Last October my dear sister Vanessa turned 25 and it was decided that this was worthy of a little celebration, so I drove west and my female family members drove east, with the exception of my sister-in-law, as she was weeks from her due date. With all this driving, we met up in Pittsburgh. My favorite way to arrive in Pittsburgh is from the west because the view changes from this:
Very rapidly. The first time I went through that tunnel and came out into the city, my mind was blown! This time I was more prepared for it but still couldn’t help but smile. (If you are wondering why I drove in from the West when driving East, it’s because of how our itinerary came together one day. Try not to stress about it.)
Where we stayed:
We stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn in Cranberry Township, about 30 minutes north of the city. We decided to go this route because it was cheaper and we were only going to be there 2 nights. I don’t have a picture for you of the hotel, but I’m guessing you can already imagine it.
What we did:
We started our day in the Strip District, a neighborhood lined with tourist shops and little restaurants. We found cheap parking for the day so we left our car there and circled back to it in the evening. We had breakfast at Pamela’s P&G Diner, which I would recommend. The only downside to it for us was that we somehow sat beside a group of girls that sang through brunch. Weird.
After brunch we rented bikes and rode along the river front to the Point State Park Fountain and back into the buildings to return our bikes and walk through downtown.
Returning our rental bikes, we headed to Market Square. We got macaroons and gelato at Market Street Grocery and enjoyed them in the square, which turned out to be a great place to people watch and play yard games.
Next stop was dinner at a random pizza shop near our parked car before heading to Grandview Overlook. We initially attempted to ride the Duquesne Incline up the mountainside for the views but when we realized that the line would take longer than the 2 hour parking meter we paid, we ditched the incline ride and drove ourselves up the mountain.
The next day we went out for brunch near our hotel, tackled an escape room, and headed home. If you’ve never done an escape room with your family, I recommend it. An amusing way to spend a morning I’d say!
Why you should go to Pittsburgh:
- It’s an interesting combination of Midwest meets urban (meaning: it’s a city but people wear t-shirts to go out instead of dressing up).
- It’s a chill city with plenty to offer by way of museums, entertainment, hanging out, and views.
- It’s a city of bridges, with a total of 446! That alone is pretty cool!
- It’s also nestled very interesting beside a mountain, hence the incline rides and aerial skyline views.
- If you are into sports, the city is full of die-hard fans you could probably connect with or fight with (if that’s what you’re looking for?).