As someone who’s lived all across the state of Pennsylvania, I have quite a bit of experience with weekend trips from Pittsburgh, PA. With everything going on in the world, more people are planning road trips and staying close to home than ever before. Whether you’re planning a family trip, couples trip, or girls weekend getaway from Pittsburgh, there are so many options near and far.
To help you plan your trip, this post includes where to stay, eat and sightsee in a variety of weekend destinations we’ve visited over the years. While the focus is on departing from Pittsburgh, we recommend these weekend getaways in Pennsylvania and the surrounding states regardless of your originating city.
Weekend Trips from Pittsburgh: Table of Contents
Weekend Getaways From Pittsburgh Under a 2 Hour Drive
If you’re looking for fun weekend getaways close to Pittsburgh with a short drive, there are SO many great options to choose from. Below are our favorite weekend trips near Pittsburgh that could make fun day trips from Pittsburgh as well.
Note: All distances are based on Pittsburgh’s city center. Therefore, actual driving time may vary depending on which part of Pittsburgh you live in.
Located in Northwest Pennsylvania, Lake Erie is one of the best weekend getaways near Pittsburgh. There are so many fun things to do in Erie, PA, including a trip to the beach at Presque Isle State Park or a boat ride on Lake Erie with Scallywag’s Pirate Adventures. Waldameer amusement park and the Erie Zoo are also two of our favorite kid-friendly things to do in Erie, PA.
- Where to Eat in Erie: Sara’s Restaurant by Presque Isle is an old fashion diner with fun outdoor photo ops. Woody’s Backwater BARge & Grill is perfect for a casual meal on the water. Dave’s Diner is awesome for breakfast in downtown Erie.
- Where to Stay in Erie: Towneplace Suites by Marriott Erie
- Distance from Pittsburgh to Erie: 128 miles/ 1 hour 55 minutes
Read here for more on a weekend in Erie: Weekend Trip to Erie with Kids
Laurel Highlands & Ligonier, PA
If you’re looking for one of the most adorable small towns in America with fun for the whole family, Ligonier is the perfect Pennsylvania getaway for you. Ligonier is located east of Pittsburgh in the beautiful Laurel Highlands. Idlewild & SoakZone is one of the most popular things to do with kids in Ligonier. The nearby Ligioner Valley Train Museum is also a great place to stop. Shopping in Ligonier, PA is also plentiful. You can browse the variety of shops in Ligioner’s Diamond or visit the amazing Ligonier Country Market. To get your fix of history, visit Fort Ligonier or the Lincoln Highway Experience.
- Where to Eat in Ligonier: Have a gourmet breakfast at Kitchen on Main. Enjoy traditional American fare for lunch or dinner at The Road Toad or Carol and Dave’s Roadhouse. Get ice cream at the Ligonier Creamery and coffee (or ice cream!) at Abigail’s Coffeehouse.
- Where to Stay in Ligonier: The 2-bedroom Sunset Cottages are perfect for a group or family getaway to Ligonier. They also have smaller rooms available as well.
- Distance from Pittsburgh to Ligonier: 51 miles/ 1 hour 10 minutes
Read here for more: Weekend Getaway to Ligonier, PA with Kids
More Ideas for a Weekend in Laurel Highlands
If you’re looking for romantic getaways near Pittsburgh, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is also in the Laurel Highlands. We originally planned a baby moon there in the Spring. The resort is beautiful and includes a number of amenities like golfing, a full service spa and fine dining. Unfortunately, we had cancel due to the pandemic, but we’re hoping to visit in the future!
Instead, we did a day trip to Laurel Highlands to explore a few of the great things to do in Ohiopyle, PA. Our day trip from Pittsburgh included a visit to Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, which are both Frank Lloyd Wright houses in PA. On a prior trip we also went whitewater rafting in Ohiopyle. (One of the most fun things to do in Laurel Highlands!)
