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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Let it be known that I am not a camper. So, what could possibly possess me – a unabashed city girl – to pack up my car and drive five hours south to camp out in a field filled with ticks, spiders and sheep poo (oh my!) in the middle of rural Virginia? The answer [...]
Walking into Asheville’s Omni Grove Park Inn for the first time, I immediately felt right at home. The gigantic stone fireplaces, the Great Hall’s huge and open space, the attentive concierges and the air of history all were so comfortingly familiar… reminding me of the old National Park lodges from out west that I love. My striking first impression was [...]
When I was a kid, I absolutely loved reading Choose Your Own Adventure books. I always thought they were so whimsical and creative, and got a kick out of getting to choose each decision step by step to see where the story would take me. A few weeks ago, when it came time to celebrate my boyfriend [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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...