Pittsburgh Road Trip
While a lot of our focus is on international and air travel, there is something that can be said for a good old-fashioned road trip. We live near Washington, D.C., and made the decision to leave the area while tensions ramped up during the 2020 election cycle. We had voted early and on November 1, 2020, decided to head to Pittsburgh for a short trip.
We chose Pittsburgh because of it's short driving distance (4--4.5 hours), and it was a city we had visited before. We felt comfortable in that environment and longed to explore it further. During the duration of this trip, we adhered to the local COVID-19 regulations. We wore our masks nearly constantly and washed and sanitized our hands at every given chance to do so.
We decided to stay at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco ( https://www.monaco-pittsburgh.com ). It was walking distance to many of the main attractions and restaurants in the city. It boasted a playful, whimsical, and colorful interior with many modern amenities. The building was also of historical significance in that it originally housed an electric company and later the renowned law firm of James H. Reed.
Photo courtesy of Kimpton Hotel Monaco. Link in photo.
They took many precautions to ensure the safety of the hotel guests. Temperature checks were required upon entry, masks were non--negotiable, and sanitizer was readily available. Even with all the new protocols in place, the staff maintained a friendly and helpful demeanor--at six feet of distance, of course!
The Kimpton Hotel takes the health and safety of guests and employees very seriously. Currently spa services are unavailable, and maid service is entirely contactless. While many of the Signature Kimpton programs had to be suspended due to COVID-19, they merely implemented new safety precautions for others. For instance, they encourage you to partake in their Evening Happy Hour from the safety and comfort of your own room.
Photo courtesy of IHG Hotels. Link in photo.
While we mainly walked around the city, marveled at the architecture, and enjoyed the parks, we did decide to take a quick jaunt to the Andy Warhol Museum. Of course, they also had precautions in place to protect museum patrons and their staff. They encouraged reservations in order to prevent over crowding and allow for proper social distancing between parties. It was a comfort to know that we could peruse the artwork of one of the most famous artists in the world without worry. Temperature checks were also required upon entry. They also stationed hand sanitizer throughout the many exhibits. Because of all the safety measures in place, we rarely set foot in a room with people outside of our party. It was a shining example of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Personal photo of Andy Warhol's work. Link to Andy Warhol Museum in Photo.
Between our many walks in the city, we had to eat. While many places have loosened up on the issue of mask wearing, Pittsburgh was on the opposite end of the spectrum. They required that you keep your mask over your nose until drinks were placed upon the table. It was also requested that you wear your mask unless actively eating or drinking. Both of these rules made us feel safer and more relaxed. Bars were able to stay open, but only if they served food, and each person purchased food with their alcoholic beverages.
We enjoyed our brief stay in Pittsburgh and appreciated everything that was done to ensure the health and safety of its citizens. We were able to clear our heads and maintain the safety and health of our family. However, it is important to point out that COVID-19 cases have recently increased in Pennsylvania; and therefore, regulations and protocols have probably changed. We recommend checking your local regulations and quarantine requirements both at home and your destination before embarking on a trip.
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