Pittsburgh Skyline

Discover The New Pittsburgh

By now you’ve heard the buzz about the Burgh. Riverfront renewal and sunny skies make its reclaimed waterfront sparkle, while a quirky arts scene is reviving hilly old residential neighborhoods. Though not a single steel mill operates in the city today, Pittsburgh proudly embraces its industrial history along with a new tech economy. It’s where 19th-century architecture, 20th-century grit and 21st-century style merge, with intriguing results.

Pittsburgh’s Growing Districts

Highlighted by the Point, where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio River, downtown Pittsburgh is also the city’s fastest growing residential neighborhood. It’s the latest in a collection of 89 official neighborhoods whose unique charms define the city’s polyglot character. Carved into hilltops, ravines and riversides, each community has a distinct personality, but shares the same friendly vibe.

Sports, Arts & Recreation In Pittsburgh

Marquee names in both sports and the arts are a downtown draw. The busy Cultural District is home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Public Theater, the handsomely restored Benedum Center and dozens of smaller venues and galleries. The District is a five-minute stroll across the city’s iconic golden bridges from the homes of the Pirates (Major League Baseball) and Steelers (National Football League) on the city’s North Shore. The best way to see the sights: rent a kayak at downtown’s Kayak Pittsburgh and paddle the waterfront. Or borrow a two-wheeler from Pittsburgh Bike Share to pedal along 13 miles of shoreline trail or explore local neighborhoods.

Experience Pittsburgh’s East End

The city’s East End acts as Pittsburgh’s second downtown for two reasons: the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. The concentration of 40,000 undergraduate and professional students, biomedical researchers and information technology giants like Google lends this district a cool, brainy vibe and an adventurous palette.

Take Lawrenceville: this red-brick Civil War–era neighborhood is now home to the city’s chicest cocktail spots, many of which are doubling down on their prime locations along Butler Street. The owners of Cure, one of the street’s most popular bistros, have added the exotic small-plates restaurant Morcilla nearby. Piccolo Forno is branching out with Grapparia, offering Italian-accented spirits and microbrews. A few blocks away in East Liberty, Spoon and BRGR pull the late-night crowd.

The East End is also the traditional home of the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Their grand Beaux-Arts facade faces Schenley Plaza, an inviting green lawn rimmed with cafes. But don’t miss other adventurous institutions. The Andy Warhol Museum (a.k.a. “The Warhol”), celebrating the hometown hero of Pop Art, and the Mattress Factory, a collection of nervy installation art, are neighbors on the North Shore, along with the beloved Children’s Museum and Carnegie Science Center.

Pittsburgh From The Sky

Want to take it all in from the top? A cable-car ride that climbs the 1,000-foot Mt. Washington—one of Pittsburgh’s famous inclines—is a must. Survey the skyline from the promenades along Grandview Avenue, then descend to the entertainment offerings at Station Square. This grand restoration of the old Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad headquarters honors the city’s hardworking past and its fun-loving present.

For Your Calendar

Thinking of visiting Pittsburgh this spring or summer? Here are some big events you may want to include in your trip.

The Pittsburgh Marathon (Sunday, May 3) attracts 30,000 participants to its citywide course each year, including elite runners, crazies in costumes, 5K joggers and pumped-up pets (who race on May 2).

In a town that loves fireworks—an integral part of every Pirates home stand—PyroFest is a must-see. Held at Cooper’s Lake Campground in Butler County, the two-day event starts May 22 and promises daytime and nighttime productions from around the world. The general admission price of $23 doesn’t include earplugs.

The ever-evolving Three Rivers Arts Festival is a free annual two-week celebration that dances through downtown. Held this year from June 5 to 14, its events include mash-ups of emerging artists, international guest performers, jazz, juried art shows and plenty of fun.

By Christine H. O’Toole

What’s your favorite thing to do in and around Pittsburgh? Tell us below.

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  1. Anthony Baca says,

    I would like to be in Pittsburgh on Sep 20th for a Steelers games and site seeing for the week can wait to see Pittsburgh for the 1st time i have been a Steelers fan for 45 years

  2. Tracy O'Connell says,

    Hi, I’m wondering how one’s area gets nominated to be featured, as Pittsburgh is here. I live in the redwoods of N. California in a small town where lumbering and other traditional employment have gone out, so there’s a whole push towards the arts, and just about every town has art crawls every month. There’s also the small company town of Scotia, that’s being repurposed to be traditional homes that will soon be sold individually, til now street work and other needed changes have been taking place.

    • Deputy Editor (GEICO) says,

      Thanks for the tip, Tracy! You never know, we just might feature Northern California next! 🙂

  3. Sharon says,

    I grew up in Moon Twp.Now live in Tx.We miss the fish sandwiches and perogies more than anything else.It’s just not the same anywhere else in the country!

