Moving With Pets

This post is sponsored by Weston Moving and Storage, a family-owned and operated moving company that has been serving South Florida since 1999. Though I have been paid to write this post, all opinions below are my own.

Moving can be a stressful and arduous undertaking for us humans, never mind our animal companions. As people prepare for a move, they also need to think about their pets.

As people prepare for a move, they are generally concerned with things like packing boxes, hiring movers, and changing addresses. But another very important thing to consider is the well-being of your family pet. Moving from one home to another can be traumatic for a pet if not handled properly, and there are several important steps to take in order to make the transition an easy one.

Moving with Pets – Before the Move

Image courtesy of Weston Moving
  • Plan transport – Ensure that your pet becomes acclimated to the actual act of transportation during the move. If your dog or cat is not used to being in a carrier or a car, plan accordingly and expose it to several short trips before moving day. Place its toys or blankets in the carrier or car with it so that it is surrounded by familiar objects.
  • Pack a bag – Gather enough food and water for the duration of the trip, and some extra in case of emergency. Bring bowls for feeding, toys, treats, and blankets, and a disposable litter box for cats if needed. Also, it’s handy to have a pet first aid kit on hand.
  • Print paperwork – Print copies of your pet’s license and vaccination certificates, and ensure that your pet’s identification tags are up to date and show the correct contact information for your new address.

When I moved from Florida to Kentucky, I was so grateful we had gotten my doggos used to the car because it made them less afraid of driving with me. And, we had gone on several trips that were extended road trips – think 10-24 hours long, so they were completely okay with the long haul of 800 plus miles.

Had they not been used to car rides however, we would have spent time acclimating them to the conditions they were about to experience beforehand!

For our long trek to Kentucky, we packed a bag with enough food to last a couple of weeks because we didn’t know how long we’d be living out of boxes. We also packed toys, blankets, their flea and tick meds and shampoo and other essentials to keep them comfy for the trek and first couple of weeks in Kentucky. We arrived in January, so it was important to have plenty of blankets for them to avoid getting too cold.

Moving with Pets -During the Move

Image courtesy of Weston Moving
  • Provide space – On the day of the move, ensure that your pet is in a safe, secure place away from the heavy moving traffic. It’s best to leave it with a friend or sitter, but if you must have it at home during the time of the move, place it in a quiet room with its bedding. Ensure that others know not to leave the door open, as the animals may spook easily during this stressful time, and open doors can provide a quick exit for scared pets.
  • Monitor behavior – Check in on your pet often to see how it’s doing and to provide it with food and water. It is normal for your pet to be stressed by the move, and any comfort you can provide it with will go a long way.
  • Ensure safety – Once in transit, make sure that your pet is safely confined and restrained, and make frequent stops to allow it to go to the bathroom and provide it with food and water.

Moving with Pets -After the Move

  • Explore together – Walk around your new home with your pet to monitor its reaction to and comfort within its new surroundings, and be sure to keep it restrained when near any open doors or open fencing, as it may be tempted to run away if frightened.
  • Set up camp – Pick out a spot for your pet’s stationary belongings, such as the food and water bowls and bed, and try not to move them from that spot. Signs of stability are very important at this stage, and this will provide it with comfort if its belongings are in the same place consistently.

Moving with Pets – Don’t Make Our Big Mistake!

Unfortunately, my doggos didn’t have stability when we first moved in. Had we been smart about our move and chosen a reputable moving company like Weston Moving and Storage, all of our belongings would have arrived safely. Instead, we foolishly went with a bad company that made it impossible to have any stability for a while due to broken furniture and goods. This didn’t have to happen to us, and it doesn’t have to happen to you either.

Instead of a lovely bed, we slept on blankets on the floor for about 4 days:

We held them close to keep them and us warm, and to make them feel safe while we slept. We also gave them plenty of walks and assurances that everything would be okay. Other than the fact they acted like they weren’t potty trained for a couple of weeks, they finally settled down and settled in to our new home.

I’ve mentioned it several times on this blog, but I sincerely wish we had used a better moving company. Check out my posts A Survival Guide To Moving and my recent post, 10 Things to Look for In a Moving Company as you’re considering the moving company you will use to transport your belongings. Let my cautionary tale motivate you to do your homework and hire a professional rather than choosing based on cost alone!

About Weston Moving and Storage

Weston Movers has been proudly relocating families and businesses for almost 20 years now! Whether you are searching for residential moving, labor only, packing services, or even commercial movers in Broward County, Weston Moving and Storage has you covered. They like to say that they simplify moving, and after looking at everything they offer, I can see why.

