Last Thursday, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. Unable to sleep as morning’s light began to steadily peek through the slats in my Venetian blinds, I tossed and turned for another hour before I realized the source of my restlessness: Flowers. Specifically, I was being kept awake by the tempting thoughts of the cherry blossoms [...]
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After an especially brutal winter, I think everyone is like me: eagerly awaiting the warmth and new life that comes with spring this year. This weekend, I spent an afternoon the National Arboretum, a place I’ve long heard about but hadn’t yet visited. I can happily report some good news… spring is finally here! For [...]
Richmond, Virginia is in the midst of a serious foodie revolution. Craft breweries, artisan bakeries, mixology hotspots, independent coffee houses and inspired farm-to-fork eateries are popping up all over Virginia’s capital city, giving this southern gem a surprisingly hipper, Pacific Northwest vibe. In recent months, publications like Frommer’s and the New York Magazine have touted Richmond’s emerging food-driven [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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...