Pittsburgh is known for once being the home of the nation’s steelmaking industry. But it’s much more than that and definitely a place worth visiting.
Pittsburgh is only a 5-hour drive from Philadelphia, Detroit, or Washington, D.C., in the heart of Western Pennsylvania. It’s full of history, culture and very cool nightlife. So if you’re planning a trip, here are the five things that need to be on your Pittsburgh bucket list.
The Strip District
One of Pittsburgh’s more than 90 neighborhoods, the Strip District is the place to be on Saturdays and Sundays to find great eats and really cool people.
The main hustle-and-bustle in the Strip District is on Penn Avenue between 24th and 17th streets. Whatever kind of food you want, it’s there. Want pancakes? Go to Pamela’s Diner. Want a true Pittsburgh sandwich with coleslaw and French fries? Go to the legendary Primanti Brothers. Want amazing seafood and to watch a Steelers game? Go to Roland’s Seafood Grill.
But then you have all the vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods along the streets. The smell of Strip District is awesome. And if you need any Pittsburgh Steelers or Penguins paraphernalia, you will find it every few feet.
Church Brew Works
This old church on Liberty Avenue in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of the city was converted into a microbrewery in 1996. Church Brew Works is a must-see and a stop for many out-of-towners.
The historic atmosphere of the church has been maintained from the stained glass throughout and some of the original pews that are now used for table seating. Behind glass on the alter sit beer tanks that hold the homemade brews made on-site.
If you are a beer enthusiast, you will find a wide selection of brews ranging from the popular light malt beer Celestial Gold to a German-style beer called the Pious Monk Dunkel. But the beer menu is constantly changing, as Church Brews Works offers different specialty beers every few weeks.
And if you are a foodie, it offers some of the best eats in the city, with an American-style menu offering everything from filet mignon to oven-baked pizza. And don’t forget to try the pierogies – a Pittsburgh specialty.
One of the most scenic baseball stadiums in the country, there is not a bad seat in PNC Park. And because the Pittsburgh Pirates are not much of a baseball team these days, the tickets are cheap, starting as low as $9 for bleacher seats.
But here’s a tip: grab some $8 standing-room-only tickets, head up to the Hall of the Fame and sit on the patio. The view of the city is breathtaking, and you can see the game perfectly. And most importantly, you have food and beverages right at your fingertips.
The other great thing about PNC Park is often times throughout the season, bands play, or there are fireworks after the game. This summer, the Steve Miller Band was one of the musical acts that performed – and yes, it was all included with the purchase of your ticket. So for $8, some lucky fans saw a game then saw a show. That’s a good night out.
Every major city has the Ducky Tour – the bus that travels along the city streets then makes its way onto the water. It’s an awesome way to see the beautiful views of Pittsburgh and learn about the history.
You will get a glimpse of Heinz Field, the Carnegie Science Center, the beautiful Downtown, dozens of the more than 400 bridges, the rivers, and the mountains.
It’s only $20 for adults. But be sure to make your reservations in advance. The tours depart multiple times each day from the historic Station Square, which is one of the touristy neighborhoods of Pittsburgh – where visitors also can find the Hard Rock Café, the Melting Pot, and lots of souvenir shops.
For those not familiar with an incline, also called a funicular, it’s basically a boxcar that rides up and down a mountain along a track. Some Pittsburghers actually use it for daily transportation to get to work, but most often, it’s used by thousands of tourists each week.
You have two choices when it comes to the inclines – the Monongahela Incline or Duquesne Incline. Both are decent and about the same price.
The ride up the mountain is only about 3 to 5 minutes. But once you reach the top, the view of Steel City is amazing.