Travel

Essential Pittsburgh
2:26 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

West Virginia: From Cool Restaurants to the Thrill of a Lifetime

A man in a wheelchair base jumps off the New River Gorge Bridge on Bridge Day 2013
Credit Jeremy Markovich / Flickr

West Virginia holds the distinction of being the only state formed by seceding from a confederate state.

The signs welcoming you to West Virginia proclaim it wild and wonderful. This week, the always wonderful Elaine Labalme, takes us to our neighboring state to the south.

She recommends some great restaurants in Morgantown and talks about the New River Gorge Bridge.  For the thrill seekers out there, base jumping off of the New River Gorge Bridge on Bridge Day may interest you.

Learn more about the 35th Anniversary of Bridge Day, happening this weekend. 

Essential Pittsburgh
2:21 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

A Weekend in Cleveland

Credit Dustin Jamison / Flickr

It seems Cleveland’s efforts to shed the image of “the mistake on the lake” are paying off. LeBron James has returned to the Cavaliers, the latest Captain America adventure was filmed in the city and the GOP has selected it for the next Republican convention. With the Steelers set to play the Browns, travel contributor Elaine Labalme takes another look at Cleveland.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:37 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Planning for the Holidays with Elaine Labalme

Credit Flickr user Dale Beckett

While you may not want to think about it, the holidays will soon be upon us. If you’re thinking of getting away, now is the time to book your holiday travel plans. Contributor Elaine Labalme who tweets about food and travel under the twitter handle New Girl in Town, joins us to offer some pre-Thanksgiving and Christmas travel tips.

According to Labalme, if you’re planning to travel this holiday season, it’s important to plan and book early. People who are looking for snow should keep in mind that large ski resorts tend to get busy, so a smaller ski resort may be a better choice. The key to enjoying a holiday vacation, Labalme notes, is being grateful to get away.

Essential Pittsburgh
4:30 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

It's That Time of Year: Upcoming Fall Festivals and Fairs

In case the football games, cooler weather and heralding of all things pumpkin flavored escaped your attention, the celebration of the autumn season has begun.

This week our woman for all seasons, travel contributor Elaine Labalme, joins us with a lineup of fall fairs and festivals you might enjoy. 

Check out the details about these upcoming events:

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:55 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Fall Travel -- with a “Sports” Theme

Credit Wally Gobetz / Flickr

Summer may be winding down, but with autumn comes plenty of fun for Pittsburgh sports fans. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme offers up some travel ideas for the fall with a distinctly “sports” theme.

Whether it’s a college football game, a little pre-season hockey, or taking a one-tank trip to follow the Pirates, she talks about travel destinations that are sure to please sports fans and their families.

Check out some of the highlights she suggests:

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:33 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Traveling to Europe's Most Exciting Cities

Steven Labalme, son of @NewGirlInTown Elaine Labalme, at the base of the Eiffel Tower
Credit Steven Labalme

While a Roman holiday wasn’t part of her trip, contributor Elaine Labalme did venture to London, Paris, Amsterdam and Madrid. She’s back in Studio A this week with a recap of European cities fall travelers may want to visit.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:56 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Pennsylvania Cautiously Boosts Speed Limit

A 1940 speed limit sign for the Pennsylvania turnpike, which is now as low as 55 mph in some areas.
Credit Ann Rosener / Library of Congress/Wikipedia

The Pennsylvania Turnpike, like a young driver, has a history of suddenly speeding up and slowing down.

In the 1940’s, the speed limit was 70, which was dropped to 65 during World War II. It shot back up to 70 in the 1950’s but the gas shortage of the late 1970’s led the speed limit to be cut all the way down to 55 mph.

Now, the speed limit is 65 and will soon be boosted to 70 on interstate roads, following a trial period on carefully chosen roads, including a section of the turnpike between Blue Mountain exit 201, and Morgantown exit 298.

With a speed limit of 70 mph already in Ohio and West Virginia, is it about time for PA to match up with neighboring states? Renee Vid Colborn, Manager of Media and Public Relations at the PA Turnpike Commission and State Senator Jay Costa addressed the pros and cons of an increased speed limit for area highways.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:33 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Summer in the City of Brotherly Love

Credit Gary McCabe / Flickr

Philadelphia is the largest and most populous city in the commonwealth. There’s a wealth of things to do as well as great things to eat. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme, who tweets about food and travel under the twitter handle New Girl in Town, takes us across the state to talk about enjoying summer in the city of brotherly love.

Philadelphia has many charms and certainly where the arts are concerned. Check out Elaine's list of places to stay, eat, drink and explore:

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:05 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Savannah: A Belle of Southern Charm

Pictured is Savannah Square, one of the many squares to visit when traveling to the charming southern city in Georgia.
Credit Dizzy Girl / Flickr

It’s the oldest city in Georgia and was once the state capital: Savannah. The city draws a number of tourists who come to look at its architecture and historic sites. One recent visitor to the city was travel contributor Elaine Labalme.

