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Mount Washington, Pittsburgh's scenic overlook

While not really a mountain, Mt. Washington holds a prominent place in both Pittsburgh geography and history.

The neighborhood just south of the Monongahela River sits several hundred feet above the Downtown area, providing a view of the city once rated as one of the most beautiful views in the U.S. by USA Weekend. Several overlooks are built off of Grandview Avenue, which runs along the crest of the steep hill, and those concrete "shelves" over PJ McArdle Roadway are popular places for photos among tourists and locals alike.

Two funiculars – better known as inclines – run up the face of the hill: the Monongahela and the Duquesne. They are the two oldest continuously operating funiculars in the world.

Previously known as Coal Hill because of the coal seam that was mined there in the 18th and 19th centuries, Mt. Washington at one point had several more inclines that carried everything from horses and wagons to light freight.

The inclines today are still used by more than a million passengers a year.

Several upscale restaurants cluster along the west end of Grandview Avenue in a stretch called "Restaurant Row," offering diners spectacular views of the city while serving some of the best meals in Pittsburgh: LeMont Restaurant, Vue 412, Bella Vista Ristorante Italiano, Coal Hill Steakhouse and Altius.

Grandview Avenue is also home to St. Mary of the Mount, a dramatically lit Catholic church that can be seen at night from Downtown and other nearby areas. The church is a popular site for weddings because of the views right outside the front door.

Just off Grandview, near the Monongahela Incline, is the Shiloh Street corridor, which contains several restaurants and bars, as well as the post office, a bakery, an ice cream and coffee shop, a florist, banks and more.

Four tunnels – often referred to as “tubes” – run beneath Mt. Washington. The Liberty Tunnel connects the Liberty Bridge to West Liberty Avenue, and the Fort Pitt Tunnel connects the Fort Pitt Bridge to Interstate 376, or the Parkway West.

The Wabash Tunnel, formerly a rail line, offers a shortcut of sorts for local drivers and stretches between West Carson and Woodruff streets. The Mt. Washington Transit Tunnel is now used exclusively by the Port Authority of Allegheny County for its light rail trolleys and mass-transit buses.