Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is one of those remarkable cities in the Rust Belt that has managed to pick itself up after the decline of U.S. Steel production and reinvent itself as a cultural center. From the many Nationality Rooms located at the University of Pittsburgh to the various collections housed in the several Carnegie Museums, from the great animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo to the rides at Kennywood, Pittsburgh has an attraction for everyone.
The Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh
Housed in the Gothic style Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, the Nationality Rooms represent some of the many different nationalities that have historically called Pittsburgh home. Funded by representatives from various nationalities, the National Rooms are designed in the style of their home nations and range from the elegant luxury of the Austrian Room to the Byzantine stylings of the Romanian rooms. Most of the rooms can be entered, and plans are currently in the works to add several other nationality rooms as well.
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Located across from the University of Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History houses a number of collections that are truly spectacular. Of particular interest are the collection of dinosaur skeletons, which is one of the finest in the country, the Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt, and the Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians. As one of the foremost natural history museums in the country, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History is definitely worth the visit.
The Carnegie Museum of Art
Located next to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Art houses a number of splendid collections, including the Hall of Architecture, which hosts the numerous plaster casts that are one of the Museum’s most interesting collections (these casts, frequently modeled after great works of architecture from the classical period, were very popular during the Victorian era.) The Carnegie Museum of Modern Art also houses pieces from some of the great figures of modern art.
The Pittsburgh Zoo
The Pittsburgh Zoo is without a doubt one of the finest and most exciting attractions in Pittsburgh due to its extensive collection of animals from all around the world, including the continents of Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia. Animals on display include Amur Tigers, African Elephants (the Zoo has been particularly successful at breeding them,) River Otters, and the recently added Sea Otters and Polar Bears. The Pittsburgh Zoo also houses the PPG Aquarium, which is home to an astounding variety of fish and other aquatic animals.
For those looking for a fun way to spend a warm summer afternoon, the Kennywood amusement park is the perfect place to visit. Kennywood is home to a number of exciting rides and attractions, including the Phantom’s Revenge, the Exterminator, the Thunderbolt, and a number of water rides. They also offer a children’s section and a number of delicious food vendors and options.
Clearly, Pittsburgh has done an excellent job reinventing itself and becoming both a cultural and an entertainment hub. Whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, Pittsburgh has an attraction that will no doubt be an excellent way to spend an afternoon, a weekend, or an entire week.