33 Driveable Weekend Getaways from Pittsburgh to Get Out of the City (+ A Map!) - PA on Pause (2024)

33 Driveable Weekend Getaways from Pittsburgh to Get Out of the City (+ A Map!) - PA on Pause (1)

Pittsburgh is a great city with so many things to do all year. But, sometimes, you want to get out and explore some other places. It’s okay. We understand!

Where should you venture when you want a getaway from Pittsburgh?

There are SO MANY options, all within just a few hours’ drive from the city.

What makes us experts? Well, we both grew up in western Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. We’ve explored most of these locations more times than we can count over the years, so we feel great about sharing each of these recommendations with you.

What type of destination or weekend trip are you looking for? There is something in this list that could be tailored to just about any desire. Here are some great ideas for weekend getaways from Pittsburgh.

➡️Just Want The Highlights? Our Top Recommendations:

  • Best for Exploring the Outdoors: Pine Creek Gorge; Cuyahoga Valley National Park; Dolly Sods; Hocking Hills
  • Small Town Getaways: Lancaster, PA; Jamestown, NY
  • Explore Another City: Buffalo, NY; Baltimore, MD
  • A Girls’ Weekend in Wine Country: Geneva, OH; Finger Lakes, NY
  • History Buff’s Getaway: Gettysburg; Washington DC
  • Best Relaxing Weekend Getaway: Bedford Springs

What Makes a Good Weekend Trip from Pittsburgh?

We think that a good weekend trip requires no more than 4-5 hours of driving. Typically, with those on the longer end of this range, we’d even recommend a long weekend of at least 3 days.

Anything shorter than 1.5 hours could be explored in a day trip, but this list includes a wide variety of locations and distances. Hopefully, it will at least inspire a starting point for your next weekend getaway.

One thing we really like about many of these places to visit near Pittsburgh is that they can be enjoyed any time of the year.

These destinations are all driveable, and for most of them, having a car to get around once you’re there is a good idea.

Compiling this list was seriously tough! It became overwhelming when we sat down to think of all the great places within only a few hours’ drive from the city. Basically, we could have had 50+ spots here with great reasons to visit each one.

Best Weekend Trips from Pittsburgh

Stay in the State of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is full of places to see and things to do. Check out some of these spots, some very well-known and some more off the beaten path.

1. The Laurel Highlands

Drive Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Distance: 70 miles

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The Laurel Highlands is a scenic, mountainous region in Western Pennsylvania that’s perfect for a weekend getaway from Pittsburgh. The drive time is only about 1 hour and 20 minutes, and the area offers plenty of things to do.

The star of the show in the Laurel Highlands is definitely Ohiopyle State Park. Discover beautiful waterfalls, and hike great trails like Jonathan Run and the Ferncliff Loop.

In addition to Ohiopyle, other great state parks nearby include Laurel Hill and Laurel Ridge.

Ohiopyle is also a popular whitewater rafting destination close to Pittsburgh.

Book an adventurous Whitewater Rafting Trip in Ohiopyle!

The tallest point in the state of Pennsylvania is located nearby in the Laurel Highlands: Mount Davis. If you’re trying to visit the tallest point in this or every state, this is a must-visit.

During the winter months, we think Seven Springs is a great place to satisfy your winter sports adventures on the mountain. You can ski, snowboard, or tube your way down the mountain.

2. Erie

Drive Time: 2 hours
Distance: 128 miles

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Erie is a great place to visit for a getaway weekend. It’s located in the very northwestern corner of Pennsylvania, and it’s only about 2 hours from Pittsburgh!Erie has plenty of things to do and see during every season.

The city has a rich history with ties to Lake Erie that dates back centuries. Enjoy the historic tall ships or millionaires’ row of mansions right downtown.

Outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fishing, and boating are great ways to enjoy Presque Isle State Park and nearby Erie Bluffs State Park.

