Last Updated on May 5, 2022
Pittsburgh is full of lots of things to do, from museums to sporting events to eating at interesting restaurants. So after doing all of the top things to do in Pittsburgh, it would be nice to find unique and “off the map” activities in Pittsburgh, right? Well, look no further, we have collected a solid list of unique things to do and attractions in Pittsburgh this weekend!
Pittsburgh is one of those cities that has many exciting, unique things to explore, but you have to know where to go. So we, as semi-locals are revealing our favorite, unique things to do in Pittsburgh! If you’re looking for more unique things to do in Pittsburgh, look no further!
25 Unique Things to Do and See in Pittsburgh
Unique Attractions, Things to do, Activities, and Places to Eat and Drink in Pittsburgh
Want to experience Pittsburgh’s most colorful landmark? Randy Gilson, the creator of Randyland, took his savings and started cleaning up the neighborhood on the Northside. In 1995, Randy bought an abandoned building in the neighborhood and used the space to express himself through art. With recycled objects, colors, and flowers, Randyland was born. For visitors, Randyland is a place to share love and happiness. This is one of our favorite unique places to visit in Pittsburgh!
Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden
The Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden offers visitors a quiet sanctuary in the middle of Pittsburgh. The plants in this garden take you on a walk through the Old Testament. Full of plants referenced in the Bible, this biblical botanical garden is the only of its kind in North America. This small garden is a lovely place to take a stroll and unwind.
Forbes Field Historic Site
The Forbes Field Historic Site is located on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus. Forbes Field was the first all steel and concrete ballpark in the United States. Constructed in 1909, Forbes Field was where the Pirates won four world series and hosted two all-star games. At Forbes Field, Babe Ruth hit his last three home runs and Bill Mazeroski hit his winning home run during the World Series. Today, you can see the outfield walls of Forbes Field.
Canton Ave: The Steepest Street in the US
This cobblestoned street with only a few houses the steepest hill in the United States. Canton Avenue in Beechwood is fun to visit if you’re looking for something different to do in Pittsburgh. Every year, there is a bike race where the course requires them to bike up the hill!
Roslyn Place: Pittsburgh’s Wooden Street
Ever see a street made of wood bricks? Well you can see one right in the middle of Pittsburgh! small wooden-paved cul-de-sac located in Shadyside. The street was built in 1914 and remains one of the last wooden streets in the United States!
Neville Island: Pittsburgh’s Island
Did you know? Pittsburgh has an island on the Ohio River! Neville Island is mostly home to the industrial parks that provide energy to Pittsburgh; however, there is a community that resides on the island. At the island, you can visit the Robert Morris Sports Complex where you can ice skate and mini golf among other indoor sports. You can also bowl at Paradise Island Bowling! Neville Island is a great place to visit for an afternoon away from Pittsburgh.
The Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning
The Cathedral of Learning is Oakland’s prominent landmark. Inside you’ll feel like you’re in Hogwarts because of the gothic architecture. The Nationality Rooms are classrooms that have been decorated in accordance with the culture and heritage of different countries around the world. Can you imagine having classes in some of these rooms?!
Bicycle Heaven is literally a bicycle heaven. This museum of bikes from different eras and memorabilia. Here, you can see rare and collectible bikes and some early bike designs including a wooden bike! This museum has so many things to look at, it’s very easy to get lost in looking to everything!
Photo Antiquities Museum
Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History was founded to preserve and present the history of photography! At this museum, you can see how photography has evolved with the progression of the camera and photography as an art.
Roberto Clemente Museum
The Roberto Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh is a museum dedicate to the “Great One” Roberto himself. This museum honors and remembers the legacy of the former Pittsburgh Pirate. Tours are available by appointment only or during their open house days. Keep an eye on the museum’s Facebook page for more information!
The Toonseum is quite a unique place to visit in Pittsburgh. This unique museum is dedicated to exhibiting the history and cultural impact of the comic and cartoon arts! The Toonseum, or Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art, is one of only three museums in the United States dedicated to comics and cartoons!
Church Brew Works
A church and brewery meet at the Church Brew Works. This local brewery is located inside the historic St. John the Baptist Church on Liberty Avenue in Lawrenceville. This church was established in 1902 because of the growing immigrant communities in Lawrenceville during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The copper time capsule that was embedded in the church is still intact today. St. John’s doors closed as a church in the 1990s, however, they were reopened years later as a brewery. Prior to opening the church was restored, merging the church and pub atmosphere. If you’re looking for a unique place to drink in Pittsburgh consider the Church Brew Works!
Get Artsy at one of Pittsburgh’s Many Painting and Crafting Places
Pittsburgh has a few unique arts and crafts locations throughout the city. Paint Monkey and Painting with a Twist are a few places that offer BYOB painting classes in Pittsburgh. The Pottery Place and Kiln-N-Time offer ceramics classes and open studios for getting creative! For something super unique and artsy in Pittsburgh, visit one of the open studios or events offered by the Pittsburgh Glass Center! Throughout the year, they offer opportunities for the public to learn about glassworks!
