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North Hills Monthly

Experience the Fun of Pittsburgh from the Water

Jul 31, 2018 02:21PM ● By Clare Heekin Lynch

Kayak Pittsburgh

The beautiful Allegheny River stretches 352 miles from Potter County in northern Pennsylvania to downtown Pittsburgh, where it eventually unites with the Monongahela River to form the Ohio River. These iconic three rivers feature beautiful scenery and rich history, and are a playground for boating, fishing and swimming. From Washington’s Landing to the Point, here are a few of the best ways to spend a day on the Allegheny.


On any nice day in Pittsburgh, you’re bound to see kayakers and boaters paddling along the shoreline, exploring the river for a day or maybe even traveling point to point on longer excursions. Kayak Pittsburgh, owned and operated by local nonprofit organization Venture Outdoors, prides itself on making your on-the-water experience unforgettable.

“From your first time to your millionth trip, the activities we offer span every interest and experience level,” said Director of Development and Communications Donna Bour. “Kayaking is an incredible way to see the city—you really just have to get out on the water to appreciate our beautiful skyline!” 

Kayak Pittsburgh offers rentals and guided tours at two launches along the Allegheny (on the North Shore near Allegheny Landing and at the Aspinwall Riverfront Park). No experience is necessary for this adventure, and participants are encouraged to enjoy the river at their own pace. 

“Kayaking is like riding a bike—you can get in a great workout or just relax and enjoy the scenery,” said Bour. “Don’t let the rivers or the sport intimidate you; it’s not as hard as you may think. In fact, I’ve kayaked around the city and if I can do it, anyone can!”

Whether you’re looking for guided trips, instructions or a more social format, check out Venture Outdoors’ programs including beginner paddles, fireworks paddles, full moon paddles and more! 

Just Ducky Tours

It’s a boat…it’s a truck…it’s a duck! Just Ducky Tours takes riders on Pittsburgh’s only fully narrated one-hour land and water adventure. Each excursion begins in historic Station Square before waddling through town and then splashing into the river for a fun ride in an authentic WWII amphibious vehicle. 

The Just Ducky team offers facts and jokes to keep guests laughing and entertained. The tour’s manager, Christina Robertson, has been part of showing off the Pittsburgh skyline for more than seven years, and said that she has yet to get tired of seeing the look on patrons’ faces when they experience how enjoyable the tour is. 

“The tour travels through the city's business and cultural districts, allowing you to see the amazing architecture and learn entertaining facts about the people, places and things that call the 'burgh home,” said Robertson. “People are surprised to realize that our tour is perfect for all ages and that it really is all that it is quacked up to be!” 

River Cruises

If you'd prefer to relax and enjoy Pittsburgh’s scenic, peaceful and historic rivers without doing the work of captaining your own boat, a river cruise or charter is the way to go. 

For more than 60 years, the Gateway Clipper has been sailing the three rivers hosting countless sightseeing and dining cruises while showcasing the stunning skyline, the magnificent architecture of the numerous bridges, and the natural beauty along the riverbanks.

Aboard the sightseeing cruises, guests are shown the Pittsburgh of today while getting a glimpse into the Steel City’s past. Dining cruises feature delicious buffets that are expertly prepared by an award-winning executive chef whose menus feature the best of locally grown and prepared products giving meals a true Pittsburgh touch. 

Pittsburgh Water Limo Pittsburgh Luxury Cruises has been putting a gourmet spin on relaxing boat rides since 1999. With lounge-like seating and tables, wrap-around windows and skylights offering great views of river activities and the city skyline, the experience promises to be a memorable one for guests who like to cruise in style. The cruise line offers many convenient catering and drink options for both hosts and partygoers, and will work with guests to provide a customized event. 

The cruise line also shuttles sports enthusiasts from their Lockwall One Marina in the Strip District to the waterside entrance of Heinz Field on game days, and offers Wine & Microbrew Cruises, teaming up with several Pittsburgh social club meetup groups. 

Pittsburgh fun doesn’t just happen on land—it also happens on the water! So whether you’re visiting Pittsburgh or are a born ‘n bred yinzer, don’t just sit there—splash into summer by getting out and exploring Pittsburgh from a whole new vantage point!