By Jennifer Taber VanDerwerken
At the meeting of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers sits a great American city, ripe for exploration and enjoyment.
Pittsburgh might be commonly known as “Steel City”, but it could just as easily be famed for its plethora of rich cultural offerings--a lasting legacy of the abundant wealth enjoyed during the industrial steel boom of the 19th and 20th centuries. Pittsburgh is fantastically culturally diverse, credited to the millions of immigrants drawn there over the past 200 years to work in the steel and coke mills and who left their mark on the cuisine and sights of the city. There is something for everyone, from the avid sports fan to the architecture buff to the rabid art collector. In addition to all of the Fred Roger’s sites and attractions, here are some other must-sees and must-dos for your visit to the “City of Bridges” (over 450 of them!).
Where to Stay:
Kimpton Hotel Monaco
620 William Penn Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
This gorgeously decorated, pet-friendly boutique hotel is conveniently located right in downtown Pittsburgh and offers great city and park views. You can enjoy the seasonal rooftop beer garden, onsite restaurant, The Commoner, and complimentary bicycle rentals for getting around the city.
Mansions on Fifth Hotel
5105 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh PA 15232
For the ultimate historic hotel experience, Mansions on Fifth offers plenty of old-world charm. A library, century-old wine-cellar, and impeccable Gilded Age decor complete the fantasy. The front veranda faces “Millionaire’s Row”---a view you don’t want to miss. The Oak Room pub hosts frequent wine and whiskey tastings as well as live music.
Where to Eat:
46 18th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Perhaps Pittsburgh’s most famous eatery, Primanti Brothers is home to sandwiches so classic they’ve been recognized by the James Beard Foundation. You really cannot visit the Steel City without stopping here for a hearty bite. You won’t leave hungry or sorry you came. There are multiple locations, but a trip to the original storefront in the Strip District is especially fun.
3519 Butler St
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
For delicious Spanish cuisine in a warm, beautiful setting, you must try Morcilla. They serve tapas, which is a great way to try a little of everything on their expansive menu. The stunning bar and excellent service make this an experience not to be missed.
1711 Murray Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
This chain of diners in the Pittsburgh area is absolutely beloved by locals and tourists alike. They specialize in their famous crepe-like pancakes and Lyonnaise style potatoes. You can choose from one of six locations, but the Squirrel Hill setting is the original, opened in 1979.
Things to Do:
Pittsburgh is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to museums and cultural offerings. Check out this quick list of world-famous attractions:
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater
Route 381 South, 1491 Mill Run Rd.
Mill Run, PA 15464
Considered the most important building of the 20th century by the American Institute of Architects. You can tour the house and grounds, located about 45 minutes outside of the city.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
One Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Founded in 1893 by steel magnate Henry Phipps and given as his gift to the city, the Phipps Conservatory, and Botanical Gardens is an urban eden. Explore the 14 room glasshouse and 23 gardens of exhibits, including exotic plants and insects.
The Andy Warhol Museum
117 Sandusky Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Pittsburgh was home to the world’s most famous pop artist, and this museum houses the largest collection of his art and archives. Wander the seven floors of the space to take in the thousands of sculptures, paintings, papers and videos of Andy Warhol.
The Duquesne Incline
1197 West Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
If you’d like to see Pittsburgh from a different vantage point, purchase a ticket for this funicular ride up Mt. Washington in the South Side of the city. You’ll get the best view of “The Golden Triangle” where the three rivers meet and experience the trip from the comforts of a century-old restored cable car.