Our trip to Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Every year my husband and I take a three-day trip somewhere just the two of us. We have the blessing and good fortune of having my mom watch our boys for us each year so we can do this. We try to go away for our anniversary and this year we chose Pittsburgh, PA!

Why Pittsburgh?

  1. We’ve never been to Pittsburgh.
  2. It was within driving distance.
  3. I’ve always wanted to go to the “Steel City.”
  4. It’s one of the top cycling cities in the country.
  5. It’s known for being a unique city.

And guys, it didn’t disappoint! We had SO MUCH FUN. I’ve written before about the importance of dating your spouse. For my husband and I, getting time away together without interruptions or distractions is so essential for us. We get to unwind, spend solid uninterrupted quality time together, and continue to appreciate why we love each other so much. It’s also so cool to reflect on all that’s unfolded in our lives up to this point. And did I mention that it’s just plain fun? It’s a great experience to discover new places and new things with your spouse.
Here’s the breakdown of how we spent our time and what we did.

Day 1:

It took us a little over five hours to get there. Jose and I LOVE road trips. Particularly without the kids (we love you Micah and Josiah but overly long trips in the car are not fun for any of us) because we listen to new music and have good conversation. In this instance, we downloaded a bunch of new albums, listened to some amazing sermons, and asked silly/random questions!

We checked into our hotel and decided to head down to this spot called The Strip. We weren’t sure if we would Uber there or drive there but we found out that the hotel had a free shuttle where you could call and get a ride within a few miles of the hotel. Um, you had me at free. Waiting for the shuttle took forever and it was the only time we decided to use it! Nonetheless, we headed over to The Strip District and walked around! It was really cool and had a bunch of cool little shops. We had lunch at Bella Notte, a bar that happens to serve really yummy Italian food. After that, we perused some of the shops and headed back to the hotel.

Cambria Hotel and Suites, Pittsburgh, PA

Waiting for our ride to The Strip.

After we relaxed at the hotel a bit, we decided to check out downtown Pittsburgh. We headed over to Point State Park, which is an amazing park located next to the Allegheny River with a great view of the PNC Stadium and downtown. Guys, downtown Pittsburgh was so pretty and clean. What I loved so much about it was that it wasn’t super crowded and crazy. I love cities but HATE CROWDS. Downtown was really relaxing and stunning during the evening.

Point State Park view into Downtown Pittsburgh.

My favorite shot of downtown.

You could walk around the River and look at the stadiums. Loved walking this area while holding hands with my man! Reminded me of the dating days!

Cool fountains at Point State Park.

 

We hung out here at night and then headed back to the hotel. It was a great start to our three-day trip.

Day 2:

Day 2 we decided we wanted to some activities that included us being active. We started our day off with a delicious breakfast at legendary Pamela’s Diner, which came up time and time again when I looked at what the MUST EAT places were. Pamela’s came up every time. Pamela’s was located on The Strip so we had the chance to check it out again in the AM.

The Strip District Pittsburgh, PA

The Strip had a pretty cool vibe.

Parking here isn’t a hassle during the week, but I can see where it would get tricky during the weekends. Anyway, Pamela’s Diner didn’t disappoint! The food was AMAZINGLY GOOD. And I’ll be super honest, I normally hate diner food. The vibe here is retro and you feel like you’re stepping foot in a 1950s diner with tons of original pictures of the owners and all things Pittsburgh.

Pamela's Diner in Pittsburgh, PA

Crepe Style pancakes were to die for!

Pamela's Diner in Pittsburgh, PA

Such a fun, delicious diner!

Pamela's Diner in Pittsburgh, PA

Fueling up in order to be ready to take on the day!

After we had a delicious breakfast here, we headed downtown because we wanted to rent some bikes. We looked into different rental options but decided to go with the City Bikes. They were cheap and got the job done! We wanted to explore Point State Park during the day and ride along the river. We parked easily, rented our bikes, and were on our way!

