Exploring Pittsburgh Without Your Own Car – Zipcar Edition

In our series, Exploring Pittsburgh Without Your Own Car, we want to put ourselves in the shoes of visitors and locals who navigate the city through means other than using their own car. The reason for this is because while many visitors and locals in Pittsburgh own their own vehicles, this is not the case for everyone as many choose to not have their own cars to cut costs or enjoy many other benefits of being car-free.

For those who fall into this category, you then have to look at alternative options that are available- be it public transportation, private transportation services, your own feet or bike, or others. Each of these has its own nuances and cases where it is the most practical, and it is our goal in this series to test the different methods ourselves to see how practical they are for people in the city.

In this edition, our friends at Zipcar asked us to take a car out for a spin when we mentioned we were planning an IKEA run for a big purchase. As Zipcar has over 80 cars scattered around the city, we knew it would be a good feature in this series, and this entry was born.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Zipcar. As always, all opinions are our own.

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The Best Pick-Your-Own Fruit Farms in Pittsburgh

One of our favorite summer activities in the Pittsburgh area is to visit local farms and pick our own fruits.

We've visited almost every farm over the years, and learned a thing or two about the best places for picking each type of fruit- and we're here to share these tips with you!

As fruit harvests vary greatly from year to year and picking conditions vary from day to day, we highly recommend calling ahead before you go to double check the farm has what you're looking for. With that being said, if you have a particular fruit in mind, check out these great farms!

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The Best Birthday Freebies and Discounts in Pittsburgh

Kaya in Pittsburgh

Please Note: Due to the many COVID shutdowns several birthday specials have been suspended at area businesses for the time being. The below list was originally published pre-COVID and has not been updated to account for this as conditions change regularly. For the time being, please assume that no birthday specials are being offered and reconfirm with the individual businesses if similar or other specials are available. The below list should be treated as a starting point at what was available prior to COVID only.

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One of my favorite times of year is my birthday.

This is not because I love turning another year older, but rather is because Angie and I were born only a few days apart (in the same year), also started dating within the same week, and have many reasons to celebrate as a result.

In Pittsburgh we've been fortunate to find many local businesses that offer birthday clubs that help make our celebrations even more special with many discounts and birthday freebies to keep the party going.

Now, there are a lot of boring chain restaurants with birthday specials and many other national brands out there that you see on every other birthday freebie list, but we don't care about those. We're talking about the specials from local businesses that make Pittsburgh the great city it is!

The best part? We found a lot of them!

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17 Pittsburgh Books to Add to Your Home Library

Pittsburgh Dad

Pittsburgh is one of America's greatest cities, there is no question about that.  We have an incredible history, amazing sports teams, an exploding food scene, many local celebrities, and just about everything else you could ask for in a city.

As it is our quest to discover all of these aspects of Pittsburgh, we've recently turned to reading any and all Pittsburgh related books we could get our hands on to learn more about the city we call home.

The following are some of our favorites that we think you should definitely check out!

Note: When available, we offer links to purchase the book on Amazon and Bookshop.org. Bookshop.org is an online retailer that supports local and independently operated bookstores with every sale either through direct purchases (if available) or profit shares. Please try and support local stores as much as possible!

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3 Ways to Exploit Pennsylvania’s Archaic Alcohol Laws in Pittsburgh

Beer Distributors in Pittsburgh

Let's be honest, Pennsylvania is home to some of the most backwards liquor laws in the country.

Want to go buy a bottle of wine?  Good luck finding it in a grocery storeYay, this law is finally going away!
Want a six pack of beer?  No corner store will stock it. (But literally just a few gas stations in the state might)
Want to pick up hard liquor?  The state runs a monopoly on the stuff unless you are a local distiller.

I could spend quite a bit of time ranting about how crazy these laws are, but instead I want to help you out with three ways we've come to exploit the system for the best.

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Pittsburgh Local Resources We Love

When it comes to websites and social media for the city of Pittsburgh, we're not alone here at Discover the Burgh.  In fact, there are dozens of websites out there run by the city, neighborhood associations, or other individuals like us that we think are simply awesome or quite valuable to know.

If you are looking for more content from the city of Pittsburgh outside of this site, be it news, events, emergency updates, city info, or simply great local content, we recommend starting with these sites first!

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311 Pittsburgh – Help Fix the City’s Roads With This Unique Service

Cracks on a Pittsburgh Bridge

If you've been in Pittsburgh for any appreciable time, you probably have noticed how awful our roads are. The highways make no sense, roads are stacked one over the other, and there are potholes just about everywhere.

For a long time this was a frustration we simply put up with because, well, it is Pittsburgh.

It wasn't until recently that we discovered Pittsburgh's 311 service, and this new found knowledge changed our opinion of the city's operations altogether.

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Construction Junction – A Massive Re-Use Center in Pittsburgh

Collection at Construction Junction in Pittsburgh

Construction Junction in PittsburghWhere do home furnishings go when they die? Well, in Pittsburgh if they have any remaining value and have the potential of being salvaged, it is highly likely that they'll end up in Construction Junction in Point Breeze North.

I ended up in Construction Junction the same way I visited Artifacts in the West End a few weeks prior. Angie and I were on the hunt for some home furnishings and were checking out the odd stores in Pittsburgh to see if we could find the perfect pieces we're dreaming of.

But where Artifacts caters to high-end items imported from around the world, Construction Junction's showroom is all reuse items that could use a little love and attention.

If there was a store that could save me from the seemingly inevitable trip to Ikea, it had to be this one.

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Artifacts Pittsburgh – Fantasy Shopping in the West End

Artifacts Pittsburgh

If you have an itch to do some fantasy shopping for one-of-a-kind items in Pittsburgh, look no further than Artifacts in the West End. Touted as a “museum with a price tag,” Artifacts is home to over 20,000 items ranging from Turkish rugs, European artwork, hand crafted tables, to stuffed lions and giraffe busts, human-sized griffon statues, and everything in between.

We couldn't make this up even if we tried.

We first learned about Artifacts during a quest to find a seating area that would compliment a Turkish rug and lamp that we bought while traveling in Istanbul. Naturally, stories of Artifacts' massive showroom of Turkish rugs and other unique items inspired us to visit in hopes of finding our dream accompaniment.

We didn't, and that is fine by us.

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Pittsburgh Laws and Local Taxes

We know that sometimes finding information on local laws is rough. To make things easier, we wanted to summarize as many local laws and tax issues as possible. Please note that the following summaries are not official government statements, so rules may have changed. To find the most up-to-date laws and tax information, please follow the links provided.

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