Ring in Spring at the Best Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh

Though it felt like winter might never end, spring is finally at our doorstep. What better way to celebrate than by spending some time at the best botanical gardens in Pittsburgh? Get outside and enjoy watching flowers bloom as the weather gets warmer

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Phipps is truly a feast for the senses. You can start out by browsing the stunning outdoor gardens before moving on to the Japanese courtyard and innovative green rooftops — including one that grows fresh produce for the on-site café.

If the air is still a bit brisk, pop inside the world-class conservatory for unforgettable sights. There’s a sunken garden, a palm court, a fern room, an orchid room, a tropical fruit and spice room, and even a multi-story tropical forest exhibit that replicates a different region every three years. Adult admission is $20, and children ages two to 18 can get in for $12.

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden ranks as one of America’s 10 largest botanical gardens with a whopping 452 acres of space, and every inch of space is used to its fullest potential. There’s an incredible amount of floral diversity with several woodlands, a lotus pond, a Japanese garden, and more. For a dash of history, check out the Walker-Ewing-Glass Log House, which was built somewhere near 1790.

If you need a new vehicle to get you back and forth to these beautiful botanical gardens — or if your current ride needs a tune-up — pay us a visit at Shults Ford of Harmarville.

Best botanical gardens in Pittsburgh

2 Great Ford Vehicles for Winter Driving

The winter weather can be brutal in Pittsburgh, especially with snow and sleet coating the roads. Safe driving starts with choosing the right vehicle. At Shults Ford Harmarville, we have a large selection of vehicles for winter driving to choose from, including the F-150 and Fusion.

2019 Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 has been America’s best-selling vehicle for decades. The 2019 F-150’s strong frame, powerful engine, and 20-inch machined aluminum wheels help to give you control in any terrain, on or off the road. You can opt for a 4×2 or 4×4 drivetrain on six of the F-150’s trim levels; the Raptor comes standard as a 4×4. You can also enjoy winter friendly features like heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and remote start.

2019 Ford Fusion

The 2019 Ford Fusion combines the best of both worlds: a midsize commuter vehicle with winter friendly features to help you drive in the colder months. In fact, U.S. News & World Report named the Ford Fusion one of the 10 Best Cars for Winter Driving in 2018. It’s one of the few midsize car models that offers all-wheel drive, an instant boost in safety in winter conditions.

Tackle the winter months with confidence this year. Test drive one of these winter friendly models at Shults Ford Harmarville in Pittsburgh.

vehicles for winter driving

Tips and Tricks for Hanging Christmas Lights

It might seem like the Christmas season is far away, but it’s coming up quickly! For many, their Christmas lights go up the day after the Halloween decorations come down. If you’re one of those people, or you just want time to prepare, here are some tips for hanging Christmas lights.

Safety First

The most important part is your safety. Only use Underwriters Laboratories (labeled “UL”) lights and extension cords, which prove that they’re safe for outdoor use. Also, when getting to the actual hanging part, use a sturdy ladder and have another person to help secure the base of the ladder.

Measure

Before you hang your lights, measure everything! Measure your doorframe, your windows, the length of the gutter – anywhere you’ll be hanging lights. Record those measurements so that you can easily center and position your lights when you hang them.

Focal Points

Where do you want passerbys to look? Your trees? Your front door? Pick a focal point and focus your lights here. Then, frame that focal point evenly with lights on surrounding objects.

Correctly Secure

Secure the lights with tools appropriate for where you’re hanging them. Use light clips to secure lights to gutters, deck clips to attach them to railings, and a light-hanging pole to get them up and around the branches of your tall trees.

For more Christmas decoration tips, feel free to speak with our staff at Shults Ford Harmarville.

Christmas lights

Complete This Fall Bucket List with Your Ford

Leaves are beginning to change color and fall, and pumpkin spice lattes are back in full force. You know what that means: it’s fall! If you’re looking for something to do with your family this season, we’ve gone ahead and put together a fall bucket list for you to consider.

