seasonal displays in Greenfield.
- Kennywood – West Mifflin – Enjoy the rides at Pittsburgh's own amusement park.
- Sandcastle – West Homestead – A popular waterpark located just outside of the city.
- Idlewild & Soakzone – Laurel Highlands – A children's theme park and large waterpark located an hour southeast of Pittsburgh.
- The Big Mac Museum – North Huntingdon – A small museum inside a McDonald's to celebrate the Big Mac (which was invented nearby).
- Burgh Bits and Bites Food Tour – Multiple locations – A popular food tour with many options in southwest PA.
- Ascend – South Side – A bouldering and rock climbing gym with stellar city views.
- Trader Jacks – Bridgeville – A popular flea market during the weekend with dozens upon dozens of vendors.
- Allegheny Observatory – North Side – An operational observatory with limited tours in the summer months with advanced reservation.
- Historical Allegheny Jail Museum – Downtown – A tour of the old jail cells at the historical Allegheny Jail. Only open Mondays with limited hours.
- Maxo Vanka Murals – Millvale – Historical artwork at the St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Millvale.
- Kelso Museum of Near Eastern Archaeology – East Liberty- A small museum at the Pittsburgh seminary about their excavations in the Holy Land as well as exhibits on the history of written language.
- Soldiers and Sailors – Oakland – A modest museum dedicated to those who fought for the USA in the many wars.
- Pittsburgh Glass Center – Garfield – Take a class to learn some glass working skills!
- Chop, Wok & Talk – Friendship – A popular cooking class program in Pittsburgh.
- CRAFT Chatham – Gibsonia – In-depth cooking classes at Chatham's Eden Hall campus.
- Cooking Class at Market District – Robinson Township – Take a cooking class in the large kitchen at the Market District.
- Saint Anthony Chapel – Troy Hill – Check out the largest collection of Catholic relics outside of the Vatican at this chapel.
- Bayernhof Museum – O'Hara Township – Explore the unusual house of Charles Brown and hear one of the dozens upon dozens of self-playing musical instruments found inside!
- Photo Antiquities Museum – North Side – A museum dedicated to the history of photography. Be sure to get an extra ticket for the rotating show as well.
- PostNatural History Museum – Garfield – A small museum dedicated to all things genetically modified by man. Typically only open Sundays.
- Trundle Manor – Swissvale – The private residence of two local artisans who have a collection that is, well, rather odd.
- Escape Room Pittsburgh – Greenfield and Homestead – Escape rooms in Pittsburgh with various themes.
- Living Dead Museum – Monroeville – A small museum in the Monroeville Mall dedicated to all things zombie lore, inspired by the Night of the Living Dead movie.
- La Hutte Royal – Troy Hill – A private residence turned art exhibit. What is inside? We're not allowed to tell you. Just book a tour and go!
- Kunzhaus – Troy Hill – A second art house by the folks behind La Hutte Royal.
- Arsenal Bowl – Lawrenceville – A popular bowling alley in Lawrenceville for playing, drinking, music, and more.
- Topgolf Pittsburgh – Bridgeville – A driving range with an added game element added in via sensor-tagged golf balls.
- Meadowcroft Rockshelter – Avella – An archaeological site that features nearly 20,000 of continuous human habitation found on-site.
- Sporting Clays at Nemacolin – Laurel Highlands – Go clay pigeon shooting in Ohiopyle!
- Kentuck Knob – Laurel Highlands – Tour a second popular Frank Lloyd Wright house near Fallingwater (in our top 10)
- Polymath Park – Laurel Highlands – A complex featuring two Wright homes and two homes from a former student open for tours and rentals.
- Bushy Run Battlefield – Laurel Highlands – The site of Pontiac's Rebellion in southwest PA.
- Fort Ligonier – Laurel Highlands – A fort involved in the Forbes Campaign to retake what is now Pittsburgh in Ligonier.
- Fort Necessity – Laurel Highlands – The site of George Washington's famous battle that started the Seven Years War.
