Phipps Conservatory’s Summer Flower Show – Hidden Life of Trolls

There are good shows at Phipps Conservatory and then there are great shows at Phipps Conservatory.

Before checking out the 2021 Summer Flower Show, I wasn't quite sure where it would fall on the spectrum. But “The Hidden Life of Trolls” is not only one of the best summer shows that we can remember but one of the best they have ever done of any season!

Be prepared for some amazing animatronics, interactive experiences, and of course gorgeous flowers in this one!

Note: As with all of our museum posts, we do not like to give away every exhibit. In this one, we're only going to share a few of our favorite rooms and encourage you to visit to see the rest! We were guests of Phipps for this review.

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The Eagle Pittsburgh Review – Fried Chicken and a Relaxing Vibe

Whenever we think of dining in the Cultural District of downtown Pittsburgh, our thoughts tend to go to the high-end restaurants that have a reservation waitlist on the order of weeks or months. 

While there are restaurants in the area where you can walk in and get a seat with ease, these are becoming less and less common as higher-end restaurants open in the area. As such, we always think this part of downtown could use more approachable spots to balance out the options for those who do not want to plan that far in advance or pay an arm and a leg in the process.

Thankfully, the Cincinnati-based fried chicken restaurant known as The Eagle opened up in the heart of the Cultural District and checks a lot of boxes for us- most notably that, at the time of their grand opening at least, 50% of their seats are kept open for walk-ins!

We had the chance to check this one out at their soft open for friends & family night (thanks to our friends Bold Pittsburgh) and share more in this review!

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Go For a Wine Flight at 23rd & Vine in South Side

We're suckers for a good wine bar, and it didn't take long after 23rd & Vine opened in Pittsburgh's South Side for us to make it in for a couple of flights of wine.

While this one is heavily tilted to a few regional producers in Italy and California, we have to admit we loved the variety in the wine list here and can see returning many, many times in the future.

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Take a Trip Around Lake Arthur on Preston’s Pearl

Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park is one of our favorite outdoor spots in southwest Pennsylvania. It is hard to ask for more than a beautiful lake with a number of fingers and inlets that just beg being explored.

We've featured many ways you can explore the lake including taking out kayaks from Bear Run Campground, standup paddleboarding with SurfSUP Adventures, and even enjoying Moraine State Park's bike trail which runs along the shoreline. But all of these activities required some degree of effort in order to enjoy. For something a bit more leisurely, the park offers boat tours on the resident pontoon boat from late spring to early fall. 

For many years, guests would enjoy the waters via the resident boat Nautical Nature, but in 2021 the Moraine Preservation Fund launched a new pontoon boat that offers 90-minute sightseeing tours, dinner/brunch cruises, and more.

I was fortunate enough to get out on the water for the ship's inaugural sailing as part of a media preview and share more about what you can expect on this one here!

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5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Pittsburgh on Your Next Trip

As a travel writer by trade, I have seen many tourism campaigns from cities all over the world trying to highlight the main reasons outsiders should visit.

Some highlight geographical features like beaches and mountains, others promote the libations scene in the form of winery or brewery trails. Some push sports, others promote their architecture and history as a draw. Some push that the city is a popular tourist destination, others promote that they're under the radar.

For Pittsburgh, however, I don't think we can push just one narrative. In fact, we have all of the categories mentioned above, and it is only when you take a step back to appreciate how it all works together that you truly get a feel for what makes Pittsburgh the city that it is.

So if you have no idea what Pittsburgh is all about and need to learn more before deciding if you should visit, this one is for you!

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Levity Brewing Review – Beer, Food, & Trail Access in Indiana, PA

There are a number of reasons to love Levity Brewing in Indiana, PA.

First off, they make stellar beer (really all that matters for a brewery). Second, you can round out your visit with food to make a meal out of it. Finally, and perhaps most interesting to us beyond the brews, is that they are located just steps off of the 10-mile Hoodlebug Trail and a short drive from the trailhead for the Ghost Town Trail in Black Lick.

So if you need reasons to make a day out of it when making the hour drive to the brewery, well, you've got some great options to consider!

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Oishii Donburi Review – Japanese & Korean Staples in Lawrenceville

If you've spent any amount of time on our site, you may have seen our review for Oishii Bento in Oakland. This small restaurant in the heart of the neighborhood serves up an array of bento box creations as well as other Japanese staples with decent portion sizes at an amazing price point.

So when the team behind that restaurant announced a new concept, Oishii Donburi in Lawrenceville, we were in.

While this one serves up an array of traditional Japanese menu items, we also found some of our favorites from Korea on the menu as well- all for the same great price point we love from Oishii Bento!

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Pizza House Review – Square Cuts to Eat on the Spot

We frequently share images of Pittsburgh pizza shops on our social media, often to a chorus of cheers, boos, and recommendations of where else to eat in the city.

On a recent share of Beto's Pizza (a local spot famous for square slices and cold toppings), we received a flood of suggestions to check out Pizza House in Ambridge (also called Police Station Pizza)- another shop that focuses on square, by-the-slice pies.

But rather than adding toppings after the pizza bakes for a cold / warm hybrid, this one ensures your meal is hot the whole way through with only a small sprinkling of toppings after the fact (including cold cheese, if you like) making for the best of both worlds.

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A Drinking and Dining Guide to Pittsburgh’s Shadyside

Shadyside is one of those neighborhoods that we absolutely love. It is primarily residential but with a thriving business district (three, actually) that is heavily tilted to restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

Great to live, great to visit, and home to many of our favorite spots in the city. As such, we thought we should share them in this neighborhood guide!

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Learning to Curl at the Pittsburgh Curling Club in McKees Rocks

Curling is one of those sports we've always wanted to try, but never really had the chance. We've tried toned-down variants of the sport in the past at places like Sliders Curling (a seasonal rink outside of Lumberjaxes in Millvale), but when it came to playing via proper rules, well, we never had the opportunity.

Shortly after trying the variant out at Sliders, we heard that the Pittsburgh Curling Club was opening up a new, dedicated curling facility in McKees Rocks and would offer classes for non-members who want to get into the sport.

The facility opened up in early 2020 and we obviously all know what happened just a few weeks later. As such, it wasn't until early 2021 that we got to make it into the facility to try out the sport with their Level 1 Intro to Curling Class.

Although we are not the most athletic of people, we have to say, curling is a blast.

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