My first thought was, “Pittsburgh—overrated? That’s what you think.” Then I sat down and had a very hard think…and am (almost) willing to concede that there may be a few places in Pittsburgh that—although meaningful in some way for anyone who grew up in the Burgh—might possibly be overrated to the general populace of the United States. But only a few places. So after racking my knowledge of my hometown, I have come up with eight of the most overrated places to go to in Pittsburgh.
1. PNC Park
I remember going to PNC Park for baseball games and field trips all the time (I even got to run around the bases once). The one characteristic that makes our field so wonderful is that at nighttime you can look out from the stadium and see the Roberto Clemente Bridge. But for all it’s hyped up to be, at the end of the day, it’s just a baseball field. There are thousands of them across America that sell the same foods and offer the same entertainment.
Such an overrated attraction in Pittsburgh. As a kid, I never went to Kennywood. I was probably one of the only kids in my elementary school that didn’t, and that was embarrassing beyond belief. (My family went to Idlewild and SoakZone instead, which is actually a pretty cool alternative.) But for Pittsburgh’s dedication and obsession with this amusement park, it has the same problem that PNC Park does: it’s just an amusement park. You can ride on most the rides they offer there anywhere else…probably for a cheaper price. This is one of the most overrated places to go to in Pittsburgh.
3. Primanti Brothers
Don’t get me wrong. I love these sandwiches. I will repeat: I downright love these sandwiches. But I can make something exactly like it at home for much cheaper. All I have to do is slice some Italian bread, grill some meat and coleslaw, and garnish it with a mound of French Fries. Simple as that. (Then again, if you’re from Pittsburgh, don’t fries just naturally go on top of everything anyway?)
4. Fifth Avenue Place
The place of Pittsburgh’s food courts, restaurants, and gift shops. It’s a beautiful building…but, man alive, is it puny. This place definitely lands in one of the most overrated places to go in Pittsburgh. There really isn’t a whole lot there. It might be quality, and it might be quaint, but it’s not a must-see stop in the Burgh. This is one of the most overrated places to go to in Pittsburgh.
5. Station Square
Station Square was well-known for its many businesses and restaurants at one point in time. Sadly, like many things today, it seems to be losing these rapidly. The area is also getting more run-down each year and losing tourists’ attention.
6. Le Mont Restaurant on Mt. Washington
Lauded as a five-star fine-dining restaurant with a view of downtown Pittsburgh from the top of Mount Washington, Le Mont Restaurant does live up to its acclamations. However, with its high prices and general restaurant-like atmosphere, it sits on the brink of having some overrated qualities. That doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy your experience here, though. By all means, take the Duquesne Incline and hightail it up there (as fast as the incline will actually go, that it. So if you’re really, really hungry, this might not be such a good idea). This is one of the most overrated places to go to in Pittsburgh.
7. Canton Avenue
This seems to be an over-glorified steep hill for cyclists who want a challenging ride. That may be so. But, again, it’s just a hill, and there are many more just like it all across the country.
The mastermind behind this enormous work of public art is Randy Gilson. I will be the first to tell you that this place is absolutely stunning. With buildings, stairs, and doors painted in bright, whimsical designs, Randyland is the least underrated place to go in Pittsburgh. The only aspect that could possibly make this attraction overrated is that to some people it just looks like a bunch of paintings on buildings, which they may or may not find significant. For Pittsburghers and everyone else, Randyland is a must-see attraction. This is one of the most overrated places to go to in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburghers will talk and talk and talk—and talk as long as you let us—about how wonderful our city is and everything you can do and see here. Just be warned: beauty is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. And one man’s cherished home may just be another man’s ally-way (quite literally). That’s just the way it is.