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Optional Tours

All optional events have minimum and maximum capacities.  Failure to meet the minimum number of registrants for any tour may result in its cancellation.  In the event of a tour cancellation, a refund or the opportunity to attend another available tour will be offered.  Priority tour registration will be given to full convention registrants until March 14, 2014.  After that date, tour registration will be open to all, including non-registrants (guests and family members who are not planning to attend the Convention).  Tour registration will remain open until tour capacity is met or until June 13, 2014. 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014
12:30 – 4:00 p.m.
$40 per person

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a historical Victorian greenhouse which has been inviting visitors to explore the beauty and mysteries of plants since 1893. Nestled within Schenley Park, one of Pittsburgh's largest green spaces, Phipps Conservatory stands as a cultural and architectural centerpiece of the city's Oakland neighborhood.  In recent decades, Phipps has evolved into one of the region's most vibrant, thriving cultural attractions, bringing fresh perspectives and artists into the historic glasshouse environment.   Phipps has also become a strong advocate for advanced green-building practices, sustainable gardening and a new environmental awareness.  This excursion will consist of a 60 – 90 minute guided tour of the sustainability and green innovations of the Phipps Conservatory followed by time for participants to independently  tour the greenhouse’s exhibits, the butterfly garden, the spectacular outdoor gardens, and the museum store and cafe. 



Wednesday, July 16, 2014
12:30 – 4:00 p.m.
$35 per person

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden tour will be guided by long time skilled horticulturist John Warrick.  This is the only botanic garden in the U.S. built on reclaimed land.  Today, this land abandoned mining land is being transformed into a 460 acre world-class botanic garden, including 18 distinct gardens, five diverse woodland experiences, a visitor’s center, and a center for botanic research.  This event will be a guided tour of the Five Distinct Woodland Areas in the Botanic Garden: the Appalachian Plateau Woodlands, a Cove Forest, an Asian Woodlands, an Eastern European Woodlands, and an English Woodlands.  The tour will offer a glimpse into the reclamation efforts that went in to recovering this abandoned mine site.  Substantial efforts have been made to combat invasive plants and replace the habitat with native species.




Wednesday, July 16, 2014
5:30 – 9:30 p.m.
$65 per person

Join us for the Lock and Dam Dinner Boat Cruise and enjoy a dinner paddleboat cruise that features all the best of Pittsburgh’s three rivers, music and a guided tour through a lock - it’s a truly unique Pittsburgh activity!  A buffet dinner will be served on board with a cash bar.   

Kansas City Barbecued Beef on a Bun
Louisiana Chicken Etouffée
Four Cheese Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Red Beans & Rice
Soulful Collard Greens Slow Cooked with Smoked Ham Hocks
Southern Style Fried Okra
Sweet Potato Salad
Farm Fresh Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad
Garden-fresh Summer Salad with Chef’s Own Cool and Creamy Buttermilk Dressing
Corn Muffins
Chocolate Cake with Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Sauce
Coffee & Hot Tea 



Thursday, July 17, 2014
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
$45 per person

The Bits and Bites Walking Tour is a must on your list for a historic culinary experience!  This ultimate foodie event takes place in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, which a century ago was filled with numerous factories and mills along the river. Today it is occupied by bakeries, coffee shops, ethnic food markets, and eateries emitting fragrant wafts to tempt passers-by. The Strip District Market tour features a behind-the-counter look at a variety of eateries in Pittsburgh’s historic market district. This strolling tour links local history with the eating establishments peppered along Penn Avenue with taste samples from around the world including Italian pastries, Mediterranean and Polish specialties, European meats and French bread.  There will be time after the tour to explore on your own. 



Thursday, July 17, 2014
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
$20 per person

The Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation guided walking tour will depart from the Westin lobby at 10:00 a.m. for an historical and architectural walking tour of downtown Pittsburgh.  The knowledgeable guides wear microphones and will lead an exploration based tour that blends history and architecture.  Count on a pleasant exchange of questions and answers in a small group setting.


Take me out to the ballgame!  
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies with Zambelli Fireworks
Sponsored by Outdoor Underwriters 

Saturday, July 19, 2014
7:05 p.m. First pitch with fireworks after the game
$30 per person 

After the field day, kick back with your fellow Tree Farmers at PNC Park - home of the Pittsburgh Pirates - as the hometown "Bucs" take on the Colorado Rockies.  PNC Park is easily one of the most beautiful baseball stadiums in the country, and as soon as you take your seat, you will understand why.  Enjoy beautiful views of the Allegheny River and Pittsburgh's downtown skyline during the game and afterwards, stick around for the Zambelli Fireworks Show!  AFF has secured a block of all-you-can-eat seats for you to enjoy all of the hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, salads, popcorn, peanuts, ice cream and soda you can handle.  Get your tickets today - you won't want to miss this special event sponsored by Outdoor Underwriters.  

Please note that transportation to and from the stadium will not be provided.  PNC Park is located less than one mile from the Westin. 


Photos from Shutterstock.