A Fall Weekend in Ohio and Pittsburgh

I’m currently writing from the Pittsburgh airport before going through security for my flight this evening. I’ve spent the last 3 days in the Pittsburgh area visiting Cuyahoga National Park and downtown Pittsburgh.

Whenever I travel on my own, I book my rental car through Enterprise. Because I’ve accumulated points, I was able to book the weekend trip for only $29.99 after my points for free days were applied.

For my flight, I usually book with who is most convenient and affordable with where I”m going. Back over the summer, I had to cancel a flight so I got credit for it. I used that credit to book my flights for Pittsburgh and only ended up paying about $37 for the round trip flight from Tampa.

I’d never been to Cuyahoga National Park or Pittsburgh before. Since they are so close (about 90 minutes from one another) I decided to spend time in both during the trip. Below is a 3 day itinerary of the stops during the September trip.


I landed in Pittsburgh in the morning and met up with my friend Beth at the airport. We drove about an hour and a half to Cuyahoga and booked tickets on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. We rode for about two hours on the railroad before heading to our hotel. On the way we stopped by Kendall Lake around sunset and enjoyed the fall foliage. Dinner was at Oak and Embers Tavern and the food was incredible. We stayed the night at the Aurora Inn Hotel.


We started off the day with breakfast at Garretts Mill followed by a hot chai at the Nervous Dog coffee bar. We drove back into the park and our first stop was the Ledges Trail. The hike we did was about 1-2 miles long through the rock formations. It was far more beautiful than I ever expected it to be.

We then ventured on to Brandywine Falls as well as Tinker’s Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook. We spent a few hours exploring the park and it’s fall leaves before heading toward Pittsburgh. On the way, we found a street fair and enjoyed hot dogs for lunch.

Our first stop when getting to Pittsburgh was Point State Park. We walked through the park and then over the bridge to the Northshore Riverfront Park where there was a fall festival happening. I indulged in a $10 birch beer (by accident). I ordered before knowing the price and ended up with a souvenir cup, a $10 birch beer and tickets for two free refills.

After walking through the festival, we checked into the Distrikt Hotel in Pittsburgh and then walked downtown to dinner. We were the first ones at Talia, an Italian restaurant for dinner. While eating, we saw all these people in Pen’s jerseys walking by. We looked up the price of tickets and decided between appetizers and our meals to purchase tickets to the game that night.

It was about a 10 minute walk to the stadium from dinner. This was my first NHL game, so I had a great time even if the Pen’s lost. After the game was over, we were able to walk back to the hotel which was quite convenient.


Sunday started with trying to go to the dusquene incline but not having exact amounts of cash to do so. So we detoured downtown for breakfast at Revel, found an ATM, and then went back to the Dusquene Incline. The view at the top was wonderful, but the journey up there made me anxious. I don’t like heights, and I don’t love going up a mountain in an old little machine box.

After the incline, we ventured to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The gardens were magnificent and I was just amazed at the way they had it all set up. It was beautiful and incredible.

We spent 1-2 hours there before exploring more of Pittsburgh by car before going to the Gateway Clipper which is a boat ride through the rivers which gives you a great tour of the riverside buildings of Pittsburgh as well as the city’s history.