The Steel City: The Most Iconic Locations in Pittsburgh

August 17, 2023

Natalia Baqueiro

Pittsburgh Locations

Engagement Photos at Union Station and the Pennsylvania Station in Downtown Pittsburgh

Find out the most memorable Engagement Locations in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, often referred to as the “Steel City” or the “City of Bridges,” is a vibrant and iconic metropolis located in the western part of the state. Founded in 1758, the city has a long and storied history, which has significantly shaped its unique culture, architecture, and identity.

One of the most defining features of Pittsburgh is its dramatic landscape, formed by the convergence of three major rivers: the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers. This natural setting has played a crucial role in shaping the city’s development and is prominently showcased at Point State Park. The park, located at the “Point,” where the three rivers meet, boasts a grand 150-foot fountain and is a popular gathering place for residents and visitors alike. Offering a breathtaking panorama of the city skyline against the backdrop of the rivers, Point State Park serves as a symbol of Pittsburgh’s enduring connection to its waterways.

As an industrial powerhouse during the 19th and early 20th centuries, Pittsburgh was at the forefront of steel production, leading to its nickname as the “Steel City.” The city’s steel mills and factories were the driving force behind its economic growth and expansion. While much of the industrial infrastructure has evolved or disappeared over the years, remnants of Pittsburgh’s industrial heritage can still be seen in certain neighborhoods, adding a sense of historical character to the city.

Beyond its industrial legacy, Pittsburgh has made a successful transition into a diverse and innovative city. Today, it thrives as a center for technology, healthcare, education, and the arts. The city is home to several prestigious universities, including the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, which have contributed significantly to research and development.

Pittsburgh’s cultural scene is equally vibrant, with numerous museums, theaters, and art galleries. The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, in particular, stand out as world-class institutions that cater to various interests, from art and natural history to science and pop culture.

Sports hold a special place in the hearts of Pittsburghers, with the city’s beloved sports teams, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB), evoking a strong sense of pride and camaraderie among residents. The city’s sports venues, including Heinz Field and PNC Park, are not only iconic for the teams that play there but also for the stunning views they offer of the city’s skyline and rivers.

Pittsburgh’s architectural diversity is another notable aspect of its identity. From the striking Gothic Revival Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus to the modern skyscrapers in the downtown business district, the city’s skyline showcases a blend of historical and contemporary designs.

Moreover, Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods each have their distinct personalities, offering a broad spectrum of experiences for residents and visitors alike. The Strip District, with its bustling markets and vibrant street life, is a food lover’s paradise, while the hilly and picturesque Mount Washington offers postcard-worthy views of the city below.

In recent years, Pittsburgh has experienced a renaissance, attracting young professionals, entrepreneurs, and artists, leading to a revitalization of its urban core. The city’s commitment to sustainability, arts and culture, and economic diversification has earned it a place among the most livable cities in the United States.

Overall, Pittsburgh is a city of contrasts, blending its industrial past with its progressive future, and its iconic locations symbolize the dynamic spirit of the people who call it home. As the city continues to evolve, it remains a place of pride for its residents and a captivating destination for travelers seeking history, culture, and stunning landscapes.

Wether you’re getting married and looking for the best engagement locations in Pittsburgh or you just want to celebrate your anniversary or a day full of adventure with your partner and want to see the best skylines, parks or hidden gems in Western Pennsylvania, I got YOU!

Pittsburgh is such a versatile city that you can really choose any location and vibe you want for your engagement photos. You’ll see why in a second, but before we do that, I also wanted to remind you that the scenery of Pittsburgh will change drastically from season to season, so keep that in mind when choosing your engagement location, and take advantage of it. 

When thinking of your engagement photo location, like I said before, decide what look/vibe you’re going for. You’ll find out that in Pittsburgh you have almost all the options you can think of minus the ocean. You will see Nature, City, Urban and many of the beautiful places Pittsburgh has to offer. Take a look at some of my favorite photo locations in Pittsburgh for engagement sessions, and connect with me to start planning your session. If you have an idea, but you’re not sure yet what direction to go with, I’m more than happy to provide location suggestions and outfit guidance based on what you’re looking for and how you envision the photos.

