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Lifestyle

Where to go in Pittsburgh

Look to your west, New York. Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania city that’s historically known for its shuttered steel industry, today bustles with renewed entrepreneurial spirit, as trendy restaurants and cultural happenings are putting it back in the spotlight.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

Where to go

Weather abiding, explore Pittsburgh's landscape by way of
Photo Credit: JP Diroll

Weather abiding, explore Pittsburgh's landscape by way of its urban bike lanes, totaling more than 65 miles. Rentals and tours are available at shops such as Golden Triangle Bike Rentals (600 First Ave., 412-600-0675, bikepittsburgh.com), and self-guided routes like the Three Rivers Heritage Trail will bring you to "The Point," a downtown park where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio River. You can also view Pittsburgh from above by visiting the Duquesne Incline (round trip $5 adults, $2.50 children ages 6-11, free for children 5 and under; 1197 W. Carson St., duquesneincline.org), a cable car that climbs 400 feet for clear views of the city's iconic bridges and skyline.

For some indoor attractions, notable museums and cultural institutions abound. Start in the historic North Side and cross several from your list in one afternoon. At the contemporary art museum Mattress Factory (closed Mondays, admission $20/adults, $15 seniors and students, $10 military; 505 Jacksonia St., 412-231-3169, mattress.org), Pittsburgh's creative focus is on display with mind-bending installations; self-reflect in a room by Yayoi Kusama, where mirrored surfaces create an infinite space of polka-dots.

Next, walk to the National Aviary (admission $14 adults, $13 children ages 2-12 and seniors, free for children under 2; 700 Arch St., 412-323-7235, aviary.org), which is home to more than 500 live birds. Don't miss the Grasslands room, where birds are free to fly around you. Finally, jump to the Andy Warhol Museum (closed Mondays, admission $20 adults, $10 students and children ages 3-18; 117 Sandusky St., 412-237-8300, warhol.org), where one of the largest collections of the Pittsburgh-born artist's prolific work and memorabilia fill seven floors.

Where to eat

During its industrial peak, immigrants poured into the
Photo Credit: Butcher and the Rye via Facebook

During its industrial peak, immigrants poured into the city and laid the groundwork for a diverse culinary scene. It's most evident in the riverside Strip District, where ethnic shops operate out of warehouses from Pittsburgh's erstwhile manufacturing heyday. Pick up savory Italian imports like fresh Bufala mozzarella at Pennsylvania Macaroni Company (2010-2012 Penn Ave., 412-227-1983, pennmac.com) or go sweet at Klavon's (2801 Penn Ave., 412-434-0451, klavonsicecream.com), a 1920s-style ice cream parlor.

Meat-and-potatoes go upscale at downtown's Butcher and the Rye (212 Sixth St., 412-391-2752, butcherandtherye.com), where potatoes are fried in duck fat and ravioli is beefed up with tongue filling, while at Cure (5336 Butler St., 412-252-2595, curepittsburgh.com), Mediterranean charcuteries are served alongside ingredients sourced from western Pennsylvanian farms. A new hot spot, Whitfield (120 S. Whitfield St., 412-626-3090, whitfieldpgh.com), helmed by Pittsburgh native Brent Young (also the co-owner of Brooklyn's The Meat Shop), also serves a meat-forward menu, with items such as Berkshire pork shank and roasted rabbit.

Where to stay

Just a short drive from the Mattress Factory
Photo Credit: Mattress Factory / Visit Pittsburgh

Just a short drive from the Mattress Factory (pictured), give yourself a reason to visit the city's newly hip neighborhood, East Liberty, by staying at the brand new Ace Hotel Pittsburgh (rates starting at $169/night; 120 S. Whitfield St., 412-361-3300, acehotel.com/pittsburgh). Built within a century-old, former YMCA building, the ground floor of the hotel features the aforementioned Whitfield restaurant, as well as Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the lobby's coffee bar. Guest rooms are decked out with normcore bathrobes that fit like hooded sweatshirts, and custom Pendleton quilts will keep you warm during Pittsburgh's notoriously bitter winter nights.

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