About Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a city with a rich historical tradition
that has transformed itself over the past three decades from the
world's largest center of steel production to a modern cosmopolitan
city based on computing and information technology, biomedical
research, and education. Located in the northeastern part of the
United States, Pittsburgh is within 500 miles of more than half the
U.S. population, and the city is less than 90 minutes flying time
from 20 states and Canada. The
world-class Pittsburgh International Airport provides
easy access to locations throughout the world.
Hospitality abounds in Pittsburgh's diverse ethnic neighborhoods,
offering visitors a sampling of food, culture, festivals and
celebrations inspired and influenced by the city's history and ethnic
heritage. Downtown, a thriving Cultural District offers performances
by the world-class Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Ballet
Theater, Broadway Series and Pittsburgh Opera, while the city's jazz
legacy is preserved and enhanced at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and
various clubs throughout the area. As one of America's safest cities,
Pittsburgh's downtown restaurants, theaters and shops are easily
accessed on foot or on the T, an underground rail system
within the city.
Pittsburgh is located at the head of the Ohio River, which is formed by the
confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River. It is also
situated in the Allegheny Mountains, part of the Appalachian mountain chain
separating the East Coast and the Great Plains. The combination of
hills and rivers results in Pittsburgh having more
bridges, it has been
claimed, than Venice does. The hills, rivers, and bridges combine with
a notable lack of steel mills to produce a truly lovely city, with
picturesque views around almost every corner.
Pittsburgh weather in September:
The weather in late September in Pittsburgh is usually pleasant,
with daily highs in the low 70sF (23C) and lows around 50F (10C).
Spring Hill Overlook
by Mary Lois Verrilla
Attractions in town:
Things to do or see before, during, or after the
conference; roughly in order of distance from the conference site.
- The Cultural District:
Numerous cultural attractions, clustered within walking distance of
the conference, including the
several live theatre/dance venues, the
art/foreign film theatre, and more.
- The Warhol Museum: A short
distance across the Allegheny River from the conference site.
Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, and attended Carnegie Mellon's School
of Art. (The museum is part of "The Carnegie", see below.)
- Kayak rentals:
for kayaking on the rivers downtown!
Park: our spectacular, brand-new baseball park. Home to the
Pittsburgh Pirates, host of this year's All-Star Game. There are homes games versus the New York Mets on Friday evening, Saturday evening, and Sunday afternoon (see the
Point State Park: The location of the original French fort
and its successor (the British Fort Pitt), and the head of the Ohio
River. A nice open space downtown.
- Heinz Field,
new home of the Pittsburgh Steelers (professional American football) and
the University of Pittsburgh Panthers (serious college American
Carnegie Science Center: This hands-on science museum is yet another piece of The Carnegie.
Strip District: Not what you're thinking, this is a strip of land a few blocks from
the conference venue. By day it's wholesale food (with some
gentrification). At night, it has a busy club scene (competing with
the Southside, see below).
Station Square: an entertainment, eating, and shopping complex that used to
be a railroad station.
Gateway Clipper Fleet: A fleet of sightseeing riverboats.
Just Ducky Tours: Sightseeing tour on a WW II era
amphibious landing craft!
Duquesne Inclines: Pittsburgh has two working inclined
railroads that you can ride. At one time, there were over 20.
The Monongahela Incline is actually still a regular part of the
local transit authority.
said there were lots of hills!)
Southside: The Southside (south of the Monongahela River) was
neglected from the 50s until the 80s, when it was deemed "historic".
Now one of the hippest neighborhoods in the city, very busy on weekend
evenings, and home to at least one speech technology company.
- The National Aviary: Home to over 600 birds of more than 200 species. Large walk-through
exhibits allow an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and
- The Mattress Factory: A museum of contemporary
art that presents art you can get into; room-sized environments,
created by in-residence artists. Located in the historic Mexican War
Streets of Pittsburgh's North Side.
The Carnegie: A major cultural institution, founded by Andrew
Carnegie. The main building includes an
natural history museum,
public library, concert halls. The
local folk music society
often has performances there.
- Kennywood: local amusement
park, National Historic Landmark, with several of the best wooden rollercoasters in the US.
- Sri Venkateswara Temple:
For Hindu visitors, Pittsburgh has a number of
remarkable Hindu temples. This is the one visible from the freeway east
of the city (I-376).
- Less than a two hour drive:
Kentuck Knob: a famous house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and
another nearby Wright house, both open for visitors.
Ohiopyle: perhaps the most interesting of the many local nature areas.
Includes serious white-water rafting, nature preserve, swimming,
the 18-foot high Great Falls of the Youghiogheny. A
bicycle path going from
Pittsburgh to Washington, DC, is mostly finished, and goes through the park.
Fort Necessity: a small battle here between George Washington and the
French sparked the French and Indian War. (Known as part of the
"Seven Years' War" in Europe.)
The "fort" has been recreated on the
original site; located
just off of US Route 40.
New Wilmington Amish (Pennsylvania Dutch) settlements (Odd that
they have a website.)
Moraine State Park: Glacial moraines and Lake Arthur, a man-made lake
that reinstantiates a glacial-era lake. (This was the southernmost
reach of the last Ice Age glaciers.) Nearby
McConnell's Mill State Park is also lovely.
- West Virginia, including some
- Less than a three hour drive:
Cook Forest: canoeing and hiking; its "Forest Cathedral" is one
of the last stands of old-growth (read: gigantic) trees in
Pennsylvania. Theoretically you can actually hike there from
Pittsburgh on the
- Erie: "Presque Isle" State Park/Lake Erie/Perry Monument and
flagship. In the War of 1812, there were naval battles in Lake Erie
between Britain and the U.S.!
- Cleveland: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Flats, Sea World.
The Greater Pittsburgh
Convention and Visitors Bureau has a lot of local information.
The University of Pittsburgh has a
web page listing local activities.
Carnegie Mellon also has
a Visitors web page and
a grad student web page listing local activities.
There is also an official
Pittsburgh city government website.