Hartwood Acres Mansion 

Location: 200 Hartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Vibe: Elegant, Casual, Romantic

You can make anything you want out of this location, because you don’t only have access to the mansion and the beautiful buildings surrounding the property, but you have the forest, and nature trails that are beyond a dream. 

Hartwood Mansion Maternity Session

The Strip District

Location: 2100 Penn Ave Pittsburgh, PA 

Vibe: Industrial, Edgier Urban, City Like

Urban, Edgy, Fun! You got it that’s what I envision every time I hear Strip District. There’s plenty of industrial historical buildings that remind us what Pittsburgh is the Steel City, but we also have railroads, graffiti, and streets full of character! 

The Strip District Train Tracks for Urban Engagement Session

Mellon Park

Location: 1047 Shady Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Vibe: Nature, Chill, Elegant, Casual, Romantic

One of Pittsburgh’s most gorgeous parks located in the 5th Ave, near Squirrel Hill and Oakland, which is very convenient, but every time I go to this this beautiful place it makes me forget I’m in the city, it takes me back to historical time with the fountain, and it’s beautiful gardens. There are endless locations within Mellon Park to take photos at. What direction you want to take it, it’s totally up to you, but I can always help you. 

Mellon Park Engagement Session in Pittsburgh

Grandview Overlook 

Location: 136-160 Grandview Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15211

Vibe: Grand Views, City Overlook, city view, Elegant or Casual

Ah! Grandview Overlook in Mt. Washington is one of my favorite places in Pittsburgh. This place is magic to me, and to the many couples who choose to have their engagement photos taken here. You witness Pittsburgh’s beautiful skyline, you get to take in the city while you hangout in Mt. Washington one of Pittsburgh’s most popular neighborhoods with its own vibe to it. 

Grandview Overlook Engagement Proposal in Pittsburgh, PA.

Fall Run Park

Location: 187 Fall Run Rd, Glenshaw, PA 15116

Vibe: Forest, Nature, Waterfall, Bridges, Classic, Romantic 

This is a gorgeous forest. If you go during the summer months, you can hike, and get lost in all the greenery this place offers, as well as venture into the small waterfall that’s located farther down. 

Fall Run Park Couple Session with the waterfall


Location: Oakland, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Setting: Nature, Parks, buildings, Beautiful and Unique Structures

Oakland is home to the University of Pittsburgh and the famous Cathedral of Learning, and if you’ve been here and seen it, you know the gorgeous architecture this place has to offer. The buildings and greenery of Oakland takes me to a European city for sure. 

Senior Photo Session at the University of Pittsburgh

Schenley Park


Setting: Nature, Parks, Botanical Garden, Wooden Boardwalks, Bridges, Casual, Classic

The park has a prime location just east of downtown near Oakland, Squirrel Hill, and Greenfield. This gorgeous space has its charm year round. It changes with the seasons and transforms in a winter wonderland, a favorite in the summer to have picnics, and during the fall it shines showcasing its beautiful trees in the fall’s favorite colors. Not to mention that you have the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. 

Schenley Park Couples Session outside of Pittsburgh Phipps Conservatory

South Park

Location: 3730 Buffalo Dr, South Park Township, PA 15129

Setting: Nature, Parks, Wedding Location, Classic and Romantic

South Park is a 2,013-acre county park in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. 

This place is popular for elopements and weddings, which is what the photo shows below. This is just another one of the many parks Pittsburgh has to offer.

South Park Elopement Wedding

Point State Park 

Location: 3730 Buffalo Dr, South Park Township, PA 15129

Setting: Nature, River, Bridges, Classic, Casual

Point State Park is a popular and important location in Pittsburgh’s history because this is the point where The Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet, forming the Ohio River. This is another versatile spot in Pittsburgh. You can hang out by the river during sunset, or you can take a walk in the nature pathways of the park, or better yet continue walking until you cross the bridge and end up in the North Shore and visit PNC Park. 

The Point State Park Maternity Session in Pittsburgh PA

North Park 

Location: 3730 Buffalo Dr, South Park Township, PA 15129

Setting: Nature, Parks, Wedding Location, River, Classic, Casual and Romantic

North Park has to be one of my favorite parks. It’s HUGE, and every season changes drastically. In case you’re feeling like kayaking, you can do so in the 65-acre lake while you watch the golden tones of the afternoon. The park has so many spots that the possibilities of what to do are endless. You can choose to make a picnic out of the afternoon with a nice bottle of wine and some chocolate. Totally up to you! 

