Staycation with Courtyard Pittsburgh Downtown

Between the holidays, our fast approaching wedding, house renovations, and just general life stuff, the past couple months have been pretty hectic. A season that is usually one of my favorite times of the year has been stress-filled and anxiety-inducing, for both Nick and myself. Unfortunately Nick's birthday also falls right in the middle of all of this, and seeing as I'm pretty big on birthdays, I didn't want it to get overshadowed by everything else going on.

When I started brainstorming ideas for his birthday, I kept coming back to the idea of a staycation here in Pittsburgh. It was a win-win: Nick LOVES staying in hotels, plus it would be a nice break from all of the chaos going on in our lives. I partnered with the Courtyard Downtown Pittsburgh to make it happen and we truly had the best time.

The Courtyard is in the heart of the cultural district in downtown Pittsburgh, perfect walking distance from many downtown attractions. Living in the east end of the city, Nick and I don't often spend time downtown. So while this was technically a staycation for us, it really felt like a vacation to a different city where we visited new-to-us bars and restaurants and saw Pittsburgh through a different lens.

I kept this birthday surprise a secret from Nick until the morning of our stay, so after taking care of some errands around the house, we headed towards the Strip District to get our staycation started. We grabbed lunch at our new favorite restaurant, Ironborn Pizza, located in Smallman Galley. (If you haven't been - you MUST go order the white pizza.) The Strip is situated at the entrance to downtown, so we walked off a bit of that pizza and headed straight down Penn Avenue until we reached the Courtyard for check-in.

The Courtyard is located in a historic downtown building, which used to be home to ATCO Trousers. When we arrived in our room we were so excited to find that it had floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Penn Avenue. We got ourselves settled in and enjoyed a staycation beer or two before we were off to check out some other spots downtown. The Courtyard is directly across the street from Sienna Mercato, which houses two of our favorite spots in PGH: Emporio, A Meatball Joint and Il Tetto, a rooftop beer garden. But since we've frequented these places many times, we decided to check out some new places downtown.

We first went to Or, The Whale, which I'd been dying to visit since they opened a few months ago. While the menu there isn't suited for vegetarians, it was a great place for us to grab a cocktail, enjoy the decor, and plan the night ahead! Next we headed to Market Square, which is home to Pittsburgh's Holiday Market, annual Christmas tree, and ice skating rink. This year it was also home to the pop-up Christmas bar, Miracle, which we headed into next!

Miracle was so much fun - if you make it to downtown Pittsburgh at all this month, be sure to visit this bar! The space is covered floor-to-ceiling with holiday decorations and all of the cocktails are Christmas themed. It was a blast! For dinner we went to nearby NOLA on the Square to try their vegan/vegetarian menu (the food was okay, but we probably wouldn't go again.) After dinner we decided to head back to the Courtyard and just enjoy some time relaxing in the comfort of our room. The Courtyard is a just hop, skip, and a jump away from the Market Square action, so it was nice to make the short walk back to the hotel instead of needing to call for a ride.

It's amazing how great it felt just to be away from home for the night - away from the partially finished centerpieces for our wedding, a pile of dirty dishes from the previous night's dinner, a bedroom closet that needs to be patched and painted, and more that I don't even want to think about. Something as simple as laying in bed and watching HGTV with no distractions felt like a luxury to us. (A super cozy bed without any kitties waking us up at a the crack of dawn was an added bonus.) Taking this one night staycation was just what we needed to ease our minds of wedding stress and we are so thankful to the Courtyard for hosting us for the evening!

If you are looking for a place to stay in downtown Pittsburgh, whether you're a local or an out-of-towner, the Courtyard is your place to go! A big thank you to the Courtyard Pittsburgh Downtown for partnering with us. We received a complimentary stay in exchange for this post - all opinions are our own!

Sarah & Nick