What Borneo, Havana, Wales and Pittsburgh Have in Common

Pittsburgh earns more national recognition with its inclusion in a very eclectic list of travel destinations.

photo by dave dicello


Aarhus in Denmark, Casablanca in Morocco, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and Pittsburgh all have something in common. They are among the 50 best places to travel in 2016 according to Travel + Leisure. Pittsburgh is one of nine spots in the United States to make the list. 

Author Sarah Z. Wexler gives the 'Burgh props for our museums, theaters, the new Islands exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and the ongoing renaissance in East Liberty.

“In the last century, it went from being one of the most affluent areas of the city (Carnegie, Heinz, and Mellon families lived nearby) to one of the least, and along with the rest of the east end, is being rebuilt by creatives who are opening galleries, shops, and cafés,” Wexler writes.

Curious to see which other destinations made the list? Here they are, in alphabetical order:

  1. Aarhus, Denmark
  2. Adelaide, Australia
  3. Andaman Islands, India
  4. Asbury Park, New Jersey
  5. Bocas del Toro, Panama
  6. Borneo
  7. Bozeman, Montana
  8. Canggu, Bali
  9. Canouan, Grenadines
  10. Casablanca, Morocco
  11. Chiloe, Chile
  12. Costa Rica
  13. Denver, Colorado
  14. Detroit, Michigan
  15. Douro Valley, Portugal
  16. Frankfurt, Germany
  17. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
  18. Galle, Sri Lanka
  19. Georgia
  20. Ghent, Belgium
  21. Guadalajara, Mexico
  22. Guatemala
  23. Hangzhou, China
  24. Havana, Cuba
  25. Iberá Wetlands, Argentina
  26. Iran
  27. Kochi, India
  28. Lanai, Hawaii
  29. Liege, Belgium
  30. Lille, France
  31. Ljubljana, Slovenia
  32. Margaret River, Australia
  33. Mie Prefecture, Japan
  34. Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
  35. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  36. Placencia, Belize
  37. Richmond, Virginia
  38. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  39. San Antonio, Texas
  40. Seattle, Washington
  41. Siberia
  42. Sicily, Italy
  43. St. Helena
  44. Taipei, Taiwan
  45. Tanzania
  46. Tasmania
  47. Wales
  48. Zagreb, Croatia
  49. Zanzibar
  50. Zimbabwe

––Richard Cook


photo via flickr creative commons


#HotelDeal: Former Macy's department store

An $8 million deal has been inked to build a 155-room, full-service hotel on two floors of the former Macy's department store downtown, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. 

The hotel will be built by an affiliate of Reception Hotels and Resorts and will be located on the fifth and sixth floors. 

The hotel will include “upscale and unique food and beverage offerings and an expanded amenity set,” Reception representative Matthew Shollar told the P-G. No word yet on the name or brand of the hotel.

Also in the works for the building, once the Kaufmann's flagship store, are 311 apartments and two floors of retail space.

Construction on the hotel is expected to begin this summer.



photo by Laura petrilla 


#RepealDay: Make a toast

It’s been tradition for the past few years for imbibers to raise their glasses on Dec. 5 and toast to the legality of drinking alcohol. That because Dec. 5 is the date in 1933 when the 21st Amendment was ratified, thus ending the nation’s ban on booze.

This year’s big soiree is at The Commoner in the Hotel Monaco, Downtown. The 1930s-themed event features moonshine tastings, Yuengling ice cream and live music from The Boilermaker jazz band. The password for entry is “ring-a-ding-ding” (apparently this speakeasy didn’t get the word that passwords were no longer needed) and era-appropriate costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $20.

––Hal B. Klein


Categories: The 412