And the views in Pittsburgh -- my God, the views. Let no one say this city isn’t stunningly, staggeringly gorgeous. Funny thing about putting a city on and around hilltops in a lush, forested area at the confluence of three rivers: it leads to some damn beautiful sights. The steel mill smoke may have obscured the area’s natural beauty for a long time (and let’s not kid ourselves; even with Pittsburgh’s vastly improved pollution control efforts, the air quality still has a way to go), but the scenery isn’t hidden any more.
Even as far back as 2007, Parade magazine rated the view from Mount Washington as the best in the entire country. It’s only gotten better since as the air has continued to clear, and it’s far from alone: Pittsburgh has a commitment to ever-present greenery few other cities can match, and the city’s parks are outstanding (Schenley Park and Frick Park are particularly beautiful). The views from Point Park, located right at the place where the three rivers meet, have to be seen to be believed. Even the city’s many bridges, which should be the sort of unseemly metal monstrosities you’d find elsewhere, have an odd sort of charm to them -- maybe because most of them are painted bright yellow.