- Compass Inn Museum – Laurel Highlands – A historical 200+ year old inn that was once a stagecoach stop in the region.
- Ligonier Valley Railroad Museum – Laurel Highlands – A restored rail road station that preserves the history of rail in the region.
- The Lincoln Highway Experience – Laurel Highlands – A museum dedicated to the Lincoln Highway- the first coast-to-coast highway in the USA (1913).
- Playthings Etc – Butler – A popular toy store where the employees will play with you with almost every toy!
- Pinball PA – Aliquippa – A huge arcade with hundreds of classic games and pinball machines set to free play (charged by the hour).
- Yellow Dog Village – Kittanning – An abandoned mining village open for tours and photography with advanced reservation.
- Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum – Gibsonia – A seasonal (Christmas) museum featuring model train cars showing Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, in the 1950s.
- Harmony Museum – Harmony – A local heritage museum and log cabins in the historic town of Harmony.
- Donora Smog Museum – Donora – A local heritage museum with exhibits for the Donora Smog disaster.
- Westmoreland Museum of American Art – Greensburg – A free art museum in downtown Greensburgh with many themed galleries.
- Saxonburg Museum – Saxonburg – A local heritage museum in Saxonburg with exhibits for John Roebling, inventor of a wire that was used in many famous bridges.
- Latrobe Heritage Museum – Latrobe – A local heritage museum focusing on history of the city with exhibits for Mr. Rogers and Arnold Palmer- two natives.
- Pennsylvania Trolley Museum – Washington – A museum focused on maintaining streetcars and trolleys.
- Tour-Ed Mine & Museum – Tarentum – An educational coal mine featuring exhibits on how mining was done from the 1800s to present.
- Kerr Museum – Oakmont – A mansion styled in the 1800s.
- Hartwood Manor – Hampton Township – A mansion on the Hartwood Acres estate open for tours with prior appointment.
- Large Scale Systems Museum – New Kensington – A museum dedicated to collecting and restoring antique computers.
- Maridon Museum – Butler – A museum dedicated to East Asian art.
- Rachel Carson Homestead – Springdale – The childhood home of Rachel Carson, a famed environmentalist from the region.
- Depreciation Lands – Allison Park – A colonial park showcasing what life was like in early settlement days.
Parks & Nature
One of the things we love about Pittsburgh is that it is a very green spot. Pittsburgh parks are plentiful, the county parks are huge, and if you drive just 10-20 minutes in any direction odds are good you'll find yourself out in nature.
This section of our guide features cool places to experience nature and the great outdoors, including notable spots in the city, trails, outdoor activities, and city and county parks, and state parks / other nature areas to name a few.
Notable Outdoor Spaces
The following are some of our favorite outdoor spots in the Pittsburgh area. Many of these are not necessarily parks, but they're interesting spots to visit all the same.
- Canton Avenue – Beechview – The steepest public street in the USA, and by some measurements, the world.
- Roslyn Place – Shadyside – A historic street made entirely out of wood blocks.
- Color Park – South Side – A small parklet on the river trail in South Side full of colorful graffiti.
- Fineview Lookout – Fineview – One of the more popular public lookouts in Pittsburgh.
- Chatham Village – Mount Washington – A historic neighborhood nestled away from the bustle of Mount Washington. Great for a walk around.
- South Side Slopes – South Side – Staircase streets good for an urban hike and city views.
- West End Overlook – Elliott – The second most popular overlook in Pittsburgh.
- Point of View Statue – Mount Washington – A gorgeous statue of George Washington and Guyasuta meeting in the region, with a great skyline view (just steps from the Duquesne Incline).
- Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens – Oakdale – A paid, outdoor botanical garden with many themed zones to walk around.
- Rodef Shalom Biblical Garden – Shadyside – A small garden in Shadyside with Biblical verses and plants.
- Flight 93 Memorial – Somerset – Visit the memorial for the Flight 93 crash in Somerset County from September 11th.
Looking to be active while in nature? The following activities are for you!
- Ride the Great Allegheny Passage – A bike trail that goes from Pittsburgh to Maryland, and connects onto another trail all the way to Washington DC!
