One of the most essential sights to visit in the Pittsburgh area is not found in the city itself, but in an unassuming location an hour and a half from the city.
We take a day trip from Pittsburgh and venture to rural Pennsylvania to visit Fallingwater, one of the greatest works of American architecture, built by Frank Lloyd Wright in the mid 1930s.
Fallingwater was built for Edgar Kaufmann, a successful businessman who owned the Kaufmann Department Store chain with its flagship store in downtown Pittsburgh. He commissioned famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright to build his family's weekend residence as a getaway from the bustling city.
The property is designed in modern style and includes multiple bedrooms, balconies, and terraces. It is now regarded as the "best all-time work of American architecture" by the American Institute of Architects and one of the most impressive designs.
We rented a car and drove an hour and a half from the city to reach Fallingwater. Be sure to bring $12 for the toll roads along the way. On the road to Fallingwater, we pass by corn fields, barns, and cows until we reach the Fallingwater estate, which appears like a mirage through a forest of trees.
Best Part of the Visit:
Walking up to the house, we were surrounded by the peaceful sounds of the waterfall. The pathway was lush and green, as if we were in a rainforest. The house was perched atop a waterfall with stunning modern architecture style, unusual for its day. Frank Lloyd Wright used a cantilever design that allows the home to integrate into its natural surroundings, with multi-layered terraces, glass windows and skylights around the exterior.
Even in today's standards it would be considered architecturally daring, but it was built in the 1930s.
We took a one hour tour of the house, which showcased the home's interior, exterior, and history.
Have you been to Fallingwater yet? What is your favorite part of Frank Lloyd Wright's design? Comment below!
Aside from the wine region of Tualatin Valley, Portland offers a world of nature and adventure activities outside of the city. Here, we discovered our top three places to visit outside of the Portland downtown.
1. Cascade Locks -
This region is a 45 minute drive from downtown Portland and is at the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. We visited for the Bridge of the Gods half marathon and 10K , which offers scenic views of the forests, gorge, and an epic cross-over the bridge.
Sign up for the race here: https://bridgeofthegodsrun.com/
The Cascade Locks region is known for its many waterfalls, including Multnomah - the second highest year-round waterfall in the USA. We visited at about noon, and the sun was just peaking over the top of the mountain ridge. The area also features a bridge hike to get a closer look at the waterfall.
2. Seaside Beach -
Known for its rugged beach landscapes, adventurous hikes, and plentiful beach volleyball activities, this beach is about a two hour drive from Portland.
3. Portland Japanese Garden
Perched like an oasis overlooking the Portland downtown, the Japanese garden features teahouses, sweeping views, forest trails, and delicious cuisine at Umami restuarant.
Japanese Garden Admission: https://japanesegarden.org/
Plan on spending at least an hour or two at this expansive Japanese garden.
What is your favorite city retreat in Portland? Comment below!
When it comes to travel, it's rare that the journey is as enjoyable as the destination. Such is the case with our trip on BC Ferries. We embarked on a journey with BC Ferries from Vancouver, to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. The voyage makes for a perfect day trip or weekend getaway, as it the island is only an hour and a half from Vancouver. Along the way, we enjoyed a prime view of the Pacific Northwest landscapes, including the islands and wildlife.
Behind the scenes video of the BC Ferries trip:
Victoria has a unique blend of nature and European charm, all found on the Pacific Northwest. There are numerous gardens, wineries, and historic buildings on the island. The downtown area is easily stroll-able, where you can visit the Empress Hotel, the harbor, and the Parliament within a few blocks of each other. We took our car on the ferry, which enabled us to explore many regions of the island.
Here are the TOP 6 reasons to cruise from Vancouver to Victoria:
1. Nature and wildlife
From BC Ferries, you can enjoy the spectacular nature. We spend the majority of the ferry ride on the sun deck, where we could view the wildlife, such as otters, eagles, and sometimes even orcas. Be sure to bring your binoculars and telephoto lens to capture these views.
2. Craigdarroch Castle:
The largest residence in the province, with a wooden interior and stunning views from the top. The castle reminded me of Hearst Castle and was a great way to experience the history of Victoria.
3. Parliament Building of Victoria:
Historic landmark building that serves as the parliament of British Columbia. Take a guided tour of the interior or enjoy the extensive gardens.
4. Nearby islands such as Salt Spring, spotted from BC Ferries.
5. Empress Hotel:
An iconic landmark in Victoria where you can dine at the restaurant or enjoy high tea.
Did you know that Victoria is home to numerous wineries? We visited Church & State, a beautiful winery and tasting room that makes for perfect place to relax with friends and sip the regional wine.
Have you been to Victoria? What was your favorite part about the journey and the island? Comment below!
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We are two adventurous young professionals who turned our passion for travel into a blog to help others travel more.