While officially located in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Oakland, Carnegie Mellon is in fact bordered by three very different local neighborhoods and is a short bus or cab ride away from dozens more. Oakland is sort of known as the "college neighborhood," at the center of which are Forbes and Fifth avenues. Oakland stays awake until the wee hours of the morning to cater to the thousands of college students that spill onto the streets at around 2 a.m., after the parties are broken up, and the bars are closed. Shadyside is the more residential of the three neighborhoods bordering Carnegie Mellon's campus. Take a 15- or 20-minute walk down Fifth Avenue, and you arrive at Walnut Street, which is a popular section of Shadyside among CMU students. During the day, students frequent the mix of middle- and upper-class shops, like J.Crew, Banana Republic, Gap, American Apparel, Coach, and more. At night, Walnut Street turns into an entertaining, yet relatively laid-back environment—the bars open, and some restaurants transform into bars peppered with CMU students (and the residents of Shadyside, who range from mid-20s to those creepy old men that love to buy students drinks).
If you are looking to get most of your daily shopping and chores done, it's best to make the quick trip on a 61 bus up to Squirrel Hill. Located just up Forbes Avenue, this is the place to find record shops, ice cream and frozen yogurt shops, the grocery store, and more! While Pittsburgh has dozens of other interesting neighborhoods, some CMU students manage to live four years without leaving these main three.