• Hannah Awesome

24 hours in Pittsburgh, PA // Coolest things to do in Pittsburgh

Updated: Aug 18, 2021



After a week of Vanlife in the Big Apple, we decided that it was time for us to start heading back West! Before heading West to California (our home state) we'll need to stop in Louisville, Kentucky and Pittsburgh just so happened to be on the way! Aside from the Steelers and their steep roads, we hadn't heard much about Pittsburgh so we were excited to check it out and see what it had to offer! Upon researching a bit we realized that there was so much to see and do and that it would be a big task to fit it all in one day. Here are all the amazing places we visited and everything we did in the 24 hours we spent in Pittsburgh!



1. Kaibur Coffee



First thing first, we needed coffee! Top on the list of coffee shops in Pittsburgh is Kaibur Coffee and it didn't disappoint. They offer vegan and non-vegan breakfast sandwiches and donuts although we were bummed to find out that they didn't have donuts that day. We went with an oat milk latte, got a little work done, and headed off for our first attraction!










Randyland


Someone is a little too stoked
Randy with a new set of Pit Vipers!

Next up, Randyland!! Randy Gilson is the artist behind the creation and we even got to meet him. Randyland is actually Randy's house that's been turned into an art walk! His backyard is open to the public and absolutely free! You can admire Randy's amazing, vibrant art and maybe get a few cool Instagram pictures in the process. Trust me when I say this place is a goldmine for photographers. That being said, I think the photos we took speak for themselves so I'll let them do the talking now! If you'd like to know a little more about Randy and Randyland, take a read of the flyer down below!








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Gift shop where you can purchase some of Randys art and help keep his operation going!

So many awesome souvenirs!



2. Bicycle Heaven



Randy land would be hard to beat but Bicycle Heaven was just as amazing, especially if you are a bike nerd like we are! Bicycle Heaven truly is heaven, they are a non-profit museum, antique bike shop, used bike shop, nail salon (yup!), and bike service shop all wrapped up into one. They also rent their bikes out to movies and their bikes can be seen in movies like A Beautiful Mind, Super 8, and a ton more! They have over 5,000 bikes (many of them extremely rare), and thousands of parts and antiques. It's actually the world's largest bicycle museum and shop and it's been featured almost everywhere including the New York Times.



All this being said you really can't understand the magnitude of this place unless you come and see it for yourself. It's overwhelming but in the best way possible. We tried our best to capture it but you'll definitely want to visit it for yourself! Bicycle Heaven is free and open to the public every day of the week! Here are some of the bikes that caught out eye!


One of the only mtb's ever made by the Cook Brothers

Super rare Beatles bike!

The only sighting of a tree that grew with two bikes inside of it
The Monkeys Bike!






















The Pee-Wee Herman Bicycle!



So many bikes!

The cherry on top is that they even have a nail salon and spa on the right when you first walk in. This would be the perfect way to get your wife to tag along! The prices are also very reasonable. What a weird but perfect addition to a bike museum that'll surely take a couple of hours for a bike nerd to see!


They even have a nail salon/spa!



3. Mount Washington Observation Deck



This is by far one of the most popular things to do in Pittsburgh! The view on top of Mount Washington is absolutely stunning and it makes for an amazing photo! You'll be able to see the entire city from across the water as well as Heinz Field where the Pittsburgh Steeler play! The photos speak for themselves!


Mo getting the Insta worthy shot on the observation deck


4. Canton Avenue


Trust me it looks steep in person!

Next up on our packed day of exploring Pittsburgh was Canton Avenue! Pittsburgh is famous for steel but also famous for its steep streets. At a grade of 37%, Canton Avenue is the steepest street in the Continental United States. It's so steep in fact that while you can drive your car up it, it's illegal to drive your car down. The street is lined with cobblestones that stick out a bit, which I believe helps cars find better traction, especially during the winter months!









If you are a cyclist and you visit Canton Avenue, you'll be tempted to test your gearing and legs out on its grade. Or you might want to drive your car up it, Mo and I decided against that though considering we are in a Sprinter van and don't want to test its limits.


Mo and I concluded that it would be best to try our luck on our Mountain bikes because the gearing is better suited for hills than our gravel bikes. We made the right decision, both made it up Canton Avenue in one shot! Unfortunately for me, the camera died when I got halfway so I had to do it twice! Here is a video of me mashing my way up to the top of the street!




And if you are truly crazy, twice a year in October and November there is a bike race called the Dirty Dozen. The Dirty Dozen was founded in 1983 by brothers Tom and Danny Chew and their friend Bob Gottlieb and has been going on twice a year since with the exception of 1993 and 2020. The race features 12 of Pittsburgh's steepest streets, Canton Avenue is the 9th street in the route. If you want to learn more about the race click here.




5. Frick Park


Last on the list was Frick Park! Frick park is not only famous for its mention in Mac Miller's album, "Blue Slide Park", which is an actual park inside of Frick Park (later named "Mac Miller's Blue Slide Park" in his memory) but it's home to some amazing mountain bike and hiking trails.

Mac Miller's Blue Slide Park Memorial

Hannah showing off at the top of Iron Gate

With only a couple of hours of daylight left Mo and I hurried for the trails. We ended up not having time to visit Mac Miller's Blue Slide Park but got an amazing mountain bike ride in. We parked on Forward Avenue at the bottom of a trail called Iron Gate, which was perfect because we ended up riding that trail! The trail is rated as a Black Diamond (Advanced) but from our experience, we thought it was more of a Blue (Intermediate) trail.


The trail was super fast and flowy with a few root drops and jumps mixed in. We had few expectations going into the ride and were absolutely blown away by the trail. We even squeezed in an extra lap before the sun finally set.





That concludes our Pittsburgh adventures! Let me know if we missed anything, we'll surely be back to see more!


Like the glasses we're wearing? Get 15% off Pit Viper Sungalsses by clicking here.

*This is an affiliate link that helps support our travels at no extra cost to you.*


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