15 Reasons to Visit Pittsburgh in December – Embracing the Holidays

While Pittsburgh in December marks the start of winter, the city itself is in holiday mode more than anything. We have just come off the heels of Light Up Night, and our Christmas markets, numerous Christmas events, and other festivities are at their peak.

Of course, as with all of our other monthly recommendations list, we also have a few great places to drink and museums to explore on the exceptionally cold days that are coming into the city because, let's face it, winter is coming and sometimes you just want to be inside.

So if you are looking for things to do in Pittsburgh in December, check out the following options.

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10 Awesome Cabins Near Pittsburgh for a Trip in Nature

Camp culture is big around Pittsburgh, and everyone seemingly knows several people with a camp outside of the city used for long weekends, summer vacations, and more.

But if you do not have access to your own camp, you are not completely out of luck. There are many great cabin rentals near Pittsburgh to help you get a trip out into nature. So in this one, we thought we'd share a few great options to consider for Pennsylvania rental cabins just a short drive from Pittsburgh!

Note: All rentals are listed on the VRBO booking platform. Images credited to the respective hosts. While we are frequent customers of these services, we have not personally stayed in the below properties. We reviewed many of the apartment rentals in Pittsburgh for what we normally look for when traveling, and simply think these are quite unique, interesting, and in most cases also have fantastic locations such that we would likely inquire about them if we were travelers. These reasons will be highlighted below. Amenities may have changed since initial publication and should be confirmed prior to booking.

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TRYP Hotel Review – Affordable Rooms in the Heart of Lawrenceville

When you think of popular Pittsburgh neighborhoods, you may instantly assume that any given one is home to several hotels for visitors. For a few, you'd be right. But there are many neighborhoods in the city that do not have hotels at all, and up until mid-2019 Lawrenceville was one that sorely needed a property.

It wasn't until the TRYP Hotel opened that Lawrenceville got its first proper hotel, and this one fits right into the trendy neighborhood perfectly thanks to its beautiful restoration of a former school building right on 40th Street.

Throw in a rooftop bar with a stellar city view, a nice restaurant on the first floor, and some modern amenities and you have enough to make us happy.

We got the chance to check this one out as guests of the hotel and share more in this full review!

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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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Can You Visit Pittsburgh Without a Car? The Answer is Maybe

When we travel to major cities, we generally don't rent a car if we can avoid it. Part of this is obviously the cost associated with a rental (daily fee + gas + parking can add up for sometimes minimal use), but also because if a robust public transit system exists, we'd rather just use that. We love a good metro even if it takes a bit longer to reach our destination than driving.

Anyone who lives in Pittsburgh knows where we're going with this because our public transit, well, leaves a lot to be desired- this statement is being generous. 

If money was no concern, we'd state outright that you'll do well to rent a car in Pittsburgh- you'll have way more freedom than if you didn't (and also have access to a number of great day trips too). If money is a concern, you can make it work without a car but you need to be a bit more strategic with how you plan your stay.

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10 Cool Pittsburgh Airbnb, VRBO, and Apartment Rentals

While we would say that the Pittsburgh Airbnb and apartment rental scene is small but growing, we have to admit that there are some pretty amazing properties in the region you may want to check out.

After looking through many of the properties listed on the service, we found a few pretty amazing options located in (or quite close) to the city that we absolutely had to share today. So if you're looking for a getaway with Airbnbs in Pittsburgh, you may want to put these options on your radar.

If you're looking for more information on the best neighborhoods to stay in and questions to ask your host, be sure to scroll to the end of this guide for detailed information as well (or click here to jump to it)!

Disclaimers: All images are credited to the respective booking platform (Airbnb/VRBO) and hosts. While we are frequent customers of these services, we have not personally stayed in the below properties. We reviewed many of the apartment rentals in Pittsburgh for what we normally look for when traveling, and simply think these are quite unique, interesting, and in most cases also have fantastic locations such that we would likely inquire about them if we were travelers. These reasons will be highlighted below. Amenities may have changed since initial publication and should be confirmed prior to booking.

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Kimpton Hotel Monaco Review – Modern Comforts and Dog Friendly Space

The Kimpton Hotel Monaco in downtown Pittsburgh is often considered to be one of the best value options in the city, but it wasn't until we stayed overnight that we started to understand why that is.

Yes, this one has relatively affordable rooms downtown, but it also backs it up with a high quality stay all around. So after visiting this one for a weekend stay, well, call us fans!

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Omni William Penn Hotel Review – A Historical Ambiance

I was eagerly anticipating my visit to the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh as this historic hotel is perhaps the most iconic of any in the city. One step in the lobby and you feel transported to a different time.

But sadly, this does not translate over into the room nearly as much, and I have to say- I was fairly let down from my stay here.

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5 of the Best Hotels Near Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh

As it comes to all of our guides about hotels near the stadiums, it would be easy for us to list the five hotels close to Acrisure Stadium (formerly Heinz Field) and be done with it. Unfortunately, that is a bit boring (and a bit impractical even) as the Pittsburgh hotel scene offers a number of options for those coming in for a Steelers game.

So if you are looking for hotels near Acrisure Stadium, we have a few options for you, both in terms of their location, amenities, and practicality!

Note: A few hotels featured in this guide are found in the North Shore right next to Acrisure Stadium. Traffic becomes pretty crazy on game days, so if you are coming in just before the start of a game or departing shortly thereafter, plan for significant delays.

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The Traveler’s Rest Hotel Review – Rooms for Many Group Sizes

Note: We stayed at The Traveler's Rest Hotel when it formerly operated as a hostel. Now the hotel has overhauled its offering to offer private rooms for various group sizes with shared facilities and is much more in line with a traditional boutique hotel. As such, we have updated the language of this article accordingly.

As avid travelers, we've done our fair share of overnight stays in hostels and boutique hotels- from $3 hole-in-the-walls in central China to high-end lodge-esque accommodations dedicated to hikers in Patagonia. Whenever we need to travel economically, we look toward shared dorms and private rooms in order to meet our travel goals.

One thing that always bothered me about the Pittsburgh hotel scene is that our budget and boutique hotel offering is much more limited compared to chain offerings.

Traveler's Rest is one boutique hotel that opened up in South Side near Station Square and it certainly fills a need!

I was invited to the hotel for an overnight stay and wanted to share a bit more about this hidden gem in the South Side.

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