It’s time for a mini-vacay! Thankfully, one doesn’t have to travel too far from Pittsburgh to get that much-needed escape. From exploring an actual cave to riding thrilling roller coasters, there are plenty of fun things to fill an entire weekend! It can be hard deciding where to go next so we curated a list to help you choose.
So pack your bags, get in the car and check out these day trips from Pittsburgh!
Travel + Leisure Magazine dubbed it, “One of the 12 landmarks that will change the way you see the world” and they’re right. Located in the Laurel Highland, Fallingwater is the brainchild of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, built as a vacation home for the infamous Kaufmann family. Beautifully blending art and nature, Fallingwater is the only work by Wright that is open to the public, with its setting, artwork and original furniture all intact. Not only are guests able to tour the home, they are also able to shop, dine and hike the Laurel Highlands, one of the most majestic natural environments east of the Mississippi!
Go back in time 19,000 years all in a single weekend! Meadowcroft Rockshelter is the “oldest site of human habitation in North America.” After discovering a small artifact in the area in 1955, a team of archaeologist, anthropologist and geologist set out on a mission to uncover the area’s past. In total, they discovered nearly two million artifacts and ecofacts including ancient tools, pottery and more. The site also includes a Prehistoric Indian Village that gives visitors a close look into the lives of 16th century Indians and allows them to atlatla, a prehistoric method of spear hunting!
Located in the Ridge and Valley section of the Appalachian Highland, Penn’s Cave is characterized by large caves, springs and sinkholes that lead underground. Visitors are welcomed to tour this natural wonder and get up close and personal with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. They may also tour a 1,600 acre preserve featuring native North-American animals such as bison, wolves and mountain.
Fun fact: Penn’s Cave is the only cave on the PA National Register of Historic Places and the site is said to have been visited by the famous Indian maiden Nita-nee, from whom the Penn State Nittany Lions got their name.
Featuring 6 miles of breathtaking hiking trails, streams, ponds and lush forest, Todd Nature Reserve is an outdoor paradise! Get out of the hustle and bustle of the city, put your cell phone on silent and take in all of the natural beauty. With 334 acres, the land is the oldest reserve in Western Pennsylvania and features an abundance of wildlife including 180 species of birds! And for all of the bird watching enthusiasts, Todd Nature Reserve is home to important habits for the pileated woodpecker, scarlet tanager and Kentucky warbler.
Fun Fact: The original portion of the reserve was donated by W.E. Clyde Todd, who went on to become the Curator of Birds at the Carnegie Museum.
Take in the iconic views of Coopers Rock State Forest on one of your day trips from Pittsburgh! Situated roughly 13 miles from Morgantown, WV, Coopers Rock features canyon overlooks, picnic shelters, miles of hiking and biking trails. The site is also home to sandstone cliffs for climbings, skiing cross-country in the winter, fishing in the summer and river rafting! Other activities include golfing, hunting, geocaching and nearby museums. There’s honestly so much to do at Coopers Rock that you might have take two trips out!
Cedar Point is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the United States and holds the world-record for 71 rides, including 17 roller coasters. All but one of their roller coasters are considered a level 4 or 5 on the thrill scale…meaning they are only for the bravest of the brave. If high octane rides aren’t necessarily your thing, no worries, Cedar Point still has you covered! They have a plethora of thrill seeking rides that are ‘toned down’, as well as family-oriented rides perfect for kids of all ages. The park also offers live music, Segway tours and a beach!