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Top 10 Pittsburgh Must-See Attractions


Pittsburgh is a beautiful, dynamic city full of sights and attractions sure to please the avid sports fan, history enthusiast, culture maven, or outgoing child. Whether you're in town for a visit, or just looking for something new to try, these must-see Pittsburgh spots offer something for everyone.

1. Mt. Washington and the Inclines

Golden Triangle downtown area from Mt. Washington
Walter Bibikow/Photolibrary/Getty Images
No visit to Pittsburgh is complete without a ride on one of the restored 1800s inclines to the top of Mt. Washington - just across the river from downtown Pittsburgh. There are plenty of great restaurants to choose from on top of this former "Coal Hill," and the stunning view of downtown (especially beautiful at night) was ranked by USA Today as the second best beautiful place in America.

2. Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center

This former ice house has been reborn as a seven-story museum, with interactive exhibits that bring more than 250 years of Western Pennsylvania history to life. Discover how immigrants shaped the region, uncover the myths of the Underground Railroad or climb aboard a 1940s Pittsburgh trolley. Two floors are dedicated to the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. After all, what's the history of Pittsburgh without Franco Harris, Mario Lemieux, Roberto Clemente, Arnold Palmer and the gang?

3. The National Aviary

Just across the Allegheny River from the History Center is the National Aviary, where over 600 of the world's most incredible birds are displayed in naturalistic exhibits and walk-through habitats. Marvel at hummingbirds the size of a thumb or Andean Condors with giant 10-foot wingspans at the nation's premiere bird zoo!

4. The Strip

Join locals for a Saturday tour in Pittsburgh's popular warehouse district. Grab a great cup of coffee and a fresh biscotti, before taking a stroll through this combination farmer's market/street fair. Vendors, shops and exotic grocery stores offer everything from kitchenware to costumes and Steelers merchandise to fresh flowers and fish.

5. Andy Warhol Museum

Campbells soup cans anyone? Continue your exploration of Pittsburgh at the Andy Warhol Museum, an ultramodern tribute to the founder of pop art. The most comprehensive single artist museum in the world houses more than 4,000 works of art, including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, films, and videos, from this native Pittsburgh artist. While dedicated to Andy Warhol, the museum also hosts rotating exhibits by artists who push the boundaries of art, just as Warhol did.

6. Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History

The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History combine two world renowned museums in one unforgettable visit. Same day admission to both museums provides a wide variety of things to explore, and many sections include hands-on activities where children are encouraged to touch as well as look. Enjoy one of the best dinosaur exhibits in the world, breathtaking gems and minerals, an extensive Native American gallery, plus the museum ranked by Child Magazine among the "10 Best Art Museums for Kids."

7. Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Stroll through one of the largest Victorian "glass houses" in the country to see towering tropical plants that were the original seedlings at the 1890 Exposition, beautiful orchids, indoor and outdoor gardens, and a fabulous bonsai collection. Children will revel in the Discovery Garden, where they are invited to exercise their green thumbs and explore the world of plants and flowers, worms and all. Seasonal exhibits include a butterfly garden, flower shows, and a miniature railroad display.

8. Carnegie Science Center & UPMC Sportsworks

It's an "amusement park for the mind" at this large science museum, where more than 250 hands-on, interactive exhibits bring together science and fun for all ages. Tour a WWII submarine, marvel at a four-story Omnimax film, or tour Southwestern Pennsylvania via miniature railroad - all under one roof. Then, race against an Olympic sprinter, try out your fastball, or climb a rock wall, all at the place where science and sports comes together - UPMC SportsWorks next door!

9. The Mattress Factory

Get into art - literally! The beds are gone, and this former mattress factory is now home to a one of a kind arts experience. The Mattress Factory museum of contemporary art is the best facility for installation art in the United States, all created by in-residence artists. From floors made of green-apple candy to a frozen room full of Victorian furniture, the avant-garde art is sometimes a bit bewildering, but always fun.

10. Nationality Classrooms at the Cathedral of Learning

Located in the inspiring Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus, each of the 24 classrooms reflects the culture and heritage of one of the area's diverse ethnic groups, and represents that nationality's contribution to the fabric of Pittsburgh. Visit the classroom that represents your heritage and establish your own emotional bond with the peoples of Pittsburgh! An interesting attraction that defies description!

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