Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Photo(s) of the Week: Downtown Erie, PA from Up-Top.

Up-top Bicentennial Tower in Erie, Pennsylvania (or what I hear a lot there Erie PA) I captured these views of their skyline and downtown. I was 187-feet off the ground on one of the observation decks looking straight down State Street.

Erie, PA downtown skyline

Erie, PA downtown skyline

Erie, PA downtown skyline

Photo of the Week: Pittsburgh in Autumn.

There is no better place to be in the United States in Fall/Autumn then the Midwest and East Coast. Within those Pittsburgh, PA offers some wonderful scenic views with its rivers and hills. The shot is captured from the Riverfront Trail along the Allegheny River with the skyline and downtown Pittsburgh opposite. Beautiful! Well time to get back out on the open trail. 🙂

Pittsburgh, Autumn, skyline, allegheny River

Pittsburgh: Cruising The Three Rivers

I’ve seen Pittsburgh from the road in the car, on foot from walking and running and from up in the hills. Pittsburgh is known for it’s three rivers, so it was time to see the city from the rivers themselves. The Gateway Clipper Fleet was going to help me accomplish this.

Gateway Clipper Fleet is located in the historic Station Square on the south side of the Monongahela River. The ramp down to the fleet features murals representing Pittsburgh, throughout it’s history. Being a huge sports fan I focused on the murals of the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates all representing the city with championships and the colors black and gold.

Gateway to Pittsburgh murals - Gateway Clipper Fleet

Gateway to Pittsburgh murals - Gateway Clipper Fleet

They have a fleet of five boats, are open year around and you have dozens of cruises to choose from. There are public ones for sightseeing, dining, dancing and day tips. Private ones for weddings, corporate and school events. These boats also serve as shuttles for sporting and special events.

Pittsburgh - Gateway Clipper Fleet pier

Pittsburgh - Gateway Clipper Fleet pier

I’m taking the one hour city tour cruise on “The Duchess”. Very reasonably priced.

Pittsburgh - Gateway Clipper Fleet - Ferry

Heading out on the Monongahela River toward the point you will pass by the two historic Wabash Bridge piers. They are all of whats left from the old railroad Wabash Bridge, demolished in 1948. Throughout the tour we were given bits of history and trivia from the crew.

Pittsburgh - Monongahela River - Wabash Bridge pier

Right before reaching the point where the three rivers intersect you come up to the Fort Pitt Bridge which links the Fort Pitt tunnel with Point State Park.

Pittsburgh - Monongahela River - Ft. Pitt Bridge

As you go onto the Allegheny River from the point you’ll be moving along the North Shore neighborhood and you’ll pass by PNC Park home to the Pittsburgh Pirates. On the other side of the river is downtown, in which you get a great view of the skyline when at the ballpark.

Pittsburgh - Allegheny River - PNC Park

As you go down the Allegheny River you’ll pass by the old Heinz 57 factory, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the Ft. Duquesne, 6th, 7th and 16th Street Bridges along with many more. You’ll come to the Fort Wayne (Pennsylvania) Railroad Bridge. It’s a double-deck bridge though the lower deck is not in use. The bridge was one of many in the region raised to increase navigation capabilities. This one in 1918. It’s easily seen by the lighter concrete that was placed on top of the original, darker stoned peers.

Pittsburgh - Allegheny River - Fort Wayne Railroad Bridge

Pittsburgh - Allegheny River

Last but not least we went on to the Ohio River. You’ll pass by the North Shore neighborhood again and this time Heinz Field home to the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and college football’s University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Great views of the surrounding hills can be had.

Pittsburgh - Ohio River

Looking back towards the point you’ll get the best views of Point State Park and the city skyline behind. The Fountain at the head of the point is currently under construction and will reopen in 2012, just enhancing the scenic view.

Pittsburgh - Point State Park - Downtown Skyline - Ohio River

Pittsburgh - Point State Park - Downtown Skyline - Ohio River

There are some great panoramic photo opportunities out on the water.

Pittsburgh - Ohio River - Panoramic river, skyline, Heinz Field shot

It was a fast hour, definitely one of the highlights of my time in Pittsburgh. No matter the occasion/event or just looking to sightsee or looking for a scenic way to get to a sporting event, the Gateway Clipper Fleet definitely should be on the top of your list.

Pittsburgh - Gateway Clipper Fleet - Station Square

What’s your favorite thing to see along the rivers in Pittsburgh? What city or area is your favorite to cruise on the river to checkout the sites?

Pittsburgh: Duquesne Incline and Mt. Washington

Pittsburgh, known as “The City of Bridges” and “The Steel City”, is home to some of the best views in the United States, the best being up-top the Duquesne Incline and along Grandview Avenue in the Mt. Washington neighborhood. USA Weekend’s 2003 Annual Travel Report ranked the Mt. Washington view the second most beautiful place in America. Panoramic shot from one of the overlook decks along Grandview Avenue.

Pittsburgh - panoramic shot from Mt. Washington

How to get up there? You could drive, but the fun, historic and scenic way to get up-top is to take the Duquesne Incline. You can get to the incline easily by taking the Fort Pitt Bridge out of downtown.

Open in 1877, it’s one of the few inclines left in the United States and one of two left open in Pittsburgh. These inclines were originally used to carry people and freight between the city and the hills. Residents of Mt. Washington still use the incline to get to work and the various entertainment options in the city.

