Half to Full Day Itineraries
Pittsburgh as this year’s hot destination? Don’t take it from us – even New York Magazine is proclaiming Pittsburgh as the go-to place for arts and entertainment. Here’s how we suggest you see my town.
The Andy Warhol Museum, a shrine to the premier Pop artist of his generation. Lenin is looking cool in the silkscreens on the sixth floor, Cowboy Elvis lords over Five, Silver Clouds float on Four (a huge hit with kids), the Interview covers Three and vast canvasses envelop Two. Back on floor number One, choose a print of your own.
Cross the Warhol Bridge for lunch in the Strip District where you can choose between fine dining and great street vendors.
While at the Society for Contemporary Craft, you’ll wonder why you’re the only one amid the singular arts and crafts. Don’t miss the store, arguably the best gift shopping around.
Continue the shopping theme on nearby Butler Street, where must stops include Jay Design for handmade soaps with names like Chocolate Marble and the too-cute “Maggie Soap Baggie” and Fresh Heirlooms, where Lindsay Woge and her extended family up-cycle everything from wine bottles to old chairs and create latter-day masterpieces.
Keeping in mind that life is short, eat dessert first at Klavon’s, an old-time ice cream parlor with the emphasis on “cream” and darling Audrey decorating every kid’s sundae as if it were her/their first.
Now that you are reenergized, make your way over to PNC Park. You may not need a hot dog till the seventh inning, which is when the Golden Triangle starts to shimmer and shine. See if you can spot your guest room at Fairmont Pittsburgh from your seat in PNC park.
Try breakfast in bed in the luxury of your guest room while looking out over the city to you are getting to know. Duly energized, grab your bike and head for the Riverfront Trail, a paved expanse that hugs the Monongahela River and continues in a stunning urban loop for miles in all directions. Venture eastward, then double back toward the Duquesne Incline, where you’ll hop on board for a ride – remember, you’re a tourist! Admire the breathtaking view from the top of Mt. Washington.
Now that your have a complete view of the city it is time for a tour. The only problem is deciding on the best way to do this? The choices are endless: boat tour with Gateway Clipper Fleet, or hop on a Just Ducky Tour, or for the real adventurers how about a segway tour with Segway in Paradise.
Now it is time for a little relaxation. Why not head back to the hotel for a luxurious pedicure. Your feet will love you. Then it is time to head off to the Benedum Center for a PNC Broadway Across America show.
Breakfast at the Chef’s table in Habitat and learn from our knowledgeable staff about the local cuisine. While you are there, make a reservation for dinner tonight! After enjoying the local fare, head over to nearby Frick Park, where you can work it off on a five-mile hike. The park’s Tranquil Trail runs alongside Hot Dog Dam.
Post-hike, pop into the Frick Art & Historical Center and give some thought to lunch at Cafe at the Frick, a slice of sophistication amid leafy trees. Plan B is to head over to the Phipps Conservatory for a more casual bite at Cafe Phipps and a gander at the many lovely flowers and trees. Back outdoors, you’re an easy walk from the Schenley Oval, the starting point for Pittsburgh’s premier 18-hole frisbee golf course. It’s simple: toss your disc toward the designated pole hole and pray you can sink a putt. Stop by Andys at Fairmont Pittsburgh for a special cocktail and get the inside scoop on the staff’s favorite places in Pittsburgh. Don’t forget your reservations in Habitat for tonight .You are in for a special treat.
This may be the busiest day of your vacation. The National Aviary is next, where the new Penguin Point attraction will bring you face to face with almost a dozen South African penguins that need your love and support (go ahead, join the Aviary). Close by on the North Side is the Mattress Factory. The museum’s annex at 1414 Monterey is showcasing regional artists led by Brett Yasko, whose multimedia piece featuring Engelbert Humperdinck is a stitch. Pull out an energy bar if you’re wilting ‘cause you’re heading to the shores of the Allegheny for a paddle with Kayak Pittsburgh. Seeing the city from the river is an awe-inspiring experience and the outfitter’s oh-so-steady kayaks make the trip easier than you’d think. Spend a couple of hours up and down river and then freshen up for a pre-performance cocktail back at your new favorite spot – Andys. The curtain will soon rise at Heinz Hall, where the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra makes beautiful music well into the night.
Visit to the Pittsburgh Glass Center and check out the glass artists at work upstairs before you ogle the finished product downstairs. Over at the Strip, the Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum runs the gamut from an exhibition on the French and Indian War (synopsis: George Washington falls in love with Pittsburgh, buys land here, says “I admit I have chosen the cream of the country” and fights on) to trivia galore on H.J. Heinz.
Now it’s time for a treat you have been waiting for all week, a massage at Fairmont Pittsburgh Health Center and back to Habitat for dinner to try the other dish the chef suggested.
Pittsburgh can offer that family experience where you can have a great time, learn lots without hearing “not another museum”! Pittsburgh attractions and museums are sure to knock your socks off! Pittsburgh and Its Countryside offer a world-class zoo and aquarium, historic Kennywood amusement park, hands-on learning at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Science Center, and so much more!
- Children's Museum of Pittsburgh www.pittsburghkids.org/ The museum continues to delight and inspire children of all ages (and groups of all sizes), providing four times more space to learn, play and create amidst "Real Stuff" exhibits that include the Studio, Attic, Backyard, Garage, Workshop, Nursery, Theater and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Bob the Builder and his Can-Do Crew invite aspiring builders and their families to come help get the job done at the hands-on “Bob the Builder-Project: Build It” exhibit from June 6 – Sept. 27.
- Carnegie Science Center www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/ The perfect place for visitors, young or old, with hundreds of hands-on exhibits and roboworld (opening Spring 2009), SportsWorks, Rangos Ominmax Theater, interactive planetarium, Miniature Railroad & Village, Cold War submarine, River View Cafe' and Xplor Store.
- Kennywood Park www.kennywood.com/ 15 Minutes from Downtown, Kennywood Park is one of Pittsburgh's best-loved historic landmarks. But don't let the history fool you! World-class roller coasters, plenty of thrilling rides, games, food and exciting live shows.
- Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium www.pittsburghzoo.com/ One of the top zoos in the nation with more than 4,000 animals, it's a wildlife oasis! Meet the new polar bears and come face-to-face with the new sand tiger sharks. Two attractions for one reasonable price. Only 8 miles from downtown.
- The National Aviary www.aviary.org/ Get nose to beak with a flamingo. Talk to a parrot and stroll through a 200,000 cubic-foot indoor rainforest! Home to more than 600 exotic and endangered birds in natural habitats, the National Aviary is the perfect destination for all ages. A $23 Million expansion project will be completed in 2010. First stop Penguin Point opens on May 23! This 2,300 square foot exhibit offers 360 degree views of African Penguins as they swim and dive. Stay tuned for the completion of the new Flight Zone Theater in 2010!
- The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum www.pa-trolley.org/ Take a ride into the past aboard vintage streetcars. Featuring the original New Orleans "Streetcar Named Desire," a four-mile scenic trolley ride, guided tour of the trolley barns, film, exhibits, museum store and picnic area.