The charms and southern comfort found in Savannah make it a great place to visit for a summer trip. Labalme gives us her fabulous five lists of things to see, do and most importantly, where to eat in the city of Savannah.

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Transportation
11:10 am
Thu July 3, 2014

As Gas Prices Rise, So Do Numbers of Americans Traveling for Fourth of July

Nearly 35 million Americans are expected to hit the road this Fourth of July weekend.
Credit Flickr user Dale Beckett

 

Fourth of July weekend travel is expected to reach pre-recession levels for the first time, even though gas prices are the highest they’ve been since 2008.

AAA is predicting that 41 million Americans will travel at least fifty miles this weekend, a 1.9 percent increase over last year, with 80 percent traveling by car.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, the number of people traveling to celebrate the holiday is expected increase by 1.3 percent.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:27 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

A Summer Staple: 5 Outdoor Concert Venues to Visit

Outdoor concerts are considered a rite of summertime.
Credit Heather Harvey / Flickr

One of the many joys of summer is listening to music at an outdoor venue. Whether you enjoy opera, jazz, rock or classical it somehow seems more enjoyable outdoors.

Travel contributor Elaine Labalme, suggests some famous performance spaces where you can enjoy an outdoor concert.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:24 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

The Best Regional Beaches... Where to Get Away

A view of Virginia Beach, one of the most easily accessible beaches to travel to from the Pittsburgh area.
Credit Bruce Stockwell / Flickr

Grab the sunscreen, your favorite book and anything else you might need for fun in the sun.

This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests regional beaches to visit from the Jersey Shore to Virginia.

Here’s her fabulous list of beaches to visit this summer.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:41 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Three State Parks You Need to Visit this Summer

A view of the stargazing atmosphere at Cherry Springs State Park.
Credit Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

If you’re looking to explore the great outdoors this summer, you can’t go wrong visiting one of the Commonwealth’s many state parks. From Erie to Scranton and all points in between, our guide to some of Pennsylvania’s state parks is travel contributor Elaine Labalme.

State parks can be found in 61 of Pennsylvania's 66 counties. Cherry Springs, Ricketts Glen, and Pine Grove Furnace are among Labalme's favorites.  

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Transportation
12:32 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Despite Price Increases, Expect More Memorial Day Travelers This Weekend

With barbeques and picnics scheduled all throughout the Memorial Day weekend, the number of people traveling for the holiday is expected to increase, as are prices.

According to AAA, this year 36.1 million people are predicted to go at least 50 miles from their homes to celebrate the weekend. That is up 1.5 percent despite some travel costs rising: Average hotel prices have increased $3, rental car prices have risen 1 percent to $44, gas prices are expected to rise and airfare is up 6 percent.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:34 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Mapping Pennsylvania's Historic Roller Coasters

Leap The Dips is the oldest wooden coaster in the country.
Credit Wikimedia

Dorney Park, Hershey Park, Dutch Wonderland, Lakemont Park, Idlewild, Kennywood... Pennsylvania has some of the most historic amusement parks, and roller coasters in the country.

As amusement parks start coming to life for the season, David Witoslawski, a McKeesport substitute school teacher and author of the book, Great Pennsylvania Amusement Parks Road Trip, gave us a guide to the state’s classic coasters and parks. The book is available in black and white as a paperback and in full color as an e-book.

"I love the matter of community spirit when it comes to going to amusement parks," Witoslawski said, "You go there and people just forget about all their problems in the world."

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:56 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Take A Trip: Four Things To Do In Nashville, Tenn.

Paradise Park Trailer Resort is one of the many places to visit in the Music City.
Credit Timothy Wildey / flickr

Nine hours away from the Steel City is the Music City — Nashville, Tennessee. But there’s more to the city than country music. This week, contributor Elaine Labalme told us how to the get the most out of a visit to Nashville.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:57 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Spring Break With The New Girl

Although manatees are endangered, many can be seen in the Everglades.
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters / flickr

A little madness in the spring is wholesome …even for the King, wrote Emily Dickinson. What better way to quell the madness caused by Spring fever than with a getaway? Travel contributor Elaine Labalme joined us this week with suggestions for Spring Break excursions.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:28 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

After Checking out Pop Up Canada, Pop on Up to Niagara Falls

The Maid of the Mist tours leave every 15 minutes for tours of Niagara Falls. Make sure to wear clothes that can get wet!
Credit Helen Zhang / flickr

With the celebration of Canada taking place this week in the Steel City, Niagara Falls offers something for visitors on both the American and Canadian sides. 

Long regarded as a honeymoon destination, Niagara Falls is close enough for a long weekend getaway. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme offered suggestions for a trip to the falls.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:25 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

4 Spring Festivals Worth Traveling To

During the Cherry Blossom Festival visitors can take paddle boats across the Potomac River to the Jefferson Memorial.
Credit Mark Peters / flickr

It’s officially spring, even if the weather may want to tell us otherwise. We’re going to remain optimistic and look forward to sunny and warm days spent outdoors.

