|RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES IN PITTSBURGH
This is the area in and around the University of Pittsburgh,
Carnegie Mellon University, and The Carnegie.
includes the Museum of Natural History and the
Museum of Art (closed Monday; open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday
- The Nationality Classrooms (just across the street from the
museum) in the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh
(412-624-6000) were designed by people from the nations represented. The
classrooms are used regularly for teaching; call for tour times. The 42-floor
Cathedral of Learning is supposedly the only skyscraper university building in
the U.S. (don't tell that to the folks with the Univ. of Texas tower or the UC
Berkeley Campanile), surpassed only by the University of Moscow at the world
level. There is no observation deck.
- Phipps Conservatory in adjacent Schenley Park (412-622-6914)
(just behind the museum a very short walk) offers 2.5 acres of greenhouse
plantings plus seasonal flower shows and an outdoor garden. Schenley Park itself
is about 450 acres with trails, picnic areas, swimming pool, playgrounds, and a
golf course. The Schenley Park Visitorís Center (412-687-1800) has an
orientation center, bookshop and snacks.
- Heinz Memorial Chapel: Approximately a quarter million pieces of glass were used in the
23 stained glass windows of the Heinz Memorial Chapel (Fifth Ave. and Bellefield
- For baseball fans, Posvar Hall (University of Pittsburgh) was
built on the site of Forbes Field, former home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. A
plaque on the floor inside the building marks home plate and a row of bricks on
the street outside marks the left field wall -- immortalized by Bill Mazeroski's
9th-inning home run that won the 1960 World Series.
- There are several small art galleries in the S Craig St. area, as
well as boutiques and other shops. There are two used bookstores in this area (Caliban
Bookshop, 412-681-9111; and Townsend Booksellers, 412-682-8030).
- The Three Rivers Arts Festival takes place June 2-18, 2006, at
various locations throughout downtown Pittsburgh. Included are cultural
Pittsburgh Festivities, ethnic Food Stands, Artistís Market, entertainment in
visual and performing arts, live musical performances. Hours Sunday through
Thursday Noon to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday Noon to 10 pm.
- In Highland Park are the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
(412-665-3640; 1-800-474-4966; 10 am to 5 pm daily).
- Downtown Pittsburgh (the "Golden Triangle") is situated on a
point between the Allegheny River on the north side and the Monongahela River
(called simply the "Mon") on the south side. These two rivers join at
Pittsburgh to form the Ohio River. The downtown area is thus very compact and
it's easy to get around on foot.
- Point State Park (724-865-2131); the "Point"at the tip of the
three rivers peninsula is a 36-acre urban state park at the site of a very
strategic area in the 18th century. The fountain is fed by yet another,
underground, river. The Fort Pitt Museum is located near the park
(412-281-9284; 9AM to 5PM Tues-Sat, Sun Noon to 5PM).
Strip District, is near downtown, on the south side of the Allegheny River. This is where produce and products enter the city. There are lots of
shops, restaurants, and food suppliers. At 1212 Smallman Street is the
Pittsburgh History Center (412-454-6000; daily 10 am to 5 pm).
- Mt. Washington: To the south of the Point across the Mon and the Ohio is Mt.
Washington. The top can be reached via two inclines, which operate 5:30 am
12:45 am Monday through Saturday, Sunday 8:45 am to midnight. The Mon Incline
(412-442-2000) is located across from Station Square on Carson St. (part of the
city transit system) and the Duquesne Incline (412-381-1665) is less than 0.5 mi
away at 1197 W. Carson St. (privately operated). The two inclines reach
different ends of Grandview Ave, which has observation decks. Parking available
near both inclines. This is a highlight of Pittsburgh after dark, with a great
view looking down on the skyscrapers at the confluence of the rivers.
- On the south side of the Mon (the "South Side") is Station
Square, at the south end of the Smithfield St. Bridge, occupying the remodeled P
& LE railroad station. This is Pittsburgh's equivalent of Ghiardelli Square in
San Francisco, with many restaurants and shops. Narrated sightseeing cruises on
the Gateway Clipper Fleet (412-355-7980) depart daily from the dock.
- Carnegie Science Center: On the north side of the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers (the "North
Side") is the Carnegie Science Center (412-237-3400; 1 Allegheny Avenue)
offering interactive exhibits, Omnimax Theater, and planetarium shows. Although
not contiguous with the rest of the complex, the Science Center is part of The
Carnegie. Another component of The Carnegie is the Andy Warhol Museum, 117
Sandusky Street, Pittsburgh PA 15212 (412-237-8300). Also on the North Side are
the Pittsburgh National Aviary (West Park, 412-323-7235; www.aviary.org) and the
Pittsburgh Children's Museum (Old Post Office Bldg., Allegheny Center,
- OUTSIDE PITTSBURGH
(724-266-4500, 30 minute drive) is a National Register
historical site of an early experiment in communal living by the Harmony
- Old Economy
Village in Ambridge
- Tours of Fallingwater (724-329-8501, 1.5-2 hr drive), designed by
Frank Lloyd Wright, are operated by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. About
30 minutes from Powdermill Nature Reserve, for those attending the field trip
- Fort Ligonier, 216 S. Market Street (Routes 30 & 711), Ligonier
PA 15658 (724-238-9701), about 1.5 hours east of Pittsburgh. Reconstructed fort
and artifacts from the French and Indian War.
- Only 15 minutes from Powdermill Nature Reserve, for those attending the field
- For those familiar with labor union history, a drive along the
south side of the Mon through Homestead is interesting. Even if not well-versed
on those events, it's still impressive to view the old steel mills along this
route, most of which are working at reduced levels or shut down.
- Kennywood Park, 4800 Kennywood Boulevard, West Mifflin PA 15122
(412-461-0500). A large and old amusement park with an old-fashioned wooden
roller coaster; listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Daily 10:30 am
until closing, closing dependent on weather and number of people in the park.
- Hartwood Mansion, 215 Saxonburg Boulevard, Hampton Township PA 15238
(412-767-9200). 16th century, Tudor-style mansion with original collection of
English and American antiques, farm and stable complex. Mansion tours
(reservations required) $3 adults.
- Kentuck Knob, Kentuck Road, Chalk Hill PA 15421 (412-329-1901), in Fayette
County. A country home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Tours Tuesday through
Friday 10 am to 4 pm, $10; Saturday and Sunday (and holidays) 10 am to 4 pm,
PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR LAWS
Wine and hard alcoholic beverages in Pennsylvania for consumption
away from the premises of a restaurant can only be purchased at State Liquor
Stores. Beer can be purchased either at licensed "beer distributors" (case
sales only) or from bars (by the bottle, usually at bar prices, and limited to 2
six-packs). No alcoholic beverages are sold at any other stores. Many
restaurants without liquor licenses allow customers to bring their own alcoholic
A state store is located at 217 Atwood St. (412-682-0916) about
1/2 block S of Forbes. There is a beer distributor, University Beverage Center,
at 114 Atwood (412-687-7232) 1/2 block N of Forbes. The Original sells
individual beers to go at reasonable prices.
For gamblers, The Meadows offers harness racing (Meadow Lands
exit off I-79, S of Pittsburgh, 724-225-9300) and the dog track at Wheeling, WV,
is about a 40-minute drive. If desperate, try the Pennsylvania lottery