Riding along the river was a blast! You can rent mountain bikes at an actual bike shop too if you’d like, but we wanted to stay close to downtown so we opted for the city bikes.

Wind in my hair, sunshine on my face, a perfect summer day! Fun fact: it was 70s the whole time we stayed and the weather was extraordinary!

What’s bike riding without a few obnoxious pics right?!

We did this for quite awhile! Afterwards, we headed downtown. They had a cool Irish Festival going on so we hung out there for a bit. After that, we and then went over to the other side of the river to try our hand at Kayaking. Once you cross over the river, you hit the museums such as The Andy Warhol Museum, The Children’s Museum, and more. PNC Park is located right next to the Kayak rentals as well, and we toyed with the idea of catching a game at night but decided not to. Maybe next time!

Anyway, Jose wanted to go kayaking. I’m not a huge fan of the water because I’m not the most amazing swimmer in the world. That being said, I wanted to compromise and do things he wanted to do and it did seem relaxing, so off we went. Parking on this side of town wasn’t too bad either. Off we went!

Love is all about the compromise!

Smiling because Jose just promised me he wouldn’t let me drown. Hooray!

I’m not going to lie. The first few minutes I was panicky. If you know me, you know one of my weaknesses is assuming the worst. What if a giant boat hit us?! They gave us tips and pointers and Jose was surprisingly good at kayaking like he’d done it a bunch of times before or something! So we stayed safe and soon it was relaxing.

Where you kayak, I will follow *to the tune of Gilmore Girls*

Once we got the hang of it, I pretty much wanted to stay in the water. We did this for about an hour! It was a fun experience! We had some amazing views of downtown.

View from being on the river.

Once we were finished, we walked past PNC park to get to our car. Pittsburgh fans are passionate! There was a certain festiveness in the air. Next time, I think we’ll catch a game.

Outside of PNC park.

We went to Target to grab some things and then came back downtown to have some lunch. We ate at a burger joint called BRGR, a burger chain specific to Pittsburgh,  and had some delicious milkshakes.

Yes please.

At this point, we were tired and ready to head back to the hotel. Once we got to the hotel, we took advantage of the swimming pool. Felt so good! It was time to call it a day.

Day 3:

Sleep in time! Day 2 wore us out. We had to check out by 11 and still wanted to check out the Duquesne Incline. We took our time packing up and headed out to the last place we wanted to see in Pittsburgh. When we were biking downtown and hanging out at Point State Park, we kept seeing people go up the incline in this cable car type of deal. We wanted to try to this before we left. It’s basically a super old cable car that pulls you up to the top of the incline.

Guys, WE WERE SO SCARED being pulled up! This thing is super old and when you get close to the top it starts to slow down and it gets slower and slower until you’re sure it’s about to snap and send you crashing down. When we finally got to the top I urgently whispered to Jose, “GET OUT!” and practically shoved him at the door. I may have kissed the floor.

Moving right along, the view was worth it. From this point, you can see all of Pittsburgh and it’s just plain BEAUTIFUL.

Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh, PA

Goals: I would like to survive this.

Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh, PA

Okay, I suppose it was worth it.

This is also located on the South Side of Pittsburgh. The South Side has a very unique feel to it. It reminds me of Philly a bit, without the traffic. Very quaint, cute area and insanely steep hills.

After this, we were ready to head home. We always get the third-day itch, where by the third day we are missing our boys so much and are ready for the comfort of our own home.

We had such a good time! The next time we visit Pittsburgh I want to check out the Andy Warhol museum and the P&G zoo. The next time we go, we definitely want to bring the boys! Overall, Pittsburgh exceeded my expectations and hit the mark when it came to being a place where we could relax and enjoy the city without the stressors of a city.

What I loved about Pittsburgh, PA:

  1. City feel without the drama of a city.
  2. City in the mountains, which made for gorgeous scenic views.
  3. It has a very relaxing feel to it.
  4. Tons of biking opportunities.
  5. Inexpensive city to stay in.

We will definitely be back!

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