19287
Pennsylvania
Signature City Pittsburgh
Learn how Pittsburgh grew from its humble origins to the great city of today, discovering neoclassical architecture, renowned museums, unique cuisine and the stunning Duquesne Incline.
Rating (4.89)
Program No. 19287RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,199
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 5 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Pittsburgh
D
Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place

Activity note: Hotel check in is available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. All transfers and transportation will be provided via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. Waivers are required for the River of Steel National Heritage Museum. Please fill out and return waiver no later than two weeks prior to the start date of the program. Scheduled free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a Pittsburgh-themed welcome buffet dinner with coffee, tea (hot/iced) and water; other beverages available for purchase.

DAY
2
Phipps Conservatory, Duquesne Incline, River Cruise
Pittsburgh
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place

Activity note: Getting on/off the motorcoach and boarding boat for river cruise. Standing up to 1 hour at a time; wear comfortable walking shoes. Climbing steps at the Duquesne Incline.

Breakfast: At the hotel we will have a breakfast buffet, plus coffee, tea and water.

Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach and ride to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where we will be led by a staff member and learn about the history of the conservatory and observe the beautiful plant collection. A National Landmark and part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the gardens were a gift to the city of Pittsburgh by mogul Henry Phipps. Containing both formal and exotic gardens, the center features rotating displays of plants from around the world and permanent collections including flora native to the Ohio Valley, bonsai, palms, desert plants, and orchids.

Lunch: We will take the motor coach to a local restaurant for lunch.

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 1800’s, 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. Afterwards, we will transfer to the dock and board a boat for our study cruise down the Allegheny. With the boat’s staff, discuss the ongoing success of the Three Rivers Park, an urban waterfront park along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers in downtown Pittsburgh. After disembarking the boat, we’ll return to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Heinz Regional Historic Center, Frick Art, Local Tales
Pittsburgh
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place

Activity note: Getting on/off the motorcoach. Standing up to 1.5 hours at a time.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

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 free time on your own to explore some of the museums within a museum including the History Center and Sports Museum on your own.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the museum café.

Afternoon: 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 mansion with the expertise commentary of an instructor. Frick's daughter, Helen, kept the house as a home for her extensive art collection until her death in 1984, leaving provisions for the house and estate to be restored and opened to the public. It presents an intimate look into the life of the super rich of another era through collections of fine and decorative arts and other aspects of the Frick family’s life in Pittsburgh.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: A local storyteller will join us to reveal some of Pittsburgh's lesser-known tales.

DAY
4
U. Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning, Carnegie Museums
Pittsburgh
B,L
Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place

Activity note: Walking approximately .5 miles to the Cathedral of Learning. 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 about the Cathedral’s development and see some of the Nationality Rooms. Next, we’ll walk across the street to the Carnegie Museums complex comprising museums of art, natural history, science, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Led by an expert, we’ll explore the internationally renowned 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.

Lunch: At the museum café, we’ll have a light lunch.

Afternoon: We’ll continue exploring with an expert at the 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. 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.

DAY
5
Rivers of Steel Heritage Museum, Carrie Furnace, Free Time
Pittsburgh
B,L,D
Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place

Activity note: Please wear closed-toed shoes. Standing up to 1 hour at a time.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we’ll depart to the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Museum 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: For lunch, enjoy an array of local cuisine.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a local restaurant-brewery.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Pittsburgh’s Future, Program Concludes
Pittsburgh
B,L

Activity note: Hotel check out is by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our final lecture with the Group Leader addresses the current state of Pittsburgh and the future of the city. At 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?

Lunch: Before you depart, pick up a boxed lunch to go, available at the hotel. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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