U.S. News & World Report

The predicted return of the polar vortex may have you hibernating under the blankets with your favorite book, but the winter months can be an idyllic time to get out and explore new environs.

According to U.S. News & World Report, your top destination of choice for winter should be Pittsburgh.

In her feature, Why You Should Visit Pittsburgh This Winter, award-winning food and travel writer Gwen Pratesi says:

“With an influx of foodies, artists and creative types, the City of Bridges is staging a resurgence.”

Calling Pittsburgh a “forward-looking city,” Pratesi shares her guide to can’t-miss experiences around the Burgh—from culinary and cultural hotspots, to holiday attractions.

Crediting “innovative restaurants, fascinating museums and tech-savvy companies” for “upping the cool factor in the Steel City,” Pratesi begins her travel feature with this introduction:

“Pittsburgh has had a lot of comebacks over the years. Celebrating its bicentennial in 2016, this lively and diverse city, once known as a Rust Belt town, is now known as the City of Bridges (there are 445 of them to be exact). Plus, high-tech businesses, such as Google and Uber, have dubbed Pittsburgh the Robot City. With a beautiful skyline, excellent museums, burgeoning theater and arts scenes and a rich cultural heritage throughout 90 distinct neighborhoods, Pittsburgh’s newfound energy is bound to surprise and entertain you. And if that’s not enough, there’s plenty of sports action to get your blood pumping. While late spring to mid-fall offers pleasant weather conditions for experiencing the city, many of Pittsburgh’s best attractions are indoors and plenty of vibrant holiday festivities take place during the cooler months, making winter an ideal time to plan a trip.”

For inspiring and iconic scenery, Pratesi recommends the “jaw-dropping views” from the 138-year-old Duquesne Incline, where visitors can take a thrilling ride up 400 feet to the observation deck overlooking the city:

“Sunset is the perfect time to see how spectacular Pittsburgh is at night and you’ll understand why this has been called one of the 10 most beautiful views in the country.”

Eating her way through the vibrant Strip District, Pratesi highlights the neighborhood’s deep international and cultural roots—as well as new restaurant concepts—with stops at Pamela’s Diner, S&D Polish Deli, Mancini’s, Enrico Biscotti Co., Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., Primanti Bros. and Smallman Galley.

“Still gritty, this area is a classic example of urban revitalization,” she notes.

To get her culture fix, Pratesi heads to the Carnegie Museums, Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Science Center, Frick Pittsburgh, and Nationality Rooms at University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning.

For those seeking some Burgh-style holiday traditions, U.S. News & World Report suggests The Peoples Gas Holiday Market, ice rink and PPG Wintergarden in Market Square, and the wondrous Winter Flower Show and Light Garden exhibition at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Read the entire travel guide in U.S. News & World Report.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.