Pittsburgh is a city filled with history, and with so many people moving here from out of town these days, many residents don’t know much about its past and role in American history. There are many “big tourist attractions” that we love seeing when our friends come to visit and when they don’t! The following are some of our favorites for good fitness year round.
Ice Skating at PPG
‘Tis the season for ice skating around the Christmas tree at PPG Place downtown. Skates are just $3 to rent, and you can even take skating lessons if you want. The rink is open every day of the week, even on big holidays. There are even special family nights and student nights, so go spend time with your friends and family! In addition to being fun, ice skating is a low-impact exercise that’s good for building lower body muscles like your hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.
Kayak the Pittsburgh Rivers
The rivers are getting cleaner every year thanks to organizations like the Allegheny River Clean Up, and they are finally ready for some fun. So rent a kayak or two with your friends and family and see the sights from the river. Not only is it a great workout, but it allows you to see Pittsburgh from a whole new perspective and get some great pictures while you’re at it.
Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning
Each Nationality Room was funded by its own cultural group or government of those who they represent. Although you can go see them anytime of year, we recommend visiting them over the holiday season when the Cathedral and the rooms themselves are decorated to the nines. It is a great way to explore one’s culture and dive back into history.
Phipps is one of the most beautiful places in the city. The conservatory showcases plant life from many different countries and climates. Get lost in the foliage and be sure to make the volcano explode in the center of the train town exhibit. Phipps also has great activities for kids, and helpful docents are standing throughout the conservatory to answer your questions. Plus, the greenhouse environment provides a warm activity for the winter months.
Have you ever seen a waterfall running through a house? Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece is only a short trip outside of Pittsburgh. The outside atmosphere of the area is beautiful and entrancing, while the unique architecture of the house piques your interest even further. This internationally renowned home is the perfect day trip. The area is also surrounded by lots of beautiful state parks, like Ohiopyle State Park, where you can get a nice hike in on the same day as your Fallingwater visit!
Pittsburgh has an amazing amount of parks: Frick, Schenley, Mellon, Riverview, Cliffside and Highland Park, and that’s just inside the city limits. If you explore farther outside the city, you can discover North Park, Deer Lake Park, South Park, and more. While some are tailored to children and playgrounds, many are just wide open spaces where you can enjoy a nice picnic with some loved ones.
One notable area in the city parks is Flagstaff Hill. Part of Schenley Park, it is a great place to just hang out in between classes or during the summer months. You can even go paragliding down the hill. Flagstaff also has movie nights throughout the summer which are great fun for families and friends.
East End Brewing Company’s Annual Keg Ride
Did you know the East End Brewing Co has an annual keg ride every spring? According to Pittsburgh Magazine, it is the must-do event of the year for the avid cyclist. Biking and beer enthusiasts around Pittsburgh stop by every year to help deliver spring kegs to a tap house. The money raised during the ride goes to local charities. So join in on the 6-10 mile bike ride and give back to the city you call home.
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
The Pittsburgh Zoo is one of our favorite places in the city and one of the best zoos in the country. Even Troy Polamalu and his family “love the Pittsburgh Zoo”. Not only do they have amazing animals that you can interact with and an educational hub, they also have a ton of different events throughout the year for those of you who may not be animal crazy.
- Zoo Camp is perfect for your kids over the summer.
- ZooZilla Halloween Run allows you to run a 5k around the zoo and explore the animal habitats.
- Cocktail parties are held through the year for those 21 and older to enjoy the area without their kids.
Find the Dinosaurs
In 2003, 100 dinosaurs were commissioned to help raise money for the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. They are scattered throughout the city in a plethora of different places. Searching for them is the perfect way to explore the city and find new attractions. Can you find them all?
Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins Games
As everyone knows, Pittsburgh is an insane sports town and you should definitely take advantage of our great teams and amazing stadiums. Just remember, these three aren’t the only teams in Pittsburgh. We also have the Pittsburgh Passion, the Riverhounds, and a ton of great college teams.
Pittsburgh is home to the largest collection of holy relics outside of the Vatican, one big claim to fame in the Catholic world. Start your pilgrimage at St. Anthony’s Chapel in Troy Hill to see the relics. We also suggest that you visit St. Nicholas Church in Millvale and St. Patrick in the Strip District, where you can see beautiful murals and staircases.