Helpful tips and some fun things to do in Pittsburgh while at PEARC18
Make the most of your stay in Pittsburgh while you’re at PEARC18. VisitPittsburgh (visitpittsburgh.com) has a comprehensive list/description of things happening/available in Pittsburgh, not just downtown. There you’ll find an interactive map (type “maps” in the search bar) that shows you attractions, dining, nightlife, shopping and how to get there. There will also be maps and coupon books at the PEARC18 registration desk when you arrive.
We’ve scoped out some things we think may be of interest to you, along with links for details.
From the airport to the hotel:
Public transportation to the airport (a few blocks from the hotel):
Hotel Shuttle around Downtown
The Wyndham has a free shuttle that takes you to several locations in the downtown area. There’s no link to the document from the hotel, but we have made it available for viewing and downloading at pearc18.pearc.org/hotel
All Things Pickled
Well, if you’re in town on Friday, July 20, don’t miss the Picklesburgh Festival (runs through July 22 from 12pm-10pm each day). This event takes place on the Roberto Clemente Bridge, a short walk from the hotel. “The festival is a culinary celebration that includes international dishes, prepared foods and artisan cocktails that feature pickled ingredients; an embrace of the farm-to-table movement and the rising popularity of canning; a selection of handcrafted foods from local restaurants.” How about “Eau de Pickle” whiskey? For more on this event and other happenings in Pittsburgh, check out downtownpittsburgh.com/events.
Looking for Cultural Activities?
Pittsburgh has some of the best museum in the country. There’s the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Carnegie Science Center. For a description of the museums and their locations visit www.carnegiemuseums.org
And this probably doesn’t fall under culture but the Phipps Conservatory in the heart of the Oakland area of Pittsburgh shouldn’t be missed, especially this time of year. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has provided a world-class garden experience to its visitors since 1893. Explore the beauty and wonders of nature at Phipps, encompassing 15 acres, including a 14-room glasshouse and 23 distinct gardens. Experience industry-leading sustainable architecture and green practices, stunning seasonal flower shows, exclusive commissioned exhibits, renowned orchid and bonsai collections and more. This historic landmark is just a few miles from downtown Pittsburgh in Schenley Park. www.phipps.conservatory.org
Bike the Burgh
New to the city and would like to see the most interesting spots in Pittsburgh. You can do a “Best of” tour that will cruise through the streets of the Financial and Cultural district, explore the Strip District and check out the North Shore. When? Daily at 10am. $39/adults and $30/children 8-13). If you’re not interested in a guided tour, there are several “healthy ride bike sharing stations” in the downtown area. Believe it or not there is one very near the hotel on Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street. A short block down the street from the hotel. There is an interactive map at healthyridepgh.com/stations.
Pedal-Powered Party Boat
Want to enjoy a little time on the river and also get in a little exercise? How about trying out the city’s first Pedal-Powered Party Boat? The boat holds up to 14 people, and you do the pedaling (although there is a backup motor). It’s a BYOB but you don’t have to drink if you don’t want to. The boat travels to the bridges, around the Point, to Station Square and then to the convention center. The boat operates Tuesday through Sunday. For information, go to pittsburghpedalboats.com or call 412.606.8111.
Floating Tiki Bar
Cruise down Pittsburgh’s three rivers on a floating tiki bar boat. You and five friends (or strangers) can be piloted around the three rivers while sitting on bamboo stools at a thatched-roof, bamboo bar. You bring your own snacks and drinks. The “bar” cruises at 4 to 6 mph and will tour parts of all three rivers around the Point for about two hours for $400 (divide that by 6 for your part). For more information or reservations go to cruisintikispittsburgh.com or call 833.744.8454.
The Rivers Casino (777 Casino Drive Pgh 15212) is located along Pittsburgh’s North Shore, only a short distance (across the river) from the Wyndham hotel. (GPS address is: 1000 Reedsdale Street, Pgh Pa 15233). You can get there easily by taking the free “Gateway T Station,” a very short walk from the hotel. For a faster way you can, of course, take Uber or Lyft.
Also, check out their free summer concert series:
Best Restaurants in Downtown Pittsburgh
What are the best restaurants in the downtown area of Pittsburgh? Well, it depends on who you talk to. Talking to the locals is probably best. There will be people at the conference wearing “I heart Pittsburgh” who can probably recommend their favorite. And if it’s recommended by more than one person, it’s probably a safe bet that you’ll like it. But here are some links to check out so you can judge, sort of, for yourself. Note: the last link (eater.com) covers more than downtown, but if it looks good to you, you’ll figure out a way to get there.