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.
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.
Pittsburgh Water Limo’s fleet of Coast Guard–certified water taxis have ushered patrons down each of Pittsburgh’s three rivers since 1999. At the helm, captains combining more than 150 years of experience oversee safe transport as guests imbibe beer, wine, or bottled water while the skyline steadily rolls past. The taxis charter regular trips to Pirates and Steelers games or ferry passengers looking to sightsee the city.
The Historic South Side Home Tour grants ramblers keyless entry to 11 of South Side’s most distinctive homes. After checking in at the UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center, visitors embark on a self-guided jaunt through the wide-flung doors of renovated lofts and stately mansions. Rummage through well-appointed domiciles, drawing design inspiration from Victorian living rooms, spiral staircases, and portrait galleries of famous Nintendo protagonists. In addition to opening their homes to throngs of eager guests, many of the homes’ denizens will be on hand to answer questions about their abode and its accouterments.
Sunday-morning visits to the grocery store are vastly improved by samples of toothpicked sausage bites and tiny cups of squash soup. Humanity's mysterious love affair with trial-sized morsels is in full effect with today's deal: for $20, you get access to one walking food tour of the Strip District from 'Burgh Bits & Bites, a $38 value (including tax and service fees). Tours meet at the Old St. Patrick's Church courtyard and depart at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Call ahead and namedrop your Groupon to reserve your spot on a tour.