Tips for your First Hot Air Balloon Ride www.casualtravelist.com

Tips for your First Hot Air Balloon Ride

With a combination of romance and adventure, a hot air balloon ride is at the top of many bucket lists. I recently had the chance to take to the skies for my first hot air balloon experience with Balloon AZ in Phoenix, Arizona; and floating above the Sonoran Desert is hands down one of the coolest adventures I’ve had. The hot air balloon experience is magical, thrilling and surreal; completely unlike any other flight adventure out there. Here are a few tips to make sure your first hot air balloon ride is a walk in the clouds.

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3 Meals:Where to eat in Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com

3 Meals: Where to Eat in Washington DC

With some of the hottest restaurants in the country, a dizzying variety of cuisines and good food at every price point there has never been a better time for a foodie to visit Washington DC. One of the most frustrating things for visitors is matching up a tasty meal with sightseeing. Diners in DC are spoiled for choice but if hunger strikes after you’ve hiked the 2 miles of the National Mall it’s nice to know what’s tasty nearby. For this reason I’ve lined up some of my favorite wallet friendly and mid-range dining options in the district as well as including what major tourist sites are nearby. Check out some of my recommendations for where to eat in Washington DC.

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Monthly Musings: August 2017 www.casualtravelist.com

Monthly Musings: August 2017

Well, it’s the end of August and another summer is just about in the books. I don’t know about you but this summer went by way too fast for my liking. I’ve got a few more beach days up my sleeve (never enough though) and pumpkin spice season is on the horizon (I refused to acknowledge the PSL anytime before October 1).

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My Gold Level Experience at the Fairmont Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com

My Gold Level Experience at the Fairmont Washington DC

With history around every corner, a growing arts community and one of the most exciting culinary scenes in the country it’s little surprise that Washington DC is one of my favorite stops for a city break. The Capitol is spoiled for choice when it comes to great hotels but I couldn’t pass up a chance to return for a stay at the Fairmont Washington DC. The Fairmont’s location is one of the best in the city, within easy reach of the restaurants and shops of Georgetown and Dupont Circle as well as being convenient to the monuments and museums of the National Mall while being an oasis from the tourist fray.

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25 Things to do in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia www.casualtravelist.com

25 Things to do in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

With American roots and European flair it’s no surprise that Alexandria, Virginia has become one of my favorite weekend getaways. Located minutes from Washington DC it feels worlds away with an independent streak inspiring the creative spirits behind the art galleries, boutiques and chef-driven restaurants that call Old Town home. Whether your looking to explore Alexandria’s revolutionary roots with your family or taking a romantic trip with your sweetheart you’re sure to love your time in this charming riverside city. Here are my recommendations for things to do in Alexandria.

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Beyond the Monuments: Washington DC Art Galleries to Check out Right Now www.casualtravelist.com

Beyond the Monuments: Washington DC Art Galleries to Check out Right Now

Washington DC is famous for its monuments but visitors are often surprised to find a vibrant art scene in the capital. Shedding it’s buttoned up reputation these Washington DC art galleries are showing off the capital’s creative side. A weekend is the perfect length of time to check out the art scene in Washington DC; I’ve highlighted a few of my favorite museums and galleries that offer a collection of exhibits that range from thought provoking and awe inspiring to fun and whimsical. Here are five Washington DC art galleries to check out right now.

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Where to Find the Best Craft Beer in Virginia Beach www.casualtravelist.com

Where to Find the Best Craft Beer in Virginia Beach

There has never been a better time to be a beer lover in Virginia. Craft beer in Virginia has exploded in recent years, growing from a handful of breweries to over 100 and counting. I’m lucky that there is an ever-expanding roster of local Virginia Beach breweries that are putting out some really great beer. With that in mind I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite local breweries in the Virginia Beach area.

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Monthly Musings: July 2017 www.casualtravelist.com

Monthly Musings: July 2017

Is it just me or is anyone else wondering how on earth it’s the end of July already? While the days are longer the summer months seem to fly by way too quickly for my liking. June found me in a bit of a funk about turning 40. Well, not so much a funk as a feeling of inaction and indecision; a feeling of suspended animation while life keeps going on around you. I knew I wanted to go somewhere for the long Independence Day weekend and I hemmed about where to go until about two weeks before I wanted to leave, and 5 minutes before going to bed one night I hit purchase on two tickets to Denver. I went into beast mode with trip planning and had an itinerary in a few days. Those first steps of action and decision were enough for me to feel like I got my mojo back.

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Horseback Riding at Rusty Spurr Ranch in Colorado www.casualtravelist.com

Cowboy Up: Horseback Riding at the Rusty Spurr Ranch in Colorado

Wide open spaces, snow capped mountains and groves of aspen trees; there’s no doubting the beauty of Colorado’s landscapes. The best way to view Colorado’s stunning scenery? By horseback of course. Seeking an authentic Colorado horse experience I made my way to the Rusty Spurr Ranch.

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The Maven Hotel: Mile High Style in Denver, Colorado

The Maven Hotel: Mile High Style in Denver, Colorado

Choosing the right city hotel  can be a bit like finding the holy grail.I like a hotel that puts me within easy walking distance to major sights and restaurants, a comfortable room, friendly staff and a touch of personality. In Denver’s LoDo district there is a hotel where style, service and comfort blend seamlessly.

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