Five Ways To Spend Pittsburgh’s Extra Daylight On The First Day of Summer

Listen to your favorite summer tunes and explore the city with these classic Pittsburgh summer activities.
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Pittsburgh welcomes the first day of summer at 5:49 a.m. Wednesday, June 21, and you know what that means: you have the longest day of the year, until 8:53 p.m. to be precise, to celebrate the start of a season of outdoor adventures, tasty treats and, of course, your favorite summer playlists. 

With that extra daylight, explore Pittsburgh’s hidden gems and take a trip down a musical memory lane with these five activities inspired by Billboard’s No. 1 songs of the summer. 

Carrie Furnace Sunlight


Tour the Carrie Furnaces | 2022 Song of The Summer: “As It Was” by Harry Styles
To learn about Pittsburgh “As It Was” during its 20th-century domination of the steel industry, visit the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark in Swissvale. 

Site tours allow guests to journey through this remnant of the historic U.S. Steel Homestead Steel Works, teaching visitors about the site’s history-making technology, working culture and iron-making process that put Pittsburgh on the map. With gorgeous views of the Monongahela River and a unique history, this site is perfect to kick off a summer in Pittsburgh.

Rivers of Steel, the nonprofit that runs tours at the furnace grounds, is committed to telling the stories of the men and women who shaped the city through the steel industry. Through sites like the Carrie Furnaces and other events and initiatives, the organization promotes heritage tourism and preserves relics, oral histories and local recreational and cultural resources.



Grab a cone at a local ice cream parlor | 2021 Song of the Summer: “Butter” by BTS
If you’re looking for a summer treat that’s “smooth like butter,” stop by one of  VisitPittsburgh’s favorite ice cream shops. If you’re in the Shadyside area, check out the flagship store of Millie’s Ice Cream, soak in the summer weather at one of its picnic tables, and enjoy a scoop of homemade ice cream made from local dairy, eggs and ripe seasonal produce.  

If the Strip District is your scene, grab a sundae at Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor, which was first established in 1923 and now serves as a classic Pittsburgh time capsule. If you’d rather explore Oakland, stop by Dave and Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream on Atwood Street. There’s something for everyone at this shop that features more than 200 flavors.

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Listen to live music at local venues | 2020 Song of the Summer: “Rockstar” by DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
To eat dinner and grab a drink with a local “Rockstar,” visit any one of Pittsburgh’s live music venues that are hosting performances Wednesday night, including Bottlerocket Social Hall, an Allentown indie arts venue and bar, and Rear End Gastropub & Garage, an Etna scratch kitchen restaurant housed in a 1940s automotive garage.

For an outdoor concert on Wednesday night, stop by the Solstice Soiree, hosted by Tree Pittsburgh at its location along the Allegheny River in Upper Lawrenceville. The organization, which is dedicated to restoring and protecting urban forest areas, invites guests to enjoy live music from The Honey Earners and explore its nursery to welcome in the new season.

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Take a walk or bike ride on the Great Allegheny Passage | 2019 Song of the Summer: “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
To journey through an “Old Town (rail)Road,” jump on the Great Allegheny Passage for a walk or bike ride during the extra daylight hours. The trail, which spans more than 150 miles between Point State Park, Downtown, and Cumberland, Maryland, is primarily made up of two former railroad corridors. The starting point is right at the fountain, and you can journey as long as you’d like to take in the beauty of Western Pennsylvania’s scenery.

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Pack a picnic for Frick Park | 2018 Song of the Summer: “In My Feelings” by Drake
If you are “in your feelings” for a special someone, take them to Frick Park to enjoy a picnic dinner date. With almost 650 acres of trails, woods and open grassy areas, Frick Park is Pittsburgh’s largest historical park and perfect for escaping from the city and celebrating the first day of summer.

Categories: The 412