Alyssa has been writing about exciting travel topics for Trips to Discover since 2013. After living the big city life in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Atlanta, Alyssa sold the bulk of her possessions and became a digital nomad, living full-time in her camper and working from wherever she could find an outlet and an internet connection for her laptop.
Read full bio
If you’re in Pittsburgh and looking for a change of scenery, there are lots of great weekend destinations nearby for a quick getaway. Within just a few hours, you can see mountain scenery, historic sites, quaint towns, and much more. So, pack a bag, fuel up the car, and hit the road to one of these top weekend getaways from Pittsburgh.
The Ohiopyle area is just what you need to escape the city life and get in touch with nature for the weekend. Within less than two hours of a drive from Pittsburgh, you can hike on some beautiful trails, see waterfalls, and be inspired by natural beauty. You can go white water rafting here as well to get your adrenaline pumping. Make sure to check out Ohiopyle State Park, Kentuck Knob, and Fallingwater on this weekend excursion to make the most of your time in this part of Pennsylvania. Falllingwater and Kentuck Knob are architectural masterpieces designed by the one and only Frank Lloyd Wright and are open for tours.
The Pennsylvania town of Jim Thorpe continuously makes top media lists and for good reason. It’s a Victorian town in the Lehigh Gorge that is brimming with romance and history. This is a perfect weekend getaway destination for adventure and sightseeing. Top things to do in this area include the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, the Glen Onoko Falls Trail, the Asa Packer Mansion, and the Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary. This is also a great place to sample local wines and mead at Big Creek Vineyard, Stonekeep Meadery, and other local spots.
For fun outdoor activities and a college town vibe, take a weekend trip to Morgantown, West Virginia. It’s only about an hour and a half drive from Pittsburgh and a fun city escape with lots to do. Families, couples, and groups of friends love spending weekends here because it’s one of the most fun small cities in America. During your weekend in Morgantown, you can take a walk around West Virginia University, sip local wine at the Forks of Cheat Winery, attend a game at Mountaineer Field, and take a stroll through the West Virginia Botanic Garden. Cheat Lake Trail, the WVU Coliseum, the Morgantown Farmers’ Market, and Dorsey’s Knob Park are also local hot spots to check out.
There’s also some great skiing in under two hours from Pittsburgh, so head to the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in the winter months. If you want a warm weather weekend getaway, you can also head here for ziplining, canopy tours, and hiking. The Laurel Highlights is an epic backpacking trail nearby at you can hike a portion of over a weekend as well. This is also a paradise destination for mountain biking with a great selection of trails from beginner through advanced routes.
For something entirely different from your usual routine in Pittsburgh, head to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to spend a weekend in Amish country. Some small towns to visit in this region are Strasburg, Bird-in-Hand, and Lancaster itself. Here you can shop for unique handcrafted items, dine on delicious and hearty cuisine, and perhaps even go for a ride in an authentic Amish buggy. Top sights for your itinerary are the Amish Farm and House, the Lancaster Central Market, and the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania.
The city of Cleveland is also an ideal weekend getaway from Pittsburgh because it’s only a little over two hours away. This is an idea destination for craft beer lovers because of all the great breweries in town. Some craft brew spots to check out include Bad Tom Smith Brewing, Bookhouse Brewing, and the Great Lakes Brewing Company. Cleveland Metroparks is a fun place to get some outdoor time and exercise, and there are some interesting museums to check out here too. While you’re in Cleveland, plan to check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the science center, and perhaps a major league sporting event.
The Poconos is a mountainous region of Pennsylvania that is romantic and filled with opportunities for outdoor adventure. There are approximately 150 lakes here for recreation, lovely forested peaks, bird-watching areas, and boat launches for fishing and boating. Couples looking for a weekend getaway should look into staying at the Cove Haven Resorts, which are geared towards couples and come with romantic perks. A weekend in the Poconos can be ultra-relaxing or as active as you like. Plan for skiing and snow activities in the winter, spa treatments to rejuvenate your body and mind, and zip lines for high-flying adventure.
Near the Pennsylvania town of Erie lies Presque Isle State Park, an excellent weekend getaway that’s about two hours from Pittsburgh. This is a 3,200-acre peninsula that leads into Lake Erie and is the only seashore in Pennsylvania. Come here to get your beach fix and see the ocean after long days in the city. It’s an ideal place for boating, fishing, swimming, biking, and hiking. There are lots of wineries in this region if you’re up for a tasting or tour, and there are even a couple amusement parks and water parks to keep the kids entertained on a family weekend trip. Plan to check out the Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort for plenty of fun regardless of the weather.
For a dose of history and educational fun for the whole family, plan your weekend getaway to Gettysburg. Here you can learn about Civil War history, stay at a cozy inn, browse quaint shops, and be enchanted by small-town charm. Most weekend travelers start their trip with a visit to the Gettysburg National Military Park, museum and visitor’s center. After that, you can check out General Lee’s Headquarters Museum, the Jennie Wade House, Gettysburg National Cemetery. Also, plan to check out the Dobbin House Tavern, Gettysburg Museum of History, and the Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg for all your shopping needs while you’re here for a couple days.