Pittsburgh Winter Weekend

The Allegheny River and the Rachel Carson Bridge

When we knew that Greg had business in Pittsburgh in January, I immediately started researching “what to do in Pittsburgh in the winter”, and wow, did I find alot! So many things in fact, that we will have to return to this wonderful city since, on this trip, we only had one day.

We woke to a temperature of 5°F but it had warmed up to a walkable 15°F by the time we set out to explore. As you can see, the Allegheny River was iced over next to the shoreline. The City of Pittsburgh has created the Three Rivers Heritage Trail which is a multi‑use riverfront trail system. The “33‑mile nonlinear trail has segments on both banks of Pittsburgh’s three rivers with access to city neighborhoods, business districts, and local attractions”. The sun was shining brightly and once my fingertips adjusted to the freezing temps, we thoroughly enjoyed our time along the river.

Once we got back to the North side of the Allegheny, we enjoyed public art, a greenspace called Magnolia Park with gorgeous blooms contrasting with the snow on the ground, and a frozen fountain.

We also explored the outside of The Pennsylvanian which was constructed in 1900 for use as Pittsburgh’s Union Station. The website explains that “The Pennsylvanian is considered one of the city’s most architecturally significant buildings. The handcrafted, dome-shaped rotunda at its entrance – encapsulating the vision of Chicago architect Daniel Burnham – serves as a prominent symbol for Pittsburgh. The New Yorker art critic Brendan Gill proclaimed the building as “one of the great pieces of Beaux-Arts architecture in America”. The building is now a wedding venue and private apartments, so we were not able to explore the inside.

After all of this time outside in the really fresh, really cold air, we warmed up in a local brick oven restaurant with tap room. We were seated right by the brick oven which was the perfect antidote for freezing temps.

Pittsburgh has many museums to choose from and we chose The Clemente Museum. Our guide was a fabulous story teller, and while Greg, the baseball fan, already knew the story of Roberto Clemente, I was inspired by his humanitarian efforts and bravery in the face of racism. I highly recommend a visit to this museum which is located in the former Engine House No. 25, built in 1896, and located in the Lawrenceville section of the city.

After our tour, we walked over to the 11th Hour Brewing Company to quench our thirst. Pittsburgh is such a walkable city! My friend Ruth and I visited several years ago for a Virginia Tech / Pitt football game and we walked and explored for hours.

We ended the day with an incredibly delicious dinner at Casbah Mediterranean Kitchen and Wine Bar afterwhich we drove to the top of the Monogahela Incline for a nightime view of the city scape.

It was a jam packed 36 hours in this wonderful city, and we cannot wait to return!

21 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Winter Weekend

  1. Your photography is just stunning! I had to laugh at the 15 degree walkable though. Here in California if it gets below 40 I’m thinking its a good day to stay inside next to warm fire!

    • I hear you on that fire! Settling in next to the brick oven was devine, and just what we needed. Thank you for the photography comment 🙂

  2. These are gorgeous images Laurie. The architecture of The Pennsylvanian is amazing. They sure don’t build ‘em like they used to. Roberto Clemente was such a talented baseball player and humanitarian. It such a shame he died in a plane crash at such a young age and in the prime of his career.

    • I so agree about the architecture, and can’t wait to return when it’s not so freaking cold and explore some more 🙂
      If you are even in Pittsburgh, you should visit The Clemente Museum. It was a great experience. So sad about his death while doing such good works.

  3. Fabulous photos and commentary about my home town city. I only ever saw my father weep twice: the first was when Roberto Clements died and the second at my mother’s wake. Your post brought back memories both happy and poignant. Thank you.

  4. What a great tour. I love old industrial cities that didn’t tear everything down with urban renewal. There’s always so much beauty and attention to detail in the buildings–and when the cities did get around to upgrading the waterfronts, it’s almost always something like your park.

    • You said it perfectly, Lisa. This was my third trip to Pittsburgh in 20 yrs, and each time I have come away loving the mix of old and new, and the presence of history. I look forward to a return (when it’s a tad bit warmer 🙂 )

    • Thanks, Alys! It was really interesting to see the ice and water in both the sculpture and the river. We were lucky that the sun was shining and it wasn’t windy. Such a fun time!

    • oh my gosh, Jane, initially I thought I’d have to stop shooting. My fingertips were so cold! But! I warmed them up and had no further problems, thankfully!

  5. I loved exploring Pittsburgh with you. I don’t recall if I’ve ever been there, so all the stories and views were new. How fun that it is a walkable city too, which makes exploring all that much better. The nighttime view from Monogahela Incline was an awesome way to sign off.

  6. Wow, Laurie, what a fabulous city to visit! I would love to see the inside of the Pennsylvanian and one of the apartments. I’m sure it’s pricey to live there, but it would be fun to see the architecture inside the beautiful facade. I hope you get back there for a longer visit, maybe in spring or summer, when the temps are a little more agreeable.

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