Visiting Pittsburgh

Mar 6, 2017 by

If you’re thinking about attending PulpFest 2017, why not bring your spouse or even your whole family? The convention will take place from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. Once the center of America’s steel industry, Pittsburgh ranks among the top places to live, work, and visit in the United States. The city is consistently recognized by major tourism organizations.

Located where the Allegheny and Monongahela converge to form the Ohio River, Pittsburgh was once known as as the “Gateway to the West.” Fort Pitt, a key British fortification during the French and Indian War, also served as the western headquarters of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. By the dawn of the 19th century, roads, canals, and eventually railroads connected Pittsburgh with the major cities of the East Coast. Pittsburgh became a hub of entrepreneurs and skilled craftsmen who created a region seething with the fire and smoke of industry, earning a new nickname, the “Smoky City.” The years following the Civil War saw an unparalleled explosion of creative genius and productivity that attracted enormous capital investment and made Pittsburgh one of the world’s great industrial centers. Steel was king and immigrants in search of a better life eagerly responded to the insatiable demand for labor. Under a mighty cloud of industrial smoke, the “Steel City” prospered and matured, giving birth to philanthropy and cultural institutions that became models for the rest of the United States.

By the 1970s and 1980s, the crippling decline of the steel industry changed the region’s image as well as its economic base. Industries and businesses retooled and diversified. Innovative leaders adapted to this changing world, engineering another remarkable renaissance. By the mid-1980s and again throughout the 2000s, Pittsburgh gained the reputation as one the nation’s most livable cities. Today’s Pittsburgh is a model of adaption, maintaining its work ethic, independence, and inventive spirit while exhibiting an “old world charm” that is cherished by people who care about heritage and preservation. It is a rapidly advancing leader in medicine, education, health care, robotics, software engineering, hi-tech industries, and cultural tourism. With 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time. What’s most amazing about the city is the people that make up each of these neighborhoods. They are proud of the heritage reflected on their streets and willing to share their stories of strength, perseverance and triumph.

Pittsburgh’s topography has played a large part in how each neighborhood developed.  Start with the city’s dynamic Downtown and Point State Park. Next, cross one of the three rivers — the Allegheny, the “Mon,” or Ohio — to find unique areas shaped by more than the region’s distinctive and beautiful topography. Natural geographic boundaries such as sloping, wooded hillsides and rivers do their part to define, but Pittsburgh neighborhoods are also known for the clusters of attractions they offer.

Visitors can plan their itineraries by the points of the compass, first focusing on attractions Downtown and in the Strip District (one of the city’s most popular spots for great food and nightlife). Across the Mon is the South Side, Mount Washington — home to the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines — Station Square and East Carson Street. On the banks of the Allegheny is North Shore — home to the Pirates and the Steelers, the Rivers Casino, Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Pittsburgh’s East End and Oakland are home to a number of outstanding attractions that owe their existence to the philanthropists who made their fortunes in the city’s early industry. Here you’ll find the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural HistoryPhipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the 42-story Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus, and more. While in this corner of the city, don’t miss Shadyside and Squirrel Hill, two walkable neighborhoods with an upscale flavor, and plenty of shopping and dining options. More family fun is waiting on Pittsburgh’s East End in Highland Park, home of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, featuring an indoor penguin exhibit and a rainforest exhibit. In nearby West Mifflin, visit Kennywood Park, the century-old “roller coaster capital of the world.” And, just outside of Pittsburgh are stunning examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s amazing architecture, including Fallingwater, called one of the “fifty places of a lifetime.”

