Visitors Guide

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.

Where 8 Meets 28

The completed construction on Route 28 makes access to these northern neighborhoods a breeze — which is great because these boroughs increasingly are becoming destinations. The river communities that have been home to many families with histories in steel- and glass-making have a wealth of quaint, independent retail stores, restaurants and businesses, as well as much-loved libraries, festivals and community days enjoyed by locals since well before their neighborhoods were starting to buzz.

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. He and his tribesmen helped defeat George Washington in the Battle of Fort Necessity, sparking the French and Indian War. Formerly farmland, most of this area was transformed by industry into working-class neighborhoods, a legacy which persists today.

Allegheny River Communities

Each borough and municipality in this northeastern corner of Allegheny County contains surprises. To those who live along the river’s edge, they’re familiar, hometown destinations and sights; to visitors, they’re spots worth making the drive out along (the finally construction-free) Route 28. Make a day trip to explore a chunk of the region off the beaten path — you might get so attached that you start thinking about a permanent move up the river.

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.

College Town

When people talk about the revitalization of Pittsburgh, it usually involves the tagline meds and eds — and meds and eds it is in College Town. You’ll find the sprawling buildings of Carnegie Mellon University, Carlow University and the University of Pittsburgh as well as several UPMC medical complexes. Here, you can climb to the top of the second-tallest educational building in the world. Whether you’re working on your degree or visiting someone who is, you’ll never be bored, thanks to a wealth of cultural opportunities.

Green Pittsburgh

Green Pittsburgh is a tour of Pittsburgh’s history, from the old mill communities of Glen Hazel and Hazelwood, up through the immigrant destinations of Greenfield and Squirrel Hill and finally to the mansions of the industrialists in Shadyside. It’s also a story of the birth and rebirth of our city: students and young professionals flock to Squirrel Hill and Shadyside, adding vibrancy that radiates from top universities. Meanwhile, redevelopment in Hazelwood and Glen Hazel aims to reclaim lost potential and offers new chances for affordable housing and a blossoming community.

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 Hidden East End

Pittsburgh’s eastern neighborhoods always have shown a broad socioeconomic spectrum, from extravagant wealth to dire poverty. 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 Ohio River Valley

Once forbidden territory for settlers and reserved for the various Native American tribes who hunted and camped in the area, 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.

The Eastern Border

Most of these communities, which lie to the east of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels, are residential suburbs with small business districts — but don’t take that as a reason not to visit. There’s tons of beauty in these hills, which are packed with historic homes, parks, schools and churches, as well as evidence of Pittsburgh’s steel-making and industrial past, with warehouses, former blast furnaces and brownfields lining the Monongahela River and small waterways such as Turtle Creek.

The Sprawling Suburbs

Head east for a robust mix of shopping, dining, keeping active and relaxing options — all tucked in these communities found along some of the region’s main throughways.

The Mon and Beyond

Neighborhoods such as Braddock and McKeesport fully embody the progressive spirit that has made the ’Burgh what it is today and what it will be in the future.

Scaling the Mountain

Beginning at the south shore of the Monongahela River and climbing the undulating geography surrounding Mount Washington, this area boasts iconic views of the city skyline and many neighborhoods.

The Reborn 'Burbs

A few miles southeast of downtown, on a bend of the Monongahela River, this area is in the midst of a pivot, moving away from its industrial history and toward a mash-up of parks, homes and revitalized main streets.

Far Down the River

These townships and boroughs may not seem like much on the map, but we assure you that each is full of tucked-away treasures. They’ve got everything you need for a day or a weekend outside of the city.

The Southern Suburbs

There’s good reason to envy those who commute downtown from the South Hills. They get to take in the beauty of Pittsburgh’s skyline every time they emerge from the Fort Pitt and Liberty tunnels. Add to that all of the myriad pleasures of these thriving suburbs, and you have plenty to rave about.

The Midwest

Don’t let the lack of shiny veneer on these hardworking communities fool you. Some of Pittsburgh’s most exciting hidden gems lie west of the Ohio River.

Down the Highways

There’s more to do between downtown and Washington County than a drive south on Interstate 79 would suggest. From day trips to afternoon jaunts, this region has plenty to explore off the beaten path (sorry — the beaten highway).

The Far-Flung 'Burbs

At (and beyond) the southwestern border of Allegheny County, rolling hills cradle a group of easygoing communities. Search for the small surprises and picturesque streets that are drawing more and more residents to these suburbs.