Being that I have below zero interest in professional sports of any kind, I’ve never felt any real inclination to visit Pittsburgh, the second-largest city in my home state of Pennsylvania.
I erroneously disregarded the ‘Burgh as a haven solely for football, baseball, and hockey fans — none of which is me.
But then a few months ago, my brother moved to Pittsburgh with his girlfriend, and I found myself with a non-athletic reason to go check it out. So over Easter weekend my husband and I hopped in the car and made the six-hour drive to Steel City.
And surprises of surprises … I fell in love. Instantly. With this beautiful, fascinating, culture-packed city that I snobbily thought had nothing to offer me as a non-sports fan.
What exactly is it about this city that sneakily stole my heart? Here’s my top eight reasons that I’m now totally obsessed with Pittsburgh.
1. The bridges.
Pittsburgh isn’t nicknamed the “City of Bridges” for nothing … according to Wikipedia, the city has 446 bridges. I can’t really explain it, but there was just something so cool about seeing bridges everywhere, especially from angles where I could see them lined up into the distance.
2. The markets.
When I woke up our first morning in Pittsburgh, there was nothing I wanted more for breakfast than a big glass of fresh veggie juice. And that’s exactly what I found, among all kinds of other natural, organic, and otherwise right-up-my-hippie-alley products at the various markets we checked out on the Strip. This super yummy carrot-ginger concoction came from Savasana Juice Company in the Pittsburgh Public Market.
3. Point State Park.
New York isn’t the only city that knows how to mix green space and skyscrapers! Point State Park was the perfect place to stop, rest, and soak up the sun after a long walk downtown. The fountain is beautifully refreshing, and it’s really neat to watch the cars go up and down the Duquesne Incline in the background.
4. Emporio: A Meatball Joint.
It’s a restaurant that specializes in meatballs. Enough said.
5. This Church.
My brother’s apartment in Polish Hill was right down the street from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, a gorgeous piece of Pittsburgh scenery. We never went inside; it was enjoyable enough just walking past it every day.
6. Church Brewery.
Pierogie pizza and handcrafted beer inside of a restored 1902 church. Again, ’nuff said.
7. Industrial eye candy.
It’s no surprise that a city known for steel and other industries would be packed with gorgeous old buildings like the Pittsburgh Brewing Company. I kept thinking that those brick walls would be such a killer background for a photo shoot!
8. Arsenal Cider House.
Hard cider is my hands-down drink of choice, so visiting Arsenal Cider House was the highlight of my trip! We got to taste eight different flavors (all of which I enjoyed!), and ended up filling three growlers to take home. They didn’t last the night! So good. Our favorite? Fighting Elleck.
As you can see, Pittsburgh has plenty to offer beyond the sports teams for which it’s so well known. A few weeks later, I find myself actually missing the city and already planning when I can go back again!