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Pittsburgh on National Geographic's 'Best of the World 2012' list

If you can't swing a trip to the tea plantations of Sri Lanka, the tropical beaches of Koh Lipe, Thailand, or the hot springs of Iceland, consider Pittsburgh.

In its November issue, National Geographic Traveler names the Steel City among the 20 places to experience in its "Best of the World 2012."

Pittsburgh gets its due in an entry titled "Extreme Metropolitan Makeover."

According to National Geographic Traveler: "Its mourning for its industrial past long concluded, this Western Pennsylvania city changed jobs and reclaimed its major assets: a natural setting that rivals Lisbon and San Francisco, a wealth of fine art and architecture and a quirky sense of humor."

The author also notes that director Christopher Nolan was sufficiently impressed by "Pittsburgh's century-wide swath of architectural styles" to use Pittsburgh as a stand-in for Gotham in "The Dark Knight Rises," which shot here earlier this year.

Craig Davis, vice president of sales and marketing for VisitPittsburgh, says he couldn't have said it better himself. "To be placed in that kind of company, being the only U.S. city to make that list, was really a wonderful thing for us. It really does go to prove that Pittsburgh is just a great place to visit. It's obviously best when somebody else says it rather than us."

The Sonoma, Calif., region was the only other U.S. destination listed. Other destinations include Peru, Oman and Mongolia.

Details: travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-2012 .

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