Some things are touristy for good reason. The Duquesne Incline can be a great way to familiarize yourself with Pittsburgh and its environs when you first arrive, offering an amazing river and cityscape view. A good option any time of year.
Not far off is the Monongahela Incline—if you're feeling like you want to get the most out of both, you can take one up Mt. Washington, walk along the top, and take the other down (at which point you'll know you've covered all the bases!). Plus, riding a cable car up a steep hill is something that comes naturally to a San Franciscan—not that I'm biased or anything.