Unveiling the Hidden Gems: 5 Must-See Day Trips from Pittsburgh

Introduction to Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas

Welcome to the vibrant city of Pittsburgh, where steel meets stunning landscapes and a rich history that blends seamlessly with modern attractions. Nestled in western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is known for its iconic sports teams and thriving arts scene and serves as an excellent base for exploring the hidden gems that lie beyond its borders.

In this blog post, we’ll share five incredible day trips you can take from Pittsburgh. We hope you’ll come along on this exciting journey of discovery. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, architectural marvels, or cultural experiences, these day trips will take you on unforgettable excursions that showcase the region’s diverse beauty.

So grab your camera, pack some snacks, and hit the road together! Get ready to be amazed by what lies just a short drive from the Steel City.

Day Trip #1: Ohiopyle State Park

Ohiopyle State Park is a hidden gem just a short drive from Pittsburgh in the heart of the Laurel Highlands. Its breathtaking natural beauty and abundant outdoor activities make it the perfect destination for a day trip.

Start your adventure by exploring the park’s extensive trail system. From strolls to challenging hikes, there’s something for everyone. Check out Cucumber Falls, a stunning waterfall cascading into a picturesque pool below.

If you’re feeling adventurous, head to the Youghiogheny River for whitewater rafting or kayaking.

For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, take a scenic bike ride along the Great Allegheny Passage trail. This 150-mile trail stretches from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

After working up an appetite, grab lunch at one of Ohiopyle’s charming eateries or pack a picnic and enjoy it beside one of the park’s many tranquil streams.

Ohiopyle State Park has it all, whether you’re seeking adventure or simply looking to connect with nature.

Day Trip #2: Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob

Just a short drive from Pittsburgh lies two architectural wonders that will leave you in awe. The first stop on this day trip is Fallingwater, an iconic masterpiece designed by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Nestled amidst the lush greenery of the Laurel Highlands, this stunning house defies gravity as it seamlessly blends with its natural surroundings.

As you tour the interior of Fallingwater, be prepared to be captivated by its unique design elements and breathtaking views. From cantilevered balconies overlooking cascading waterfalls to expansive windows that blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, every detail of this home is a testament to Wright’s genius.

After exploring Fallingwater, make your way over to Kentuck Knob, another architectural gem also designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This enchanting house sits atop a hilltop surrounded by pristine woodlands. As you wander through its rooms and gardens, you’ll discover intriguing sculptures and unconventional design features that charm this remarkable place.

Both Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob offer guided tours that provide fascinating insights into Wright’s creative vision and his harmonious integration of architecture with nature.

Day Trip #3: Laurel Highlands and Seven Springs Mountain Resort

Nestled in the picturesque Laurel Highlands, just a short drive from Pittsburgh lies an outdoor paradise waiting to be explored. Day Trip #3 takes us to the beautiful region of Laurel Highlands and its crown jewel, Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

The journey begins with a scenic drive through rolling hills and lush forests. As you approach the resort, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of majestic mountains and sprawling greenery. The natural beauty of this area is genuinely awe-inspiring.

Once at Seven Springs, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Outdoor enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise with hiking, biking, zip-lining, and horseback riding options.

For those seeking relaxation and tranquility, indulge in pampering at the resort’s luxurious spa or unwind by their sparkling outdoor pool. Enjoy a delicious meal at one of their top-notch restaurants or sip on a refreshing cocktail while taking in the panoramic views from their mountaintop deck.

If you’re visiting during winter, take advantage of Seven Springs’ renowned ski slopes! With over 30 trails catering to all skill levels, it’s perfect for beginners and experienced skiers. And when night falls, hit up their vibrant nightlife scene for live music and dancing.

As if that wasn’t enough to tempt you into planning your day trip here – there’s more! Just beyond Seven Springs lies another hidden gem: Fallingwater. This architectural masterpiece designed by Frank Lloyd Wright seamlessly blends into its natural surroundings with cascading waterfalls as its backdrop.

With so much beauty surrounding you in Laurel Highlands and Seven Springs Mountain Resort, combined with endless opportunities for adventure or relaxation – this day trip promises to be unforgettable! So pack your bags and embark on an exciting escape into nature outside Pittsburgh’s bustling city limits.

Day Trip #4: Ohio Amish Country

When you think of day trips from Pittsburgh, you might not immediately consider venturing into Amish country. However, just a short drive away lies the picturesque region of Ohio Amish Country. This hidden gem has a rich history, charming countryside landscapes, and a fascinating glimpse into Amish life.

You’ll be transported to a simpler time through the rolling hills and winding roads. The lush green fields with white farmhouses and horse-drawn buggies create a peaceful atmosphere that feels like stepping back in time.

One of the highlights of visiting Ohio Amish Country is experiencing the unique craftsmanship and traditional skills passed down through generations. From handcrafted furniture to homemade quilts and delicious baked goods, there’s no shortage of authentic products to explore and take home as souvenirs.

To truly immerse yourself in Amish culture, consider joining an organized tour or participating in an educational workshop where you can learn about their traditions firsthand. You may even have the opportunity to taste traditional Amish dishes like shoofly pie or indulge in hearty family-style meals at one of their renowned restaurants.

