Yinz got suggestions?
February 25, 2006 6:30 AM   Subscribe

Spontaneous trip to Pittsburgh. Departing in 2 hours. What should we do?

I'm in Cleveland. Went to the Carnegie museum about 3 or 4 months ago, so I'd like to do something else. 3 of us going. Inexpensive a plus. Will check this thread from the road.
posted by sohcahtoa to Travel & Transportation around Pittsburgh, PA (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What are your interests? Museums, food, views, unique Pittsburgh things?

The Warhol Museum is great (though a lot of the better pieces are actually here in DC at the moment), but keep in mind that there's really nothing else around it. If you're looking for a place to park your car and wander around for a bit try something else.

You've already been to the Carnegie, the surrounding neighborhood (Oakland) is worth checking out. Phipps Conservatory is there, as is Pitt's Cathedral of Learning and a few funky shops on Craig Street.

For a unique Pittsburgh experience park your car at Station Square and take the incline to the top of Mt. Washington. South Side (not Station Square) is also a great neighborhood to hang out if you're going to be staying later into the evening.
posted by arco at 6:46 AM on February 25, 2006

Response by poster: Interests are varied. I like art, I'm going to lobby for the Matress Factory. Beyond that, just good neighborhoods for walking around will appeal to everyone.
posted by sohcahtoa at 6:55 AM on February 25, 2006

You could make a truly unique trip and track down the filming locations for Dogma or Wonder Boys (I can give you addresses). Drive through the Hill District and imagine when it was one of the jazz centers of the country. Check out the late Victorian opulence at the Clayton. This site may have some other unique ideas.

Mattress Factory is great, but it's not everyone's cup of tea.
posted by arco at 7:06 AM on February 25, 2006

Do you have a book addiction? Eljay's Used Books.
posted by kimdog at 7:07 AM on February 25, 2006

Response by poster: I've been to Lulu's! And might go back. My partners-in-crime are serious carnivores (I'm a vegetarian), so we might find something else. From previous askme threads, Primanti seems like a good destination.
posted by sohcahtoa at 7:38 AM on February 25, 2006

Primanti's is great, but not if you're a vegetarian. There's a Primanti's in Oakland and South Side (along with several other locations).
posted by arco at 7:59 AM on February 25, 2006

The Strip District is great, especially on a Saturday. (And it includes a Primanti Bros.)
posted by redfoxtail at 8:03 AM on February 25, 2006

Take the incline from the South Side to Mt. Washington for the best view of the city you'll get. Head up to Highand Park for a cop of coffee at Taza D'Oro and enjoy this rarely-visited district. Finally, grab dinner and a beer at the Sharp Edge.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:18 AM on February 25, 2006

This thread (always pays to search first).

If you get a cab ride, it's possible to ride up the Duquesne Incline, walk along the ridge line for a great view of the city --- the walk is less than a mile, very comfortable, and viewing platforms are here and there -- and then ride down the Monongahela Incline to Station Square. It makes a very nice loop and an efficient way to experience both inclines (Which are such a unique feature of the city). The Duquesne has more flavor; it's run now as a private not-for-profit, and contains a nifty little museum. You can go below the platform and watch the gears and cables working, and the attendant may be willing to explain things to you and give some interpretation. Fun, fun.

When I did this I was staying at a hotel downtown (Hilton). Took the cab ride to Duquesne and did the loop, then walked back from Station Square over the bridge to downtown after dinner. A really nice way to spend an evening; the walk was maybe 20 minutes.
posted by Miko at 8:18 AM on February 25, 2006

I like Tom's Diner. And Pamela's.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:07 AM on February 25, 2006

Ahh Pittsburgh is my second home. Everybody else covered the attractions I enjoy but what's great about Pittsburgh is some of the restaurants they have. For italian I'm a big fan of Joe Mama's (on Forbes as you come into Oakland). Also there's the Peruvian restaurant La Feria right above the Pamela's in Shadyside. Shadyside is also a nice district to spend a couple of hours in if you like to shop. Oh, oh and the thai place on East Carson. It's cheap and really good. Enjoy!
posted by saraswati at 9:14 AM on February 25, 2006

Original Oyster House
20 Market Place
Market Square

This place is downtown, walking distance from some of the previous suggestions.

If by "Ice skating downtown in front of that big glass building" you mean the post-modern, didn't-age-well PPG thingy, then its right there.

Nice old fashioned (100 yr) dive for lunch.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:18 AM on February 25, 2006

Evidently, this will come too late for the original poster, but perhaps posterity will benefit.

The North Side houses the National Aviary, which really does have a ton of birds, many of which will get in your way as you walk through it (I'm thinking of a large blue one in particular).

The Original Hotdog in Oakland considers itself one of the universe's premier hotdog shops. I think their buns suck, but they're pretty good.

The big glass building you can iceskate in front of is the PPG (Pittsburgh Plate Glass) building, I believe.

The absolute classiest (read: most expensive) resturants are on top of Mount Washingon. Also the best views of the skyline.

The Carnegie Science Center is great for kids, and has an IMAX.

And, for my money, the number one attraction in town is, of course, the Pittsburgh Symphony.
posted by gsteff at 11:45 AM on February 25, 2006

If you're going for Primanti's, I'd suggest the one in the Strip. It is the original. The rest of the Strip is fun too. It is at its best early on a Saturday morning.

Most of my favorite restaurants are out-of-the-way, and probably hard for a visitor to find. But if you feel confident you can try to find Point Brugge in Point Breeze (near Squirrel Hill) or Dish on the South Side. La Feria is nice too, though it's in Shadyside, which is an upscale chain-store wasteland.

Also, I think everything (everything) there is to do downtown has been mentioned already (ice skating at PPG and eating at the Oyster House), so you won't find much else there.
posted by booth at 12:03 PM on February 25, 2006

Walk around Schenley Park (near squirrel hill).
Eat at Pamela's for breakfast, or Primanti Bros. for lunch.
Go to the Warhol Museum.
Go to the strip district on Sunday morning.
Go to the Southiside at night.
posted by Packy_1962 at 4:27 PM on February 25, 2006

Best place to get a beer is the Sharp Edge.

The best place to get wings in the world is Ryan's Pub.
posted by qwip at 4:34 PM on February 25, 2006

If you get a cab ride, it's possible to ride up the Duquesne Incline, walk along the ridge line for a great view of the city --- the walk is less than a mile, very comfortable, and viewing platforms are here and there

There's a viewing platform right at the Duquesne Incline, but no others until you get several (up and down hill) blocks away, into the same block as the Mon Incline. In the in-between blocks, the cityview side of Grandview is pretty much wall to wall homes, and there's nothing for a pedestrian to see. If you want to take in the view, you're in for a walk, or you can just take the Mon Incline up from Station Square.

However, at the moment, it's all academic because the platforms on Grandview are being refurbished, in a project that will run until next summer. Some might be still open, I know that the one furthest from the Mon is already fenced off and jackhammered apart, and the parking area and sidewalk are blocked by construction gear and vehicles and generators and things. It's pretty ugly now but it will be lovely come July 4th!
posted by Dreama at 5:47 AM on February 26, 2006

there's nothing for a pedestrian to see

We had a really lovely time walking along Grandview, and part of the enjoyment for us was being able to ride both inclines in one evening, ending with dinner and drinks in Station Square. If you're there for just a few days, it makes for an excellent experience.
posted by Miko at 6:49 AM on February 26, 2006

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