Enjoying Camp Life at Bear Run Campground Near Moraine State Park

Camp life near Pittsburgh is a cherished thing. Everyone knows someone with a camper, and virtually every camp is about an hour away from home (at least, every camp we've ever heard of through friends and acquaintances).

We, unfortunately, never got to experience camp life until only recently, and our first outing brought us to Bear Run Campground near Moraine State Park as guests of the Butler County Visitor's Bureau. After spending two days at the property, we now fully understand why camp life is so popular!

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Tour-Ed Mine & Museum Takes an Educational Trip Into a Coal Mine

Virtually everyone knows about Pittsburgh's steel history. You may even know that the city was a big producer of glass and iron as well. But did you know that the area was also a big coal producer too? 

While coal mining was necessary for steel production, there were numerous uses for this bountiful material found in the area- and coal mining boomed for several centuries.

One mine decided to close down in the mid-1900s, despite sitting on a large deposit of coal, and converted the area into an educational museum in order to highlight the history of coal mining in the region. They became the Tour-Ed Mine & Museum, and this spot has been operating educational tours for over 50 years!

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Playthings Etc. in Butler is Truly the World’s Coolest Toy Store

If you drive by Playthings Etc. in Butler, PA, you'll know it.

That isn't because of the signage or an unusual display, but rather that the toy store itself is shaped like a stealth bomber!

If that isn't enough to make you want to stop, we don't know what would (but we're going to try to convince you all the same). Going inside this one is even better than the outside!

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Mission Mahi Review – A Food Truck Turned Restaurant in Cranberry

Mission Mahi started off as a food truck serving loaded “tacos” to hungry Pittsburghers. After driving the truck around the city for several years, they expanded to a dedicated restaurant in Cranberry where they now sling their staples in addition to the roaming truck.

But as it turns out, the mission part of Mission Mahi is an incredible story in its own right- one I learned more about when visiting the restaurant for a trusty meal.

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Exploring the Prairie at the Jennings Environmental Education Center

The Jennings Environmental Education Center is one part museum, one part park near Slippery Rock, PA. 

The park itself is known for its roughly 20-acre prairie, which is one of the only protected and public prairies in the state. Not only does this make the location unique in its own right, but the park is home to a gorgeous museum and many more hiking trails to check out.

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Stand Up Paddleboarding at Moraine State Park with SurfSUP Adventures

Moraine State Park is one of our favorite parks in the area as it is quite large, accessible in about 45 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, and offers a wealth of things to do when visiting both on and off the water.

On a recent visit, I got to try out something that I've been eyeing for quite some time- stand up paddleboarding with SurfSUP Adventures. I've got to say, this one was a ton of fun!

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Iron Born Review – Stellar Detroit Style Pizza in Millvale

Our love affair with Iron Born began pretty much on day one when their concept launched at Smallman Galley.

At first, we were suspect of the concept of Detroit-style pizza, because it sounded like an unusual attempt to improve upon Chicago deep dish. But after our very first bite, we were very, very happy to say that we were wrong.

Now Iron Born not only has a die-hard following at their stall at Smallman Galley, but also at their brick and mortar store in Millvale!

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The Saxonburg Museum is a Wonderful Historical Gem

Prior to visiting Saxonburg, I only had heard a few stories about the borough's rich history.

It wasn't until I visited for a Burgh, Bits, and Bites food tour that I was able to learn more about the history due to the fact that the tour started out at the wonderful Saxonburg Museum!

If you're in the area during the museum's seasonal operating period, this one is most certainly worth a stop.

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Smokin’ Toad’s BBQ Review – Looking for More North of Pittsburgh

Smokin' Toad's BBQ is located in Sarver, PA, just under an hour northeast of Pittsburgh, and is one of those places we've driven by a number of times but never quite made it in to try.

It was only when visiting Cellar Works Brewing next door that I was able to put in an order from the menu (available at the brewery).

While a robust menu with a number of options, I left wishing I was able to sample a bit more.

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