Student Travelers Steal Away to Pittsburgh
Known as the Steel City thanks to the mills that helped create it, Pittsburgh is no longer a smoke-ridden city, but rather a modern and beautiful destination for student travel groups. With three rivers—the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela—cutting through the city, and the Laurel Highlands bordering nearby, Pittsburgh calls for visitors to get outside and enjoy the environment. In addition to recreational bliss, student tours will get to venture among thousands of exhibits in the city’s many museums. Pittsburgh is brimming with culture and activity; your student tour group will never get bored.
Artistry at its Best: Top Pittsburgh Student Attractions
Art is a passion in Pittsburgh. The city has more art museums, galleries, public art displays and architectural masterpieces than your student tour group will know what to do with. And what’s even more amazing is that many of these attractions are free. The Frick Art & Historical Center on Pittsburgh’s East Side is dedicated to famed art collector Henry Clay Frick and holds exhibits of fine and decorative art. Art at Noon is a free series at the Frick that features informal talks about art history, music, literature and other subjects that relate to current exhibitions. The Pittsburgh Glass Center, the first open and comprehensive glass art studio in Pennsylvania, offers school field trips a chance to explore the contemporary glass gallery and watch hot glass demonstrations, all for no cost. The drop-in studio at the Society for Contemporary Craft showcases radical exhibits and hands-on art activities, which are always free.
At Carnegie Museum of Art, recognized for its collection of American and European works of art from the 17th century to the present, student tour groups can schedule a private tour of various areas. The Andy Warhol Museum on the North Shore, with the most extensive collection of Warhol’s work, has hour-long tours for school field trips. And since you’re in the area, make a visit to the Mattress Factory, a contemporary art museum that exhibits installations, room-sized works created on site by artists. Each room is paired with engaging educational student tour programs.
Pittsburgh is not just a city of art, but also of architecture. Student tours will appreciate the genius behind the churches, skyscrapers and historic buildings that make up the Steel City. Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed numerous pieces sprinkled throughout the Pittsburgh area. Up in Laurel Highlands, student tour groups will find three works by Frank Lloyd Wright, and all of them are open to explore. Fallingwater is a house cantilevered over a waterfall, connecting the structure to the immaculate nature that surrounds. It is arguably the best piece Wright ever designed.
Once covered by industrialized plots and deteriorating buildings, Pittsburgh has transformed its landscape into a green oasis. Point State Park, located where the three rivers meet, features paved promenades, waterways, a 100-foot fountain, plenty of greenery and memorable skyline views. Student tour groups can scale the slopes of Mount Washington on the Duquesne Incline, a system of restored cable cars that affords more great views.
Pittsburgh also has some flat-out fun attractions. Station Square is a popular place for tourists to visit, with loads of entertainment and dining options. The highlight is the Fountain at Bessemer Court, which sends hundreds of multi-colored water jets into the air while the whole show is set to music. The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium have over 20 shows every day from sea lion demonstrations, elephant baths and shark feedings. And for a thrill ride, take your school field trip to Kennywood Park, an historic amusement park minutes from downtown with roller coasters, games and shows.
Top Student Sightseeing Tours in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh’s History and Landmarks website offers printable routes for self-guided architectural walking tours. The Gateway Clippers, located at Station Square, offer riverboat excursions perfect for a student travel group; dining cruises with buffets of age-appropriate food can be arranged. Another sea adventure can take place on the Just Ducky Tours, hour-long ventures on a boat that also becomes a truck, allowing your crew to see Pittsburgh by land and river.
Student Performance Venues in Pittsburgh
Point State Park has an amphitheater and other pavilions available to reserve. Hartwood Acres, a picturesque park with hiking trails, also has an amphitheater where shows are performed.
Station Square bustles with activity, and what better place to have your student tour group play than among a large crowd of tourists and locals. Carnegie Mellon University has a prominent college of fine arts, and the school offers its stages and venues for rentals and performances.
Feast on This: Student Dining in Pittsburgh
Primanti Brothers has become famous for its sandwiches, which come with French fries and cole slaw. But those extras don’t come on the side, they are topped right on the sandwich. Take your ravished student travelers to the original establishment in the Strip District.
For a quick bite, hit any Eat’n Park, a restaurant chain that started with a drive-thru concept, but instead of grabbing and going, customers would park and eat. Now the restaurants have indoor seating as well. For breakfast, head over to Pamela’s Diner, which has been voted best breakfast in Pittsburgh and is famous for its hotcakes.
Student Accommodations in Pittsburgh
With over 120 hotels in Pittsburgh, you are sure to find something perfect for your student travelers. The Best Western Parkway Center Inn, in a prime downtown location, is close to most of the best attractions and offers complimentary breakfast and newly renovated rooms. The Days Inn Pittsburgh is a little farther away from downtown, but still in a nice location. If hotels close to the city center are still too expensive, head a little farther out and stay at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Butler, which offers a deluxe continental breakfast and an indoor pool.
Pittsburgh has shed its industrial smoke and become an attractive city worth visiting. Each day in the Steel City is full of history, art and entertainment sure to make your student travelers want to return as soon as possible.