Pittsburgh is very walkable with hip galleries, shops, dining, nightlife, sports, museums, and more throughout the city and the surrounding region. So while you’re enjoying yourself at PulpFest — the summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials — your family can be taking in the many sites and sounds of this very vibrant city. You can book your room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the “Book a Room for 2017” link on our home page or call 1-800-222-8733. When calling, please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to join in our exploration of “Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and a Few Psychos” at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2017. And please consider staying a bit longer in the “Gateway to the West,” the “Smoky City,” and the “Steel City” known as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Below are some resources for conventioneers and their family members to learn more about the many things that PulpFest’s host city has to offer (including a couple of sites about the city’s independent booksellers):

The Atlas Obscura Guide to Hidden Pittsburgh — 27 unusual things to do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Best Indie Bookstores in Pittsburgh — three stores for lovers of the “old-book smell,” hardcover collectors, and bookaholics on a tight budget.

11 Independent Bookstores in Pittsburgh Worth Browsing — Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods are alive with thriving, local booksellers.

Pittsburgh Eventful — provides the most popular Pittsburgh events, concerts, movies, comedy, nightlife, and family events.

Pittsburgh Pirates — although the Bucs will be out of town during PulpFest proper, they’ll be back in town at PNC Park on August 1, facing the Cincinnati Reds.

PlanetWare’s Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Pittsburgh — ideas on where to go, what to see, and tips for making the most of your trip.

Popular Pittsburgh — information about one of the most livable cities in the USA and links to help you enjoy the experience.

TripAdvisor Things to Do in Pittsburgh, PA — helping you make the most of every trip.

U. S. News’ Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh is full of fun things to do, especially for families. — the official site of the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The visitors bureau also offers these more specified pages to help you plan your visit:

Discovering a City of Neighborhoods — with 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time.

Pittsburgh: City of Champions — a look at the city’s professional sports teams as well as opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Pittsburgh: A Cultural Phenomenon — called one of the best arts and culture destinations in the country, Pittsburgh has built a stellar reputation for the quality and richness of its art and its cultural offerings.

Pittsburgh is Kidsburgh — Pittsburgh is fun, affordable and packed with family entertainment.

Restaurants and Culinary — choose from casual family spots, upscale and romantic eateries, late-night bites or convenient take-out.

Shopping in Pittsburgh — travel in any direction in Pittsburgh and find great shopping to suit every budget and taste.

Things to Do — find out why Pittsburgh has been named one of the best places in the world to visit.

Visitors Guide — get your one-stop guide for everything to see and do in Pittsburgh.

VisitPA — for those who’d like to check out other Pennsylvania destinations, including the birthplace of liberty, the City of Philadelphia.

What’s Next for Pittsburgh — the must-read Pittsburgh publication about the innovative and cool things happening here.

(Pictured above: a nighttime view of Point State Park and Downtown Pittsburgh from Mount Washington; pouring steel; the Duquesne Incline; Dinosaur Hall, Carnegie Museum of Natural History; and Downtown Pittsburgh from PNC Park on the city’s North Shore.

If you have any questions about Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania, Mike Chomko is the man to contact. You can reach him at For questions about the Pennsylvania Dutch, please write to Barry Traylor at

Visiting Columbus

Nov 23, 2015 by

Columbus German VillageIf you’re thinking about attending PulpFest 2016, why not bring your spouse or even your whole family? Columbus, Ohio, is a very walkable city with hip galleries, shops, dining, nightlife, sports and hotels just steps from the Hyatt Regency in the Short North Arts District and the Arena District. Other downtown districts — German Village, the Brewery District, and the Theatre District — are within 10 blocks of the hotel, quite reachable on foot or via a short cab ride. You can also utilize Columbus’ free circulator bus, the CBUS, for a quick and easy way to hop from the Short North to German Village. Or take advantage of nice weather and rent a bike for the day through the CoGo bike share program.

The city of Columbus is home to wide range of world-class museums. The Columbus Museum of Art enjoys an international reputation for its distinguished collections of European and American Modernism, while the Wexner Center for the Arts is Columbus’ premier contemporary arts institution. The Center of Science and Industry — COSI — features exhibits and demonstrations relating to the worlds of science and industry. Aimed at both the young and old, with exhibits that tie contemporary times to the historical past, COSI is sure to have something for everyone.

