Elisa's Daily Scoop
PIttsburgh & St. Augustine
Boy, I am so happy the weekend is here!
Remember what a complainer I was yesterday? lol!
Just tired this week, that's all.
Anyhoo, funny little story...
A friend of mine was heading out to Milwaukee the other night for a family function. When I asked what was on the agenda to see and do in Milwaukee (before and/or after the event), the response was "what the hell is there to do in Milwaukee?!"
So, that got me thinking..."What is there to do in Milwaukee," since I've never been to this Wisconsin city AND, I never really thought of going there.
I continued reflecting and thought...
What if I had to go to a family function in a city I never thought about visiting; What would I do?
And I thought of the steps I'd take next...
1) Educate myself on the city.
2) Research the top things to see and do there.
3) Determine how much leisure time I could squeeze out of the visit to at least create a mini meet and greet of the city.
As a result, I decided to follow up with my friend in an effort to "answer" the question posed. (Ok, so I was being a wise ass, but it was a fun exercise).
I read a bit about the city of Milwaukee and the top 10 things to do there. I promptly composed an email to my friend (who was actually getting ready to board the plane for the journey) with a short list of suggestions for spending from 3-hours to a full day in this city; and in closing I added:
"THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING GREAT TO SEE NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO!!"
It was received well and with a bit of laughter, but unfortunately, there was not going to be enough leisure time on this short weekend full of family obligations to take advantage of my creative (and quickly assembled) itinerary.
I share this story with you folks, since this little interchange became the inspiration for today's blog theme - "U.S. Cities You've Never Thought About Visiting."
While Milwaukee was initially on MY list to talk about, since I've never been, I decided to let Tanya take the helm for this city, since she has actually been there! (and has pictures!!)
Instead, your's truly will enlighten you with some information about TWO other cities worth highlighting as possible destinations that may not have ever occurred to you to visit.
When most people think of Pittsburgh, it conjures up an image of a gloomy, steel town.
However, it was recently named one of America's most livable cities in 2015!
The second largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is located at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, which form the Ohio River. It was named in 1758 by General John Forbes, in honor of British statesman William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham.
Did you know?
Pittsburgh has two nicknames - "City of Steel" because there are more than 300 steel-related businesses, and as the "City of Bridges" for its 446 bridges.
The city features 30 skyscrapers, two inclines, a pre-revolutionary fortification and the Point State Park and over 1600 industrial firms which account for over $20 billion annual Pittsburgh payrolls. These include Google, Apple, Bosch, Facebook, Uber, Nokia, Autodesk, and IBM.
Why it's worth visiting?
Pittsburgh also happens to have a wealth of cultural attractions, museums, historical sights, a state park and wonderful shopping and eating experiences to enjoy, making it a great weekend destination.
Here are a few more reasons to visit...
1) The critics are singing the praises of Pittsburgh.
Named one of the "Best Places to Travel in 2016" by Travel + Leisure, rated the nation's "No. 1 Food City" by Zagat and named among the "Top Destinations on the Rise" by TripAdvisor.
2) The Carnegie Museum
Named for its founder Andrew Carnegie, The Carnegie Museum, one of Pittsburgh's most internationally recognized institutions, houses extensive collections of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings, American and European paintings over the past two centuries, sculpture, decorative art, and architecture.
3. The Andy Warhol Museum
Opened in 1994, this converted warehouse is now a museum devoted to the life and work of this Pittsburgh native artist.
It houses a comprehensive collection of this American Pop Art pioneer. from all facets of Warhol's extensive career as a painter, filmmaker, record producer, stage designer, author, magazine publisher, and celebrity.
4. The Carnegie Science Center
The Carnegie Science Center is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the most visited museum in Pittsburgh.
It has four floors of interactive exhibits. Among its attractions are the Buhl Planetarium (which features the latest in digital projection technology), the Rangos Omnimax Theater (promoted as "the biggest screen in Pittsburgh"),
5. Duquesne Incline
The Duquesne Incline is an inclined plane railroad located near Pittsburgh's South Side neighborhood and scaling Mt. Washington.
This century-old cable car has the best views of downtown Pittsburgh It is one of the few remaining inclines in the country.
Opened on May 20, 1877, the Duquesne Incline was rescued and restored by a group of local residents in 1963 and still delights residents and visitors with its original, elegant, wooden cable cars.
6. Point State Park
Located at the confluence of three rivers, this state park is at the tip of Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle.” The park commemorates and preserves the strategic and historic heritage of the area during the French and Indian War (1754 - 1763).
