Pittsburgh has its fair share of fun and exciting spots to explore. However, they aren’t all out in the open for everyone to see. Whether you’re a newbie to the steel city or a local who is looking for some extra fun, here are a few secret spots in Pittsburgh that’ll bring anyone’s adventurous side out.
1. City of Asylum
The City of Asylum in Pittsburgh has a unique history. Along with Las Vegas and Ithaca, City of Asylum in Pittsburgh houses and supports exiled writers from around the world. This little city within Pittsburgh has created a safe space for writers to express themselves. That is not the only awesome thing about it though. The City of Asylum has “House Publications.” There are four houses currently published; House Poem, Winged House, Pittsburgh-Burma House, and Jazz House. You can walk down Sampsonia Way and bask in the beauty of these houses created by the literary artists of City of Asylum. It’ll be like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Also, if you feel inspired you can donate to the city or even volunteer!
2. The Color Park
Located on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in the South Side of Pittsburgh, The Color Park is the perfect place for just about anything! If you are looking for a picnic spot or just a place to take a walk, The Color Park offers a fun, and colorful, atmosphere. You could have a photo shoot with your gal pals or just hang out with the whole gang in a quirky place. It is also welcomed to add your own colorful creations to the artsy park yourself! The park overlooks the river to create the perfect combination between nature and art. The park really strives to live up to its name!
If you are looking for Instagram worthy places around Pittsburgh, Randyland is the place! With the cutest story ever, Randyland is bound to brighten your day up. The whole place is filled with colorful, quirky, and artsy pieces. Entry is free, but the experience is priceless! If you’re lucky, you’ll get to meet Randy Gilson yourself! If Randyland itself doesn’t brighten your whole week, Randy himself will!
4. West End Overlook
The best way to see the city of Pittsburgh isn’t just by walking in the city itself, it’s at the West End Overlook! It’s a beautiful scene during the day and even more beautiful at night with all the city lights shining. It’s a great firework viewing spot as well! The West End Overlook is perfect for a late night adventure with the pals or a quick stop on a date with your significant other. If you want to showcase your photography skills, there’s no better place! You’ll learn to appreciate the beautiful Pittsburgh skyline here.
5. The Japanese Garden at UPMC Shadyside
If you are looking for a more relaxing adventure, the Japanese Garden at UPMC Shadyshide can help you with that. The beautiful garden is filled with gorgeous cherry blossom trees and stone lanterns from Japan. The garden was donated to UPMC Shadyside by Kazuo Kodera and Kazuo and Keiko Matsudaira. You can read about the beautiful story of the garden here. This may not be the place for a wild midnight adventure, but it’s definitely something to consider if you want to have a subtle adventure. Always make sure to be respectful!
6. Games N’ At
Games N’ At, located on the South Side of Pittsburgh, will definitely let the little kid in you shine through. This arcade isn’t just filled with screaming kids like an average one, it has any game you could think of, old or new. If you’re worried about kids ruining the fun, don’t worry. Children under 14 aren’t allowed in past 9 pm. The arcade is open til midnight on weekdays and til 1 am on Friday and Saturday! Also, it’s BYOB, if you’re of age, so you could really make this an adventure if you want. Prices for entry vary on day and time, but it’s totally affordable for any broke college student looking for low-cost fun. FYI, there is a student discount on Fridays!
7. Bicycle Heaven
Bicycle Heaven isn’t your average museum. Pittsburgh has its fair share of museums, but this one stands out the most. It may not seem so secret considering it has been voted the #1 museum in Pittsburgh by Trip Advisor as well as recognized by The New York Times and Associated Press. However, as someone who grew up very close to Pittsburgh, I’ve never heard of it until recently. It’s definitely something to venture to when you’re looking for something new to explore. It also doubles as a bike repair shop and bike rental shop. You can also trade in your bike for a new one! It’s open 7 days a week so if you are looking to do something on a whim, head on over to Bicycle Heaven!
8. Canton Avenue
Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh is the steepest street in the United States. Although it’s not as exciting as the other spots mentioned above, if you’re looking for a challenge to take on with your friends, try riding a bike up Canton Avenue! If you want a less strenuous adventure, just take a walk on it and experience the incredible incline. This isn’t quite as exciting as the Duquense Incline, but it’s a little more adventurous and less mainstream. Also, why wouldn’t you want to check out one of the steepest streets in the world?! Pittsburgh doesn’t hold too many crazy and funky titles like that!
As you may already know, Pittsburgh has tons of hidden gems. If you ask any yinzer yourself, they are bound to rattle off a list of must-do things. However, there might be a few things they miss, like these lovely secret spots. So, on your next trip to Pittsburgh, keep these spots in mind and you’ll sound like a local yourself when you plan the next adventure with your friends.