A Visitor's Guide To All Things Pittsburgh

February 16, 2016

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I found out I would be moving to Pittsburgh in the Winter of 2013. I assumed Pittsburgh winters would be exponentially worse and needless to say, I was not thrilled. When I told people in Indy that I was moving, I almost always got the same response: “Oh, I have never been there.” I realized, there is very little crossover between the two cities that are only six hours apart. When I tell Pittsburghers I am from Indy, I usually get one of two answers: “Oh, I have never been there,” or “I went there once for the Indy 500.”

Fast forward almost two years after moving here and I can positively say, the secret is out on Pittsburgh! Everywhere you look there is activity - food, technology, culture, and construction. Recently, Pittsburgh has found itself in the national spotlight and I don't see it moving away from that stage any time soon. If you don't believe me, check out some of these recent accolades!

  • Zagat ranked Pittsburgh the No. 1 food city in the country for 2015
  • Pittsburgh was ranked #6 in the Top All-American Vacations by the Travel Channel in 2014
  • In 2010 Forbes ranked Pittsburgh as the 'Most Livable City'

As each month goes by, I find myself becoming more and more of a Pittsburgher. My defensive driving skills have improved immensely. (Pittsburghers are undoubtedly the worst drivers I have ever been around). I notice how flat Indiana is when I travel home. I have grown to love the hills in Pittsburgh- something I was afraid of when I moved here. I sometimes allot 25 minutes just to drive a mile and a half in the city. BUT I am not, and will not, become a Steelers fan! Don't let some of these things deter you from visiting. Should you find yourself with a weekend to spare in Pittsburgh, here is a list some of my favorite activities, restaurants, and bars.

Pittsburgh Weekend Agenda:

Friday Evening:


  • Go for a run/walk along one of the riverfront trails. Or take a bike ride if running isn't your thing.
  • Visit the Strip District (don't worry, known for the small strip of land between the Allegheny River and the steep Polish Hill). There you can shop for some cheap Pirates/Steelers/Penguins gear, pick up some fresh fruit and veggies, check out one of the numerous wholesale markets, or just people watch. (image to the left)
  • Stroll through one of Pittsburgh's many character-filled neighborhoods. Below are some of my favorites.

    Shadyside: Shop along Walnut Street and then take a stroll past some of Pittsburgh's most stately homes.

    Bloomfield: Known as Pittsburgh's “Little Italy,” grab a cannoli or a slice of pizza

    Lawrenceville: Stroll past some of Pittsburgh's top restaurants and bars along Butler Street. Or shop in one of the many local boutiques. Then check out the exciting Arsenal Terminal Milhaus project at 3939 Butler Street!

    South Side: This area I would equate to Broad Ripple (times ten). This is where you go for your 21st birthday or your bachelorette/bachelor party. I will let you decide if you want to visit during the day or at night. But there are also some great restaurants/bars in this neighborhood. As well as a riverfront trail that connects the 20+ blocks.

Additional activities:

  • Take the Duquesne or Monongahela incline up to Mount Washington for some incredible city views.
  • Walk through the neighboring campuses of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon in Oakland.
  • Check out the native and unique blooms at Phipps Conservatory.
  • Go to the Andy Warhol Museum – the largest museum dedicated to only one artist.

After living here for two years, there is no hesitation in encouraging everyone to visit Pittsburgh. I still find myself exploring new restaurants, neighborhoods, and events. I always tell people, it is a city of Midwestern people, but the character and density of an East Coast city. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, jump on it!