Down the Highways

While driving southbound on Interstate 79, don’t be scared to take an exit and explore. These townships and boroughs range from scenic farmland to busy main streets. Regardless of the surroundings, the areas in this region all offer plenty to experience.




photos by kristi jan hoover

 

What’s Here?

Bridgeville
​Highlighted by a quaint downtown filled with shops and restaurants, this borough of 5,300 residents has a history of coal mining and construction.

Scott Township
Scott Township has a claim to fame in the pinball world: The Professional and Amateur Pinball Association (papa.org) is headquartered within the township borders.

Heidelberg
Named after the town of Heidelberg, Germany, this small borough of 1,250 is home to the amateur Heidelberg Soccer Club (heidelbergsoccer.com), which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016.

Carnegie
Birthplace of pro-sports greats Honus Wagner and Mike Ditka, Carnegie maintains a commitment to athletics of all kind in Carnegie Park (Chestnut Street and Cooks Lane). Residents of all ages — and species — are able to enjoy the dog park, walking trails, skate park and various athletic fields.

Green Tree
Green Tree is committed to helping its community achieve a healthy lifestyle. It is one of many in the area to host a Farmers Market — the one here takes place on Thursdays from mid-May through October. Residents also are encouraged to attend the Green Tree Municipal Center Gym (10 W. Manilla Ave., greentreeboro.com), where recreation programs include pickleball, line dancing and dek hockey.

​Rosslyn Farms
A tiny borough five miles west of Pittsburgh, Rosslyn Farms’ Community Center (400 Kings Highway, rosslynfarms.net) is the heart of the town. Originally a classroom schoolhouse, the building now is home to a gymnasium, resale shop and community library.

South Fayette Township
Home to Pittsburgh’s oldest farmers market, South Fayette also is the site of the planned Newbury Market commercial complex, which will feature 1 million square feet of retail, restaurant, office and residential space.

Collier Township
Collier Township, which was established more than 140 years ago, was awarded the 2015 Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence due to the installation of the photovoltaic-generation system on the roof of the Public Works Building, which provides energy for Township facilities.

Peters Township
Incorporated in 1781, Peters Township uses an Arrowhead logo that was designed by local artist Robert Chamberlain. The website SafeWise.com recently named Peters Township the 16th-safest community in Pennsylvania.

Cecil Township
Home to Southpointe, a 589-acre business park, Cecil Township has had a diverse economic history that includes periods of farming, mining and gas drilling.

North Strabane Township
This southwestern township encompasses more than 27 miles of land that is filled with agriculture and plenty of green space as well as the Meadows Racetrack and Casino (210 Racetrack Road, meadowsgaming.com).

South Strabane Township
With multiple commercial centers along busy Route 19 as well as the Tanger Outlets, South Strabane is becoming one of the region’s top shopping destinations. 

​Canonsburg
​Local legend says the Whiskey Rebellion was birthed in Canonsburg at the now-demolished Black Horse Tavern. Today, this borough is home to Sarris Candies (511 Adams Ave., sarriscandies.com) and an annual Oktoberfest celebration.
 

Eat

In the midst of Carnegie’s bustling Main Street exists a bacon-lover’s dream. Bakn offers an array of breakfast foods, sandwiches and flatbreads — all of which include or can be served with a healthy side of bacon.  335 E. Main St., eatbakn.com.

Tucked away in the Parkway Center business park in Green Tree is The Alcove. With a friendly staff, fresh ingredients and filling sandwiches, this lunch spot has become a favorite of local workers.  875 Greentree Road, facebook.com/thealcove.pwc.

The SpringHouse Country Market and Restaurant in North Strabane Township provides a home-cooked meal without the cooking. This family-operated spot also offers a daily buffet menu made from farm-fresh ingredients.  1531 Route 136, springhousemarket.com.
 

Drink

If you like some ambience to go along with your caffeine, the Carnegie Coffee Company will hit the spot. Decorated with big lounge chairs, bookcases and an old phone booth, Carnegie Coffee Company is an ideal spot to relax or work.  132 E. Main St., facebook.com/carnegiecoffeecompany.
 

Gather with friends at Riley’s Pour House, a traditional Irish pub in Carnegie. In addition to Irish drinks and grub, Riley’s hosts piano nights, open-mic nights, live music and other events nearly every night of the week. 13215 E. Main St., rileyspourhouse.com.

At the end of many a long day, you want nothing more than a cold beer and a filling burger. Stop by Bubba’s Gourmet Burghers and Beer in South Fayette for bottles of craft beer and a big meal.  3109 Washington Pike, bubbaspgh.com.
 

Shop

Is your home missing vintage flair? The Forget Me Not Shoppe has you covered. This Scott Township store features multiple rooms full of antique and estate furniture and other home décor.  1946 Painters Run Road, theforgetmenotshoppe.com.

Pittsburgh Comics in Peters Township offers comic lovers a selection of more than 14,000 from which to choose. The friendly staff and clever Comic Perks rewards card makes this store a must-visit for superhero fans.  113 E. McMurray Road, pittsburghcomics.com.

