Pittsburgh sits on the north-western where Ohio river, Monongahela river and Allegheny river join together and form a bustling busy spot. These rivers define a picturesque metropolis that seems to rise up directly from the water. The city center is known as the Golden Triangle, named for its position on the point where the rivers meet.
Downtown Pittsburgh is a crowded business district situated on the riverfront and well-known for its Point State Park, a 36-acre park at the intersection of 3 rivers where you can hike, bike, or ride a boat. This is the place where Fort Pitt Museum, Fort Duquesne, and Point State Park Fountain are located. If you’re a fan of orchestras and the performing arts, don’t miss out on visiting Heinz Hall and Benedum Center for the Performing Arts.
Transportation: We rented a car from Budget car rental. If you book earlier, you will get an affordable price. Also, if you book through your chase/Amex credit card, you will get some waiver on insurance.
Lodging: We stayed in an Airbnb near downtown of pittsburgh. Downtown has a wide range of motel hotels, you can always book any accommodation according to your budget.
On the very first day we had our breakfast from "Pamela's Diner" . This place serves charming, retro breakfast & lunch spots for specialty crepe-hotcakes, omelets & burgers. We headed to the first University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh. We stopped at different picturesque places and finally got to see the Cathedral of Learning. After visiting from the university we grabbed a sub and went to visit Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
In the afternoon we headed to Point State Park, Fort Duquesne, and sunset on Fort Pitt Bridge was just breathtaking. For dinner we went to Ruth's Chris Steak House; Outpost of an upmarket steakhouse chain known for sizzling, butter-topped beef in an elegant setting. The Food is absolutely delicious.
Cathedral of Learning:
This magical iconic 42-story building at the University of Pittsburgh was commissioned in 1921. The Cathedral of Learning, or "Cathy" as locals call it, is an impressive building in every way. From outside the structure is great and has a presence over the region.
Inside, the nationality rooms are the highlight of the visit. If you're a culture buff you'll love learning about all the details in each room. A landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the 535-foot-tall Cathedral is the second-tallest educational building in the world after the University of Moscow’s main building. In recent years, families of peregrine falcons have nested atop the Cathedral. Each one of them is modelled after a different culture, such as German, French, Irish, Turkish etc.
Sometimes the students have classes in the rooms though, during which you can't enter. There's also an audio guide you can take to learn even more about them.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Schenley Park's horticulture hub features botanical gardens & a steel-&-glass Victorian greenhouse.Just lovely!!! I’m a casual fan of conservatories and botanical gardens and this did not disappoint! Parking was easy on the park road right in front. I got a timed entry ticket about an hour before arrival and entry was a breeze. Exploring the place took me and my husband about 90 minutes and that included just sitting for a bit in one of the outside gardens. Great place for a visit when in Pittsburgh!!
Point State Park
Point State Park is a National Historic Landmark. Located at the confluence of three rivers, is at the tip of Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle.” This is a soaring fountain with 200-ft.-wide basin, infinity waterfall & seats, at the meeting point of 3 rivers. The park commemorates and preserves the strategic and historic heritage of the area during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Completed in 1974 to conclude the construction of Point State Park, the fountain is the dramatic first image that visitors have of the city.
The site of a 1754 French fort is marked by a granite outline in a grassy area in Point State Park. This place has great energy. It’s the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers that starts the mighty Ohio River. It’s vastly a historical site with its ties to the very beginnings of the French and Indian War. It offers a great view of Pittsburgh and all its glory. Many walking paths that offer nice benches everywhere. Offers some stadium style seating along the rivers too.
Fort Pitt Bridge:
This bridge is the larger of two nearly identical bridges (the other is the Duquesne Bridge over Allegheny River) that cross the two rivers just before they merge to form the Ohio River. Built during the time of urban renewal, two of the finest bridges in Pittsburgh were demolished to make way for these structures. The Fort Pitt Bridge was the replacement for the Point Bridge. The Fort Pitt Bridge's main arch span is about 200 feet longer than the Duquesne Bridge's main span
On the second day we went to visit Frick Pittsburgh. This awesome museum showcasing life circa 1905 includes a Car & Carriage Museum & elegant cafe with garden views. You'll get a good taste of the early 1900s as you tour the grounds of the steel baron's home. There's fascinating cars and carriages, ask how the headlights work. There's an art museum with items collected by Helen Clay Frick, there's the Clayton, the Frick home. Very much enjoyed the Frida Kahlo exhibit and the rest of the museum. Parking and admission are free.
Using two original 1877 cable cars, the Duquesne Incline is a working museum, with the upper station providing photos and displays on the history of the incline. You can also see the inner workings of the incline.
The Mount Washington neighborhood is one of the city's most popular areas for its grand homes and excellent fine restaurants and can also be accessed by the Monongahela Incline, which departs from Station Square.
The Strip District, on the Allegheny River at the north-east corner of the Golden Triangle, was formerly occupied by warehouses and railroad installations but is now one of the city's main tourist attractions and a scene of lively activity throughout the day.
The area is home to shopping, art, dining, and all kinds of markets to buy produce, meat, and a variety of other foods. Visitors may want to come down here to simply enjoy a meal or spend a whole day wandering in and out of the small boutiques lining the Strip. Saturdays are particularly busy but also a fun time to visit.