Whether you’re seeking tranquility or longing for a deeper understanding of another way of life, Ohio Amish Country offers an unforgettable day trip experience just waiting to be explored. So pack your bags (and leave behind your modern conveniences) as you embark on this journey into simplicity amidst nature’s beauty.

Day Trip #5: Erie and Presque Isle State Park

If you’re looking for a day trip from Pittsburgh that offers natural beauty and waterfront fun, look no further than Erie and Presque Isle State Park. Located on the shores of Lake Erie, this hidden gem is just a short drive from the Steel City.

Once you arrive in Erie, go to Presque Isle State Park. This 3,200-acre peninsula boasts stunning beaches, scenic trails, and abundant wildlife. Spend the day exploring the park’s various attractions – swimming in Lake Erie’s crystal-clear waters or hiking along one of its many picturesque trails.

For those interested in history, visit the historic Bicentennial Tower. Climb to the top for panoramic views of Lake Erie and downtown Erie – it’s truly breathtaking! And if you’re into bird-watching, be sure to bring your binoculars, as Presque Isle is home to over 320 species of birds.

After enjoying all that nature offers at Presque Isle State Park, head into downtown Erie for some urban exploration. Check out the vibrant arts scene at places like The Warner Theatre or explore local shops and restaurants along State Street.

And let’s remember food! Make sure to indulge in some fresh seafood while you’re in town – after all, what better place to find it than right by Lake Erie? From mouthwatering fish fry dinners to delectable perch sandwiches, seafood lovers have plenty of options.

So why not escape Pittsburgh for a day and immerse yourself in the beauty of Erie and Presque Isle State Park? With its mix of natural wonders and city attractions, it’s an unforgettable experience that should not be missed.

Tips for planning a successful day trip from Pittsburgh

So, you’re planning a day trip from Pittsburgh? That’s fantastic! Whether you’re a local looking to explore more of your surroundings or a visitor wanting to make the most of your time in Steel City, planning a successful and enjoyable day trip is essential.

Think about your preferences and areas of interest. Do you like to go hiking or biking in the outdoors? Or do you have a more substantial interest in culture and history? It will be easier to reduce your options if you know what kind of experience you’re after.

Next, do some research on the destinations that pique your interest. Look up their opening hours, admission fees (if any), and any special events or attractions they may offer. It’s also worth checking out reviews from other travelers to get an idea of what to expect.

Consider the distance between Pittsburgh and your chosen destination. Some day trips may require several hours of driving each way, while others may be just a short journey away. Keep in mind factors like traffic and weather conditions when estimating travel times.

Make sure you bring enough clothing for the short trip. Check the weather forecast beforehand to dress appropriately and get any necessary gear, such as sunscreen or rain jackets. Remember essentials like snacks, water bottles, and comfortable shoes for exploring.

Have a flexible mindset during your day trip. Unexpected delays or detours can happen, so preparing for plan changes is good.


As we end our journey exploring the hidden gems surrounding Pittsburgh, it’s clear that this city is a gateway to some truly remarkable destinations. From the natural beauty of Ohiopyle State Park to the architectural wonders of Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, there is something for everyone just a short drive away.

Venturing further into the Laurel Highlands, you’ll discover a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts at Seven Springs Mountain Resort and breathtaking views in every direction. And if you’re in the mood for a dose of history and culture, Ohio Amish Country offers a unique glimpse into another way of life.

But one of Pittsburgh’s most surprising day trips leads us to Erie and Presque Isle State Park. With its sandy beaches, picturesque lighthouses, and opportunities for water sports, it’s hard to believe that such an idyllic destination is just hours away from bustling Pittsburgh.

Consider the weather, the length of your trip, and any particular sights or activities you would like to partake in when organizing your day trips from Pittsburgh. It’s also worth noting that some destinations may require reservations or have limited availability during peak seasons.


1: How far in advance should I plan my day trips from Pittsburgh?

A: It’s recommended to plan your day trips at least a few weeks in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. This will allow you to secure accommodations and tickets for attractions and make any necessary reservations.

2: Are these day trips suitable for families with children?

A: Absolutely! Many of the destinations mentioned offer family-friendly activities and attractions. Just be sure to research each destination beforehand to ensure age-appropriate options are available.

3: Can I do multiple day trips in one weekend?

A: It is possible to combine specific day trips if you have enough time and energy. For example, you could visit Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob on the same day since they are relatively close to each other. However, remember that some destinations may require more than a day to explore fully.

4: Is it necessary to rent a car for these day trips?

A: While having a car gives you more flexibility, it is only sometimes necessary. Some destinations can be reached by public transportation or organized tours. However, having your vehicle allows you to create your schedule and explore at your own pace.

5: What should I pack for these day trips?

A: Depending on the season and specific activities planned, essentials like comfortable shoes, sunscreen/hat, insect repellent (especially for outdoor excursions), water bottles/snacks (if needed), camera/phone charger (for capturing memories), and any specific items recommended by each destination should be packed accordingly.

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