Things to do in Mt. Washington

view of downtown from Grandview Avenue, Grandview Avenue overlook and Shiloh St. (all photos by Brian Cohen)

Best known for its sensational views, Mt. Washington also boasts charming shops and parks enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

Stats (via Niche)

  • Population: 10,216
  • Size: 1.139 sq. miles
  • Median Rent: $917
  • Median Home Value: $100,893

 Things to do in Mt. Washington

Most go to Mt. Washington for the views, to stand on one of several observation decks and take in the sweeping panorama of our glittering downtown skyline in the embrace of mighty rivers on three sides. Or they soak in the view from one of the many fine restaurants with views, from the newer Altius to the classic LeMont or the striking Monterey Bay Fish Grotto. Or from one of two inclines, icons in the city.

USA Today named the nighttime view from Mt. Washington one of the 10 most beautiful views in America. And we would agree. But Mt. Washington is so much more than a scenic view. More than 8,000 people live in this eclectic and diverse neighborhood, a community of contrasts where million dollar mansions and modern condos are only blocks from single family dwellings, red brick four squares and row homes that have been in families for generations.

Originally known as “Coal Hill,” Mt. Washington claims the highest elevation in Pittsburgh, bordered mostly by topography: the ridge that overlooks the Mon River on the north and Saw Mill Run Blvd. to the south with two tunnels on either side—Fort Pitt and Liberty.

The neighborhood has bragging rights to the Monongahela and Duquesne inclines, the oldest continually running funiculars in the world. A quaint shopping district serves the residents, with ice cream and coffee shops, fine-dining and classic dive bars and pizza parlors as well as The Summit, a newer bar and restaurant open to the street in good weather, and Packs and Dogs, a counter-serve joint with hot dogs and mix-&-match your own craft beer 6-packs.

The view aside, the community’s greatest jewel is its green spaces. Work is currently underway on an urban park of magnificent proportions, called the Emerald View Park.

The 280-acre park, created in December 2005 by the City of Pittsburgh, encircles the hilltop and boasts stunning urban views as well as recreational space. The Mt. Washington Community Development Corp. is working hard to recover, preserve and beautify the wooded terrain and create a network of footpaths from which to walk and see spectacular views.

And don’t miss Grandview Park on Bailey Avenue, with beautiful city views, walking trails and a pavilion.

Even by car, the views are to be appreciated. The state recognized this and named McArdle, Grandview, Wyoming and Sycamore a Pennsylvania State Scenic Byway.

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