The following is a short overview of some of the great things to do in Pittsburgh. Dr. Carl Kingsford has compiled a more comprehensive list of over 100 suggested activities that make Pittsburgh a great place to live.
Parks & Outdoor Activities
Often, visitors are amazed by the number and size of Pittsburgh’s green spaces. Schenley Park, pictured above, is a short walk from Carnegie Mellon’s main campus, and features a running track, soccer fields, tennis courts, an ice skating rink, public pool, and a frisbee golf course. Frick Park is a short bus ride away, and contains many miles of hiking trails where you will see many species of birds, including wild turkeys, in addition to foxes and deer.
Hiking is a popular year-round activity in the greater Pittsburgh area, which is rich with wooded trails. Pittsburgh has a rich biking community, and the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal allow cyclists to bike all of the 335 miles from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. along trails.
Laurel Highlands, an area of the Applachian mountains approximately an hour’s drive away, contains many traditional mountain activities, from kayaking and whitewater rafting in the summer to skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in the winter. It also contains fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house that is a landmark of 20th Century architecture and has been dubbed the “world’s most beautiful house” by the BBC.
Pittsburgh is home to several professional sports teams, including the Pirates (Major League Baseball), Penguins (National Hockey League), and Steelers (National Football League). These teams have combined for 16 total championships in their respective sports, culminating most recently with the 2017 Stanley Cup win by the Penguins, and earning Pittsburgh the nickname “City of Champions”.
All three of these professional sports wear black and gold at their sporting events, so it isn’t difficult to look like a native!
Pittsburgh has also hosted the U.S. Open at nearby Oakmont Country Club, most recently in 2016, and its Riverhounds compete in the United Soccer League.
Carnegie Mellon offers recreational leagues year round in a variety of sports, which are free of charge to university members. The Computational Biology Department competes in many leagues as “Stuck in Mitosis”.
The food scene in Pittsburgh has exploded in the past few years, with quite a few restaurants in short walking distance from CMU’s main campus.
Many of these restaurants, such as the French-themed Legume in Oakland, focus on a farm-to-table model, with locally sourced, organic ingredients. Others, such as the Argentinian street restaurant Gaucho in the Strip District, are greatly expanding the ethnic horizons of Pittsburgh’s culinary palette.
Pittsburgh has a longstanding history of philanthropy, with its wealthiest residents making large monetary gifts to finance the arts. This is present in the many museums and concert halls that are found throughout Pittsburgh.