Weekend getaway | Pittsburgh

The weekend before returning to work for the summer was spent in Pennsylvania, most specifically in Pittsburgh, as a little farewell to my freedom for the next six weeks. Am I a little late on the writing of this post? Considering I’m into my third week of summer session at work, yes. Yes I am. But even though the post is late, what this post includes still stands true! Throughout the three days, over 20 miles were walked, good food was had, some bad baseball was seen, and some shopping was done.

We left on Friday morning with plans stop at both the Millcreek Mall in Erie, PA and the Grove City Outlets in Grove City, PA. With shopping being tax free, every time we make the drive to Pennsylvania, we make a point to stop [at least in Erie] to see if we can get any good deals. The Grove City Outlets, specifically, is one of my favorite shopping centers I’ve ever been to. This wasn’t my first time there, but it definitely didn’t disappoint the second time around. There are so many stores – over 200 – at this mall, most of which we do not have anywhere close to home. And to have stores that we don’t have, sell merchandise at outlet prices, and tax free?! Really, it’s a no brainer that some time would be spent there. After our stops at these two malls, we headed straight to the hotel, as it was already dinner time, and the weather was absolutely horrible. The pouring rain resulted in the ordering of a pizza and cozying in for the night watching The Office. I must add that traveling with an Amazon Fire Stick is an absolute game changer – I would suggest doing it to everyone!

The next morning brought about the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the Carnegie Museum of Art. For $20 [or $12 with a student ID], you get access to both the history and art museums, making for a jam-packed day. The history museum consists of 115,000 square feet organized into 20 different galleries including dinosaurs, gems and minerals, Native American and Egyptian artifacts, nature domains, and the Powdermill Nature Reserve. The art museum consists of 125,000 square feet and as many as 15 changing exhibitions including Contemporary art, sculpture, architectural drawings, and photography. We spent almost four hours walking around both museums and it is 100% something that I would do again – it was one of the most captivating mornings of my life. After the museum we grabbed a bite to eat for lunch and headed to PNC Park for the Pittsburgh Pirates game. They were playing the Philadelphia Phillies that night and, even though they lost, it was a great time! It is the fifth MLB Stadium I’ve been to in my lifetime and hands down, one of the most beautiful to be in!

The following day was spent at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The zoo sits on 77 acres of land in Highland Park, exhibiting more than 4,000 animals representing 475 species, 20 of which are considered to be endangered or threatened. Inside the zoo is the PPG Aquarium, a 45,000 square foot, two-story aquarium. What’s great is that for $16 you get admission to both the zoo and the aquarium, again making for a jam-packed day that doesn’t put a dent in your wallet! Beyond the Buffalo Zoo, I haven’t been to many others. My list is as vast as the zoos in Cleveland and Akron, and Animal Kingdom in Disneyworld if you even want to count that, so this zoo was an absolute breath of fresh air! The fact that it’s located within a park makes the overall feel more authentic, as the exhibits aren’t just thrown into the middle of city-life, they are actually worked into the pre-existing land. We hit beautiful weather making the zoo look and feel more beautiful and welcoming than ever.

Did I want to head back to the 716 after this weekend? No. But reality had to set in and the second I sat down in the car for the drive home, I felt how exhausting the weekend actually was, mostly because my feet were sore and all the walking hit me at once. Would I recommend traveling to Pittsburgh for a weekend? Absolutely. Other than for my brother’s hockey tournaments, I had never been there [I mean really, with hockey, you really only see the hotel and ice rinks] which seems insane considering it’s only about four hours away. But we managed to have a nonstop weekend without breaking the bank, which really, what more could anyone want?

Have you ever traveled to Pittsburgh? If so, what are some of your favorite spots? xoxo.

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