Places + Perspectives

Photo ops

I work the early shift at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, so I often get to see Pittsburgh just as she's waking up. You can go to the same locations time after time and get different views, thanks to Mother Nature's changing touch. Here are some of my favorite easy-to-get-to vantage points for photographing the Pittsburgh skyline.

Room service

If there's anything that has been going up faster in Pittsburgh these days than apartments, it's hotel rooms. Developers can't seem to help themselves. By the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's count, there are 4,952 rooms in the Golden Triangle, the North Shore, the lower Hill District, the South Side and the Strip District, with more than 1,000 of those opening in the past seven years. Another 1,709 are in the pipeline. With all of those rooms, you would think we were a tourist destination. Here are some new hotels to give you sweet dreams in 2016.

Bridge city

With more than 1,400 bridges, the region is a permanent showcase of the inspired engineering and public art that make bridges great. My colleague Kevin Kirkland and I have been exploring them for a Pittsburgh Bridges series. Here are some of our functional and beautiful favorites.

Suburb spots

Pittsburgh is 89th on the alphabetical list of 130 municipalities in Allegheny County. Unlike other cities that expanded their boundaries as they grew, Pittsburgh pretty much remained in place while surrounding communities developed on their own. Here are some of the many with personality, charm and amenities that anyone might like to call home. Take a drive and check these out for yourself. You might run into me exploring them, too.

Step treks

With 739 sets of steps, Pittsburgh has more municipal stairways than any city in the U.S.. That’s according to Bob Regan, author of his updated “Pittsburgh Steps” (2015), which is part historical record and part guidebook for active step trekkers. Of these stairways, 344 are legal streets — composed just of steps.

House tours

Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods, and one of the best ways to get to know them is through their architecture. Homes paint a historical picture of past owners in their pine floors, marble mantels and shotgun rooms. For the less architecturally inclined, house tours are a perfectly acceptable way to be nebby, as we say, and snoop on how other Pittsburghers live. Here are some of the area’s most popular tours.

Day trips

There is nothing like a trip to refresh your perspective, but if you can’t pack your bags and hit the jetway, I recommend just hopping in the car and hitting the road for the day. From Downtown there are plenty of places to go that are well under a two-hour drive.

City neighborhoods

Morningside? Mt. Washington? Brookline? Find out where to rent and what neighborhood has the best date night.