Pittsburgh is built from a long history of iron and then, most notably, steel. It was an industrial city, once filled with factories and steel mills. It was a place where people could go find work, and the city was soon populated with immigrants, especially those from Scotland and Ireland.
Some ethnic neighborhoods still remain in Pittsburgh as a reminder times when these immigrants settled here to find work. For example, North Shore and the North Side still have a very German flavor. Meanwhile, Bloomfield is distinctly an Italian neighborhood, complete with bistros and eateries. Walking through the variety of neighborhoods here is a little bit like taking a day trip through the entirety of Europe.
Pittsburgh is also host to four Carnegie Museums: the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Science Center and the Andy Warhol Museum. It’s easy to become a member of these Carnegie (named after steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie) museums. Once you sign up to be a member for a small cost, you get free admission for a year to all of these museums listed, plus free admission to a variety of other museums nationwide.
If you have children or are a kid at heart, then come visit the Pittsburgh Zoo. The zoo is split into different sections, including the African Savanna, the Asian Forest, Kids Kingdom, Bears, PPG Aquarium, the Tropical Forest and the Water’s Edge. You can purchase a “zoo key” for your kids, which can be inserted into displays at each exhibit in order to hear interesting information and a short, catchy song about the animal.
Want to do something a little cheesy and touristy? You’ll love a trip with Pittsburgh’s Just Ducky tours. Every tour begins on land in the middle of the historic Station Square. You’ll drive through Downtown Pittsburgh next, where you can see the Cultural Districts. If you’re a fan of beautiful architecture, Just Ducky tours offer lots of time to take great photos. In fact, one of the best times to photograph the city skyline is when you suddenly drive straight into the river. Yes, this vehicle is not limited to just land; it also turns into a boat on a whim! You can recognize these tours by the over-the-top tour vehicles, complete with a horn that quacks.
Steelers fans will know exactly where we are headed next: Heinz Field. During the football season, tickets are in high demand. These tickets can become incredibly expensive, but the cost is often worth it for the unique experience of sitting with thousands of rabid Steelers fans. The fun doesn’t stop after the season ends. Events continue even when football season is over.
You can actually ride the Gateway Clipper like a shuttle in order to get o Heinz Field. What is the Gateway Clipper? It’s a fleet a tree riverboats that tour the three rivers of Pittsburgh. Besides acting as shuttles to games, they also offer sightseeing and dinner cruises.
If you’re dying to hear some live music, Pittsburgh has plenty to offer. There are music venues all over Pittsburgh, so it’s really just a matter of what or who you want to see. For big names, check out the Mellon Arena or the Post-Gazette Pavilion. One of the newest venues, Stage AE on the North Side, also consistently shows big names like Marilyn Manson and Modest Mouse. Besides these big arenas, there are also many small venues where bands play in a more intimate setting.
The South Side is the ultimate place to be entertained if you’re into nightlife. There are hundreds of clubs, bars and other hot spots. The South Side also is a mish-mash of dining styles. Whether you want to eat in a classy restaurant or grab some quick comfort food, you’ll find somewhere you’ll and your date will love.
The museums we mentioned before plus Heinz Field all lie on the opposite side of the city, in the North Side. However, a simple bus ride or cab can take you all the way from one side of the city to the other, so Pittsburgh can be traversed easily. You can visit multiple attractions in one day, although you might want to dedicate an entire day to just one location if you find it particularly interesting. Kids and family can easily spend entire days at the museums or the zoo.
If you’re planning on visiting Pittsburgh, make arrangements to stay for more than one day. You won’t regret having extra time to see everything. Stay in one of the many Pittsburgh hotels or bed and breakfasts, then wake up to the great skyline and friendly people of Pittsburgh. It’s truly a place that has all the convenience of a city with the charm of an old, historic village. There is no other city quite like Pittsburgh.
Travel report from Pittsburgh by Brittany