Pittsburgh is known as a busy city in Pennsylvania, but it has many fun things to do that you wouldn’t expect. From odd attractions or unique art exhibits, this city has plenty of new things to admire.
In this city, you’ll even find rivers and inclines, which are perfect for exploring in the summer. But if you visit when it’s chillier, there are still plenty of vibrant and educational attractions inside.
So, here are 14 fun things to do in Pittsburgh to keep your trip exciting.
#1 – Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Pittsburgh is home to four Carnegie Foundation museums, but the Museum of Natural History is likely the most popular. Here you’ll find the fascinating history of both humans and animals. You’ll see exhibits like real dinosaur bones, ancient gem stones, and human artifacts from around the world. It even has some hands-on exhibits for young visitors. With over 10,000 historical items on display, you’ll find lots of impressive things to learn at this museum.
#2 – Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
For many people, live animals are more interesting than taxidermy in museums. That’s why the city’s zoo and aquarium are some of the most fun things to do in Pittsburgh. The 77-acre attraction cares deeply about the conservation of the animals, so guests are sure to have a pleasant experience. The zoo and aquarium have animals from over 400 species, some of which are critically endangered too. You’ll see a wide range of animals, including elephants, tigers, rhinos, penguins, piranhas, and stingrays. This popular zoo also hosts many unique events, including teen programs, a wildlife academy, and overnight events.
#3 – Trundle Manor
From the outside, the Trundle Manor might look like your everyday house. But it’s nicknamed the “House of Oddities” for a reason. Inside, you’ll find a collection of cool, yet creepy items. It was founded by an artist couple who collected a strange variety of vintage items. Taxidermy, dolls, and skulls are just some of the many items you’ll find. It might not be the best family attraction, as it’s sure to give off an unsettling vibe. Yet, it’s still worth a visit because it’s unlike any other attraction you’ve ever seen.
#4 – Phipps Conservatory
The Phipps Conservatory is located in Schenley Park. It’s a beautiful botanical gardens space, most of which is inside a greenhouse. Thus, it’s a charming visit year-round. There are some outdoor gardens, along with 13 rooms of indoor gardens. The gardens are changed regularly, often with rotating seasonal exhibits. You’ll find fern gardens, an orchid room, and a tropical rainforest. This attraction is serene and sure to give you a relaxing adventure during your vacation.
#5 – Carnegie Museum of Art
The Carnegie Museum of Art is another major museum in the city. In fact, it’s one of the most fun things to do in Pittsburgh for art enthusiasts. It’s been one of the most prestigious art museums for over 100 years, and it has a collection of 30,000 art pieces. The art at this museum ranges from paintings and sculptures to even film and videos. In addition to the impressive permanent exhibits, you’ll also find classes, traveling exhibits, tours, and workshops.
#6 – The National Aviary
The National Aviary of Pittsburgh is considered one of the best bird sanctuaries in the United States. It’s home to about 500 birds from 150 different species. These birds come from around the world, and many of them are being protected because they’re threatened or endangered in the wild. You’ll see a wide range of birds, such as owls and flamingos. You’ll also find a few non-bird species here, such as sloths and armadillos. One of the most popular parts of this attraction is a room with free-flying birds, where you can even hand-feed them.
#7 – Carnegie Science Center
The Carnegie Science Center is one of the best science institutions in the United States. It’s a fun and educational attraction for both adults and children. At this exhibit, you’ll learn about water sources, the human body, space, robotics, and much more! This museum differs from the other options because almost all attractions are interactive. Plus, it has many unique attractions too, such as a ropes course, ziplining, and a four-story theater. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Pittsburgh for families.
#8 – Frick Art and Historical Center
The Frick Art and Historical Center is the perfect mix of art and history. It’s made up of multiple buildings, one of which was the home of Henry Clay Frick’s family. This attraction has gardens, decorative art, artifacts, and vintage cars for guests to admire. This site will feel like a step back in time, where you can explore historical structures while also learning new information.
#9 – Mount Washington
Mount Washington has some of the most beautiful views of Pittsburgh. At the top of the massive hill is a neighborhood, but it’s a popular attraction simply for its views alone. No matter what angle you look at, you’ll find the best photo opportunities during your time on the mountain. While you’re up there, you should also check out some of the eateries and historic spotstoo.
#10 – Three Rivers Heritage Trail
If you’re looking for some outdoor fun, the Three Rivers Heritage Trail is an exciting experience. It’s a 24-mile trail system that stays along the city’s three beautiful rivers: the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela rivers. It’s one of the best ways to explore the city and get incredible views. During this adventure, you’ll also pass many of the other attractions. It’s often used by those who are hiking, biking, and roller skating. So, if you prefer exploring by foot, this is the way to do it.
#11 – Duquesne Incline
The Duquesne Incline is a steep railway that’s been operating since 1877. It travels from Pittsburgh to Mount Washington and Duquesne Heights. While it’s often used for people commuting to work, it has some of the best views of the city, so tourists often travel this way too. Another option visitors can choose is the Monongahela Incline, which is another slanted railway with one-of-a-kind views. As long as you’re not afraid of heights, these unique cars are the perfect ways to experience the city’s beauty.
#12 – Randyland
Randyland might sound a little odd, but it’s an artistic attraction full of wonder. It was founded by Randy Gilson, who is a well-known artist in the area. The property is covered in a unique variety of colorful art. This includes murals on the walls, vibrant signs, and outdoor sculptures. Visitors have also spoke highly of Randy himself, who is very friendly and passionate about his work. So, if you’re looking for something more fun and unique in your Pittsburgh vacation, this could be one of the best things to do.
#13 – Andy Warhol Museum
In Pittsburgh, there’s no such thing as too much art. The Andy Warhol Museum is another art exhibit, but with much more specific displays. It has five floors that showcase Andy Warhol’s many art pieces. The attractions have some of his most famous pieces, including “Campbell’s Soup Box” and “The Chelsea Girls”. You’ll also find some films and video clips as well. This large space is often used for promoting art as well, along with classes, workshops, and other events.
#14 – Schenley Park
With so much to do in Pittsburgh, it makes sense that visitors would want a break at some point. Schenley Park is the perfect place to take a relaxing stroll and appreciate nature. It takes up 300 acres, and it’s located just south of many of the city’s major attractions. It has paths, bridges, sculptures, and even disc golf courses. It’s the perfect outdoor getaway for those looking to hike, picnic, or play some sports with their family.
Is Pennsylvania your next vacation spot? If so, then you should check out these fun things to do in Pittsburgh. They’re unique compared to what you’d expect in a city, but they certainly won’t disappoint. If you love art, nature, and history, then this city is sure to be a blast!