Stay for the sunset at Presque Isle and watch from one of the park’s beaches. We think it’s easily one of the best places to watch a sunset in the Great Lakes region.

If you’re looking for some indoor fun, enjoy the Erie Art Museum, shop at the Millcreek Mall, or catch a show at Kellar’s comedy club and magic bar. Some pretty big names have performed on the small stage at Kellar’s.

Have you Pittsburghers heard of Billy Gardell? We’ve seen him at Kellar’s.

After spending the day exploring, visit one of the many great local restaurants. There are so many options that it’s hard to go wrong. Some of our favorite spots include The Cork, BrewErie, and Pineapple Eddie’s, among others. These are just a few!

3. Pine Creek Gorge

Drive Time: 4 hours
Distance: 228 miles

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The Pine Creek Gorge is the jewel of the northern part of the state. It’s an amazingly scenic and diverse destination. It’s an under-the-radar weekend trip from Pittsburgh!

The star attraction in this region is sandwiched between Colton Point and Leonard Harrison State Parks. It’s the gorge with the river below, known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Hiking, biking, boating, and backpacking are all popular things to do in the area. You’ll want to spend all day exploring and enjoying the many trails and views. The West Rim Trail in the PA Grand Canyon is one of our favorite weekend backpacking trails in Pennsylvania at about 30 miles long.

The area is also filled with small towns, great places to eat, spots for shopping, and outdoor activities like kayaking.

Visit nearby Hills Creek State Park for more hiking and water adventures in the park’s lake. In the winter, you’ll see plenty of ice fishing happening out on the lake.

4. Gettysburg

Drive Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 185 miles

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Located only about 3 hours and 30 minutes away from Pittsburgh, Gettysburg has a lot to offer, and it’s worth the drive. You’ll find all sorts of things to do in Gettysburg, and it’s a perfect destination for history buffs.

Check out sites like the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and the History Center. Then go out and explore the battlefields for a window into the events that occurred during the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War.

We learned so much by playing the virtual tour videos from the NPS at each stop through the battlefields drive.

There are also plenty of places to go hiking nearby, including Pine Grove Furnace and Caledonia State Parks. Take a nighttime ghost tour if you’re into the paranormal.

Other things to do in Gettysburg include shopping and visiting wineries! So many quaint little shops with unique items are scattered throughout the streets of the town.

Gettysburg is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a weekend getaway, although you can certainly spend more than just a weekend exploring!

5. State College

Drive Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 136 miles

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State College is a great driveable spot near Pittsburgh with a more small-town feel. This university town still offers all sorts of fun for both visitors and locals.

Whether it’s exploring the historic sites or grabbing some grub at one of the many restaurants, there is something to do in State College every day of the week. We always make sure to stop at the Berkey Creamery for some delicious ice cream when we’re in town.

Outdoor activities are popular, too. Wander through the arboretum at Penn State or hike up Mount Nittany. Play a round of golf at one of the beautiful courses. Take a tour through Penn’s Cave. There are even a few spots nearby for afternoon wine tasting.

Visit during particular fall weekends, and you’ll see the town transform. Football games are a big deal in these parts, and people come from far and wide to cheer on their Nittany Lions. So much so, that on these weekends, State College turns into one of the largest cities in Pennsylvania. It’s definitely a sports experience you should have at some point in your life.

On top of that, this small town has a lot to offer when it comes to shopping and entertainment. For those who love culture and art, don’t miss out on visiting any museums or galleries.

6. Benezette & Elk County

Drive Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 129 miles

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Benezette is a small town about 2.5 hours from Pittsburgh, and there are plenty of things to do for visitors. This is certainly a more laid-back escape than some of the others on this list.

One of the best attractions in Benezette is seeing elk! Elk roam free on the hillsides surrounding the town, and it’s a great opportunity to see these large animals in a natural setting on the east coast.

Plan this as a fall getaway when the leaves are changing and the elk are in the rut. You’ll be in for a real treat.

