Tired of spending every weekend in your apartment, wishing you could see the city instead? Pittsburgh is one of the most beautiful and fun cities in the world, and you’ll want to make sure you’ve spent enough time here to explore all it has to offer before moving out and starting your real life away from school. Here are 10 things to do in Pittsburgh before you graduate that will ensure that you’ve had a great college experience in this amazing city!
1) Visit Point State Park
Point State Park, at Pittsburgh’s tip-top, is one of those places that people don’t often think about visiting. But it’s worth a visit any time of year for some peaceful, beautiful views of Downtown and beyond. Pack a picnic, bring your dog (on-leash), or just sit on one of its many benches—there’s something for everyone here. In addition to enjoying the park itself, you can take a tour inside Fort Pitt Museum, which recounts history from 1758 through today. It’s a great way to learn more about how our city came to be what it is today. For example, did you know that Point State Park was where Paris surrendered? True story! And there are few places downtown where you can stand as close to both skyscrapers and riverside trails as you can here. If it’s summertime, make sure to check out First Friday at Penn Avenue Arts District or attend an event at Stage AE. Any other time of year will do too: The park has free ice skating during winter months; plus lots of activities take place throughout all four seasons. On our website, We provide the most convenient way to Check Spirit Airlines Flight Status now.
2) Visit the Cultural District
The South Side Flats, Point State Park, and Market Square all make up Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. For an affordable afternoon outing, ride over on one of the free trolleys (look for Waterfront line) or enjoy a scenic stroll along one of 10 public art walkways that lead from Market Square down Station Street. Enjoy some ice cream while you plan your next visit; a meal at Becky’s Diner on Carson Street is a must-try! Also check out Saturday morning yoga classes offered free through September. There are multiple places to shop and dine right next door, including War Street Kitchen at 216 N Sibley St., a fine dining establishment with upscale lunch and dinner options. Want something more casual? Sunflower Cafe has excellent sandwiches, made-to-order salads, and smoothies. Ever hear of pierogis? They’re delicious stuffed Polish dumplings filled with potato, cheese, sauerkraut, or meat. Pierogi Wagon cooks them fresh every day—they even have vegetarian varieties—and conveniently serves breakfast ‘til noon so you can get a quick bite before visiting Fort Pitt Museum two blocks away. Just don’t miss their sweet desserts like crumb cake!
3) Go on a Tour
Unlike most major cities, Pittsburgh doesn’t have a huge tourism bureau that hosts fancy tours. However, there are several companies—many based out of Station Square—that offer unique and interesting walking tours of our fair city. Some cover history and others focus on architecture or art. In addition to being entertaining and informative, most of these tours will give you access to parts of town you might not otherwise see. Check out Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation for more information about walking tour options and times. The locations of each tour meeting area are listed on their website.
4) Attend a Professional Sports Game
There’s no better way to experience a city’s culture than by immersing yourself in its sports scene. Take advantage of college sports too—whether you want to show up at the stadium or watch at a local watering hole, there are plenty of ways for Pittsburghers and out-of-towners alike to cheer on their favorite teams. The Steelers have consistently sold out their games, so it can be tough if you didn’t manage to get season tickets before they went on sale. If football isn’t your thing, try attending a Penguins game and see what all of the fuss is about. Oh, and don’t forget to yell BINGO! when you hear it over the loudspeaker. Nothing beats an energy boost during a lull in play.
5) Eat a Sandwich from Primanti Bros.
Primanti Bros. is a Pennsylvania original. This restaurant chain has been around since 1933 and claims it’s invention of serving sandwiches with French fries and coleslaw directly on top of them is what makes them famous. It’s not just a culinary masterpiece, but an experience—even locals say they would never pass up an opportunity to chow down on a sandwich from Primanti Bros. Grab your favorite friend and find out what all the fuss is about by ordering one with everything (including extra cheese, because why not?). Your taste buds will thank you later! Another classic way to spend an afternoon: If you want to see another well-known site within Pittsburgh, stroll over to Fallingwater or Kentuck Knob. These homes are built in such a way that it seems like nature itself helped construct them, and were designed for Thomas Kaufman II and Kaufmann Sr., respectively. No doubt that these mansions are tourist traps, but if you can get past how touristy they are, you’ll still enjoy strolling through both homes as any history buff would want to do before he graduates from college. It might seem clichéd at first glance; after all, who hasn’t seen images of Fallingwater plastered on every tourism magazine?
