Looking for a spirited neighborhood to host your next stay in Steel City? Pittsburgh’s South Shore is a top contender, with historic landmarks, fine dining, and waterfront amenities abound.
From watching live soccer games at Highmark Stadium to full-day river cruises with the Gateway Clipper Fleet, the action never stops in South Shore, Pittsburgh. The area is also home to the popular Station Square, a waterfront complex teeming with great restaurants, shops, and entertainment.
Ready to level up your Pittsburgh vacation? This complete Pittsburgh South Shore neighborhood guide will take you through what to see & do, where to eat & drink, and where to stay.
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What to see & do in South Shore
Whether you’re seeking South Shore’s top restaurants, shops, or entertainment, Station Square is the area’s ultimate venue. This 52-acre complex lies along the waterfront and offers a bit of everything, including a picnic area, indoor rock climbing, and segway tours.
Thinking about cruising around the ‘Burgh by bike? The Adam Solar Rides Tour Shop is located at Station Square and offers electric bike rentals, as well as guided and self-guided tours of Pittsburgh. Whether you’re just looking to add some outdoor recreation to your Pittsburgh itinerary or want to learn more about the Steel City’s history, these tours are a great option!
South Shore’s top destination for sports fans is Highmark Stadium. This FIFA-certified pitch is home to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, the city’s USL Championship League team.
Cheering on the home team during a heated soccer match is obviously at the top of the list of what to do at the stadium. But Highmark Stadium’s events calendar is also stuffed with concerts and local festivals.
No matter which event you’re attending at Highmark Stadium, here are a few things you’ll need to know:
- The stadium is an open-air venue; you’ll need to dress for the weather.
- Parking at the stadium is cash only; be sure to prepare accordingly.
- The pro players will sometimes take to the field after the match to meet fans and sign autographs; it doesn’t hurt to hang around for a while after the stadium clears to see if you can score an impromptu meet & greet!
Three Rivers Heritage Trail
When you start feeling the urge to move your body, an adventure along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail is exactly what you need! Besides enjoying stunning waterfront views of the city’s three rivers, you’ll also spot plenty of historic landmarks as well as bucket-list attractions along the 33-mile pathway network.
One of the reasons the Three Rivers Heritage Trail is so well-loved by locals is that much of the network is paved. This allows for premium accessibility for wheelchair users or young families with strollers. It also makes the trail a great place to rent bikes for a cycling excursion on your vacation.
History buffs and sightseers alike will love visiting the Duquesne Incline while in South Shore. Dating back 145 years, this funicular will take you on a journey up the side of Mount Washington, promising unparalleled views of the Pittsburgh cityscape along the way.
When your ride up the Duquesne Incline comes to an end, you’ll find yourself at Point of View Park, one of the most beloved urban parks in the city. Besides its scenic overlooks, the park offers some nice wooded trails, a famous statue, and a trickling water fountain.
A picnic and a good book are the perfect companions for the adventure to Point of View Park; post up here and spend an afternoon in the sunshine for a chill day in Pittsburgh.
Looking for an attraction to take in tandem with the Duquesne Incline? Follow Grandview Avenue along the top of Mount Washington until you find the Monongahela Incline. The Duquesne’s sister funicular was actually the first one of its kind to carry passengers in the United States and offers equally spectacular views over Downtown Pittsburgh (Golden Triangle).
If you decide to traverse up one incline and down the other, you might be wondering what to do with the time in between. The Monongahela Incline is located just steps away from Mount Washington’s favorite dessert spot: Difiore’s Ice Cream Shop. Located on Shiloh Street along the way, the ice cream shop is a fantastic spot to grab a sweet treat to enjoy as you take in the scenic views.
Gateway Clipper Fleet
Want to switch things up during your Pittsburgh sightseeing journey? Explore local landmarks aboard the Gateway Clipper Fleet. These riverboats have been sailing the Allegheny River, Monongahela River, and Ohio River for over 50 years now, making this voyage one of the most famous things to do in Pittsburgh.
The Gateway Clipper Fleet offers everything from themed cruises like disco dance parties to sightseeing excursions with local guides happy to impart their historical knowledge and wealth of fun facts. Whichever cruise you choose, you’re sure to walk away feeling like you’ve experienced something new. The offerings even include kid-friendly tours with characters, superheroes, and princesses as special guests!
Stunning watercolor skies are not the only benefit of booking a sunset cruise with the Gateway Clipper Feet; an evening tour will get you access to exclusive happy hour cocktail specials.
