Welcome to Pittsburgh! What do you want to do first? Not sure yet? Well what about plans for tomorrow? …Well you still have time to decide… Where are you staying? You haven't booked a hotel yet?!?!
Pittsburgh is a great city to visit, but especially for senior travelers exploring without children.
It’s a very drivable city if you have a car. Or, you can easily order an Uber or Lyft if you arrived by Amtrak. Best of all, parking is plentiful around your favorite spots.
If you love art and museums, this is your town. The Andy Warhol Museum on the North Shore reflects the Pittsburgh-born artist’s life with an eccentric artistic touch. Make sure you catch a glimpse of one of his most famous pieces, Campbell’s Soup Cans. You also can view many of his personal items, including a collection of wigs.
Head across town to The Frick Pittsburgh in Point Breeze to enjoy a legacy of art, history and nature. The Car and Carriage Museum, included in The Frick’s free admission, is a ride through history. Plan accordingly so you can take your time and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the mansion, the museum and garden areas.
Up for more walking? Make sure you include a visit to the Strip District where you’ll find a variety of shopping, including lots of black and gold merchandise, eclectic food and restaurant offerings and gift shops. Be on the lookout for The Strip Mural by artists Carley Parris and Shannon Pultz – it’s easily viewed on Penn Ave. For those wishing to savor all the flavors of the Strip District – or a handful of other Pittsburgh neighborhoods – consider booking a walking food tour with ‘Burgh Bits & Bites.
Sports fans are in luck in Pittsburgh! The city is home to several professional teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Penguins, and the locals are fanatical for their favorite sports teams. You can find a large area devoted to the teams at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, located inside the Senator John Heinz History Museum.
The Heinz History Museum pays tribute to more than the local sports teams. Here, you can learn so much about one of Pittsburgh’s most famous citizens, Mister Rogers, a national treasure. Find his monogrammed house slippers and one of his beloved red cardigans. The museum also is full of American history following the democracy of the country.
When your legs need a respite from walking, rest assured there are several more relaxing ways to see the city. Book a tour on Molly’s Trolleys Pittsburgh. Not only will you visit several neighborhoods and see many of the city’s popular sites, but thanks to the fantastic tour guides, you also will learn a bit of regional history. One such nugget learned on a recent trip - ketchup wasn’t the first Heinz product produced; bottled horseradish was!
Ride the Duquesne Incline up to the Mount Washington neighborhood for a spectacular view of the city. A quick ride back down will drop you off in the South Side neighborhood.
Pittsburgh is widely known for its three rivers. Tour the city by water aboard the Gateway Clipper Fleet. Sit back and relax on the Three Rivers Sightseeing Cruise, which allows visitors a close view of the Downtown skyline and several of the city’s 446 bridges. And, the sunset cruises are a great option for a romantic night out.
Speaking of those bridges, many of them are easily walkable, connecting Downtown to several of Pittsburgh’s 90 unique neighborhoods. In fact, the Sixth Street Bridge, commonly known as the Clemente Bridge, directly takes you from Downtown to PNC Park, home of the Pirates.
Consider extending your Pittsburgh visit with a daytrip to the Laurel Highlands, where you can visit two of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most iconic homes, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob. Visiting these residences is like stepping back in time, as the décor reflects the decade each house was built. When available, make sure you book a guided tour, as they provide an insider’s look at Mr. Wright’s thought processes, as well as the homeowners’.
Visitors have their pick of comfortable lodging options in Pittsburgh, including several that are housed in historical buildings, like the Drury Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh Downtown which is a beautiful renovation of the Federal Reserve Bank building. Many pieces remain from the original bank including vault doors estimated to weigh 34 tons each. The property is located Downtown and within easy walking distance of many attractions, restaurants and Union Station.
The Omni William Penn Hotel also makes for a lovely stay. The iconic hotel is home to Lawrence Welk’s original bubble machine. Plus, it’s also where Bob Hope proposed to his wife, Delores.
Pittsburgh is a walkable city that offers visitors a chance to see spectacular sights, gain incredible knowledge at spectacular museums and attractions and indulge in tasty treats at their own pace. Make sure a visit to the City of Bridges is on your travel list soon!
Rosemary Palmer is the owner and author of My Home and Travels blog. A resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee, she enjoys traveling to new places and lists discovering local places, such as bakeries, coffee shops and museums, as highlights of any trip. Rosemary’s blog is built like a home economics class – there’s a little food, home and lifestyle mixed with travel.