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 […]
Recently, I’ve felt like I’ve been moving at over 100 miles per hour. Work, travel, this blog and just… life has been moving at a rapid-fire pace, with no signs of slowing down in sight. Last Friday, as I drove down Route US-211 West, towards the small town of Sperryville, Virginia and the mountains of Shenandoah […]
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 […]
Ah, summer! With the season’s long days and warm nights comes ample opportunities for fun in the sun throughout the whole mid-Atlantic region. Whether you’re aching to paddle down a river, hike to a waterfall, sit on a beach, roast s’mores over a campfire, chase lightening bugs, hit up a historical hot-spot or just kick […]
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 […]
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...