48 hours in Pittsburgh

BY MARK EGAN
Last updated 10:00 30/09/2009
48 hours in Pittsburgh
Reuters
A view of downtown Pittsburgh from the Duquesne Incline on Mt Washington.

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Once known as America's Steel City, these days Pittsburgh is more famous for its Super Bowl winning 'Steelers' football team, its universities, hospitals and its lush, hilly vistas.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge provide hints to help visitors make the most of a short stay in the city where leaders of the Group of 20 rich and developing countries are meeting for a two-day summit.

FRIDAY

7pm: Locals say the No. 1 thing to do in Pittsburgh is go to Mt. Washington for its breathtaking views of the city. Take the Duquesne Incline, whose restored wooden funicular railway cars have operated since 1877 and are often cited as among America's most romantic spots.

7.30pm: Take advantage of your panoramic perch and stop for dinner at The Monterey Bay Fish Grotto. Eat some of the fish flown in from all over America, maybe the Kajiki from Hawaii or the Dayboat Scrod from Boston. Without a reservation you can still eat in the lounge and enjoy the same view.

10pm: Feel like dancing? Head over to Pittsburgh's historic South Side, packed with bars and clubs. Go to the retro Tiki Lounge on East Carson, decked out like a fantasy tropical village complete with three waterfalls. Cocktails are served until 2am.

SATURDAY

9am: Eat at Pamela's on Forbes Avenue in Oakland district, home to University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Try the crepes.

10am: Walk down Forbes to the Cathedral of Learning, a 42-story cathedral to education. Sit in the massive gothic "Commons Room" and look into some of the classrooms on the first and third floors which feature 27 Nationality Rooms, decorated in the motifs of countries around the world.

11am: Walk across the street to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. It's the building with the large dinosaur out front. Look at the 'Dinosaurs in Their Time' exhibit.

1pm: Take a taxi to Murray Avenue and explore Squirrel Hill. Walk around and find a casual place for lunch in a neighbourhood catering to all tastes from pizza to Thai tapas and kosher food. After lunch, browse in the boutiques.

3pm: Pop art icon Andy Warhol came from Pittsburgh, so The Andy Warhol Museum is here, housing more than 12,000 of his works of art and an archive of everything related to him from get-well cards Edie Sedgwick wrote to him as he recovered from being shot and many of his wigs. If you need to buy a gift for someone the museum store here is a good place to look.

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5pm: Taxi over to the Strip, Pittsburgh's oddly named warehouse district. Walk the neighborhood and take in the eclectic mix of boutiques, food markets and casual eateries.

6pm: Savor a cocktail at Embury, where each drink is put together with the care of a gourmand with the finest of ingredients. Tell the bartender what you normally like to drink and he will concoct something unique for you.

9pm: Ballroom dancing is all the rage these days so why not head over to the East End's Absolute Ballroom Dance Centre of Pittsburgh on Hamilton Avenue and dance the night away. If you want to drink, it's BYOB (bring your own bottle).

SUNDAY

9am: Have brunch at Grand Concourse, a restaurant set in the Edwardian splendour of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad terminal built in 1901. The food is good. The stained glass cathedral ceiling is breathtaking.

11am: Head over to The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh's North Side. Once a Stearns & Foster mattress factory, it's now a museum of contemporary art of room-sized installations.

1pm: Take a car and drive 90 minutes to Mill Run to see Fallingwater. Reservations are required for the two-hour tour of one of America's most famous homes, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and built at the height of America's 1930s Great Depression.

The cantilevered platforms, glass corner windows and the waterfall that it sits on make this house unique, but there are also some unexpected details such as the artwork by Diego Rivera and Pablo Picasso. Stop at the cafe for soup and a sandwich before the drive back to Pittsburgh.

 

 

- Reuters

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