Last updated: 07:00 AM ET, Tue March 17 2015

Touring the Madness: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | March 17, 2015

Touring the Madness: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of their respective venues.

All right, so if you are one of the lucky teams going to Pittsburgh, you have a whole pile of great food to taste, places to experience, and people to meet. Philadelphia may be the city of brotherly love, but the residents of Steel City always put a smile on your face.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is historically known for its steel industry, but was actually a hub for boat building before that in the post- Revolutionary War days. Andrew Carnegie began steel work in 1875 and in 1901, combined several companies into U.S. Steel. By the 1980s the the steel industry declined and the city moved toward education, tourism, and healthcare/finance/technology services. They also have the most bars per capita in the U.S. (No wonder this place is so popular!). Here are a few other things to do besides drink in the Steel City.

Phipps Conservatory

Spring is right around the corner and there is no better place to get in the mood than the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Originally founded in 1893, the property contains formal gardens and exotic plants, as well as a thirteen room conservatory. The iconic Victorian glass and metalwork of the Lord & Burnham conservatory is a history lesson in itself. Adult admission is only $15 and they are open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Friday when they stay open until 10 p.m.

Senator John Heinz History Center

The Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian, contains over 370,000 square feet of musuem space including the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Fort Pitt Museum, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, Detre Library & Archives, and the Museum Conservation Center. If you are looking for the history of the H.J. Heinz Company, there is a long-term exhibit at the museum that goes over the entire history. It is only fitting that it is in a location named for his grandson.

Duquesne Incline / Monongahela Incline

"Duquesne Incline from top" by Plastikspork via Wikimedia Commons

There were at one point in the hilly areas of Pittsburgh, 15 inclinators that moved people and cargo up and down through the town. Now there are only two remaining. The Duquesne Incline and the Monongahela Incline are the only two left. The Monongahela was built in 1869 and the Duquesne in 1877. Both will give you a great view of the city and cost you a whopping $2.50 each way.

The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company

Pittsburgh has a huge tradition of beer in the city (Iron City, Rolling Rock) and as mentioned above, the highest amount of bars per capita in the country. If you are looking for something a little more craft and a little more modern, head on over to The Brew Gentlemen Beer Company. Founded last year in Braddock, Pennsylvania, an eastern suburb of Pittsburgh, these guys are putting on a show of great beer and great community. Try their chai-spiced wheat beer, White Sky from Wednesday through Sunday when they open up their taproom, and bring along food trucks for chews to go with the brews.

Pierogies Plus

Since 1991, Helen Mannarino has been banging out some of the best pierogi in the city, state, and maybe even the country. She and her team serve up six standard types of pierogi, and have another 30 available for special order.  You can also get cabbage, sausage, and more at this traditional, “just like Matka used to make” culinary delight.

Alright, even the non-Polish folks visiting with their family, friends, and team will be able to find fun in the city of Pittsburgh. Where is your favorite place to hang out? Where would you recommend to the tourists coming into town? Let me know in the comments below.

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