A travel journal
to Pennsylvania by Amy Travels
Quote: When I wrote that I live in Pittsburgh, I lied—I actually live in the southern suburb of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. When I thought about all that Bethel Park has to offer a visitor to the Pittsburgh area, I decided to write a journal specifically for it.
Bethel Park can be used as a base to explore Pittsburgh. I haven’t priced the Ramada in Bethel Park, but there’s a good chance it’s priced a lot lower than the downtown hotels.
Of the dinners, my favorite is the Chicken Parmesan for $10.75. All dinners include salad, side dish of pasta, and bread/butter. Dinners range from $8.75 to $12.95. Don’t even try to eat a complete dinner in one sitting. My husband, who loves to eat, can’t even finish a whole dinner at once. When we order Chicken Parmesan dinners, we eat the chicken, salad, and half of the bread for dinner one night and then eat the pasta and remaining bread for lunch or dinner the following day.
The sandwiches run from $4.75 to $7.75. The sandwiches themselves are very filling, but they do not include any side items. You must order them separately. Wine and beer are also available.
Family servings are also available. A family serving of baked ziti with tomato sauce is $17.95. Used as a main dish, it could probably serve about ten. As a side dish it could probably serve about 20 to 25 people. Chicken Parmesan can also be ordered by the dozen. Family-size salads are available as well. I have found this to be a very economical way to serve a crowd. I’ve ordered food from Pasta Too! for my daughter’s Baptism, 1st Birthday, and countless other occasions. It’s always a real crowd pleaser.
Pasta Too! is moving about one mile south of its current location (still on Library Road, just north of South Park entrance.) The new restaurant will be larger. The current restaurant is very small, so it gets crowded — go to dinner around 4 or 4:30pm, or better yet, get takeout.
Current hours are Sunday from 1pm until 9pm; Monday through Thursday from 11am until 10pm; and Friday/Saturday from 11am until 11pm. These hours may change when the new location opens. The new location was supposed to open in April 2002, but as of June 2002 it hasn't yet.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 22, 2002
In addition, The Warehouse Café has a very extensive menu. It includes: salads, sandwiches/burgers, all different kinds of pizza, calzones, hoagies, pasta, chicken, veal, seafood, and New York strip steak dinner. A children’s menu is available, too. Alcoholic beverages are also served. Our favorites at the Warehouse Café are the burgers, hoagies, Chicken Romano, and baked Tortellini Alfredo. The prices are fairly reasonable — dinners range from $7.75 to $16.25. You also get a lot of food — we always end up bringing some home. There is also a "buy one, get one free" coupon in the Pittsburgh area entertainment book.
As its name implies, the building looks like a warehouse from the outside. Inside there are high ceilings. Therefore, it can be noisy. However, there are lots of tables, so you never have to wait. Also, there are separate smoking and non-smoking sections. The service is good as well. My husband and I have gone to The Warehouse Café many times over the last seven years and have always had great service.
Other stores at South Hills Village include Walden Books, Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, Children’s Place, Gap, Gap Kids, Liz Claiborne, Sam Goody, and Suncoast. There is also a Dick’s Sporting Goods located right outside of Sears.
If you’re staying in downtown Pittsburgh or the Sheraton Station Square, you can take the T (trolley) to South Hills Village. It is about a 45-50 minute ride and costs approximately $2 one-way. I wouldn’t recommend driving or taking a taxi there from downtown — you’ll get stuck in a lot of traffic and it will end up taking you almost as long to get there. If you wish to stay in the South Hills area, there is a Ramada (formerly Holiday Inn) just across the street from South Hills Village on Fort Couch Road.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 22, 2002
The Bethel Park section of the Montour Trail is a great place to go in any season. The trail runs through a very wooded area, so the trees provide shade even on the hottest summer days. It is nice to look at the leaves in the fall and the snow-covered trees in the winter. I especially like to go to the trail when something is troubling me — it is a very quiet and peaceful place. Benches are also located throughout.
The Bethel Park section has several areas where you can park and access the trail. The Irishtown Road parking lot is near the beginning of the trail. This parking lot can get crowded on summer evenings, but we’ve always been able to find a spot. Trail parking is also permitted in the gravel part of parking lot at Al’s Café and Washington Elementary School, both of which are near the mid-point of the trail. On the other end of the trail is the Limestone Drive parking lot, with only enough spaces for a handful of cars.
There are at least two different walking trails that I know of — one is paved, and the other is not. The paved trail that runs along Corrigan Drive is popular with rollerbladers, bikers, walkers, and runners. I don’t like this trail as much as the Montour Trail (see separate journal) because it can be very noisy with the traffic just a few feet away from you.
One place I enjoy taking my daughter is the game preserve, which is home to buffalo, deer, ducks, geese, turtles, fish, and various kinds of birds. The game preserve is free. Bring some bread to feed the ducks. There is also a nature center in the park, but I’ve never had the opportunity to take my daughter there.
There are many scenic picnic areas. These can be reserved in advance. If you do not have a reservation, you can only use a picnic area that has not already been reserved. These may be hard to find on the weekends, as a lot of people hold graduation parties, birthday parties, and family reunions in these picnic areas. If you want to use a picnic area and do not have a reservation, you are better off going to the park on a weekday. Many people go to the fast food outlets on Route 88, just outside the park entrance, and then picnic in the park.
South Park often has live entertainment; free concerts are held in a large field on Friday nights during the summer. There is also a playhouse in the park, featuring plays for children and adults.
South Park attracts people of all ages. In the evening hours, teenagers congregate in the parking areas and drive up and down Corrigan Drive. This shouldn’t deter you from going to the park in the evening. We’ve been going to the park for years and have never had any problems.
Bethel Park, Pennsylvania