We just got back from a wonderful trip to Pittsburgh. We never expected to spend a vacation there. After all, the city doesn’t have much of a reputation as a vacation destination! But the wedding of a daughter of dear friends took us there, so off we went, and the trip has changed Pittsburgh in my mind forever. (I have to say: my glowing view of Pittsburgh was helped along by the wonderful Air B&B where we stayed, called “The Doll’s House”. It’s in a great location, and the gourmet breakfasts that they advertise are real!)
Here are some things I didn’t know before:
1) PIttsburgh is a beautiful city! It has three rivers, great vistas overlooking the city, great architecture (a lot of it supplied by the Carnegie and Mellon families), great parks, especially Point Park where the rivers meet.
2) Although it has had some hard times, Pittsburgh is a hip city, with great restaurants, great shopping areas with ethnic markets, and great outdoor music. We only sampled a few restaurants, but here were my favorites: Cafe on the Strip for great local and affordable Italian deliciousness, Primanti Brothers for the Pittsburgh experience of eating a sandwich with french fries on it, and the Milk Shake Factory for yummy, unique milk shakes.
3) Pittsburgh has tons of great places to explore. First of all, there’s the two incline railways that take you up to Mount Washington for gorgeous views of the city. Then, there are the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh, which sound somewhat dull on paper, but, believe me, you will be enthralled by them–if you allow enough time to listen to the audio tour guide. I don’t want to say more about them because they are such a hidden treasure, but trust me on this one! There is also the Phipps Conservatory, full of every plant or flower you can imagine, all laid out inside of beautiful, Victorian glass houses. Then, there are the amazing places that we didn’t even get to: the Carnegie Natural HIstory Museum or Science Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum, the museum devoted to the history of cartoons and book illustrations called the Toonseum, the World War I war memorial.
But I don’t want to forget to mention one we did visit: Frank Lloyd Wright’s beautiful Falling Water, on the way to Pittsburgh from the East. That house, in itself, is worth the trip.
This sounds like I’m being paid by the City of PIttsburgh! I wish! No, I just feel like singing the praises of a town that doesn’t often get mentioned in people’s lists of Top Ten Places to Visit–but deserves to be!