The illuminated Convention Center reflects in the water of a river that flows around downtown Pittsburgh, PA

#1. Pittsburgh

As far as locations go, there are few places as uniquely positioned as downtown Pittsburgh, Pa., which is wedged between the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. Colloquially called the Golden Triangle, Pittsburgh’s central business district overflows with entertainment options. The population of downtown Pittsburgh doubles during the day as workers fill tall office buildings that dominate the city’s skyline. Low vacancy rates, a high number of new homeowners, walkable neighborhoods and a high concentration of cultural amenities helped downtown Pittsburgh land on our list of the Top 10 Best Downtowns.

See how Pittsburgh ranked on our list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live 2014.

Workers and students of downtown colleges, including The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, converge at historic Market Square, one of the oldest and most iconic sections of Pittsburgh. The square offers an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and bars, while playing host to a series of free concerts and a farmers market. Downtown’s Cultural District, a 14-square-block area along Penn and Liberty Avenues, offers an assortment of arts-related experiences from theaters and galleries to the acclaimed Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Western PA Sports Museum, which features more than 70 hands-on exhibits and hundreds of artifacts celebrating the city’s sports teams. Five bridges link the downtown area to the city’s North Shore, where home fields for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates are located. 

More than 8,000 people live in downtown Pittsburgh, locating themselves near the center of this thriving metro area. Not only do residents have easy access to restaurants and retail centers, but they are within proximity to trails and parks. Located at the tip of the Golden Triangle is Point State Park, a 36-acre area that includes expansive lawns, riverfront trails and a large water fountain. Nearby Mellon Square is a 1.25-acre garden plaza constructed on top of a parking garage.

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