Image courtesy of Weston Moving

I didn’t even know packing services was a thing moving companies offered! I always thought you had to get a personal concierge or assistant to do that! To learn more about their company, and the areas they service, click here.

A Survival Guide To Moving

This post is sponsored by Infinite Moving, a moving company serving the central Florida counties of Polk, Orange, Lake, and Osceola. Though I have been paid to write this post, all opinions below are my own.

Anyone who has ever moved before can tell you that moving is hard enough to accomplish without all the little things that seem to go wrong at the worst moments. Luckily, there is hope. Below is a survival guide filled with advice that may help you have a less stressful transition from one space to another.

The “Pre-Move”

Far too many people seem to be under the impression that moving starts the day the mover trucks show up. However, if you start packing a couple of weeks (or even a couple of months) beforehand, when moving day rolls around, the stress of packing and transitioning from place to place can decrease immensely. One study documented that, on average, it takes a college student 4-5 hours to pack up an entire dorm room. This is a general guideline as most people intend to move their entire house, not just one room. So for a four bedroom home, you may want to give yourself as many as 20 hours to pack up those four bedrooms, and then an additional 4 to 5 hours for every additional room (i.e. kitchen, dining room, den, sun room, etc…)

It’s also a good idea is to pack a suitcase. In it you should include all the things needed for roughly three to five days after the move. That way, you won’t have to be digging through boxes when you need a change of clothes.

p.s. – for my recent move earlier this year we created a meal plan to use everything we possibly could in our fridge, freezer, and pantry prior to our departure. This way we had less to transport from place to place. The further you move, the more critical it is to avoid bringing things that need to stay refrigerated/frozen. In our case, we moved 800 plus miles, so bringing anything cold just wasn’t feasible.

Pro Tip: Try to make sure you don’t need immediate access to your kitchenware and utensils right away.

We created a box of essentials that included paper napkins and plates, as well as disposable cups and utensils. Our meals for the first few days were heat and eat meals or sandwiches so we wouldn’t need to scrounge the kitchen boxes looking for pots and pans and plates. Planning ahead for this saved us from a lot of expensive takeout food!

We also had a “As soon as we arrive” bag that had things like hand soap, toilet paper, and other essentials we knew we would need at the ready for immediate use. If you only read this far, you’ll thank me if you use these tips.

Packing

It is a good idea to clearly mark all your boxes to save yourself time and confusion. Aim for two “open me first” boxes per room in your new space. Like it sounds, these boxes will hold all the things you will most likely need first in your new home.

Padding – A good space saver idea (and one that is green to boot!) is to use all of your fluffy towels and pillows to cushion delicate and fragile items such as china, DVD players, and even computers. We even used shirts, shorts, and socks for extra padding because the stuff had to be moved anyway, and saved us serious coin on that overpriced styrofoam cushioning we could have used! Of course, whichever boxes have breakables should be labeled as “Fragile” and always put them on top when stacking with the heavier boxes on the bottom.

Weight – Try to keep each box below 30 pounds whenever possible. Heavier boxes have a tendency to get dropped, rip, and generally hurting the people trying to move them.

Electronics – If you have a lot of complicated electronics in your house, try taking a picture of how they are hooked up before moving them. Then when the time comes to re-hook them up, you only have to look at the picture, and voila!

Heavy items – If you have things like a pool table, piano, or other heavy and bulky items, do yourself a favor and choose a moving company that can help you with things like this! For example, if you need pool table moving in Polk County, it’s best to call in professionals like Infinite Moving that are trained in heavy lifting.

These items are not only heavy, but they typically come with a large price tag. And, if you don’t want them damaged, using pros is key. Besides, promising pizza and beer to your friends in exchange for helping move these items is not going to go over well when cousin John or neighbor Alice pulls a muscle or throws out their back helping you move something far too heavy for amateurs!

Labels – Never label your boxes with a pencil. Instead, use a thick black or dark-colored marker, and always label your boxes on top and bottom. If one gets turned upside down, you will still know what it is. We also labeled ours on the sides so we could leave them stacked and easily see what was where.

The Movers

Finding really great movers can be tough, but it is not impossible. If you choose to go with professional movers, don’t be afraid to look around and ask questions. Talk with friends who have used this company or that business. Research the companies that catch your interest and never trust one simply because it is the “easiest” or the cheapest. Feel free to vet these companies by logging on to the Better Business Bureau and US Department of Public Transportation websites.

Also – check out my recent post, 10 Things to Look for In a Moving Company as you’re making your decision.