- Washington County Covered Bridges – The county just to our south has one of the largest collections of covered bridges in the state, so go find them!
- Biking/Healthy Ride on the River Trails – North/South Side – Take a bike out for a stroll on one of our great river trails.
- Kayak North Park and Rivers – Enjoy a ride on the rivers or lakes in the area by kayak.
- White Water Raft Ohiopyle – Laurel Highlands – Check out Class I/II or III/IV rapids with an excursion from Ohiopyle (go for the III/IV in the Lower Yough!).
- Stand Up Paddleboard at Moraine State Park – Portersville – Jump on a stand up paddleboarding (SUP) tour of Moraine State Park with SurfSUP Adventures.
- Go Ape North Park – Allison Park – Take a treetop / obstacle and zipline course with Go Ape at North Park.
- Laurel Caverns – Laurel Highlands – Explore this natural cave at the southern end of Laurel Highlands.
- Butler-Freeport Community Trail – Hike or bike a bit (or all) of the large trail that connects Butler to Freeport, PA!
- Laurel Highlands Trail – Complete some or all of the 70+ mile hiking trail in the Laurel Highlands.
- North Country Trail – Butler – Hike a portion of the trail that goes all the way from New York state to North Dakota!
Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Parks
Looking to get out an explore the popular city and Allegheny County Parks? The following are some of the most visited nearby.
- Frick Park – Squirrel Hill / Regent Square
- Schenley Park – Oakland
- Riverview Park – North Side
- Deer Lakes Park – Tarentum
- Mellon Park – Shadyside
- Harrison Hills Park – Natrona Heights
- Settlers Cabin Park – Collier
- South Park – Bethel Park
- North Park – Allison Park
- Boyce Park – Plum
- Hartwood Acres – Hampton Township
- Highland Park – Highland Park
- Round Hill Park – Elizabeth
- White Oak Park – White Oak
Regional Parks, State Parks, and Conservation Areas
Looking to get out further to see state parks, lesser visited places, and/or nature reserves? Check out the following nature spots in southwest Pennsylvania!
- McConnells Mill State Park – Portersville
- Moraine State Park – Portersville
- Ohiopyle State Park – Laurel Highlands
- Raccoon Creek State Park – Hookstown
- Fall Run Park – Glenshaw
- Dead Man's Hollow – McKeesport
- Braddock's Trail Park – Irwin
- Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve – Latrobe
- Cedar Creek Park – Belle Vernon
- Buttermilk Falls – Beaver Falls
- Todd Nature Reserve – Sarver
- Mingo Creek County Park – Finleyville
- Boyce Mayview Park – Upper St Clair
- Thornburg Conservation Area – Thornburg
- Trillium Trail – Fox Chapel
- Beechwood Farms – Fox Chapel
- Montour Trail – West of the City
- Beechview Seldom Seen Greenway – Beechview
- Panhandle Trail – West of the City
- Robin Hill Park – Coraopolis
- Hillman State Park – Burgettstown
- Crooked Creek Horse Park – Armstrong Township
- Loyalhanna Lake – Saltsburg
- Keystone State Park – Derry
- Glade Run Lake Conservancy – Valencia
- Succop Nature Park – Butler
- Bear Run Nature Reserve – Laurel Highlands
- Roaring Run Natural Area – Laurel Highlands
- Laurel Summit State Park – Laurel Highlands
- Barking Slopes Conservation Area – New Kensington
- Montour Woods Conservation Area – Moon Township
- Jennings Environmental Education Center – Slippery Rock
- Kane Woods Nature Area – Scott Township
Libations (Bars, Breweries, Distilleries)
If libations are your thing, Pittsburgh and southwest Pennsylvania will have something for you. Our grains make fantastic beers and spirits, and our grapes make some surprisingly delicious (albeit quite sweet) wine. Throw in some stellar cocktail bars into the mix, and those looking for a beverage will not have to go far to try something new!