Tucked away in the Southpointe Town Center in Cecil Township, The Colorful Rooster is an upscale gift boutique where customers can make gift baskets that include jewelry, body products, frames and collectibles.  1900 Main St., facebook.com/thecolorfulrooster.

Do

A day in South Fayette plans itself when you stop at The Tandem Connection. Eat a pulled-pork sandwich at the Bike Shop Grille, located at the same address, before renting a bike — tandem or otherwise — for a ride along the Montour Trail. 5 Georgetown Road, tandemconnection.com.
 

Feeling crafty? Bead Yourself in Bridgeville provides a selection of crystals, pearls and stones with which customers can create personal jewelry.  408 Station St., beadyourself.biz.

Canonsburg’s West Pike Bowl is a great spot for events of all occasions. The 20-lane alley also includes a restaurant, bar and game room as well as a back room for meetings and parties.  605 W. Pike St., westpikebowl.com.
 

Food Critic’s Pick

Count me among the Pittsburgh food lovers who occasionally take a mini road trip to visit the Golden Pig in Cecil Township. The restaurant serves a terrific array of Korean dishes, including Korean kimchi pancakes, spicy noodle salad, kimchi soup, bulgogi and a fiery chicken dish called buldak. Call ahead to make sure the restaurant, which has limited seating, is open. (3201 Millers Run Road, facebook.com/YongsGoldenPig) — Hal B. Klein
 

Signature Event

There may not be another event around during which you can taste wine from local wineries, paint, take part in an amateur wine-making competition and eat homemade fudge all while listening to jazz concerts or the Washington Symphony Orchestra. You’ll find all this and more at the Wine, Jazz & Pops Festival at the North Strabane Municipal Park. An added bonus: If you attend, you’ll be helping a good cause. Proceeds benefit the Mental Health Association of Washington County.
(winejazzpops.org) — Lauren Davidson
 

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The Near East

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College Town

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The Mellons, Fricks, Carnegies and Westinghouses built their mansions in this most-stylish part of town. But their departure for greener and more secluded pastures — and the mass relocation of families here after the razing of the Lower Hill — left much of this area economically depressed for decades. Now the long-awaited renaissance of East Liberty is beginning to bring major reinvestment here, too.

The Eastern Border

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The Sprawling Suburbs

Roadways, which prompted the construction of shopping malls, always have played a key role in this region’s growth. Research labs for U.S. Steel, Westinghouse and others attracted engineers from around the world, particularly India, and the new immigrants often built temples — one of which is a familiar sight perched on a hillside overlooking I-376

The Mon and Beyond

Past meets the present in the communities making up Pittsburgh’s eastern and Mon Valley regions. Here you’ll encounter reminders of where we started as leaders in the steel industry and — while plenty of these small towns still face challenges — you’ll find glimpses of where we’re going in neighborhoods moving towards revitalization.

Scaling the Mountain

There’s a lot happening in the area between the South Side and the Hilltop, and every time you visit, it seems a new business has cropped up. The communities around Mount Washington enjoy beautiful views of the city as well as parks, strong neighborhood associations and ethnic restaurants.

The Reborn 'Burbs

This is where the city’s southern suburbs begin, at the edge of the city limits and drifting into the areas closest to Pittsburgh proper. Along the south bank of the Monongahela River — in an area with heavy industrial roots — you’ll find neighborhoods in the midst of revitalization, with plenty of business and more quaint places to live.

Far Down the River

Pittsburgh loves its blue-collar industrial history, and at the heart of that are the communities that make up the Mon Valley. Where the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers meet is the beginning of a network of proud, tight-knit communities with lots of trails and woods to explore, plenty of fishing spots and — important for any community — a wealth of beloved soft-serve ice cream stands.

The Southern Suburbs

With their abundance of green spaces, thriving business districts and walkable sidewalk communities, Pittsburgh’s southern suburbs offer plenty of incentive for families looking for a peaceful place to call home. Though mere minutes from Downtown, these neighborhoods make residents feel as though they are worlds away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The Midwest

The neighborhoods west of Downtown were among the region’s first. Most were part of Chartiers Township, which (like the creek) was named for Pierre Chartier, a local trader of French and Shawnee parentage who later became a chief. Formerly farmland, most of this area was transformed by industry into working-class neighborhoods, a legacy which persists today.

Down the Highways

While driving southbound on Interstate 79, don’t be scared to take an exit and explore. These townships and boroughs range from scenic farmland to busy main streets. Regardless of the surroundings, the areas in this region all offer plenty to experience.

The Far-Flung 'Burbs

These primarily residential communities have spent the past years growing — and becoming more and more popular. With Pittsburgh International Airport nearby and increasing economic development, it’s easy to see why so many call this end of the region home.

The Ohio River Valley

The lands north of the Ohio River became part of the Depreciation Lands used to pay Revolutionary War veterans for their service. The numerous small boroughs and townships along Ohio River Boulevard are collected into slightly larger (but still compact) school districts, befitting their continued status as popular hometowns to raise families generation after generation.
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