Just like Pittsburgh, Cleveland has been experiencing a transformation in the past several years. Weekend getaways in Cleveland, Ohio can include anything from exploring the lakefront trails and lakefront, to brewery hopping and museums. Plus, you can’t miss the famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. There is also great nightlife in Cleveland, including live music and unique venues like The Corner Alley and Hobfrahaus. Fun things to do in Cleveland with kids include the Cleveland Children’s Museum, Great Lakes Science Center and Cleveland Zoo.
- Where to Eat in Cleveland: There are several great breweries in Cleveland, OH with unique food menus. Some of the best Cleveland breweries include Great Lakes Brewing Company, Collison Bend and Noble Beast. The Standard offers a great seasonally changing menu. Winking Lizard has a huge beer list, good bar food and is great for a group. The Chocolate Bar in Cleveland is a cool experience with chocolate in every menu item. And you can’t miss one of the famous grilled cheese sandwiches in Cleveland at Melt Bar and Grilled.
- Where to Stay in Cleveland: The Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade is great hotel in downtown Cleveland. The DoubleTree by Hilton Cleveland Downtown is perfect if you want a Cleveland hotel by the lake. The Kimpton Schofield Hotel is perfect if you want a trendy Cleveland hotel in a great location.
- Distance from Pittsburgh to Cleveland: 133 miles/ 2 hours 10 min
Whether you’re visiting IUP for the weekend or are looking for a fun day trip, Indiana, PA is a great option. One of the most popular things to do in Indiana, PA is visiting the Jimmy Carter Museum to learn more about the Hollywood actor. You can also tour the Jimmy Stewart Airport or visit during the annual Jimmy Stewart Airshow. The Buttermilk Falls Natural Area is a beautiful hike in Pennsylvania that allows you to walk behind a waterfall. For things to do in Indiana, PA with kids, visit the massive Mack Park and the Indiana Community Garden.
- Where to Eat in Indiana, PA: Visit the original Commonplace Coffee location or Cafe Amadeus for great local coffee shops. Enjoy the artwork while having a light lunch or beverage at The Artist’s Hand Gallery. Have dinner at Philly Street Station for a unique dining experience in an old train station. Visit Benjamin’s for lunch or dinner outside on the beautiful patio.
- Where to Stay in Indiana, PA: Hilton Garden Inn Indiana at IUP has spacious rooms with free breakfast and an indoor pool.
- Distance from Pittsburgh to Indiana, PA: 58 miles/ 1 hour 15 minutes
Read for more on a weekend in Indiana, PA: Guide to Visiting Indiana, PA
Butler is located just North of Pittsburgh. With it’s proximity to the city it’s often overlooked when looking for weekend getaways near Pittsburgh, PA. Whether you want a day trip for a change of scenery or an easy overnight stay, there are so many great things to do in Butler, PA. Moraine State Park and McConnells Mill State Park offer outdoor adventures and some of the best hiking trails near Pittsburgh. Succopp Nature Park is another great place to walk the trails and bird watch. In addition to Downtown Butler, there are a number of cute towns to explore including Saxonburg, Harmony and Mars. If you’re looking for breweries near Pittsburgh, there are several throughout Butler County that make up the Butler beer circuit.
- Where to Eat in Butler, PA: Cummings Coffee and Candy has several locations throughout Butler County. The Chop Shop and Cannella Cafe are both great restaurants in Downtown Butler County. The nearby Harmony Inn is a must visit for yummy German food and a huge selection of beers on tap.
- Where to Stay in Butler, PA: Suite Thyme is the most amazing AirBnB in downtown Butler. It’s a quiet, beautifully decorated space in walking distance to restaurants and shops in Downtown Butler. They also offer wellness experiences including yoga, herbal baths, essential oils and more.
