If you’re visiting Steel City, you’ll want to consider including these cool things on your itinerary.
1. Step Into The Future At The Robot Hall Of Fame
If you think you need a pulse to be famous in 2018, think again! Whether you’re a fan of technology or just science fiction, the Robot Hall of Fame in Pittsburgh is here to say: these are the droids you’re looking for.
The Carnegie Science Center’s roboworld section is the most extensive collection of robotics on exhibit in the world, and this is where you’ll find the Hall of Fame. It combines both fictional robots from some of the most beloved films and TV shows, along with real machines that served as seminal technological advancements in their day. Since 2003, the goal of the Hall has been to recognize and represent innovation within the robotics industry — as well as our fascination with machines-as-characters.
On the fictional side of things, some past honorees that you’ll find in the Hall of Fame include Disney’s WALL-E, C-3PO from Star Wars, and Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still. On the real side, you’ll see revolutionary machines like the Roomba and BigDog. There’s even an interactive component at the science center that allows you to operate some robotics on your own.
Not only is this an amusing way to spend a few hours in Pittsburgh, with robotics becoming even more prevalent in our day-to-day lives, it’s an exciting (or terrifying?) glimpse into the future that will leave you with lots to think about.
2. Have A Drink At Church
Drinking in church is usually a no-no, but at this church-turned-brewery, you’re encouraged to take your medicine by the pint!
The Church Brew Works has converted the historic St. John the Baptist Church into a massive beer hall. St. John was abandoned in 1993, but three years later, the brewery performed lengthy renovations to turn this place of worship into something that would be a little more beer-friendly. The building still retains its ornate decorations and stained-glass windows, and at first glance, you might again think you’re in a church. After a few beers, though, you’ll realize that you’re not!
They’ve won many awards for their brews, so besides taking in the unique unusual aesthetic of a church-pub, you’ll find something great to drink as well.
3. Check Out A Bicyclist’s Heaven
Bicycles have been around since the early 1800s, and so, of course, they have a considerable history. Pittsburgh’s Bicycle Heaven will give you the full walk-through (pun intended) of the bicycle’s backstory, from its inception to the present day.
With over 3,000 bikes on display, Bicycle Heaven has become the world’s largest bicycle museum. It even includes famous entries like Pee Wee Herman’s bicycle, plus two more floors worth of exciting relics and memorabilia.
If you’re a fan of bicycles or history, Bicycle Heaven is worth a visit. It’s also a functioning bike shop, so if you get a flat tire while you’re in town, stop on by!
4. Ride The Monongahela Incline
There’s something about funicular railways. These old-timey hill-climbing tramways always feel like romantic odes to the past, and Pittsburgh has a noteworthy one in the form of the Monongahela Incline.
Borrowing from their European culture, immigrants came up with the idea of building a funicular in Pittsburgh during the late 1800s. That makes the Monongahela Incline the oldest funicular in continuous operation, and it still provides visitors with access to the peak near Monongahela River. From there, you’ll see incredible views of the downtown skyline.
With so few of these funiculars still functioning in the United States, it makes sense to check out one of the oldest and most famous of the whole bunch!
5. Visit The Center For PostNatural History
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have gotten a pretty bad rap lately, but the science behind their engineering is pretty impressive. The Center for PostNatural History (CPNH) is an alternative museum that showcases life-forms that have been intentionally modified by genetic engineering performed by scientists.
Almost invisibly, this science has played an important role in modern society, being used to reduce malaria parasites in mosquitoes, create sea monkeys, and produce spider-silk protein that can be used as kevlar-type bulletproof protection. It’s pretty fascinating stuff, and the CPNH has been collecting and cataloging this information so that its rich history doesn’t vanish — and so that the public can better understand how genetic modification works.
A wide assortment of specimens have been showcased in the museum, and there are also interactive videos that visitors can engage with.
If you’re very much anti-GMO, rest-assured that the CPNH passes no judgment in favor or against GMOs, it merely records it all for historical purposes and the edification of visitors. Visit the center and see for yourself how vast and diverse GMOs can be and perhaps you’ll be able to better determine how you feel about it all!
Of course, we’ve just scratched the surface of things you can do in Pittsburgh. But we hope we’ve given you a few ideas about how to spend your time in the ‘Burgh.