Laugh it Out at the Arcade Comedy Theater
Located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, the Arcade Comedy Theater is a great place to spend an evening with laughs and drinks! This BYOB comedy club hosts improv, standup, and comedy classes!
Go Kayaking on the Three Rivers
Thanks to Venture Outdoors, during the summer you can go kayaking on the three rivers! If you’re looking for something active and unique to do in Pittsburgh this summer, consider renting a kayak and hitting the water!
Visit Washington’s Landing
Washinton’s Landing, or Herr Island, is one of the islands in Pittsburgh along the Allegheny River. On the east end of the island, you’ll find a scenic overlook of the river and the 40th Street Bridge (named Washinton’s landing). Why is this area called Washington’s Landing? Well, when George Washington was in Pittsburgh in the mid-1700s during the French and Indian War, his small riverboat capsized while crossing the Allegheny River! This area is believed to be where this event occurred.
Herr Island wasn’t always full of beautiful condos and boat docks, for years this patch of land on the Allegheny River was used during the peak of Pittsburgh’s industrial history. Thanks to the Western PA Conservancy, this area has been revitalized as part of Troy Hill.
Find Snoopy’s Doghouse
Built by a Pittsburgh Public Works carpenter, the doghouse keeps electrical conduits and wires out at bay in a precious tribute to the classic cartoon character. At the corner of Boulevard of the Allies and Stanwix Street in Downtown Pittsburgh, you can find Snoopy taking a nap on his doghouse.
The Allegheny Observatory is part of the University of Pittsburgh’s astronomy research department and it was actually one of the first in the world! The observatory houses three telescopes that are used to measure distances between stars. You can tour the Observatory and participate in open house events where you can learn about our night’s sky and the world the Observatory conducts.
While the Southside is full of bars, college students, and restaurants, the Southside has a few historically significant landmarks. The Duquesne Brewery Clock located on the old Dusquence Brewery Building was once the largest single-face clock in the world when it was unveiled in 1933. The face of the clock was used for advertising and is twice the size of the clock on Big Ben is London!
Experience Gravity Hill
“Gravity Hills” is a place where the surrounding land creates an optical illusion, making a slight downhill slope appear to be an uphill slope. You can find one of these gravity hills in North Park! If you drive up to McKinney Road towards Kummer Road in North Park you’ll come to a stop sign. If you stop just be before the stop sign, it will appear that your car is sloped downwards, towards Kummer Road, put your car in neutral, and you’ll slowly start to move “up the hill.” Before doing this make sure no one is behind you!! It’s also very easy to drive past and not realize it, we had to circle back a few times!
The Center for PostNatural History
The Center for PostNatural History in Bloomfield is one of the most unique museums in Pittsburgh. This museum is dedicated to interpreting, studying, and recording the complex relationship between humans and nature. PostNatural refers to organisms that have been engineered by humans through breeding or genetic engineering. The museum is open on Sundays from noon to four and is free of charge.
Old Allegheny County Jail Museum
Driving through downtown Pittsburgh, you’ll notice diverse architecture. One of the most unique buildings downtown aside from the castlelike PPG building is another castlelike building: the Old Allegheny County Jail. This Romanesque Revival building features an archway over 5th Avenue and served as the jail until the new building was constructed. Today, you can tour the historic halls of the jail on Mondays from 11:30am-1pm free of charge.
See Thousands of Relics at Saint Anthony Chapel
Did you know a small church in Pittsburgh has the largest public display of relics aside from the Vatican? Well, they’re all housed in Saint Anthony Chapel in Troy Hill! From XXX to XX Father Mollinger, a priest from Belgium became the unlikely savior of thousands of religious relics and artifacts during Catholic conflict in Europe. Today you can see these relics on display in Saint Anthony Chapel.
The best way to experience Saint Anthony’s Chapel is to go on one of their guided tours! We highly recommend the tour as it was very engaging. Our guide was able to point out some of the most notable relics in the collection such as relics of the Blessed Mother, Jesus, and the Apostles.
Visit the Cherry Blossoms in the Spring
Did you know that during the spring you can visit Cherry Blossoms (like the ones in Washinton DC) in Pittsburgh? Along the North Shore Three River’s Heritage Trail you can see cherry blossom trees by the Andy Warhol Bridge!
You can also visit Cherry Blossom trees in North Park thanks to the Pittsburgh Sakura Project. The goal of the project is to beautify Pittsburgh with 250 ornamental cherry trees over a 10-year period. During their peak bloom, you can visit the blossoms by Pavillion #91 in North Park.
Games n’at: A fun spot you’ll only find in Pittsburgh
Games n’at is the best arcade you could find in Pittsburgh. At Games n’at, you can play the classics like Pac Man and old-school pinball machines. This place is BYOB and you can get snacks! You pay upfront for the time that you’re planning on staying and you can pair it with food and tokens for additional games. This old-school arcade makes for a great date night or night out with friends. Upstairs you can play duck bowling for an extra charge. Game’s n’at is definitely one of our favorite unique things to do in Pittsburgh.
Who’s Ready to Visit and Explore the Unique and Quirky Things to Do in Pittsburgh?
What do you think of these unique things to do in Pittsburgh? Share your favorite, off the map Pittsburgh activities with us!