Unpacking

Once you have survived the moving process, and you and all you hold dear is now safely located at your new house, take a deep breath and relax. Give yourself a moment before you get back up and start unpacking. Although your move is technical “over,” the unpacking process has just begun. Like with the packing process, you will need to have a plan before you begin.

Priorities First – Always concentrate on the “Open me first” boxes for the bathroom and kitchen. These are usually the items you will truly “need” soon if not sooner.

Timetable – Set a specific number of boxes to be opened each day, and don’t stop until you have accomplished the task. Do yourself a favor and take the boxes to the recycle bin as quickly as possible so you don’t have to deal with a bunch of clutter on top of trying to unpack the rest of your belongings.

Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to have a plan for where everything will go before you unpack any boxes

Clean as you go – Trash bags should be kept on hand at all times for any newspaper, packing tape, and general trash. And, sanitize the area before you start filling it up.

A Few Tips To Make Moving Day Less Stressful

Having moved quite a few times myself, I know first hand how stressful moving can be. In my opinion, the packing and unpacking are the worst and most stressful.

Oftentimes, I would find myself standing in the middle of the room, spinning in circles while surveying the room, and wondering to myself, “Where do I begin?” That overwhelming feeling that comes over you when preparing for the big move can be daunting at times.

After the first few times I moved, I realized that I needed to become more organized. I had to find a better way to do it, and here’s what I came up with….

First of all, if you are planning on using a moving company such as Infinite Moving, or renting a moving truck to do it yourself, make your arrangements as soon as possible to reserve your time slot.

The easiest way I found to pack was to do it in “rounds.” What I mean by that is, start in one room and, doing each room individually, pack away the things you know for sure you will not need until after your move. This is round 1. Then, each week leading up to your move, do a sweep through of your house and pack away the things you know you can live without for the time being.

Not only will this help to lessen the stress of moving, but at this time, you can also decide to sell or give away the things you don’t ever use instead of moving them with you.

If you will be using cardboard boxes to pack your things, use a permanent marker and somewhere on the box, write the name of the room that the items in the box belong in. Then when you move, you can put the box in its designated room right away to make unpacking that much easier. If you are using plastic storage containers instead of boxes, pick up some cheap, easily removable labels to place on the containers and write the names of the rooms on the labels instead of writing it directly on the containers.

Another idea would be to mark each box with a number according to necessity. For instance, if the items in a box are personal toiletries, those would be something you would need to be unpacked right away, so you could mark that box with a “1” so you would know to unpack that box first. Then follow suit with the other boxes using the number “2” for items that you wouldn’t need to be unpacked right away but would need soon, and so on and so on.

If you have children, give them a box or two and have them pack up their own toys and personal belongings. This always works great with my kids. They love to help me out in any way they can, and they’re always so proud of what they’ve accomplished when they get their packing completed. Then when your move is over, and it’s time to unpack, the kids can then unpack and put away their own things.

Hopefully, the moving tips I’ve listed here will help to make your moving experience a little more pleasant, organized, and less stressful.

10 Things to Look for In a Moving Company

What to Look For Moving Company Dolly in Truck
This post is sponsored by 24/7 Logistics Services, a moving company, in the Florida area. Though I have been paid to write this post, all opinions below are my own.

For those of you who don’t know, I moved to Kentucky from Florida at the beginning of 2021. I have a lot of regrets about how I chose to go about hunting for a moving company to transport our belongings from state to state. If I had it to do over, I would have been much more careful in selecting our movers rather than trusting blindly.

I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did, so with that in mind, below are 10 things to look for in a moving company. Hopefully, they will prevent you from experiencing some of the woes we had when we moved.

What to Look for In a Moving Company

1. You need a trustworthy company

Whether they are packing your stuff for you, or just transporting it from point A to point B – you want a trustworthy company who won’t throw your crap around like the company I used did.

They had no qualms about dropping boxes, scratching my furniture, or dropping my entertainment center stair by stair down the stairs – which caused it to break by the way. Ugh. Do your homework people! Use a trustworthy company so they don’t do shoddy work!

2. They gotta be reliable

If your movers say they will be there between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., they sure as heck better do it! While my movers did show up early, they spent most of the time taking turns in the bathroom and not really working while running out the clock and then demanding extra pay for overtime. Sigh….