Hike the nearby state forest trails, and you might get even closer to them, but not too close! Always maintain 100 yards between you and the elk for yours and the animals’ safety.

You can also enjoy some fishing or take a scenic drive through the area if that’s what you prefer!

7. Lancaster

Drive Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Distance: 238 miles

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Lancaster, PA is a historic and charming area located about three hours and fifty minutes from Pittsburgh. Lancaster offers plenty of things to do for visitors and locals alike, but life’s pace is much slower than that in the city.

Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities like hiking or fishing, or indoor fun at the museums, there is something for everyone in Lancaster!

In addition to all these wonderful attractions, the area also has a lot of restaurants where you can taste the local flavors of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. You’ll never go hungry here with this delicious home cooking.

Take an Amish Immersion Tour to Learn More About the Pennsylvania Dutch Culture in Lancaster!

Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine is a mixture of German and Dutch elements. These foods emphasize meat, potatoes, cornbreads/biscuits, cabbage dishes with pork or beef sausages; fresh loaves of bread; apple pies; pretzels; and scrapple.

8. The Poconos

Drive Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 279 miles

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If you’re looking for a more adventurous weekend getaway, the Poconos are a great option! This area is located about four hours and thirty minutes from Pittsburgh.

It’s quite a large area, so you could easily spend a long weekend exploring the Poconos and still not do everything you want.

Outdoor activities include hiking, biking, watersports, and golfing during the summer. Check out the nearby Ricketts Glen State Park Waterfall Trail for a real treat! There are over 20 waterfalls along the trail.

You can also enjoy some time at the casino or take a trip to one of the area’s many water parks. Indoor fun includes visiting the various museums and theaters or simply relaxing at the spa. In the winter, it is a ski and snowboard destination.

A trip to the Poconos is truly an adventure, whether you prefer relaxing or being active. While it is a little further drive, it is well worth the time and effort.

9. Butler

Drive Time: 50 minutes
Distance: 33 miles

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If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, Butler County may be just what you need to explore. Although it’s one of the closest destinations on this list, and you might be wondering why it made the cut, there are plenty of hidden gems here.

About fifty minutes or so from Pittsburgh to the north, there are plenty of outdoor activities as well as indoor fun. Hiking is plentiful in nearby McConnells Mill and Moraine State Parks. Sections of the North Country Trail travel right through both parks.

Shopping and dining options give you some variety that is different from the city. A few craft breweries, wineries, and local restaurants serve up delicious treats.

Numerous festivals are held in Butler every year, too. The Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival attracts Jeep enthusiasts from all over the country to the area for a weekend of on and off-road fun. I love my ’97 TJ and make it a point to attend every year.

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway that doesn’t require a lot of time, driving, or effort to reach, heading just north to Butler County is an easy trip.

10. Philadelphia

Drive Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
Distance: 304 miles

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Philadelphia is such a historic city with plenty to do, whether you plan to spend a week or one day in Philadelphia. It’s also the place where American independence was first declared, so history has a big influence on the city’s culture.

Museums, dedicated to different varieties of art, history, or oddities are scattered throughout the city! The Mütter Museum is one of the strangest museums we’ve ever been to, but those fascinated by the human body may also find it interesting.

Stop by Independence Hall where the founding fathers debated and signed some of the most important documents in US history, the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. After, take a short walk to the famous Liberty Bell.

Take a Walking Tour of the historic Old City with a guide to be sure that you don’t miss any of the most notable sites during your visit!

Those interested in crime will enjoy a visit to the Eastern State Penitentiary. Wander the eerie passageways on a self-guided tour where notorious criminals like Al Capone were once locked away. We found the audio tour that comes with your entrance ticket really interesting!

In addition to all these wonderful attractions, the area also has a lot of restaurants where you can taste local flavors. The Philly Cheesesteak war is alive and well. While Geno’s and Pat’s are the most famous, they’re not the only places to grab these sandwich staples.