This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggested spring festivals you might enjoy.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:14 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Reasons to Travel for MLB Spring Training Part 2: The Cactus League

Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West is one of the many attractions Elaine Labalme recommends visiting if you travel to Arizona for spring training
Credit Artotem / flickr

Last week we ventured to Florida to get an early look at Major League Baseball spring training in the Grapefruit League. This week, we venture west to see the players in action in the Cactus League.

Travel contributor Elaine Labalme  says spring training is the time to see a lot of teams in the cactus league that you wouldn’t ordinarily see. Check out a list of her recommendations:

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:13 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

5 Reasons Why People Should Go to MLB Spring Training

McKechnie Field is the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and is named for Bradenton, FL resident and baseball great, Bill McKechnie, who led the Pirates to a World Series title in 1925.
Credit Jamesb01 / Wikipedia Commons

This month the call of “play ball” will be heard in ballparks around the country.

Fans of the game who want an early look at the boys of summer may want to venture to Florida to participate in the annual spring training games for Major League Baseball.

Correspondent Elaine Labalme discussed the five benefits of traveling to these games.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:19 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Blue Star Art & Cowboy Dance Halls in San Antonio

Patrons enjoy each other's company at Cowboy's Dancehall in San Antonio, Texas.
Credit Delaney Hall / flickr

Home to the Alamo and the River Walk, San Antonio, Texas combines a rich history and distinct architecture to create a modern and exciting cultural experience.

Travel contributor Elaine Labalme shares her favorites about the southern city and insists that visitors to the Lone Star State must visit San Antonio. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:52 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Getting Over the Winter Doldrums

Falling Water in winter
Credit katie bodner / flickr

To say it’s been a tough winter would be an understatement.

Despite the cold many people have been able to combat cabin fever, including travel contributor Elaine Labalme. She offers suggestions to help you overcome the winter blahs.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:15 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Quebec City Embodies the Picturesque Winter

Credit Michael McDonough / flickr

Our intrepid travel contributor Elaine Labalme continues her trek through the great white north.

This week she talks about Quebec City, capital of the province, where the old buildings reflect classic architecture and vibrant culture.  “It’s very welcoming and it’s a great respite for a few days,” says Labalme.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:59 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Terrifically Cosmopolitan Montreal

Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal was established in 1860, making it Canada's oldest art institution.
Credit Daryl Mitchell / flickr

Combining the best of old-world charm and modern sophistication, travel contributor Elaine Labalme finds Canada’s second largest city, Montreal to be “terrifically cosmopolitan.”

She suggests her favorite spots for food, arts and rest in this northern city.

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Transportation
3:30 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Over the River and Through the Woods: Holiday Travel Season Expected to be Busiest on Record

Approximately 94.5 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this week for the Christmas and New Year holidays, according to AAA East Central. That’s a half a million more travelers than the Christmas travel season last year and the highest number ever recorded for the season.

“The Mid-Atlantic region there’s expected to 10.5 million travelers and most of those will be driving,” said AAA East Central’s Bevi Powell. “There will be about 9.49 million drivers on the road. The Mid-Atlantic region includes New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.”

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Transportation
3:47 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Pittsburgh International Airport Ready to Battle Snow

With a winter storm warning in effect until 1 p.m. Wednesday and one of the year's busiest travel days ahead, Pittsburgh International is getting ready to do battle with the ice and snow.

“They start planning for this back in September,” said Pittsburgh Airport Authority spokesman Jeff Martinelli. “When they snow storm started getting reported that it was a possibility they started going over some plans, our operations staff was moving to 12-hour shifts, our snow removal crew is out their doing the best they can and pre-treating runways.”

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Economy & Business
3:30 am
Mon November 25, 2013

How Far Will You Go for Turkey this Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest when it comes to travel, and this year will be no exception. AAA forecasts that nationally 43.4 million people will travel during the holiday week. In the mid-Atlantic region, which includes Pennsylvania, 5.01 million people are expected to travel, a 2.4 percent decrease over last year.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:29 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Getting Away With That Special Someone Before the Holidays

Find some relaxing and scenic places to visit before the hustle and bustle of the holidays. El Tovar Hotel is one of the premiere lodges in the Grand Canyon region.
Credit Dustin Williams / Flickr

With winter on the way, there’s no better time to escape the early snows by flying south, taking in gorgeous views, or embracing the snowy winter, with high alpine excursions.

Travel contributor Elaine Labalme shares her top four favorite pre-holiday destinations.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:41 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Autumn Coastal Destinations with the New Girl

This is an ideal time of year to see the famous light houses of the Outer Banks.
Credit Nathan Adams / Flickr

Coastal Destinations make for the best fall travel, according to travel contributor Elaine Labalme.

With better prices on off-season and cozy spots for cuddling, Labalme outlines her top five waterfront excursions. 

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