Trickled with food, refined style, steel, and tons of technology Pittsburgh was recently voted “America’s Most Livable City”. The affordable housing options, premium healthcare/research facilities such as the Magee Women's Research Institute and high level universities are some of the reasons that people are flocking to the city. Technology companies are taking note of all that Pittsburgh has to offer and are sprouting up. Some might consider Pittsburgh the Silicon Valley of the East. With all these changes the city has transformed to a top solo travel destination.
Solo travel has become more popular in the last few years and I understand why. There is nothing like planning or not planning a day on your own schedule. No one to complain about your choices or if you decide to sleep late. If you have not done it at least once, then I suggest you give it a try.
As a travel writer, it happens for me often but I also believe in the importance of checking into a hotel or destination alone. Adulting at Disney was probably one of my favorite trips but visiting Pittsburgh is on my top ten list.
The Fairmont Hotel provided the perfect backdrop for a few days of solace and fun. Located at Three PNC Plaza, it is central to restaurants, theaters, galleries and other attractions. It's a quick cab or uber/lyft ride from the airport and walkable from the train and/or bus. Pittsburgh is a walkable city that is perfect for exploring. The hotel combines elegant luxury accommodations and state-of-the-art facilities with responsible tourism.
Healthclub & Spa: The 6,000 square feet health club and spa is open to the public and hotel guest. With a variety of services to choose from, this is a great way to start or end your trip. Not certain what to book, then just enjoy the complimentary amenities.
Spa guests receive the following complimentary amenities:
- Fitness Center use
- Spacious men's and women's locker rooms
- Cedar saunas
- Eucalyptus steam rooms
- Plush bathrobes and slippers
- Flavored waters, coffee and tea
Loyalty members are invited to take advantage of Fairmont Fit in partnership with Reebok. This program means you don't have to alter your fitness routine because you didn't want to add bulk to your suitcase with sneakers or work out clothing. During the reservation process make certain that your profile is updated with sizing and preference. Fitness apparel and equipment will be delivered directly to your guest room.
Dining: Market Square is located a few feet from the hotel and offers lots of dining options. Primanti Brothers is a must visit because where else can you get a sandwich topped with cole slaw, cheese, and greasy fries. This Pittsburgh staple has existed since 1933 and they now offer shipping to pretty much anywhere in the United States.
If you prefer “fine dining” you'll find lots of options close by or just head to FL.2, the restaurant located in the Fairmont Hotel. Pittsburgh's dining scene has it all. Options include hyper-local farm to table, vegan, diners or tried and true classics.
Theater: No need to travel to New York to catch Broadway shows. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has revitalized a 14-square-block area of downtown Pittsburgh. Once a distressed area, the Cultural District, is now an essential part of the community and nationwide model for how the arts can play a pivotal role in urban revitalization. The list of upcoming shows is comparable to what you would find in other major cities.
The District includes Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Symphony and August Wilson Center for African American Culture, among hundreds of other arts groups and artists. The Cultural District is also home to the city’s High School for Creative and Performing Arts.
Six art galleries that offer a glimpse into everything from local photography and paintings to international visuals. They’re free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday starting at 11 a.m. The outdoor art installations are picture and conversation worthy. You can also catch comedy and improv at various locations.
Attractions: A quick glimpse out the Fairmont Hotel window and you'll see some of what is available. If you're a sports buff, cross the Clemente Bridge and enjoy a Pirates game. Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker was a Puerto Rican professional baseball right fielder who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, becoming both the first Latin American and Caribbean player to be enshrined
Less than a mile away is the Andy Warhol Museum, Trinity Cathedral, Carnegie Science Center, John Heinz History Center and much more.
Nightlife: After dark activities are different for everyone but if you prefer a party setting, head to Howl at the Moon and enjoy dancing, live music and the infamous dueling pianos. Market Square offers evening entertainment as well or jump in an uber and check out the Strip District. Converted warehouses line what is known as the hip Strip District which is a mix of grocers and gourmet food shops, street stands selling produce and t-shirts, plus upbeat bars, classic Italian eateries and sandwich places. Andy's lobby bar at the hotel is also a great place to grab a night cap.
Stay Inside-cation: I might have just made that word up but it clearly means that you travel to a destination and utilize the hotel only. The Fairmont Hotel makes that easy. The room service menu will keep you satisfied, the bed is comfortable and inviting and the room size allows you to spread out. The toiletries and bathroom were probably my favorite. You can't go wrong with Le Labo' and a bathrobe.
I found a place of solace in the lounge chair near the window. It was perfect for reading and relaxing after a day out. Don't forget about the spa and the late hours of the fitness center.
Do yourself a favor and add Pittsburgh to your must visit list. it will not disappoint.