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Pittsburgh: A Signature City

Program Number: 19287RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/12/2013 - 5/17/2013; 5/8/2016 - 5/13/2016; 9/11/2016 - 9/16/2016; 10/9/2016 - 10/14/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Price starting at: $1,098.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Signature Cities
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience Pittsburgh’s revitalized urban landscape and bustling local economy and find out what makes it “America’s Most Livable City.” A city once known for its rough edges is now revered for its world-class museums, rich historical narrative and spirited cultural scene. Follow the paths of history as you stroll through the Botanical Gardens and examine brushstrokes from Italian Renaissance Masterpieces.


• Take an uphill ride on the storied Duquesne Incline and discover the geography of Pittsburgh from atop Mount Washington.
• Absorb the history of the Steel City by studying the lives of noblemen like Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick and John Heinz.
• Gain a thorough understanding of the city’s vibrant past and promising future with experts at the Phipps Conservatory, Carnegie Museum of Art, Frick Art and Historical Center and Rivers of Steel National Heritage Center.

Activity Particulars

Walking 1-2 miles a day and 60-90 minutes of standing for museum visits; stairs.

Date Specific Information

5-12-2013, 5-8-2016, 9-11-2016, 10-9-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.


Frick, Carnegie, Heinz, Mellon — Pittsburgh’s magnates who made their millions left a remarkable charitable legacy that can still be found in the city’s world-class museums, performing arts venues and vibrant cultural district. Perched on the Allegheny Plateau, Pittsburgh’s hilly landscape is divided by the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, visible at every turn.

Hotel conveniently located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place
  Pittsburgh 5 nights
 Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of Pittsburgh's medical and educational district, the recently renovated Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place is located 18 miles from the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). Perfectly set in an urban environment, the hotel offers spacious guest rooms featuring Hilton Evolution bedding, modern décor and complimentary high-speed internet. Additionally, the hotel offers several other amenities including complimentary shuttle-service within the Oakland and downtown Pittsburgh area, plus a restaurant and lounge.
  Contact info: 3454 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA
phone: 412-683-2040
  Room amenities: All rooms feature high-speed Internet access, coffeemakers and complimentary coffee, clock radios, hairdryers, irons and ironing boards, dataports, cable TV and in-room movies.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel directly Contact hotel directly
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Contact hotel directly Contact hotel directly
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration starts at 3:00 on Sunday afternoon. You will be staying at Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place that night.
  End of Program:
Check-Out 12:00pm You will be staying at Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place the night before.
  Required documents:
  Parking availability:
Parking is available at the hotel for $18 per night.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Pittsburgh
  Nearest city or town:  Pittsburgh
  Nearest highway: Interstate 376
  Nearest airport:  Pittsburgh International Airport (Airport Code- PIT)
  From End of Program
  Location: Pittsburgh
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details



From Airport




Hotel Shuttle
Super Shuttle
phone: 800-258-3826


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


40 minutes 




18 Miles West


We encourage you to make a reservation from the airport. While reservations are not required, we have found that our passengers prefer to make reservations in advance to avoid the time and hassle of paying in the airport or on-board the van.




To Airport




Hotel Shuttle
Super Shuttle
phone: 800-258-3826
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


40 minutes 




18 miles


To arrange a pickup from the hotel to the airport, simply visit the reservations page at or call (800)-258-3826. A SuperShuttle van will pick you up during the pre-arranged 15-minute pick-up window, bring you to the airport, and drop you off right outside your airline terminal.