- Distance from Pittsburgh to Butler, PA: 33 miles/ 51 minutes
Staycation in Pittsburgh
We love exploring our own city and have done quite a few weekend getaways in Pittsburgh over the years. Whether you’re looking for romantic getaways in Pittsburgh or fun things to do in Pittsburgh with kids, the options are endless. One of our favorite things to do in Pittsburgh includes visiting one of several great museums in Pittsburgh. Our favorites include the Carnegie Museums, the Heinz History Center and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Phipps Conservatory and the Pittsburgh Zoo are two more of our favorite family things to do in Pittsburgh. Additionally, for great sightseeing in Pittsburgh, you can tour the city by boat on the Gateway Clipper or ride the Duquesne Incline.
A Pittsburgh weekend getaway is also perfect for a couples weekend or girls trip. You can visit one of many Pittsburgh distilleries or breweries, see a show in the theater district or go bar hopping in the South Side.
- Where to Eat in Pittsburgh: You can find some of the best brunch in Pittsburgh at Meat and Potatoes or The Grand Concourse. Condado or Tako are perfect for yummy tacos and tequila. Mount Washington offers fine dining in Pittsburgh with a view, with places like Altius and Monterey Bay Fish Grotto. And it’s not a trip to Pittsburgh without a Primanti’s sandwich. You can also find a number of kid-friendly restaurants in Pittsburgh in both downtown and the surrounding areas.
- Where to Stay in Pittsburgh: The Embassy Suites Pittsburgh- Downtown, The Westin Pittsburgh or Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown. All three are downtown Pittsburgh hotels with indoor pools and spacious rooms.
Be sure to also check out our page on things to do in Pittsburgh with kids for more information on our favorite Pittsburgh attractions.
Weekend Getaways from Pittsburgh, PA Under 5 Hours
Are you willing to drive a little further for your weekend trips from Pittsburgh? The are so many options if you’re looking for some of the best road trips from Pittsburgh. Below are just a few weekend getaways in Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas that we’ve enjoyed over the years. These all offer a number of things to do, whether you want a family weekend, a couples getaway or a trip with friends.
For a weekend full of fun and chocolate, Hershey, Pennsylvania is one of our favorite weekend getaways in Pennsylvania for families. The biggest draw to Hershey is Hersheypark, which also includes ZooAmerica with admission. The Hershey Story and Chocolate World both offer hands-on experiences to learn more about Milton Hershey and chocolate. If you’re looking for a spa weekend in Pennsylvania, the Hershey Spa is a great option.
- Where to Eat in Hershey: Hershey Pantry for the best breakfast in Hershey, PA. Troegs Brewery for amazing beer and a unique food menu. Philip Arthur’s Cafe for quick service pizza and made to order meals and ice cream in a casual setting. The Mill in Hershey, which is both family friendly and perfect for a night. (It’s also a live music venue in Hershey.)
- Where to Stay in Hershey: The Fairfield Inn & Suites on Chocolate Avenue is in a great location with larger rooms for families. There are also several great AirBnBs in Hershey as well.
- Distance from Pittsburgh to Hershey: 215 miles, 3 hours 25 minutes
- The Sweetest 3-Day Weekend in Hershey, PA
- The Best Family-Friendly Restaurants in Hershey, PA
- The Perfect Girls Weekend in Hershey, PA
Lancaster, PA is another great option right next to Hershey, PA. I grew up in Lancaster and love going back there to experience my childhood favorites with my son. For a working farm in Lancaster, PA with activities for kids, visit Oregon Dairy or Cherry Crest Farms. The Strasburg Railroad and the nearby Strasburg train shop are perfect for the train lovers in your life. The Hands-on-House Children’s Museum and Dutch Wonderland are two more great options for fun things to do in Lancaster with kids. If you love ice cream, you can’t miss the Turkey Hill Experience. Lancaster also has the best outlet shopping in Pennsylvania, including Tanger Outlets in Lancaster and Shops at Rockvale.
- Where to Eat in Lancaster: For the best Smorgasbord in Lancaster, PA, Shady Maple can’t be missed for breakfast. The Greenfield Restaurant is a great option for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Plough is an awesome farm-to-table restaurant with a diverse menu. (It’s also next to The Exchange and other great bars in downtown Lancaster.) Be sure to also check out the Lancaster Brewing Company, one of several breweries in Lancaster, PA.
