What Should Taylor Swift Do In Pittsburgh While She’s Here This Weekend?

Take a journey through the city and through Swift’s eras with these nine classic Pittsburgh activities.
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Taylor Swift is bringing The Eras Tour to Acrisure Stadium, with a setlist that spans 15 years of chart-topping music and includes hits from each of her 10 studio albums. 

The show is a dream come true for fans, known as Swifties, who have followed Swift’s journey since the release of her first single, “Tim McGraw,” and the following release of her self-titled album in 2006. The then 16-year-old Swift may not have known that the lyrics, “when you think Tim McGraw, I hope you think of me,” would launch her into decades of success. Now, just about anything makes us think of the pop legend with countless trends, sayings, and social media buzz relating back to her songs and music videos.

So, to Taylor Swift and all her fans awaiting the big night: when you think “Pittsburgh,” I hope you think of these nine essential Pittsburgh sites that can take her and you on a journey through the city and through the eras. 

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Grab a sandwich at Primanti Brothers
If you’re feeling “Fearless,” visit the original Primanti Brothers location on 18th Street in the Strip District and order Pittsburgh’s most famous sandwich without fresh-cut fries piled on top. You have to be brave to ask for any alterations to the classic recipe, one that has been feeding hungry locals since 1933 with a huge serving of meat, cheese, coleslaw, tomatoes and yes, french fries, smashed between two pieces of Italian bread.

The sandwich was an instant hit among Pittsburgh’s working class as soon as it was created, providing a convenient meal that combined all the classic lunchtime sides into one easy hand-held bite. Since then, more than 30 Primanti Brothers locations have been established and will “Forever & Always” be a dining staple of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Become a work of art at The Mattress Factory
To embrace the spirit of “Speak Now,” visit a museum where you’ll feel truly “Enchanted” by rule-breaking art. While Pittsburgh is home to some of the best contemporary art in the country and has numerous museums and galleries, The Mattress Factory on Pittsburgh’s North Side provides a one-of-a-kind immersive experience. Since the Mattress Factory was founded in 1977, it has presented works by more than 750 artists and has been nationally recognized as a leader in contemporary art that pushes the boundaries of both the artist and the viewer.

Here, guests are invited to step into each work of art to explore and become part of the exhibit themselves. Be prepared to see “Sparks Fly” in mesmerizing displays such as Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Dots Mirrored Room” or “Repetitive Vision.”

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Strike a pose in The Andy Warhol Museum lobby
When it comes to the color “Red,” no location can top Andy Warhol’s iconic red couch in the lobby of The Andy Warhol Museum on the North Shore. The velvet sofa was an essential element of Warhol’s New York City apartment in the 1960s. Today, its replica is the focal point of the museum’s entrance as celebrities — from Jay-Z to Big Bird — and locals alike recreate Warhol’s pose, which is known “All Too Well” and framed above the couch. 

A staple of Pittsburgh’s art scene since 1994, the museum holds the largest collection of Warhol’s artworks and archival materials.

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Cool off at Sandcastle Waterpark
To celebrate “1989,” the year Sandcastle Waterpark was founded, take a trip to West Homestead and enjoy the park’s pools, lazy river, and 16 thrilling water slides from your “Wildest Dreams.” Sandcastle provides a perfect escape from the summer heat, complete with a boardwalk that overlooks the Monongahela River. 

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Stop and smell the flowers at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
“Gorgeous” and “Delicate” are two fan favorites from “Reputation,” but they also describe the hundreds of flower and plant species that grow in the 14-room glasshouse at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Schenley Park. The conservatory’s 15 acres are home to renowned orchid and bonsai collections, seasonal flower shows and exhibits, innovative sustainable architecture and more.

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Take some selfies at Randyland
While Pittsburgh doesn’t have a “Cornelia Street,” it does have a Jacksonia Street, which is paved with a rainbow brick path that leads to Randyland, a colorful courtyard of murals and sculptures that was created by Randy Gilson in 1995 at the corner of Arch and Jacksonia streets. If you’re looking for a photo spot that is “like a rainbow with all of the colors” to celebrate “Lover” and the album’s first single, “ME!,” Randyland is a must-see.  

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Go shopping in Pittsburgh’s South Side
Need to buy a new “Cardigan” before you give “Folklore” a listen? Stop by one of the charming boutiques in the shopping, dining and entertainment district on Carson Street on Pittsburgh’s South Side. There are enough unique vendors in the area for a full day of retail therapy, from candy shops to record stores to vintage collections. 



Hop on a Gateway Clipper cruise
When Pittsburghers hear the opening line to “Evermore” — “I’m like the water when your ship rolled in that night” — a Gateway Clipper cruise is the first image that jumps to mind. The boat rides are a great way to learn about Pittsburgh and get the best views of its architecture and famous bridges, all while touring the three rivers that shaped the city’s history. 

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Ride the Duquesne Incline and enjoy the view from the top of Mount Washington
USA Today reported that the view of Pittsburgh’s skyline from the top of Mount Washington at night is one of the top 10 most beautiful places in America. So to honor Swifts’ most recent studio album, “Midnights,” ride the Duquesne Incline after the sun sets to catch a view of the city. The Golden Triangle looks “Bejeweled” in the dark as city lights twinkle on skyscrapers and bridges and reflect on the rivers’ surface. 

Categories: The 412