Even if you don’t have time for a full tour, hop on board for the water shuttle service to be delivered directly to PNC Park and Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh’s North Shore neighborhood, your lifeline to sports and music entertainment in the city.
Where to eat & drink
While the selection of places to eat & drink is limited compared to Downtown Pittsburgh and other neighborhoods like the Strip District and Cultural District, there’s still a decent selection of quality restaurants & bars in the area.
The Melting Pot offers South Shore foodies a fine dining approach to fondue. From ooey-gooey cheesy goodness to a luscious chocolate fondue dessert, the menu packs a punch on its own.
If you want to start your vacation off with a bang, order the 5-course celebration menu, with several showstopping dishes like a cotton candy-clad dessert topped with firecracker sparklers.
Want to keep the party going into the wee hours of the A.M.? Get one of the Melting Pot’s fondue party boxes to go and get to dippin’ in your hotel room.
Tantalize your tastebuds (and the rest of your senses) at the Grand Concourse. This stunningly preserved train station has been converted into a fine-dining seafood outlet.
The Grand Concourse is full of historic architecture and aesthetic features, from vintage lamposts and marble staircases to cathedral stained-glass ceilings. Also likely to take your breath away is the restaurant’s menu full of raw bar specials, exquisite catch-of-the-day presentations, and signature dishes like seabass with apples and a bourbon reduction.
LeMont Restaurant is the longest-standing fine-dining establishment in Pittsburgh, not to mention the city’s only restaurant with a five-star diamond. From the restaurant’s perch in the high-flyin’ Mount Washington neighborhood, you’ll eat traditional French cuisine aside floor-to-ceiling windows that promise epic views of the Pittsburgh skyline and the Golden Triangle below. The restaurant also has a live music lounge if you want to continue the evening with a glass (or two) of fine wine.
Gandy Dancer Saloon is located in the same 1901-circa train station as the Grand Concourse Restaurant. This award-winning pub promises all the same snazzy jazzy vibes without the fuss of fine dining. But you don’t need to trust just any old restaurant reviewer on this one: The Gandy Dancer Saloon is a celebrity hotspot with past guests, including Micheal Douglas, Olivia Wilde, and the President himself!
Located to the east in the South Side Flats neighborhood, The Urban Tap boasts a warm atmosphere with exposed brick and black, industrial accents, and inviting space. In addition to an extensive cocktail and draft list, the pub offers an impressive food menu. Whether you want pasta, salad, fish, or fried chicken, you can surely find a good meal here to extend your visit from a happy hour occasion into a casual dinner with friends.
The Summit is not in South Shore proper but is nearby—and well worth the trek. You’ll need to head up Monongahela Incline to the Mount Washington neighborhood to find this mountain-inspired cocktail bar. Once you get there, though, you can completely unwind in a cool setting that’s sophisticated but never uptight while sipping on premium craft cocktails.
Where to stay
There’s not much in terms of lodgings in South Shore proper. To avoid feeling boxed in by the limited selection, expand your Pittsburgh accommodations search to hotels in bordering neighborhoods like Mount Washington, South Side Flats, or even across the river in the Golden Triangle.
The Traveler’s Rest Hotel is cyclists’ favorite accommodation in Pittsburgh. Located in South Side Flats, this historic boutique hotel offers complimentary bike storage—along with any other outdoor gear. If you’re not traveling with your own bike, you can even rent one directly through the hotel. They’ve also got all your breakfast needs under wrap with La Prima pour-overs in every room and a DIY waffle, pancake, and oatmeal bar with unlimited toppings.
Trying to manage traveling with allergies? The Fairfield by Marriott Pittsburgh Downtown is a certified allergen-free property. Located across the Smithfield Street Bridge in the downtown core, this stylish hotel has a calming blue and green color scheme and a harborfront outdoor lounge that’s covered to protect guests from the sun and rain. Extra perks like a breakfast buffet and a modern fitness center with brand-new equipment add to the experience.
The Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square boasts scenic views right from your guest room window and on-site parking (which isn’t widely available in the neck of the woods), among its other premium amenities.
Need ideas for what to do? Marriott Bonvoy Tours will help connect you with both hidden gem experiences and top-notch attractions, plus help you rack up those travel points to earn free stays quicker. You could also head down to the docks and board the Gateway Clipper; this water taxi will connect you to local sporting events and the downtown buzz, as well as serve as a quick river cruise.