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Who needs coastline? Pittsburgh has its own sandy retreats

Heidi Murrin | Tribune-Review - Server Austin Gamble waits on patrons Carol Davis, left, of Monaca, and Robin Staub of Patterson Township, at Kelly's Riverside Saloon's island patio in Bridgewater Friday, July 19, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Heidi Murrin  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Server Austin Gamble waits on patrons Carol Davis, left, of Monaca, and Robin Staub of Patterson Township, at Kelly's Riverside Saloon's island patio in Bridgewater Friday, July 19, 2013.
Heidi Murrin | Tribune-Review - Jeff Rosensteel, left, of E. Palestine, Ohio, and his cousin Michael Vogel of Hopewell, have lunch at Kelly's Riverside Saloon's island patio Friday, July 19, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Heidi Murrin  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Jeff Rosensteel, left, of E. Palestine, Ohio, and his cousin Michael Vogel of Hopewell, have lunch at Kelly's Riverside Saloon's island patio Friday, July 19, 2013.
Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Parador Inn owner, Ed Menzer shows off the beach he created at his Allegheny West inn, Tuesday.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Parador Inn owner, Ed Menzer shows off the beach he created at his Allegheny West inn, Tuesday.
Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Parador Inn owner, Ed Menzer shows the tropical theme he created at his Allegheny West inn, Tuesday.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Parador Inn owner, Ed Menzer shows the tropical theme he created at his Allegheny West inn, Tuesday.
Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Parador Inn owner, Ed Menzer shows the tropical theme he created at his Allegheny West inn, Tuesday.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Parador Inn owner, Ed Menzer shows the tropical theme he created at his Allegheny West inn, Tuesday.
Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Paradise Island Bowl & Beach on Neville islands shown Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, features an outdoor beach area where people eat.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Paradise Island Bowl & Beach on Neville islands shown Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, features an outdoor beach area where people eat.
Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Paradise Island Bowl & Beach on Neville islands shown Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, features an outdoor beach area where people eat.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Paradise Island Bowl & Beach on Neville islands shown Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, features an outdoor beach area where people eat.
Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Paradise Island Bowl & Beach on Neville islands shown Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, features an outdoor beach area where people eat.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Paradise Island Bowl & Beach on Neville islands shown Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, features an outdoor beach area where people eat.
Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Paradise Island Bowl & Beach on Neville islands shown Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, features an outdoor beach area where people eat and a sand volleyball court.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Paradise Island Bowl & Beach on Neville islands shown Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, features an outdoor beach area where people eat and a sand volleyball court.
- (Left to right) Jesse Fedorek, 6, Ollie Freeman, 9, and Dominic Perella, 6, of Carrick build up a small sand sculpture at Sandcastle Waterpark’s beach attraction in Pittsburgh on Thursday, July 17, 2014. The attraction offers patrons a small bit of beach without travelling out of the city.
(Left to right) Jesse Fedorek, 6, Ollie Freeman, 9, and Dominic Perella, 6, of Carrick build up a small sand sculpture at Sandcastle Waterpark’s beach attraction in Pittsburgh on Thursday, July 17, 2014. The attraction offers patrons a small bit of beach without travelling out of the city.
- Dominic Perella, 6, of Carrick sits back to enjoy the small beach attraction at Sandcastle Waterpark in Pittsburgh on Thursday, July 17, 2014. The beach allows patrons to play in the sand while at the waterpark.
Dominic Perella, 6, of Carrick sits back to enjoy the small beach attraction at Sandcastle Waterpark in Pittsburgh on Thursday, July 17, 2014. The beach allows patrons to play in the sand while at the waterpark.
- Rylee Schafer, 3, of Hampton, throws sand into the wind while Noah, 4, and Naaman, 5, Wicks, also of Hampton get their picture taken at the “beach” photo-stage during their visit to Sandcastle Waterpark in Pittsburgh on Thursday, July 17, 2014. The small beach offers patrons a photo opportunity that puts them in a beach setting.
Rylee Schafer, 3, of Hampton, throws sand into the wind while Noah, 4, and Naaman, 5, Wicks, also of Hampton get their picture taken at the “beach” photo-stage during their visit to Sandcastle Waterpark in Pittsburgh on Thursday, July 17, 2014. The small beach offers patrons a photo opportunity that puts them in a beach setting.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Patrons float by the watchful eye of the lifeguard June 19, 2012, as they try to beat the heat on the Lazy River at Sandcastle.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox  |  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>Patrons float by the watchful eye of the lifeguard June 19, 2012, as they try to beat the heat on the Lazy River at Sandcastle.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media - The Cabana Bar in Wexford on Thursday evening, Aug. 7, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Justin Merriman  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>The Cabana Bar in Wexford on Thursday evening, Aug. 7, 2014.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media - Bryan Greene of Oakland, right, and Alexandra Uram of Hopewell Township, left, sit at the Cabana Bar in Wexford on Thursday evening, Aug. 7, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Justin Merriman  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>Bryan Greene of Oakland, right, and Alexandra Uram of Hopewell Township, left, sit at the Cabana Bar in Wexford on Thursday evening, Aug. 7, 2014.
Justin Merriman | Trib Total Media - Electra Geanopulos, right, and Sherry Dunn, left, both of McCandles Township sit at the Cabana Bar in Wexford on Thursday evening, Aug. 7, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Justin Merriman  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>Electra Geanopulos, right, and Sherry Dunn, left, both of McCandles Township sit at the Cabana Bar in Wexford on Thursday evening, Aug. 7, 2014.
Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media - Rumfish Grille's beach bar in Bridgeville features fire pits on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media</em></div>Rumfish Grille's beach bar in Bridgeville features fire pits on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014.

