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Pittsburgh travel, Pittsburgh events, Pittsburgh November events

Fall Getaway: Pittsburgh, Art and Outdoors

November 12, 2008
by Sarah Amandolare
A late fall visit to Pittsburgh presents myriad opportunities for fun. Area slopes are beginning to buzz with skiers and snowboarders, and a downtown landmark was recently recognized for its greatness. If you’re already wincing at the thought of chilly November air, simply head to a Pittsburgh museum, or hang out at the annual film festival; both offer a cozy cultural respite from the encroaching winter.

Pittsburgh Itinerary Starter

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Despite being published in July 2008, The New York Times article “36 Hours in Pittsburgh” remains a good starting point for getaway planning. Writer Jeff Schlegel describes the city’s “striking renaissance from a down-and-out smokestack to a gleaming cultural oasis.” For example, the Strip District, once an industrial epicenter, is now stocked with bars, clubs and a Saturday morning farmer’s market called Farmers@Firehouse. Schlegel also advises a visit to the Mattress Factory, a museum of “room-size art installations,” and suggests taking in views of the city from atop Mount Washington.

Where to Ski and Stroll

On Nov. 9, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provided a concise rundown of area ski resorts, which have already been dusted with about 4 inches of snow. Learn lift ticket rates and get information about renting ski equipment, group skiing and snowboarding lessons, at each of the 18 area resorts.

This month’s issue of Travel and Leisure magazine listed the American Planning Association’s “10 Great American Public Spaces,” including Pittsburgh’s Mellon Square. The square, located downtown and surrounded by soaring architecture, was created in 1955 to prevent post-war businesses from leaving Pittsburgh. Travel and Leisure describes the square’s “modernist benches, sculpturally-trimmed boxwoods, and airy abstract sculptures.”

November Culture

Pittsburgh is full of intriguing cultural opportunities, including the Three Rivers Film Festival, held Nov. 7-22. The two-week event features more than 40 films, some of which were shot in the city. Also on the docket are “documentaries, independent American cinema, shorts, restored classics with live music, and cutting-edge international films.” Throughout the festival, enjoy parties and post-screening discussions led by filmmakers.

At the Heinz History Center, the November exhibit “Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation” is highly anticipated. The show sprawls 13,000 square feet, displaying dozens of “hands-on activities and audio-visual displays” that explain the story of Pittsburgh. Learn about George Washington’s Pittsburgh experience during the French & Indian War, and the city’s emergence as a center of innovation in the 21st century. 

Also at the Heinz History Center, on Nov. 15-16, enjoy Heritage Holidays, a celebration of the various ethnic groups that have shaped the Pittsburgh region, with a focus on the ethnic influences apparent in Pittsburgh’s modern day traditions. Enjoy food, entertainment and family activities all weekend for free, with History Center admission.


The Andy Warhol Museum has several ongoing exhibitions, a permanent collection, and various November performances on tap, including Reggis Watts’ “Disinformation,” which utilizes storytelling, video imagery and spontaneous musical compositions to shed light on what Watts sees as a “global shift towards unimaginable destruction.” 

Get a full list of Pittsburgh museums and cultural institutions, from the Pittsburgh City Paper online.

Pittsburgh in Pictures

For a preview, VisitPittsburgh.com posts many high-quality color photographs taken at Pittsburgh attractions.
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