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by Lawrence Ferber

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Fairmont Pittsburgh, 510 Market St. Tel: 412-773-8800. Opened in 2010, this is a modern, eco-friendly, and perfectly situated choice. Rooms $212 and up.

Hyatt Place Pittsburgh North Shore, 260 North Shore Dr. Tel: 412-321-3000. Opened in December 2010, located just across the Allegheny River from downtown and a few minutes' walk from both PNC Park and Heinz Field, this one's perfectly situated for sports fans. Free Wi-Fi throughout the property and loads of modern amentities.

Omni William Penn, 530 William Penn Place. Tel: 412-281-7100. Blending old-school ambiance and modern, business-friendly convenience it was the official host hotel of 2011's Gay Pride. Rooms from $215.

Parador Inn, 939 Western Avenue. Tel: 412-231-4800. A gay-owned, eight-room former mansion turned business traveler-friendly B&B located on the up-and-coming North Side. Rooms from $150.

Renaissance Pittsburgh, 107 6th St. Tel: 412-562-1200. This hotel has renovated rooms and business event space plus great service, upper-floor views of the city and river, and excellent in-house restaurant and whiskey bar. Rooms from $199.

Elements, Four Gateway Center, 444 Liberty Ave. Tel: 412-251-0168. A power lunch best bet thanks to a $19 three-courses-at-once option. Great food, too, including a dedicated artisanal charcuterie menu.

Eleven, 1150 Smallman St. Tel: 412-201-5656. Upscale dining in the Strip District and big portions to boot.

Habitat, Fairmont Pittsburgh, 510 Market St. Tel: 412-773-8848. Chef Andrew Morrison creates gorgeous international and American dishes with locally sourced, sustainable ingredients at this contemporary restaurant in the Fairmont hotel.

Pamela's Diner, 60 21st St. Tel: 412-281-6366. This is Pittsburgh's (and the Obamas') favorite breakfast stop thanks to its unique crepe-style pancakes. Also, it's lesbian owned.

Primanti Brothers, 46 18th St. Tel: 412-263-2142. Home of Pittsburgh's iconic sandwich that is loaded with French fries and vinegar-based coleslaw, it's still in the original, 24/7 Strip District location, but downtown's Market Square is a much quieter affair, especially on weekends.

Soba, 5847 Ellsworth Ave. Shadyside. Tel: 412-362-5656. Pan-Asian deliciousness, including seasonal cocktails like the ginger-infused Sobatini, served in a fabulously renovated, three-floor Victorian mansion. Be sure to check out its Zen garden.

Spoon, 134 South Highland Ave. Tel: 412-362-6001. American and international comfort food gets a contemporary facelift in comfy modern surroundings.

The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St. Tel: 412-237-8300. A seven-floor museum dedicated to the Pittsburgh native's work and other pop art.

Burgh Bits & Bites Food Tour. Tel: 800-979-3370. Walk-and-taste tours through Pittsburgh's foodie-ist districts.

Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue. Tel: 412-622-3131. A major, wide-reaching collection, admission includes entry to the adjacent Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

The Duquesne Incline, 1197 W. Carson St. Tel: 412-381-1165. First opened in 1877, this historic funicular cable car offers a ride up Mt. Washington to one of the city's best views and a small history museum.

Fallingwater, Route 381, Mill Run, PA. Tel: 724-329-8501. A 90-minute road trip from Pittsburgh's city center, this is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most famed works and a must for architecture/FLW/Zen-philes. Tours are available with advance notice and ticket purchase.

Mattress Factory, 500 Sampsonia Way. Tel: 412-231-3169. Home to visiting artists' temporary installations and permanent exhibitions including Yayoi Kusama's delightful, funhouse-esque "Infinity Dots Mirrored Room."

Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Park. Tel: 412-622-6914. Beautiful greenery, exhibitions, and a butterfly garden occupy this 1893 Victorian greenhouse.

Pittsburgh Public Market, Produce Terminal Building 2100 Smallman Street, Entrance opposite 17th St. Tel: 412-281-4505. A weekend market featuring indie vendors selling locally made artisanal treats, from marshmallows to pierogi.

Toonseum, 1945 Liberty Avenue. Tel: 412-232-0199. This small but worthwhile—at least for comic book nerds—downtown gallery is dedicated to cartoon art. Stop by to pick up a free comic book about Pittsburgh's North Side, illustrated by local artists.

Venture Outdoors' Kayak Pittsburgh, located next to PNC Park under the 6th Street Bridge. Tel: 412-969-9090. Solo and tandem kayak rentals to take in the city from its trio of rivers.

Verve, 142 Sixth Street, 3rd Fl. Tel: 412-471-1575. Located across the street from the Renaissance hotel, this wellness center offers spa and salon services and yoga/Pilates sessions.

941 Saloon, 941 Liberty Ave. Tel: 412-281-5222. Everyone's welcome at this gay, downtown watering hole.

5801, 5801 Ellsworth Ave. Tel: 412-661-5600. A Shadyside video bar that brings in a fun and mixed crowd.

Blue Moon, 5115 Butler St. Tel: 412-781-1119. Refreshingly unpretentious, this Lawrenceville neighborhood bar brings in all ages and demographics, including off-key karaoke exhibitionists, hipsters, grizzled, eccentric barflies, and boidyke pool players.

Cattivo, 146 44th St. Tel: 412-687-2157. Pittsburgh's only lesbian bar/club, it's fun, rowdy, and hosts occasional special events and parties in its basement level.

Images, 965 Liberty Ave. Tel: 412-391-9990. Drinks, dancing, and plenty of fun events at this popular gay bar located smack dab downtown, just steps from the big hotels.

Spin, 5744 Ellsworth Ave. Tel: 412-362-7746. Pittsburgh's slickest, newest, and sole non-smoking gay bar, located just a block from 5801.

Anthrocon is Pittsburgh's famed Furry convention. And yes, plenty of them are queer.

Pittsburgh City Paper is a free alternative "what's on" weekly newspaper.

Pittsburgh Lesbian & Gay Film Society presents the Pittsburgh Lesbian & Gay Film Festival and special screenings throughout the year.

Pittsburgh's Out is the free monthly LGBT newspaper, its website features a great daily events calendar/listings.

Pride Pittsburgh organizes the annual LGBT pride festival.

16:62 Design Zone is an all you need to know about Pittsburgh's arts/interior/home furnishings district guide.

Neighbors in the Strip is a website for Pittsburgh's historic, bustling strip district and its businesses.

Visit Pittsburgh. Tel: 800-359-0758. Pittsburgh's official tourism office provides information and resource material to help plan you trip.



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