- Where to Stay in Lancaster: If you’re looking for unique places to stay in Lancaster, PA, Tiny Home Estates in Elizabethtown and Fulton Steamboat Inn are both fun options. For a traditional hotel, the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square is a centrally located hotel in downtown Lancaster.
- Distance from Pittsburgh to Lancaster: 238 miles/ 3 hours 45 minutes
The “city of brotherly love” has so much to offer. Whether you’re planning a girls weekend in Philadelphia, a couples getaway or a family trip, there are plenty of things to do. For historical sites in Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Congress Hall are must do’s. On a family trip to Philadelphia, check out the Franklin Institute and the Please Touch Museum. Sports fans can also catch a game at Lincoln Financial Center or the Phillies stadium. Planning a girls weekend in Philadelphia? Go shopping on Walnut Street, visit South Street or try one of several live music venues in Philadelphia. There are also several great parks in Philly, including Fairmont Park.
- Where to Eat in Philadelphia: The Victor Cafe is famous for Italian food in Philly. McGillin’s Irish pub in Philadelphia is an infamous spot to grab Irish food and a beer. Reading Terminal Market offers a variety of local vendors and foods to try. Plus, no visit to Philly is complete without a stop at Pat’s Steaks or Geno’s Steaks for an authentic Philly cheesesteak.
- Where to Stay in Philadelphia: The Loews Philadelphia and the Courtyard by Marriott Philadelphia are two centrally located hotels in Philadelphia.
- Distance from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia: 300 miles/ 4.5 hours
State College, PA
State College, PA is home to my alma mater, Penn State University. It’s also where my husband and I met and eventually got married. The biggest draws to State College are football games at Beaver Stadium and concerts at the Bryce Jordan Center. If you like nature and the outdoors, the Arboretum at Penn State and Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center offer family-friendly activities. Whipple Dam State Park and hiking at Mt. Nittany are more great options. I also hear great things about the Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania, but we have yet to visit it.
- Where to Eat in State College: Otto’s Pub and Happy Valley Brewing are local breweries in State College, PA with great menus. Waffle Shop is the best place for breakfast in State College. The Corner Room and Allen Street Grill are family-friendly and serve classic American cuisine. The Penn State Berkey Creamery on campus also has the best ice cream in State College, PA.
- Where to Stay in State College, PA: The Days Inn Penn State is located right in downtown State College. We also love the modern feel of the Penn Stater, where we had our wedding reception. The Hilton Garden Inn State College and Hampton Inn State College are great options as well.
- Distance from Pittsburgh to State College: 136 miles/ 2.5 hours
Baltimore, MD is a unique waterfront city packed with history and culture. The National Aquarium of Baltimore and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor are two of the best things to do in Baltimore, MD. Fort McHenry gives you an up close look at where the Star Spangled Banner was written. Camden Yards, where the Oriole’s play, is also a great baseball stadium. For a couples or girls weekend in Baltimore, you can also spend a night out in Fell’s point or Power Plant Live. (The Howling Moon piano bar there is super fun!)
- Where to Eat in Baltimore: Rusty Scupper is a family favorite for seafood at the Baltimore Inner Harbor. The Waterfront has a great brunch in Fells Point. Mezze is yummy for Mediterranean tapas with a great ambiance. Nacho Mamas is also fun for a night out with margaritas and Mexican food in Baltimore.
- Where to Stay in Baltimore: The Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor hotel is a great option. Hampton Inn Baltimore Downtown is also a centrally located hotel near Camden Yards.
- Distance from Pittsburgh to Baltimore: 248 miles/ 4 hour drive
DC is one of our favorite weekend getaways in the US, regardless of where you’re coming from. Tour the nation’s Capital with sites like the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and National Mall. Visit one of several Smithsonian museums, including the National Museum of Natural History and the Air and Space Museum. Go shopping in Georgetown for both name brands and locally owned shops. Additionally, the nearby Alexandria also offers more great history, great shopping and restaurants.