A haven within the city for outdoor activity including boating, fishing, hiking ad biking trails, 36-acre Point State Park contains one of the country's largest fountains, symbolizing the birth of the Ohio. As the former site of Fort Pitt, of which there now remains only a blockhouse to visit.
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL
St. Augustine is a city on the northeast coast of Florida. It was founded on September 8, 1565, by Spanish admiral and Florida's first governor, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.
He named the settlement "San Agustín", as his ships bearing settlers, troops, and supplies from Spain had first sighted land in Florida on August 28, 1565, the feast day of St. Augustine.
Did you know...
St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in the United States.
From Native Americans, Spanish settlers, British soldiers and the occasional pirate to 18th century dilettantes, tycoons and eccentric millionaires, St. Augustine has been home to a wide range of cultures, which are still preserved through the city's historical sites.
Why it's worth visiting?
The city is known for its Spanish colonial architecture as well as Atlantic Ocean beaches like sandy St. Augustine Beach and tranquil Crescent Beach, night life, culture and history and numerous attractions.
Additionally, it is a great destination for exploring outdoors and being one with nature.
Here are a few reasons to visit...
1. Anastasia State Park
A protected wildlife sanctuary, Anastasia State Park is a 1,600-acre Florida State Park located on a peninsula on the Atlantic coast of Anastasia Island across Matanzas Bay from downtown St. Augustine.
The park is home to four miles of pristine beach, plant and animal life to spy and the Coquina Quarry, an archaeological site where coquina rock was mined to help construct the nearby Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, earning it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
Within the park are 139 campsites all located within the beautiful maritime hammock and rental opportunities of bicycles, paddleboards, kayaks, sail boats and canoes.
2. The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
This 17th-century Spanish stone fortress with views of the St. Augustine Inlet is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States.
Located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, the fort was designed by the Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza.
3. Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
This is the actual site of the first 1565 Menendez settlement - America's first colony!
Located on 15 waterfront acres, the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is Florida's oldest attraction, where visitors can Drink from Ponce's Spring of Eternal Hope, explore a Living History Timucua Village and experience the reconstructed 1587 Mission Church of Nombre de Dios.
4. Oldest Wooden School House in the U.S.
The Old School, a true "American Landmark", and and original Colonial home.
The preserved building dates to early 1700's while Florida was under the rule of Imperial Spain. It was constructed of red cedar and cypress and put together with wooden pegs and handmade nails.
The living area transformed into a classroom for the Minorcans. It contains rare artifacts and antiques. and the exterior has a colonial kitchen, drinking well and the "privy"(outhouse).
5. Fort Matanzas National Monument
Fort Matanzas National Monument was designated a United States National Monument on October 15, 1924.
It was built by the Spanish in 1742 to guard Matanzas Inlet, the southern mouth of the Matanzas River, which could be used as a rear entrance to the city of St. Augustine.
The monument consists of a 1740 Spanish fort called Fort Matanzas, and about 100 acres of salt marsh and barrier islands along the Matanzas River on the northern Atlantic coast of Florida.
6. St. Augustine Distillery
St. Augustine Distillery creates award-winning whiskey, rum, gin, and vodka, and offers free tours and tastings to St. Augustine visitors in the unique setting of St. Augustine's former ice plant building and specializes in farm-to-bottle spirits.
7. St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is dedicated to discovering, preserving, presenting and keeping alive the story of the Nation's Oldest Port.
A Spanish watchtower, built in the late 1500's was the predecessor of the present St. Augustine Lighthouse. St. Augustine is the site of the oldest, permanent aid to navigation in North America.
The Lighthouse is St. Augustine's oldest surviving brick structure, and today the site is restored to colors and materials used the year 1888.
It rises 165 feet above sea level and contains 219 steps that are climbed by visitors. At the top, the original, first order Fresnel lens still serves the beacon, but today is lit by a 1000 watt bulb, and maintained by the museum and volunteers.
The St. Augustine lens consists of 370 hand-cut glass prisms arranged in a beehive shape towering twelve feet tall and six feet in diameter.
CHECK OUT TANYA'S SCOOP TO READ ABOUT MILWAUKEE AND RENO
Well, I thoroughly enjoyed telling you about these cities and hoping you have some new ideas on weekend trips and vacations!!
Enjoy your Saturday!
Tanya's Daily Scoop
September 10, 2016 - U.S. Cities You've Never Thought About Visiting - Pittsburgh, St. Augustine, Milwaukee & Reno
Travel around the world and the NYC outer boroughs every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday!!