Summer Goals: Pittsburgh Summer Activities You Can’t Miss Out On
We may complain about Pittsburgh weather for a few months out of the year, but once things start heating up, all is forgotten. Pittsburgh summer weather is nearly perfect — in fact, it’s so good that it makes those freak April snows almost worthwhile.
With blue skies and 80-degree days forecasted for at least another month and a half (with the occasional summer thunderstorm thrown in for good measure), you’re likely planning how to take advantage of the weather and get outdoors as much as possible. To avoid any potential FOMO and make sure that you’re making the most of your summer in the city, we’ve put together a list of events that we think are all musts for the last weeks of summer. Check them off at your leisure, or if you’re feeling really motivated, make it your mission to pack it all in!
Kayak around the Point. One of the coolest (literally) ways to see the city this summer is aboard a kayak with Kayak Pittsburgh. Cruise around Point State Park, check out a baseball game from the water or try to hit all three rivers in one trip if you’re looking for a serious arm workout.
A lazy park day. Whether you’re an outdoorsy, Frick Park kinda person or you prefer the urban terrain of Point State Park, a day in the park is a fun and outdoorsy way to clear your head and see the city this summer. We recommend kicking back on a blanket with a cold and not-so-healthy treat, tossing a Frisbee with a friend or bringing your pup along for an urban hike.
Brunch all day. Pittsburgh isn’t New York (nor do we claim to be), but that doesn’t mean we can’t brunch like a bigger city. Round up your crew for a day-long brunch marathon that starts late and ends late — and includes a few mimosas in between. If you’re looking for inspiration, we suggest starting with Bloody Marys and biscuits at Ace, hitting Muddy Waters for oysters and something bubbly, then heading downtown (in an Uber, of course!) for the stellar brunch menu at Fl. 2.
Check out the public art. Did you know that Pittsburgh has tons of public art hidden in plain sight all around the city? Set out on foot or by bike to check it all out on the next breezy day — and be sure to use our handy guide to help you along the way.
Take a dip in the public pools. We’re lucky enough to have some pretty great public pools, so even if you don’t live in a fully loaded apartment building, you can still plan the perfect pool day (and we can help with that too). Highland Park and Schenley Park have two of our favorites, and we love bringing along an elaborate snack spread (and maybe a sneaky beverage) to enjoy poolside.
Bike around. If you don’t have a bike of your own, picking up one for the day through Healthy Ride is a great way to see much more of the city than you can on foot. Check out the designated bike trails winding throughout the city, or use your bike like a car to meet up with friends for dinner.
Take advantage of restaurant patios. Once the sun goes down, we love sitting outside for a cold beer and appetizers at one of the restaurant patios throughout the city. We currently love the overgrown garden at Apteka, everyone’s favorite tried-and-true backyard at Round Corner Cantina, the sweeping patio space at Federal Galley and the sidewalk tables at Merchant Oyster Co., but we’re also unreasonably excited for the new patio at The Vandal.
Sample the summer’s best booze. You’ve definitely noticed the recent explosion of new breweries, wine bars and more streamlined boozy hangouts all over the city. This summer, make it your mission to try them all — from the summer beers dog-friendly patio at Grist House to the rose cider at Threadbare to the summery rum cocktails at Maggie’s Farm Rum.
Hit a farmers market. In an effort to support local farms and take even more of your routine outdoors, replace your weekly grocery store trip with a trip to a farmers market. There’s one in just about every neighborhood in the city, but we especially love the live music at the Market Square Farmers Market, the Wise County Biscuits at the Bloomfield Saturday Market (our personal favorite hangover cure), and the walkability of the Shadyside Farmers Market.
Take a bus tour of the city. A PAT bus might not be the first thing that pops into mind when you’re thinking about touring the city, but hear us out: you can do a boozy tour on the 91 and hit East End Brewing, Wigle Whiskey, Maggie’s Farm Rum, Cinderlands, Roundabout and Hop Farm brewing all for $7 — that’s a whole lot cheaper than that pricey Uber! And if you’re looking for something more wholesome, our print guide has to find easy-to-navigate bus maps with hop-off points for brunch, shopping and more. If you’ve never given the bus a shot, now’s your chance!
Catch a movie outside. Is there anything more quintessentially summer than a night at the drive-in? Lucky for you, there are still a couple in existence around Pittsburgh, including Dependable Drive-In in Moon Township and Evergreen Drive-In in Mount Pleasant. No car (or just feeling a bit less ambitious)? The outdoor movies at Flagstaff Hill are our personal favorite way to enjoy a movie al fresco, especially when you add in a cozy blanket, a European snack spread and someone cute to share it with.