Do you ever feel like your weekends are just the “same place, different day”?
Well, it’s time to change it up. And we have just what you need. There are so many places in Pittsburgh you never go — but should.
Whether you want to try some new food, check out an art installation, or just trade casual drinks for bowling and beers with your friends, get to these places in Pittsburgh.
Venture to the Mexican War Streets and see the wonder that is Randyland. Randy Gilson has been working on his 40ft mural and gardens— and rejuvenating the North Side — for over 20 years. Admission is free (but donations are welcomed!) and you can stop by any day to see his work for yourself between 1:00-5:30pm.
Maggie’s Farm Rum
Who would have thought Pittsburgh would be a producer of some of the best rum you’ve ever tasted? You only need to go as far as the Strip District — not the Caribbean — to taste some of their delicious rum-based cocktails.
Change up your evening plans by heading to Arsenal Bowling on Butler Street. They have specials every night of the week, including 80s and 90s-themed night on Thursday. Oh, and college students — they have $0.50 drafts on Tuesdays. Just don’t forget your socks!
Did you know that one of the major astronomical research institutions of the world was located right here in Pittsburgh? While the observatory is actually owned by the University of Pittsburgh, they offer free tours (but call for a reservation!) every Thursday from April through the end of October.
Bantha Tea Bar
Adding to the development of Penn Avenue is the addition of Bantha Tea Bar. Tea lovers can warm up during the frothy months at Bantha with a cuppa and free wifi. Have non-tea drinking friends? They offer coffee and an assortment of pastries as well.
Women of Pittsburgh, you have a new maker space to call home. While the studio works on a membership model, prototype offers drop-in nights where for a $5 suggested donation ladies can meet other members, work on their own projects, drink coffee, or just use their wifi. They offer just about every craft tool you could dream of, from 3D printers, to screen printers, to power tools and smoldering irons.
Center for PostNatural History
You’ve been to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History but we’re almost certain you haven’t been to the Center for PostNatural History. What’s PostNatural History you ask? It’s for organisms that have been modified by humans, whether for science, taste selection (honeycrisp apples, anyone?), or careful breeding. This Penn Avenue science hotspot is open on Sundays from 12-4pm and on the first Friday of every month from 6-9pm.
Murals of Maxo Vanka
Croatian artist Maxo Vanka painted a series of 25 murals in the St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale. Painted between 1937 and 1941, Vanka’s murals are larger-than-life depictions of the immigrant experience in America, social justice, and war. Pair this visit with a trip to Grist House brewing while you’re in the neighborhood.
Banjo Night at the Elks
You’ll never look at Wednesday nights the same again after going to Banjo Night at the Elks in the North Side. Every week they have *free* rehearsals and sing-a-longs that are open to the public, along with hot food and beverages for sale. Banjo Night is popular so be sure to call and make a reservation so you don’t miss out.
Whether you want to learn how to pickle, sew, or build a succulent garden, Workshop PGH has a class to teach you how. Their classes focus on low-fi crafts and skills you can replicate at home. Plus, it’s BYOB if you weren’t convinced you needed to go.
William Penn Speakeasy
Hidden in the William Omni Penn Hotel is William Penn Speakeasy, a step back into the 1920s. You can sip on Prohibition — and Pennsylvania — inspired cocktails while lounging on the plush scarlet seating. This might just become your new date-night spot.
While it seems like there’s a new brewery popping up every day in Pittsburgh, if you haven’t checked out Grist House in Millvale, you need to change that ASAP. The brewery is filled with character — the taproom overlooks the brew system and there is an all-season deck and beer garden that doesn’t limit outdoor drinking to just the summer months.
Dancing Gnome Brewery
Cool name, cooler neighborhood, better beer. No, Dancing Gnome isn’t in Lawrenceville. But if you’re paying attention, the hype around this hop-forward brewery and its Sharpsburg location is growing. Join the crowds hanging out in the taproom, enjoying the industrial space, sampling what’s on tap, and snacking on food truck eats.
Bar hopping in South Side or Shadyside? Been there, done that. Now it’s time to experience the quintessential Pittsburgh dive bar. That would be Gooski’s in Polish Hill. Bar food done right, a jukebox on blast and a crowd that cannot be explained, only experienced. If you’re craving an eclectic atmosphere, equally as interesting conversation or cross-section of the community, don’t pass on an evening in Polish Hill.
Back in the day, Pittsburgh was the epicenter of American whiskey production. Wigle is out to restore that tradition with its copper pot distillery, barrel house, whiskey garden, and award winning spirits including whiskey, gin and rum! Stop by for a tasting, tour, or during an event to experience (and sample) Wigle for yourself.
Arsenal Cider House
The weather is about to get nice again and you’ll be seeking out outdoor drinking spots. Arsenal Cider has one of the coolest outdoor drinking spaces in the city. You can even grab some of your favorite Lawrenceville grub to go and bring it to Arsenal to snack while you drink on their house-made ciders, meads, and fruit wines.
Row House Cinema
This small, 83-seat, single screen, movie theater has a throwback vibe to go with the throwback movies they show. This isn’t the spot to see new releases. Row House is the place to go for cult classics and back-to-back marathon screening of multi-part movies from legendary directors like Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch. Complete your movie-going experience with some fresh-made popcorn, the smell of which permeates the building, and a six-pack you can snag from the adjoining Bierport.
City of Asylum
Take a tour of this writer’s residence and sanctuary for scribes who were persecuted in their home countries. Or stop by the House Poem, another home purchased and converted into an artists asylum on Sampsonia Way, on Pittsburgh’s North Side. It’s all part of City of Asylum, a non-profit that provides a broad range of free literary and arts programs to the community, including residency for exiled writers and Sampsonia Way online magazine, all of which encourage cross-cultural exchange.
Brew Gentlemen Beer Company
Brew Gentleman is worth the Uber ride out to Braddock. Their craft beers are some of the best in Pittsburgh and they have a rotating roster of food trucks on the weekends for all of your snacking needs.
This museum and bike store is the largest of its kind in the world. No kidding! You’ll completely understand how that’s possible when you walk through the doors. There are over 90,000 bike and parts on display, and on sale. Be on the lookout for one of a kind rides, vintage finds, and the coolest cycling-themed collection, well, anywhere.
Engine House 25
Quick! What do wine, baseball memorabilia, and fire engines have in common? In this case, Engine House 25 has been home to them all. What was once a full-on fire house has been transformed, and magnificently restored, into a museum and winery. Baseball fans, and Pittsburghers alike, will gush over the collection of Clemente memorabilia displayed in a museum that bears Roberto’s name. In the same building, wine connoisseurs will be shocked and surprised to tour and taste the fruits of Winery 25 in the basement.
Pittsburgh Glass Center
On Penn Avenue, in Pittsburgh’s East End this non-profit is creating, teaching and promoting glass art. The PGC is home to a state-of-the-art glass studio, public access school and art gallery where anyone can take a class, explore the contemporary glass gallery and watch live hot glass demonstrations.
Some people have called this place the go-to for the best home cooked, comfort food in all of Pittsburgh. Just who are these “people?” Oh, just Pittsburgh food authority Rick Sebak and the Food Network’s Andrew Zimmern. Yeah, they know a little something about good eats. Which is why you should listen when they say you should get to Rankin for the Ruben, fish sandwich and open face steak sandwich.