A Visitor's Guide to Natrona Heights

(Rev. 2.5, 12 Oct 2006)

Neat-o things to see and do in the greater Pittsburgh area,
from a Natrona-Heights-centrist viewpoint, and posted as an
answer to the question, "So, is there anything to do there if
we come and visit?"

This is an unsolicted endorsement for Salsgiver, for your ISP if you live anywhere near Natrona Heights. They have AWESOME service and uptime. I used them for many years, even after I moved.

Natrona Heights from Ridge Road. Heights Plaza is in the background.

Carlisle St., Cambridge St., etc. from Ridge Road. The row of stately elms along Carlisle Street is in the center of the photo.

NBT = we've never been there.


Kennywood Park

An absolutely delightful park with rides from the turn of the century as well as modern rides and roller coasters. Highly recommended. About 50 minutes from Natrona Heights. $14 each (adults and children) for a one-day pass.

Pittsburgh Zoo

Nice little zoo. Now with a place for kids to climb and play. About 20 minutes from Natrona Heights.

Idlewild Park

A water park and amusement park; very young might enjoy Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and some of the fairy tale stuff; about 1-1/2 hours from Natrona Heights.


Another water park, near Kennywood; about 1 hour from Natrona Heights. NBT

Caddy Shack

About an hour from Natrona Heights in Donegal, go carts and miniature golf; possible stop on trips to and from Eastern PA. NBT

The Climbing Wall

Indoor rock climbing, kids too. 7501 Penn Ave., 247-7334. NBT

Miniature Golf

Spiffy one in Plum. NBT

Parks, walks, cruises, scenic locations


Nature trails and discovery room, plus small shop with Audubon Society stuff. Free! 25 minutes from Natrona Heights.

The Inclines

Two inclines take you to the top of Mt. Washington overlooking the heart of the city where the three rivers converge. Recommended if you're in the vicinity of Station Square. $2.00 round trip. 35 minutes from Natrona Heights.

Gateway Clipper Cruises

Tool up and down the rivers. The Lollipop Cruise is a good choice. 35 minutes from Natrona Heights in South Pittsburgh near Station Square.

Pumpkin Picking

Farm 15 minutes north of Natrona Heights, October.

Todd Sanctuary

Another Audubon Society delight. Many trail to hike. Pond has peepers in the Spring. 15 minutes north, in Sarver, across from the 356 Cinema.

Baxter Park

A three mile hike, steep hills and a fantastic view of the river from a bluff overlooking Freeport. Might be a bit muddy if it has rained a lot recently. Ten minutes north. (Not far from Lyndon's Deli.)

Northmoreland Park

About one hour west. NBT

Music, Festivals, Arts, Entertainment

Hartwood Acres

Free concerts Sunday evenings in summer. Take your blanket, chairs, and wine coolers. Kids can bring frisbees.

Heinz Hall

The symphony!

Benedum Center

The Civic Light Opera plays here. We have never been disappointed by a performace.

Point Park College Playhouse

Short plays that children can enjoy. Performed with a touch of humor and audience participation.

Greater Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival

Children's Theatre—NBT



This is a really neat restaurant, but it's fun to shop for furniture there as well. Scandinavian simplicity. 45 minutes from Natrona Heights, not far from the airport.

Border's Bookstore

Near Ross Park Mall. Great collection: kid's books, adult books, nerd books (Internet!), audio collection, sofas, coffee, and dessert. We usually do the Olive Garden restaurant either before or after. Don Pablo's (also right there) is good too. 50 minutes from Natrona Heights. There's now a smaller Border's down in Monroeville; closer, but not as nice.

Shops at Station Square

Lots of shops, see brochure. South Pgh, 35 minutes.

Museums, Educational stuff

Tour-Ed Mine

Thirty minute tour of coal mine, 10 minutes from Natrona Heights. $5 adult, $2.50 child.

Burtner House

1800's era farm house preserved in its original condition (one of only 10 left in Allegheny County). Many turn-of-the-century artifacts on display during their June Strawberry festival.

Carnegie Natural History Museum

Dinosaur bones, art collections, dead birds, incredible rocks and gems. Discovery room is highly recommended; 10am-4pm in summer (get there early). Carnegie Science Museum—Omnimax theatre ($4.25 extra), a real submarine ($3.50 extra), and decent permanent exhibits for various ages including live birds and reptiles. The miniature train exhibit from October-April is a must-see. $5.75 adult, $4.25 child.

Phipps Conservatory

Small, well-kept conservatory.

National Aviary

Birds and butterflies.

Depreciation Lands Museum

Learn how the government paid off its debt to its soldiers and brought people out to western PA.

Trolley Museum


Grove City Forge

Hand-wrought aluminum. About one hour from Natrona Heights, north of Pgh. Free. NBT

Unique Restaurants

Gatto Diner

Meticulously restored diner right out of the 50's—inside a cycle shop! Good sandwiches and a real soda fountain. [Hey Doug, remember cherry cokes?] Near Natrona Heights.

Italian Oven

Excellent and sometimes unique Italian dishes. Strombolis are quite good, white (onion) pizza for a change of pace. Reasonably priced, kid friendly. Go walking through the graveyard next door afterwards (really, it's cool!). In Lower Burell, 10 minutes from Natrona Heights.

Spaghetti Warehouse

Excellent classic Italian food and wine (lasagne, manicotti, etc.) reasonably priced. Antique decor, including a trolley car in one of the non-smoking sections. South side of Pgh, about 35 minutes from Natrona Heights.


This is a really neat furniture store, but we go there for Sunday brunch too. Incredible Swedish meatballs, pies for dessert. $5 each adult, less for kids. 45 minutes from Natrona Heights, not far from the airport.

Lyndon's Deli

Unique sandwiches, bottled sodas, candies. Philadelphia hoagie is a favorite. Only problem--no nice, nearby place to eat your food (the deli is part of a BP station). 10 minutes from Natrona Heights in Freeport.


A basic family restaurant with fast service and killer pies for dessert. 13 minutes in Lower Burell.

Cooper Station

A nice, basic family restaurant. Model train runs around the room overhead. 17 minutes north in Sarver.


Good Sunday brunch, ~$10 adults, young children free. 20 minutes down in Fox Chapel

Last Updated 5 October 2007
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