3. You want folks that are experienced

Oh, how I wish I had known about 24/7 Logistic Services when we were preparing to move from Florida to Kentucky. They not only have award-winning, nationwide movers, but they have four years of experience and a great reputation. But I digress…

4 and 5. They should be licensed and insured

One of the problems with who we booked…you guessed it – they weren’t licensed. So, when they broke my entertainment center and scratched my furniture, I really didn’t have any recourse. They had no way to pay back the damages

6. You want PROFESSIONALS

It sounds obvious, but janky websites and missed calls should be a key indicator to you about unprofessionalism. I should have paid attention to the red flags instead of pressing onward and getting screwed. I guess I’m just grateful most of our stuff arrived in one piece. But, I’m certain if I’d gone with professionals like the folks at 24/7 Logistic Services, all of my pieces would have arrived intact and there wouldn’t have been any negative issues.

7. They should be honest and transparent about pricing

While pricing will vary depending on demand and time of the week, there should be transparency about prices. In other words, no surprises! For example, we didn’t realize there were surprise fees to be incurred with our shady movers.

8. Prices should also be affordable

If someone is charging a fraction of what the average is, or multiple times more than the average – it’s a red flag. That said, I can understand charging more based on quality – just not a crazy high price that doesn’t seem justifiable!

9. Services should be customizable

Even in clothing one-size-fits-all doesn’t actually exist. That’s another thing I like about 24/7 Logistic Services. Their services are customized based on your unique needs. Its not just residential moving – they also offer apartment moving, packing services, long distance moving, special assistance for senior citizens, piano moving, and so much more!

10. Finally, they have to have amazing customer support

If customer satisfaction isn’t their number one priority – move on to someone that does hold that in the highest regard. You don’t have to use crappy movers. You deserve to have movers that will treat your belongings like you do – with care!

About 24/7 Logistics Services

24/7 Logistic Services is one of the leading moving companies, working on both local and long distance moving in Hollywood, Florida. They strive to provide customers with the top quality local and long-distance moving services. Their main objective is to provide speedy delivery and efficient support even in long-distance moving. Therefore, they offer first-class and well-maintained trucks and tractor-trailers. Moreover, all of their vehicles get 24/7 roadside assistance. And to become even more reliable partner to customers they have GPS-devices installed in each of their trucks, which enables the company to track your belongings’ whereabouts in 24/7 mode.

Learn more about their company here.

And, if you’re looking for more information about moving, I highly recommend their blog.

More of My Posts About Moving

I’ve shared a lot of posts recently that offer tips on moving. Check out a few of them by clicking here.

I hope you found this post helpful! If you did, please share it with a friend who might be moving too.

Visit Lake Erie For Fun On Ohio’s Lakeshore

Travelers find great fishing, a lively party scene, bird watching, photography opportunities, gourmet dining, and natural beauty on Ohio’s northern border.

Boating and fishing are two of Ohio’s most exciting and popular activities, and nowhere in the state are there more opportunities to enjoy them than at Lake Erie. Places to launch boats of all types are easy to access, and there is a wide selection of fishing charters from which to choose. Lake Erie is best known as The Walleye Capital of the World, but perch, catfish, and bass are also plentiful and popular with anglers.

Proprietors of bait shops and marinas are friendly, helpful, and always happy to assist visitors with information about the best places to fish and the best tackle to use. Fishing off the rocks near Marblehead Lighthouse yields white bass, catfish, and more. Anglers fish in the shadow of the picturesque lighthouse while standing in shallow waves that wash over the rocks. They can purchase the most popular local rig for this kind of fishing, a large weighted bobber with a tiny tube lure on a three-foot dropper, from most local bait shops.

For party fun, visit Put-in-Bay

For the liveliest party scene in the area, visitors will want to make the rounds at Put-in-Bay. Gift shops, restaurants, bars, music, and a fun seaside ambiance make this a great stop for people who want to see and be seen, meet new friends, and enjoy a drink or two. Golf carts and bicycles are available for rent, so it’s easy to leave cars behind on the mainland, cross to the island on a ferry, and still have transportation to all the island’s attractions.

Wineries provide a more relaxed environment for drinkers and diners. Surprisingly good and affordable local wines are available for tasting. Of course, wine lovers will want to purchase a few bottles to enjoy at home.

Sample local walleye and perch

For the most mouth-watering Lake Erie dinner, a visit to Mon Ami Restaurant and Historic Winery back on the mainland in Port Clinton for the fried walleye dinner is in order. After dinner, diners will be sure to enjoy browsing in the wine and gift shop.

For those who prefer to catch their own, the area offers fish cleaning services. Anglers can fish beautiful Lake Erie, have their catch professionally filleted, and then retire to one of the local campgrounds for a fish dinner cooked over a campfire.

Bird watchers and photographers find plenty of interesting sights

Bird watchers can see gulls, herons, ibis, cormorants, ducks, geese, and more in the area. Bald eagles have even been spotted nesting not far from Port Clinton. In addition to birds, photographers will find interesting subjects, including boats, lighthouses, and spectacular sunrises and sunsets on the water. Lake weather creates cloud formations and lighting conditions that result in spectacular photographic opportunities.

