Top Cool Ways To Tour Pittsburgh

May 21, 2011 4:00 PM

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As a Pittsburgher, you can’t help but watch the reaction to someone who visits our city for the first time. With the image of smoky skies and burning blast furnaces cemented into their heads, the view of the skyline coming out of the Fort Pitt Tunnel instantly changes their perspective. Whether you’re entertaining visiting friends or family, or want a different view of our hometown, here are some unique ways to see Pittsburgh!

Just Ducky Tours

125 West Station Square Drive
Pittsburgh, Pa.
(412) 402-3825

Even if you’ve seen the Just Ducky fleet of “duck boats” putter around downtown, you have to ride one to get the full experience. These unique vehicles start with a street tour of the city, before venturing onto the water. These are the ideal choice to any first-time visitors!

segway 2348172 Top Cool Ways To Tour Pittsburgh

(Photo Credit: Angela Jimenez/Getty Images)

Segway In Paradise Tours

100 West Station Square Drive
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219
1(866) 498-1698

Have you ever been on a Segway? Even if you know the ‘burgh like the back of your hand, give one of these tours a try. You can take a quick 45 minute tour, or go for the full two-hour treatment. Either way, you’ll get a quick training session, followed by the glide around town.

gateway clipper, riverboat,

Gateway Clipper

350 West Station Square Drive
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219
(412) 355-7980

The Gateway Clipper is a staple for any Pittsburgher. Generations of local students grew up with a field trip on the old Good Ship Lollipop. Other boats in the fleet have hosted countless weddings and proms. Now, the Gateway Clipper offers straight-up tours, special trips to local locks and dams, and even culinary excursions.

Monongahela Incline

West Carson Street at the Smithfield Street Bridge
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15211
(412) 442-2000
Monongahela Incline Website

Duquesne Incline

1197 West Carson St
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219
(412) 381-1665

At one point, nearly 20 inclines dotted the hillsides of Pittsburgh. Now, only two remain, but they both serve as commuter lines and popular sightseeing destinations. The Port Authority maintains the Monongahela Incline near Station Square, while the Duquesne Incline near the city’s West End is now under the control of a non-profit preservation group. Either line will run you to the top of Mount Washington, where you’ll enjoy one of the most famous views of the Golden Triangle. The Duquesne Incline also boasts an impressive museum and gift shop at the upper station, where you’ll likely see a group on tour. At $2 a trip, either incline is a good deal.

jogging1 Top Cool Ways To Tour Pittsburgh

(Photo Credit: AP)

Walking Tours

Our friends and news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have complied a walking tour of Pittsburgh, complete with maps and other suggestions to get the most out of your own leisurely tour of town.   VisitPittsburgh, the local convention and visitors’ bureau, recorded a series of podcasts you can load onto any .MP3 player (or most cell phones). You can follow along with several different guides highlighting local landmarks and destinations.    Discovering Pittsburgh takes a high-tech twist with an iPhone/iPod touch app that uses GPS technology to get you around town and to the most popular spots. There is a free, “lite” edition. Give this a try, and decide if the $4.99 version is worth a download.

bike gettyimage Top Cool Ways To Tour Pittsburgh

(Photo Credit: FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

By Bike

One of the advantages to Pittsburgh’s unique topography is the amazing access to our waterfronts. Over the past 20 years, an extensive bike trail network has formed around the city, giving you a car-free option for traveling — including links to Washington, D.C. as part of the Great Allegheny Passage! Local bike advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh runs year-round events for the casual cyclist or experienced pedalers. Of course, if you don’t own a bike, you can rent one from the Golden Triangle Bike Rental shop (seasonal).

Foods Tour

“Are you looking for something fun and unique to do while exploring Pittsburgh? A ‘Burgh Bits & Bites Food Tour may be just the ticket. Discover the Strip District featuring a melting pot of ethnic eateries interlaced with specialty shops, local produce, and sidewalk vendors on a day tour or TGIF late afternoon tour with wine tasting. Head up the street a few miles to experience Bloomfield, Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, where you will taste delicious specialties from local shops and eateries. Move on to Mount Washington and get a historic narrative of the area along with sampling of cuisine from some of Pittsburgh’s most prominent restaurants. No visit to Pittsburgh would be complete without indulging yourself with a ‘Burgh Bits & Bites food tour!”

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