Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00-5:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table to meet the Group Leader and confirm orientation time and place. Orientation: 5:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a Pittsburgh-themed welcome buffet dinner with coffee, tea (hot/iced) and water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Relax and get a good nights sleep for a full day tomorrow.
Activity note: Getting on/off the motorcoach; driving about 1 hour, about 14 miles total. Getting on/off riverboat, with short rides under 15 minutes at a time. Walking up to 3 miles total, no longer than 1 hour at a time. Standing up to 1 hour at a time; comfortable walking shoes recommended; climbing some steps at the Duquesne Incline.
Breakfast: At the hotel
Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach and ride to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens for a self-guided exploration. Group Leader will provide brief overview of the garden highlights. Learn about the history of the conservatory while observing the beautiful plant collection. The gardens were a gift to the city of Pittsburgh by mogul Henry Phipps and are now recognized as a National Landmark and part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Containing both formal and exotic gardens, the center features rotating displays of plants from around the world such as bonsai, palms, desert plants, and orchids, and permanent collections including flora native to the Ohio Valley. Afterwards, we’ll board the motorcoach for transfer to lunch.
Lunch: At a local restaurant.
Afternoon: Reboarding our motorcoach, we’ll have an introduction to downtown Pittsburgh from our Group Leader as we make our way to the Duquesne Incline cable car. Built to transport cargo up and down Mt. Washington in the late 1800s, the incline soon began to carry passengers who were too tired to use the footpaths. Offering spectacular views of downtown Pittsburgh, the funicular has been completely refurbished and operates year-round. Next, we will transfer to the dock and board a boat for our study cruise down the Allegheny River. With the boat’s staff, we’ll discuss the ongoing success of the Three Rivers Park—an urban waterfront park along the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers in downtown Pittsburgh. Once off the boat, we’ll return to the hotel.
Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Evening: We’ll then return to the hotel for the remainder of the evening at leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off the motorcoach; driving up to 2 hours, about 20 miles. Walking up to 3 miles and standing up to 2 hours at a time.
Breakfast: At the hotel
Morning: We’ll ride to the Senator John Heinz Regional Historical Center for an expert-led exploration. The Center is a family of museums and an educational affiliate of The Smithsonian Institution. It links past, present, and future, preserving regional history and presenting the American experience in Western Pennsylvania. The Center partners with organizations and scholars engaged in archaeology, archives, artifact collections, broadcast media and the Internet, conservation, educational programs, exhibitions, library, museums, performance, publications, and research. There will also be some time on your own to explore some of the museums within the museum independently, including the History Center and Sports Museum on your own.
Lunch: At the museum café, we’ll choose from a variety of soups, sandwiches, and salads. Bottled water included.
Afternoon: Next, we will take a field trip to the Frick Art & Historical Center in the former Pittsburgh mansion of Henry Clay Frick, a wealthy industrialist and chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company. Upon our arrival, we will explore the grounds of the mansion with the expert commentary of an instructor where we will learn about the evolution of the site, the neighborhood and Frick family history. Afterwards we will explore the historic mansion and hear about diverse stories of the Gilded Age, and make connections with social justice issues of today. We will also have free time at the Car and Carriage Museum where we will learn about learn about Pittsburgh’s role in the developing automobile industry.
Dinner: At the hotel
Evening: A local storyteller will join us at the hotel to reveal some of Pittsburgh's lesser-known tales.
Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day, about 6 hours. Standing up to 1 hour at a time. Some Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral may not be available depending on schedules at the time of the program.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Today, we’ll walk with our Group Leader through more of the Oakland neighborhood to the University of Pittsburgh’s “Cathedral of Learning,” dedicated in 1937. On the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the Cathedral is the tallest educational building in the Western Hemisphere, standing at 535 feet. Its 42 stories house classrooms, a 4-story tall Commons Room, and 29 Nationality Rooms celebrating the cultures of ethnic groups who settled in the area. The rooms are also used for classes during the school year. We’ll learn a local expert about the cathedral’s development and see some of the Nationality Rooms. Next, we’ll walk across the street to the Carnegie Museums complex featuring museums of art, natural history, science, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Led by an expert, we'll explore the internationally renowned Carnegie Museum of Art. Its exhibits cover various forms of media from fine arts to photography, fulfilling Andrew Carnegie’s goal of recording America’s progress through pictorial art.
Lunch: At the museum café, we’ll have a light lunch with choice of soups, salads, and sandwiches.
Afternoon: We’ll continue exploring with an expert at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, established in 1896. It has grown to hold more than 20 million specimens with about 10,000 viewable in 20 galleries. Highlights include the first “Tyrannosaurus rex” specimen ever discovered and one of the largest collections of Jurassic dinosaurs in the world. Afterwards, the remainder of the afternoon is on your own to enjoy the city or return to the hotel for an opportunity to freshen up and relax.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving under 1 hour, about 15 miles. Walking up to 2 miles all day, sometimes on uneven ground and climbing steps with dim lighting. Please wear closed-toed shoes. Carrie Furnace not handicap-accessible.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: This morning we’ll head to the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Museum via motorcoach for an in-depth, docent-led examination of Pittsburgh's industrial and immigrant foundation. We’ll learn about the infamous Homestead Steel Strike, then visit the ruins of the Carrie Furnace, an extremely rare pre-World War I blast furnace that is part of the museum’s heritage area along the Monongahela River.
Lunch: In a historic building, we'll have an array of catered dishes for lunch with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. We’ll meet at the hotel lobby before departing for dinner by motorcoach.
Dinner: At a local restaurant with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Our final lecture with the Group Leader will address the current state of Pittsburgh and the future of the city. As the steel and mill industries declined, Pittsburgh was at a crossroads and in need of revitalization. How has the city recreated itself? How has the city shed its steel and coal history? What’s next for Pittsburgh? This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!