Pittsburgh - Duquesne Incline

Pittsburgh - Duquesne Incline

Heading up in the wooden incline car takes only a couple of minutes, you’ll rise 400 feet up to an elevation of 800 and you’ll be in awe as soon as you start going up.

Pittsburgh - Duquesne Incline wooden car

Pittsburgh - Duquesne Incline wooden car

You exit the incline car into a little museum detailing some history of the area. You then can head outside to the observation deck and below is what you see. Panoramic views of the skyline, the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers coming together to form the Ohio River at Point State Park, the sports stadiums, all the famous bridges and more. Being there at the beginning of November gave me the added bonus of seeing all the Fall colors.

Pittsburgh skyline, Point State Park, three rivers view

Pittsburgh - skyline, Point State Park, three rivers view

Pittsburgh - Ohio River

Watch and snap some photos of the cable cars going up and down the incline with the downtown skyline as a backdrop.

Pittsburgh - Duquesne Incline

Pittsburgh - Duquesne Incline

Pittsburgh - Duquesne Incline

Leaving the Duquesne Incline to the left, walk along Grandview Avenue and you’ll pass homes, apartments, condos and fancy restaurants with spectacular views. You’ll then come to various overview decks where you can view the city and surrounding hills and country side from various vantage points.

Pittsburgh - view from Mt. Washington

Pittsburgh - view from Mt. Washington

Pittsburgh - view from Mt. Washington

At the end you’ll come to the other incline still in operation, the Monongahela Incline. Checkout the nearby Shiloh St. and Grand Brew Cafe. A neighborhood coffee shop with great coffee, pastries and customer-oriented service.

Pittsburgh - Mt. Washington - Grand Brew Cafe

My next trip up the incline will be to soak in the spectacular views at night. What is your favorite observation, lookout point?

A Day in The City of Bridges.

The leaves and their beautiful colors, unusually warm and sunny, looking to see water of course and hills, I though where should I go. It was obvious, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Early Sunday morning I took off and drove into Pittsburgh from the west side along I-376. I never had the feeling that I was entering a major urban area because of all the trees, mountains and hills, passing by one town after another. I went through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, one of many around the city, for about a mile and walla the city was right in front of me and I could see a million bridges, boats, tall buildings and hills off in the distance. An outdoor and city photographers dream.
Pittsburgh - Sixth Street Bridge

The City of Bridges definitely fits. It’s seems every street has its own bridge that crosses one of the three rivers (Allegheny and Monongahela forming the Ohio) to the other parts of the city and area. I cruised up and down the downtown city streets first. It’s definitely a place you can get tangled up in driving if you don’t know where you are going, but I found my way to The North Shore on the north side of town. It’s the perfect place to get river, boat, bridge, city skyline, hills, parks and stadium pictures which I definitely took advantage of.

I walked by and around both Heinz Field and PNC Park and the surrounding restaurants, greenery and statues of heroes past. I stopped into Jerome Bettis 36 Grille and got reminded of the passion everyone here has for their sports teams. More on that in moment. I also took a moment to walk on the Sixth Street bridge.

Having heard about Primanti Brothers and their famous sandwiches I had to check them out as well for eats, so it was off to the Strip District right outside downtown. I had the corned beef and cheese. What makes their sandwiches unique is that every one of them comes with coleslaw and fries. Not on the side, but right in the sandwich. It was amazing. A must stop again in the future.
Pittsburgh - Strip District markets

Staying in the Strip District I checked out the outdoor shops and markets and even picked up an assortment of fruits and vegetables. If you look straight down the one-way Smallman St. you can see the main part of the Pittsburgh skyline. The passion for their sports teams really came out here. It was amazing that no matter where I went today bars, shops, food markets, the Steelers football game was on loudly. Even if you didn’t see a screen, you could hear the game coming from somewhere. It brought back great memories of the Steelers-Browns games my dad and I attended when I was younger.
Pittsburgh area from Duquesne Incline

It was time to head for the hills and get some picturesque views of the city, rivers, bridges and surrounding area. I could think of no other place then the Duquesne Incline. You go up in a cable car up the hill to the top. I could have chosen to drive but where is the fun in that. I took photos from almost every conceivable angle and just stood there leaning against the guard rail absorbing everything I could see.
Pittsburgh - Schenley Plaza

I definitely wanted to check out the university scene, so I went to the University of Pittsburgh and the famous Carnegie Mellon University. The streets were packed with students, tourists and locals, Fall photo shots available everywhere and coffee shops galore. I stopped at a Starbucks (it was only a matter of time right) in the middle of all the action on S. Craig St. and proceeded to Schenley Plaza to take in the atmosphere and relax.

Lot’s of people were there hanging out, studying and napping. It sits right in between the universities right alongside the Carnegie Mellon Museum of Art and Library. What a great way to end a great day. Checkout my photos from my time here.

Pittsburgh is also still known as The Steel City of course, but the modernization of Pittsburgh is definitely a blue print to follow and at the same time they are still showing off and appreciating their past. In fact I just read today that Pittsburgh was named the #1 city in the United States to move to by CNBC. Whether it’s the rivers, sports, mountains, eats or shopping your into Pittsburgh definitely has something for everyone. I will be back soon, there is so much more to explore.