Columbus ConservatoryThe Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is dedicated to the history of motorcycles and motorized bikes, while the Franklin Park Conservatory features 90 acres of outdoor green space, 400 plant species, 100 butterfly species, 800 feet of model railroad track, 7,000 panes of glass, and 100 years of tradition. Visitors can explore a tropical rainforest, a cool Himalayan mountain, or an inviting Pacific island water garden. Take a free historic and architecturally stunning tour of the Ohio Statehouse downtown or visit the Thurber House, located next to the newly renovated Columbus Metropolitan Library, is a living house museum celebrating James Thurber, author of THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY and other works.

Just north of the city are the top-ranked Columbus Zoo and Aquarium — which hosts a wide variety of land and marine animals including Florida manatees, wildebeests, Masai giraffes, and Burmese pythons — and the Olentangy Indian Caverns where you can beat the heat during the summer months.

If baseball is your thing then the Cleveland Indians AAA affiliate, the Columbus Clippers, play at Huntington Park in the energetic Arena District of downtown Columbus, home to our host hotel, the beautiful Hyatt Regency. For those who like to roll the dice or play the horses, the Hollywood Casino Columbus lies to the city’s west while Scioto Downs is to the south.

If you enjoy fresh food, the North Market, just a few minutes walk from the Hyatt, is the city’s only public market. It’s home to nearly three dozen unique, independent merchants and farmers that sell a wide variety of fresh, local, authentic food. For the shopper interested in some of the nation’s premier retailers, the Easton Town Center is an outdoor shopping area with more than 200 stores, restaurants, a 30-screen AMC and IMAX theatre, a comedy club, and much more. Polaris Fashion Place, located on the north side of the city, offers retail anchors like Saks Fifth Avenue. And don’t forget that Columbus is ranked #3 on the “Fashionable Destinations” list. You can find out why by visiting the shopping page of the Experience Columbus website.

Columbus ClippersFor those who enjoy music and food, the Jazz and Rib Fest will take place along the Arena District’s riverfront in McFerson Commons and North Bank Park from Friday, July 22nd, through Sunday, July 24th. Three stages will host the finest local, regional and international jazz artists, while barbeque pit masters will serve up sizzling ribs, chicken and more. Savor the best ribs from around the country as 23 award-winning barbeque teams compete for the festival’s “Best Ribs” bragging rights. It’s about a 15-minute stroll from the Hyatt Regency Columbus, and admission is free!

These are just a few of the many events and amenities offered by the city of Columbus, Ohio. Below are some resources for conventioneers and their family members to learn more about the many things that PulpFest’s host city has to offer:

Columbus, Ohio, Official Site — welcome to Columbus.

Experience Columbus — visitor’s guide to the city, presented by the convention and visitor’s bureau.

Discover Ohio — quick guide to Columbus attractions. — your guide to cultural events and organizations in central Ohio.

The Columbus Dispatch — catch up on the local news.

Columbus Alive — a guide to city life, restaurants, the arts and entertainment.

Click here to request a Columbus Visitors Guide by mail.

Hot Ribs Cool Jazz

And for those who would like to experience more of the state of Ohio, below are some resources to help you in your journey:

Discover Ohio — what to do and where to go in the state of Ohio.

Arts in Ohio — a guide to arts and cultural events in Ohio.

Ohio Magazine — beauty, adventure, and fun in the state of Ohio.

Join PulpFest 2016 to be part of a great celebration of American popular culture in a great American city. Start making your plans right now to join the 45th convening of “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con” in 2016. It will take place July 21–24 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus and the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

(If you have any questions about Columbus, Ohio’s own Jack Cullers is the man to contact. You can reach him at Pictured above are views of German Village, the Franklin Park Conservatory, Huntington Park, and the Jazz and Rib Fest.)