Before leaving the City of Brotherly Love, visit the Museum of Art and run up the stairs made famous in “Rocky.”

➡️Pro Tip: If you’re able to plan a visit on Independence Day weekend like we have, you may be lucky enough to sit on the museum stairs and catch the movie being played under the stars.

11. Delaware Water Gap

Drive Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
Distance: 299 miles

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The Delaware Water Gap is an ideal destination if you are looking to explore the outdoors. The area features caves, waterfalls, hiking trails, wildlife viewing areas, and many other outdoor attractions.

The Delaware River forms a natural border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey at this location, which also makes it a great spot for fishing or canoeing on the river.

The area is so beautiful that many are hoping that the national recreation area will soon be upgraded to national park status, becoming Pennsylvania’s first.

We had a fantastic time sipping on a drink at the Glass Wine Bar in the Ledges Hotel. Make sure you request a table with a view of the waterfall!

We had an early reservation for a drink and appetizers and then drove the 30 minutes back to Raymondskill Falls. The restaurant wasn’t as busy, and we had Raymondskill to ourselves.

12. Cherry Spring State Park

Drive Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 182 miles

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Cherry Spring State Park is a perfect destination for visitors who want to enjoy some relaxing time outdoors. It’s a great space to get “off the grid.”

This park is a true destination for stargazers. It’s known as the darkest spot on the eastern seaboard. The park is situated far away from any big cities, light pollution, and traffic; all of which make it the perfect place for seeing the Milky Way, among other things.

Cherry Springs also offers educational programs throughout the summer to help visitors learn more about astronomy and the night sky.

You’ll need to book a campsite far in advance for any big events such as eclipses or meteor showers. There aren’t a ton of campsites, and they can book up quickly, and they’re definitely rustic.

Trails in the surrounding state forest are great for mountain biking and hiking. Although the only overnight options within the park are rustic tenting options, check out Airbnb or VRBO for private cabin and home rentals near the park.

13. Hershey

Drive Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Distance: 215 miles

Hershey, Pennsylvania is a small town near the heart of Amish country. For those who are thrill-seekers, there is plenty to do. The amusem*nt park is a main attraction for tourists.

Next door, the Hershey Story Museum & Chocolate World offers visitors a glimpse into the history of Milton S. Hershey’s chocolate empire and how it has grown to include popular brands like Reese’s, Twizzlers, Almond Joy, Mr. Goodbar, and many more.

Five-pound Hershey chocolate bars exist and are sold here. I know. I got one!

You can also take a guided tour, which is more of an experience through the Chocolate World with animations and songs.

Enjoy some shopping or play a round of golf if the weather permits. There are several hotels and motels close to the Hershey area, including one right next to Hersheypark.

14. Bedford Springs

Drive Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Distance: 108 miles

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The Bedford Springs Resort is a historic property that was established in 1806. The resort is centered around healing mineral springs that were discovered in 1796. In those times, it was a destination for city dwellers who would vacation to get away from the pollution and hustle and bustle of city life.

It was completely renovated and restored, then opened back to the public in 2007. Let me tell you, this property is a hidden gem in south-central Pennsylvania. We were pleasantly surprised with what we discovered staying at the resort.

The 300-acre property features a spa, fed by a mineral spring, which pays homage to the original purpose of the property. Indulge in a “Bedford Bath” which is the signature treatment here, alternating hot and cold baths with steam from the springs, too.

This is a great weekend getaway where you can indulge in relaxation, but there are also onsite hiking trails, bike rentals, and golf. An outfitter on site can help book fishing trips in the area.

Getaways from Pittsburgh in the Neighboring States

Pittsburgh is within just a couple hours’ drive to multiple other states. There are plenty of options when considering weekend getaways from Pittsburgh, so don’t be afraid to get outside the city and the state.

