Point State Park#14 in Best Things To Do in Pittsburgh
Point State Park juts into the water at the spot where the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers meet the Ohio River. The 36-acre park in downtown Pittsburgh is at water level and provides great views of the riverboats, Mount Washington and PNC Park. Near the water, there is a large fountain where visitors can lounge and admire the views, and behind it on the lawn is the outline of the former Fort Duquesne, traced in granite.
Point State Park holds a lot of city history, as it was also the site of the 18th-century Fort Pitt. For those looking to delve further into the details, the Fort Pitt Museum sits in the back of the park and provides information about Pittsburgh's role during the French and Indian War, and the American Revolution. The indoor-outdoor museum is kid-friendly with engaging and interactive exhibits.
On a typical day, you'll find people playing games, walking dogs, having picnics or just lounging in the grass at Point State Park. Visitors recommend exploring the park on foot, as there are often events on the grass such as pop-up art exhibits. Many also enjoy launching their boats or kayaks from the park area; if you don't already have one, there are numerous kayak rental places along the river where you rent one.
The park hosts many events throughout the year, including the free Venture Outdoors Festival in May which gives people the chance to kayak and fish in the river, take outdoor yoga classes on the grass and climb a rock wall. The park also features monthly events, such as native plant geocaching programs, educational walking tours about history or bird-watching, and children's activities like hide-and-seek and arts and crafts programs. Most require registration in advance, which is available on the park website.
Around the holiday season, the park displays a Christmas tree made of lights which you can see from different spots around the city because of its central location. The park hosts a tree-lighting ceremony complete with a fireworks display, as well as the NRG Santa Spectacular which features live music, hot cocoa, games and face painting. Previous visitors advise walking or taking public transportation to the park as parking nearby is pricey and can be difficult to find. Those who are driving can drop off visitors at a specified pull-in area or try to find metered parking on Commonwealth Place. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail traces Point State Park, making it a convenient route to take if you're walking or biking to the park. Point State Park is free and open to the public from sunrise to sunset daily. Visit the Point State Park website to learn more.
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#1 Duquesne Incline
The Duquesne Incline is one of two uphill trolleys — and it has been carting visitors up Mount Washington since the 1870s. After falling on hard times, the Duquesne Incline was lovingly restored in 1963. But why should you visit the trolley in this area instead of the Monongahela one?
This one transports you to an ideal vantage point in Mount Washington, directly above where Pittsburgh's three rivers collide. There's a large viewing platform that extends just over the cliff and on a clear day, the view from the top makes for some excellent photographs. However, some recent visitors say you should wait and hop on the incline at night since it's less crowded and you can see the illuminated city below. Once you get to the top, aside from admiring the view, you can take some time to check out the small museum with some fun facts on Pittsburgh's history and photographs, or grab a souvenir from the gift shop. There are a few restaurants near the upper station as well, though travelers say they're pretty pricey and you're better off heading back downtown to grab a bite to eat.
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