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Ultimate Guide: Best Places to Live in Pittsburgh for Every Lifestyle

Pittsburgh's got a spot for everyone, whether you're after the hustle and bustle of city life or a quiet corner in a friendly neighborhood. It's a city where history meets high-tech, and the cost of living doesn't make your wallet weep.

Tobi Miles
April 5, 2024
Ultimate Guide: Best Places to Live in Pittsburgh for Every Lifestyle

From the artsy streets of Lawrenceville to the serene trails of Frick Park, Pittsburgh's neighborhoods are as diverse as they are captivating. Let's dive into the best places to call home in this city of bridges and find your perfect match.

Key Takeaways

  • Pittsburgh offers a variety of neighborhoods suitable for every lifestyle, including retirees, young adults, families, and young professionals, each with its unique attractions and amenities.
  • Squirrel Hill appeals to retirees with its peaceful ambiance, walkability, and convenient amenities, making it an ideal neighborhood for a quiet, engaged community life.
  • Lawrenceville is the go-to area for young adults seeking a vibrant nightlife and a creative scene, offering affordability alongside cultural richness.
  • Shadyside stands out as a family-friendly neighborhood with its top-notch schools, safe environment, and abundance of family activities, ensuring a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle for families.
  • Downtown Pittsburgh caters to all demographics with its mix of cultural activities, dining, nightlife, and family attractions, alongside a focus on safety and community, making it a lively and secure heart of the city.
  • The surrounding suburbs like Mt. Lebanon, Wexford, Cranberry Township, and Sewickley offer a blend of high-quality living, education, and community vibe, catering to families, professionals, and retirees looking for a balance between urban convenience and the tranquility of suburban life.

Vibrant Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh

When you're hunting for the perfect spot in Pittsburgh to call home, you've got a rainbow of neighborhoods to consider. Whether you're a retiree looking for peace and quiet, a young adult craving nightlife, or a family in need of space and great schools, Pittsburgh's got a nook for you. Let's dive into some of the city's most appealing areas, tailored to different wants and needs.

For Retirees: Squirrel Hill

  • Peaceful and Green: Nestled between parks, Squirrel Hill offers tranquility and a tight-knit community vibe.
  • Convenient Amenities: You'll find grocery stores, cafes, and libraries right at your doorstep.
  • Walkability: Enjoy leisurely strolls without the need for a car every time you step out.

For Young Adults: Lawrenceville

  • Bustling Nightlife: Packed with bars, galleries, and eateries, it's where the fun's at post-sunset.
  • Creative Scene: Artists and musicians flock here, making it a hub for creativity and innovation.
  • Affordable Living: Compared to other hip neighborhoods, Lawrenceville remains relatively wallet-friendly.

For Families: Shadyside

  • Top-Notch Schools: Rest easy knowing your kids are getting quality education in some of the city's best schools.
  • Family-Friendly Activities: From parks to museums, there's no shortage of weekend outing options.
  • Safe and Quiet: It's a neighborhood where you can let your kids play outside without a worry.

Best Weather: Mount Washington

  • Stunning Views: Enjoy the city's beauty from atop, with fewer foggy days and more sunshine.
  • Breezy Summers: Slightly cooler temperatures make it a pleasant retreat during hot months.
  • Easy Access: Just a quick ride down the hill and you're in downtown Pittsburgh.

Avoiding Crowds: Greenfield

  • Low-Key Living: It's off the usual tourist radar, offering a serene environment.
  • Community Feel: Expect friendly neighbors and local gatherings that bring everyone together.
  • Access to Nature: Bordering Schenley Park, outdoor adventures are just a walk away.
  • Cultural Festivities: Experience Pittsburgh's diverse culture with year-round festivals and events.
  • Vibrant Atmosphere: It's always buzzing with

Downtown: The Heart of the City

When you're considering the best places to live in Pittsburgh, Downtown can't be overlooked. It's where the city's pulse is most vibrant, offering a blend of cultural, dining, and recreational experiences. Here’s why you might just fall in love with Downtown, whether you're retiring, a young adult, have a family, or simply looking for the best Pittsburgh has to offer.

For Retirees

  • Market Square is your go-to for relaxed afternoons and smooth jazz nights. It’s less crowded than the more touristy spots, perfect for unwinding.
  • Cultural District. Imagine having the symphony, ballet, and theaters at your doorstep. It’s a cultural feast you'll adore.

For Young Adults

  • Nightlife and Dining. From rooftop bars to underground music venues, Downtown hops after hours. You won't need to look hard to find your next favorite spot.
  • Live-Work-Play. With co-working spaces and apartments with killer views, the balance is here. Plus, you're in the thick of Pittsburgh's tech and business boom.

For Families

  • Point State Park offers a sprawling green oasis perfect for picnics and playdates. It’s a breath of fresh air amidst the urban landscape.
  • Educational Opportunities. With museums and libraries within walking distance, your kids' curiosity will have no bounds.

Considering Gender

  • Safety First. Downtown’s well-lit streets and 24/7 surveillance make it a safe choice. Plus, community initiatives aim to ensure everyone feels welcome and protected.
  • Community Groups. From women in tech meetups to LGBTQ+ friendly café gatherings, finding your community is easier here.

Best Weather

  • Sunny Days Ahead. Downtown’s skyscrapers might block a bit of sunlight, but come summertime, the city shines brightly with loads of outdoor cafes and markets to enjoy.

Avoiding Crowds

  • Hidden Gems. Discover the less traversed paths in Downtown like the quiet corners of Fort Duquesne Bridge or the tranquil spaces in Mellon Green.

