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Why rent a car in Pittsburgh?

Framed by picturesque bridges and lush green hills, Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania is one of America’s relatively undiscovered tourist gems. The Monongahela and Allegheny rivers flow through the centre providing miles of leafy walking trails and there is an interesting selection of museums including the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

With car hire Pittsburgh can be a joy to drive around. The McArdle Roadway towards Mt Washington, one of Pittsburgh’s prettiest neighbourhoods, is an attractive drive along the river and up the steep hill, which offers great views of the city and its skyline. Or take the opportunity to drive out to Indiana, Pennsylvania, which is an hour and 20 minutes from Pittsburgh, a drive of nearly 60 miles. There are miles of walking and biking trails along abandoned railroad routes on the Hoodlebug and Ghost Town trails. Nearby Smicksburg is also worth a drive. It is home to an Old Order Amish community of artists and potters and the shops feature handmade gifts and crafts.

How to get to and around Pittsburgh?

Arrive into Pittsburgh International Airport, which is 17 miles from the city centre, about 20 minutes by car. There is a bus that can take you into the centre of Pittsburgh for a relatively inexpensive fee. It leaves every 30 minutes from outside baggage claim.

Hiring a car in Pittsburgh city centre

To get a hire car in Pittsburgh there are a number of options. Hertz and Enterprise are based near the I-376, which leads out of the city towards the east and west. At the airport the rental counters are at the landside terminal and it is a short walk to pick up a rental car at the airport's garage.

What brands are available?

Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, and National are among the brands that can supply you with a rental car in Pittsburgh.

Must-sees within an easy drive of Pittsburgh

Now you have your wheels try the 67-mile journey east to Johnstown (it takes about an hour and 20 minutes to drive). Take a look at the Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg mainline canal at Greenway and some of the historic villages along its route. Altoona and Blairsville are both nice stopping points, and in Johnstown the pretty Conemaugh river has walking trails and paddleboats for hire.

Alternatively you could head northwest to Youngstown, a 67-mile drive of about an hour and 10 minutes from Pittsburgh, just over the border into Ohio. The Mahoning river runs through this pretty town and the Lanterman’s Mill is one of its prettiest places to visit. There are also a number of golf courses and wineries in the area.

Tips and tricks for driving in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has the usual big city traffic in its centre but there are a lot of car parks dotted around and downtown on Sundays street parking is free. There are some very steep hills in the city, which the locals will happily drive up, but it might be worth practising your hill starts.

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