Ohio

Access to many spots in Ohio is just a short drive away. Although some rivalry exists between residents of the two states, that shouldn’t deter you from considering a visit!

15. Cleveland

Drive Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Distance: 133 miles

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While some Pittsburghers may roll their eyes or shake their head any time Cleveland is mentioned, it’s an enjoyable spot to visit for a weekend. At just over 2 hours from Pittsburgh, it’s an easily accessible drive for just a short visit.

Cleveland’s downtown features an impressive skyline of high-rises, fun restaurants, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. For music lovers, this place is a must-visit!

Cleveland also has the closest NBA professional basketball team in the Cavaliers, if you’re looking for a different sport to watch that isn’t offered in Pittsburgh.

There are so many great restaurants, bars, and breweries to visit, too, scattered all over town. Don’t just head down East 4th Street. Check out Tremont or Ohio City, The Flats, and other hotspots around town.

And, if you’re a beer lover, Cleveland has an impressive list of breweries to visit, many of which offer samples or tours. We love Noble Beast, Masthead, Terrestrial… We could go on!

16. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Drive Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Distance: 112 miles

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Who knew a national park was so close and accessible? Even if the Delaware Water Gap becomes a national park, this one is closer! Cuyahoga Valley is a newer and lesser-known national park, but there are some beautiful spots to check out.

Brandywine Falls should be one of your first stops, and then hike along some of the fantastic trails, including a section of the Buckeye Trail. Take a ride on the train, especially if you’re visiting during the fall when the leaves are at their peak.

The Towpath Trail is a popular spot for bicyclists. The trail, which follows the Ohio & Erie Canal currently for 87 miles, is mostly flat and makes for an easy ride. It will be 101 miles long when it’s all finished!

The trail offers great views of the Cuyahoga River and the surrounding landscape, as well as some information about the historical significance of the canal way.

All of these sites certainly make Cuyahoga Valley National Park worth visiting on a weekend from Pittsburgh.

17. Nelson Ledges

Drive Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Distance: 92 miles

Nelson Ledges is a great place to explore the natural rock formations that make up the park. Hike, swim, bike, snorkel, camp, or find another activity that gets you excited to be outdoors. The possibilities here are nearly endless!

Check event schedules. The park is sometimes home to arts festivals and musical events on its 250 acres of land.

If you’re looking for a more leisurely activity, take a walk along one of the nature trails or enjoy a picnic lunch.

There are also two fishing lakes in the park if you’d like to relax by the water. Just be sure to check with the park staff about fishing regulations before you start casting your line.

18. Put-in-Bay

Drive Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Distance: 202 miles

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If you’re looking for a weekend getaway with both a party atmosphere and spots to find some solitude, Put-in-Bay is the perfect spot. Just a few hours from Pittsburgh, this island offers plenty to do and see.

The town is situated on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. You’ll have to take a ferry to get to the island.

There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to explore in town. Rent a golf cart for a fun way to get around town. You can also visit some of the historical sites or take a boat tour of the area.

If you’re looking for something more active, there are plenty of bike trails or golf courses to check out. And don’t forget about the beaches! Put-in-Bay has some of the best beaches around for swimming and enjoying Lake Erie.

19. Hocking Hills

Drive Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 193 miles

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Hocking Hills is a favorite destination in the region for a number of reasons. It’s one of the most popular state parks in Ohio. Things to do in Hocking Hills include canyoneering, rafting, and hiking through the scenic landscape of rock formations, cliffs, and waterfalls.

The area can get quite busy during the summer, so consider visiting the Hocking Hills hiking trails during the winter for a different experience. Just make sure that you have the appropriate gear.

The trails can get really icy and dangerous! We definitely needed our Kahtoola microspikes, especially on the Old Man’s Cave and Rock House trails.

In addition to the great outdoors, the town has a number of places worth checking out. Take a ride around the area, visit some of the antique stores, or stop at the winery for an afternoon of tasting.

