Where to See The 7 Wonders of Pittsburgh

Whether you're seeing them for the first time or the hundredth, these marvels of the City are always worth a visit.
Pittsburgh Aerial On A Beautiful Spring Day


When explaining Pittsburgh to a visitor, there is a lot of ground to cover. The city offers many things to many people. What do you prioritize in your plans? Where do you begin? Our advice: Start with the city’s wonders — long-standing, striking landmarks — that will engage you into a better understanding of our past and present.

Here is our lineup of the 7 Wonders of Pittsburgh. Each location is within 15 miles of the city center, has a wide appeal and has been around for decades. Many are cultural attractions that have, by this point, become community pillars. And each can be enjoyed at multiple times of year (all but one are year-round operations, in fact), so you can enjoy them whenever you visit the
Steel City — or simply decide it’s time to get out of the house.

1. Monongahela & Duquesne Inclines

Vg23 Incline

Slow and steady wins the race. Our inclines are not fast-moving, operating at an average rate of 6 mph, but they’re consistent. And one holds the title of the nation’s oldest operating funicular railway (a bragging right to break out at your next get-together).

Debuting in 1870, the Monongahela is the longest-running incline in the United States; it was renovated in 2022 to modernize controls and electrical components. The Duquesne joined it seven years later and has run alongside it consistently (minus a brief period in the 1960s, when it was being repaired). The inclines effectively book-end Grandview Avenue and operate often (Monongahela runs approximately every 15 minutes, whereas Duquesne is based on demand); with low fares, they’re inexpensive and safe transportation options for a night out or a daytime jaunt.

“On foggy mornings, you can also witness an interesting sight as the buildings emerge from the cloud cover,” says a spokesperson with Pittsburgh Regional Transit, which owns both (although the Society for the Preservation of the Duquesne Heights Incline operates the Duquesne).

Whether you ride the Mon or the Duquesne, the view from the car is unbeatable; it’s surely why the inclines are buzzed-about attractions among locals and out-of-towners alike. And the sights from the summit of Mount Washington are unmatched. There are multiple overlooks to check out the city, take photos and maybe even catch a life event in action: Given the breathtaking setting, wedding parties, soon-to-be-engaged couples and other celebratory groups make their way to the overlooks for photo ops.

Sweetening the deal is Emerald View Park, which runs through Mount Washington — but more importantly, its paved walkway lines Grandview’s outer edge, so you can get in your steps and sights at the same time. Follow the trail to either incline station and the neighboring business districts; the bustling Shiloh Street is near the Mon’s upper station, while Grandview eateries, such as the upscale Altius, surround the Duquesne’s upper stop.

South Shore: East Carson Street
rideprt.org; duquesneincline.org


track length (feet)

elevation gain (feet)

grade (degrees)

track length (feet)

elevation gain (feet)

grade (degrees)

Know Before You Go:
To pay, you’ll need exact cash (you can withdraw some at the onsite ATM) or a Pittsburgh Regional Transit fare card.

2. Kennywood

Alt Angle Cemetary


Anticipation builds as you’re sitting next to your friend with the lap bar closed. The bell sounds, and your car begins rolling down the flat track and then whips around the corner as you travel in line with 15 other cars. You can’t help but smile, and your pal’s face lights up too each time you quickly zip around the bend. After experiencing a little more than 2 minutes of unabashed joy, your car stops. Time to get off The Whip.

Kennywood’s oldest flat ride was restored for the 2023 season, just in time for the park to celebrate its 125th year in business. The amusement park’s story remains one of “blending classic and innovation,” says Tasha Pokrzywa, communications manager. Within the park, there are wooden coasters, such as the fan-favorite Jack Rabbit, alongside the thrill-seeker’s coasters such as the Steel Curtain and Phantom’s Revenge.

“In the most general sense, our goal is to create a fun but quirky atmosphere,” says Pokrzywa.

About the quirk: The alien-themed Spinvasion ride was added for the 2023 season (a year that also began with heightened security, such as physical upgrades and more lighting). Another masterpiece returned for its 50th season: the Potato Patch and their delectable fries.