- Where to Eat in Washington, DC: Founding Farmer’s is great for a farm-to-table dinner or brunch in DC. Sweet Green is one of my favorites for a healthy, casual lunch option. Clyde’s of Georgetown is a family-friendly seafood restaurant in DC. There are also a number of Michelin starred restaurants in DC on our list for future visits.
- Where to Stay in Washington, DC: The Hampton Inn Washington, D.C. White House or Capital Hilton are both great options for affordable hotels in Washington D.C. The Gaylord National Harbor is also an awesome hotel if you want to stay just outside of DC.
- Distance from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC: 250 miles/ 4 hours and 10 minutes
Niagara on the Lake (Ontario, Canada)
Not to be confused with it’s more touristy neighbor, Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake is a quaint town in Ontario, Canada. The biggest draw for a weekend in Niagara on the Lake is visiting the beautiful wineries. Some of the best wineries in Niagara on the Lake include Ravine, Stratus, Two Sisters and Chateau de Charmes. Additionally, other fun things to do in Niagara on the Lake include shopping, golfing and riding bikes along the lakefront path.
Niagara Falls shouldn’t be missed either! Search here for fun things to do in Niagara Falls.
- Where to Eat in Niagara on the Lake: In addition to the amazing wineries, there are some great restaurants in NOTL. For farm-to-table restaurants in NOTL, have dinner at Treadwell or lunch at Ravine Winery. For a Tuscan inspired menu with live music in Niagara on the Lake, try the Old Winery Restaurant. Niagara on the Lake Golf Course Restaurant is also great for breakfast in NOTL.
- Where to Stay in Niagara on the Lake: Post House Inn is an amazing bed and breakfast for a romantic getaway in Niagara on the Lake. The Hilton Garden Inn is a great family friendly hotel in Niagara.
- Distance from Pittsburgh to Niagara on the Lake: 250 miles/ 4 hour drive
If you’re planning more of a family weekend, Niagara Falls US or Canada are both great options for weekend trips from Pittsburgh. Toronto is also about 30 miles from Niagara on the Lake. It can make a great day trip from Niagara Falls area or a separate weekend getaway from Pittsburgh.
Note: A passport or passport card is required to travel to Canada from the US. Currently, the border between the US and Canada is closed.
More Great Weekend Trips from Pittsburgh Under a 5 Hour Drive
The list above just scratches the surface! Below are a few more great weekend trips from Pittsburgh, including some with nonstop flights. Feel free to comment below if you’d like more specific recommendations on where to stay and things to do in any of these cities.
- Buffalo, NY is a riverfront city that’s been revitalized with many new attractions integrated into the older buildings and surroundings.
- Annapolis, MD is the perfect waterfront getaway with a historical town and Naval/ sailing influence throughout.
- Jim Thorpe, PA in the Poconos is an adorable town with great restaurants and shopping, plus year-round train rides for the family.
- Columbus, OH and Cincinnati, OH are two more great cities by the river in Ohio. They offer great restaurants, breweries and fun things to do for the whole family.
Weekend Trips From Pittsburgh Via Nonstop Flight
These days, many people are opting for weekend road trips from Pittsburgh vs flying. If you’re interested in flying to your destination, however, several new nonstop flights have been added from PIT in recent years. Below is a list of some of our favorite weekend getaways in the US with nonstop flights from Pittsburgh. Note that some of these are better suited for a long weekend, given the distance and flight time.
- Chicago, IL
- Brooklyn/ New York City, NY
- San Diego, CA
- Orlando, FL
- Charleston, SC
- Boulder, CO (Denver area)
- Scottsdale/ Phoenix, AZ
- New Orleans, LA
Are there any additional destinations you’d add to this list of the best weekend getaways from Pittsburgh? If so, please share in the comments!
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