Nestled in Western Pennsylvania in the Ohio Valley at the convergence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, Pittsburgh has mostly managed to escape the urban blight that’s affected so many of its Rust Belt brethren. In spite of the decline of the steel industry, Pittsburgh remains a thriving cultural center, with distinctive neighborhoods, attractions such as a zoo, botanical gardens, museums and parks, and a burgeoning fine dining scene. Fitting for its location, the city itself feels like a convergence–of cultures, architectural styles, neighborhoods, accents and geography.
Steeped in history and more than a little mysterious, Pittsburgh is a city that rewards the adventurous. Industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie's legacy is evident everywhere, from the university that bears his name to the world-class natural history and art museums. The city’s many distinctive neighborhoods, such as Oakland (the Carnegie culture complex), the South Side (the hub of the city’s thriving nightlife), and the Strip District (home to an extensive green market), each have their own unique offerings. The city also boasts nearly 450 bridges, a world record.
Must see: Ride a gondola up the Duquesne Incline to enjoy a spectacular view of the city—especially at night—from atop the bluffs to the south of the Point. Or you can take a day trip to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater house in Mills Falls, just over an hour outside the city.
Lodging: The Omni William Penn–Located downtown, this historic hotel has housed famous guests like JFK and features luxurious accommodations, the award-winning Terrace Room restaurant, a speakeasy and more.
Ground Transportation: While it does feature a small subway system that runs through downtown, Pittsburgh’s hilly geography makes it best to explore the city by car. Be warned, however–navigation can be a challenge.
Best Travel Dates: Visit during baseball season to take in a Pirates game at one of the best ballparks in the nation, PNC Park, which enjoys fabulous sight lines of downtown. The annual Zombiefest takes place in October–George A. Romero’s classic zombie film, Dawn of the Dead, was filmed in the nearby Monroeville Mall.
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