No longer just a stopover for major sporting events, Pittsburgh is now becoming one of the United States’ preferred tourist destinations. Cheap drinks, a number of outdoor-related activities, and the city’s scenic settings are just a few of its main draws. Pittsburgh is also becoming a center for culture and innovation. It houses The Senator John Heinz History Center, the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, and hosts a number of well-known festivals like the Three Rivers Arts Festival and Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Neighborhoods like East Liberty, Garfield, and Friendship are where you’ll find the city’s latest urban development trends.
Getting Around Town
You finally decide to spend a weekend in Pittsburgh, but now that you’re here, how do you get around? Fortunately, the city’s public transport is fairly easy to use. Port Authority of Allegheny County, or PAT, is Pittsburgh’s transportation service and offers visitors a number of busses, light rails, and tram lines that service most of the city. There’s also an area around downtown called “Free Fare Zone” where transport is free from point A to point B. If you prefer to drive, just be aware that Pittsburgh has plenty of smaller streets and contain several hills.
Where to Stay While in Pittsburgh
The decision on where to stay will depend primarily on what you intend to do for the weekend. Most visitors come to Pittsburgh to watch one of its professional sports teams. If you plan to include a Steelers or a Pens’ game, cheap hotels on the North Side or Downtown respectively will be your best option. If your interests lie more on local culture or if you are looking into pursuing higher education, consider staying at Shadyside, the neighborhood next to Carnegie Mellon University. From here, you will also have easy access to the Strip District and trendy Lawrenceville neighborhoods.
Indoor and Outdoor Exhibits
Visitors to Pittsburgh will find themselves with plenty to do for the weekend. The city hosts a number of art, science and history museums like the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the Frick Art and Historical Center, but it also has a few oddities like the Mattress Factory, the Toonseum, and The National Aviary. If museums are not your cup of tea, check out one of the many tours offered around town. You can learn about steel making at the turn of the century or test your skills on crafting a pint of lager.
Travel on the Cheap
Pittsburgh is not an expensive city to visit but it never hurts to find ways to stretch your dough. First, buy your food at open markets. The Strip District has a large wholesale farmers’ market on Saturday mornings where you can buy food from local producers selling their freshly made products. It’s also a great way to mix with the locals. Second, walk around Libertyville, Pittsburgh’s outdoor museum. Architecturally diverse buildings, outdoor sculptures, and carefully curated windows are just a few of its charms. Finally, seek out happy hour specials at local dives and hangouts.