16 Best Things to Do in Allegheny County, PA

Allegheny County, PA
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It's easy to get lost in the beautiful spots of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Ranging from its historic sites, rich arts & culture, and outdoor excursions, the county has a bit of everything to offer to all travelers.

It's the second most populous county in the state with its 1,250,578 population as of the 2020 census.

The county was officially organized in 1788 and was named for the Allegheny River.

Its name "Allegheny" is the Lenape word for the river, meaning "fine river," although the meaning itself is uncertain.

Also, it could be from an ancient mythical tribe "Allegewi" who settled in the area before the Lenape people arrived.

If you're planning on a trip to the county, here's a round-up of the best things to do in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Step into the Blooming Grounds of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh

Aerial view of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh
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Whimsical and dreamy—these will be your first impression as soon as you step into the grounds of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

It's where you can find exotic plants, primary flora exhibits, formal gardens, and many more.

Here, you can see exotic plant species like palm trees, orchids, succulents, bonsai, and different species of fern, as well as tropical and sub-tropical fruits, spices, and nuts.

Steel and real-estate mogul Henry Phipps Jr. established the gardens in 1893 for Pittsburgh.

Flora in Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh
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The gardens' entrance pavilion is silver-level LEED certified and its greenhouse production is also Platinum certified, which is the first and only certified greenhouse.

Don't miss out on its lovely sunken garden, which features hanging baskets, fountains, and sunken beds with varying plants depending on the season.

Located in Schenley Park, there are plenty of different rooms to visit in the gardens, which are all worth the time.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens entered the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Pretty flowers at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh
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Hike the Montour Trail in Clairton

About 37 miles of point-to-point trail await you at Clairton, which has the trailhead of the Montour Trail; the longest suburban rail trail in the U.S.

The trail's crushed limestone and partial asphalt surface make biking, running, hiking, and cross-country skiing a breeze.

It may be close to an industrial area, but if you go around the bend, you'll discover the trail's majestic beauty.

There's a wooded area of the trail, and a creek side, which is perfect for nature hikes.

The Montour Trail is privately owned and extends 47 miles with its northwest side that connects to Pittsburgh International Airport.

Shop at Big Discounts at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in McKeesport

If you were to shop for groceries, home goods, toys, food, and more, take a trip to Ollie's Bargain Outlet.

The store offers a bit of everything from books, pet supplies, beauty & skincare products, accessories, furniture, rugs, and many more.

Its name-brand items are also at great discounts, which is perfect if you love signature or branded stuff but don't want to spend beyond your budget.

So, if you're getting around Allegheny County, drop by Ollie’s Bargain Outlet.

It's a perfect spot for travelers on a budget!

Take Down Some Pins at Paradise Island Bowl in Pittsburgh

Featuring 24 lanes of high-end bowling with upscale seating and design, Paradise Island Bowl offers the best traditional bowling in the county.

It has a top-end scoring system, as well as bumpers if you have little children playing with you too.

The bowling also serves delicious food on the menu to ensure that you don't get hungry after a few rounds of bowling.

In addition to bowling, you can also play arcade games, axe throwing, or Hologate virtual reality.

Paradise Island Bowl also features a seasonal beach bar.

Grab a Beer and Pizza at Caliente Pizza & Drafthouse in Aspinwall

Who would've thought that in the small town of Aspinwall, an excellent pizza parlor and draft house exists?

Thanks to Caliente Pizza & Drafthouse for serving award-winning pizzas, craft beers, burgers, subs, and many more.

Try its gourmet pizza or grandma pies with many different flavors, or build your own pizza to experience a unique flavor you've never tried before.

The wings, hoagies, and rolls at Caliente Pizza & Drafthouse are all a must-try.

And of course, pair your pizza and other delicious fare with its craft beers at the bar!

Spend a Full Fun Day at Kennywood in West Mifflin

A ride at Kennywood
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For traveling families, beat it down to Kennywood; a family-friendly amusement park in West Mifflin, which opens to the public between April and December.

The 80-acre park features about 45 attractions, including water slides, roller coasters, flat rides, themed areas, dark rides, transportation rides, kiddieland, water rides, and Thomas Town.

After having fun on the rides, you can grab your snacks from the concession stands, which serve top-notch fare for the whole family.

Daytime view of Kennywood
Larry Pieniazek, User:Lar, (primary), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You shouldn't miss out on its popular Potato Patch Fries, which customers are raving about.

Kennywood was originally a popular picnic spot for locals since the Civil War and was known as Kenny's Grove owned by Anthony Kenny.

It was then established as a trolley park in 1898.

In 1987, Kennywood was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

People standing in line at a Kennywood ride
Larry Pieniazek, User:Lar, (primary), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Set up a Camp at Henry’s Camping Spot in Bell Acres

Camping is one of the best ways to unwind and reconnect yourself with nature, and Henry's Camping Spot doesn't disappoint!

If you're in the Bell Acres area, take time to savor the magical nature that the camping area offers to travelers.

Bring your own camping tents and all other necessities and enjoy sleeping under the stars while being surrounded by creeks and natural woodlands.

Henry's Camping Spot offers a relaxing atmosphere, as well as a rich history from the day that the Native Americans settled in the area to today's modern world.

So, get your camping gear ready and be one with nature!

Taste Local Ice Cream at the Scoops in Bellevue

On a sunny day, a scoop or two of delicious ice cream from the Scoops in Bellevue would be a great treat for you and your loved ones.