From Airport




Numerous Taxi Services


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


40 minutes 




Approximately 18 miles

Driving Directions
  From East - Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Take I-376E/US-22 E/US-30E toward Interstate 79S/Interstate 279/Pittsburgh. Take exit 72A to merge onto Forbes Ave toward Oakland. The Hilton Garden Inn will be on your right.
  From North - Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Take I-279S. Take exit 2A to merge onto I-579S toward Veterans Bridge. Take the exit toward I-376E/�Oakland/�Monroeville. Merge onto Boulevard of the Allies. Exit onto Forbes Ave. The Hilton Garden Inn will be on your right.
  From PIT - Greater Pittsburgh International Airport Take 60 to 279 N/376 E. toward Pittsburgh through Ft. Pitt tunnels. Once on bridge stay in far rt. lane and follow signs for 376 E. Monroeville. Take exit 2A(5), Forbes Ave./Oakland - look for McKee Pl.
  From South - Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Take PA-51N/Hayden Blvd toward Pennsylvania 43 Turnpike. Continue to follow PA-51N. Take the US-19S exit toward Downtown/S Side/Dormont/I-579. Turn right and go through Liberty Tunnels. Continue onto Liberty Bridge. Take the ramp to I-376E/Monroeville. Merge onto Boulevard of the Allies. Exit onto Forbes Ave. The Hilton Garden Inn will be on your right.
  From West - Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Take I-376W/US-22W. Towards Pittsburgh through Squirrel Hill tunnels. Take exit 73B to merge onto PA-885N/Bates St toward Oakland. Continue to follow Bates St. Turn left onto McKee Place. The Hilton Garden Inn will be on your left.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome and Orientation
(Sunday, May 12)
 Afternoon: Check into hotel and register for Your Road Scholar program with the Group Leader in the lobby (3-5pm). Orientation at 5:00pm in room Forbes A.
 Dinner: 6:00pm Welcome Dinner at Hotel.
 Evening: After coffee and dessert enjoy a presentation from a local Pittsburgh Historian in room Forbes A.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Phipps Conservatory/Duquesne Incline/Station Square/River Cruise
(Monday, May 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel.
 Morning: Board the coach to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. A gift from Henry Phipps, the Conservatory is a National Historic Landmark and houses 2.5 acres of lush plantings and foliage. Then, enjoy a tour of Downtown Pittsburgh on your way to the Duquesne Incline.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Grand Concourse in Station Square.
 Afternoon: Following lunch, glide down the Allegheny and meet a representative from Riverlife, an organization dedicated to the restoration of Pittsburgh's waterfront. Discuss the ongoing success of the Three Rivers Park- an urban waterfront park along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers in downtown Pittsburgh.
 Dinner: Dinner tonight at the Italian restaurant, Buca di Beppo.
 Evening: After dinner you will have time to explore Station Square on your own before returning to the hotel.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: John Heinz Regional Historic Center/ Frick Art and Historical Center
(Tuesday, May 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in Hotel
 Morning: The morning will be spent at the Senator John Heinz Regional Historical Center where we will have a special lecture and guided visit of the Innovators Exhibit. Following the visit, there will be free time to explore the History Center and Sports Museum.
 Lunch: Lunch at Lidia's Pittsburgh in the Strip District.
 Afternoon: Fieldtrip to the Frick Art and Historical Center. Clayton, the restored Victorian mansion of Henry Clay Frick, is one of the most complete museum homes of its kind in the nation. Afterwards, explore the Car and Carriage Museum, greenhouse, and Frick Art Museum.
 Dinner: At the hotel
 Evening: In the evening gain insight into some of Pittsburgh's lesser-known tales with storyteller, Alan Irvine.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Cathedral of Learning & Carnegie Museums
(Wednesday, May 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Hotel
 Morning: Today we explore more of the Oakland neighborhood beginning with a walk to the Cathedral of Learning. Explore the history of the Cathedral's development and marvel at the intricate designs of the Nationality Rooms. Afterwards, go across the street and explore the Carnegie Museums beginning with a guided visit of the internationally renowned Museum of Art.
 Lunch: Lunch in the Museum Cafe
 Afternoon: Guided tour of the Museum of Natural History. Following the tour, the rest of the day is free. Continue exploring the museums or ask your Group Leader for suggestions for additional sites/events to experience.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
 Evening: Free evening to enjoy the city.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: River of Steel National Heritage Museum/Carrie Furnace/Bulgarian Club/Farewell Dinner
(Thursday, May 16)

