5 Reasons to Take a Staycation, Plus Some Ideas for Taking One in Pittsburgh

1. Explore With Fresh Eyes: A staycation can lead to a sense of surprise over a place you thought you already knew so well. When you explore during a staycation, you explore with intention, and you’re bound to discover something new. At some point, or perhaps at many points, you’ll ask yourself, “how have I never noticed this before?”

You can test this theory with these few examples about the bridges we drive, bike, and walk across every day in Pittsburgh:

  • Have you ever noticed anything strange about the four decorative spheres adorning the north and south arches of the 16th Street Bridge? Hint: Compare the north spheres vs. south spheres.

  • Have you seen those dinosaur geese painted on one of our bridges?

  • Have you ever walked across the Bellefield Bridge? There’s a good chance you have and didn’t even know it.

If you haven’t noticed these peculiarities, keep a look out and try to hunt down the stories behind these quirky bridge things. And before you set out on your next staycation, decide which lens you're going to use to explore your hometown (architectural, historical, anthropological, etc).

2. Bucket List: Use a staycation as dedicated time to tackle your hometown bucket list, whether it’s that new restaurant you’ve been dying to try, or that place you’ve been hearing such great things about for years but haven’t visited yet.

3. Treat Yourself: Put the money you save on gas or airfare or lodging towards something you might not ordinarily buy. Here are some examples:

4. Use Every Last Day of PTO: Don’t let that last day of paid-time-off from work slip away. You earned it!

5. Join Your Out-of-Towners: If you’re tired of taking your out-of-town guests to the same places, challenge yourself to experience something new with them. Turn their vacation into your staycation. Even when you don’t have visitors, perhaps there’s an activity you normally reserve for vacations, that you should test out in Pittsburgh. For example:

  • If you have picnics on the beach, why not have a picnic in the park? Try also enjoying a leisurely grocery shopping experience. Buy your spread from a place like Market Street Grocery or 52nd Street Market. If it’s too cold outside, and you don’t feel like bundling up, an indoor picnic is a fun alternative.

  • If you go to museums in other cities, why not in Pittsburgh? Here are two you might not have heard of: Donora Smog Museum or Bayernhof Museum.

  • If you dust off your best camera before heading out of town, why not use it around town, too? Go on an urban photo safari, then frame your best shot. This local, custom framing shop can help: Framezilla.

  • If you bike along the boardwalk, why not bike the Burgh? Check out Bike Pittsburgh’s resources, maps and guides.

If you're looking for more to do during your staycation, check out our self-guided food tour by "T", where each stop is walking distance from Pittsburgh's light rail.

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