If you make the trip into Pittsburgh via car, you’ll know your arrival into the city comes as somewhat of a shock. You’re driving through the endless nothingness of rural Pennsylvania, until suddenly, you find yourself in a thriving, industrialized city set on the convergence of three rivers.
When I made my most recent visit to the city, it was experiencing some mild flooding, so getting to the Renaissance Pittsburgh took a few detours, but I made it to the well-situated hotel with little confusion. Though valet parking is available, the self-parking option is located directly across the street, so I decided to save my cash for drinks at the bar later that evening.
Upon walking inside, the striking lobby beckons you to immediately look upward, to the lounge rotunda. The drama is suitable for the building’s past. Constructed in 1906, the Fulton building was designed by a prominent Pittsburgh architect and served as an office building, World War II VA hospital and a nightclub, finally opening as the Renaissance in 2001.
The guestrooms boast the signature Renaissance style — modern and sophisticated, without going over the top like some lifestyle brands tend to do. My king room was spacious, with a high ceiling and large windows looking out over the river and Pittsburgh’s yellow bridges. The decor was fun — interesting light fixtures, a cart-style desk and a collection of locally inspired artwork and black-framed mirrors on the walls. The only thing I found lacking was the plain shower-tub combo in the bathroom, which did not seem to suit the rest of the guestroom experience. I was expecting at least a rain shower if not a stand-alone soaking tub.
For on-site dining, downstairs is Braddock’s Pittsburgh Brasserie, serving elevated hearty entrees, ranging from blackberry duck with a risotto cake to a Berkshire pork duo with a chocolate espresso-cured pork belly and sweet potato hash. The bar is recognized for its bourbon collection. Try a bourbon flight or Braddock’s Smash, made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, lemon, simple syrup, berries and bitters.
Possibly the best thing about this hotel, though, is its pristine location. Right across the river from PNC Park, it’s an easy walk to a springtime ball game, but it’s also right on the edge of the city’s best dining district.
In the Steel City, the Renaissance is an easy choice for the right combination of luxury, amenities and location.
Only the bravest of family travelers should venture to Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights. Every year, Universal Orlando turns into the spookiest place in Florida, if not in the country. On select nights throughout the season, visitors and locals alike can head to the popular amusement park for frights, scares and thrilling adventures. Explore 10 terrifying haunted houses; five scare zones; live entertainment; and themed attractions, food and merchandise.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
With kids back in school and the grueling temperatures of summer finally behind us, life is starting to get back into the routine of fall. That doesn’t mean, however, that family fun has to stop. Big international trips may not be practical for all family travelers this time of year, but places like South County in Rhode Island offer so many fun things to do for families, a quick trip to this East Coast haven is practically a must.
Take Part in England’s Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Dusk Wildlife Safaris and Children’s Art Competition
Planning a trip to the United Kingdom soon? Time your travel for the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival in Somerset, England, from Oct. 13 to 29. The setting is Exmoor National Park, located within a gorgeous mix of farmland, wild forests, stunning valleys and moorlands in South West England.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Part of a family who just loves a good scare or ghost story? This fall, wherever your travels might take you, chances are you’ll be near an Omni hotel or resort with a history of haunted sightings and other scary happenings. So, why not learn a bit about where you’re staying to make the experience all the more eerie …