The North Shore - Heinz Field and the Carnegie Science Center
North Side is an area of Pittsburgh, just across the Allegheny River from Downtown. In years past it was the independent city of Allegheny, but has long been incorporated into the City of Pittsburgh itself.
From Downtown there are several bridges you can use to cross the Allegheny River. The most direct is I-279 (the Fort Duquesne Bridge), a freeway bridge that will connect directly to the stadium area and with other freeways heading north. Another fast option is the I-579 bridge, another freeway which takes you directly from the Downtown area into North Side. From Downtown directly there are three bridges which carry street traffic - the 6th St. Bridge (also known as the Roberto Clemente Bridge), 7th St. Bridge (or the Andy Warhol Bridge), and 9th St. Bridge (or the Rachel Carson Bridge). All three are nearly identical historic steel suspension bridges of an interesting design. Bear in mind that the 6th St. Bridge is closed to vehicular traffic during Pirates and Steelers games.
North Side Map
To the west of Downtown is the West End Bridge, which crosses the Ohio River and connects to the South Side area. To the east of Downtown are two bridges which link the North Side to the Strip District - the 16th St. Bridge and the 31st St. Bridge.
By public transit
From Downtown, any of the 11, 16, and 500 Port Authority bus routes are good, frequent routes which will bring you directly to the North Side. The 54C will get you directly from the Strip.
The Port Authority is also currently at work on extending the "T" light rail line underneath the Allegheny River, with two stops serving the North Side near PNC Park and Heinz Field, respectively. It is expected to be completed in 2011.
Due to the proximity of most North Side attractions to Downtown, it is quite easy to get from there into North Side by walking. Four bridges - the I-279, 6th St., 7th St., and 9th St. Bridges - have pedestrian walkways. During Pirates and Steelers games, the 6th St. Bridge is closed to vehicular traffic, making it a pedestrian bridge.
Mexican War Streets
Allegheny Commons, south of North Avenue between Brighton Road and Cedar Avenue, +1 412 330-2569, . Daily 6AM-11PM. Pittsburgh's oldest park, the commons is a historic and very lovely park with lush green lawns, sculptures, and a small lake among its many shady trees. Free.
National Aviary, Allegheny Commons West, +1 412 323-7235, . 10AM-5PM every day of the year except Christmas. The only "national" aviary in the entire country, this small but splendid place has lots of exotic birds to enjoy - eagles, penguins, lorikeets, parrots, flamingos, etc. A couple of exhibits allow you to stroll through with birds flying around you, and the aviary offers a constant program of feeding times and bird shows to enjoy throughout the day, bringing you even closer to their lovely birds. $10 adults, $9 seniors (60+), $8.50 children (2-12), free for under 2.
Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky Street, +1 412 237-8300, . Tu-Su 10AM-5PM (Fridays open until 10PM), closed on Mondays and major holidays. This seven-floor museum is like no other art museum, to say the least. The collection covers Warhol's entire life, and as you walk through the galleries you'll hear the sounds of Velvet Underground, the Rolling Stones, opera singers, classic Hollywood movies and many other influences on Warhol's career as you view celebrity portraits, films, room installations, album covers, and many other works from one of America's greatest pop artists. $15 adults, $9 seniors, $8 students/children.
Carnegie Science Center, 1 Allegheny Avenue, +1 412 237-3400, . Su-F 10AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-7PM. A great place to learn about science, this huge (four floors) museum has exhibits aimed toward both children and adults dealing with many aspects of science and technology. Some of the highlight exhibits include a model railroad village, an aqarium, a robot exhibit, and numerous theaters and stages for science demonstrations, as well as a large-screen theater. Another attraction is a World War II submarine, the USS Requin, moored in the Ohio River just aside of the Science Center itself. $17.95 adults, $9.95 children (some exhibits extra).
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, 10 Childrens Way, +1 412 322-5058, . M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su Noon-5PM. A children's museum with a pretty wide variety of great, interactive exhibits, including a recreation of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, a hall full of optical illusions, a waterplay area, a stage, a workshop full of pulleys and gears, as well as plenty of art and outdoor exhibits. $11 adults, $10 children/teens/seniors, children under 2 free.
Mattress Factory, 500 Sampsonia Way, +1 412 231-3169, . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. The Mattress Factory is a museum of contemporary art that exhibits room-sized works called installations. $10 adults, $8 seniors, $7 students, children under 6 free.
