Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh Review – Downtown Gem

When I normally think of convention center hotels, my first thought is of a place for business travelers coming in for a conference or large meeting. What I often do not think about is that these hotels can also be spots for visitors coming in for a weekend to explore the city.

My visit to the Westin Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh did coincide with a conference, but the property helped me redefine my image of a convention center hotel. For those who want to be in the heart of it all and even have a great view to boot, regardless of why you're visiting, the Westin Convention Center should definitely be on your radar.

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Embracing the Arts at Downtown Pittsburgh’s Gallery Crawl

If the only things that come to mind when you think of the Pittsburgh art scene are the Carnegie Museum of Art or the Andy Warhol Museum, let me tell you: you're missing out.

Dozens of museums and galleries of all different sizes and themes are scattered around the city, with the Cultural District downtown having one of the highest concentrations of these galleries.

In fact, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust sponsors Gallery Crawls downtown four times a year, typically on Friday nights. During these crawls, all of the galleries are free and open to the public.

There's also generally live music, free performances, venues where you can make your own art projects, and even a night market complete with tons of local food and crafts vendors.

We checked out the recent gallery crawl in March 2016 that coincided with the 200th anniversary of Pittsburgh's incorporation as a city. What we appreciated the most was the opportunity to explore cool little corners of downtown that we had never been to before- all for free!

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Embassy Suites Pittsburgh Review – Unique Downtown Hotel

One thing I love about Pittsburgh's hotel scene is that it seems like the best years are still to come thanks to the boom of new hotels opening in the city.  One of the newest on the scene, Embassy Suites Downtown Pittsburgh, recently opened in early 2016.  We decided to pay a visit to this one just a few weeks after it opened to see if it would be worth your time when visiting the city.

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The Original Oyster House Review – Pittsburgh’s Oldest

There is something to be said about an over 150-year-old restaurant in any city, as being able to survive the test of time is something only a few businesses ever accomplish.

In Pittsburgh, this distinction falls on the Original Oyster House, which is the oldest bar and restaurant in the city and is also recognized historic landmark. With such a reputation preceding it, we went in with great expectations.

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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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Pizzaiolo Primo Review – Authentic Italian Experience Downtown

I remember when Market Square consisted of not much more than Chipotle, Starbucks, and PPG Place. Luckily things have dramatically changed for the better with the gradual addition of great restaurants.

On a recent visit we decided to visit Pizzaiolo Primo to check out their Neapolitan style pizzas made with an authentic wood-fired oven, as well as their incredible pastas that ended up being the biggest surprise of the night.

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Christmas in Pittsburgh – The City Comes Alive for Holidays

If you're looking to experience some holiday cheer this year, you should definitely plan a visit to downtown Pittsburgh where you'll find an incredible collection of Christmas displays, a European winter market, and so much more!

So what all can you expect to enjoy when heading downtown for the holidays?  The following are some of our favorites from our latest visit!

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The Yard Pittsburgh Review – Grilled Cheese Overload

Grilled Cheese at The Yard

The grilled cheese trend has not been one we've been particularly excited about, so when a few friends asked us to meet up at The Yard for late night grilled cheese, our hopes were not high.

Luckily, The Yard came through with many unique offerings, an incredible dessert menu, and for those who aren't into grilled cheese as much, a fantastic bar.

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