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Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
 

So, that beach vacation didn't pan out this year? Not to worry. Pittsburgh's got you covered. With summer winding down, here are some sandy staycation spots that don't require an expensive plane trip or hours in the car with screaming kids.

Anchors away!

Kelly's Down by the Riverside Saloon

beaver

1458 Riverside Drive. Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Sundays. Kitchen closes at midnight during summer.

Details: 724-728-0222 or www.kellys-pub.com

A gentle breeze ripples through the towering palm trees. Steel-band music plays as you wiggle your toes in the sand and sip a frozen tropical drink, watching the boats glide by.

It might not be the Bahamas, or even Myrtle Beach, but Kelly's Down by the Riverside Saloon in Beaver is a practical substitute when you need a few hours in a tropical paradise.

Every spring, owner Lisa Kelly plants a truckload of towering Florida-grown palm trees and replenishes the sand around the saloon's outdoor fantasy island retreat that overlooks a tranquil back channel of the Beaver River.

There's a full menu of sandwiches, salads and wraps, some with a Caribbean twist, and two popular weekly specials — Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Monday-night special, all-you-can-eat crab legs, from 4 to 9 p.m.

— Alice T. Carter

Paradise Island Bowl & Beach

Neville island

7601 Grand Ave. Hours: 5 p.m.-midnight Mondays-Thursdays, 5 p.m.-3 a.m. Fridays, 1 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m.-midnight Sundays.

Details: 412-264-6570 or paradiseislandbowl.com

The Ohio River isn't the Pacific Ocean, and Neville Island isn't Santa Barbara. But you can get Pittsburgh's version of a shore experience at Neville Island's Paradise Island Bowl & Beach.

Visitors can bowl indoors year-round here, but during warm weather, they can dine on a sandy beach and play sand volleyball in nearby courts.

At the small outdoor restaurant and bar, guests can order items served at the bowling alley and enjoy them in a beachy waterside setting, with the river lapping nearby. Lighted faux palm trees along the beach path add a nice touch.

The menu includes pizzas, chicken fingers, nachos, quesadillas, salads, wings and sandwiches.

