PPG Paints Arena Concerts – Is the Venue Worth It?

Everyone in Pittsburgh knows that PPG Paints Arena (formerly CONSOL Energy Center) is home of the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins. But outside of hockey season the arena does not sit empty, and is instead one of the best spots in the city to catch some of the largest bands and musicians in the world as they make a stop in Pittsburgh to perform.

One band we got to check out at PPG Paints Arena in 2017 was Red Hot Chili Peppers, and while we enjoyed the performance we wanted to take a look at PPG Paints Arena itself to see if it is truly a good spot to check out live music, what to consider before visiting, and what to avoid.

In knowing these things, you'll be better prepared for purchasing a ticket for when your favorite band comes to town!

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Banff Mountain Film Festival – An Annual Pittsburgh Stop

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is not unique to Pittsburgh. In fact, it is not even unique to the midwest or even the United States.

This film festival originates from the tiny mountain town of Banff just outside of Calgary, Canada. Aside from being a town in its own right, this part of the world is also a great spot to get out and experience all things nature.

To capitalize on this, the city has created a film festival that showcases some of the world's best videos of adventure sports and other associated topics. The main festival takes place in Banff each fall, and after that the best videos go on a world tour with an annual stop in Pittsburgh.

As adventure lovers ourselves, we've been attending this event for many years. Today, we wanted to share the experience of what the festival is like to help encourage you to get out to the next one!

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Farm to Table Food Show – Local Food and Drink at the Convention Center

If the explosive growth of the restaurant scene and the local food movement in Pittsburgh is any indication, Pittsburgh has tons of locavores and foodies. One of the most popular annual events for such individuals is perhaps the Farm to Table conference.

This event is the perfect opportunity to network with other like-minded Pittsburghers, learn about things like canning and preserving, attend demonstrations, and browse the huge exhibit hall.

We recently had the chance to attend the conference as well as the Sunday night farm to flask tasting and left with a renewed appreciation for the local food scene.

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Food Truck Rally at Coffee Buddha in the North Hills

Pittsburgh is home to dozens upon dozens of local food trucks, but for a city that loves to have events to celebrate just about everything, we are lacking on the food truck rally scene quite a bit.

One coffee shop in the north hills, Coffee Buddha, has stepped up to the plate to fill this void and offers a (mostly) monthly rally in their rather large backyard. To satisfy our desire to see an honest-to-God food truck rally in Pittsburgh, and try out a few trucks we've yet to enjoy, we made our way up Perry Highway to check it all out.

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Club Cafe Pittsburgh – A South Side Bar for Amazing Live Music

Club Cafe in Pittsburgh's South Side is a unique performing arts venue in that it is incredibly small, yet attracts some of the best up-and-coming musicians there are.

So when the guitarist of one of our favorite bands (Chris Eldridge from the two-time Grammy nominated Punch Brothers) came into town to perform with one of his closest friends (guitarist Julian Lage- Grammy nominated for the Best Contemporary Jazz album), we bought tickets in a heart-beat.

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Pittsburgh Beerfest Winter Edition – Going to Beer Heaven

As a beer lover, my idea of heaven is being surrounded by free flowing and delicious creations from some of the world's best breweries. While I may not be in this particular heaven just yet, Pittsburgh does have an annual event that is about as close as you can get to my ideal scenario- the Pittsburgh Beerfest which during the winter edition featured here is at the convention center downtown.

Although this event is relatively young, the hundreds of samples available from local, national, and even a few international breweries makes this one as close to my picture of heaven as I can get.

Armed with an eight-ounce glass, an early admission ticket with all-you-can-drink access, and the Uber app on my phone ready to go for the end of the night, I was prepared to hit this one as hard as possible to try and find some new favorites.

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A Musical Christmas Carol – A Holiday Classic by the Pittsburgh CLO

The Pittsburgh CLO has one purpose, and that is to celebrate musical theater. Since its founding in 1946, the Pittsburgh CLO has done just that through its Summer Series of shows, the CLO Cabaret with shows year-round, the Pittsburgh CLO Academy performing arts school, and its CLO Construction Center for the Arts that builds sets for shows in Pittsburgh and across the country.

We recently checked out the Pittsburgh CLO's performance of A Musical Christmas Carol at the Byham, which is a fantastic way to get in the Christmas spirit in Pittsburgh.

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Taking in the Pittsburgh Opera at the Benedum Center

When it comes to live performances in the city, Pittsburgh has no shortage of venues and performing arts groups looking to entertain.

During a recent trip down to the Cultural District I was lucky enough to take in a dress rehearsal screening of the Pittsburgh Opera's rendition of Salome. Between enjoying the ambiance of one of our favorite performing arts venues, the Benedum Center, and taking in the show, it was yet another incredible night out in downtown Pittsburgh.

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Doors Open Pittsburgh – Exploring Pittsburgh’s Beautiful Buildings

Doors Open Pittsburgh is a new annual event in the city where local businesses and public offices open their doors to give residents a behind-the-scenes look at their architecture, interior designs, and inner-workings. As it is our quest to experience everything Pittsburgh has to offer, we found this event to be a great way for us to see a side of the city that is normally removed from the public eye.

After exploring countless properties downtown over the course of the weekend, we have decided to share some of our favorites today in order to inspire you to get out and check out the next Doors Open event!

(NoteSeveral of the properties featured below are open to the public outside of the Doors Open event, so in some cases you may not have to wait until the next event date to go explore!)

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Taking in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall

Pittsburgh is very fortunate to have a thriving arts scene. For those who are looking to take in a show or performance, odds are good you'll be heading to one of the many halls and theaters in Cultural District right in the heart of downtown to make it happen.

For a recent show we made our way to the historic Heinz Hall to check out the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as they put on yet another incredible performance worthy of their 100-year history.

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