6) Go Skating at PPG Rink
PPG Rink, located at 301 17th St., is one of few rinks in Pittsburgh. It is open seven days a week and costs just $6 for skating or hockey. PPG Rink offers lessons and free skating on certain nights during September and October, as well as public skating and shinny hockey every Wednesday night. They also offer private rentals for parties or events for an additional fee. There are very few places better than PPG Rink to take a student out to learn how to skate before they graduate from college.
7) See a Movie at the Amstar Theater
In what used to be a movie theater, you can now take comedy and improv classes, sing karaoke, dance on an elevated stage, play arcade games and eat—all under one roof. The theater is located inside Stage AE at 300 North Shore Drive. To visit Amstar Theater next time you’re in Pittsburgh, stop by after 4 p.m. on any day of the week except Monday or Friday and get 10 percent off your tickets when you purchase them online through Goldstar. Remember: Movies typically start between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., so plan accordingly! Taste-Test Some Wine: Located at 2337 Penn Ave., Biggie’s Wine & Liquor Store stocks a fine selection of domestic and imported wines, including their own proprietary brand that is made from Biggie’s own grapes. Whether it’s for special occasions or casual entertaining, drop by Biggie’s for an impressive wine selection with friendly service. But don’t forget to buy some food! At Biggie’s you can also find handmade sausage varieties from both ethnic European traditions and American meat markets. Sausages are easy to cook (get yours precooked!) and are great paired with crackers, peppers and onions for grilled sausages or paired with various cheeses for sliced sausages.
8) Experience The Frick Art & Historical Center
The Frick is a fantastic way to get an intimate experience with world-class art and architecture. The collection of paintings, furniture, pottery, books and more makes it fun to explore all things art. Walk through rooms that were once inhabited by Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick and learn about how they impacted society during their time. Tours are available for those who want further insight into Carnegie’s life or any number of topics within Frick’s library; they’re free with a suggested donation and start at least every hour. If you feel like staying after hours or on a weekend, tours are available at no cost during those times. From pottery classes to informational movies, there’s plenty of opportunities for learning here. And, if nothing else, visit during Pittsburgh Restaurant Week. A five-course meal from Scratch Kitchen is offered each year as part of PRW and seating goes quickly so make reservations ahead of time! It will be one of your best dining experiences ever! But don’t worry if restaurants aren’t your thing—there’s lots more where that came from in our city! Try biking down Carson Street Bike Trail instead—it has 10 different food trucks at various stops along its path!
9) Try Some Wonderful Restaurants Around Town
In 2013, Bon Appetit named Pittsburgh one of America’s 20 Best Food Cities. While that ranking was based on a survey of chefs and restaurateurs from around the country, there are plenty of independent and chain restaurants around town where you can enjoy an authentic meal. Popular establishments include Espresso a Mano, Butcher and The Rye, Sweet Nothings Dessert Shop & Bistro, Doraku Sushi & Noodle Bar, Roots Natural Kitchen and more. Whether you’re looking for a place for date night or just trying to take your mom out for Mother’s Day brunch, you won’t be disappointed when visiting any one of these awesome eateries. Make sure you don’t miss them before graduation. Spiritairlines Flights Heading to Pensacola, bringing Seven Cities Nonstop Access to Florida’s Beaches.
10) Dine Downtown After Dark
When it comes to dining out, most people tend to focus on downtown’s world-class restaurants—and who can blame them? Downtown is home to some of America’s best chefs, after all. But there are plenty of less expensive options for those looking for something a little less upscale (and maybe even a little more casual). A few favorites include Meltdown Cheeseburger Grille and Brewpub and Double-Wide Grill, but there are dozens more. Explore them all! You’ll never run out of choices. Plus, because downtown is where many students live, dining here often means being able to walk or take public transportation home. This makes late-night eating especially appealing. So take advantage of these spots that stay open until 2 am: 807 LightBurgers; MacAlpine’s Cafe; Piper’s Pub; and Otto’s Kitchen & Cocktails. Once you’ve finished your meal, spend your evening exploring one of these top destinations: HomeWorks Bookstore Café; J Carver Gallery; The Little Theater Cinema Café; Randyland at 121 Summer St.; Spork/Stargazers Theater & Event Center at 2150 Penn Ave.; Tap Room Bistro & Bar at 705 Main St.; Mattress Factory Art Museum; and Ohiopyle State Park.
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