If you have some free time while you're in Pittsburgh for the Frozen Four...

National Geographic Traveler magazine named Pittsburgh one of the 20 top places in the world to visit in 2012. The city has experienced what the magazine calls an "extreme metropolitan makeover," where it has moved beyond its industrial past to "change jobs and reclaim its major assets: a natural setting that rivals Lisbon and San Francisco, a wealth of fine art and architecture, and a quirky sense of humor." Here's what to see:

Cultural District: (Downtown) The Golden Triangle offers a vibrant theater, music, arts and dance scene. For a list of performances and exhibits, go to http://www.trustarts.org/events. Also, Downtown is the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, named for Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright and Pittsburgh native August Wilson. 980 Liberty Ave.; 412-258-2700; www.augustwilsoncenter.org. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., as well as evening performances.

Andy Warhol Museum: (North Side) Offers the largest collection of this Pittsburgh native's work: 900 paintings, 100 sculptures, 2,000 works on paper and 4,000 photographs, as well as film and video collections. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every day except Friday, when it's open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Closed Mondays. 117 Sandusky St.; 412-237-8300; www.warhol.org.

Carnegie Science Center: (North Shore) The complex perched on the edge of the Ohio River includes four floors of interactive displays, as well as an Omnimax theater, Highmark SportsWorks center and USS Requin submarine. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday-Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday. One Allegheny Ave.; 412-237-3400; www.carnegiesciencecenter.org.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History: (Oakland) From the Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibit to minerals and gems to ancient Egypt to North American wildlife, the museum offers research and discovery in the natural sciences. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed most Mondays. 4400 Forbes Ave.; 412-622-3131; www.carnegiemnh.org.

Carnegie Museum of Art: (Oakland) This museum is internationally recognized for its distinguished collection of American and European works from the 16th century to the present. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed most Mondays. 4400 Forbes Ave.; 412-622-3131; www.carnegiemnh.org.

Senator John Heinz History Center: (Strip District) An affiliate of the Smithsonian Museum, the Heinz History Center traces 250 years of Pittsburgh history from the pre-revolutionary drama of the French & Indian War to the legendary matchups of the Steelers. Currently on display is the popular "1968: The Year that Rocked America." Includes Sports Museum. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 1212 Smallman St.; 412-454-6000; www.heinzhistorycenter.org.

Fort Pitt Museum: (Point State Park, Downtown) This 12,000-square-foot museum tells the story of Western Pennsylvania's pivotal role during the French & Indian War, the American Revolution and the city's beginnings. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 601 Commonwealth Place; 412-281-9284; www.heinzhistorycenter.org.

Mount Washington: Take the inclines to Mount Washington, the bluff across the Monongahela River, for a spectacular view of Downtown and North Shore stadiums. The Monongahela Incline, built in 1870, is the oldest continuously operating funicular railway in the United States. Located at Station Square on Carson Street, near the Smithfield Bridge. Hours: 5:30 a.m.-12:45 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 8:45 a.m.-midnight Sundays and holidays. The Duquense Incline (412-381-1665; www.duquesneincline.org) is accessed at 1197 W. Carson St.. Hours: 5:30 a.m.-12:45 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 7 a.m.-12:45 a.m. Sundays and holidays. Fares for both inclines are $2.50 each way for adults; $1.25 each way for children ages 6-11 and at most hours for persons with disabilities.

The Strip District: From sports regalia to wholesale produce, seafood, Italian markets and flowers, you will find everything in Pittsburgh's famous Strip District. It runs along the Allegheny River between 11th to 33rd streets. For walking map and list of businesses, go to www.neighborsinthestrip.com.

Station Square: Restaurant, shop and entertainment complex on the Monongahela River. Includes The Pittsburgh Terminal Train Station, built in 1900, that houses The Grand Concourse and Gandy Dancer restaurants; The Freight House Shops; and Bessemer Court, with the Hard Rock Cafe and fountain that features Waltzing Waters Liquid Fireworks Show; 125 W. Station Square Drive; 1-800-859-8959; www.stationsquare.com. Also home to the Gateway Clipper fleet of five riverboats that tour the three rivers year-round; 412-355-7980; www.gatewayclipper.com.

Fallingwater: (Outside of Pittsburgh in Mill Run, Fayette County) One of the most famous homes in the world, architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed this weekend retreat over a waterfall for his clients, the Kaufmann family. It was built between 1936 and 1939 and instantly became famous. Today it is a National Historic Landmark. Guided tours. Open daily, except Wednesday, March-November. Regular tours 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. For tickets, go online or call Visitor Services at 724-329-8501. Fallingwater is about 11/2 hours southeast of Pittsburgh, 1491 Mill Run Road, Mill Run, Pa. 15464; www.fallingwater.org.


First Published April 10, 2013 4:00 AM


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