If you're in the area, don't skip visiting the ice cream parlor, and have a taste of its passionately and uniquely made ice cream with different flavors.

There are about 50 flavors to choose from, as well as delicious ice cream cakes, sundaes, cookies, milkshakes, and everything about sweet treats.

The Scoops in Bellevue was founded by Mike Collins and opened its first location in Beverly in 2000.

Each location is uniquely designed, which means the flavors vary according to what the neighborhood needs.

Try a Wicked Adventure at Hundred Acres Manor Haunted House in Bethel Park

Try and experience a heart-pounding adventure in Allegheny County that's out of the ordinary.

At Hundred Acres Manor Haunted House, you get to face terror in every corner of each five sections, as well as other attractions, including the burial simulator.

You can choose from its five themed rooms, or try The Maze and Buried Alive themes.

If you need to grab a drink, go to Scream Bar, which offers a great selection of beers on tap.

The award-winning haunted house has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Pittsburgh Magazine, among others.

It was also ranked as Pittsburgh's Best Haunted House for two consecutive years by HauntWorld.

Opened in 2003, its profits go to Animal Friends and The Homeless Children's Education Fund.

So, with every penny you spend at Hundred Acres Manor Haunted House, you help homeless kids and animals.

Get Your Coffee Fix at Curbside Coffeehouse in Blawnox

Kickstart your day in Allegheny County with a great cup of coffee from Curbside Coffeehouse.

From its delicious lattes to its fresh espresso, there's something special for you at the coffeehouse, which has served the community since 2008.

In addition to coffee, it also serves breakfast and lunch fare, which are all made from scratch daily.

Try its mouthwatering breakfast sandwiches, cookies, chicken salad, organic green salad, fruits, and many more.

Curbside Coffeehouse sources its beans locally from De Fer Coffee and Kiva Han.

Take the Kids to Round Hill Park in Elizabeth

Foliage at Round Hill Park
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If you're traveling with kids in tow, take them to Round Hill Park, which features farm animals that they can pet and befriend.

The park offers 1,101 acres of a working farm, sports fields, gardens, walking and bridle trails, a spray park, playgrounds, and picnic shelters.

Kids will love seeing the turkeys, donkeys, alpacas, pigs, chickens, horses, cows, goats, rabbits, barn cats, and many more.

The seasonal spray park is great for the little ones to cool down in the summer.

Round Hill Park also caters to educational field trips and other programs.

Try Local Beers at the Brew Gentlemen in Braddock

Here's another place to hang out with your family and friends, which produces amazing beers locally and nationally.

The Brew Gentlemen is known for its soft and balanced beers, especially its flagship IPA called General Braddock's.

It has a rotating seasonal selection, as well as food trucks, where you can grab a bite to pair with your beer.

Its Mexican coffee stout is popular among locals and tourists.

If you're in the area, don't skip a quick visit to the Brew Gentlemen to try its delicious beers!

Catch a Game at Brentwood Park in Brentwood

For sports aficionados, you can take a trip to Brentwood Park, which features athletic fields that host several games.

The park's sports fields host several games like baseball, softball, football, deck hockey, tennis, and basketball.

Brentwood Park was designed for great walking, which is perfect for those who want to have a little exercise.

There's also a nice swimming pool and a playground that your little ones will love.

And if you're on the 4th of July, the park hosts an amazing fireworks show!

Bring a Picnic to Carnegie Park in Carnegie

Share a delicious picnic lunch with your loved ones at Carnegie Park, which features picnic pavilions with tables to use.

With its relaxed atmosphere, the park is a perfect place to eat lunch or snacks with your family and friend while taking advantage of its other amenities.

The little ones can enjoy playing at the playground, or you can also bring your dog to the dog park, or even play skate at the park's skating rink.

There are also athletic fields where you can see locals having a practice or a friendly game.

Carnegie Park also offers beautiful walking trails to explore, as well as a pretty botanical garden.

Shop for Gifts and Souvenirs at love, Pittsburgh

Don't head back home empty-handed!

Browse the unique items you can find at love, Pittsburgh, which offers beautiful stuff for gifts and souvenirs that are all designed by a Pittsburgh artist.

From travel magnets, postcards, jewelry, shirts, stationeries, art, home goods, personal care items, and even vintage glassware, you can find them here.

If you have a baby or toddler, there's also something special for them at the gift shop.

There's a little bit of everything at love, Pittsburgh that you can grab for a gift or souvenir for yourself and your loved ones back home!

Sway Your Club at the Bob O’Connor Golf Course in Pittsburgh

Clubhouse at Bob O’Connor Golf Course
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Located in the beautiful rolling hills of Schenley Park, the Bob O’Connor Golf Course offers the best golfing in the county.

Also known as The Bob, this charming 18-hole par-67 golf course has nice greens and fairways perfect for any skill level.

It's a small golf course, but everyone who has played here loves its challenging steep hills in between Oakland and Squirrel Hill.

A trail at Bob O’Connor Golf Course
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The Bob O’Connor Golf Course was named for former Pittsburgh mayor Bob O'Connor, who used to play at the course and died while in office.

It was established in 1897 as a 9-hole course until 1903 when an 18-hole course was built.

The grounds of Bob O’Connor Golf Course
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Final Thoughts

May it be an outdoor adventure or simply a sit-in-the-park, you can trust that Allegheny County offers world-class attractions for locals and tourists alike.

It may take a few days to get around the county but with its amazing activities to do, you may not even notice how much time you've spent here.

So, plan your trip now and make it grand in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania!

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