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Pittsburgh, PA

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Point State Park

Point State Park

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Smithfield Street Bridge

Smithfield Street Bridge

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

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Pittsburgh has recast itself into a pleasing blend of turn-of-the-20th-century architectural masterpieces and modern skyscrapers, consistently ranked among the nation's most livable cities. Visitors will find that Pittsburgh has a real sense of fun, with outdoor activities on its rivers and parks, unique shopping downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods, and excellent dining in some of the state's most interesting locales. Pittsburgh—which was called Fort Duquesne when it was an 18th-century French fortress and trading post, and then renamed Fort Pitt under British control—lies where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio River, in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania. The peninsula formed at the confluence of the three rivers grew into the downtown area, often referred to as the Golden Triangle. The city chose to put a park at its very tip, fittingly referred to as the Point; the stadium that once stood across the Allegheny from here (it was imploded in early 2001) bore the geographical imprint in its name—Three Rivers Stadium. The city emerged as an industrial powerhouse in the 1800s, mostly due to iron and steel production. Today, the days of steel manufacturing are mostly gone, and with them the industrial pollution that earned the city the nickname "Smoky City." For the best view of Pittsburgh, take one of the city's two 19th-century cable cars and travel up Mt. Washington—the views are breathtaking from up here. You can see the rivers flowing together, appreciate the city's unique skyline, and take in the two new stadiums, which flank the site of the former Three Rivers Stadium and are home to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Steelers. You can also drive or walk through the South Side Slopes, a unique neighborhood where houses cling to a steep hillside overlooking the Monongahela River.

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Things You Can't Miss

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A Funicular Way to Travel
A Funicular Way to Travel

A trip up the Duquesne or Monongahela incline offers stunning views of the city and river. Better yet, go at night when the city lights sparkle.

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Getty

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Senator John Heinz History Center
Senator John Heinz History Center

Senator John Heinz History Center Examine 250 years of the city’s history; upstairs find memorabilia from the region’s favorite teams: the Pirates, Penguins and Steelers.

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Getty

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Stroll the Strip
Stroll the Strip

On weekends the streets around this busy market district morph into a giant farmer’s market and street fair.

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Philip Scalia/Alamy

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Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning
Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning

Inside the 42-story Gothic tower on the Pitt campus are 29 learning centers devoted to the various ethnic groups who settled in and around the city.

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Andre Jenny/Alamy

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The City’s Best Walking District
Samantha's Pick The City’s Best Walking District

Squirrel Hill offers an eclectic selection of shops, coffeehouses and eateries. It’s near the universities, so students, artists and hipsters abound.

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National Geographic Image Collection/Alamy

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Want Pittsburgh on a Plate?
Samantha's Pick Want Pittsburgh on a Plate?

To experience Da Burgh’s contribution to haute cuisine, try a sandwich with french fries — yes, fries inside the sandwich — at any Primanti Brothers shop in town

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National Geographic Image Collection/Alamy

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