DAY 1: Park near the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum on the University of Pittsburgh campus. Across the street is, the Cathedral of Learning, a cultural and architectural wonder as well as the Heinz Memorial Chapel next door. A few steps away from there is the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Carnegie Museum of Art. There are a lot of excellent lunch spots nearby.
Next stop, take a step into the rainforest at the National Aviary and see exotic birds up close and personal. Not far from the Aviary you will find Randyland, the home of artist, Randy Gilson. Using paints, plants, plastic animals, yard sale finds and discarded construction materials, Randy has transformed his home and surrounding buildings into a colorful Pittsburgh landmark for visitors to explore. From there, walk to the Mattress Factory, a contemporary art museum and experimental lab created by artists in residence from around the world. The museum consists of three buildings in the historic Mexican War Streets. This stop was my favorite of the trip!
For dinner, check out the restaurants on Liberty Avenue.
The Andy Warhol Museum is open until 10PM on Friday nights which makes it easy to fit into a busy day where most things close at 5PM.
DAY 2: The next morning, park near the bottom of the Monongahela Incline near Station Square for half of the day. Pay $3.50 pp to travel 600 feet up the incline to the top of Mt. Washington and experience spectacular views of the Pittsburgh skyline. Take a walk along the river ledge towards the Duquesne Incline . On your way you will pass two buildings of interest, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Saint Mary of the Mount several restaurants to check out later. Travel down the Duquesne Incline in one of two original 1877 cable cars for a fun and unique ride ($2.50pp exact change). At the bottom cross over the street using the walking bridge and head right towards the yellow bridge. This walkway will take you to your next destination, Point State Park and the Fort Pitt Museum. Your ticket will include a discount to the Heinz History Center. This museum chronicles the history from early-French explorations to the beginning of Pittsburgh’s industrial age. You will also see the Fort Pitt Block House, constructed in 1764 as a defensive redoubt for Fort Pitt . Walk around the park to see the fountain at the point. Return to the trail on the bridge going back the way you came, but this time look for the stairs on the right after the bridge, to take you down to the lower level and walk to Station Square for lunch and then to your parked car.
Next drive over to the Senator John Heinz History Center which also includes the Sports Museum. There are a variety of exhibits related to Pittsburgh’s history.
Finally, have dinner at one of the restaurants near the top of the to experience the spectacular view at night with the city in lights.
Things that we plan to check out on our next visit to Pittsburgh –
A tour at the Rivers of Steel Heritage site, Carnegie Science Center, Allegheny Cemetery, Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History, the Three Rivers Heritage Trail and Mr. Rogers’ Memorial Statue.