Patron feedback is seriously considered as the park is updated, as evidenced by the return of the Kangaroo ride a few years ago. Pokrzywa says the team was met with a wave of dissenting feedback regarding the ride’s retirement, ultimately resulting in a full restoration of the classic attraction.

For decades, locals have turned to the park for entertainment — from school and work picnic days to food festivals and special events added in more recent years. Kennywood’s season extends well into the fall and winter annually, with Phantom Fall Fest and Holiday Lights themed festivities taking place in cooler months (and granting access to select attractions, too).

Kennywood’s Old Mill — its longest-running ride — has, over the decades, gone through multiple theme and structural revisions and embodies what Pokrzywa called one of Kennywood’s strengths: “[It’s] a park that can provide fun experiences with things that have been around for a long time.”

West Mifflin: 4800 Kennywood Blvd.


number of roller coasters

years of operation

tallest inversion (feet) on the Steel Curtain coaster (a World Record)

Know Before You Go:
The Racer, Jack Rabbit and Thunderbolt are American Coaster Enthusiasts Roller Coaster Landmark rides. (The group reserves this recognition for “rides of historic significance.”)

3. Cathedral of Learning

Vtg23 Cathedral

Inspirational” is an apt word to describe the world’s second-tallest educational building, better known as the Cathedral of Learning. The 42-story structure — whose construction in Oakland was completed in 1936 — may be on the University of Pittsburgh campus, but it’s a treasure for all to enjoy. Lovingly nicknamed “Cathy” by Pitt students, the cathedral is open to the public for lunch breaks, study periods or enlightening excursions; certain floors and aspects, like the gift shop, are fair game, whereas others, like the Nationality Rooms, require advance planning.

“Its presence is a testament to the university’s longstanding history in the region and is one of our earliest examples of how Pitt welcomes community collaboration,” says university spokesperson Nick France.

The Nationality Rooms pay respect to the ethnic groups of Pittsburgh and were built in stages: On the first floor, you’ll find the first 19, crafted by 1957; of the remaining 12, created since 1987, some are on the third floor. Each year, the Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs welcomes 10,000 visitors; paid guided tours are available in person and online.

“The 31 Nationality Rooms themselves are never altered from their original designs,” says France. “Each room was designed and constructed based on a respective ethnic group before 1787 — the year of the University of Pittsburgh’s founding, excluding the French room, which was styled after post-18th-century Empire style.”

Over time, the 535-foot, gothic-style structure naturally has required maintenance, such as foundation waterproofing, but stands strong as a “tower of learning,” in line with the vision of former Pitt chancellor John Bowman, who led the university during the cathedral’s construction. Its routine use by the community also was part of his wish, for it to be accessible to all.

“The cathedral is a symbol, literally and figuratively, of Pitt’s progress and success,” says France, “but also the progress and success of our neighbors.”

Oakland: 4200 Fifth Ave.
pitt.edu, nationalityrooms.pitt.edu


For a high-end aerial view of the city, take the elevator to the Honors College on the 36th floor, and head to a window to check out the sights.

Square feet — a half acre — of space in the four-story, Gothic Commons Room.

Souvenir tip:
If you visit the Nationality Rooms and are inspired by the cultures, pick up a copy of the recipe book in the cathedral’s gift shop. For a little more than $10, you’ll boost your ideas for the next time you need to whip up dinner, an appetizer or fudge.

4. Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Vgt23 Phipps

For the past 130 years, Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens has delivered on its aim to provide a connection to nature — and has educated locals while doing so. But equally impressive is that the conservatory has continually presented seasonal flower shows; it’s actually one of few conservatories in the nation to do so, says senior director of communications Joe Reed.

Its origin story involves philanthropist Henry W. Phipps, who bestowed the conservatory to Pittsburgh. The attraction, stretching across 15 acres, now encompasses 14 glasshouse rooms, some of which house permanent collections — such as Palm Court, part of its original nine-room offering — plus a total of 23 gardens.