Mexican War Streets, . These streets are so called because they were named for the battles and generals of that war by the original developer in 1848. Today they are notable for fine examples of the restoration of old urban homes.
North Shore Riverfront Park. Situated along the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers, this park offers a chance to get close to the rivers and enjoy excellent, unobstructed views of downtown. A trail runs the length of the park, which stretches from the Carnegie Science Center to beyond downtown, and there are numerous lawns and public artworks, as well as boat tie-ups and facilities for canoes and kayakers. The Water Steps, just west of PNC Park, is a large interactive fountain which children often play in during the summer.
The University of Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory
Riverview Park, on Riverview Avenue just off Perrysville Avenue, . A large wooded and hilly park with an extensive network of trails, a swimming pool, a playground, and great views of Pittsburgh.
Allegheny Observatory, 159 Riverview Avenue, +1 412 321-2400, . Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the University of Pittsburgh's Neoclassical observatory, completed in 1912, was home to several historically significant astronomers such as Samuel Langley and John Brashear. The observatory is still actively engaged in conducting astronomical research. Free tours of the observatory are offered from April through the end of October with an advanced reservation.
Washington's Landing (Herr's Island), just off Ohio Street under the 31st Street Bridge. A small island located in the Allegheny River just off the North Shore, Washington's Landing is a small, mixed-use community with lovely views of the river and Downtown. A trail runs along the island, and the island is also home to a large marina  as well a rowing club . You can get there by driving up Ohio Street to 31st Street and getting off just before the bridge, but another option is to walk or bike up the North Shore Riverfront Trail past Downtown, which allows you to experience a very scenic stretch of river, then enter the island via a pedestrian-only bridge at the southern end of the island.
PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates
Heinz Field, N Shore Dr (off Allegheny Ave or I-279), +1 412 323-1200, . Games afternoons and evenings; call for schedule. Heinz Field, the home of one of the winningest NFL franchises of all time and the heart of the fiercely loyal Steeler Nation, is where the Pittsburgh Steelers football team play their home games. The stadium is also the home of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers football team . The stadium is massive and a "Great Hall" on the east side of the stadium holds a collection of Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers memorabilia. Be aware that all Steelers home games sell out, so if you want to go, try to get your tickets early or on a resale website, or scalp.
PNC Park, 115 Federal St, +1 412 323-5000, . Games afternoon and evenings; call for schedule. The Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, known locally as the "Buccos" or "Bucs", play their home games here. The Pirates may not be the winning baseball team they once were, but they manage to keep a loyal fan base and their ballpark is widely considered one of the most beautiful in the major league, with a stunning view of downtown past the outfield. $9-210 (bleachers to club seats).
Rivers Casino, 777 Casino Dr., ☎ +1 412 231-7777, . A newly opened casino with a lot of slot machines and a few restaurants and bars overlooking the river.
Kayak Pittsburgh, on the Allegheny River next to PNC Park, +1 412 779-2929, . Open during summer months, M-F 11AM-Dusk, Sa Su: 10AM-Dusk. Kayak on the Pittsburgh rivers. Solo kayaks $15/hour, $8/additional half-hour; tandem kayaks $20/hour, $10/additional half-hour.
Manchester Craftmen's Guild (MCG Jazz), 1815 Metropolitan St, 15233 (Chateau Street, to Beaver Ave, right onto North Franklin St, right onto Metropolitan Street), ☎ +1 412 322-0800, . Great live jazz from some of today's living legends and an eclectic gallery featuring renowned contemporary artists and student showcases.Concert tickets: $39.50, gallery: Free.
Max's Allegheny Tavern, 537 Suismon Street, +1 412 231-1899, . M-Th 11AM-11PM, F-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su 9:30AM-10PM. A restaurant serving German food with a long history. $20-30 (dinner).
Firewaters, 120 Federal St, +1 412 323-4688. Just across the street from PNC Park, this bar generally caters to the sports crowd (there's some interesting sports memorabilia on the walls and a few TVs always switched to ESPN or the local game), but it has a very nice atmosphere and the bar food, which is mostly BBQ, is pretty good.
Penn Brewery, 800 Vinial St, ☎ +1 412 237-9400, . Penn Brewery is an authentic German beer hall and restaurant in a beautiful historic old brewery building. Great beer, great food, and some evenings great music. Also hosts an annual Oktoberfest.
Inn On the Mexican War Streets, 604 W North Ave, ☎ +1 412 231-6544, .
SpringHill Suites Pittsburgh North Shore, 223 Federal St, ☎ +1 412 323-9005, .
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