Heinz History Center – Learning the History of Pittsburgh

Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA

Every city needs a great museum to let its history shine, and in Pittsburgh that museum is the Heinz History Center in the Strip District.

Our first observation after entering the Heinz History Center was that it was much like the popular Smithsonian Museums in Washington DC.  But instead of having separate buildings for each theme as in our nation's capital, the Heinz History Center has everything in one building.

Well, as it turns out the museum is in fact affiliated with the Smithsonian, and the legacy of the nation's most popular museum collection shines in every exhibit in this city gem.

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Healthy Ride Pittsburgh – A New Way to Explore the City

Biking on the North Shore Trail

In April 2022, Healthy Ride formally launched a rebrand to be called POGOH. Stations are being replaced and availability is presently limited. We will update this article accordingly when the POGOH stations are fully available in the coming weeks.

Over the past several months you've likely seen Healthy Ride bike kiosks popping up all over the city.  These bikes are one of the many new services coming out to help encourage visitors and locals to get out and explore the many bike trails the city has to offer, and with over 500 bikes and 50 stations, they're doing a great job at it.

We finally got the chance to try one of these bikes on a day out exploring the North Shore bike trail, and had a pretty interesting experience with the service.

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The Mattress Factory is a Stellar Contemporary Art Museum

Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh

When it comes to contemporary art, you never know what you are going to get. This is part of the fun in visiting these museums because there never seems to be one particular style that is on display. Sometimes it is disappointing, other times thought provoking, but overall you never really know what will be around the next bend.

At Pittsburgh's contemporary art museum, Mattress Factory, we found each exhibit to be more interesting than the last and left wondering why it took us so long to visit this museum in the first place.

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Exploring the Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning

Chinese Room at the Cathedral of Learning

Note: The Nationality Rooms are now requiring advanced registration for tours. Keep an eye on this one as things could change.

Pitt's Cathedral of Learning is one of the most beautiful university buildings in the country. 

Ignoring the fact that this college building is the only skyscraper in Oakland and its main lobby resembles a European cathedral mixed with Hogwarts, Pitt's flagship building houses one other treasure worth exploring during a visit: the Nationality Rooms.

Let's go to the last place you'd expect to visit in Pittsburgh– back to school!

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Bicycle Heaven Offers Bicycle Overload in Pittsburgh

Bicycle Heaven in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's massive specialty stores have a way of embracing their size and end up turning into museums for all to enjoy. There is Artifacts, the import store for the rich and famous; Construction Junction, the re-use store for the rest of us; and in our latest exploration we visited Bicycle Heaven, the store for bike lovers.

Much like the other unusual stores we've visit in the city, when we say that Bicycle Heaven is large, we mean it. The store claims to be the largest bike shop in the USA, sells tens of thousands of items on eBay, and covers two floors with about a dozen rooms in its North Side warehouse.

Naturally, this sounds exactly like the kind of place we want to explore when enjoying our city.

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Learning an Array of Sciences at the Kamin Science Center

Making Tornados at Pittsburgh's Science Center

One of Pittsburgh's most popular museums is the Kamin Science Center (formerly the Carnegie Science Center) on the North Side. This massive complex is home to several wings featuring displays of unique sciences including aerospace, water, sports science, physics, medicine, and more.

As engineers and self-described science nerds, this was one museum we have been very eager to check out.

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The Center for PostNatural History – A Most Unusual Museum

Transgenic Goat at the PostNatural Museum in Pittsburgh

The Specimen Vault at the PostNatural Museum Pittsburgh is a hub of unusual museums, and The Center for PostNatural History in Garfield is no exception.

For those who are not familiar with the term, PostNatural describes living organisms that have been modified by man through everything from selective breeding all the way to genetic engineering by accredited scientists, mad scientists, and everything in between.

As an engineer this museum sounded perfect to me, and I was incredibly excited about visiting during their limited Friday and Sunday opening hours to check out the exhibits.

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Gaucho Pittsburgh Review – Delicious Argentinian Meat

When it comes to barbecued meat, the country of Argentina could really teach the world a thing or two.

During our travels in Argentina we devoured the country's famous barbecue and were so enamored with it that we frequently highlight the dish of Patagonian lamb as one of the best things we've ever eaten. (…and if you read our full travel destination list, you'll understand that this is truly saying something).

That being said, crafting an authentic Argentinian barbecue is not easy, and we can attest to being disappointed in most Argentinian restaurants that try to produce this country's iconic food outside of South America. As you can imagine, we had mixed emotions going into our visit to Gaucho Parrilla Argentina.

On one hand the reviews we've seen were all fantastic, but on the other hand we have a long history of being disappointed by restaurants in other parts of the country that simply do not stack up to the real thing.

Luckily for Gaucho Parrilla, they are absolutely spot on and routinely deliver what could be our favorite meals in all of Pittsburgh.

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Artifacts Pittsburgh – Fantasy Shopping in the West End

Artifacts Pittsburgh

If you have an itch to do some fantasy shopping for one-of-a-kind items in Pittsburgh, look no further than Artifacts in the West End. Touted as a “museum with a price tag,” Artifacts is home to over 20,000 items ranging from Turkish rugs, European artwork, hand crafted tables, to stuffed lions and giraffe busts, human-sized griffon statues, and everything in between.

We couldn't make this up even if we tried.

We first learned about Artifacts during a quest to find a seating area that would compliment a Turkish rug and lamp that we bought while traveling in Istanbul. Naturally, stories of Artifacts' massive showroom of Turkish rugs and other unique items inspired us to visit in hopes of finding our dream accompaniment.

We didn't, and that is fine by us.

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