Visit your local pumpkin patch. Jack-o-lanterns are an iconic symbol of fall, so this bucket list wouldn’t be complete without heading to your local pumpkin patch to search for the perfect pumpkin to carve. No matter which Ford you drive, you will find plenty of trunk space to load up your haul of gourds.

Go explore the fall foliage. It wouldn’t be fall without the leaves changing colors, creating a beautiful landscape across the country – especially near Harmarville. Grab your kids, make some hot apple cider or hot chocolate, and head out on an adventure to see the natural beauty this time of year has to offer. If you happen to have one of our EcoBoost® engines, this is an even better idea – just think of the gas you’ll be saving!

Tailgate before a football game. Football games are the epitome of fall – and what better way to celebrate a big game than with some tailgating? Whether you’re heading off to watch the pros play or you’re attending your kid’s PeeWee league match, load your Ford up with all the tailgating goodies you can get. After all, it does have plenty of storage.

If you are in need of a Ford vehicle, then be sure to stop by Shults Ford Harmarville.

Fall bucket list

3 Tips for Traveling with Pets

Traveling with pets can be a daunting endeavor – but it doesn’t have to be. To help you prepare for your next trip with your furry friends, we’ve gone ahead and put together some tips for traveling with pets.

Plan ahead. If you’re heading out on a long road trip, it’s likely that you will have to spend the night in hotels as you go. Many hotels, though, don’t allow pets or only have a limited number of rooms that it allows pets in. To ensure your furry friends have a place to stay overnight, make sure you book hotels that are pet-friendly before you leave. Also, plan to stop every couple of hours to give your dog a break and a short walk to help them stretch their legs.

Be prepared. Safety is important, which is why having the proper safety equipment for your pets is a must. Purchase a well-rated travel crate, a pet barrier, or restraint of some sort to help protect your pet in case of an accident.

Make a checklist. You don’t want to get halfway through your road trip only to realize you forgot something important like your pup’s food or your cat’s litter tray. Before you start packing, create a checklist that has all of the essentials on it. Doing so is a great way to ensure you don’t forget anything. Make sure you include everything from food, water, and poop bags to medications, cleaning supplies, and an ID tag if your dog happens to get out unexpectedly.

Looking for a vehicle to keep both you and your pets comfortable? Come check out our model lineup here at Shults Ford.

Tips for traveling with pets

Best Ford Sedans for Life in a City

When you’re frequently driving in the city, chances are that you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is small, easy to maneuver, gets great fuel economy, and has plenty of technology. Luckily, Ford has multiple vehicles that fit the bill. Here’s a quick look at the best Ford sedans for life in a city.

2018 Ford Fiesta

Maneuvering around narrow city streets and fitting into small parking spaces is a lot easier when you have a small car. That’s where the 2018 Ford Fiesta comes into play. This subcompact vehicle is easy to personalize so that it shows off your unique style, and it also offers plenty of technologies to choose from. For instance, Ford’s SYNC® infotainment system comes standard and entertainment tech like SiriusXM® Radio, a Sony® audio system with HD Radio™, and a Reverse Sensing System are all available. That means the Fiesta isn’t just stylish – it’s also tech-savvy.

2018 Ford Focus

The 2018 Ford Focus combines reliability, a small size, and variety to make it one of the most appealing city cars out there. For those wanting something a bit sportier, you can opt for the performance-oriented ST or RS trim levels. It even has an eco-friendly option in the Electric trim level, which offers consumers an all-electric ride. No matter what you’re looking for in an urban ride, it’s likely you can find a Focus that offers what you need.

Explore our lineup of vehicles at Shults Ford to find the perfect urban vehicle for your metropolitan commutes.

Best Ford sedans for life in a city - 2018 Ford Focus

Top Vacation Spots within A Short Drive from Pittsburgh

Finding the right destination for your next vacation isn’t always easy – especially if you don’t want to drive too far. To make your decision a bit easier next time, we’ve put together a short list of some of the top vacation spots within a short drive from Pittsburgh.

Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio, which is only a two-hour drive from Pittsburgh, giving you prime access to history of the game and its legendary players. Whether you’re a hometown fan or root for another team, you’re sure to enjoy yourself if you happen to love football.