The following is split up into sections based on libations type (breweries, distilleries, wineries, and unique cocktail bars). Organization within each category is arbitrary. For these, we recommend reading our larger guides linked at the start of each section versus individual articles (those are linked when available, but we do not do dedicated features for some categories).
There are more than 70 Pittsburgh breweries all within an hour of downtown, which means that if beer is what you seek, craft beer isn't too far away no matter where you live. The following is a list of all of the breweries we know about in the region and their location. To read more about each, click the above link to read our brewery guide.
- Sly Fox Brewing
- Penn Brewery
- Southern Tier
- Allegheny City
- 412 Brewery
- War Streets Brewing
- Fat Head's Saloon
- Cinderlands Brewery
- Spring Hill Brewing
- Burgh'ers Brewing
- Eleventh Hour Brewing
- Church Brewworks
- Roundabout Brewery
- Hop Farm Brewing
- Couch Brewery
- East End Brewing
- Strange Roots
- Grist House
- Dancing Gnome
- Hitchhiker Brewing
- Insurrection Ale Works
- Headley's Brewing
- Mindful Brewing
- Spoonwood Brewing
- Voodoo Brewing
- Brew Gentlemen
- Pittsburgh Bottleshop
- Mastic Trail Brewing
- Inner Groove
- The Leaning Cask
- Invisible Man Brewing
- Dented Keg
- Stick City
- Cellar Works Brewing
- North Country
- Union Brothers Brewing
- Butler Brew Works
- Reclamation Brewing
- Missing Links Brewery
- Recon Brewing
- Full Pint Brewing
- Fury Brewing
- Quinn Brewing
- Yellow Bridge Brewing
- All Saints Brewing
- Four Seasons Brewing
- Levity Brewing
- Noble Stein Brewing
- New Crescent
- Rivertowne Brewing
- Inner Groove Brewery
- Rock Bottom
- Devout Brewing Company
- Conny Creek Brewing
- Helltown Brewing
- Rusty Gold
- Bloom Brew
- White Horse Brewing
- Washington Brewing Company
- Four Points Brewing
- Lincoln Avenue Brewing
- Acrospire Brewing
- Acclimation Brewing
- Abjuration Brewing
- Cobblehaus Brewing
- Helicon Brewing
- Coal Tipple Brewing
- Petrucci Brothers
- Beaver Brewing Company
In the early days of America, Pennsylvania was well known for its alcohol. First, there was the Whiskey Rebellion, where farmers revolted against the government for enacting a tax on whiskey. The second was for Monongahela Rye, one of the whiskeys the region was famous for due to our great grains. That spirit fell out of favor and was only recently revived by many of our area distilleries (and is a real treat to try).
Now Pittsburgh's distillery scene is growing at a rapid pace, with some of the following that should be on your radar. Click each distillery name to read more.
- Wigle Whiskey – Multiple Locations – The first craft distillery in Pittsburgh with multiple spirits and locations to enjoy.
- Boyd & Blair Vodka – Glenshaw – A vodka distillery growing into other spirits with classes and events.
- Maggie's Farm Rum – Strip District – A rum distillery with stellar products and cocktails.
- Liberty Pole Spirits – Washington – A distillery south of the city with a focus on local grains and great cocktails.
- Kingfly Spirits – Strip District – A distillery with a cool space in the Strip and live jazz weekly.
- Quantum Spirits – Carnegie – A growing distillery in Carnegie with vodka, gin, rye, and more with delicious cocktails.
- Lawrenceville Distilling – Lawrenceville – A distillery in Lawrenceville with limited options.
- Ridge Runner Distillery – Laurel Highlands – A distillery in the Laurel Highlands with an array of flavored products.
- Bella Bambini Cello – Coraopolis – Not technically a distillery, but a spot that focuses on housemade infusions like limoncello and more.
Wineries, Meaderies, and Cider Houses
The greater Pittsburgh area is known for its grains and products for spirits, but we also have a modest wine region as well. It is true that most of the grapes in the area are on the sweet side (very sweet, to be honest), but if this is the kind of wine you like, you'll be in heaven in southwest Pennsylvania!
