Smitten with Pittsburgh? Part One

For years, I flew in and out of PIT airport. Twice a day, twice a week. I knew the place just as well as Hopkins Int'l. The customs agents were buddies, the Godiva girls knew my favorites and I always stopped by to say hello to Daniel Striped Tiger on the walk back to our gate. All those years flying in and out and I never left the airport. So when Visit Pittsburgh asked if I was interested in a blogger trip to tour their city, I was intrigued. Why have I never thought to visit there? It's an easy two hour drive and it dawned on me that it never even occurred to me. This was my chance. Lucky for me, some of my best friends were going and I was excited to spend some quality time with the Rome's and Hicken's. In Pittsburgh.

We arrived Friday night about 7pm, checked into the Courtyard Marriott Downtown and headed over to a meet and greet reception with the Visit Pittsburgh team. We were enthusiastically welcomed with cocktails, tons of food and our itinerary. Which was that we didn't have an itinerary and could explore the city in any way we chose, guided by social media suggestions on facebook and twitter using the #lovepgh tag. Score! We were then sent out for a little Friday night exploration.

Welcoming gifts from the Courtyard Pittsburgh Downtown (a hand written note will always win me over) and Visit PGH staff / The scene on the street and a Fox Barrel at Sharp Edge 

We decided to stay close to the hotel since the surrounding neighborhood was amazing. Totally walkable with many food, drink and shopping options literally steps from our hotel. We ended up at Sharp Edge Bistro on Penn, a neighborhood bar with a Belgian twist, which boasts an impressive 36 beers on tap and over 200 bottle selections.

We didn't stay out terribly late since Amanda insisted that we have a 7am breakfast at Pamela's. Out of town and up early on a weekend? She was right and it was well worth missing out on an hour or so of beauty sleep to get their insane crepe-like hotcakes in my belly. By the time we were heading out of the vintage pink and teal diner there was already a line getting ready to wrap around the corner.

Pamela's Diner 
From Pamela's we headed to the Strip District, which is an area of restaurants and shops that spills out into the streets on the weekends. Fresh flowers, pastries and vegetable stands conjured up images of the West Side Market if not contained in it's historic home.

Dried mushrooms and balsamics from Pennsylvania Macaroni Co / Fresh pastries streetside

Allegheny Coffee & Tea 

We stopped by the hotel to drop a few parcels off and continued to make our way exploring. Not once did we need the car and even though some places were a few steps off the beaten path, we were excited with the findings along the way. As we made our way to the riverfront we encountered families and people of nearly all ages, walking, biking and running.

Pittsburgh makes the most of their waterfront / Waterfall Walkway / Bridges and leaves abound
But the real reason we're all here (in all honesty) is the duck. It's not every day that you get to snuggle up to a 3 story high rubber duck. In fact, Pittsburgh is the first city stateside to get a visit. The installation arrived in late September and departed October 20th. Word is that the duck is spending the holidays with family and I look forward to seeing where it's next adventure will lead.

Stay tuned for Smitten with Pittsburgh-Part Two later this week...

::Disclosure - I was invited by Visit Pittsburgh to experience their city. Accommodations as well as spending money were provided and I was asked to share my adventure on social media through the #LovePGH tag. All musings are my own:: 


Kristian said...

I insanely loved Pamela's (as well as Primante's in the Strip District).

You make me want to go back to Pittsburgh!

Anonymous said...

My best friend is from Cleveland and she shared this blog post with me... I live in Pittsburgh and write a Strip-District-centric cooking blog. Love the beautiful photos you took of our city, and so glad that you had a wonderful visit and got to meet the Duck! :) Looking forward to reading Part 2!

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