For overnight stays, there are soooo many cabins throughout the area with great amenities like game rooms, hot tubs, and beautiful fireplaces. Many pet-friendly cabins and hiking trails allow dogs in Hocking Hills, making this a great place to get away with your pups.

Pro Tip: Cell phone service can be extremely limited in many spots, even at some of the cabins that we’ve stayed at. Make sure you have paper maps and plan your trip ahead of time. You don’t want to risk missing things you’d like to do because you don’t have wifi or cell service.

20. Geneva

Drive Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Distance: 138 miles

Geneva, Ohio is a small town with a big heart. The wine country of northeast Ohio has been growing and thriving. It’s home to beautiful scenery, delicious food & drink, outdoor adventure opportunities…the list goes on!

Geneva is home to more than just vineyards. It’s also the perfect place to visit if you want the best of both worlds: a weekend spent exploring or relaxing- all without having to travel too far from Pittsburgh.

Check out some of the beautiful covered bridges of Ashtabula County. There are 19 of them around the county.

Spend your time wandering “the Strip” for a carnival-like atmosphere during the summer months or get out and get active at the state park. Then, enjoy the wine! One of my personal favorites is Laurello’s.

Stay at the Lakehouse Inn in Geneva-on-the-Lake to be within walking distance of the Strip and enjoy epic lakefront views.

21. Sandusky

Drive Time: 3 hours
Distance: 182 miles

Cedar Point Amusem*nt Park is a world-famous amusem*nt park located in Sandusky, Ohio. It’s home to some of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the world, as well as a variety of other rides and attractions.

You could absolutely spend an entire weekend in Sandusky visiting the beach on Lake Erie, checking out Cedar Point, and exploring the shopping and restaurants in town. There’s so much to see and do in the region.

This would be a great weekend getaway for families, especially with older children. Park entrance fees can be on the pricey side, but buying multi-day passes does give some discount.

Maryland

Sharing a lot of the southern border of Pennsylvania, Maryland is home to a couple of weekend getaway destinations from Pittsburgh.

22. Deep Creek Lake

Drive Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Distance: 103 miles

Just over two hours away, this lake offers plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay. You can go fishing, boating, swimming, or hiking on the trails around the lake during the summer.

Wisp Resort in the area is a great winter destination for skiers and snowboarders. The resort is on the smaller side but offers slopes for all levels of skiers and a terrain park for the more adventurous.

There are also restaurants and shops in and around the town of McHenry if you need to take a break from all the outdoor activities, or stay in and just spend a weekend relaxing in one of the lakeside cottages.

23. Baltimore

Drive Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Distance: 248 miles

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Baltimore is a city with a rich history, both as an industrial port and as the birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner. But today, Baltimore’s many charms extend to its diverse restaurants and neighborhoods, world-class museums and art galleries, beautiful parks, and waterfront promenade. It’s also home to world-class universities like Johns Hopkins.

Some must-sees include The National Aquarium, which showcases millions of gallons of water-filled tanks with thousands of different species of aquatic life from around the world. You can explore the Atlantic coral reef or get up close with sharks in Shark Alley.

Baltimore is also home to the famous Inner Harbor, with its beautiful skyline views.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, stop by the Johns Hopkins University campus or check out the museums and art galleries around town. Stop by the Westminster Presbyterian Church, where you can see Edgar Allen Poe’s gravesite.

New York

New York is such a large state that much of it is not accessible within a reasonable amount of time to be considered a weekend trip, even a long weekend trip from Pittsburgh. There are a few options, though, all of which have something fun to offer.

24. The Finger Lakes

Drive Time: 5 hours
Distance: 284 miles

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The Finger Lakes wine country in upstate New York is a beautiful destination for a weekend getaway. The region is home to stunning landscapes, delicious food and drink, and plenty of outdoor adventure opportunities.

