Wigle Whiskey is a finalist in the American Made contest. Photo by Brian Cohen.

A Luxury Travel Blog seems surprised that they’re writing about Pittsburgh in the first place. Writer Jennifer Berg starts off by assuring readers that yes, we are in fact talking about Pittsburgh, the city “synonymous” with smoke and pollution.

“Through that former haze has emerged a sparkling vibrant city with strong commitments to environmental and sustainability issues while still embracing the city’s past. A beautiful city of contrasts full of grand historic sites mixed with modern dynamic places firmly rooted in the future.”

Here are her choices for what to see:

1) The Frick Art & Historical Center

Berg makes mention of The Art Museum, The Cafè and the Car & Carriage Museum. Her favorite thing about the Frick family legacy, however, was the tour of the Clayton mansion, one of the last remaining homes from “Millionaire’s Row.” The tour, says Berg, “provides a sumptuous snapshot of life for the wealthy industrialists during the Gilded Age. And thanks to the dedicated preservation work of Helen Clay Frick – more than 90% of the furniture and artifacts are original.”

2) The Grand Concourse Restaurant

The former railroad terminal-turned-restaurant was indeed a painstakingly intricate restoration project. To visitors, that work has paid off. “The truly jaw dropping feature is the spectacular stained glassed ceiling. During the restoration project more than thirty years ago, workers found the glass ceiling completely black – most likely a remnant of air raid precautions taken during WWII. But as the cleaning began, the beautiful glass was revealed.” Berg recommends a brunch at the Grand Concourse and then a ride on one the city’s two inclines. 

3) Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Berg writes, “With remarkable foresight, Mr. Phipps created the conservatory and gardens as a way to educate and enlighten the public about various exotic plants and flowers from all over the world.” She also marvels at the conservatory’s LEED Silver certified Welcome Center, as well as the entire building’s reputation as one of the greenest facilities in the nation. This is what prompted the location of the welcome dinner for visiting dignitaries during the 2009 G-20 Summit.

4) The Fairmont Pittsburgh

The Fairmont is the newest of the Fairmont brand’s hotels in the area, opened in 2010. Its construction discovered over 26,000 historical artifacts, “many of which are displayed in the hotel lobby as well as selected guest rooms,” says Berg. The hotel does not provide plastic bottles, encouraging guests to think green and reuse water receptacles. Floor-to-ceiling windows give guests incredible city views and a feeling of grandeur. Be sure to say hello to Edie the dog, or even take her on a walk.

5) Wigle Whiskey

Our first distillery since Prohibition. At Wigle, they’re more than happy to take you on a tour of not only their facility, but also of the history that formed it. It’s a tale of violence and deception that you have to experience in person (all while tasting some delicious, Pittsburgh-grown whiskey). “Named after Whiskey Rebellion hero Philip Wigle, the distillery produces their own organic blends of whiskey from scratch using locally sourced ingredients and copper pots.All Wigle products are available for purchase – including barrel aging kits so you can do your whiskey aging at home,” writes Berg.

You can read the full article here.

Rebekah Zook is a Duquesne grad and all-around story-telling enthusiast. A former fellow at WESA, she worked as a production assistant for their daily talk show. Most recently, she taught in the Propel Charter School system as a visiting artist. When she isn’t writing, Rebekah is a trip leader for the local non-profit organization Venture Outdoors. You can usually find her in a bright yellow kayak.