Trundle Manor – Pittsburgh’s Most Unique Collection of Oddities

It would be quite difficult to come up with just one sentence that describes the private collection at Trundle Manor better than the current slogan: “The most unusual tourist trap in the world meets the most bizarre private collection on public display.”

This residence in Swissvale is the home of Mr. Arm and Velda von Minx, a couple whose personal collection of unusual antiques and oddities is second to none.

They have something for everyone, but only those with a unique (and slightly twisted) sense of humor will get the full benefit of their collection.

Thankfully, we are those people.

Disclaimer: Some of the images featured in this post contain taxidermy animals, tumors in a jar, cleavers, disturbing medical antiques, and other oddities that some may find offensive. If this is you, click here to read our review of the Heinz History Center or the Duquesne Incline instead. For those that continue reading on, be sure to hover over the images if you want to learn more about what is in the image!

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Embracing the Arts at Downtown Pittsburgh’s Gallery Crawl

If the only things that come to mind when you think of the Pittsburgh art scene are the Carnegie Museum of Art or the Andy Warhol Museum, let me tell you: you're missing out.

Dozens of museums and galleries of all different sizes and themes are scattered around the city, with the Cultural District downtown having one of the highest concentrations of these galleries.

In fact, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust sponsors Gallery Crawls downtown four times a year, typically on Friday nights. During these crawls, all of the galleries are free and open to the public.

There's also generally live music, free performances, venues where you can make your own art projects, and even a night market complete with tons of local food and crafts vendors.

We checked out the recent gallery crawl in March 2016 that coincided with the 200th anniversary of Pittsburgh's incorporation as a city. What we appreciated the most was the opportunity to explore cool little corners of downtown that we had never been to before- all for free!

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The Roberto Clemente Museum – More Than Baseball in Lawrenceville

Although you might not expect it, the Roberto Clemente Museum in Lawrenceville is about much more than the Pirates' baseball legend; this museum has something for everyone.

Even if you don't necessarily love baseball or know much about Clemente, you're bound to find something here that appeals to you. Whether it's the beautiful old firehouse in which the museum is housed, the amazing photography on display, or even the classy wine bar, this museum is sure to keep you surprised and interested.

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Carnegie Museum of Natural History – Exploring the World’s Wonders

When it comes to learning about the history of the natural world around us, there is certainly a lot to take in.

For those who are interested in the animal kingdom especially, Pittsburgh has no better place to visit than the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Oakland- home to a wonderful selection of exhibits featuring dinosaurs all the way to modern day animals, and everything in between.

Toss in a few more unique exhibits from the natural world, and you have the makings of an incredible day out in the city.

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Carnegie Museum of Art – Pittsburgh’s World Class Art Museum

One of the things I love about Pittsburgh is that many of the city's famous innovators have given back in incredible ways.  

As perhaps the most famous of all Pittsburghers, Andrew Carnegie spent the later years of his life giving back to the city in many philanthropic ways, converting his fortune into such city staples as the Carnegie Library system, the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh- to name a few.

As with all items carrying the Carnegie name and legacy, you can expect great things from these places as Carnegie had a track record of doing things bigger and better than anyone else.

When it comes to his legacy at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, notably the Museum of Art, you notice this as soon as you arrive.  This art museum is one of the country's best.

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Pittsburgh Weekend Guide – First Timer Edition

If there is one thing I hate more than poorly thought out city guides, it would be poorly thought out city guides that feature ridiculous suggestions that no one would actually do. Are you really going to drop $200 for that spa treatment, head out of town to an obscure restaurant, or go to a specialty museum on your first visit to a city?

Probably not.

In fact, you likely wouldn't do it on your second, third, or fourth visit either (although if we had our way, you may work in an obscure museum because Pittsburgh has some pretty awesome ones).

Our first-timer's weekend in Pittsburgh guide gives a good introduction to the city and is oriented for someone who has never been here before.

This list has been crafted from years of experience in showing friends and family around town while incorporating many of the city's highlights, skipping some of the common letdowns, and overall giving you a welcome that will make you want to return to this great American city many times in the future.

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Exploring Point State Park and the Fort Pitt Museum

Point State Park in Pittsburgh

Downtown Pittsburgh is unique in that it sits at the point where three rivers, the Ohio, the Allegheny, and the Monongahela, converge.  

The resulting land at the tip of downtown Pittsburgh has played an important role for the city throughout its history, and today is a gorgeous public space known as Point State Park that is a must see spot for all visitors to the city.

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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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The Mattress Factory is Pittsburgh’s Incredible 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

Cathedral of Learning in PittsburghPitt'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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