Pittsburgh, Pa is full of surprises. No longer an industrial area, and more than simply a place to get fries on sandwiches, people are slowly awakening to the amazing range of things to do and see in this city. From a growing culinary scene to the filming location for the movie The Dark Knight Rises, there are many reasons to book a holiday in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh is known for large Primati Brothers sandwiches, piled high with fresh cut fries and a vinegar-based coleslaw on hand sliced Italian bread. But there’s more to Pittsburgh’s food scene; enough to satisfy vegans to omnivores. In 2013, Andrew Zimmern, chef and TV personality, was quoted in Pittsburgh Magazine as saying “…Pittsburgh is like the next big thing”. He was right. In 2016, three semi-finalists for the 26th annual James Beard Foundation (JBF) Awards hailed from Pittsburgh: Best New Restaurant: Morcilla, 2016 Outstanding Baker: Rick Easton, Bread and Salt, and Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic: Justin Severino, Cure. In addition to restaurants, the Strip District, filled with specialty stores offering delicacies from around the world, is a must visit.
The steepest road in the U.S.
Pittsburgh is located in the foothills of the Appalachians. And its topography has led to the city having the steepest public street in the United States: Canton Avenue. Located in Beechview, it has a 37 per cent climbing grade paved in cobblestones and was the location of a recent Audi commercial. It’s also close to the midway point of the annual Dirty Dozen Bike Race, which takes place on Pittsburgh’s 13 steepest hills. Officially, The Guinness Book of World Records lists Baldwin Street in New Zealand as the world’s steepest street. It only has a 35 per cent grade, but is longer than Canton Avenue.
A Grand View
Described by the New York Times as the “the only city in America with an entrance,” when you arrive at the end of the Fort Pitt Tunnel, which cuts through Mt. Washington, you get a picturesque view of downtown. The city’s skyline is so beautiful that it made the list of America’s most stunning views by USA Today. A popular way to see the vista is from the top of Mt. Washington, at one of the many restaurants that line Grandview Avenue. There are also observation areas next to the Duquesne and Monongahela inclines. The West End-Elliott Overlook Park and Point State Park are popular spots as well.
“Hollywood of the East”
It might be surprising to some that Paramount Studios, Warner Brothers, and MGM all had offices in Pittsburgh before moving out to California. But the city’s Hollywood connection does not end there. Throughout the past decade, hundreds of movies have been filmed in Pittsburgh, with recent titles such as Concussion with Will Smith, The Dark Night Rises with Christian Bale, and Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise. Anyone interested in learning more about Pittsburgh’s movie connection and visiting past filming locations would enjoy the Lights, Camera, Pittsburgh! The Official Pittsburgh Film Office Movie Tour. It’s a three-hour, interactive tour offered by Pittsburgh Tours & More. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Pittsburgh Film Office.
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Are you more of a film buff or foodie? Where will you go on your holiday in Pittsburgh? Let us know in the comments section below.