Visitors to Kellys Island can view the fascinating glacial grooves, a natural formation where bedrock has been sculpted by Pleistocene glaciers to create a remarkable record of ice scouring the earth’s surface. Eighteen different kinds of fossils are identified along the walkway around the glacial grooves.

Lodging to fit every budget

Comfortable lodging of all sorts is available along the Lake Erie coast, including bed & breakfasts, budget hotels, campgrounds, and cabins. The lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake offers luxurious accommodations, including wine country tours and a variety of packages for seasonal visits and romantic, wine-country getaways.

Top 10 Niagara Falls Attractions

Niagara Falls is a natural wonder that everyone should behold at least once in their lifetime. Located on the American-Canadian border, it is one of the world’s most famous marvels. Traveling to Niagara, New York, then across the American border to Canada, you will find the most beautiful of views and many great families, and budget-friendly attractions.

Maid of the Mist

Perhaps one of the most famous attractions at the falls, the Maid of the Mist is an engine-powered boat that takes you on a half-hour ride beneath the falls. It is kid-friendly, and the prices are fairly low, so a family of four could take this trip for around forty dollars.

Casino’s

Whether you are visiting the Casino Niagara or Seneca Niagara, gamblers are afforded plenty of locations to play the slots. Providing, of course, that you are over the age of 19, you can partake in over 3000 slot machines, over 78 blackjack tables, and 17 roulette tables.

Fallsview waterpark

The waterpark is indoors and offers over 16 waterslides and an indoor wave pool. Located across from the falls, this is a great getaway for those with kids, as children will love the fun and adventure in safer water than the falls they just witnessed.

Bird Aviary

Feeding exotic birds and watching lizards scamper through the wild while hosting a giant Macaw on one arm is an interesting day indeed. These are a few of the things that you can expect from the Bird aviary on the Canadian side of the falls.

Butterfly conservatory

Where else can you see butterflies drink the sweet nectar from thousands of blooming flowers? Here you can travel along paths that will grant you access to unlimited species of beautiful, fluttery butterflies, all unique in their own way.

Cave of the Winds

The Cave of the Winds leads you deep into a gorge where you can ascend stairs that lead you to Hurricane Deck. Here, you stand twenty feet away from the falls themselves and are confronted with a torrent of water from the falls.

Skylon Tower

With a rotating restaurant, you can not overlook this overlooking view of the Falls. The Skylon Tower is 520 feet high and awards you with a view of all of Niagara Falls. It takes one hour for one full rotation, so you can take your time and take plenty of pictures.

Niagara Helicopters

Still can’t get enough of the beautiful falls? Take a helicopter ride that will reward you with every sight possible. Of course, these are not likely to be cheap rides, but the experience might very well be worth it. Not everyone can say that they had a personal, private tour of Niagara Falls in a helicopter, now can they?

Journey behind the Falls

If you haven’t had your fill of a front view of the cascading falls, how about taking a little sneak peek from behind them? Made up of tunnels and elevators, the journey behind the falls takes you as close as 150 feet away from the back of the falls.

Whirlpool jet-boat

It’s like white water rafting, but safer and tons more fun. A jetboat takes you to ‘Devil’s Hole’ and through several rapids spraying water in your face while you get shocking views of the falls above you.

A trip to Niagara Falls has something for everyone! Visitors from all over the world travel to Niagara to take in the sights, visit the falls, and partake in the splendor that Canada and America provide for all to see. A word to the wise, though, for anyone traveling across either border from anywhere, a passport is now needed, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly. Also, since Niagara is such a popular hot spot, you might want to make reservations for all of these attractions in advance.

The Beauty Of The Niagara Falls

Breathtaking, inspiring, and jaw-dropping are some of the commonly used words that tourists use to describe Niagara Falls. Three massive waterfalls make up the water network collectively known as Niagara Falls, and they lie on the boundary of Canada and the United States.

This extraordinary gift of nature is always awesome to see in person, no matter how many times you may have visited before. Additionally, colored lights make the falls even more dramatically vivid at night, lighting up the rushing water in visual splendor, which gives the falls a distinctively different look.

Lodging in every price range surrounds the falls, making this a great get-away for families, honeymooners, or travelers passing through to another Canadian destination.

From prime hotels that are dozens of stories tall to smaller motels within a ten-minute walk of the falls, a spectacular view of this natural wonder is assured. Campgrounds are also located nearby. In fact, lodging is plentiful on both sides of the Niagara River and in both sister towns, Niagara, Ontario, and Niagara, New York.