Note: Please wear closed toed flat shoes

 Breakfast: Breakfast at Hotel
 Morning: This morning we will visit the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Museum for an in-depth examination of Pittsburgh's industrial and immigrant foundation. On the beginning of the "Babushkas and Hardhats Tour," learn about the infamous Homestead Steel Strike and explore the ruins of the Carrie Furnace, a pre World War I blast furnace located in Rankin, PA along the Monongahela River.
 Lunch: Emmerse yourself in the flavoral traditions of Pittsburgh's Eastern European heritage at the Bulgarian Club. Enjoy an ethnic Bulgarian meal and delight in a lively presentation by locals as they share funny and moving stories of their ethnic neighborhoods and growing up in steel mill city/town.
 Afternoon: Return to the hotel for a break before dinner.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Free time during your last night in the city.
Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Farewell & Departures
(Friday, May 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is at the hotel.
 Morning: Our final lecture will discuss the current state of Pittsburgh and the future of the city. How has the city recreated itself? How has the city shed its steel and coal history? What is next for Pittsburgh?
 Lunch: A boxed lunch will be available for everyone as they leave.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
  Pittsburgh Downtown Public Art Walking Tour
Four Self-Guided Walking Tours 1.The Cultural District: Contemporary art was given a leading role in the development of Pittsburgh’s central arts neighborhood. Adventurous works by prominent artists mark the district’boundaries and are integrated into its varied public spaces. 2. The North Shore:The art on the North Shore is as diverse as the mix of cultural institutions,sports arenas, parks, and residential districts in this vibrant neighborhood. 3.Retail District and Firstside:Art in these districts is found amidst soaring office towers, French and Indian War sites, retail establishments, and a historic financial district. 4.Grant Street Corridor District:Many grand public and corporate buildings in this district integrate art into their design. Contemporary artworks that use sound and light are neighbors with historic works in stained glass, bronze, and stone. For additional information, visit
  Fort Pitt Museum
The Fort Pitt Museum, located in historic Point State Park in downtown Pittsburgh, is a two-floor, 12,000-square-foot museum that tells the story of Western Pennsylvania’s pivotal role during the French & Indian War, the American Revolution, and as the birthplace of Pittsburgh. The strategic location of the fort – at the Forks of the Ohio River – helped to shape the course of American and world history. First opened in 1969 in a reconstructed bastion, the Fort Pitt Museum provides visitors with a rich understanding of the world-changing events that occurred right here in Western Pennsylvania. Through interactive exhibitions, life-like historical figures, and recently added artifacts, visitors will learn the important role our region played in shaping the United States. NEW! Make sure to visit the Fort Pitt Museum's newest exhibit, The American Frontier Rifleman: Tall Tales & Truth, to explore 200 years of this American legend through rare artifacts, lifelike museum figures, and displays on American rifleman in popular culture. For additional information, visit
  Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival
Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival is a multiple-day Asian American Film Festival held in May in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The festival is an annual event showcasing films and filmmakers with origins in India, Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Iran, and more. For additional information, visit
  The Andy Warhol Museum
The Andy Warhol Museum is a vital forum in which diverse audiences of artists, scholars, and the general public are galvanized through creative interaction with the art and life of Andy Warhol. The Warhol is ever-changing, constantly redefining itself in relationship to contemporary life using its unique collections and dynamic interactive programming as tools For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City

Author: Stefan Lorant

Description: Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City follows Pittsburgh from its frontier beginnings through its evolution into the most heavily industrialized city in the world, to the city's renewal of itself as "America's Most Livable City." This beautiful volume though, is much more than the story of a single city; it is the history of the United States. This book is based on years of research and includes contributions by such noted American historians as Henry Steele Commager and Oscar Handlin. More than 1100 pictures recreate the city's dramatic 200+year history. Featured are photographs by W. Eugene Smith, Margaret Bourke-White, Norman W. Schumm, Lorant himself and others. A chronology of events from 1717 offers historical snapshots in the day to day life of the archetypical American city.

And the Wolf Finally Came: The Decline and Fall of the American Steel Industry (Pittsburgh Series in Social and Labor History)

Author: John P. Hoerr

Description: A veteran reporter of American labor analyzes the spectacular and tragic collapse of the steel industry in the 1980s. John Hoerr’s account of these events stretches from the industrywide barganing failures of 1982 to the crippling work stoppage at USX (U.S. Steel) in 1986-87. He interviewed scores of steelworkers, company managers at all levels, and union officials, and was present at many of the crucial events he describes. Using historical flashbacks to the origins of the steel industry, particularly in the Monongahela Valley of southwestern Pennsylvania, he shows how an obsolete and adversarial relationship between management and labor made it impossible for the industry to adapt to shattering changes in the global economy.

H. J. Heinz: A Biography

Author: Quentin R Skrabec

Description: Though Heinz Ketchup is one of the most recognized corporate symbols in the world, few people know anything at all about H. J. Heinz. Industrial giants Rockefeller, Carnegie, Westinghouse, and Mellon became household names, and Heinz slipped into obscurity. Yet during a time of great transfers of wealth brought about in part by these famous robber barons, Heinz was well known for his humane treatment of his employees, customers, and suppliers. At the same time Heinz built a commercial empire by his use of industrialized food processing before Henry Ford. This book includes 45 photographs many of which are being published for the first time.

Steel: Diary of a Furnace Worker

Author: Charles Rumford Walker

Description: "In the summer of 1919, a few weeks before the Great Steel Strike, I bought some second-hand clothes and went to work on an open-hearth furnace near Pittsburgh to learn the steel business. I was a graduate of Yale, and a few weeks before had resigned a commission as first-lieutenant in the regular army...In these chapters I have put down what I saw, felt, and thought as a steel-worker in 1919." --from the Foreward

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