Beaux Arts

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Summer Bucket List

We hate to say it, but this summer isn’t quite as fresh and new as it once was. As August begins, you may notice a nagging voice in the back of your head reminding you to do those things that you promised you’d do with your summer: the outdoor patios you said you’d check out, the picnics you said you’d plan, the weekend trips you said you’d sneak out of work early for on a Friday afternoon.

There’s no better time than the present to make the most of your summer, and we’re here to help you pack it all in while the weather still allows for it. Here’s your summer hit list of must-see, must-do and must-taste items in and around Pittsburgh.

Pack a picnic someplace unexpected. We’re always big fans of dining al fresco, and while it often involves a shady patio at one of our favorite local dining spots, planning your own picnic is an even better option. Go for European summer vibes with a charcuterie spread from Chantal’s and a sneaky bottle of wine, or stock up on sandwiches from Market Street Grocery and a pint from Millie’s for a classic, all-American picnic spread. As for the locale? We’d suggest the lawn at the Frick, any city park or in Schenley plaza with Oakland’s historic architecture as your backdrop.

Visit a new neighborhood. Whether you live in Bloomfield or South Side, it’s easy to become accustomed to your own pocket of Pittsburgh. Take a weekend afternoon to explore an untapped stretch of the city on foot or by bike – you might just discover your new favorite coffee shop or boutique along the way.

Check out a farmers market. From the Bloomfield Saturday Market to the farmers market in Market Square, the city is full of options for picking up fresh, local produce, meats and baked goods that are far more enjoyable than your usual grocery store run.

Try a new workout. Have you always wanted to try yoga in Highland Park (Sunday mornings with Yoga Hive) or a super high tech workout that digitally tracks your progress along the way (Altus Fitness downtown)? Stay swimsuit-ready by trying a new workout class before brunch this weekend.

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Hanging out in this tiny shop till 7.

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Perfect your gardening game. With killer plant shops like City Grows and the newly opened Synthesis in town, there’s no reason that your apartment plant collection shouldn’t be perfect. Whether you place them outside on a patio or inside to brighten up your space, the summer is the perfect time to up your plant game. Speaking of patios, you could also look on a website like Westminster Stone to see the paving slabs they have on offer. Why not place an order and create your own patio in your backyard? It’s a great summer project and the outcome will be extremely rewarding for you!

Plan a dog date. Check out a local dog park, take a walk to a dog-friendly brewery (Grist House is always a favorite) or hit a hiking trail with a fellow pup owner friend.

Hit the road. If at all possible, treat yourself to a vacation somewhere. The more you can get to involve the outdoors, the better! Try something new and exciting like camping in Iceland (check out for more information) and experience summer whist surrounded by nature. Even if you don’t have the time (or the budget) for a lavish summer vacation, you can still get that same out-of-town experience by camping at Ohiopyle, an Airbnb in NYC or a room at the hip Billy Motel in under-the-radar Davis, WV.

Take your drinks outdoors. The best part of summer is definitely taking your favorite activities outdoors, and happy hour drinks or post-dinner nightcaps are definitely on that list. Sip outside at a standby like Round Corner Cantina, Uptown pop-up bar All Summr or happy hour at the city’s newest rooftop bar Over Eden.

Dine al fresco. Likewise, dining outdoors as much as possible is an equally enjoyable item on your summer bucket list. We love the (somewhat) secret garden at Apteka or a bagel sandwich in the park across from the new Pigeon Bagel.

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