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Best of the best in Pittsburgh

You don’t know Pittsburgh. Sure you’ve heard bad things about the decline of industry and Quarterbacks, but that’s all in the past. These days the Steel City is hot and vibrant. Young Pittsburgers – many of whom sojourned in NYC – are returning home, taking advantage of the low cost of living, and opening fun, quality restaurants and bars in the city’s 90 neighborhoods (car rental is advised).

This guide is limited to a manageable few, but be open to venturing beyond. Such as: if you’re around on a Wednesday check out the Pittsburgh Banjo Club @ The Elks Lodge (400 Cedar Ave.), 8-11pm, $2 beers. Literally banjos. And old timers. And the hip. The 300,000 people who call this city home are in sync. Join them.

A perfect place to start your Pittsburgh trip is the lovely Point State Park, and not just because we suggest waking up at the convenient, massive, adjacent Wyndham Grand (600 Commonwealth Pl.; 412-391-4600; 712 rooms, from $219. A $40-million, six year renovation of this 36-acre park was completed in June. Here is where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers converge to form the Ohio (the Three Rivers). Water is everything, of course, so what you really need to know about the City of Bridges(!) is it’s worth fighting for (French-Indian War; American Revolution).

More recent fighting (so to speak) has resulted in new professional baseball (2001), football (2001) and hockey arenas (2010), 12 miles of recreational trails, and thousands of new residents, and apartments to house them. Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation ( hosts numerous walking and bus tours highlighting any time period you wish, architectural landmarks, and more, some free. Ask about Downtown’s Best, $15, by appointment only. Self-guided options are on their website but we think you’ll really enjoy the knowledgable, enthusiastic guides.


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