The town of Floyd is a quick detour off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Southwest Virginia. Part of the famed Crooked Road musical heritage trail, Floyd is a renowned stop for music-lovers seeking their salvation in the twang-y notes of traditional Americana bluegrass. This November, I spent less than 12 hours in Floyd and [...]
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As we drove the Blue Ridge Parkway deeper and deeper into the heart of south-western Virginia, we passed regional landmarks like Round Meadow Creek and the Mayberry Trading Post before turning onto Squirrel Spur Road, which snaked through the mountains on a scenic and serpentine path. Then, a sign: It’s a blink-or-you’ll-miss-it moment, but [...]
The amber sunlight came streaming through the waning trees, hitting my face with a staccato rhythm. As we drove a 60-odd mile stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Roanoke and Meadows of Dan, Virginia, the sun felt closer than normal, the shadows more defined… a reminder that autumn has nearly come to a close. This [...]
World class spas. High thread-count sheets. Epic views. 5 star restaurants. Prime locations. Top-notch service. Luxurious spas and activities and amenities galore… Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for a nice hotel. Here is my list of some of the dreamiest hotels in the mid-Atlantic, in no particular order. Some of these I’ve already visited, while others are [...]
When attempting to fly fish, stealth is key. Every decision — from the fly you use, to where you stand, to the subtle way you flick your wrist — either helps you blend into the natural environment… or announces your presence to the underwater world below. Being stealthy when fly fishing isn’t easy. Dedicated anglers spend [...]
Today’s #FriFotos theme is “WINGS.” It brought back fond memories of my summer trip to Alaska… and my flight in a float plane! It was terrifying at first – made even scarier by the fact that I witnessed a similar plane CRASH INTO A BOAT right as I was set to board. Everyone was miraculously [...]
For the past 30-some years, minstrels-in training, ladies, lasses and squires, beggars, wenches, knaves and even kings have been conveying on a 27 acre bit of forested land in Crownsville, Maryland each fall. No, it’s not a time machine. It’s the Maryland Renaissance Festival! Here, people come to step back in time, to partake in historical merriment [...]
A few weeks ago, I had a hankering for my mom’s famous peach pound cake. Baking it was no problem — I’ve been making it annually for the past few years — but I had a dilemma. I needed peaches. It’s the peak of summer and ordinary grocery store peaches just wouldn’t do. Only peaches [...]
After my time with the bears in Katmai National Park, I wasn’t sure how anything else could possibly come close to topping that experience. But Alaska kept showing me her best, and the second half of my trip was filled with stunning scenery, diverse wildlife and amazing experiences. A real highlight was the Kenai Fjords [...]
Every July, the largest sockeye salmon migration in the entire world occurs on the Brooks River in Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve. The guarantee of a bountiful food source draws many of the park’s 2,300 brown bears– which are like grizzlies, but 100-150 pounds heavier!– and around 10,000 tourists annually, eager to observe and [...]
Welcome to Packed Suitcase!
Packed Suitcase is a travel blog featuring quick, satisfying trips that can easily be done in a weekend from a mid-Atlantic home base.
All throughout the site, you'll find inspiration, tips, gorgeous photography and itineraries for the best quick-trip destinations, with special emphasis on showing the awesome side of lesser-known places and experiences.
Have weekend travels worthy of the Monday morning water cooler… without having to take a lot of time off of work.
My name is Chris and I'm a National Geographic Channel producer by day and a freelance travel blogger and photographer by night.
I’m passionate about empowering and enabling readers to find accessible ways to travel within their time-off constraints to become weekend warriors.
My Most Popular Post
The Day I Drank 282 Year-Old Rum
(70,000+ views and counting!)
On a recent trip to Southern Delaware, I was given a shot of rum from a 282 year-old bottle recovered from a 1733 Spanish shipwreck. Whoa...