Photo by Alyse Horn
The Aviary’s two-toed sloth, Valentino.
By Ed Skirtich
Northside attractions, venues, and accommodations have helped Pittsburgh earn the honor of being a favorite city to travel to nationally and globally, with recognition from Travel + Leisure as the “2016 Destination of the Year.”
Other publications, such as WalletHub, have ranked The Steel City one of the “best cities for an active lifestyle” in 2017, and Forbes named it one of the most affordable in a 2014 article.
Here are some of the locations that bring out-of-town visitors to the Northside.
Carnegie Science Center
At the Carnegie Science Center, more than 500,000 visitors have explored the U.S. Navy submarine “Requin” that was used after World War II, the robotics exhibit “Roboworld,”a high definition Buhl Planetarium show, and the Miniature Railroad and Village. The Science Center also has STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs for youth as well as activities for adults. The Science Center is currently underway with construction for the Science Pavilion expansion, which will be home to 6,000 square feet of STEM Learning Labs and act as a regional hub for teacher professional development activities. There will also be a 14,000 square-foot Special Exhibition Gallery above the STEM labs that will bring world-class traveling exhibits to the city.
Home to the Major League Baseball franchise of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Baseball Digest readers ranked PNC Park as the best ballpark in America in 2015.
Fans can enter PNC Park by walking over the Roberto Clemente Bridge, which closes to vehicles during sporting events and has great views of Downtown Pittsburgh.
Inside PNC Park, fans can see more spectacular views of the Pittsburgh skyline from their seats. Plus PNC Park is handicapped accessible with elevators and seating inside the ball park.
MCG Jazz Music Hall
MCG Jazz’s mission to present jazz concerts by national musicians in its Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild Concert Hall succeeded. The MCG’s Concert Hall made the list of 150 Jazz Concert Venues in “Downbeat” magazine in 2011. The MCG Jazz CD Label also won five Grammy Awards since 1995 for its live recordings in the Concert Hall.
Visitors experience lots of bird activities in the National Aviary. Penguins, flamingos, eagles, owls and exotic birds live in their habitats and visitors are able to walk by and through the exhibits.
In one Aviary exhibit, Canary’s Call, historical stories come to life through the birds songs. Another exhibit at Aviary is Penguins Point. Kids can watch South African Penguins waddle, squabble, and torpedo through the water under the View Tube.
Valentino, one of the National Aviary’s sloth’s, also draws quite the crowd and has received national recognition.
The Andy Warhol Museum
Patrons of the Andy Warhol Museum get to see Warhol’s paintings, prints, sculptures, film and video. They can also view Warhol’s documentary, “15 Minutes Eternal.”
This museum is unique because of the social opportunities. For example, on Good Friday’s there’s a bar and half price admission, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Plus a sound series also occurs at the museum. For instance on Thursday April 15th the duo of Mark Eitzel and Howe Gelb perform various genres of jazz and country music at 8 p.m.
The Priory Hotel is within walking distance to PNC Park, the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates plus Heinz Field, home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and NCAA’s Pittsburgh Panthers football teams.
Visitors staying at The Priory receive complimentary parking, Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and continental breakfast. The Priory was built in 1888 and it Pittsburgh’s only historic boutique hotel.