Pittsburgh - Do i really need a car

May 29th, 2007, 06:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 116
Pittsburgh - Do i really need a car

Hi- my husband and I are planning a long weekend - three nights- in Pittsburgh in August staying downtown- bidding on priceline. We are from Manhattan and love to walk around- hate having a car.

Do we really need a car the whole weekend- we are planning to go to Falling Water and Kentuck Knob but wanted to get rid of the car after that...

Also, is anyone aware of a car rental agency in the city so we don't have to go out to the airport or pay the higher taxes we are just hoping to get it for 24 hours to get to Fallingwater....

Besides Fallingwater- this is what we planned on doing- do we need a car to get to any of the following- if public transportation- please advise how- taxis are fine too- though i've heard they are hard to get downtown:

I believe i'm ok getting to the following:
Just Ducky tour
PNC Park tour
Pirates game
The Strip & Station Square
Taking the incline up

Not so sure about being able to get to w/out a car:
Phipps Conservatory
Cathedral of Learning & Heinz History Centre
Take the incline up- have dinner there
Church Brew

julieod is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 05:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,040
Julie, there are Avis and Enterprise locations in the downtown area (Avis looks like it is next door to the Pittsburgh Hilton).

As a resident, I don't take taxis so I can't really say how convenient they are or what it would cost to get from downtown (where I assume you are staying) to the Oakland area to visit Phipps and the Cathedral of Learning. Note that the Heinz History Center is close to downtown so it shouldn't be a problem by taxi. The Hyeholde is a great restaurant but it's almost at the airport, so go there while you still have the car --- too far (costly) to take a taxi, IMHO.

Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob are great places to visit. Did you see that there is a special exhibit this summer at the Phipps --- the Chihuly Glass Exhibit? It's a great time to go there.

Never been to the Church Brew - hopefully someone else can help with that.
swaymock is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 05:47 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,618

Hi Julie

You can take the bus to Oakland -- I think maybe the express bus can get you there. Once there you can walk to Phipps (over the Panther Hollow Bridge, or across CMU campus), the Cathedral of Learning, and the Carnegie Museums. Plan to eat on Craig Street, which has lots of great ethinc choices.

From the top of the incline, you can walk to several restaurants in a nice little neighborhood -- I forget the name of the street. There are aslo some cool observation decks a short walk away.

capxxx is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,552
The one place on your list that you won't be able to get to by bus or taxi is Hyeholde. It is out in a far flung suburb. Perhaps you want to do that on the day you go to Kentuck Knob and Fallingwater? It would make for a long day, but I guess it is doable.

One reason that I love Manhattan is that one doesn't need a car there. One reason that I am less than satisfied with my life in P'burgh is that one always needs a car here.

I think you will also have to consider the cuts in P'burgh bus service, especially on the weekends and evenings.

You can easily get to Phipps Conservatory, but most busses from Downtown will stop a few long blocks away.

But the area is fantastic and you can make several stops while you are in Oakland, including the Cathedral of Learning (best to get the hours of the Nationality Rooms). Soldiers and Sailors is also an interesting buildings, and while you are at Phipps, consider wandering into Schenley Park.

All in all, you can do everything on your list by taxi and public transportation, except Hyeholde.

You might consider a Southside restaurant, such as Dish (need reservations) instead of Hyeholde. You could walk, and it is good. Still an urban feel though; not as removed as Hyeholde, if that is what you are after.

Your hotel will get you taxis, and make sure you have the taxi phone number with you in case busses are difficult. On each bus, you should be able to get the schedule for your return trip. If not, there are schedules for every route in the Gateway T station. I think there is also a phone number for bus schedules.You can use the T to get to the incline and Southside, if you prefer that to walking. Although the Southside T stop is a long way from the central part of Southside, there are busses from the T stop into central Southside.

Other southside restaurants are Cafe du Jour in the garden for lunch; Cafe Allegro, and La Pommier. All quite nice; I like Dish and La Pommier best. Steer away from Mallorca, not good and too often recommended.

The very best dinner at the top of Mt Washington is, IMO, Isabella. It is a prix fixe, set menu type place, a little expensive by Pittsburgh standards.

In the Strip, my favorites are Eleven (expensive) and Kaya (less so). Enrico Biscotti is sooo worth a stop.

I have a copy of the 25 Best Restaurants in Pittsburgh Magazine that just came out. I would be happy to send it to you. Just email me at elvis mom 2002 @ yahoo. com
without any spaces, of course.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 73
I think you need a car. Public transportation is not the most frequent or reliable, especially on the weekend. You dont want to be spending an hour waiting for a bus when you could be doing sightseeing.

Also since a lot of the places you are going to are split up between Oakland area ( university, Musuems) and proper downtown, this is not a walkable distance. You would spend money on multiple taxi fares, why not have the convienience of your own car?. Most of the parking meters are free on weekends.

If you have specific questions, feel free to email me. I've lived in the Burg for 12 years..
bokill is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 952
Last year when we were home visiting relatives, we ate at the Church Brew. I would recommend it for the interesting atmosphere. The staff was friendly, the place, definitely unique. We really enjoyed the experience.

The food was not remarkable, but good nonetheless. I think you'll need a car since it's across the Bloomfield bridge from downtown. I suppose you could stop there on the way back into town the day you have the car for the Fallingwater excursion.

Just down the block from the Carnegie library (and across the street from the Cathedral of Learning) is the section of the original Forbes Field wall where Bill Mazeroski hit his famous home run in the 1960 World Series.
kathleen is offline  
May 31st, 2007, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 370
I think there are much better places to eat and drink in Pittsburgh than Church Brew. I really don't understand the hype. I like Kaya in the strip alot.
syd is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 11:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 116
Thanks for all of the advice and the great restaurants everyone- we love ethnic food- thanks for the suggestion for craig street capxxx- that was one thing i hadn't heard. I'll definitely take a look at the bus schedules to see if it will work. I'm thinking of coming in on a friday night so if i want to hit Hyeholde- we'll go then and hit Fallingwater the next day. Though i wasn't that interested in the menu when i looked online. It does seem that it may just be easier from a time perspective to just have a car (though i find that to be more of a hassle). Hoping to finalize this week so i'm sure i'll have more questions.
julieod is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 09:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 443
Julieod, this is one city where I think you will be better off having a car. The public transportation is not quite what it is in Manhattan! Anyway, I think you'll enjoy your weekend trip to Pittsburgh. You'll find it pleasantly inexpensive compared to NYC.
dgg is offline  

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