Three immense waterfalls collectively make up the Niagara Falls, which take the world record in water flow rate gushing over the edge per minute. Highlighting natural splendor at its showiest best, these falls remain largely unspoiled thanks to the efforts of the stewards who protect them from development.

This has been a concern for two centuries due to the huge amount of power that the falls create. There is a hydroelectric power company at the north end of the falls, but visitors enjoy the focal region in its near-pristine condition.

Amazingly, Niagara Falls was created during the conclusion of the Ice Age, approximately 9,000 years ago. As glaciers were retreating and the Great Lakes were formed, water was coursing its way towards the Atlantic Ocean. This created the Niagara River, which fills Lake Ontario with water coming out of Lake Erie.

Located between Buffalo, New York, and Toronto, Canada, the falls lie along the borderline separating the United States and Canada. Due to continual erosion, the precise boundary line has been subject to some debate.

On the New York side and flanking the falls is Niagara State Park, which is chock-full of hiking trails and exhibits. Additionally, both parts of Niagara, the Canadian side and the one in the United States, are jam-packed with delectable cafes and restaurants that cater to travelers.

However, by roaming just a few blocks off the beaten path, there are local establishments that are quite economical and serve fabulous food. Visitors find many thrilling activities to take part in, like riding a boat that takes passengers behind the falls.

Niagara Falls is by and large a tourist town, which sports many common attractions such as a wax museum and A Ripley’s Believe It or Not Center. However, there are many unique spots as well, like the Butterfly Conservatory and Queen Victoria Park.

Additionally, an indoor water park, Dinosaur Golf, bird sanctuary, and gigantic Ferris wheel are all nearby to round out your stay. Niagara Falls is a great way to appease the entire family with adventures they will always remember.

Places Tourists Should Avoid In Pittsburgh

The British magazine The Economist rated Pittsburgh as the best U.S. city to live in and the 29-best city in the world to live in. Pittsburgh was host to the G-20 summit, becoming the public face of the United States to the other nineteen attending nations.

As both the most livable city in the U.S. and the city chosen to showcase the U.S., Pittsburgh seems like a perfect tourism location. Surprisingly, despite a few highlights, especially in arts and dining, many of the famous or entertainment-oriented locations in Pittsburgh should be avoided by the average tourist.

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

For local residents, this animal habitat is a fine location for a pleasant day with family. But, a tourist location, this zoo is not. The zoo and aquarium are both on the small side, and there is not a single animal that can’t be found elsewhere. At a very leisurely pace, a full tour of the exhibit may take three hours, but on average, it will take slightly less than two, and there are very few exciting animals.

The Central Park Zoo in New York City has nearly the same quality of animals while being easier to navigate. The zoos in both Philadelphia and San Diego are much more impressive, with a significantly wider range of animals and higher quantity as well. Visiting a zoo that is likely to be no better than a local option is a poor choice for any tourist.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Despite its name, this museum actually showcases both natural history and fine art. The entry fee is rather inexpensive, especially for students and children, but that is the only real perk of this tourist spot. The natural history side of the museum has absolutely no unique exhibits, and children will likely be disappointed at the small size of the dinosaur exhibit.

The fine arts side of the museum is even more disappointing, having very little in the way of art from major artists of the past, with the exception of some Warhol paintings. There are much better museums in D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City, on just the East Coast alone. For most tourists, this will just be simply disappointing.

Strip District

Touted as the “historic” Strip District, this Pittsburgh neighborhood, just east of downtown Pittsburgh, is supposed to be one of the things Pittsburgh is famous for. Whatever history it does or doesn’t have, the majority of the Strip District is now run-down warehouses. There are a few unique and intimate shops and restaurants in the neighborhood, but only locals truly know where to find them, and parking is terrible.

During the day, the neighborhood is relatively safe, but at night, police patrol it regularly, and crime is still incredibly common in the area. This shouldn’t be too problematic for a tourist, though, since the nightlife in the area is primarily clubs and bars that are only really exciting for locals.

South Side

Known for having some of the best local food in Pittsburgh and a modicum of shopping opportunities, the South Side district of Pittsburgh is nearly as famous as the Strip District. Parking is easier on the South Side, but the neighborhood is even more run down. The main road, Carson Street, is rather clean and safe, but one block in either direction, the neighborhood quickly goes downhill.