Festivals and Activities

  • Three Rivers Regatta and The Cultural Trust’s First Night are just a sneak peek of the festivities that turn the city into a vibrant canvas of creativity and community.
  • While Downtown might be pricier

Family-Friendly Suburbs

As we dive deeper into the vibrant tapestry that makes Pittsburgh stand out, let's turn our attention to the family-friendly suburbs that circle the city's bustling heart. These areas offer a perfect blend of community vibe, parks, good schools, and that crucial elbow room for families craving a bit of green space alongside city conveniences.

Mt. Lebanon

  • Perfect for: Families & Retirees
  • Why you'll love it: If you're dreaming of tree-lined streets, top-notch schools and a friendly community vibe, Mt. Lebanon's got you covered. This suburb is a hit with families for its excellent education offerings and retirees love the walkability and the cozy cafes dotting its streets. The summer brings outdoor movies in the park — a perfect blend for happiness and community feeling.


  • Best fit for: Young families & Professionals
  • Why it stands out: Nestled north of Pittsburgh, Wexford offers modern living and a glimpse into suburban luxury without the hefty price tag. Its growing economy, coupled with the new developments, makes it a hotspot for young families and professionals keen on a peaceful yet connected living. With nature trails and an impressive school district, it's a haven for those seeking balance.

Cranberry Township

  • Suited for: Families, Young Adults
  • What's to love: Sporty families and active young adults find a haven in Cranberry Township. Packed with sports complexes, shopping centers, and yearly festivals, it's the go-to for a lively yet laid-back lifestyle. The cost of living is reasonable, making it a smart choice for folks eyeing both quality of life and affordability.


  • Ideal for: All ages
  • Why you should consider: Imagine a small-town feel with a sprinkle of sophistication — that's Sewickley for you. Its diverse community, rich cultural scene, and array of activities cater to all ages. The riverfront views and bustling village center offer both serenity and excitement, depending on your mood. Sewickley strikes a sweet spot for retirees, families, and young adults looking for a slice of happiness outside the urban flurry.
  • Who it's for: High-income families, Executives
  • Perks: If you're after luxury and exclusivity, Fox Chapel is your spot. Known for its sprawling estates and top-tier schools, it

Trendy Areas for Young Professionals

When you're angling to mesh work with play, Pittsburgh's got your back, especially if you're a young professional on the hunt for where to drop your roots. Feel the vibe of each neighborhood as we cruise through the top picks.


If you've got a thing for the indie scene — think art galleries, boutiques, and cafés that serve up more than just your average cuppa — Lawrenceville is your go-to spot. This neighborhood's streets are alive with:

  • Cozy coffee shops where baristas know your order by heart
  • Thrift stores with finds that tell a story
  • Eateries that turn every meal into an Instagram moment

Plus, its close proximity to downtown makes it super easy to dive back into work mode when Monday rolls around.


Shadyside, with its blend of modern living and charming Victorian homes, plays host to a young crowd that appreciates a good mix of downtime and party time. Here's why you might love it:

  • Shops that range from quirky to high-end, perfect for indulging your retail therapy urges
  • Bars and restaurants that keep the streets buzzing after hours
  • A sense of community that's palpable during its frequent street fairs and markets

For those after a slice of serenity without straying too far from the urban feel, this neighborhood's tree-lined streets are just the ticket.

East Liberty

Techies and start-up enthusiasts, welcome to your hub. East Liberty, once a forgotten area, has transformed into a beacon for innovation and growth, making it a magnet for forward-thinkers keen on shaping the future. It features:

  • Shared workspaces and incubators where your next big idea might take flight
  • Modern apartments that juxtapose with historical landmarks
  • A bustling nightlife scene that serves as the perfect backdrop for unwinding or networking

And with Google's Pittsburgh office nearby, you're in good company.

South Side

For the young professional who loves a waterfront view, South Side's vibrant community sits snug by the Monongahela River, offering scenic jogging trails and ample green spaces. Here's the rundown:

  • An eclectic range of bars and music venues for those weekend vibes
  • Riverside parks perfect for picnics or a quiet read
  • The SouthSide Works, a mixed-use complex with everything from shops to cinemas


Pittsburgh's neighborhoods each offer something special for young professionals looking to make the city their home. Whether you're drawn to the indie vibe of Lawrenceville, the charming streets of Shadyside, the innovative spirit of East Liberty, or the scenic waterfront of South Side, there's a place that's just right for you. It's all about finding that perfect blend of lifestyle, community, and convenience. So why wait? Dive into what these vibrant neighborhoods have to offer and start your new chapter in Pittsburgh.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the featured neighborhoods in Pittsburgh for young professionals?

The article highlights Lawrenceville, Shadyside, East Liberty, and South Side as trendy neighborhoods in Pittsburgh appealing to young professionals due to their unique qualities, ranging from indie scenes to tech hubs.

What makes Lawrenceville appealing to young professionals?

Lawrenceville attracts young professionals with its indie vibe, featuring coffee shops, thrift stores, and unique eateries, making it ideal for those seeking a creative and vibrant community.

What unique qualities does Shadyside offer to its residents?

Shadyside offers a blend of modern living and charming Victorian homes. Its appeal lies in the diverse shopping and dining options, making it a vibrant area for young people looking for variety.

Why is East Liberty popular among techies and start-up enthusiasts?

East Liberty is known as a hub for the tech and start-up community, thanks to its shared workspaces and vibrant nightlife. Its appeal to techies and entrepreneurs makes it a budding area for innovation.

What attractions does the South Side offer to young professionals?

South Side is famous among young professionals for its waterfront location, offering scenic views and riverside parks. Its mixed-use complex provides ample entertainment options, making it a preferred locale for leisure and outdoor activities.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
April 5, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
Find me on Twitter

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