To draw its annual visitor count of 500,000, Phipps likes to keep it fresh. For the Spring Flower Show alone, the team uses thousands of plants, and it’s important that they promote responsible plants that are not high-maintenance, says Reed.

The conservatory plays a pivotal role in the community, as it partners with area schools and businesses. A newer offering is the professional landscaping training for locals (learners receive a certificate showing they’ve mastered the essentials of sustainable landscaping, upping their odds of becoming neighborhood lawn heroes). There’s even a complimentary “Ask Dr. Phipps” service, allowing novice growers to seek advice from the conservatory’s Master Gardeners.

Phipps also maintains a commitment to sustainability and has been “going green” for years. Three decades ago, it transferred ownership from the city to nonprofit management and doubled down on sustainability, as “human and environmental health go hand in hand,” says Reed.

Over time, its campus has grown to include production greenhouses and the Center for Sustainable Landscapes. A few of its buildings, such as the center, generate their own energy and have garnered attention for their excellence by earning recognition such as LEED Platinum status.

Phipps may be a gorgeous cultural institution and (let’s be honest) an Instagram-worthy photo backdrop on any given outing; however, it has stuck around and remained relevant because of the effort made to honor its roots while embracing the future.

Oakland: One Schenley Park

As Phipps closes at 10 on Friday nights, it’s an ideal date-night spot. Head there in time to watch the sun set — perhaps on the Tropical Forest Patio — and complete your tour through the rest of the campus.

Know Before You Go:
There are many ways to enjoy this spot, from private events to brunches and checking out the latest exhibits. But don’t forget about the top-tier gift shop and cafe.

5. Frick Park

Vg23 Frick Park

Imagine having a place within city limits where you could take your pup to a massive off-leash area — then play tennis, go birding in dense woods and have a picnic. Perhaps coolest of all, you could walk into a living green building, at no cost, any day of the week to learn about the environment.

Good news: This place exists. It’s Frick Park. The original 151-acre plot was granted to the city by Henry Clay Frick in 1919 and opened in 1927; the park has grown to 644 acres and touches Point Breeze, Squirrel Hill, Swisshelm Park and Regent Square.

That green building is the LEED Platinum-certified environmental center, a joint project between the city and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy; even on a casual pass through, you’ll learn new things (like how to create a worm bin) but definitely consider attending a class or two.

After visiting the center, you’ve got choices for where to turn next. If you’re up for birding, head toward Clayton Hill, recommended by Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s team because it provides optimal views of avian wildlife migrating in the spring and fall.

Alana Wenk, the conservancy’s director of advancement, says the bottom segment of Clayton is prime for exploratory outdoor activities, such as mountain-biking.

Where Clayton shows the wild side, Blue Slide Park is whimsical.

“It’s always fun — I love seeing tagged photos on social media,” of Blue Slide Park, says Wenk. That’s one Frick element that’s widely known, due at least in part to pop culture; “Blue Slide Park” also is the title of the debut album from late rapper and area native Mac Miller.

As the city’s largest historical park, Frick draws quite a crowd, especially in warmer months. In 2022, it was the site of 4,000 get-togethers, from after-school programs to Earth Month happenings. The conservancy team often works with the community; construction will begin in late 2023 on an outdoor sensory classroom near the environmental center that’ll be created in partnership with local groups to validate its features.

Speaking of features: We tend to be boastful about our scenic views. If you’re looking for a spot to catch the sunrise or sunset, check out Riverview Trail; you won’t be disappointed.

Squirrel Hill: Frick Environmental Center,
2005 Beechwood Blvd.


You don’t have to wing it on your visit; there’s a detailed map on the website and at select trail entrances (pittsburghparks.org).


40°25’35.3” N,
79°54’19.5” W

Search the lower part of the park to find a tranquil boardwalk along Nine Mile Run. Prefer technology to going wandering? Point your GPS to these coordinates.

