***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to PocketGail (Comment #29), randomly-selected winner of 2 general admission tickets to the Bourbon Street Ball! Please check your email and respond by the end of the day or a new winner will be chosen. If you didn’t win, you can still purchase tickets by clicking here.***
This weekend, Matthew and I were invited by Visit Pittsburgh to spend a weekend exploring the city as part of their “LovePGH” campaign. Leading up to the trip, we received suggestions via Twitter as to where we should go and then were given free reign to explore the city guided by these suggestions, as well as our own curiosity.
Because we packed so much into our stay, I’m splitting this into two posts: one on the sights and one on the food. Hopefully you’ll get some ideas for your own trip to Pittsburgh!
We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott, which put us right in the heart of downtown. Upon arriving, we were warmly welcomed with gifts from both Visit Pittsburgh and the hotel. Wine and sweets? They know the way to my heart!
Friday night, we headed to a reception with the Visit Pittsburgh team at Wood Street Galleries, a cool mix of art gallery and subway station, combining urban functionality and beauty.
On Saturday morning, we set off early to explore The Strip District, which came highly recommended as a place to shop and explore Pittsburgh culture. The Strip District is a stretch of markets and vendors selling all sorts of ethnic foods, as well as various trinkets, books stores, and more mixed in.
One of our favorite spots in The Strip was Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., a huge Italian market filled with spices, pastas, cheeses, olives, and more.
We found so much good stuff there that we returned on Sunday morning to stock up on goodies before hitting the road home!
Another favorite was Allegheny Coffee and Tea Exchange, which not only had an impressive selection of bulk coffees, but also tasty beverages to keep us toasty on our early morning stroll around The Strip.
We found downtown Pittsburgh to be very walkable. In fact, we only drove to two destinations the entire time we were there. This allowed us to see a lot more of the city and stumble into random finds, such as The Liberty Street Musicians;
S.W. Randall‘s amazing three-story toy store;
Fort Pitt Block House, the oldest building in Pittsburgh;
and much more! It’s been awhile since I just wandered around a city, popping into whatever seems interesting. It’s a really fun way to explore and stumble upon things you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise!
One destination we had in mind, though, was The Rubber Duck Project. This four-story-tall duck sits in the Allegheny River and welcomes adults and children alike as part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.
Saturday night, we rode the Duquesne Incline to get some breathtaking views of the city (you can even see the Duck from up there).
All in all, we were very impressed with Pittsburgh’s walkability and its amount of great cultural and shopping areas to enjoy. Stop back on Wednesday to hear about all the delicious food we enjoyed over the weekend!
***Disclosure: I was invited by Visit Pittsburgh to spend a weekend exploring the city. While I was asked to tweet and Instagram our travels, I was not asked to blog about them. In exchange, I received hotel accommodations and spending money for the weekend. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***