Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in Pennsylvania, with a population of about 2,450,000 in the greater metropolitan area. The city was founded on a point of land where three rivers meet: the Allegheny, the Monongahela, and the Ohio (formed by the confluence of the other two rivers).
In the early 1700s, the French and the British recognized the strategic importance of the confluence of the three rivers. The area was key to the defense of trade routes linking Canada to New Orleans. The French were the first to establish a fort when they built Fort Duquesne. It was not long before the British attacked and took over the area. They renamed the fort after William Pitt, the then-Prime Minister. After the American Revolutionary War, the Americans took over the fort and the small settlement that had begun to grow up around it.
In 1811, the New Orleans, the first steamboat built in the United States was constructed in Pittsburgh. The popularity of steamboat travel made Pittsburgh the most important inland port in the nation. This attracted large numbers of immigrants to work in the manufacturing industries.
After the American Civil War, Andrew Carnegie established a steel empire, and Pittsburgh became the center for steel production in the United States. However, for over 150 years, the city was covered with a thick pall of smoke from the steel mills, and the rivers were full of industrial waste. In 1945, the city began to clean itself up, and today Pittsburgh is one of the cleanest and most pleasant cities in the country.
Pittsburgh suffered economically between 1975 and 1990 when over 800,000 people left the area. Most of the jobs in the steel industry moved to countries where labor costs were lower and production techniques were more efficient. Nowadays, though, the economy has rebounded with an influx of such industries as high-tech, health care, medical research, financial management, and banking.
Iron City Beer was first brewed in Pittsburgh in 1861 and the Pittsburgh Brewing Company was formed in 1899 through a merger of 21 local breweries. This company was one of just 725 US breweries to survive the prohibition period, and by 1977, it was one of only 40 breweries remaining in America. IC Light was introduced in 1977 and is known as the first light beer brewed from scratch as a light beer. The Pittsburgh Brewing Company has made several innovations in the industry including the first snap top can, the first resealable twist off cap, first beer to use sports scenes on the label, and the nations first light beer. Their latest ploy is the aluminum bottle, long a staple overseas in places like Okinawa, Japan, but new on the scene in America.
After years of tough sales due to increasing competition from major brewers and craft beers, the Pittsburgh Brewing Company declared bankruptcy in 2007. In 2009 the company shuttered the historic brewery in Pittsburgh and moved to the old Rolling Rock Brewery in Latrobe, PA. This is a good fit for the Pittsburgh beer, as Latrobe is also home to Steelers Training camp.
But how does it taste? Well, I may be a bit biased...my first beer EVER was an Iron City, way out in Colorado Springs with some friends from Pittsburgh. Later, I lived on IC Light anytime I was home, partly because the local bar had it on tap for 85 cents a glass. In my personal opinion Iron City isn't all that great of a beer, but IC Light is damn good.
Others may disagree...here's a good quote from Otto on Pubcrawler.com: "Tired of the usual crap and looking for something a little less crappy? Here you go. What the hell, you'll be supporting the little guy. Plus a trip to the brewery is really worth it . A big leftover of some past industrial age. Very cool."
Sheetz is one of the best options for fastfood in Pennsylvania.
It's generally gas stations with a little store attached that also serves fastfood.
Unlike most fastfood it's actually quite tasty.
Especially their breakfasts.
Pennsylvania has many good micro breweries and don't let awful stuff like budweiser, millers or rolling rock ruin your holiday when you can have great beer experiences there.
My two favorite beers were a beer called "old leghumper" and a brewery called "wild goose".
Fondest memory: Drinking it of course.
All national and state parks in Pennsylvania are guarded by park rangers.
I always found them a very friendly and helpful bunch with lot's of good info on where to camp etc.
A friendly thumbs up from me to the park rangers and thanks for doing a good job guys.
Francis Julius LeMoyne practiced medicine by day and led the region's abolitionist movement by night. LeMoyne opened his home and properties as stops along the Underground Railroad, the series of safe hiding places for slaves fleeing north to Canada. As a physician, LeMoyne also linked many infectious diseases to burial practices common to his day.
