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 […]
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 […]
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...