The Finger Lakes region is one of the furthest destinations included in this list, and you’ll want to take a long weekend vacation (or maybe more) to explore everything the region has to offer.

Spend the mornings exploring the many waterfalls scattered throughout the area or one of the stunning state parks near the lakes. The afternoons can be saved for wine tasting. Relax by one of the beautiful lakes in the evenings. What could make a better weekend getaway?

Make sure you check out Watkins Glen, Taughannock Falls, and Letchworth State Parks. These are just a few hiking options that have beautiful things to see around the Finger Lakes, but each one has great waterfalls and hiking trails.

25. Jamestown

Drive Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Distance: 171 miles

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Did you know that Jamestown, NY is the birthplace of Lucille Ball? She was born there in 1911 and spent her childhood there. It is also her final resting place, along with some members of her other family members.

After a successful career in Hollywood, she retired to her hometown and opened the Lucy-Desi Museum. The museum celebrates her life and career and is home to many artifacts from her time on I Love Lucy.

Jamestown is also home to the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival each year. The festival features stand-up comedians, sketch comedy groups, and performances from both up-and-comers and well-known comedians.

For outdoor lovers, nearby Chautauqua Lake has plenty to do from boating and watersports to hiking trails and parks. Visit Southern Tier Brewing’s original location, and during the summer, you might be able to catch a musical act on the small outdoor stage while you grab a drink and bite to eat.

26. Niagara Falls

Drive Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Distance: 238 miles

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Niagara Falls is quite a famous destination, being one of the most visited tourist attractions in North America. It’s no wonder why; Niagara Falls is truly spectacular. It’s the largest waterfall in North America by volume.

There are so many things to do at Niagara Falls, including taking a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat tour, visiting the Cave of the Winds, and even hiking along the Gorge Trail.

You can take out the planning and book a day-long tour of the highlights of Niagara Falls.

Discover Niagara Falls through a Guided Tour, Including Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds.

There are also many hotels located near the falls, making it easy to stay overnight while enjoying the beauty of the falls. Some even overlook the falls, but you’ll have to head over to the Canadian side for most of them.

While the area is very built-up and touristy, the magnitude of these falls should not be missed. In our experience, visits during the colder months were less crowded.

27. Ellicottville

Drive Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Distance: 203 miles

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Ellicottville is a small town in Western New York, south of Buffalo. This quaint little town provides a lot of bang for your buck, especially if you enjoy outdoor activities.

The town is home to 2 ski slopes, which offer even more than just winter fun. During the summer, trails are open for exploration and mountain biking at Holiday Valley.Just south of town, there are more trails and outdoor areas to visit in the state forests.

After a day of exploring, you can spend the evening wandering through the shops in town or grab dinner and a drink at Ellicottville Brewing.

If you’re looking for a quiet weekend escape in a small town, this is the perfect spot.

28. Buffalo

Drive Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Distance: 219 miles

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The city of Buffalo gives off very similar vibes to that of Pittsburgh with the locals and things to do.

There are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from, as well as museums and art galleries, and a waterfront with activities in all seasons.

Ever wanted to try your luck at curling after watching it on TV during the Olympics? There are lanes at the waterfront area, known as Canalside, where you can try it out and learn the sport. There are also skating rinks and plenty of winter fun.

During the summer, the waterfront becomes a popular location for concerts and festivals, such as the annual Taste of Buffalo food festival. You could also combine a trip to Buffalo and Niagara Falls, as they’re only about 20 miles apart.

West Virginia

Wild and wonderful, West Virginia has plenty of outdoor adventure waiting in its mountains.

29. New River Gorge

Drive Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 217 miles

33 Driveable Weekend Getaways from Pittsburgh to Get Out of the City (+ A Map!) - PA on Pause (25)

Just over 200 miles to the south, you can visit the US’s newest national park the New River Gorge.

