In a city defined by three rivers it’s only natural to want to take advantage of all that the water has to offer. Between the rivers and the lakes you can splash up some pretty good adventures without going too far from home. 

Kayak Pittsburgh

Image via Kayak Pittsburgh Instagram

For those seeking to explore the waterways near downtown rent a kayak with Venture Outdoors’ Kayak Pittsburgh at their North Shore location. If you’re seeking a calmer experience then head out to their North Park location and kayak or paddle board the lake (a great option for beginners!). Be sure to check out the other Venture Outdoors water activities.

SurfSUP Adventures

Image via SurfSUP Adventures Instagram

Paddleboarding is gaining in popularity and the best way to gain SUP experience is with SurfSUP Adventures. You can Stand Up Paddleboard around downtown Pittsburgh for a bit of city sightseeing or launch out into nature by heading up to Moraine State Park for an Eco Tour or even a Glow SUP experience.

Cruisin’ Tikis

Image via Crusin Tikis Facebook

If you want a bit of boozy fun mixed into your water adventure then Crusin’ Tikis is the perfect fit. But find 5 more like minded friends to join you because group reservations are required for the BYOB two-hour cruise.

Gateway Clipper

Image via Vladdythegeek Instagram

The classic way to explore the three rivers is with the Gateway Clipper. Between the sightseeing cruises and the dinner cruises they have options to fit your particular taste of adventure.

Pittsburgh Pirate Ship

Image via Pittsburgh Pirate Ship

Yes the Pittsburgh Pirate Ship is an actual ship on the actual rivers with an actual non-baseball Pirate theme. This Jolly Roger is available for private charter of themed two-hour swashbuckling adventures. Definitely a unique option, you can book an adult treasure hunt, ghost tour, birthday party, or bachelor/bachelorette party.

Rivers of Steel Sightseeing Tour

Image via Rivers of Steel Instagram

Billing itself as a “Uniquely Pittsburgh Sightseeing Tour”, the Rivers of Steel Sightseeing Tour lasts 90 minutes and you’ll traverse each of the three rivers which means your trip will also include a view of The Point and the underbelly of many of the city’s famous bridges.

Pittsburgh Pedal Boats

Image via Pittsburgh Pedal Boats Instagram

Those seeking to add some exercise into their adventure should check out Pittsburgh Pedal Boats. Its claim to fame is as “Pittsburgh’s first and only pedal-powered party boats”. With space for up to 15 guests (but 10 pedalers max) these boats are a great way for groups to enjoy the rivers together.

Steel City Outdoor Adventures

Image via Steel City Outdoor Adventures Facebook

Even though the name is Steel City Outdoor Adventures, the water activities take place outside the city. But it’s well worth the trip for adrenaline junkies and would-be sailors. Thrill-seekers can enjoy a 6-hour (2 hours rafting time) whitewater rafting trip near Ohiopyle. Sail enthusiasts can head to Deep Creek Lake (Maryland) for a 3-hour sailing lesson.

LL Bean Kayak Events 

Image via LL Bean Website

The national outdoor gear store LL Bean offers outdoor discovery courses. There are SUP with Your Pup courses and SUP Yoga as well as a variety of Kayak tours — like a Perseid Meteor Shower Kayak Tour or the Bird Watching Kayak Tours done in partnership with the National Aviary. These events primarily take place at North Park Lake. 

White Water Adventurers

Image via White Water Adventures Facebook

Getting out on the water with White Water Adventurers is definitely for the thrill seekers out there. Based in Ohiopyle on the Yough River, there are options for families, groups, and experienced rafters seeking “high adventure”. 

So water you wading for? Get your sea legs and sea you on the water!

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Mo Macel

Mo is a pun-loving Pittsburgher who likes to take photos and write. She blogs at and

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