Known both at the “Steel City” and the “City of Bridges”, Pittsburgh is located in south west Pennsylvania at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers. The second largest city of the state (after Philadelphia), the area made its fortune as a leader in the steel, aluminum, glass, and shipbuilding industries, leveraging its strategic location between the Atlantic coast and the Midwest. Industrial magnates and corporate money sponsored numerous museums, research and medical centres, parks, and cultural districts – a rich heritage left behind after the economic decline in the 1980s that resulted in the exodus of manufacturing jobs and the emergence of the “Rust Belt” in the north-eastern United States.
Today, Pittsburgh is experiencing a revival as a vibrant hub of modern industries (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Uber are among many tech firms here) as well as an important national R&D center with its 68 colleges and universities in the immediate vicinity. The area has successfully shifted its economic base to education, tourism, and services with particular focus on the healthcare and robotics industries. Pittsburgh is now consistently ranked one of the most liveable cities in the United States.
Similar to last year’s roadtrip to Buffalo, there’s no shortage of things to do in this surprisingly compact and lively city. Whether you are a sports fan (Steelers, Penguins, Pirates) or into food, arts and culture, Pittsburgh has plenty to offer. And as a bonus, it’s only a few hours drive from Toronto – a perfect weekend roadtrip destination.