Unfortunately, these side streets are where most of the parking is, and cars parked in the area are very likely to be stolen or burglarized. To get some of the best food in Pittsburgh, it may be worth taking a taxi to the South Side, eating, and then leaving in another taxi, but the neighborhood simply isn’t safe or friendly enough to be worth an extended visit.

Residents of Pittsburgh tend to have a lot of pride in their city. Often this pride is expressed negatively as disdain for non-locals, and the insular attitude can make Pittsburgh a difficult city to be enjoyed by tourists. Despite this, Pittsburgh was chosen as the site of G-20 for a number of good reasons, including some impressive local attractions, including Pamela’s, the National Aviary, Mt. Washington Incline, and the Carnegie Science Center.

By avoiding the previously identified locales that generally cater more to locals than to visitors, a tourist can enjoy a pleasant weekend in the city of Pittsburgh.

Places To Visit In Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods – each has a unique personality and set of characteristics. It is full of culture, history, and most importantly, great people. Call me biased, but it’s an awesome place to visit and live.

I decided to make a list of locations every visitor should see when they stop in Pittsburgh. It’s far from complete; that list would be way too long! So the next time you’re considering a small trip, consider visiting a former steel city on three rivers.

Places to See

Andy Warhol Museum

A museum devoted to the work of one of Pittsburgh’s most famous residents. Great collection with events throughout the year. Last time I was there a film series was showcased.

Carnegie Museum of Art & Natural History

One of my favorite places. My favorite spots include the Hall of Architecture, North America, and the Egyptian exhibits. Known for its large dinosaur exhibit, which recently reopened after months of renovation.

Mattress Factory

Known for full room art exhibits by in house artists. I’ve actually never gone there, but I’ve always heard great things.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

A few blocks from the Carnegie museums. Has different plant displays throughout the seasons. Within walking distance of the Carnegie museums and library.

Heinz History Museum

Focuses on Pennsylvania history; also includes a Pennsylvania Sports Museum, lots of photography, and Native American exhibits.

Duquesne Incline

In operation since 1877 – takes trips up to Mount Washington where there’s a great view of Pittsburgh from the south end of town.

Allegheny Cemetery

Instituted in 1844, this 300 acre cemetery is a good place for a walk. Stephen Foster is buried there!

National Aviary

America’s only independent indoor nonprofit bird zoo (I didn’t know that!). Located on the North Side of town, and has more than 200 species.

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Take a great walking tour throughout the zoo. The steep escalator visitors take up to the zoo upon entering is practically a ride in of itself!

Heinz Field

The home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. This stadium is a few years old, and can hold 65,000 fans. It’s always a great place to visit, even if it’s not a game day.

Places to Eat

Hkan

Hookah bar that started out as a class project by CMU students. Serves food as well as a full bar. My friends and I enjoy the fruity hookah flavors, like mango or strawberry, but you can also mix flavors. Usually crowded on the weekends.

Ali Baba

A small Syrian restaurant tucked in between a used book store and a coffee shop. Be daring and try something you can’t pronounce. The baba ghanoush is the best ever.

Lu Lu’s Noodles

Consistently voted best Chinese in Pittsburgh. The General Tso’s is amazing! Also try Mango Milk Tea – it’s a sweet and creamy drink that you can also get (as an option) with tapioca pearls at the bottom. Within walking distance of the Carnegie museums and library.

Primanti Brothers

A Pittsburgh tradition (unfortunately it turned into a chain, which is blah). Go to the original, and your deli sandwich will include fries and coleslaw piled on whatever you get.

Dave & Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream

A small place off the main street, but definitely worth a look.

Kassab’s Restaurant

On the South Side – great little Middle Eastern place that’s also really inexpensive. My best friend waitressed there for a few months. Great fatoush and awesome gyros.

Beehive Coffeehouse

Great little coffee house on the South Side that has a funky atmosphere.

Pittsburgh Museums The Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh is a gem. There are very few places that offer the diversity and value of the museum, and there is certain to be something there that will have every child (and maybe some adults) begging to come back. If you have a child that needs to get out of the house, this is the first place I would go.

The museum is built into two historic buildings. The first is a gorgeous old post office, complete with a gigantic green dome on top, and the second is the adjacent planetarium building. Today, both buildings server to provide educational interactions with children from around the area. In between the buildings is a new section built to house the entrance and a number of great exhibits.

As soon as you walk in, you will see Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood in front of you. Mr. Roger lived in Pittsburgh, so I suppose you were in his neighborhood already, but this area houses an area where kids can recreate their own stories in the Land of Make-Believe.

There is even an area to pretend to record the show, trying on your own cardigan sweater and playing on the piano. You can also watch a selection of his old factory videos. There is also a real-sized trolley to ride in and a Land of Make-Believe puppetry and fun area. Having grown up in Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, I got a kick out of the adult touches and history that is recorded in the room.

