Itinerary: 2 Days in Philadelphia

  Over the past few hundred years, Philadelphia has served as a Quaker colony, a meeting place for the Founding Fathers, the long-ago capital of the newly formed United States and, more recently, the birthplace of one very beloved cheese-drenched steak sandwich. If I had to describe Philadelphia in 1 word, I would say that Philadelphia […]

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The Best Things to Eat at Reading Terminal Market

  Reading Terminal Market in downtown Philadelphia is the oldest indoor farmers market in the country. First opening its doors in 1892, today the historic market has over 80 vendors and sees around 17,000 visitors each day. Inside, a sea of people await— some brazenly shoving their way through the crowd, others politely squeezing through and many standing still in lines […]

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Out and About: The 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show

As the world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show, the Philadelphia Flower Show has been delighting visitors from all over the globe since 1829. Smartly running during the bleakest time of the year, the show attracts a staggering 260,000 attendees each year with promises of vivid color, of spring-like fragrance and of elaborate floral displays. […]

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Out and About: Clifton, Virginia

  Last night, I fell in love with the small town of Clifton, Virginia. Perhaps it was the lack of stoplights or the epic sunset after an otherwise rainy day. Or maybe it was the Amtrak zipping across Main Street or the ease in which I was able to buy cupcakes from one shop and sample wine […]

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My Favorite Places of 2014

We’re already 2 weeks into 2015, which means that my annual “Year in Review” post is admittedly a little overdue. But even a little delayed, 2014 is still worth taking a moment to recognize and reflect upon. After all, 2014 was the year where…. I went on dozens of day and weekend trips all throughout […]

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DC Road Trip: Holidays in the Brandywine Valley

  Nestled amongst the rolling hills between Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia lies the picturesque Brandywine Valley. With gorgeous du Pont family estates and more than 3,000 acres of landscaped gardens, it’s a region best known for being a flower-lover’s paradise. But once the mid-Atlantic’s leaves have finally fallen and the flowers have moved on to make […]

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Ask Chris: ISO Romantic Weekend in Alexandria, Virginia

A Packed Suitcase reader needs a little advice from their favorite mid-atlantic travel blogger. You know what that means… It’s time for another edition of “Ask Chris.” Here we go! Chris, I just stumbled across your web-site.  It’s great. I love the mid-atlantic focus as it seems to be an often overlooked area.  Have you […]

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Secrets of a Travel Blogger: What’s in My Bag

I first began blogging 6 years ago, when I worked for the Travel Channel in 2008. After I left the network in 2010, this blog continued on as a hobby– a way for me to share my travels with family and friends.   But sometime around 2011, things got real. Instead of writing about my infrequent travels to far-off destinations […]

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DC Day Trip to Occoquan, Virginia

  Trip Overview: The quaint, riverside town of Occoquan, Virginia in Prince William County is a quintessential day trip that has it all– rich colonial history dating back to the 1700s, some serious small town charm, boutique shops, great dining and a relaxed, waterfront vibe. And the best part? It’s all a mere 35 minutes drive from downtown […]

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Rhythm and Roots Along Virginia’s Crooked Road

After several trips down to Southwestern Virginia in the past year, I’ve realized a few things about myself. One: There’s a big part of me that wishes I had a southern accent Two: Pimento cheese slathered on ritz crackers is amazing… especially when washed down with a cold glass of sweet tea And three: I really, really like bluegrass music That […]

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