The LeMOYNE HOUSE in downtown Washington was designated Pennsylvania's first National Historic Landmark of the Underground Railroad, in 1997. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the stately stone house with exhibits like the parlor with original furniture, the apothecary, dining room, master bedroom, the Civil War Room and a military heritage museum.
Tours Tuesdays to Fridays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Located at 49 East Maiden Street. Wahington PA
The city of WASHINTON PA is located in Washington County at the crossroads of Interstate 70 and 79 and Route 19. Rich in history and culture. the area of present day Washington was settled by immigrants from Scotland and the north of Ireland along with settlers from eastern and central parts of Colonial Virginia. It was first settled by colonists around 1768.
Washington county was formed March 28, 1781 amd named for General George Washinton. It became a city in 1924.
Fondest memory: Hans and I were pleasantly surprised with this lovely place. So many quaint little shops and wonderful historic buildings.
Located on 273 South Main Street, the B & O FREIGHT TRAIN STATION is now home to Washington County Tourism and contains offices of different businesses. It is also the site of the Veteran's Walkway. I also noticed that there was a small museum inside.
It's wonderful that they renovated such a building and make use out of it.
Fondest memory: Washington 'county Tourism Promotion AGency
273 South Main Street
Washington PA 15301
Okay for all you chocoaholics out there a visit to Hershey's Chocolate factory in Hershey Pennsylvania is mandatory...You get to see the works, how it is made from the cocoa seed all the way to the delicious items at the end of the conveyor.
Fondest memory: Trying all the chocolate I could eat at the end ^O^
You can find them in the town of Hershey, just outside Harrisburg, on highway 322, its only about 10-15 miles.
Fondest memory: If you happen to be travelling I-81 from Maryland on your way to upstate New York, be prepared for a BORING drive!! I have traveled this road many times, and every time I think of it, its zzzzzzzzzzz..........
Pennsylvania is coal country. There are lots of coal mines (which are not exactly a tourist destination). I took this photo from a plane taking off from Pittsburgh on my way home for vacation one year - probably in 1958. In those days, there were not the requirements to re-landscape the mines after they were finished mining.
Fondest memory: My dad did cancer research and one of his ideas was that cosmic radiation might contribute to cancer risk. In order to test this theory, he put mice up on Mt. Evans (closer to the sun) and down in coal mines in Pennsylvania (where the radiation was blocked - we didn't know about radon in those days.) This wasn't strip mining of course, so it didn't look like the picture.
The miners took care of the mice for my dad, but periodically we would visit the mines, and my mom and dad would go down to do observations. (They wouldn't let my sister and me go down - I was in 4th grade and my sister was in 2nd grade.)
While they were down in the mines, we would sit in the car or the fields nearby and make daisy chains and play.
Favorite thing: Driving in the state of Pennsylvania you will see some beautiful farms. Most of the farms is Pennsylvania are dairy, PA is the forth largest dairy exporter in the USA. Alot of farms give tours for local schools, which when I was a child that the interesting. Beautiful landscapes to be seen accross the state so bring your camera.
Favorite thing: Boothwyn Farmers Market can be a fun trip to go find just about anything your looking for, some new some not, but always at a good price. There are hundreds of farmers markets throughtout Pennsylvania, so if your driving through a little town a see one, check it out. You can be sure that there is good ice cream and food here if you get hungry too.
Favorite thing: When travelling though Pennsylvania, keep your eyes open for signs that might lead you to interesting destinations. Many of the sights I have been lucky enough to see in this great state were purely by accident. We just happened to see a sign and stop in on our way to someplace else! Sometimes Lou and I just hop in the car and head west with no destination at all because we are so certain we will come across something interesting! Be it an unusual shop, a museum , a go kart course, or a state park you just never know where something you won't want to miss will pop up!
South east Pennsylvania has a lot of farmland. Many of these farms are run by Amish. They don´t believe in modernisation. Everything is done with horses, no machines.
The farms are usually white, or at least a plain color.
Driving through the slightly hilly landscape, the farms make great views (pics)
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