Travel
Creative Corners – Things to do in Pittsburgh
April 6, 2017
1
, , ,
Things to do in Pittsburgh for creatives and culture vultures | Duende by Madam ZoZo

I shared in my 2016 Year in Review, that one of my current life goals is to travel once per month, if only for a weekend or day trip. After returning from Australia in January, my February excursion was scheduled as a road trip to Pittsburgh. The weekend getaway got nudged into early March due to some important sights that were closed over the coldest winter months. Therefore my first tip for Pittsburgh is plan your visit for warm weather. There is plenty to explore in Steel City, so I have narrowed them down to my weekend essential things to do in Pittsburgh for creatives and culture lovers.

Disclosure: I may earn compensation from the purchase of any product or service linked on this website, at no extra cost to you. I only link to products I use and love, therefore feel comfortable recommending.

City of Bridges

Pittsburgh has a number of nicknames, and looking at its skyline there is no question how the “City of Bridges” became one of them. Officially, Pittsburgh has 446 bridges, making it the city with the most bridges in the world. As someone whose first love was a bridge, this instantly endeared the city to me. Why so many bridges? Pittsburgh is located on the confluence of the Allegheny River and Monongahela River, which meet to form the Ohio River. Without the bridges, the landscape would present many challenges to moving around the city and surrounds. There are bridges of all types and sizes made from materials ranging from steel to coral. One of the best ways to view many of Pittsburgh’s bridges in a single glance is to take the historic Duquesne Incline to the top of Mount Washington. The summit affords sweeping views of the Pittsburgh skyline wedged between the converging rivers, which are crossed with a variety of bridges.

Rachel Carson Bridge, Pittsburgh
Rachel Carson Bridge
Fort Wayne Railroad Bridge, Pittsburgh
Fort Wayne Railroad Bridge, Pittsburgh
16th St Bridge (David McCullough Bridge)
16th Street Bridge (David McCullough Bridge), Pittsburgh

River walking

Another way to view some of Pittsburgh’s bridges is of course to walk across them.  Not all of the bridges are pedestrian friendly but there are enough to keep you clocking up the miles. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail links many of the bridges, giving you safe waterfront access and a picturesque walking route along north, south and downtown sections of the rivers. The Trail connects popular attractions such as Point State Park, Senator Heinz History Center, Strip District, Heinz lofts (former Heinz factory), Carnegie Science Center and PNC Park. For more information including maps, see the Friends of the Riverfront website.

Three Rivers Heritage Trail, Pittsburgh
Walking the Three Rivers Heritage Trail
Heinz Factory, Pittsburgh
Heinz Factory
Things to do in Pittsburgh for creatives and culture vultures | Duende by Madam ZoZo
PNC Park

Warhol

In case the name “Andy Warhol” doesn’t ring a bell, think vivid pop-art portraits of 60’s celebrities and cans of Campbell’s soup. Andy was born and raised in Pittsburgh where there is now a comprehensive museum displaying his work, along with archives of items from his estate. The Andy Warhol Museum claims the largest gallery dedicated to a single artist in the United States and is worth penciling in a couple of hours in your Pittsburgh itinerary.

Andy Warhol Museum | Creative Corners: Things to do in Philadelphia | Duende by Madam ZoZo
Andy Warhol Museum | Creative Corners: Things to do in Philadelphia | Duende by Madam ZoZo
Andy Warhol Museum | Creative Corners: Things to do in Philadelphia | Duende by Madam ZoZo

Architecture

There is no doubting you’ve arrived at the Oakland campus of Pittsburgh University as the urban landscape transforms from dilapidated row houses to majestic stone structures. One of the most notable buildings is the Cathedral of Learning, known colloquially as “Cathy.”  The 42-story late gothic revival cathedral is the second tallest gothic-styled building in the world. Commissioned in 1921, the steel frame overlaid with Indiana Limestone, was designed by Philadelphia architect Charles Klauder with the idea of combining the look of a modern high rise with the tradition of Gothic architecture.  Other buildings of interest in the area include the gothic revival Heinz Memorial Chapel, the 1910 beaux arts Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum, and Phipps Conservatory, a 1893 built glasshouse.

Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh
Cathedral of Learning
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, Pittsburgh
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall
Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh | Creative Corners: Things to do in Philadelphia | Duende by Madam ZoZo
Inside Phipps Conservatory

Fallingwater

For this attraction you will need a car, half a day and a passion for architecture because it’s not really in Pittsburgh. Fallingwater is a home designed by well-known American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright whose work includes the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The residence was designed and built in the late 1930’s as a vacation home for a prominent Pittsburgh family. The Kaufmann family would spend their summers on the land known as Bear Run, now a nature reserve a 90 minute drive southeast of Pittsburgh. Wright shared the Kaufmann’s appreciation of nature, modern art and innovative architecture, and was therefore commissioned to design a luxury home that would replace the basic shack they used up to that point. Wright surprised them with plans of a home positioned not with a view of the 10 metre waterfall onsite, but instead built right over the cascades. His idea was that the sound of the rushing water could be heard within the house and therefore the falls experienced as part of the home, rather than a view to be admired only momentarily from a window. Book in advance or go early in the day, as tours do sell out. While Fallingwater’s exterior and grounds can be experienced freestyle, the interior of the home can be viewed by guided tour only.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater | Duende by Madam ZoZo
Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater | Creative Corners: Things to do in Philadelphia | Duende by Madam ZoZo
Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater | Creative Corners: Things to do in Philadelphia | Duende by Madam ZoZo

Plan a trip to Pittsburgh

Find flights to Pittsburgh with Skyscanner.

Search for accommodation using Tripadvisor.

You’ll need a car to make your way out to Fallingwater, I recommend renting from National Car Rental.

There are many things to do in Pittsburgh, but if you are a culture vulture and creative soul like me, then this list will help you narrow the offering.

Peace, love and inspiring travel,

Madam ZoZo

Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater | Creative Corners: Things to do in Philadelphia | Duende by Madam ZoZo
Things to do in Pittsburgh for creatives and culture vultures | Duende by Madam ZoZo

About author

Madam ZoZo

Hi! I'm Madam ZoZo, aka Zoë, an Australian designer, creative consultant, blogger and digital nomad. I'm passionate about travel, design, dance and new experiences that fuel my creativity. I strive to travel in a style that is gentle on the earth and that contributes to the communities I visits, even if it is merely to take away a greater understanding of a different culture. Duende by Madam ZoZo, is where I share the stories of my travels and the duende (soul/inspiration) I find along the way.

Oaxaca City, Mexico

Cultural & Natural Highlights of Oaxaca City, Mexico

I shared in my 2016 Year in Review, that one of my...

Read more
Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

What to Wear in Fiji – A comprehensive Fiji Packing List

I shared in my 2016 Year in Review, that one of my...

Read more
Hierve el Agua

A Year of Travel in Review – 2018

I shared in my 2016 Year in Review, that one of my...

Read more

There is 1 comment

  • […] Pittsburgh, wedged into the confluence of two mighty rivers, is unforgettably the City of Bridges. […]

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Pin
    Share
    Tweet