— Kellie B. Gormly

Sandcastle

Homestead

1000 Sandcastle Drive. Through Sept. 1. Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. or 7 p.m., depending on the day.

Details: 412-462-6666 or www.sandcastlewaterpark.com

Steps away from the oceanlike waves of the 20,000-square-foot Mon-Tsunami pool at Sandcastle, a large, sandy area completes the perfect beachlike setting at the water park.

The space was formerly a sand volleyball court but was modified with the addition of the Dragon's Den, the park's newest tube slide.

Guests can build sandcastles or just relax as though they were at the ocean.

New this year, Sandcastle has put up a second sandy area near the park entrance where guests can capture summer fun with a perfect photo op. The area was added as part of the park's 25th anniversary. It's set up like a surf shop on the beach, complete with a surf board. Guests are encouraged to share their photos on social media.

— Joanne Klimovich Harrop

Cabana Bar

Wexford

100 Village Club Drive. Hours: 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Sundays. Details: 724-934-7876 or www.thecabanabar.com

The Cabana Bar is like an oceanfront oasis tucked behind a suburban landscape.

At the site behind the Oxford Athletic Club in Wexford, the glowing lights and shorelike shrubbery make it hard to remember the treadmills are not too far away.

Three sand-filled seating areas create a beachlike setting in part of the outdoor area. Bistro-height tables are spread throughout the rest. One bar is in a big cabana, with smaller cabanas available for group rental. One holds about eight people and is $75 for an evening, while the other can hold 10 to 15 guests and is $125.

All told, the Cabana can seat about 500.

Besides the lights that wrap through the area, vertical heating tubes glow and provide just a touch of heat on cooler evenings. The Cabana is open from the beginning of May through the end of September.

Besides the array of mixed drinks, the Cabana has about eight beers on tap and a hefty selection in bottles and cans. The tunes are loud, but not enough to snag a conversation.

— Bob Karlovits

Rumfish Grille

Bridgeville

1155 Washington Pike. Hours: 5 p.m.-2 a.m. weekdays, noon-2 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Details: 412-914-8013 or www.rumfishpgh.com

At Rumfish Beach in Rumfish Grille, the dance floor is made of sand. The Bridgeville spot features an outdoor bar, patio and stage area designed to provide a vacation-setting experience. The 15,000 square feet of outdoor space is adorned with tropical fixtures and decor.

A DJ spins tunes Fridays and Saturdays, and Thursday is Bike Night. There are daily drink specials for the beach bar only.

The bar offers 12 beers with a selection of local breweries and an array of wines and specialty cocktails.

The kitchen is an open-air setup serving grilled chicken and beef brisket sandwiches for lunch, salad to steak to lobster for dinner and happy-hour specials. Brunch is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

— Joanne Klimovich Harrop

Parador Inn

North Side

939 Western Ave. Rates: $150 per night, plus tax, $200 plus tax on Saturdays.

Details: 412-231-4800 or www.theparadorinn.com

Most minds don't go to the city's North Side when considering an island getaway, but Ed Menzer has created an oasis in the middle of the city's hustle and bustle.

The Parador Inn, named for the Spanish word “to stop,” is a bed and breakfast with a Caribbean flair in an 1870 mansion.

From the whimsical murals featured on the walls (complete with hidden birds and geckos) to the palm-shaped fans, tropical decor and sunroom, the space transports its temporary residents from Western Avenue to the Florida Keys.

For those seeking to feel the sand between their toes, a stroll through a lush garden leads to the inn's actual beach, complete with 17 tons of sand and island decor, such as an anchor, life preserver and boat paddles.

While the view to one side is the real world, facing the mansion offers a view of the sprawling home decked out in mint, buttercup and pastel pink paint, a sweeping porch featuring a bird-themed mural, wind chimes, a gecko-shaped swing and a running fountain.

Just close your eyes, and you can almost hear the waves. It might actually be North Side traffic, but who can be bothered with urban details in such a laid-back getaway?

— Rachel Weaver

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