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Outside the Bubble: Neighborhoods of Pittsburgh Part One

When I embarked on my college search, I was only looking at schools in an urban setting. Although I had grown up in a small town, I have always considered myself a city girl. However, as I started visiting colleges, I realized that attending school in a city was not what I was looking for. I did not want to deal with the daily hassle of crowded streets and constant commotion. I wanted to take advantage of the opportunities that a large metropolitan area can offer, while being able to enjoy the charm and peaceful environment of a small town. Grove City, located less than an hour north of Pittsburgh, was the perfect fit. Pittsburgh is home to 90 unique neighborhoods, and I have highlighted two of the most popular below. In part two of this post, I will highlight two of my other favorite neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, highlighting Shadyside and Squirrel Hill.

Neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, highlighting Shadyside and Squirrel Hill.


With tree lined streets that are filled with charming boutiques, upscale stores and small bakeries, Shadyside gives the east end of Pittsburgh a unique, village-like feel. For students who enjoy sipping locally brewed coffee and savoring homemade pastries while looking through high-end national retailers, Shadyside’s Walnut Street is the ideal day trip destination. Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside is famous for its surplus of consignment shops and vintage stores surrounded by nationally recognized local restaurants. Walnut Street and Ellsworth Avenue are within walking distance, separated by a few streets of beautifully restored, stately Victorian mansions. And while you are in Shadyside, you can visit the only street in the country that is paved with wood, Roslyn Street.

Shadyside's Walnut Street.

Shadyside’s Walnut Street.



Also located in Pittsburgh’s east end district is Squirrel Hill. Squirrel Hill is famous for the business area along Forbes Avenue and Murray Avenue, which is affectionately referred to as “upstreet” by the local residents. Upstreet contains many local business which are more affordable than the shops in Shadyside, but they are equally unique. Squirrel Hill is bordered by the flourishing expanses of Pittsburgh’s famous Frick Park and Shenley Park, offering Grove City students the opportunity to admire the flora inside Phipp’s Conservatory, play a round of Frisbee golf or simply wander along miles of hiking trails after a morning of shopping in the business district. And during the many months of winter in Western Pennsylvania, Shenley Park offers ice skating, making the cold weather a bit more tolerable.

A View of Downtown Pittsburgh atop a hill in Schenley Park.

A view of Downtown Pittsburgh atop a hill in Schenley Park.


Be sure to check out part two of this post to learn about Market Square and the Strip District.

Note: All images from this post were taken from Google images.

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