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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Over the past 18 months, the small town of Marion, Virginia has experienced an incredible revitalization. Prompted by a community-wide determination to stimulate the local economy, new entrepreneurs and small businesses are flooding the historic downtown district to show that in terms of tourism, Marion means business. Located about a mile off route I-81 in Southwestern Virginia […]
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 […]
Located in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville, Virginia is a city that really celebrates its historic roots. The area in and around Charlottesville was once home to 3 of our nation’s earliest presidents— Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe— and today over 200 years later, their legacy can still be […]
I’ve been dreaming about the crispy ham-cured pork ribs from Pasture, the Southern small-plates restaurant by co-owner and Executive Chef Jason Alley, ever since visiting the Richmond location this past spring. On my recent trip to Charlottesville, my wish was granted, and I was able to have pork ribs part deux at his newest restaurant, Pasture Charlottesville. WHAT DOES THE […]
Located 15 minutes outside of downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, Keswick Hall is known as one of the most esteemed resorts in the U.S. Recently named one of Travel + Leisure’s 500 “World’s Best Hotels,” the historic property is a peaceful oasis set on a picturesque, 600-acre private estate at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains. I recently spent […]
The Alley Light is a blink-or-you’ll-miss-it culinary gem in the heart of downtown historic Charlottesville. Opening in February 2014, it’s already gotten a lot of buzz, so I was eager to check it out. A nondescript handwritten sign points the way to an alley with a single light above a single door, leading to this […]
Before last weekend, I had never stayed at one of Shenandoah National Park’s lodges, opting instead to “rough it” and camp outside with friends. After one glorious night at the historic Skyland Resort… well— sorry, friends— I don’t think I could ever go back to camping again! Here in the heart of Shenandoah National Park, honestly it’s a luxury […]
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...