  4. Christianleary says,

    My family is from new Salem Pa and I was in Hilton Head this winter and I meet a few family’s .the friendliest people .i spent my summers there with my grandparents in new Salem pa. In the 60’s its a nice little town with old world charm. My fondest memories.thank you for sharing. reply

  5. Stew says,

    I also grew up in Pittsburgh. Lived in Rolling Hills, graduated from Baldwin High (65), went to Point Park Jr College for a year then worked in J&L for 6 months then went into the service that took me to California. Fond memories-road motorcycles all over the Burgh, use to know it like the back of my hand. I hope to visit one day soon….it looks great!

    • RON CURLY says,

      HEY STEW, I am one of your classmates from Baldwin, is there going to be a reunion at all? Being from Pittsburgh is a great place to grow up from.


  6. John says,

    If you haven’t been to the Roberto Clemente Museum, you are missing out on one of Pittsburgh’s gems. Located in a former firehouse on Penn Avenue, it has a fantastic display of memorabilia from the Clemente family as well as items lovingly collected by the owner – who will take you on a personal 90-minute tour. Reservations are required and the $20 entrance fee is well worth it!

  7. Jamie says,

    You left out Kennywood Park, one of the greatest concentration of roller coasters (esp. the old wood ones) in the world. Yellow hands throughout the town point toward it.

    OK, it’s about 2 miles beyond the city limits, but the Edgar Thompson Works is still a functioning steel mill. They are awesome beasts.

    Pittsburgh definitely regards itself as an East Coast city, even though it’s over the eastern continental divide — at least it did back when people cared about such things. That’s why we were so hostile to Cleveland — they’re only about 50 miles to the west.

  8. Roger Berberich says,

    I grew up in North Hills in the early 70’s. I spent many of summer’s watching the Pittsburgh Pirates play baseball at Three Rivers Stadium. I was also there to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers win back to back Super Bowls. I’ve visited Mount Washington’s lookout countless times. I spent many summer’s at Kennywood Park. I had the opportunity to ride the Ducky Boat Pittsburgh Tours, visit the casino, ride the Segway, and walk a WWII submarine. I remember the smog in the 70’same and the steel mills. I had the opportunity to share the view with my teenage son of downtown Pittsburgh while watching the Pirates play at PNC Park. Pittsburgh is a beautiful city with more bridges than any other other. It has a melting pot of people loaded with fine dining of their cultural backgrounds. It is “Some Place Special “.

  9. amarjit_basaviah says,

    My wife and I lived and worked in Pittsburgh for 13 years.These will remain as the best years of our lives.What a great place!Thank UPMC for my heart.Gratitude to Starzl Transplant Institute for my education.

  10. Sue says,

    My father grew up in Bridgeville and moved to Western NY in the 60’s. And until my grandparents passed away we would go there every summer. I have since been back many times and taken my granddaughter. I love the Zoo. My fondest memories are of my Grandmother taking me to downtown Pittsburgh, going to Kauffman’s and then out to lunch. I loved the Incline up to Mt. Washington!

    Great place to visit!

  11. Saul says,

    Born and raised in Southern California, Los Angeles. I am a die hard STEELERS fan and have been to Pittsburgh for a game the last 10 years. Love the city, vibe and people.

    Great getaway from LA.

  12. Janice Fuhs says,

    I was born and raised on the North Side. Went to school , got married in Pittsburgh. We have moved away and lived in many places but always love coming home to Pittsburgh. my husband and I are Steelers fans now and always. Friendliest place ever!!! Thank you for sharing

  13. Robert Duerr says,

    Like many other’s I grew up in the South Hills — Baldwin Boro. My dad was a mill hunk working a J&L’s Southside as an electrician. My mother was a nurse. Both were WWII vets and both have passed.
    What about the unseen fourth river of Pittsburgh, the one the fountain at Point State Park gets its water from. What about Fort Pitt? Or Pittsburgh being the original Gateway to the West! I agree with Homesick. You can take the boy out of the Burgh but you can’t that the Burgh out of the man or the woman! What about forgot Phipps Conservatory?

    • Tonia Brower says,

      Great Theory of the City, Must of the Males of my family were mill junks dating back 2 and 3 generations, I’ve traveled Domestic and International. Born and raised on the Northside of Pittsburgh. The city has some of best tourist attractions, it’s bursting with culture, historical landmarks, art, museums, some of the best medical facility and not mention the great football team the “STEELERS”. Some of the best Family owned Irish, Italian, Greek ,Polish Restaurants and Cuisines. As a child, I remember the Ballet and Symphony Shows at Heinz Hall Theater. Nothing more exciting than a Cruise down the river on Gateway Clipper or one other Dinner & Party Fleets. A ride on the Famous Incline to the top of Mount Washington. Hanging out in Market Square or At Point State Park for a free concert. Now when I travel home I have all my childhood friends meet at the Riverfront Bleacher behind the Casino for my homecoming reunion. Just sitting there we laugh discuss all our childhood memories. It always make me feel at home on the Riverfront of the Three Rivers. I LOVE THE BURGH FOR LIFE and it will always be home.