Pittsburgh, tucked away in the Allegheny Mountains of southwestern Pennsylvania, is a lively city full of more opportunity than many people realize. The mid-sized metropolis ranks highly every year in categories ranging everywhere from arts and music to employment opportunities. Attractive urban aesthetics and the stunning natural beauty of surrounding landscapes come together in an environment recently ranked as "America's Most Livable City" by the 2007 Places Rated Almanac.
Many factors contribute to this honorable distinction. With the city's low housing prices and vast career opportunities, it's no wonder Pittsburgh has also been ranked the 9th best "Smart City" in the US by Kiplinger's Personal Finance in 2006. The cost of living and median home price are far below the national averages, while excellent health care and public education are right at citizens' fingertips.
Ranked as the "3rd Best Arts Destination in the US" in 2008 for mid-sized cities, Pittsburgh's cultural offerings surpass expectations for a city once billed as an industrial powerhouse. World-class museums can be found at every corner of the city. The Carnegie Art and Natural History Museums, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Mattress Factory Modern Art Museum and the Heinz Regional History Center are all located minutes from the downtown area. The city's Cultural District is also home to concert halls, restaurants, parks, symphonies, ballets, operas and more major theaters in a concentrated area than any other city except New York.
Recreational experiences are plentiful in Pittsburgh as well. Recently ranked as the "2nd Most Beautiful Place in America," the area's natural features provide all sorts of outdoor activities for its citizens. In 2006, National Geographic Adventure Magazine named Pittsburgh the "#1 Amazing Adventure Town to Live & Play In." This is due in part to the numerous rivers, mountains, parks and forests found inside and outside the city.
The Pittsburgh area also boasts of the "2nd Best Amusement Park in the US" and the "2nd Best Children's Amusement Park in the World," as well as the National Aviary, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium and three successful professional sports franchises.