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Pittsburgh is among the world's cool kids, National Geographic Traveller says

Shirley McMarlin
| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, 10:24 a.m.
The University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning is a must-see attraction, according to the Cool List 2019 from National Geographic Traveller (UK).
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The University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning is a must-see attraction, according to the Cool List 2019 from National Geographic Traveller (UK).
Pittsburgh ranks as the No. 3 international travel destination on the Cool List 2019 from National Geographic Traveller (UK).
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Pittsburgh ranks as the No. 3 international travel destination on the Cool List 2019 from National Geographic Traveller (UK).

What do Pittsburgh, Antarctica and Zimbabwe have in common?

They’re among 19 travel destinations worldwide on the Cool List 2019 just published by National Geographic Traveller (UK).

“Featuring everything from futuristic cityscapes and modernist architecture to pristine rainforest and rehabilitated wildlife, we bring you the 19 destinations set to hit the headlines in 2019,” the website says.

The Steel City ranks at No. 3, behind Setouchi, Japan, and the entire continent of Antarctica. It’s also the only place on the list in the United States and only one of two in all of North America — the other one being San Miguel De Allende, a city in Mexico’s Central Highlands with a long history of arts and culture.

Nat Geo apparently has caught on to what locals have known about da ‘Burgh for a long time.

Here’s what the list says:

“While Pittsburgh is a blue-collar town at heart, it’s much more elegant than many visitors might expect. And there’s plenty for culture vultures, too. In 2019, the Heinz History Center plays host to an exhibition on the Apollo 11 Moon landings, while the Carnegie Museum of Art hosts the Carnegie International, the world’s oldest contemporary art exhibition, featuring the works of 30 artists from around the globe. The name most associated with Pittsburgh’s art scene, though, is local boy Andy Warhol, and the Warhol Museum features more than 8,000 works by the pop artist, plus an insight into his whirlwind life.”

Glorious kitsch

It also calls the “giant gothic” Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh a must-see for its “gloriously kitsch nationality-themed rooms.”

Nat Geo also notes for its UK readers that, on April 2, “British Airways launches direct flights from Heathrow to Pittsburgh, making this underrated Pennsylvanian city much easier to visit.”

If there’s another British Invasion as a result, visitors also will be pleasantly surprised with Pittsburgh’s lively food, sports and entertainment scenes, along with its great views and friendly people.

Here is the entire “cool” list:

1. Setouchi, Japan

2. Antarctica

3. Pittsburgh

4. Corsica

5. Cambodia

6. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

7. West Yorkshire, England

8. Hong Kong

9. Zimbabwe

10. Guyana

11. Oslo, Norway

12. Eritrea

13. KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

14. Bhutan

15. Dundee, Scotland

16. Uganda

17. Matera, Italy

18 Indonesia

19 Sibiu, Romania

Details: natgeotraveller.co.uk .

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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