Seven Springs Mountain Resort

Family fun and adventure is only an hour drive away from Pittsburgh at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking to go ziplining on the mile-long Laurel Ridgeline Canopy Experience or merely want to kayak around the resort’s lake and enjoy the great outdoors, this destination has you covered.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater

Architecture buffs will want to take the family out to this destination – Fallingwater, a mountain home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1930s. It’s an escape in the middle of the mountains, built over a waterfall that gives you a sense of being one with nature. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

The best vehicle to get you to your destination is a Ford from Shults Ford Harmarville.

Top Vacation Spots

Spring Cleaning Tips: Get Your Car Spotless

It’s that time again—spring cleaning is here. There are a number of things you can do to help increase the resale value of your car, but spring cleaning is one of the best, so a list of tips and tricks to get your car spotless for the warmer weather, helping you to preserve your vehicle’s interior and exterior.

First on our list of spring cleaning tips, clean your car vents. According to Tip Hero, cleaning car vents will help eliminate mold and dust that accumulate in hard to reach places, and it will also prevent the interior from getting a stagnant smell. The best way to clean vents it by dusting with a foam brush while you vacuum at the same time.

Next, shine your hubcaps. After washing and waxing the exterior, you should combine cleaning powder and water to make a paste. Some use baking soda, but there are also special soaps that you can use as well. This will really make your wheels stand out.

You can also wash your floor mats. Naturally, you should vacuum the interior thoroughly. However, you can get an added clean by spraying off mats, washing with a stiff brush, and then tossing them in the washer and dryer.

Eliminate pet hair with a squeegee and a spray bottle with water. Simply wet the cloth on the interior, squeegee to collect fur and dirt, and vacuum to remove. End by spraying with Febreze or another fragrance to eliminate wet pet smell if necessary.

Of course, if that scent in your car that you are craving happens to be that new car smell, Shults Ford Harmarville would be more than happy to help you find that.

spring cleaning tips

5 Romantic Valentine’s Day Date Ideas in Pittsburgh

The new year is in full swing, which means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Are you looking for some new and exciting Valentine’s Day date ideas in Pittsburgh to surprise your loved one with? Consider a few of Shults Ford Harmarville’s best staff picks this year:

  • Relax at a spa: You both work hard. Treat yourself to a day at the spa, like Peace Love and Zen in East Liberty. Your body (and mind) will thank you.
  • Get on the water: Sign up for an evening ride on the Gateway Clipper for a night of romance with live music and a buffet dinner.
  • Go to a museum: Pittsburgh offers a wealth of museums, but a staff favorite is the Andy Warhol Museum.
  • Keep it classic: Dinner and a movie have proven themselves to be the perfect recipe for a successful date. Grab dinner at a restaurant such as Legume in Oakland or The Commoner tavern downtown. Then catch a movie at Row House Cinema, which includes over 140 soda varieties to enjoy.

Valentine’s Day date ideas in Pittsburgh

Black Friday Shopping Strategies

Some people look forward to Black Friday shopping just as much as Thanksgiving dinner itself. If you’re planning to head out into the Black Friday craze this year, use these tips from Shults Ford Harmarville to make the most of it.

Do Your Research

Sometimes the best deals are offered to the early bird, but that’s not always the case. You should never assume anything with Black Friday—always do your research first. Make a list of the things you’re looking for, and then check store ads to find out when they’re offering the best deals.

Bring a Friend

Face it—shopping is always better with a friend there to keep you company. But don’t be afraid to ask your friend for help. They can stay in your Ford to keep it warm while you run into the store, or even help you collect all of your items to help save time.

Have a Strict Budget

You might be heading out on Black Friday to snag a good deal, but the stores where you’re shopping are planning to try to sell you more than you’d bargained for in the process. Don’t be tempted by colorful displays and good deals on things that aren’t on your list. Plan your items—and your budget—beforehand and don’t stray from it. Your wallet will thank you later.

Black Friday shopping