JOIN US IN AN INTERVIEW WITH PAM & KATHERINE FROM PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA !
Pam and Kathrine are two sisters who reside not far from Pittsburgh. Through their blog, they strive to show other travelers how to be “students of the world” because the world is the largest classroom for learning about new cultures and people! They want others to not only enjoy the new places they are exploring, but learn all about them. In this interview, they share with us why they love Pittsburgh and how we too can enjoy their favorite city!
Pittsburgh is a city in Western Pennsylvania soaring high on the three rivers – Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela. The city is often associated with either steel or sports by people. With a long history of steel manufacturing it’s only natural for the city to have numerous bridges. There are 446 of them and all are painted aztec- gold.
Interestingly, Pittsburgh wasn’t always a popular tourist destination. Decades ago, Pittsburgh was heavily polluted from the steel industry. Today, Pittsburgh has been revitalized into a green, up-and-coming city for young people and families alike!
Which is the best month to visit Pittsburgh?
Like most cities in the north-eastern region of the United States, the spring and summer months are the most popular for tourism because of the beautiful weather! However, Pittsburgh is full of activities suitable for year-round tourism.
During the summer and spring, there many outdoor events, concerts, and festivals going on in the city, while in the fall, the fall foliage in Pittsburgh is beautiful. For rainy or cold winter days where you need an indoor activity, Pittsburgh has many world-class museums!
Also, during the winter, the holidays light up Pittsburgh with Christmas light shows, ice skating rinks, and winter events. Although we highly recommend visiting Pittsburgh during the spring and summer, any time of the year makes for a great trip!
Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of Pittsburgh?
The easiest way to get around Pittsburgh is by either driving to using the bus system. The bus system travels around the downtown neighborhoods of the city in addition to the suburbs and airport but we highly recommend using a taxi to and from the airport. The airport is located about 25 minutes from the city with no traffic, and using the bus results in a much longer ride, especially if there is traffic. The subway system, the T, is quite limited; however it is an option!
If you’re looking for the best exchange rates in Pittsburgh, consider visiting a PNC Bank. PNC is a locally operated bank and is trusted by the locals!
Which are the top 3 must visit places in Pittsburgh?
Historically, Pittsburgh was an important city during the rise of the Industrial Revolution in the United States and was a strategic location during wars. Downtown Pittsburgh is located where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers meet to create the Ohio River. Over the centuries, the “Point” of Pittsburgh has been a hub for military and for industry. Today, the Point State Park in Pittsburgh is a beautiful green space. The Point not only serves as a reminder for Pittsburgh’s history, but it also is a local’s favorite spot to relax, enjoy the views, and go for a walk.
Pittsburgh is full of world-class museums. If you’re visiting Pittsburgh, you have to visit one of the them! Our favorite is the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. This museums features and extensive collection of dinosaurs, animals and plants, gemstones, and human culture. It is also conveniently joined to the Carnegie Museum of Art, so you can visit both museums in one trip.
Another must-visit place in Pittsburgh is Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden. Throughout the year, Phipps Conservatory hosts beautiful flower shows featuring plants from all around the world. The exhibitions are always beautiful, especially the Winter Flower Show.
What are the best day trips for nature, culture and history from Pittsburgh ?
Pittsburgh is conveniently located near the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, which covers Westmoreland, Fayette, and Somerset Counties. This area of Pennsylvania is full of historic sites, state parks, and outdoor activities. Our favorite recommendation for a day trip from Pittsburgh is Ohiopyle State Park.
Ohiopyle State Park is only 1.5 hours away and you can pack your day with whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, and climbing. It is spread on 19,052 acres in Dunbar, Henry Clay and Stewart Townships, Fayette County, Pennsylvania in the United States. The main attraction of the park is the Youghiogheny River Gorge that passes through the park. Check Laurel Highlands website for things to do in the Park.
Not far from Ohiopyle is the Revolutionary War historic site, Fort Necessity and the famous architectural work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater.
Fallingwater is a house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 for his clients, the Kaufmann family in sleepy forests of rural Pennsylvania. Fallingwater is Wright’s masterpiece in organic architecture. The home’s cantilevered tiers hang suspended atop a 30-feet waterfall. It receives thousands of visitors every year.
