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.
Located on the Montour Trail—a 46-mile stretch of flat, non-motorized trail paved with crushed limestone—The Tandem Connection stands as a convenient stopping point to outfit customers for two-wheeled excursions. Folks can stop in for daily or hourly rentals of 3-, 7-, or 21-speed bikes, such as retro-styled tandems from Sun Bicycles and pint-size rides from KHS Bicycles. The bikes feature hand or coaster brakes and may be attached with kid-friendly add-ons such as tagalongs and trailers. Once atop bikes, riders confront bridges and tunnels on their scenic adventure before heading back to Tandem for trail snacks, locally roasted coffee, and weekend barbecue.
Come September every year, though, the course?the size of a football field?transforms into a creepy, crawly stomping ground for ghouls and goblins. During the weeks before Halloween, visitors putt their way past eerie creatures and props to the tunes of spooky music, and glow-in-the-dark golf balls let them play into the night without affixing a little headlamp to each ball. Players of all ages are welcome.
Located in Hopewell Township, The Windmill has entertained local families with its 18-hole miniature-golf course for more than half a century. Away from the obstacle-laden course, a snack bar produces tasty treats, including nachos, corn dogs, and the Windmill's renowned ice cream.
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.
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.