Ask anyone who lives in or has visited Pittsburgh if they have ever been to Mt. Washington, and they will likely say, "Yes!" and show you the photos that they took of the Pittsburgh skyline. Who wouldn't want a glimpse of what USA Today calls one of "America's most stunning views."
But ask that same group if they've ever traveled beyond Grandview Avenue, and the conversation may end more quickly. That's a shame because, as I've recently discovered, the hilltop neighborhood features walkable business districts, charming housing developments and a surprising amount of green space.
Shiloh Street starts not far from the top of the Monongahela Incline. If you work up an appetite while looking down at the skyscrapers, turn around and prepare to treat your taste buds. The Shiloh Grill will likely be the first restaurant that you see. Beyond offering a quirky menu and delicious cocktails, the Shiloh is known for it's delicious brunch buffet offerings. Just be sure to save room for dessert because DiFiore's Ice Cream Delite is located directly across the street.
By this point, you may be feeling a bit full, but you won't have to leave the neighborhood to burn off those calories. Emerald View Park offers a number of hiking opportunities spread throughout Olympia Park, Mount Washington Park and Grandview Park.
Those feeling extra adventurous can even zigzag down the steep face of the city's most famous hill as part of Greenleaf – The George & Guy Hike, while in the process passing by Jim West's Point of View sculpture depicting George Washington and Seneca leader, Guyasuta.
Feel free to bring your four-legged friend with you on this journey. He or she is sure to enjoy Olympia Park's dog park, rated by Yelp as Pittsburgh's #3 dog park.
Nearby is another National Historic Landmark. Regarded as a great example of design and function, Chatham Village is a beautiful little neighborhood worth checking out. The quaint community was built in the 1930s and continues to offer its residents a feeling of tranquility not far from the noise and excitement of downtown Pittsburgh.
Oh, and it's conveniently located just a few minutes away from the coffee, tea and sandwiches offered at Cafe Cravings, as well as the Bigham Tavern. Bigham Tavern is a neighborhood spot known for its hot wings - which are consistently ranked the best in Pittsburgh.
Don't get me wrong. Grandview Avenue is one of my favorite streets in the city, and I've taken several friends and family members on trips up the incline to see the skyline during their first trips to the city. I've also enjoyed amazing meals at LeMont and Monterey Bay Fish Grotto (though Altius, a more recent addition to the list of eateries, has eluded me thus far).
But, until recently, I too was guilty of not venturing deeper into the Mount. And now I plan to make up for it, while enjoying a little exercise (and a few more good meals) along the way.