If sweet wine is not your thing, don't worry. We've also got a number of wineries that make exceptional dry wines using imported grapes and a few that work magic in their soil for 100% homegrown wine as well!
In this category, we not only feature Pittsburgh wineries, but also cider houses and meaderies too! So if wine or alternative libations are what you seek, click the previous guide to learn more as only a selection of our favorites are outlined below:
- Pittsburgh Winery
- Refucilo Winery
- Arsenal Cider
- Papa Joe's Wine Cellar
- Threadbare Cider
- Apis Mead
- EngineHouse 25
- Courtyard Winery
- Casa Narcisi
- Vinoski Winery
- Stonewall Cider House
- Wooden Door Winery
- Kavic Winery
- Greendance Winery
- Greenhouse Winery
- Winfield Winery
- Raccoon Creek Winery
- Christian Klay Winery
Looking for Pittsburgh wine bars instead? Click the previous link to check out some of our favorites! These don't necessarily make their own products like those above, but they still serve up some stellar glasses all the same.
Craft Cocktail Bars
While we do not feature every bar under the sun in this guide, we do want to also highlight some craft cocktail bars as well. They may not make their own spirits, but the craft of making a good cocktail is enough of an art form on its own. So if trying a new cocktail is your idea of something to do in Pittsburgh, check out one of the following!
Cafes, Ice Cream, and Bakeries
Looking for a pick-me-up or something to satisfy your sweet tooth while out and about? This section of our guide features some great cafes, ice cream shops, and bakeries you really should visit!
Much like our libations section above, the following are broken up into their individual category types as per the above headline and the organization is arbitrary. We recommend reading our larger guide to each as listed at the start of each section for further reading as we do not feature individual articles for these spots at this time.
When it comes to ice cream in Pittsburgh, we have a number of options. For our full list of all the ice cream spots we've visited to date, click the previous link to check out our guide. A selection of some of our favorites are outlined below:
- Glen's Custard
- Razzy Fresh
- Page Dairy Mart
- Gus & Yia Yia's
- Dave & Andy's
- Milkshake Factory
- Sugar and Spice
- The Snowman
Much like ice cream above, the bakeries in Pittsburgh are also exploding at a rapid pace. A selection of some of our favorites are outlined below. To read more about each, click the previous link for our full guide!
- Madeleine Bakery
- Five Points
- La Gourmandine
- Grandview Bakery
- Allegro Hearth
- Butterwood Bake Consortium
- Priory Pastries
- Prohibition Pastries
- Jean-Marc Chetallier's French Bakery
- Bethel Bakery
- Potomac Bakery
- Lincoln Bakery
No matter which neighborhood or suburb you visit, odds are good you're going to find a Pittsburgh coffee shop. We're well underway in visiting them all, and a selection of popular spots outlined below. For our complete list, click the previous link to check out our cafe guide!
- Adda Coffe
- Commonplace Coffee
- Redhawk Coffee
- Fort Pitt Coffee
- Gasoline St Coffee
- Kaibur Coffee
- La Prima
- De Fer
- Orbis Caffe
- Biddle's Escape
- Espresso a Mano
- 4121 Main
- Zeke's Coffee
- Anchor and Anvil
- Ineffable Ca Phe
- Black Forge
- California Coffee Bar
- White Rabbit
Music Venues and Theaters
Pittsburgh's music, theater, and performing arts scene has been exploding in recent years, and not a day goes by without several shows going on at our local theaters. In this section of our guide, we highlight some of the best spots to take in a show, be it at a small comedy club or all the way to the grand symphony at Heinz Hall downtown.
Seasonal and Annual Events
Looking to take in one of the many an annual events in Pittsburgh? The following are some of the largest and most popular- with an expressed focus on the unique ones to the region!
Events are organized by the months they normally occur. Note that this list does not feature the exact dates for each event, which often varies from year to year, so we recommend confirming dates in advance.
- MessFest – January – A New Year celebration at the Science Center celebrating all things messy!
