Pittsburgh, a glittering urban landscape, is just a small part of the brightly glowing ember that is Western Pennsylvania in the fall. Colors abound, the temperature becomes crisp and delightful odors permeate the air in autumn, which are just a few of the many reasons to visit this beautiful city as the summer says adieu.
2573 Brandt School Road
Wexford, PA 15090
A plethora of beautiful, family-owned Western PA farms await your group and are bursting with activities for the whole family in the fall. Hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin picking and activities a’plenty will keep everyone in your party entertained for hours, if not days. Visit one, or try a few, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Many have free or low-cost admission fees. Many of these farms also offer delicious, freshly prepared treats to try, like sumptuous apple pies made from their very own orchard harvest, squash souffles, breads, cobblers, soups and more. Some of the very best in the area are Soergels, Trax Farms, Kerber’s and Triple B Farms, so be sure to visit each individual website and plan your visit soon.
Gateway Clipper’s “Fall Foliage” Cruise
350 W. Station Square Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Date: Oct. 11, 14, 15, 17 and 18, 2014
In October, board Pittsburgh’s preeminent riverboat fleet to take in all of autumn’s splendor as you cruise gently along the crest of the Allegheny River. Sip a warm cider with your companion as you take in all of the natural beauty of the Allegheny’s shoreline and its dazzling display of color before you step inside for a feast fit for a king. Choose from hand-carved baked ham, creamy Parmesan chicken breast, traditional rice pilaf, fresh salads and tantalizing desserts, served with soda, tea and coffee service. Book early, as reservations for this relaxing and rather popular cruise are snatched up quickly.
Whether you’re a novice hobbyist or a seasoned biker, you’ll agree that there are few things as stunning as biking through Western PA’s lush trails in autumn. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is arguably the best. With a number of end points and a total of 24 square miles, you’re sure to take in a lot of scenery while you test your endurance. On the opposite end of the spectrum lies the “Java Trail,” aptly named for the dozen-or-so coffee shops one will pass on this (mainly flat) 30-km ride through Pittsburgh. The most challenging, for you wannabe Eddy Merckxes out there, is the “Dirty Dozen,” a ride so endorphin-packed that you’ll have to put yourself into low gear when it’s over. Whatever you choose, you’ll enjoy every moment of Pittsburgh’s cool fall temps and beautiful scenery as you bike this impressive city and its lovely trails.
Fall marks the start of America’s holidays, starting with Halloween, so why not jump into a little early spooking? Pittsburgh’s rich cultural history makes for outstanding ghost lore – the Green Man, Corvette Tunnel and 13 Bends each have their own tales, not to mention the hundreds of other popular urban legends dating back to Pittsburgh’s steel industry heyday. Some of the best ghost tours in America can be found right in Pittsburgh – many are fun alternatives to the usual Pittsburgh sightseeing. You’ll experience the same landmarks, just with an eerie, spine-tingling twist. Check out Haunted Pittsburgh, Spirit Expeditions or Ghost City Tours to pick your favorite – happy haunting!
4578 Gibsonia Road
Gibsonia, PA 15044
Walk through some of Western PA’s most breathtaking vineyards, estates, farms and even homes as you sip your way to happy with the most skillfully prepared wine in the tri-state area. Pittsburgh’s wine tastings are a delicious way to welcome fall, as you pair your wine with sinfully good, seasonal fare. Pittsburgh Winery, Narcisi Winery, Stone Villa and the Laurel Highlands are just a handful of the available wineries and locales that feature wine tastings and tours in the fall. Be sure not to miss one of these grand events, and be sure to visit each often, as their offerings consistently change with the season.
Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.