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Holtwood, Pennsylvania
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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
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Pine Grove, Pennsylvania
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Manheim, Pennsylvania
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Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh & Countryside

Take a peek behind the steel city’s façade

The steel town of Pittsburgh plays just as hard as it works, and the opportunities for fun and exploration are numerous. The city began as a frontier fort and the Gateway to the West, and since then has grown to a bustling metropolis built on the industries that run the nation: steel, coal, timber and limestone.

Take a downtown walking tour with the assistance of a free downloadable audio guide, and learn stories behind Pittsburgh’s towering skyscrapers in just an hour. Hop in a car and ride up McArdle Roadway to the top of Mt. Washington and enjoy one of the nation’s most stunning views. For a vintage ride, scale the slopes of Mount Washington on the cable cars of the Duquesne Incline, which has been running for nearly 140 years. While you’re up here, visit the 280-acre Emerald View Park.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Looking Back

Discover Pittsburgh’s colonial past. Fort Ligonier is a full-scale site reconstructed and restored to its 1758 glory. It defended British subjects during the French and Indian War and served as a supply station during the siege of Fort Duquesne. Tour the officers’ mess, barracks, guardroom and underground magazine, and be sure to visit the sawmill, hospital and forge on-site.

Old Economy Village shares details of 19th-century life through hands-on activities like baking bread and churning butter, carding wool and making a songbook. The village was established in 1824 as a home for the Harmony Society, a religious communal group that originated in Germany. Preserved structures include the Feast Hall and Museum Building, mechanics building and wine cellar, water pump and bake oven.

The legacy of Pittsburgh’s steel and coal empires is preserved at Clayton, the family home of Henry Clay Frick. Frick partnered with Andrew Carnegie to form U.S. Steel. Go back further in the city’s industrial history and see an exhibit on Pittsburgh’s glass industry at the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Take advantage of Carnegie’s philanthropic legacy by visiting the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, four distinctive museums including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, where kids find hands-on opportunities to explore the natural world by “digging” for fossils and indulge their artistic side through crafts and art projects.

Take Wing

Bird lovers can’t miss out on a trip to National Aviary, a birdcentric zoo with more than 500 residents representing 150-plus species from around the world. African penguins, canaries and more are part of the experience, which includes free-flight bird shows during the summer months.

See how residents of Pittsburgh and neighboring towns helped support the Underground Railroad, the secret network of routes and safe houses for runaway slaves that operated in the 1800s. The Blairsville Area Underground Railroad Project offers tours to the Underground Railroad Museum at Belmont Mansion, Bigham House in the Mt. Washington neighborhood and St. Matthew’s AME Zion Church in Sewickley.

In Armstrong County, ride the Kiski Junction Railroad to experience railway history on a working freight train. Casino Theatre is a vaudevillian delight, welcoming theater buffs to explore its national museum dedicated to the popular entertainment form from the early 20th century. Hop aboard a carriage for a casual ride through the surrounding countryside, and come back in winter to Dragon Run Forge & Livery for a snowy sleigh ride.

Explore the Far East without leaving American soil at the Maridon Museum in Butler County. The Maridon’s exhibits explore Japanese and Chinese art and culture, showcasing paintings, tapestries, ornate sculpture and pottery, as well as a unique collection of German Meissen porcelain.

Moraine State Park beckons boaters to cruise along Lake Arthur, the centerpiece of the 16,725-acre park that’s a warm-water fishery open to anglers who seek northern pike, largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill. A large portion of the parkland is open to hunting and trapping during appropriate seasons, and game include waterfowl, deer, turkey, rabbit and grouse.

Andy Warhol Museum

Andy Warhol Museum

Go Greene

Get your fill of fall’s changing foliage on a trek through Greene County. Be sure to travel over at least a couple of its seven covered bridges, all of which have been declared historical landmarks, and stop in at the Jacktown Fair, which runs in July and is the nation’s oldest continuous fair. Founded in 1866, the fair features tractor pulls, a home and garden show, and parade.

Thrill seekers flock to Laurel Highlands and Ohiopyle State Park, where whitewater rafting and mountain biking are popular activities. Get a low-key rush by hiking or fishing, or take the family out to Idlewild Park and SoakZone for a day of amusement park rides, lifesize storybook tales and relaxation in an aquatic oasis. Architecture buffs should make time to see three of Frank Lloyd Wright’s creations in Laurel Highlands: Fallingwater, Duncan House and Kentuck Knob are all here.

Stretch your legs and roll two wheels down Park Harbor Bike Trail in Lawrence County. This two-mile trail wanders through wildlife sanctuary. Living Treasures Wild Animal Park brings visitors face to face with petting-zoo residents and their wilder neighbors, including a Barbary lion, Canadian lynx, grey kangaroo and more. Experience history in Washington County at Meadowcroft Rockshelter, where prehistoric tribes made camp under a massive stone outcropping.

For More Information

Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau
Pennsylvania Tourism