What's most surprising? It's beautiful. Thanks to a 15-year urban renewal program, the city has been revived, morphing from a stronghold of industry into a place that better reflects the surrounding Allegheny Mountains.
This sort of integration into the natural setting is precisely what makes a top-notch adventure city, and, in achieving it, Pittsburgh has become a place where residents can be serious both about their careers and their outdoors. The same shift away from heavy industry that beautified the skyline has also reordered the economy: Over the past decade, hundreds of technology companies of all sizes have set up shop in the Steel City. Still, relocators can take advantage of home prices that remain well below the national average and renovation opportunities in the increasingly trendy downtown zones, such as the artist-filled Oakland neighborhood.
That's a little over the top, even for me. But remember National Geographic's motto: Celebrate What's Right with the World.