Pittsburgh, often on America’s list of “most livable cities,” was built on innovations in the steel industry. That legacy can still be seen today in the downtown skyline, with its towering modern buildings.
The city is also defined by its geography. Two separate rivers — the Monongahela and the Allegheny — meet to form the Ohio River. The waterways divide the city into nearly 100 distinct neighbourhoods built on and around steep, picturesque hills. For the best views of the city, trace the routes of Pittsburgh’s early immigrant miners and take the Monongahela Incline or the Duquesne Incline to the top of Mount Washington.
You’ll see that there’s a good reason Pittsburgh is known as a cultural hub of the East Coast. Steel baron Andrew Carnegie, once the richest man in the world, gave his hometown four major cultural institutions. The Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Science Centre are all located in the neighbourhood of Oakland. Learn about another famous Pittsburgh son at the fourth Carnegie institution: The Andy Warhol Museum, located at the city’s North Shore.
Pittsburgh also offers plenty of outdoor attractions. Check out Point State Park, where the three rivers meet, or take a stroll along the tranquil wooded paths at Riverview Park. Head to the Phipps Conservatory at Schenley Park for displays of botanical splendour, or the National Aviary to encounter more than 200 species of rare and exotic birds.
If you’re travelling with children, you’ll find plenty to keep them busy and happy. The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh offers a variety of opportunities to stretch young minds while Kennywood has acres of amusement park fun.
Summer is the best time to visit Pittsburgh. The city comes alive with festivals such as the Three Rivers Arts Festival and the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Basing yourself in the downtown areas will give you quickest access to all the major sights and attractions. The city’s winding, narrow streets can take some getting used to, but the public buses are frequent and reliable.