What would you do if you had tourists in that weren’t hungry, and didn’t drink that much, besides call them a jagoff? I have 5 charismatic destinations that are guaranteed to thrill you and your friends and/or family. For example, in the little town of Swissvale, we have the exotic and enticing Trundle Manor. This place holds skeletons, skulls, and some jarred specimens for the curious friends on your list. For the artsy type, there is Fallingwater, and for the outdoorsy type, the Carrie Furnaces. For the risk-takers, I would recommend Kayak Pittsburgh and Skydiving Pittsburgh.
–Fallingwater: Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built this extraordinary house in Ohiopyle between 1936 and 1939. Check out the website link above for more pictures. You are sure to be amazed. Fun fact: Wright’s parents, the Kaufmanns, are from Pittsburgh, and yes, they are the same Kaufmanns who owned the chain of stores with the same name. Surprisingly, many of this home’s corners are made of glass. The house is built over a waterfall, and was priced at $155,000 in 1939 ($2.6 million inflation-adjusted for 2013). It is 5,330 feet of magnificence, and looks to be breathtaking.
Trundle Manor: This place has this quote displayed on their website: “The most unusual tourist trap in the world meets the most bizarre private collection on public display”. They hold some of the most oddball things I have ever heard of, including taxidermy and bizarre medical implements, whatever that means (medical devices). This place was built in 1910, and is the headquarters of the Secret Society of Odd Acquisition. Tours are by appointment only and donations are requested (and, just in case you were wondering, you can donate animal parts or other creepy things if you’re so inclined to do so).
Carrie Furnaces: This steel mill throwback used to hold some of the hottest materials in the world. They are now open for tours again, and there is an upcoming event this Saturday called Save the Carrie Deer from 6:00 p.m. to 8.p.m. This is an event that is being thrown to celebrate a sculpture of a deer made at the site of the furnace, made with materials from inside, and a showing of a documentary about this process. The Carrie Furnaces are located in Braddock, and you can go to the link above for more tour information.
Kayak Pittsburgh: An adventure is not far from your reach when you sign up for a kayak tour through Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Their website says that kayaking is great for beginners, and this unique skill can be learned in a matter of 15 to 20 minutes. You don’t even need a reservation, and this place is open 7 days a week.
Skydiving Pittsburgh: Have you ever wanted to skydive in your very own city? I know I haven’t, but many around me have. You can do this and have it taped for your future viewing pleasure, also. Tandem skydiving and advanced training are up for grabs at this location. Face your fears. Do it! You could even get your next visitor to Pittsburgh a gift certificate to skydive with you. Who knew?
Adventurers and outdoorsy types will be sure to have some fun at these places, and you just might, too. For those outlandish friends and family members from the far Midwest to the far west, you will be sure to satisfy their craving for adrenaline in Pittsburgh.