Engagement Photos at North Park during the fall months in Pittsburgh, PA.

East Liberty

Location: 3730 Buffalo Dr, South Park Township, PA 15129

Setting: City, Urban, Hipster, Romantic

Having your engagement photography session in East Liberty is one of the best decisions you could ever make! There’s plenty of restaurants, shops, and a cool city vibe to this part of town. Not to forget the East Liberty Presbyterian Church that has an incredible architecture with gothic finishes and a beautiful garden. You can dress however you want depending on your personal style, but the most important thing is for the photos to represent you as a couple. You wanna grab pizza and make into a date?! No problem, I’ve got you! 

East Liberty Urban Engagement Session in Pittsburgh Pennsulvania

South Side Slopes

Location: 3730 Buffalo Dr, South Park Township, PA 15129

Setting: Nature, Parks, Chill, Casual

Another one of those cool and unique neighborhoods Pittsburgh has to offer along the Monongahela River from the Liberty Bridge to beyond Josephine Street. 

Family Session at South Park

Mt. Washington 

Location: 3730 Buffalo Dr, South Park Township, PA 15129

Setting: Urban, City, Nature, Parks, Romantic

Charming Mount Washington is known for its panoramic city views and an interesting and unique vibe you can only experience by going to this special neighborhood. The Monongahela and Duquesne Inclines are historical and beautiful sports for photos as they climb the hill to lookouts like Grandview Overlook.

Mount Washington Golden Hour Engagement overlooking the city in Grandview Overlook.

Downtown Pittsburgh

Location: 3730 Buffalo Dr, South Park Township, PA 15129

Setting: City, Urban, Elegant, Romantic

Downtown Pittsburgh has a lot to offer, from bars, restaurants, parks, shops to skyscrapers that show you the city’s historical heritage and gorgeous architecture. You can make this an elegant or casual day, it all depends on the time of day and the vibe you’re going for!

Downtown Pittsburgh Couple's Photos during the Summer

PNC Park

Location: 3730 Buffalo Dr, South Park Township, PA 15129

Setting: Nature, Parks, Casual

PNC Park is one of those places that has beautiful views of the city of Pittsburgh. Taking a walk by the river and you’ll see the city’s popular Andy Warhol and Roberto Clement’s bridges in the distance as well as Downtown on the other side. Walking the other way, and you get to see the fountain in Point State Park. You can also visit the pirate’s stadium, or just hand out by the park.

North Shore Engagement Session Overlooking Pittsburgh Skyline at PNC Park.

The Pennsylvanian

Location: 3730 Buffalo Dr, South Park Township, PA 15129

Setting: Elegant, Majestic, City, Wedding Location, Classic and Romantic

The Pennsylvanian is incredible. Once you spot this building, you won’t forget it, it’s that incredible. When you’re actually there, you get to see why. This is a historical place that holds a lot of Pittsburgh’s history. It was designed by famed architect Daniel Burnham and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Pennsylvanian opened in 1903 as Penn Station, a train station that served as the local headquarters for the Pennsylvania Railroad. A majestic place to have your engagement photos taken!

Engagement photos at the Pennsylvania Station in Downtown Pittsburgh.

If you want to take a little road trip, a great option is to have your Engagement Session at 

McConnells Mill State Park

Location: 3730 Buffalo Dr, South Park Township, PA 15129

Setting: Nature, Parks, Casual

McConnells Mill State Park Engagement Session during the fall in Pennsylvania.

There’s still many places that are incredible, fun and magical in their own way. I would love to photograph you there, so if none of the previous ones I mentioned catch your attention, check out the following list of Pittsburgh Engagement Suggestions and let me know if you’d like to explore them during your engagement session. 

If you’re ready, get in touch with me, and we’ll start the planning process for that really fun and cool day where we’ll celebrate your engagement! 

  • The Allegheny Commons Park
  • The Highlander
  • Station Square
  • Downtown Pittsburgh Parking Garage Rooftop
  • Mingo Creek County Park
  • Roberto Clemente Bridge
  • Frick Park
  • Mexican War Streets

The list keeps on going, and I try to constantly update this list to give you the latest locations I’ve found in Pittsburgh, but if you have any questions or would like my help, please reach out, I’m more than happy! 

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