6. The Andy Warhol Museum


It’s fitting that the museum dedicated to the late Andy Warhol, an influential Pop-Art king, is ever-changing.

For starters, The Andy Warhol Museum (one of four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh) is home to more than 10,000 works of art by the native son. What’s more, although he’s well known for his Pop-Art creations of muses such as Marilyn Monroe, he worked in various artforms throughout his multi-decade career — film, TV, painting and drawing are but a few examples.

Born and raised locally, Andrew Warhola was drawn to art at an early age; he graduated with a pictorial design degree from what’s now Carnegie Mellon University before he zipped off to New York City. The museum’s material naturally covers his claims to fame but also his background — the tale of his parents immigrating to the States, his Catholic faith and so on.

“We really try to tell the full Warhol story in a deeper way,” says Patrick Moore, director of The Warhol.

The seven-floor art gallery, which welcomes 150,000 visitors annually, provides exclusive experiences. For example, at press time, there’s an acoustically treated space set up to listen to recently digitized Velvet Underground master tapes while admiring cover album art by Warhol. Families with kids in tow can have fun, too, by making artworks in The Factory, whose name pays tribute to Warhol’s NYC studio.

The single-artist museum, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2024, largely pays homage to the namesake artist’s works, but it also features special exhibitions a few times per year.

In 2022, The Warhol team established The Pop District, a multifaceted initiative involving multiple blocks of public art, workforce development offerings and various events and performances. Final Fridays, for example, are held from May through September in the nearby Silver Street event space and are effectively outdoor parties set to the beats of guest DJs.

“We want to attract, invite, [inspire people to] take selfies,” says Moore, “and make it an experience, hang around.”

North Shore: 117 Sandusky St.

Know Before You Go:
Block off at least 2-3 hours for the full museum experience, and more if you like to read every plaque.


Snag a selfie on the signature red couch located in the entrance space. (Like Andy, whose portrait is displayed above the couch, you, too, may want to throw on a pair of shades while striking a pose.)


The gift shop stocks enviable knickknacks and prints of Warhol’s works.

7. Point State Park

Vg23 Point State Park

It’s difficult to envision a city-skyline postcard or sporting-event live shot that doesn’t include the Point State Park Fountain. Heck, even a decade ago, when a giant rubber duck dropped anchor nearby, the roughly 150-foot fountain was not upstaged by the likes of the sizable, temporary art installation.

The fountain sits at, you guessed it, the point of our three rivers, where the Monongahela and Allegheny meet to form the Ohio. It debuted in 1974 and largely has remained a constant ever since; it required a full renovation in 2009 and shuttered before returning in 2013, when the park also received a facelift.

The 36-acre park space has quite the history, dating to its involvement in the French and Indian War. The Fort Pitt Museum has a wealth of info on that occurrence but also others, including the city’s founding; the Fort Pitt Block House, originally created in 1764 as a military redoubt, serves as a living relic. Point State Park’s green space was formalized due to the Pittsburgh Renaissance; after a 1950s urban renewal project wrapped, it was dedicated in 1974.

The park celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024, and has been a gathering spot for everyday life and special occasions. Its green lawn is just the place to sit after the Pittsburgh Marathon or when celebrating July Fourth with tunes, food and pyrotechnics. On an average day, you’ll see families walking along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, colleagues enjoying lunch and couples admiring the reflecting pool. Bikes are omnipresent here, as this is an access point for the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile trail connecting Cumberland, Maryland, to the Steel City.

Back to the fountain: We’ll boldly say that catching a sunset there is a must. Everything surrounding the experience is slow-paced — people are conversing, picnicking, hanging out, relishing moments — and simple. On your first fountain experience at nightfall, you may feel as if you’ve been trusted with a sweet secret; you begin to understand some of the pride Pittsburghers have for the city and why our scenery gets such high praise.

Downtown: 601 Commonwealth Place

Know Before You Go:
The park is open year-round. The fountain is open May through October, weather permitting.

You can spot the Duquesne Incline from the park, too!

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