Introduction to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is located in southwestern Pennsylvania at the confluence of three rivers: the Allegheny, the Monongahela and the Ohio. Known as the Steel City, Pittsburgh emerged in the late 1800s as a world center for coal and steel. Despite setbacks to the steel industry and a population decline over the last few decades, Pittsburgh remains the state's second-largest city and an important industrial center.
Today, Pittsburgh is a city of 400,000, with a diversified economy that embraces high tech companies such as Rockwell Automation and financial services companies such as Mellon Financial and PNC Financial. Other top companies based in the area include Alcoa, US Steel, Heinz, US Airways and Westinghouse. Pittsburgh is one of America's safest and most affordable cities, with a high quality of life.
Thanks in part to the generosity of the Heinz and Carnegie families, Pittsburgh has many quality cultural attractions. The world-class Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra owns and plays at Heinz Hall. The Carnegie Museum of Art has one of the world's most impressive collections, with works by van Gogh, Monet and other giants, as well as the Heinz Architectural Center. For more modern art, the Warhol Museum showcases works by Pittsburgh native son Andy Warhol. Fans of architecture can tour what is arguably the greatest architect's greatest creation, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater home in nearby Mill Run.
Pittsburgh Sports and Leisure
Sports are a passion in Pittsburgh, with 3 major league teams. Just across the Allegheny River, 38,000-seat PNC Park is home to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Next door is Heinz Field, whose 64,000-seat stadium is home to the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers as well as college football's Pitt Panthers. Downtown, 17,000-seat Mellon Arena, better known as "the Igloo," hosts the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.
A wide array of recreation is available in Pittsburgh. The city has a great park system. On Raccoon State Park's 7500+ acres are Racoon Lake for fishing, boating and water sports, plus trails for hiking, cycling, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. Some of the northeast's best downhill skiing is within easy reach of Pittsburgh. Seven Springs, located in Pennsylvania's Laurel Mountains, is Pennsylvania's largest ski area, with 17 slopes and an elevation of nearly 3000 feet. Hidden Valley and Blue Knob are also among the most popular.
Pittsburgh at Night
There are a great variety of nightlife attractions in the Steel City. Described on its website as Pittsburgh's "24-hour neighborhood," the Strip District is a one-half square mile area northeast of downtown that's loaded with shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. For a quieter scene, Pittsburgh's South Side has the city's best restaurants, historic Victorian architecture, and shopping and entertainment options.