Fans' guide to All-Star Week
Pittsburgh ready to show off baseball and culture
PITTSBURGH -- So, you're heading to Pittsburgh for the slice of baseball heaven that is All-Star Week.
Be prepared to have the time of your life.
Pittsburghers are known for a friendly nature that is surpassed only by their community pride, and the locals plan to show off their city while showing you a good time.
As Dick Skrinjar, the director of communications for the city of Pittsburgh, jokingly warned, "People visiting here will find it to be one of the friendliest and accommodating places that they've ever visited. They may find it hard to leave."
The reason you're coming to Pittsburgh in the first place, of course, is for baseball. And for five days, Pittsburgh will be at the center of the baseball universe.
The FanFest extravaganza begins Friday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center located along the Allegheny River. On All-Star Sunday, across the river at PNC Park, fans can get an early look at the superstars of the future during the XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game and stargaze at the Legends and Celebrities Softball Game. One night later, the big boppers will be trying to deposit long flies into the river during the Century 21 Home Run Derby. Tuesday, the game's best and brightest will share the diamond at PNC Park for the 77th Midsummer Classic.
The Steel City also has plenty to offer for those who won't be spending every waking moment at the ballpark.
There is perhaps no better way to learn about the city than by signing up for one of the Just Ducky tours. While aboard a vintage World War II amphibious vehicle, you'll be given a brief history of Pittsburgh as you travel by land and water to several points of interest.
If you're looking to add a little cultural enlightenment to your baseball fun, you can visit the Andy Warhol Museum or the Carnegie Science Center, both of which are located within walking distance of PNC Park. Other points of interest include the Carnegie Museums of Art and Science, the National Aviary, the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, the Botanic Garden of Western Pennsylvania and the Pittsburgh Children's Museum.
If you're looking for a day of family fun in the sun, consider taking a 15-minute car ride to either the world-famous Kennywood Park amusement park or the Sandcastle water park.
For a relaxing trip to and from PNC Park each day, consider parking your car at Station Square and taking one of the Gateway Clipper boats over to the ballpark. There are pick-ups and drop-offs at the river walk behind the Clemente Wall in right field several times per game.
Sightseers will be amazed by the natural beauty of the city. For a breathtaking look at Pittsburgh, take a ride on the Duquesne Incline to the top of Mt. Washington. From there, one can take in a panoramic view of the downtown skyline, the three rivers, the fountain at Point State Park and the stadiums on the North Side of town.
While on Mt. Washington, visitors can stop by one of the many fine dining establishments that overlook the city. If upscale cuisine isn't your thing, stop by one of the several Primanti Brothers locations in town and enjoy one of their world-famous sandwiches, the ones that have the coleslaw and fries in the sandwich rather than on the side. There also are hundreds of family-owned restaurants and national chains to cater to your dining needs.
Pittsburgh has plenty to offer in the way of night-life entertainment. If live music is your thing, visit the Hard Rock Café at Station Square. To catch a live comedy act, head over to the Improv on the Waterfront. The South Side of the city is home to several bars and small pubs where you can order an Iron City or Rolling Rock and get a sample of the local beverages while shooting the breeze with fellow baseball aficionados. The Strip District is the place to go if you want to hit the club scene.
With so many things to see and do in Pittsburgh, you'll be wishing that All-Star Week could have lasted a little longer. But don't worry, the local folks won't mind it at all if you decide to pay them another visit later on down the road.
Ed Eagle is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.