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Pittsburgh Travel Guide

Like discovering and antidote for the drone heavy days of the industrial revolution Pittsburgh has, since its reinvention during the mid 20th century, embraced entertainment, art and culture; a short roll call of native Pitburghers is all that’s needed as confirmation – Andy Warhol, Gene Kelly, Michael Keaton, Perry Como, Christina Aguilera and Jeff Goldblum. At last Pittsburgh has become something her founding father George Washington would be genuinely proud of.

The first and possibly most striking thing that new visitors to Pittsburgh is its amazing architecture, a feature that has attracted film makers in their droves – Silence of the Lambs, Flashdance, Groundhog Day and The Deerhunter were all filmed there. Mostly built on a grand scale the architectural styles run the full gamut of mid to late 19th century and beyond including Greek Revival, Classical Revival, Romanesque, Queen Anne, Italiante and Richardosian. Probably the best place to appreciate the rich architectural treasure trove is around the City’s ‘Golden Triangle’ where you really feel your wandering through a gigantic movie set. The best views of these fascinating areas are definitely to be enjoyed from the slopes of adjacent Mount Washington. And it would be unfair not to mention Pittsburgh’s most famous landmarks, its bridges a series of spectacularly engineered masterpieces that span the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers around the ‘Point’.

Pittsburgh’s major attractions include the Andy Warhol Museum and the world famous Carnegie, which consists of the Carnegie Library, Music Hall, Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History. On the University campus is the Cathedral of Learning which houses 26 Nationality Rooms each designed by the different ethnic groups living in Allegheny County. For families there is also plenty of action; Kennywood is regarded as one of America’s best traditional amusement parks, nearby Sandcastle is an immense water park with no less that 15 water slides, whilst Pittsburgh Zoo is home to more that 4000 animals all housed in replicated versions of their natural habitats.

As the ‘Nationalities Rooms’ at the Cathedral of learning suggest, Pittsburgh has a large ethnic diversity and this is reflected in the wide range of cuisines on offer throughout the City; these include many you would expect from a modern cosmopolitan city – Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Indian and Spanish - along with some less widely available – Portuguese, Russian and Jewish for example. Nightlife is on a par with many of the more tourist heavy US cities be it a quiet beer, a performance by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, ballet or opera at the Benedum Centre, disco, Broadway show or something a little more exotic, your personal taste will not be a problem. Dickens once described Pittsburgh as ‘Hell with the lid’ today it’s simply one hell of a place to visit!

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