What to do in Pittsburgh, early riser edition
July 29, 2019 4:12 PM   Subscribe

I will be in Pittsburgh for a long weekend. I am an early riser and love exploring new cities before most people are up. Atlas Obscura suggests Homewood Cemetery early enough to see it in the fog, which is PERFECT for me. Anything else fun to do in the morning before my traveling partners are up? I usually just grab coffee and walk around but I would love to hear from locals if there are other good destinations to add to my list. Staying downtown, no car, happy to hop on transit or use bikeshare.
posted by look busy to Travel & Transportation around Pittsburgh, PA (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If you're here this weekend it's the Regatta, so there will be lots to do around downtown. I'd actually suggest catching sunrise on the city from Mt Washington. Cross the Monongahela and take the incline up as early as 5:30 AM.
posted by bfranklin at 4:41 PM on July 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

Get a biscotti from Enrico's and sample a bite of cheese at Penn Mac. Both are located on the Strip and have early hours (7:00 AM and 6:30 AM respectively).

I also really love walking through Point State Park in the early hours - it is a lovely time to experience the water, the sky and the bridges.

There is a farmer's market in Market Square on Thursday's, although that starts a bit later in the morning.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:42 PM on July 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

Homewood Cemetery would be a bit of a hike on a bike; I've done it but it's seven miles mostly up hill. I don't know how fit you are but the HealthRide rental bikes are kind of heavy beasts and that ride would be a good workout. As other people have said, Mount Washington might be a better choice; the incline is fun and there's great viewing platforms out over the cliff looking down on the city.
posted by octothorpe at 6:08 PM on July 29, 2019

Odds of your finding fog at the cemetery are not good during just of the year. Perfectly nice place, but I’d go with one of the other fine suggestions above.
posted by jon1270 at 7:09 PM on July 29, 2019

Unless you are a serious road warrior, Homewood Cemetery from Downtown is not a trip you want to take by bike. It is all up hill (you can either do it gradual and entirely on city streets or take a flat bike path half way and then gut bust the second half).

Instead: take the Incline up to Mt. Washington, go to the Strip District, walk across one of the Three Sisters bridges and walk along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail (turn left to get to the Fred Rogers memorial). Or rent a bike and turn right to ride up the Allegheny. If you don't mind a little Catholicism, it's an easy ride up the Heritage Trail to Millvale and the church that has the Atlas-Obscura-famous Maxo Vanka murals. Mass times on Sat and Sunday are pretty early, as Catholic masses go.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:17 PM on July 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you like history there's a cool little installation on the North Shore devoted to Southwestern PA's contribution to WWII. Here's a link, and a map, it's a quick bike ride from downtown and right along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.
posted by FormerMermaid at 4:24 AM on July 30, 2019

Agreeing with soren_lorensen that Homewood Cemetery is a long bike ride. Closer at hand and also absolutely incredible (especially in the early morning fog) is the Allegheny Cemetary.
posted by lordcorvid at 9:57 PM on July 30, 2019

Just a note: the regatta has been cancelled due to shenanigans so maybe don’t make that the centerpiece of your plans!

I’d do the early morning Mt. Washington trip too.
posted by Stacey at 3:36 AM on July 31, 2019

Thank you, everyone! I'll skip Homewood and check out Mt Washington instead.
posted by look busy at 4:54 AM on July 31, 2019

The Strip District is fun early in the morning, before the tourists arrive. Check out Wholey's fish market, La Prima Coffee on 21st, Pennsylvania Macaroni ("Penn Mac"), whatever else is open. (It used to be the city's produce hub, a rush of activity as restaurants and stores bought for the day.)

I've heard that riding around downtown on a deserted weekend morning is nice.

If you want a cemetery, check out the one in Spring Hill with its view of the city. (It's called St John's Lutheran Cemetery, apparently.) Take the 6 bus. Biking up the hill might kill you.
posted by booth at 2:09 PM on July 31, 2019

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