Why you should be selling one of America’s most authentic cities

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For clients looking for an authentic US city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, should be top of their list. They won’t find theme parks, cheek-to-jowl skyscrapers and streets filled with fast food outlets here, instead they’ll be immersed in unique culture, historic attractions, iconic sports and fabulous dining.

For instance, did you know that the pop artist Andy Warhol hailed from Pittsburgh, where there’s a seven-storey museum dedicated entirely to his art? One of four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, The Andy Warhol Museum holds the largest collection of Warhol’s work, from his student sketches to his films and videos.

In case you don’t know, Warhol is hot right now, partly due to the Netflix mini-series, The Andy Warhol Diaries, which has fuelled interest in his birthplace and includes footage from the museum. “Andy Warhol’s fame is continuing to grow and grow, and Pittsburgh is the perfect place to take a journey through his life’s work,” said Jerad Bachar, VisitPITTSBURGH President & CEO.

The museum has interactive exhibits too, including one where you can create your own Screen Test, Warhol-style. “Visitors should definitely exit via the giftshop. It’s full of really fun memorabilia,” said Jerad.

Another major attraction is Fallingwater, one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s most iconic designs and now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located just outside the city in the mountains of southwest Pennsylvania, the house was built in the 1930s for one of the city’s wealthiest families and is one of the finest examples of the architecture of its time.

Pittsburgh also has no fewer than nine world-class theatres in the downtown area, hosting everything from Broadway shows to magic performances.

And what is more American than going to a baseball or football game, which are surely top of the list of things to do for any clients visiting the US? The Pittsburgh Steelers are popular in the UK, says Jerad. “Our UK visitors love the excitement of American football, and they love the Steelers.”

For those who want to watch a baseball game, PNC Park, home to the Pittsburgh Pirates, is easily accessible to visitors to the city. “Going to a baseball game is a very American thing to do and offers one of the most iconic views of the Pittsburgh downtown skyline,” added Jerad.

Here are five other reasons why you should be selling Pittsburgh:

#1 Since the relaunch of British Airways’ non-stop, four-times-a-week service from London Heathrow in June, it’s easily accessible. Fares typically cost about £505 return, but if BA is full, there are plenty of one-stop options via other east coast airports.

#2 For outdoor enthusiasts, there are lots of activities, including kayaking on the three rivers surrounding the city.

A real cool thing to do is cycle the Great Allegheny Passage, otherwise known as the GAP. The disused 150-mile railway track has been transformed into a groomed cycle way that stretches from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, and connects to the C&O Canal Towpath trail all the way to Washington, D.C., passing through some incredible scenery and a dozen welcoming towns.

Tourists can hire a bike to cycle all or part of the trail, there’s no need to travel the whole route, which typically takes five to seven days. Your clients can choose the length of their trip and there are outfits that will provide bikes and transport their luggage from B&B to B&B and drive them back to the start point when they’ve had enough!

#3 There’s pretty much always a festival going on in Pittsburgh. Check out visitpittsburgh.com for a full calendar of events. Look out for Picklesburgh, Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival and craft beverage festivals, which are particularly popular as the city has more than 50  breweries and almost 10 whisky distilleries.

# 4 Prices tend to be 30% to 40% cheaper than other, better-known US cities so clients get more bang for their buck in Pittsburgh. Right now, average rates are about $156 a night, which is pretty affordable. “People can afford to stay in higher-end accommodation than elsewhere,” said Jerad.

There are new hotels to check out, including Joinery Hotel Pittsburgh, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, which has just opened in Downtown Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle, and also The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh, connected to Rivers Casino.

#5 Also, clients shouldn’t miss the brand-new Moonshot Museum, a unique, interactive experience where they can watch the building of an actual lunar spacecraft , which is being designed to send a shipment to the Moon.

Find out more about Pittsburgh at visitpittsburgh.com and sign up to the new Pittsburgh Pros online training programme at Pittsburgh-pros.com and you could win a place on a fam trip in 2023.

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