12 Fun-Filled Day Trips in Pittsburgh to Enjoy With Friends and Family

Image courtesy of Visit Erie

Sometimes you just want to get away from it all-- but still be home at the end of the day. Here are the twelve best day trips in Pittsburgh!

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.

Main image courtesy of Chatham University.

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 e-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!

Fallingwater

An architectural wonder in the Pittsburgh area you will fall in love with!

Fallingwater is an incredible architectural spot in Pittsburgh that you just have to see! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

1491 Mill Run Road | Mill Run | fallingorder.org

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!

“Absolutely beautiful and fascinating place. Spent a couple of hours walking around the house, did a short hike, explored the gardens, woods. Also did a guided tour which cost us $30.00 pp.” - Yelp Review 

Buy a gift card for Fallingwater

Gravity Hill

We have to say that this is a magical day trip...  and we mean that literally!

Check out Gravity Hill for lots of beautiful trails to walk on and woods to explore! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

Bedford County, PA | gravityhill.com

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.

“It will have you scratching your head! Lol! Great day trip.” - Google Review

Erie, PA

Who said that it's hard for Pittsburghers to make it to the beach?

Erie, Pennsylvania is an incredible place to go visit with beaches and so much more! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

visiterie.com

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!

Chautauqua, NY

Another splendid lake town not far from Pittsburgh that is absolutely stunning!

Chautauqua in New York is an amazing lake to go see that is very close to Pittsburgh! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

tourchautauqua.com

Not far from Erie, PA, is Chautauqua, located just over the border in New York State.

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 Chautauqua Institution that offers innovative classes for continued education in the summer. It is also a wonderful place to go and see concerts and shows throughout the summer months.

“Year round it is a beautiful place to live: the colors in the fall are amazing, winter brings lots of ice fishing, skiing and such, spring and summer are big tourist times here.” - Yelp Review

Coopers Rock State Forest

The perfect outdoor getaway south of Pittsburgh that is perfect for everyone!

If you want to enjoy nature and see some incredible scenery, make sure to go to Coopers Rock State Forest! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

61 County Line Drive | Bruceton Mill | wvstateparks.com

Just a short 1.5 hour drive south of Pittsburgh-- and a little past Morgantown-- is Coopers Rock State Forest.

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!

“...very pretty lookout that gives a stunning view of a deep valley and acres of woodland. There are some steep ridges so be careful when climbing around...” - Google Review

Ohiopyle State Park

Enjoy a day out in nature, and maybe a beautiful picnic later!

Ohiopyle State Park is an incredible area to see that isn’t very far from Pittsburgh and is great for a day trip! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

124 Main Street | Ohiopyle | dcnr.pa.gov

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!

“...one of the best parks I've ever been to. There is always something to do or see in all times of the year. It has been really built up over years.” -Yelp Review

Penn’s Cave

Some of Pennsylvania's most interesting geological wonders to check out!

Penn’s Cave features beautiful animals and the wonders of nature that you need to come see! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

222 Penns Cave Road | Centre Hall | pennscave.com

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 your luck out gemstone panning as well! Who knows what you might find.

“I've been here many times in my life and they all have been very enjoyable. The boat ride is very nice and all of the tour guides have been great!” - Yelp Review

Buy a gift card for Penn’s Cave

Seven Springs

You know it for snowboarding, skiing, or tubing -- but it's perfect for any season!

If you enjoy skiing, snowboarding, or even tubing, make sure to purchase a pass to go ride the mountains at Seven Springs! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

777 Waterwheel Drive | Champion | 7springs.com

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 day trippers 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, rib contests, and sporting clay shoots. You’re sure to find a reason to visit, regardless of the season!

“Wonderful property. A week is not enough. There is so much to see and do. The restaurants are simply yummy. You can go hungry to each and will be very satisfied.” - Yelp Review

Buy a gift card for Seven Springs

Deep Creek State Park and Lake

Another amazing option for a day spent outdoors if you prefer nature!

Deep Creek State Park and Lake is a beautiful area with lots of woods to explore and much more! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

898 State Park Road | Swanton, MD | dnr.maryland.gov

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!

“A wonderful landscape. This place is absolutely beautiful. A nice family retreat or vacation.” - Yelp Review

Hartwood Acres

Go to this beautiful park in Allegheny County as soon as you can!

Hartwood Acres is an incredible park to go to in Allegheny County, so make sure to check it out along with the mansion! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

200 Hartwood Acres | Pittsburgh | visitpittsburgh.com

Looking to get outdoors in nature around Allegheny County? Consider going to Hartwood Acres today! Hartwood Acres is known for being a very scenic 629-acre park with plenty of areas to explore, trails to run or walk along, and so much more to explore!

Hartwood Acres is not only known for its beautiful scenery and woods, but there is also a 16th-century tudor-style mansion located there that you can tour for only $6 for adults. Exploring the grounds of the mansion and the indoors makes for a fantastic day trip, so make sure to check out Hartwood Acres!

“We have been walking here for years. There are paved and unpaved paths throughout the area. There is a large hill to walk up to the mansion for some good cardio.” - Yelp Review 

Quecreek Mine Rescue Site 

Explore a mining site where nine miners were rescued and so much more!

Quecreek Mine Rescue Site is an area full of history about a group of miners that were stuck underground for five days, so go see it now! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

140 Haupt Road | Somerset | quecreekrescue.org

There is nothing more interesting than learning about some history in the areas that you are touring and exploring. Do you like learning something new everyday? Make sure to check out Quecreek Mine Rescue Site as soon as you can!

Right in Somerset, Pennsylvania, Quecreek Mine Rescue is an attraction about the rescue of nine miners in Quecreek Mine in 2002 after a catastrophic explosion where nine men were trapped underground and it took five days to get them out. To check out this incredible story, make sure to go to Quecreek Mine Rescue Site!

“This is a somber place to visit. You immediately feel that this place is somewhat of a sacred place to be at. “ - Yelp Review 

Idlewild & Soakzone

An amusement park and water park to hang out at is just what you need!

Go to Idlewild & Soakzone for an incredible day filled with fun with friends and family! Image courtesy of Instagram. 

2574 US Highway 30 | Ligonier | idlewild.com

Do you want to go to a fun amusement park that you can spend the whole day at? Make sure to check out Idlewild & Soakzone today for a fun family-filled day that you can’t miss out on! With both a roller coaster park and a water park, Idlewild provides an endless amount of fun perfect for anybody and everybody.

Idlewild features a lot of roller coasters, spinny rides, and so much more that are all perfect for kids and they also have a walkthrough trail with lots of figurines called Storybook Forest. Storybook Forest features lots of the most classic fairy tales in lifesize sculptures. Make sure to go to Idlewild & Soakzone today!

“This was the first time I remember ever coming to this park. We made it a day trip as we are almost 2 hours away. In the end it was a really fun day!” - Yelp Review 

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! Remember, put a GiftYa e-gift card to good use at one of these awesome destinations.

What is your favorite place to day trip to? Let us know in the comments!

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