The fish will never see you coming. That’s the goal, anyhow, when fishing in a float tube—you glide slowly across the water in an inflatable, single-seat watercraft, using fins to propel yourself. Acme Dam Fishing’s expert instructors teach novices and veterans alike the art of angling in a float tube before heading out to one of three nearby lakes for an 8- to 12-hour fishing and mermaid-stalking excursion.
More than 50 years ago, Mr. John E. Connelly set his sights on cleaning up Pittsburgh's polluted three rivers and returning them to their former glory as the Steel City's heart and soul. As then-treasurer of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, John was in a prime position to complete his ambition. With the belief that he could get the public engaged and committed to a cleanup, he decided to give the local people access to the rivers via boat tours, knowing the city's characteristic architecture as viewed from the rivers would engender a genuine appreciation for the region's waterways and environment.
After getting his nephew, Captain Jack Goessling, on board, John purchased a 100-passenger fishing boat they would christen the Gateway Clipper, which would later launch from Monongahela Wharf for the first of its many pleasure cruises. Today, with Gateway Clipper Fleet, his dream of engaging locals and visitors in the city's history and waterways thrives with a fleet that has grown to five boats capable of accommodating 2,500 guests. Through the years, the fleet has ferried more than 25 million passengers, treating them to dinner cruises, sightseeing tours, and entertainment jaunts along the clean, blue waters of Pittsburgh's three rivers.
The Shadows Haunted Attraction lives up to its spooky moniker by sending groups off a half-mile of pitch-black woodland. Utilizing the natural creepiness of its surroundings, this haunted attraction is different from others that rely on elaborate sets, mood lighting, and shoeshine stations run by Frankenstein to impress their guests.
Rustling leaves and sounds with indiscernible sources echo in the darkness, and creatures lie in wait for unsuspecting passersby. Afterward, visitors can calm their rattled nerves around a large roaring bonfire.
Extending up to 140 feet below ground level beneath a foothill of the Allegheny Front, the natural limestone formations of Indian Caverns yield beautiful glimpses of the Earth's inner geological mechanics. The majority of the cave's stalagmites, stalactites, and flowstone are actively growing at a pace of 1 cubic inch every 120 years, just like the hair of a petrified cave mouse. Knowledgeable guides lead tours along nearly 1 mile of the cave's length in an hour, pointing out limestone formations and such cave wildlife as brown bats and salamanders from the comfort of an artificially lighted walkway. Guides recommend that visitors wear comfortable walking shoes and a light sweater, jacket, or the warmer half of a two-person horse costume as the cavern stays a constant 56 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.
As tour-goers gaze on the cave's beautiful features, a guide elucidates its rich history from the first limestone deposit formed 405 million years ago to its opening to the public four months before the stock-market crash of 1929. Many Native-American artifacts were found in the cave during development and can be seen both inside the cavern and at the gift shop.
Frick Art & Historical Center beams with beautiful art and historical artifacts endowed by the daughter of Henry Clay Frick, one of America’s great industrialists and art collectors. Members of the Frick can wander through the bountiful exhibitions, taking a gander at the permanent collection or indulging in the sparkling transience of the Fabergé at the Frick exhibition, a display of more than 100 objects crafted the House of by Fabergé, helmed by famed Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé. Members can impersonate turn-of-the-century chauffeurs with unlimited admission to the Car and Carriage Museum, or learn about different historical objects with discounts on lectures. Brush up on antiquated traditions such as letter writing, origami, or crafting cootie catchers with stationery from the Museum Shop, taking 10% discounts on notecards ($1.80), postcards ($1.13), or books. Members also receive the exclusive ability to make advanced reservations at The Café at the Frick, which dishes out gourmet sandwiches and entrées alongside a list of wines.
The Historic South Side Home Tour will be held on Saturday, May 19, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Participants will begin the self-guided tour at UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center. Tours occur rain or shine. Now in its 21st year, the annual Historic South Side Home Tour bridges present-day Pittsburghers to the area's acclaimed past while marching along a route framed by noteworthy houses, lofts, and apartment buildings. Each spring, the self-guided trek aspires to reach more members of the community than the year before, and drew an all-time best of more than 1,000 tour takers in 2011. A lineup of 12 homes offers glimpses into restored, repurposed, and brand new structures during the 2012 tour, and homeowners will be available to answer questions about their distinguished abodes or put excitable new garages back on a leash. In addition to examining exterior façades, participants tour the interior of all buildings.