When you’re hosting visitors, there are some classic places you’ll want to hit to offer the quintessential Pittsburgh experience. But there are a lot of unique, even hidden, places in the city and surrounding area that can make for a memorable trip. Here are 14 off-the-beaten-path spots to take Pittsburgh visitors.

Schenley Park Overlook and Sportsplex

Image via pittsburghparks.org

Schenley Park is nestled right into Pittsburgh proper. It’s home to a beautiful overlook of downtown and a hidden Sportsplex. You have to know what you’re looking for to find the track. Park along the road, walk up the stars, and there it is! It’s a great spot to workout and do sprints or speed training. In the winter, this converts into an ice skating rink that’s open daily.

Smallman Galley

Image via @smallmangalley

For a unique Pittsburgh experience, Smallman Galley in the Strip District is a must. This is a perfect spot to bring friends because there is truly something for everyone. This food hall features four different restaurant concepts operated by local chefs selected for their interesting menus. The restaurants within the restaurant cycle through, but the food is always good and the place is always busy.

The Wheel Mill

Image via @thewheelmill

It’s what we never knew the city needed — Pittsburgh’s first indoor bike part. Mountain bikers and BMX rider will feel right at home at The Wheel Mill. Get your bearings in the fundamental skills area. Experienced riders can bike through an indoor mountain bike room, jump room, pump track, cross country loop, and mini ramp area.

Gaucho Parrilla Argentina

Image via @eatgaucho

For visitors, Argentinian food may not be the first thing they associate with Pittsburgh. But after eating at Gaucho, it might be. Off of Penn Ave., it’s a place that’s always buzzing. Order a few small plates of chorizos or empanadas to share (if you’re feeling generous). Chow down on their deconstructed sandwiches or go all out with a steak plate. Perfect for sharing and an urban venue, this is a memorable local spot to bring Pittsburgh visitors. Added bonus — it’s BYOB with no corkage or bottle fees.


Image via randy.land

Randyland can be described in one word: happiness. Randy Gilson painted vibrant murals and psychedelic staircases on the North Shore. This is the perfect spot for an artsy travel photo with your Pittsburgh visitors. It’s also a popular spot for live music and outdoor events.

Mattress Factory

Image via @mattressfactory

This contemporary art museum features unique installations created from artists around the world. In addition to exhibits, The Mattress Factory hosts events on many evenings and weekends that make a great night out.

Church Brew Works

Image via @churchbrewworks

This is a Pittsburgh spot not to be missed. Church Brew Works is a restaurant and brewery inside of a renovated church. The bar is built from the oak planks of church pews. Lanterns light a detailed ceiling. Bricks salvaged from the removal of the confessional were reused for pillars on the outdoor side and the facade of the new kitchen. Offering a diverse menu, hand-crafted brews, and a stunning setting, this will be a memorable place for visitors.

Mexican War Streets

Image via @mexicanwarstreets

There’s a lot to do on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Exploring some of the historic neighborhoods there is one of them. The Mexican War Streets, preserved by the Mexican War Streets Society, feature colorful homes in a walkable area lined with trees.

Bicycle Heaven

Image via post-gazette.com

This is a haven for bike lovers. What started as one discarded bike has turned into a collection of antique bikes with over 3,000 bikes. The Bicycle Heaven Museum is the largest bicycle museum and shop in the world. The museum is open 7 days per week and is free to the public.

Chatham University

Image via @chathamuniversity

The city of Pittsburgh is home to many lovely college campuses. Chatham University’s Shadyside Campus offers beautiful grounds and historical architecture hidden in the hills. Woodland Road features mansions that now work as academic halls. Walking around the grounds, it doesn’t feel like you’re in the middle of a city.

Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden

Image via @RSCgarden

The Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden is a garden that features biblical plants. It serves as a replica of ancient Israel displaying the agriculture and horticulture of the ancient near east. The gardens are free and open to the public.

Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History

Image via photoantiquities.org

In 1993, the Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History was founded to preserve the history of photography. The museum is home to over 500,000 photographic images from around the world.

The Murals of Maxo Vanka

St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale is home to 25 murals painted by Croatian artist Maxo Vanka. The Murals of Maxo Vanka were painted from 1937 to 1941, and speak to the immigrant experience in America. Conservation efforts have worked to save and preserve the murals in Millvale, PA.

Robot Hall of Fame

Image via RobotHallofFame on TripAdvisor

Established in 2003 by Carnegie Mellon University, the Robot Hall of Famerecognizes excellence in robotics. It pays homage to the real and fictional robots that have contributed to breakthroughs in the industry. The Robot Hall of Fame has a display at the Carnegie Science Center.

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