Plan a hometown staycation this summer and dedicate a few days to seeing the amazing permanent exhibits at the Carnegie Museums that Pittsburgh has to offer. Pittsburgh’s museums have it all from dinosaurs to gems to Monet and a Cold War era submarine. Take the time to explore the amazing art, history and heritage that Pittsburgh’s permanent museum exhibits have to offer. Enjoy the budget-friendly fact that most museums house more than one must-see exhibit.
Carnegie Museum of Art – “Hall of Architecture” and “Gallery 8”
4400 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
You could spend days inside of Carnegie Museum of Art. All of the art inside is worth seeing but if you need a place to start, start at the Hall of Architecture. This wing of the museum is home to a permanent collection of over 100 casts of famous architecture from Egypt, Roman and Greek civilization and more. Widely regarded as one of the most high-quality and true-to-life collections of architectural casts, this giant exhibit will have you looking up and gazing at the sheer size of the casts until your neck gets stiff.
Further into the Museum, tucked into unassuming Gallery 8, are two famous and grand Claude Oscar Monet paintings. At over two feet wide and nearly four feet tall, “Waterloo Bridge, London” is one of Monet’s oil on canvas paintings that is immediately familiar when you see it. Hanging just a few spaces away is the fabulous “Water Lilies.” This gorgeous painting is 20 feet long and over six feet wide. Give yourself time to take in this grand piece of art and consider renting the audio guide that is available if you’d like to know more history about this piece and other pieces throughout the museum.
Related: Best Museums in Pittsburgh
Carnegie Museum of Natural History – “Dinosaurs in Their Time” and “Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems”
4400 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
No museum crawl is complete in Pittsburgh without a stop at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaur exhibit. Whether you’ve never seen it before or have seen it dozens of times, “Dinosaurs in Their Time” is magical. This permanent exhibit is home to the world’s first scientifically accurate display of dinosaur fossils during the Mesozoic Era. Head upstairs to the PaleoLab to see scientists doing research and to see more fossils being prepped for exhibit.
If dinosaur bones don’t get your blood pumping, head over to the sparkling, breathtaking “Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems.” Now home to the completely new and visually stimulating Wertz Gallery of Gems and Jewelry, this wing of the museum lets you see the uncut crystals from which gemstones are cut, the gemstones in their polished, jewelry-ready form and finally the stunning jewelry where the gems find their permanent place. Beyond gemstones and jewelry, the focus is also on minerals – used in everything from table salt to computer components. Both gems and minerals get equal time in this fascinating exhibit.
Carnegie Science Center – “USS Requin”
1 Allegheny Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Head down to the North Shore for a trip back to the mid 20th century. The USS Requin, a WWII era submarine that has found its home on the Ohio River since 1990, was what 80 sailors called home during its numberous missions all over the world for the purpose of scientific research. Some classified things that are still under lock and key today. Take advantage of this unique exhibit and walk through this amazing vessel that is right in our backyard.
Sally Turkovich Wright lives in her beloved city of Pittsburgh with her husband, Jason and German Shepherd, Zeus. She is a policy analyst by training, an eyewear stylist by trade and an amateur healthy-living advocate by choice. She also writes a column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at twodaymag.com. Her work can be found at Twodaymag.com.