What is the most celebrated holiday of the year in Pittsburgh?
The most celebrated holiday in Pittsburgh is Christmas!
During the holidays in November and December, Pittsburgh comes alive with Christmas light shows, activities, and holiday cheer! For local events, Picklesburgh is one of the most popular! During Picklesburgh one of the many yellow bridges is shut down and the bridge becomes a shopping mall for local cuisine and crafts.
One of our favorite things to do is visit the Holiday Market! This public square is full of local artisans selling a wide range of seasonal items including Old German Christmas decorations, European folk art, Himalayan wool, and Christmas ornaments. You can also visit Santa’s House and with a donation to the food bank, you can get photos with Santa himself. Throughout the season, music events and activities are held at a holiday market. The best part about visiting the holiday market is that during the evenings, a square one block over becomes an ice skating rink! We love visiting Pittsburgh’s Holiday Market because there is so much to do, it benefits local business, and most importantly: the community comes together!
We would also say that any day there is a major sports game is like a holiday. Our city teams, the Steelers (football), the Penguins (hockey), and the Pirates (baseball), along with college teams bring a lot of celebration to Pittsburgh.
Which is the most happening area in Pittsburgh?
One of the most happening areas of Pittsburgh for the restaurant scene is the Strip District. The Strip District is full of local restaurants of all ethnicities and shops. For those interested the bar scene, the Pittsburgh Southside is for you! Throughout the year, events and concerts occur throughout the city; however, most occur on the North Shore in the football stadium or baseball field.
What is the most loved local food, savory and sweet of Pittsburgh? Is it a vegetarian friendly city?
The most famed food in Pittsburgh is the Primanti Brothers Sandwich, where French fries are served on the sandwich itself! The original Primanti’s Restaurant is located in the Strip District of Pittsburgh. This area of Pittsburgh was once an important area for the trucking industry. Primanti Brothers and their famous sandwiches solved a common problem for truck drivers: they couldn’t easily eat their French fries while driving. So low and behold, the famous Primanti Sandwich was born!
Since Pittsburgh has a rich Polish and eastern European heritage, pierogis are also local favorite! These yummy dumplings filled with potatoes and cheese topped with onions are a homemade classic!
Pittsburgh is a very vegetarian friendly city! One of us is vegetarian and does not have an issue finding things on the menu!
Where to head for shopping in Pittsburgh?
If you’re looking to buy a souvenir from Pittsburgh, you won’t have to look very far. Pittsburgh locals have a great sense of Pittsburgh pride, so it’s not hard to from Pittsburgh branded clothes, home items, and knickknacks around the city. Anytime black and gold or with the skyline on it makes for a classic Pittsburgh souvenir. We recommend buying from local shops and stores such as Steel City and love, Pittsburgh.
Where to head for best view of the city?
If you want a stunning view of Pittsburgh, take the historic Monongahela Incline to the top of Mount Washington. Here, you’ll see this amazing view of Pittsburgh! No matter when you go or what the weather is like, the view of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington is picturesque and shows the beauty of the city.
Would you suggest any shows in Pittsburgh to drama, music or art lovers? Where can one spot street art in your city?
The Cultural District of Pittsburgh is a lively theater and arts community in the city. Throughout the seasons, The Benedum Center for Performing Arts and Heinz Hall host the Pittsburgh Ballet, Pittsburgh Symphony, and theatrical performances.
Pittsburgh is also home to lots of art museums, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Mattress Factory, and the Frick Pittsburgh. These museums have lots of changing exhibits and host events throughout the year. But there is nothing quite like Randyland, an imaginative public art installation and gallery that has a fun and welcoming atmosphere.
Interestingly, Pittsburgh is in the midst of a street art renaissance and is scattered with hundreds of beautiful murals. You can pretty much find one in every major neighborhood, so keep your eyes open!
Would you recommend any local apps for food, transport or hidden gems in Pittsburgh?
There are none specific to Pittsburgh that we would like to recommend. However, you can check the following list of apps used by locals in Pittsburgh here.