- Food Truck-a-Palooza – January – One of the largest food truck rallies of the year at the Monroeville Convention Center.
- Downtown Gallery Crawls – Quarterly – Late night gallery crawl at the many galleries and hotspots in downtown Pittsburgh.
- Unblurred Gallery Crawl – Monthly – Late night gallery crawl in Garfield on the First Friday of each month. Galleries, food trucks, music, and more.
- 21+ Nights – Periodically – Enjoy local museums like the Science Center, Children's Museum, and Carnegie Museums at their periodic 21+ events- no kids allowed!
- Skiing in the Laurel Highlands – Winter – Hit the slopes at Hidden Valley (beginner), Seven Springs (intermediate), or Laurel Mountain (advanced)!
- Tubing at Boyce Park – Plum – Looking to try high speed tubing instead? Head over to Boyce Park during winter to get into the fun!
- Imbibe North Side – Winter/Summer – A twice a year libations festival at the Mattress Factory with all North Side producers.
- Restaurant Week – Winter/Summer – Restaurant specials throughout the city.
- Pittsburgh Beerfest – Winter/Sunner – A twice a year beer festival featuring many local, national, and international producers.
- Good Wood Festival – February – Warm up with barrel aged beers at this intimate beer festival, hosted at Threadbare Cider.
- St Patrick's Day Parade – March – Celebrate with one of the largest St Patrick's Day parades and parties in the country.
- CMU Carnival – April – Reunion weekend and Carnival games at CMU. Go for the buggy races to marvel at engineering and athleticism combined.
- Banff Mountain Film Festival – April – An international touring film festival for adventure activities (a personal favorite of ours).
- Art All Night – April – A 22-hour art show where anyone can submit a piece without judging, censorship, or limitations.
- Fireworks Nights – Seasonal – Check out a fireworks show be it for Fourth of July, the Regatta, Light Up Night, First Night, or simply at one of the many Pirates fireworks nights!
- Pittsburgh Wine Festival – May – A popular wine festival typically taking place at Heinz Field.
- Maifest – May – Celebrate spring at Teutonia Mannerchor German club in the North Side with German food, beer, and music.
- Pittsburgh Marathon – May – Run or cheer on the runners in the biggest race in Pittsburgh.
- North Side Sandwich Sampler – May – North Side restaurants competing to see who can create the best sandwich!
- Open Streets – May, June, July – An event where select neighborhoods shut down the main streets for walkers, bikers, and getting outside. Location changes per event.
- Kayafest – May – A street party in the Strip District put on by Kaya featuring Caribbean fare, music, and more.
- Mars Exploration Days – May/June – A celebration for the planet Mars in the town of Mars. Featuring speakers and exhibits from NASA to name a few.
- Pittsburgh Pride – June – A big party in the Cultural District to celebrate Pride.
- Three Rivers Arts Festival – June – A nearly two week arts show in and around Point State Park with performances, art sales, and more.
- AllClad Seconds Sale – June/December – A seconds sale for one of the best cookware producers in the country. Occurs the first full weekend of the months at multiple locations.
- Jazz Fest – A three day jazz festival in the Cultural District with many shows morning through night.
- Beers of the Burgh – Summer/Winter- The premier beer event in Pittsburgh showcasing only western Pennsylvania breweries. We like the summer one due to its location frequently at Carrie Furances!
- Pittsburgh Magazine's Best Restaurant Party – June – The premier food event of the year where Pittsburgh Magazine hosts their favorite restaurants at Heinz Field.
- Pick Your Own Fruit – Spring/Summer – Find a fruit farm to pick your favorite fruits!
- Farmer's Markets – Spring/Summer/Fall – Visit the many area farmer's markets to buy local produce and more!
- Cinema in the Park – Summer – Live movies at many city parks.
- Music in the Park – Summer – Live music at many city and county parks.
- Anthrocon – July – Welcome the furries to Pittsburgh in what is often considered to be the largest congregation in the world.
- Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix – July – Check out the car shows throughout the city and races at Schenley Park during this nearly two week event.
