Whether you’re a yinzer in a long-term relationship or you’re meeting up with your Tinder date for the very first time, there’s no lack of romance-geared activities in Pittsburgh. But there are several date ideas that everyone within city limits should experience, if they haven’t already. Check out our list – and check these dates off your list.
Mt. Washington Overlooks
If you came of age in Pittsburgh, you’ve probably had a date night photo taken on Mt. Washington. It might not have crossed your mind then, but those precariously positioned overlooks and star-studded skyline have served as a backdrop for many an awkward photo. There’s nothing like sweaty-palmed hand-holding and forced smiles! But now that you’re all grown up, the Shiloh Street overlooks can offer a more authentic experience. Consider wining and dining yourselves by candlelight at Altius, La Tavola, or Le Mont, then head over to the overlook for an admittedly stunning view of the city. Even if you’ve been here before, taking in the view with that special someone will have you seeing Pittsburgh in a whole new light.
There’s a lot of art in Pittsburgh, which means that there’s something for everyone. Is your date a Velvet Underground fan or a ‘60s-style free spirit? Take them on down to the Andy Warhol Museum on the North Shore. Maybe they’re art history buffs, in which case Oakland’s massive and impressive Carnegie Art Museum is your go-to destination. If you’re interested in a more offbeat, intimate experience, check out SPACE on Liberty Avenue, BoxHeart Expressions in Bloomfield, Modernformations in Garfield, or the Wood Street Galleries, all of which feature fascinating rotating exhibits. If the weather ever warms up (and it’s not raining), consider taking a tour of Pittsburgh’s best street art – luckily, we put together a guide for you if you aren’t sure where to start.
Fans’ Night Out
If you’re a sports fan, Pittsburgh is the place to be. Head downtown to catch a Penguins game, or over to the North Shore to watch Pittsburgh’s pride and joy, the Steelers. Heck, even the most unlikely baseball fan will enjoy a ball game in the Burgh, PNC Park is just that beautiful. You won’t even have to pay big bucks for this one, either. Consider tailgating (responsibly and moderately, of course) in the parking lot with your date before heading up to your seats. Even if the nosebleeds are the only sections in your budget, you won’t mind if you’re there enjoying a game with your partner — it’s hard to beat that view! Afterwards, head out to one of Pittsburgh’s many sports bars to celebrate victory or drown your sorrows in the event of a loss.
Coffee Shop Hop
Any couple can share a romantic afternoon at a coffee joint. However, it’s definitely the best option for a first date, whether you met them in class, out on a run, or you’ve been set up on a blind date. Instead of going to the movies, where talking is frowned upon, or the bar, for obvious reasons, check out a unique coffee shop and chat over a pair of steaming lattes. There are no shortage of options, either. Espresso a Mano in Lawrenceville brews up some of the city’s finest beans. Big Dog Coffee in Southside provides a cozy, quaint atmosphere. If you think your dog might make a good wingman, you can sip some coffee on the pet-friendly patio of Biddle’s Escape in Regent Square. You can even wow your date by bringing them to the Pinball Cafe on Butler Street, and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.
The Fit Couple Date
They say the couple that sweats together, stays together. If that’s true, Pittsburgh has plenty of options for all you fit couples out there. You and your honey can rent bikes and cruise around town. The city is becoming more and more bike-friendly, which means you have options when it comes to trails and bike lanes. If you’d rather stay on your feet, consider taking a scenic hike through a nearby park, including Frick or Schenley Park. For those who love the water, there’s the option of kayaking down one of the three rivers. Throughout the summer, there’s no shortage of outdoor running meetups and yoga sessions. Pair your sweat session with a healthy, post-workout brunch for a winning date combination.
The Live Music Date
Dinner and drinks are nice, of course, but live music is better. It’s a chance to dress up, let loose and share your love of music with your partner. Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale hosts several shows a week, so you’re bound to find something you and a date will enjoy. There’s Altar Bar in the Strip District, too, which hosts all kinds of shows, so you’re never limited to one genre of music. If a sit-down venue is more your style, check out Club Cafe in South Side, just be sure to get there early enough to snag a table. You can dance the night away at Cattivo or Spirit in Lawrenceville, too.
The Kennywood Date
“Have you been to Kennywood yet?” is a question you and everyone else in Pittsburgh will soon be forced to answer, as the park gears up for its summer season. And what’s more romantic than huddling together on a rollercoaster, screaming, as the car hurtles down a steep hill? When you need a break from all of the rides, you and your date can grab a corn dog, some cotton candy, or a steaming hot funnel cake and people-watch. Make sure you eat all the sugary food after you get on any particularly stomach-churning attractions, though, or your date could be cut tragically and disgustingly short. Visiting Kennywood at night is a great option: you’ll miss most of the daytime crowd and you’ll get to gaze out over the sparkling lights of the city from great heights – until the descent.
The Bad Decision Date
It’s 10 p.m. on a Friday night, and you and your partner are bored. Perhaps you’re college students, or maybe you’re longing to relive the excitement of your college days. Regardless, you can always head down to the massive strip of bars in Pittsburgh’s South Side and drink your way down East Carson. Be prepared to get caught up in hordes of drunken youth, though. It’s a perfect location for people-watching, if nothing else. Stop at Dee’s for cheap pitchers and a few games of pool, head down to Jack’s for the ultimate South Side experience, and check out the delicious mead offered at Piper’s Pub. One thing you can definitely forget are your car keys, because this date does not involve any driving.This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.