The Pittsburgh Staycation is Born

100_2006 About five summers ago, my husband and I decided to take a week’s vacation from our jobs.  Instead of driving for eight hours and spending over $1,500 for our usual beach vacation we decided to stay “home.”  Not only did the thought of sitting in the car for that long make us cringe, but we were also doing work to our home and just didn’t have the extra money…(by the way, now that we have two little girls under the age of two, we can’t figure out why driving among the peace and quiet of two adults seemed like such a chore at the time…haha).   This decision to stay local created, BY FAR, one of the most enjoyable weeks I have ever spent on “vacation” (a very close second to my honeymoon, spent in Montego Bay, Jamaica).

You see, Josh and I both grew up in Pittsburgh; but, I think that like many locals, we often failed to stop and smell the roses regarding the wonderful things that our city has to offer.  We really wanted to spend the week as “tourists” and do all of the things that we thought someone who had never been to Pittsburgh might do.  We visited Kennywood one night (very romantic), went on the Just Ducky Tour another afternoon, strolled through the Zoo the next day, enjoyed a delicious dinner at Silky’s Crow’s Nest (they have fabulous outdoor seating overlooking the Allegheny River Marina; you don’t even feel like you’re in Pittsburgh), and journeyed to Vanilla Pastry to handpick gourmet cupcakes. The entire experience was AMAZING!  Think about it, when most of us East Coasters go on a week-long summer vacation we leave on a Friday or a Saturday and spend a good 1-2 days recovering from the 6-10 hour drive; then, we return to town the following Saturday (often in the wee hours of Sunday morning), spend the next day readjusting to life, unpacking, doing mounds of laundry, and preparing to get right back to work on Monday (at least, this was the case for us).  Ever hear the phrase, “I need a vacation from my vacation”?  That year, Josh and I cut these stressful parts of vacation out of the equation.  We made a decision to relax that week, move at a slow pace, put household chores to the wayside, and treat ourselves just like we were on vacation…only we were in the comforts of our own home (as well as spending a lot less money and doing a lot less laundry).  “Ironically,” we returned to work the following Monday rested, refreshed and happy (our bosses appreciated our staycation theme that year, too).

100_2117Fast forward three years and along came motherhood.  At that point, an even newer “Pittsburgh world” opened up to me.  All of the sudden, I was a stay-at-home mom who was often visiting places like  The Children’s Museum,  soaking up the sun at Sandcastle‘s Tad Pool, and exploring lots of neat things at the Carnegie Science Center.  That’s when it dawned on me!  Pittsburghers need a discount ticket package that includes a variety of the city’s most classic attractions at one low price!  Not only was I fondly remembering my Pittsburgh staycation experience, but now as a mom, I was looking for a variety of things to do in one product; cue PittsburghPass!

pittsburghpassLast summer, PittsburghPass was introduced to Pittsburghers–a product we’ve never had access to before! Geared toward families with young children, the PittsburghPass includes one admission to Kennywood, Sandcastle, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Carnegie Science Center, and The Children’s Museum–all for $83.99.  This year, an additional PittsburghPass is being introduced (geared toward singles and couples)! The Singles & Couples Package includes one admission to Kennywood, Sandcastle, & the Zoo for $65.99!  Basically, anybody looking for fun things to do in Pittsburgh at a discounted rate will enjoy a PittsburghPass.

Not only does PittsburghPass provide you access to Pittsburgh’s summer classics at a discounted rate, but perhaps it can provide you and your loved one(s) with memories that you never imagined you could make on a staycation in the comforts of your very own city.  If you have not yet planned a summer vacation this season, or simply cannot afford one, I challenge you to take 3-5 days this summer and dedicate it to fun, adventure, and relaxation among the amenities that the Burgh has to offer.  Whether you decide to make PittsburghPass apart of this adventure, or not, I can tell you from experience that your staycation will be a surprisingly wonderful and memorable time.

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