The area in and around the gorge is popular with thrill-seekers, as there is fantastic whitewater rafting in both the New and Gauley Rivers. While we haven’t tackled the Gauley, the New River trip is fun in the spring.

Rock climbing and hiking are also other popular activities in the park, and you’ll find lots of camping options to stay the night in the area. Whether you’d like to spend the night in a primitive cabin or one with lots of amenities, there is a suitable choice. Plenty of tent camping sites are available, too.

Cell phone reception can be a problem in parts of the park, so plan ahead by downloading maps, just in case you find yourself off the grid. It is one of many great areas in West Virginia to get off the grid.

30. Charleston

Drive Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Distance: 228 miles

This historic city is the capital of West Virginia. With its beautiful architecture and charming downtown, Charleston is an absolute must-see when visiting West Virginia.

Although it is the capital of the state, Charleston has kept much of its small-town charm throughout, making this a relaxing weekend getaway from Pittsburgh.

Shop in the Capitol Market or attend an event at the Haddad Riverfront Park amphitheater. Grab a bite at one of the many downtown restaurants serving dishes like Italian or Mexican favorites.

For a long weekend option, combine a visit to Charleston and the New River Gorge. The one-hour drive between the two destinations on Route 60 is scenic and beautiful. It’ll give you a good taste of those West Virginia country roads.

31. Dolly Sods Wilderness

Drive Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Distance: 152 miles

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Another beautiful off-the-grid destination in West Virginia, Dolly Sods is a hiking paradise. As part of the larger Monongahela National Forest, there are over 17,000 acres of outdoor areas to explore.

This is a destination for those who are more adventurous outdoor lovers.

There are trails for hikers of all levels, and if you want to see some wildlife, keep your eyes peeled for deer, foxes, and even black bears.

The best way to enjoy the outdoors is to camp out here. There are several campsites that offer electricity and water hookups, but no showers.

To really get to some of the best seclusion, plan to head to the backcountry, but only if you come prepared.

Virginia

Much of Virginia requires more of a drive, so not all of the state is accessible for weekend getaways from Pittsburgh. A few spots could be great, though, especially for long weekend options.

32. Shenandoah

Drive Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Distance: 193 miles

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If you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway from Pittsburgh, Shenandoah is a perfect place to go south.

One of the East Coast’s beautiful national parks, there are miles of hiking trails, biking, and scenic roadways through this portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

You can also take advantage of the natural beauty of the area by fishing and camping.

Shenandoah is definitely a four-season destination. Depending on the time of year, you will be treated to rushing waterfalls, fields of wildflowers, bright fall foliage, or snow-covered mountains.

All are beautiful in their own way, so plan your visit according to the type of scenery that you’d like to visit.

33. Washington D.C.

Drive Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Distance: 242 miles

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Because it’s within a 5-hour drive of Pittsburgh, we can’t leave the nation’s capital off of our list of best weekend destinations from Pittsburgh.

You’ll certainly need more than a weekend to see everything that the capital city has to offer, though!

From the monuments and the National Mall to the shopping in Georgetown, there are endless things to do and places to explore. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly experience, check out the Smithsonian Museums or the National Zoo.

They’re all free to visit!

If you’d like someone else to do the route planning, check out these
ELECTRIC CART GUIDED TOURS.
You’ll be able to see more in less time in this small-group experience.

Plenty of sports teams call D.C. home, too, so there is a great chance that you could catch a game of some kind during your visit.

If you’ve never been to Washington D.C., you won’t know what you’re missing.

While there are so many options for weekend getaways from Pittsburgh, hopefully, this list gives you some great ideas to start with. Better yet, take a spur-of-the-moment trip to one of the closer destinations we suggested. Sometimes those kinds of trips lead to some of the best memories!

Which one of these weekend getaways from Pittsburgh are you most excited about planning?

33 Driveable Weekend Getaways from Pittsburgh to Get Out of the City (+ A Map!) - PA on Pause (2024)
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