The first weekend of November, I packed up my car and headed out to discover the “Old School” side of Virginia. Found all over the state — from the largest city to the smallest town– Old School Virginia shares glimpses of a simpler time. A nostalgic blast from the past where the traditions of years [...]
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 [...]
I’ve always considered Harrisonburg, Virginia to be the quintessential college town. Well, I guess I should clarify… From 1999 to 2003, it was my quintessential college town. I loved calling it my home during those few fleeting years that I attended James Madison University. It was a really affordable and fun place to live, energized by [...]
All throughout the mid-Atlantic, a change is taking place. Yes, friends, it’s time to say goodbye to summer and celebrate fall once again! Fall is arguably my favorite time to plan a weekend trip in this part of the U.S. The weather’s consistently temperate and mild, the natural scenery is at its peak beauty and [...]
Hello, friends! I’ve taken a little blog breather since I have so many upcoming travels that I’ll be writing about over the next few months. But a new “Ask Chris” question has me back in action once again! This question comes from Facebook. And, here we go! Dear Chris, I’m going to be in DC [...]
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 [...]
As a fledging “mid-Atlantic travel expert,” I’ve been road-tripping around the region practically every weekend for the past year in an effort to find the best and most unique experiences the mid-Atlantic has to offer. As a result, I frequently receive emails from people looking for help planning specific travels of their own. I’ve been [...]
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...