For kids who take stuff apart, there is a “Garage” where kids can play with gears, wheels, and whirligigs galore. This allows them to play adults and learn about how the things they see every day really work. The “Attic” room houses animatronic puppets, phosphorescence displays, and the somewhat alarming gravity room.

This is a room built to exploit our perceptions and fool our sense of gravity. Even with a complete understanding of what is going on, it is a bit vertigo-inducing if you aren’t ready, but kids love it. There is room for interactive electronic art. Interactive electronics are a specialty of the local universities and are a subject of continuing study around the world, so this lets you get a feel for how computers see you and how you can make art with motion and projection.

The post office houses studio space for creative play, so if making arts and crafts is your kid’s cup of tea, this is the place.

There is a theater and radio station in the basement of the planetarium, allowing you to see how music is made as well as providing a performance space for various acts. On Saturday mornings, the Saturday Light Brigade broadcasts live from that space, and you can come in and see them and possibly even be on the radio. Finally, there is the water room, a space to play with water by moving it, blocking it, and spraying it. Also, there are always traveling exhibits coming through, so check back frequently.

If your child is the type who likes to have fun, then this is the place. If they aren’t, they are unlike any child I have ever met. Even adults like myself keep coming back because everyone likes to recapture a bit of the wonder of youth, and the Children’s Museum does just that. You can find it on the North Side, just a mile from Downtown on Allegheny Circle.

Pittsburgh Attractions Sightseeing In Pittsburgh

Each city I have visited contains its own beauty, and so does Pittsburgh. I have yet to explore all of its beauty, but below are some of Pittsburgh’s attractions that I have discovered and would visit again.

Pittsburgh’s skyline is stunning, the city’s cultural and artistic offerings are excellent, and its natural landmarks such as mountains and water create a visually provocative cityscape. The three destinations I have chosen below could be experienced even if you only had one day and evening in Pittsburgh.

Andy Warhol Museum

The Andy Warhol Museum is one of the four distinctive Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and is one of my favorites. It is a fun and educational way to start your day in Pittsburgh. It is more than a museum and my favorite place to visit in Pittsburgh. Visitors are engaged in creative interaction with the art and life of Andy Warhol.

There is always something new going on at the museum with special exhibitions, programs, and events. The permanent collection is stunning as well. You can stay all day at the museum exploring the many floors and exhibits, visiting the Andy Warhol café and store, watching films in the theatre, and participating in workshops. My favorite program at the museum is the Weekend Factory, fashioned after Andy Warhol’s studio, the Silver Factory. The Weekend Factory is an art studio created for visitors to explore the art techniques of Andy Warhol. You may take home what you create, and the fee is included within your museum admission.

Mount Washington

The view from Mount Washington is spectacular at night. It features a sweeping panorama of downtown Pittsburgh and over a dozen bridges below, undulating in twinkling lights. The stunning nighttime view from Mount Washington offers a panoramic vision of Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle – a set of landmark skyscrapers traced along the city skyline, as well as a view to many fine restaurants of Pittsburgh.

Another unique triangle landmark of Pittsburgh is where the Three Rivers nestle together: The Ohio River, Allegheny River, and Monongahela River converge into Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers. It is a unique natural monument considering the convergence of three rivers anywhere around the world is an uncommon occurrence. Be sure to visit the two Mount Washington Inclines: the Duquesne Incline and the Mon Incline, both built in the 1870s and preserving much of their historical integrity.

It is a fun way to glimpse into Pittsburgh’s past and a breathtaking look at its present. Mount Washington has been ranked the second most beautiful place in America by USA Weekend’s Annual Travel Report. Duquesne Incline has been ranked various times as one of America’s most romantic places.

Station Square

To complete a spectacular evening, visit Station Square, located near the Inclines in downtown Pittsburgh, for a sumptuous late-night dinner and more stunning sights and flavors. The colorful lighting, music, and central water fountain make this one of the most beautiful places to visit.

Moreover, the central water fountain, where the colored lights are choreographed to the music, is a gorgeous place to relax and unwind after a long day of sightseeing. Plus, there is an aura of vitality at Station Square, being one of Pittsburgh’s favorite places to dine, dance, and party.

If there is time, take one of the water tours of the Three Rivers, or simply dance the night away at one of the lively venues. There is an array of activities to explore at Station Square, from shopping to train rides or a Just Ducky Water Adventure Tour to a romantic horse and carriage ride. The sky’s the limit along Pittsburgh’s beautiful skyline.