Why Shadyside is An Ideal Neighborhood For Families in Pittsburgh

Did you know Shadyside is a historically significant neighborhood in Pittsburgh? The neighborhood has been in existence since the 18h century, and was once its own farming town. Today, it is best known as a residential suburb of Pittsburgh. The Shadyside neighborhood boasts easy access to services and amenities, as well as a strong sense of community between residents. This makes it the ideal settling place for families of all kinds, so it is no surprise Shadyside was ranked 15th out of the 25 best neighborhoods for families in the US.

Renting is also fairly popular in the neighborhood; just over half of its residents are renters. ApartmentLove can help prospective residents of Shadyside find the perfect apartment for rent in the neighborhood, no matter what the budget or desired features are.

What is the Shadyside neighborhood like?

Just north of Carnegie Mellon University, Shadyside is considered a middle-class neighborhood. It has been this way since the 1920s, historically being home to artists, musicians, students and wealthy young families. Now, it is a Millennial and Gen Z paradise. Over half of Shadyside’s residents are between the age of 18 – 35 with children. This is reflected in the area’s culture and architecture, and it attracts hundreds of new residents annually.

Shadyside has its own business and cultural districts, with many shops and landmarks. The neighborhood has tons of historical charm, from tree-lined streets to apartments with original stained glass. Fun fact, Shadyside is also home to a wood-paved road called Roslyn Place, one of only a handful left in America, and the only one still in regular use!

The majority of available apartment rentals in Shadyside are one-bedroom or studio apartments, well-suited for couples, students or individuals. Most apartments are pet-friendly too! This is especially convenient for families with fur babies. For families searching for a home or apartment rentals with two bedrooms or more, Chesterfield Street and Butler Street are the best options.

Public Services and Safety

Part of what makes Shadyside such a wonderful place for families and young people is the fact that it is very safe and there is a focus on community and public services like education. The crime rate in Shadyside is 48% lower than the national average and 98% lower than Pennsylvania’s state average. Part of this is thanks to the Shadyside Action Coalition (SAC). This community-based organization is committed to “preserving the values and culture” of the neighborhood.

Academics and education are of high importance in the neighborhood. In fact, about half of its residents hold a college degree of some sort. This is unsurprising, considering the proximity of Carnegie Mellon University, but it does prove that education has a positive trickle-down effect. Shadyside has a variety of options for public and private education for all levels.

There are multiple private K – 12 prep schools, such as the all-girls The Ellis School or co-ed The University School and Winchester Thurston School. Sacred Heart Elementary School and Pittsburgh Liberty K – 5 are the neighborhood’s options for public education. Shadyside is also home to the DePaul School for Hearing and Speech, an elementary school for deaf, hearing-impaired and severely speech-delayed children. The school combines schoolboard-approved curriculum with lessons designed to teach children to listen and communicate. In the adjacent Friendship neighborhood, you can access the state’s only public Montessori school.

Postsecondary education is also very accessible from Shadyside, considering Carnegie Mellon University is only about a half hour transit north of Shadyside. The UPMC School of Nursing is also based in Shadyside itself. Many students at this campus seek out one-bedroom apartments close to the campus. This is helpful as nurses in training may have to bring in specialty equipment or lots of supplies.

While public transit is fairly reliable in Pittsburgh, it is recommended that students live nearby their educational institution to ensure they are maximizing their time. This is especially true for the DePaul School, where living close by can help children manage the challenges they are already facing. The closest family-friendly apartments for rent are two-bedroom homes on Butler Street.

Things to Do in Shadyside

Though Shadyside seems quaint and quiet, there are still many options for entertainment that celebrate its history of artistry and counterculture. Shadyside wasn’t nicknamed “Pittsburgh’s Greenwich Village” for nothing!

The Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Science Center and Carnegie Museum of Natural History offer fun and learning opportunities for everyone. For those looking to find inner peace and get back in touch with nature, Mellon Spray Park, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden as well as the Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden are worth exploring. Finally, the Willis F. McCook Historic House offers an exciting glimpse into Pittsburgh’s history.

On Walnut Street, the main shopping and cultural district, you’ll find large national retail brands including The Gap and Sephora. If you prefer to support local, Ellsworth Avenue is the place to go for all things hippie, indie and small business.

Walnut Street also hosts annual arts and music festivals such as Jam on Walnut, an annual summer concert series and block party. The annual Art Festival on Walnut Street is another recurring end of summer event popular among locals.



Shadyside is quiet and community-based with a focus on providing a bright future for the next generation, while addressing the current needs of its young residents. Plus, the neighborhood still manages to celebrate its own rich culture and history. Don’t hesitate, use ApartmentLove and find an amazing apartment for rent in Pittsburgh today.




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Published: November 21, 2022