Pittsburgh City Guide 2019-2020

Throughout the city limits, there are walkable, vibrant communities inviting you to spend the day.

Despite a passionate hatred for moving day, I find myself relocating fairly often.

As of last fall, I’m living in my seventh neighborhood. In order: Squirrel Hill, Friendship, Edgewood, Wilkinsburg, a brief and traffic-addled stay in Bethel Park, Mount Washington and, now, the South Side. This latest stop is, by far, my favorite.

Tucked into what you might call the back corner of the community, I can stumble out of bed and stroll to my favorite coffee shop, Big Dog Coffee, in a matter of minutes. At the end of the day, I’ll take a quick walk to the Birmingham Bridge Tavern. When I’m feeling spry, I’ll lace up running shoes and jog to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. I can walk to get groceries, see a movie, go out to dinner or see a show.

And — the South Side being one of the few blessedly flat sections of town — I can even grab a bike and easily extend my car-free radius into Downtown and the North Shore.

That’s why the South Side has become my favorite neighborhood; there’s so much I can do without driving somewhere else. My place in Mount Washington was more spacious; the house in Friendship was undoubtedly nicer. But nowhere I’ve lived has felt so thoroughly part of a community; here, my home seems to extend beyond the front door and into the neighborhood beyond.

Pittsburgh has more of these stretches than it has in decades. Throughout the city limits, there are walkable, vibrant communities inviting you to spend the day. In our “Hit the Street” feature, our editors and staff members provide walking tours of a dozen such neighborhoods, giving you step-by-step instructions on days that include both time-tested landmarks and underappreciated treasures.

As you set out on your own journey through these communities, however, don’t heed our advice too closely. The joy of living in Pittsburgh is the thrill of discovery — the feeling of finding a new favorite all on your own. We have some great recommendations; we trust you to find many more.

Categories: Visitors Guide Editor