If you visit Pittsburgh, I think the best way to see the city is to put on your walking shoes and hit the pavement. It is a great walking city! One of the enjoyable walks we did was between the Duquesne Incline and the Monongahela Incline. The view of the Pittsburgh skyline, rivers, and bridges was spectacular!
The Duquesne Incline, located across the river from downtown, has a wonderful story to it with a happy ending. After years of financial loss, the incline was closed in 1962. Local civil engineer, David Miller, and his wife, Ruth, formed a neighborhood organization to save the incline by raising money through the sale of souvenir tickets, bake sales, and card parties. Within six months, the community had made minor repairs themselves and raised $15,000. The incline reopened and is now one of Pittsburgh’s most popular visitor attractions.
After we rode the Dusquesne Incline up to the top of Mount Washington, we walked through an attractive residential area to get to the Monongahela Incline, so we could ride it back down to the city. Along the hilly walk, there were viewing platforms to take in the breathtaking views. Riding up the Dusquesne Incline and down the Monongahela was the ideal way to get the most out of the excursion across the river. It was a short walk from the bottom of the incline to the Smithfield Bridge for a walk over the Monongahela River to the heart of downtown.
Pointe State Park wasn’t far from the bridge, so we continued our walk to the park where could see across to Mount Washington and the inclines we had just enjoyed.
Located at the tip of the downtown area where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio River, there is a lot to see without taking a forward step. Slowly spin yourself clockwise 360 degrees, and you will see Mount Washington, the three rivers, Three Rivers Stadium (home of the Pittsburgh Steelers), PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates’s home), several yellow-painted bridges, and the downtown skyscrapers. When you come to a stop, feel the spray of the huge fountain. On a hot day, it feels so refreshing! It was the perfect place to stop, cool off, and watch the boats pass by.
The riverside walking trail will lead you all the way to the Strip District at the edge of dowtown; however, we opted to head up to Penn Avenue and stroll through the Cultural District, instead.
We were impressed with how nice and pedestrian-friendly the downtown area was along Penn Avenue. It was an enjoyable walk!
The Strip District features the John Heinz Regional History Center and Pennsylvania Railroad Fruit Auction Building as well as shopping and dining. Although there are some tacky and touristy stores and street vendors selling Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins sports team stuff; there are also some very cool ethnic food stores. Even if you have no need for groceries, they are well worth a walk through! Besides, the Italian groceries smell incredible!
The Pennsylvania Macaroni Company was our favorite, and we couldn’t resist picking these up for lunch:
Established in 1902 by three Sicilian brothers, the business started as a pasta manufacturing operation and eventually branched out to include over 5,000 Italian specialty foods and cheeses. The third generation of the family is now running the business, and the place is a gold mine!
Another fun place to poke around is Wholey’s Market, established by Robert Wholey in 1912. The market features seafood and poultry, and there is a cute train that runs along a track high up above the seafood display cases.
In my final Pittsburgh post, we’ll cross the river to PNC Park. Take me out to the ballgame!