Top 5 Must-Try Water Activities In Pittsburgh

A day in the heart of Pittsburgh is always lively, fun, and a heartful tummy day, of course! The engaging neighborhoods and the scenic panorama is always out there, accompanying us throughout; be it a winter or a summer day. And, adding the energy of water sports is just the perfect day ever in this lovely city of cultures and beyond. Cause, there’s quite no doubt in the delight of being in the ‘City of Bridges’ with The Three Rivers!

Along with its attractive skyline, Pittsburgh has 3 iconic rivers, its tributaries, and a few tales around them; all bound to drive you in awe. Namely, Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio are the cultural and historic landmarks of Steel City. All the way from the industrial boom, these rivers have been highly significant in shaping the journey of the land and its people so far. And, we yinzers are proud to hail cheers to the Golden Trio always!

People sightseeing on a boatPhoto by laura martin on Unsplash

Now, there’s absolutely no yinzer who hasn’t enjoyed the picturesque riverfront experience in Pittsburgh. Being one of the top happening spots of the city, we have dozens and dozens of riverside parks like Point State Park and Raccoon Creek Park. Boating and paddling around the rivers in pedal boats and canoes are the best-loved activities to most of us. But, there are many more interesting and thrilling recreations you must explore in the waters of Pittsburgh. 

Here are the top 5 spots with water-bound activities to make the perfect getaway in Pittsburgh!

1. Gateway Clipper

Did you know Pittsburgh was earlier known as ‘Gateway to The West’? Well, if not, the Gateway Clipper fleets will sail you right into the history, landscapes, and classic wonders of the city through some stunning views. A set of riverboat cruises, Gateway Clipper is a popular tour operator in the city downtown. They offer a wholesome tour experience, making your day worth a million memories. Set back and relax while going around sightseeing in Pittsburgh in the grandness of their Three Rivers Queen or Majestic fleets.

Three Rivers Queen CruisePhoto from Facebook

Gateway Clipper provides much more diverse choices than you would expect. The river cruises are the perfect fit to celebrate any special occasion with your near and dear ones. While there are themed kids’ cruises for a school picnic or day trips, you could also organize a unique party pullover for birthdays, and weddings, or for a dinner date with your beloved. With a total of 6 fleet ships, you can find this largest boat fleet in Pittsburgh, docked on the shores near Station Square.

2. Kayak Pittsburgh 

If you’re looking up for a really engaging activity, to get you an adrenaline rush, then you should probably head out to much more than a calming tour. And, what’s better than a rigorous kayak ride along the river! Go to the North Shore or Downtown area and the Venture Outdoors agency will just make the day fascinating for you at the waters. Rent the kayaks, paddleboats, or just canoes, and row your way amidst the rippling waves.

Girls on a kayak boatPhoto by Christian Bowen on Unsplash

Either planning to go solo or with a chirping-chattering group, you can get the best kayaking gear from Venture Outdoors for all. While your muscles sweat hard with the kayak paddle, your eyes and mind can enjoy a blissful time, exploring the majestic waterway views of the city. Try out the standup paddleboards too to grab more moments of adventure. And, the kayaking facility is completely pet-friendly. So, secure your pets on the boats with a life jacket on! The staff members are available throughout the kayak routes, so you stay stress-free and rewind yourself.

3. Water Steps

Another epic attraction at North Shore is Water Steps. This calm and silent place is an ideal way to let yourself rejuvenate with the calm waters. Located in North Shore Riverfront Park, it is a characteristic water fountain, cascading through multiple steps. Water slips down almost 500 blocks of sandstone where you can sit down and dip your toes.

Water Steps in North ShorePhoto from Flickr

Kids always love to play and splash along the water while adults might just settle down to enjoy a breezy, sunny evening here. You can wistfully watch the kayaks and canoes too, sailing down in the river in front of you. The area is surrounded by food chains, stadiums, and grassy meadows, making it an oasis amidst the fast-moving city life.

4. Ohiopyle State Park

Get more adventurous with the thrilling activities of Ohiopyle State Park. Situated towards the south of Pittsburgh, you can find a wide range of water sports amidst the quaint rivers and swishing waterfalls. As the Youghiogheny River flows through the park, people have turned quite fond of whitewater rafting. Being a lively sport, rafting will indeed make you sweat your guts out.

People going whitewater raftingPhoto by Patrik Velich on Unsplash

Laurel Highlands has numerous tour operators offering guided rafting tours, to get you going safe and sound through the rough streams. There are various difficulty levels, set to exhilarate you with cool vibes. So, don’t miss out on this surreal experience; most packages revolve around families, kids, couples, or even super-sportspersons. You could also go ahead to explore other river activities around the park and make it a day!

5. Sandcastle Waterpark

Been wanting an uber-cool fun day in Pittsburgh? If you aren’t a picnic person and don’t prefer any of the above, there’s a totally different option before you. Get your duffel bags packed with swimwear and towels ready for a magical time at Sandcastle. The most amazing water theme park in Pittsburgh, it is situated over a 67-acre suburban area, on the shores of Monongahela River.

With a lot of rides, swimming pools, and other recreations, you are bound to gleam in joy at this abode of fun and frolic. Glide your way through all 14 of the water slides including Blue Tubaluba, Lightning Express, and the thunder-sped Boardwalk Blasters. The Mon Tsunami Wave Pool, Mushroom Pool, and Lazy River Pool are the most-sought pools at Sandcastle for a relaxing time. And, after all the rush, gorge on yummy food at the eateries and food courts here.

Sandcastle WaterparkPhoto from Facebook

Relish A Good Time At The Rivers Of Pittsburgh

The water fun of Pittsburgh doesn’t end here. The famous watersports festival - The Three Rivers Regatta is a killer event. You would really hit the high, watching the athletes going in twists & turns, diving, and floating. The tours organized by Rivers of Steel also give a stellar experience around the top attractions, detailing every bit about the story of Pittsburgh. So, when are you planning to try out the river activities of this marvelous city?


Hit the weekend in style with the collection of classy t-shirts from Yinzershop and have a blast at the rivers of Pittsburgh!

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