This topic came up twice this week,

which is usually a sign that it’s something I should think about, write about, or do something about.

The only reason, to me, to live in Pittsburgh as opposed to oh, say some gorgeous setting with palm trees and frothy waves at my feet, is to enjoy the cultural activities we have.

What, you ask, does Pittsburgh have to offer in the way of culture?

Well, aside from the number of theaters at hand–Heinz Hall, Benedum Center, August Wilson, The O’Reilly, Byham Theatre, The Cabaret—all downtown in a few block radius, we also have other unique things to do:

Trails around the Pittsburgh

—the North Shore walk from Heinz field up the Allegheny River

—the Jail Trail along the Monongahela River to Point Park

—the South Side trail down the Mon to Station Square.

Station Square itself is nice with restaurants from casual to fancy, a dancing fountain which is such fun to watch the kids play in on a hot summer day, and a wonderful, river-level view of downtown.

Point Park, with a newly renovated fountain and Fort Pitt Museum and Blockhouse (affiliated with the Senator John Heinz History Center) is a delightful place to walk, have a picnic, or simply sit and enjoy the convergence of the rivers.

We have riverboats for Gateway Clipper tours and/or dinner cruises.

Do you like museums?

There’s the Carnegie Natural History Museum combined with the Fine Arts Museum; we have the Heinz History Center (love it so much we’re members); Soldiers and Sailors Memorial; The Frick and Clayton Mansion and many, many more.

We have multiple parks to walk in, including: North Park, South Park and two of our picks: Schenley Park and Frick Park. These huge expanses cover acres and acres of land and make country-child me feel like I’m glimpsing home again.

Combining chores and culture takes us to The Strip District.

This is one of our favorite Saturday morning stops to make in town. We go at least every six weeks to get our coffee fix from PrestoGeorge. We go more often for the fun of picking up fresh vegetables and fruit from the street vendors, having an espresso and latte at La Prima and breakfast at Enrico’s or one of the other tasty choices.

Yet I know people who have lived here their whole lives and never been to any of these places.

What about you? What do you need to do to be a tourist in or near your hometown?

**

Read: Road Trips