- Deutschtown Music Festival – Enjoy hundreds of bands as they perform on dozens of stages during this two day (free) festival in the North Side.
- Picklesbrugh – July – Pack the bridge for the popular pickle festival. Just watch out for the crowds!
- Vine Rewind – July – A wine and live music festival in the Strip District hosted by Pittsburgh Winery.
- VegFest – August – A one-day event in the North Side celebrating all things vegan.
- Three Rivers Regatta – August – A multi-day festival celebrating all things water sports, with races, water shows, fireworks, and more.
- Fresh Fest – August – A top beer festival that pairs minority owned businesses and city leaders with local breweries to create new beers.
- Rose All Day – August – A libations festival celebrating all things Rose!
- Little Italy Days – August – Bloomfield shuts down to host this Italian festival!
- Oktoberfest – September/Oktober – Celebrate Oktoberfest at Penn Brewery with lots of delicious beer.
- Steel City Big Pour – September – Support Contruction Junction and local material reuse at this popular beer festival.
- Thrival – September – A tech and music festival hybrid.
- Pierogi Fest – September – Head to Kennywood to enjoy some delicious pierogies from many local producers, food trucks, restaurants, and more.
- Renaissance Festival – Fall – Be transported back to Renaissance times at our annual Ren Fest.
- Step Trek – October – Make new friends while climbing the stairs on South Side Slopes at this annual event.
- Doors Open Pittsburgh – October – Check out businesses and offices throughout the city as they open their otherwise closed doors. Great opportunities for architecture viewing and getting on the top floors of downtown skyscrapers.
- Haunted Pittsburgh Tours – Summer/Fall – Learn about the haunted side of Pittsburgh with these seasonal walking tours.
- Living Dead Weekend – October – Celebrate all things zombie in Evans City at this annual event.
- Dirty Dozen – October – Bike up the 13 steepest streets in the city or watch others try their best at this annual tradition.
- Haunted Houses – Get your scare on at ScareHouse, Phantom Fright Nights, and Hundred Acres Manor.
- Three Rivers Film Festival – November – Check out many short and feature films at the annual film festival!
- Light Up Night – November – Kick off the Christmas season the Friday before Thanksgiving. Christmas lights turn on, the holiday market starts, Santa arrives, fireworsk, and more! (The Santa Spectacular event also occurs this night as well with its own separate fireworks show too!)
- Joy of Cookies Tour – November/December – Support local Lawrenceville businesses over this weekend while also getting cookies at every stop! (Date varies between November and December each year.)
- Handmade Arcade – December – Support hundreds upon hundreds of local artisans at this holiday shopping event at the convention center.
- Christmas in Pittsburgh – Check out the Christmas Markets, Shadrack's Winter Wonderland, Kennywood Holiday Lights, Phipps Winter Flower Show, Overly's Country Christmas, Christmas at the Cathedral of Learning, A Christmas Carol by the CLO, and Nutcracker by the Ballet to name a few!
- First Night – December 31st – Ring in the new year with many events in the Cultural District and fireworks!
Find More Things to Do in Pittsburgh on Discover the Burgh
Looking for more on Discover the Burgh but don't know where to begin? Click the previous link to be taken to our ‘start here' page for more!
This guide is updated regularly as we find more things to do in Pittsburgh. If your favorite hasn't made the list, please contact us and we'll be happy to check it out!
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Pittsburgh.
Our top 10 things to do in Pittsburgh are the Duquesne Incline, Phipps Conservatory, Point State Park, The Strip District, Andy Warhol Museum, Heinz History Center, Randyland, Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, Fallingwater, and Carrie Furnaces.
Pittsburgh is best enjoyed over a weekend, 2-3 days, but you can get the highlights in a day or spend many weeks exploring it all.
The Heinz History Center, the Frick Museum, Carrie Furnaces, and the Fort Pitt Museum are all great spots to learn about Pittsburgh's rich history!
Point State Park, the Duquesne Incline lookout, and the River Trails are all great options.
The Children's Museum, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, and Phipps Conservatory are all kid-friendly!