Unravel my Travel: Pittsburgh and vicinity
Disclaimer: Truthfully its Butler and vicinity but no one knows where that is. Butler is where my parents live, a small country town outside of Pittsburgh. Travel south towards Pittsburgh and there are museums, restaurants and sightseeing. Move away from the hustle and bustle there are some of the most beautiful parks and trails. The purpose of this travel blog is to highlight what I feel is the best the area has to offer, discovered over many visits.
Another Hustle and Bustle Day: The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
The zoo and aquarium are located in a 77 acre facility on a hill, that’s a big hill!! Which brings me to a comment, its not stroller friendly. I can’t tell you how many people I saw huffing up that hill pushing a stroller- anyway. The path is lush and winds up the hill providing great vantage points the habitats.
Each individual area has a common geographical theme. The Asian Forest area has all the leopards and tigers. Their own little greenhouse of sorts is the Tropical Rainforest with lots of monkeys and gorillas. Most of them are behind glass so you don’t have to worry about poo flinging making a disaster of your family vacation. I know that’s what I worry about. If it’s a nice day the gorillas might even be outside having a little lunch.
My favorite was the African Savannah with the elephants, ostrich and giraffes. One of the elephants was even playing in the water, stomping his feet and slinging water with his trunk.
The Bears Den has well…..bears. It is one of the oldest existing exhibits at the zoo, established on the 1930’s. Waters edge was filled with polar bears, sea lions and playful seals. The aquarium, unfortunately, was very loud and crowded. Many of the tanks were impossible to view because the only vantage point was smack in front of them. Its quite possible that the exhibits were wonderful but I only saw part of the penguins. The aquarium would be better to visit when the crowds aren’t so thick.
On the way out of the zoo we were fortunate enough to see the tigers playing. There was a storm rolling in so the air was starting to become cooler. The animals responded by becoming mischievous. The growing cubs were play fighting with the male while the female lounged nearby. Then the male would decide he had enough, gently swat them away to go pester the female. “Go bug your mom kids” Considerably fun to watch!
We didn’t make a full day of the zoo but I’m sure its completely possible. There are feedings and shows scheduled throughout the day. An outdoor food court in the middle for lunch, and a petting zoo in the children’s area could easily stretch the visit to a full day. I can see why the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium is held in such high regard. Well laid out, enjoyable to wander through and completely captivating make for a brilliant experience.
References and links of Interest: Pittsburgh Zoo and PGHAquarium