Pittsburgh

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Pittsburgh is surrounded by points of interest, including historic battlefields, architectural landmarks, family-run wineries, family-friendly amusement parks, and deep, dark caves. These day trip destinations are best reached by car, though the local train and bus stations can assist travelers without their own transportation for some destinations.

Day Trips from Pittsburgh

Fallingwater

Architecture buffs shouldn’t miss Fallingwater, the innovative country house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935. Commissioned by Edgar Kaufmann, the owner of Pittsburgh’s premiere department store (see Macy’s listing in shopping section), Fallingwater is a three-level house built into a forested hillside in Mill Run; call ahead (724-329-8501) to reserve a spot on one of the frequent, informative tours.

PA 381, Mill Run, 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, PA, www.fallingwater.org
Tags: editor pick | historic | design | trendy | architecture | day trip

Fort Necessity

The French and Indian War commenced in 1754 at this National Battlefield, a historic landmark that’s also known as the location of George Washington’s only military surrender. The National Park Service operates thematic festivals, tours, and educational programs through the onsite visitors center (724-329-5512); after checking out the battlefield and peeking inside the historic fort, tour the museum housed inside the old Mount Washington Tavern.

1 Washington Parkway, Farmington, PA; 62 miles southeast of Pittsburgh (about 1 hour and 20 minutes in the car), PA, www.nps.gov/fone
Tags: family | great value | day trip

Kennywood

During warmer months, the popular amusement park, Kennywood, which is located just outside of the city, is a happening family destination. Children are drawn in by ice cream and roller coasters like the old-fashioned Thunderbolt and the newer Exterminator, while the whole family appreciates culturally themed activities like “Serbian Day” and “Irish Day,” both of which involve ethnic foods and music.

4800 Kennywood Boulevard, West Mifflin, 10 miles southeast of Pittsburgh (about 15 minutes by car), PA, 412-461-0500, www.kennywood.com
Tags: family | smart splurge | day trip

La Casa Narcisi Winery

Western Pennsylvania, unbeknownst to many, is a prolific wine region. While the countryside outside Pittsburgh is a far cry from California’s wine region, the area does contain a number of quaint, family-run wineries open for tours and tastings. Narcisi Winery, just a short drive outside the city, produces 26 varieties and offers wine evenings, complete with complimentary appetizers, on the last Friday of every month, and live music on Sundays from 1-3pm. For more information on wineries in the region, log onto: www.weekendwinery.com/Wineries/Wineries_PA_Pittsburgh.htm.

Gibsonia, PA, 20 miles north of Pittsburgh (30 minutes by car), PA, 724-444-4744, www.narcisiwinery.com
Tags: outdoors | day trip | wine

Laurel Caves

Pennsylvania’s largest cave is open to the public for guided one-hour tours and more in-depth spelunking adventures for travelers who aren’t afraid to wiggle into tight, dark spaces or face the 45-foot Ed Coll cliff. Reservations aren’t necessary, but bring a sweater – it’s chilly underground in Laurel Caverns. Don’t worry about getting lost – these dark recesses in the earth have been thoroughly explored since the 1700s.

Between Hopwood and Chalk Hill, PA, 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh (about an hour and 20 minutes by car), PA, 724-438-2070, www.laurelcaverns.com
Tags: family | great value | day trip

Ohiopyle State Park

Whitewater rafting and rugged hiking trails are the outdoorsy attractions at Ohiopyle, a wooded state park occupying almost 20,000 acres at the foot of the Laurel Mountains. For an unconventional adventure, try riding down the natural waterslides through the creek bed in Meadow Run – the park’s visitors center can assist with these arrangements or help you plan a rafting trip down the Youghiogheny River.

70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh (about a 1.5 hour drive), 724-329-8591 (visitors center), www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateParks/parks/ohiopyle.aspx
Tags: family | great value | outdoors | day trip | adventure

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