This article is primarily intentioned to fill you in on a great place to park your RV if you’re looking to stay in Pittsburgh East Side and don’t want to be far away from home…if you’re not opposed to going without hookups for the duration of your stay.
I recently returned home via train to Pittsburgh, PA and was gloriously reminded of how wonderful that city really is. One thing that really shines about Pittsburgh is the fact that it’s not really a CBD surrounded by neighborhoods like many cities. Instead, it’s more like several small towns pushed into one another, sandwiching each another in a condense enough fashion to form a giant city sandwich platter. What this gives you is a plethora of little business districts spotted all over the city, so that you never need to go more than five or ten blocks to get from your house to a place to shop/partake in drinkery.
Shadyside is one of my favorite of those little neighborhoods as well. It has three of these business districts, and my personal favorite of those is Ellsworth Street. A variety of bars and restaurants give you everything from greasy bar food to sushi to pizza to very fine dining. In particular I might mention Harris Grill, especially if you’re visiting during the summer months. They’ve got a great front porch that is always packed with people to talk to and the food and beers on tap are always amazing.
But, as with most cities, finding a place to park your RV in the city itself is a difficult task indeed. With Pittsburgh, it’s even more desperate as there isn’t really a campground within 50 miles of the city. I’d hate to think that would mean that RVers are being cheated from experiencing the City of Bridges, though, so luckily I’ve found a great, if incredibly unlikely, place that you can park your RV right in the heart of one of the city’s premier neighborhoods.
First of all, you aren’t going to be parking at an RV park, so don’t plan on unraveling the awning or popping out the slides. You’re going to be boondocking. You won’t be able to get water into your RV, so come prepared, and you won’t be able to dump, so, again, come prepared.
What you will get, though, is to be parked in the heart of one of Pittsburgh’s most vibrant and active neighborhoods, with bus access to half a dozen others as well. You’re basically renting two regular car parking spots per night, which cost us about $22 / night and Sundays are free. You’ll be right next door to a coffee shop where you can use the bathroom if you need to, and tap into their free WiFi as well. In fact, Shadyside is choke-full of free WiFi.
I’ve made this handy little map that shows some of the highlights, such as good restaurants, grocery stores, some particularly useful bus stops and more. Zoom in and out to see some other surrounding goodies.