Sometimes you just want to get away from it all-- but still be home at the end of the day.
That’s why day trips are the perfect mini vacation. Luckily, Pittsburgh is surrounded by some pretty amazing places-- all accessible within a couple of hours of driving. Whether you want to do something outdoors-- or would rather stay inside-- there are tons of options available.
Take advantage of the destinations located so close to Pittsburgh-- grab some friends, pack up the car and head out to explore these great ideas!
If you’re in the mood to do some exploring, any of the options on this list are a great place to start. Be sure to pick up a GiftYa personalized gift card-- accepted at all these locations-- and many more in and around Pittsburgh. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting your GiftYa gift card when you’re out and about on a day trip outside of Pittsburgh. That’s because there is no physical card, instead, the gift gets transferred directly to a debit card. Don’t forget to personalize it with a text or photo for the perfect gift!
An architectural wonder
1491 Mill Run Rd.
Mill Run, PA 15464
Closed January and February
Fallingwater is a must see for anyone, especially Pittsburghers since we’re so close.
Fallingwater is a beautiful, historic home designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The home sits on top of a cascading waterfall and is surrounded by the woodland beauty of Western Pennsylvania.
You can tour the house-- which was built for the Kaufmann family-- and tour the surrounding property as well. This is an easily accessible day trip about 1.5 hours from Pittsburgh. When you’re there, be sure to check out the fun activities at Ohiopyle State Park as well!
“...The work that was done here will never be replicated in our lifetime. I could visit this place once a week and never get tired of it. The tours are very insightful and sheerly delightful.” - Yelp Review
Bedford County, PA
Located in mostly rural Bedford County, Gravity Hill has been quietly defying physics for years.
It’s only a two hour road trip from Pittsburgh, and completely worth the trip! According to legend, gravity acts differently here.
Once you arrive at the designated spot-- marked only with a start sign on the pavement-- put your car in neutral and wait for it to roll uphill. Some people have also taken water and put it on the very same road, only to watch it roll uphill. It’s something you certainly need to see for yourself.
While you’re in the area, check out all the other things Bedford County has to offer.
Since Pennsylvania is a landlocked state, when Pittsburghers want to see the beach, they head north up to Erie. Known for not only it’s beautiful lake and beach, Erie is also home to a wine region quickly growing in popularity. There are also a couple of craft breweries on the rise in the area too.
Located about two hours north of Pittsburgh, it is an easy day trip. The quaint town offers tons of shopping and nightlife-- you’ll have a hard time leaving. Make sure to also check out Presque Isle State Park located on a sandy peninsula that juts out into the lake-- the views are stunning!
Not far from Erie, PA is Chautauqua located in just over the border in New York.
This little lake town is a part of the same wine growing region as Erie, and has been producing stellar wine for decades. This would be a perfect day trip from Pittsburgh-- one where you can get out of the city and appreciate a town that moves at a slower pace.
Chautauqua is also home to the Chautauqua Institution that offers innovative classes for continued education throughout the year. It is also a wonderful place to go and see concerts and shows throughout the summer months.
61 County Line Dr.
Bruceton Mill, WV 26525
This beautiful forest offers some amazing views from its canyon section which overlooks Cheat River.
Breathtaking in any season, Coopers Rock is especially beautiful in the autumn-- the changing trees create an amazing backdrop for pictures. You can hike, camp, fish, and bike-- amongst many other activities in this state forest as well. Be sure to try out the geocaching as well!
124 Main St.
Ohiopyle, PA 15470
When Pittsburghers want to take a day trip and spend some time outdoors, Ohiopyle is a great option.
About 1.5 hours from Pittsburgh, this is the best place to do some hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking, and swimming outside of Pittsburgh. Plus, you get to do all this amongst the beauty of the Laurel Highlands.
Spend some time in the town too, and you’ll immediately feel like a local. There are places to grab some lunch and a beer, and maybe even see some live music!
222 Penn’s Cave Road
Centre Hall, PA 16828
If you’re in the mood to really get outside the city and explore something new, then consider checking out Penn’s Cave.
About three hours east of Pittsburgh in Centre County, you can take a tour of this ancient limestone cave entirely by boat.
Viewing the stalagmites and stalactites as you float by is truly an awesome experience. There is also a nature and wildlife tour you can take as well-- above ground of course.
While you’re there, be sure to try you luck out gemstone panning as well! Who knows what you might find.
777 Waterwheel Dr.
Champion, PA 15622
Looking for a place to day trip to in either the winter or the summer?
Then look no further than Seven Springs, located only about 1.5 hours from Pittsburgh. This is a four seasons resort-- meaning in the winter Pittsburghers come for the skiing and tubing, and in the summer love to try the hiking and zip line courses.
This resort is in Western Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, and is a fantastic idea for those daytrippers who just want a change of scenery. The summer social calendar is packed full of events each month with something for everyone-- including wine festivals, to rib contests, to sporting clay shoots. You’re sure to find a reason to visit, regardless of the season!
898 State Park Road
Swanton, MD 21561
Believe it or not, Deep Creek State Park in Maryland is only about two hours from Pittsburgh.
The park is home to a beautiful lake, that is full of boaters, jet skiers, and canoeing all summer long. While the lake is man-made, the surrounding forest most definitely is not.
Grab some friends and take advantage of the hiking trails, fishing, or even hunting opportunities here. If you’re looking to relax instead, just bring along a picnic lunch for a nice day on the beach.
Garrett County always has lots of events scheduled throughout the year, so make sure to check their calendar!
There are so many possibilities when it comes to day trips outside of Pittsburgh. Close to Maryland, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York-- not to mention other places in Pennsylvania-- it really is a prime location for lots of fun destinations!
What is your favorite place to day trip to? Let us know in the comments!