Vibe: The city's 88 distinct neighborhoods create a European atmosphere
Sunny days per year: 194
Median home price: $106,500
With affordable arts (Pittsburgh is home to one of the nation's great symphony orchestras), terrific food (the aroma of ethnic eateries permeates the Strip District) and not one but three beautiful, bridge-spanned rivers to boat on, the Steel City has a lock on great reasons to live there.
The best place to soak in Pittsburgh's easygoing spirit is bucolic Frick Park. In the summer, take a free lawn bowling lesson at the bowling green. In winter, sled down the popular hill near Beechwood Boulevard. Pittsburgh's resurgent Pirates play in PNC Park (bleacher seats from $13). With its majestic waterfront skyline view, it's ranked the No. 1 baseball field in the country by ESPN. Good luck snagging tickets to a Steelers football game; locals would sooner part with their spleen than give up a nosebleed seat at Heinz Field. Less obvious than the city's sports maniacs — but just as enthusiastic — are Pittsburgh's art, theater and music crowds.
Better yet is the breathtaking view of the skyline from atop Mount Washington, across the Monongahela River — or best of all, the dramatic sight of downtown as you emerge from the Fort Pitt Tunnel. The New York Times once pronounced Pittsburgh "the only city with an entrance."
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