When people ask me about what I like to do in Pittsburgh, I share my must-do list that includes fun activites for rain or shine. I do always stress one thing: Go to the city during the week. A lot of people who visit Pittsburgh tend to venture into the city only on Saturday and Sunday. Personally, I love Wednesdays. It is the perfect break in the week and it gives you the energy to push through to Friday. So what does my perfect Wednesday in Pittsburgh look like? Food, adventure and just a bit of relaxing.
Lets start with the morning: Is there really a place in Downtown to get breakfast during the week? The Commoner restaurant in Hotel Monaco has a breakfast menu to suit its guests no matter the day. Their menu contains items like pancakes and a country breakfast with a Pittsburgh twist. They also have a juice bar featuring some healthy options including the "Wild Child" juice, made with parsley, kale, carrot, seasonal wild edibles from wild purveyors, and apple.
After breakfast if the sunshine is out I recommend that you head to the North Shore and go kayaking. This is a true one-of-a-kind experience. It's great if you are a kayaking pro, but no experience is necessary to rent one. Venture Outdoors (an organization dedicated to showcasing how fun outdoor adventures can be) has kayaks for rent and they are located under the Roberto Clemente Bridge. They also have lockers to keep your belongings safe, which is a great bonus. Kayak rentals can be either solo or tandem if you want to share the experience with a friend.
If the sky has turned grey and you need an indoor activity you can still head to the North Shore for some culture. My top picks are the Andy Warhol Museum, or if you head towards the Strip District you can explore the Senator John Heinz History Center. Both attractions are less busy during the week, and both will take you several hours to explore.
Now it's time to grab some lunch, or at least a quick snack. Both The Warhol and The Cafe at the History Center serve soup, salads, sandwiches and other snacks. If you went kayaking, you don't have to travel further then Federal Street (right in front of PNC Park) for lunch. I suggest Slice on Broadway for some great pizza. It is accessible everyday, not just when there is a game.
Since kayaking won't take as long as the museums I suggest that you spend the next few hours exploring and shopping. This is also a great time to rent one of the Healthy Ride bikes that you can pick up at a location and drop at another location. You can rent them by the hour or purchase a day pass. Just download the app and follow the instructions on the kiosk located at any of the bike racks. This is a great way for you just to see the city or head to a neighborhood like Lawrenceville or Bloomfield for some shopping.
Dinner is probably the toughest decision you'll make all day because you can find great food all throughout the city - each neighborhood of Pittsburgh has their specialty. My favorite thing to do is pair my dinner choice with one of my favorite evening activities: A baseball game at PNC Park. Even if you aren't a baseball fan, give it a try - the view alone is astounding. There is entertainment between innings like the Perogy Race and a Super Mario Run. The best part is that Wednesday night games are usually light in attendance, which means you can get a ticket easily.
Once you get there, start with the food; there is your usual faire like hot dogs and nachos, but there are also some unique places to eat inside. Check out the Smorgasburgh food plaza (section 110) which offers a bunch of local options including Quaker Steak and Lube, Primanti Brothers, and Beers of the Burgh (great craft beers).
After the game I would go out for a cocktail before I head home. Where are some of the best cocktails in the city? Any of the four neighboring restaurants: Meat and Potatoes, Butcher and the Rye, Tako, and Pork and Beans. All have similar cocktail menus, and they all have an amazing selection of spirits like vodka, whiskey and bourbon (most from a local distillery).
The best part of this day is that (with the exception of the nightcap) everything is family friendly! All of these attractions have special kid pricing so be sure to check their websites for information. I hope you enjoy your Wednesday in Pittsburgh!