Last Updated on May 5, 2024 by Kristin

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Nestled within the Allegheny foothills, Pittsburgh is home to world-class museums, parks and universities. While attractions like the Andy Warhol Museum and Carnegie Museum of Natural History keep visitors busy for days, the city is also a great starting point for further exploration. Here are the best road trips from Pittsburgh.

Fabulous Road Trips from Pittsburgh

Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway

51 miles / 1 hr.

Head about an hour southeast of Pittsburgh to Ligonier for an unforgettable 68-mile scenic drive on the Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway. Not only does the route pass through an incredible natural landscape, but it offers several stops at several unique cultural attractions. Hike to waterfalls and go whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle State Park, or take a guided architectural tour through Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob houses. The sprawling, subterranean Laurel Caverns sandstone cave is also worth a stop.


185 miles / 3 hr. 28 mins.

Gettysburg, one of the most important historical sites in the country, only lies a few hours southeast of Pittsburgh. Named for the bloodiest 1863 Civil War battle, Gettysburg is home to an array of unique museums and historic sites. The main attraction here is the nearly 6,000-acre Gettysburg National Military Park, which features nearly 1,400 monuments. For a glimpse into how families used to live during the Civil War, visit the restored Shriver House Museum built in 1860. >> Recommended hotels in Gettysburg

Niagara Falls, Ontario

238 miles / 3 hrs. 26 mins.

You can see the iconic Niagara Falls from either side of the border, but staying on the Ontario side tends to give you more of a front row seat. This is where you can get the iconic view of the Horseshoe Falls, as well as the best view of the American Falls from across the river. Not only are there better views of the falls, but also more to do, more restaurants and more places to stay. >> Recommended hotels in Niagara Falls

Washington, D.C.

241 miles / 4 hr. 3 mins.

The nation’s capital lies about four hours southeast of Pittsburgh, offering a seemingly endless array of museums, monuments and delicious restaurants. While most tourists put attractions such as the White House, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall and United States Capitol at the top of their bucket lists, museums including the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and National Gallery of Art should not be missed. >> Recommended hotels in Washington DC.


304 miles / 4 hr. 50 mins.

To get a sense of Pennsylvania’s size, head east to Philadelphia —- also known as the City of Brotherly Love. For an especially sweet way to break up the long car ride, make a pit stop in Hershey, home of the chocolate-themed Hersheypark amusement park, featuring rides and even a place to make your own candy bar. In Philadelphia, get some exercise climbing up the famous  “Rocky Steps” leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Then, cure your appetite with a Philly cheesesteak or eclectic eats from Reading Terminal Market. For a more quirky outing, visit Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens or the medical history-themed Mütter Museum. >> Recommended hotels in Philadelphia

Louisville, Kentucky

389 miles / 5 hrs. 38 mins.

It’s famous as the hometown of spring’s Kentucky Derby, but Louisville makes a delightful getaway year-round, too. Taste your way along Whiskey Row’s downtown distilleries. Explore the Muhammad Ali Center. Or dive into the other cool museums, such the giant 120-foot-tall Louisville Slugger museum and factory, with its giant bat replica outside. Given the rich history and culture the city right off the Ohio River, there is no shortage of things to do. >> Recommended hotels in Louisville