A day of learning at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida-www.casualtravelist.com

A Day of Learning at Big Cat Rescue

Every year during the holidays we head south to Florida, to sunny Tampa where we get to celebrate Christmas with Steve’s family with palm trees and 80 degree weather replacing pine trees and snow. Of course one of my favorite parts of our yearly Florida trip is spending time with my niece Morgan, a super fun kid who is growing up far too fast for my liking. When it came time for our girls’ day adventure we had tons of options, after all Tampa is famous for its white sand beaches and theme parks. This year, our choice was completely up to Morgan and she had one place in mind-Big Cat Rescue.

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10 Things to Do in Hampton, Virginia

I have a confession to make- I often fall into the trap of feeling like I need to jet off to some far flung destination to truly feel like I’ve traveled neglecting some hidden gems that are literally right under my nose. So when a friend told me I needed to check out Hampton, a mere 30 minutes from my home in Virginia Beach, I was intrigued. What I found was an under-the-radar town that has played a pivotal role in American history, and will find any reason to throw a party along with some seriously good eats. An easy drive from both Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, Hampton is an easy addition to any Coastal Virginia vacation. Here are my recommendations for what to do in Hampton, Virginia. Read More

Primland Resort- A Luxury Retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

When it comes to travel I’m a woman of varied tastes. Sometimes I’m looking for a romantic getaway with Steve, complete with a beautiful room and spectacular views. Sometimes it’s all about outdoors adventure, whether it’s days spent hiking with stunning vistas as my reward or a leisurely morning exploring the woods on horseback. Sometimes I’m looking for a bit of pampering with an afternoon at the spa followed by a five star meal. Once in a great while I’m lucky to find all of this in one destination, with a stunning location deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia. This is Primland Resort.

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The Brewhouse Inn and Suites-Modern Luxury with a Nod to Milwaukee's Past

The Brewhouse Inn and Suites-Modern Luxury with a Nod to Milwaukee’s Past

It’s no secret that Milwaukee has always been a beer town, so on a recent visit I couldn’t pass up staying at a hotel that started out at as a brewery. But this wasn’t just any brewery, this was the Pabst brewery, at one time the biggest brewery in the world; and this wasn’t just any hotel, it was the Brewhouse Inn and Suites which turned out to be one of the most unique city hotels I’ve ever stayed at.

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Small Town Cool in Fredericksburg, Virginia www.casualtravelist.com

Small Town Cool in Fredericksburg, Virginia

Fredericksburg has long drawn visitors for its history; as the boyhood home to George Washington and host to several Civil War battlefields where Southern grit and Northern ideals clashed. If history and antique shops are your thing there’s still plenty of that here but the past few years have brought a renewed energy to this small town. I’d been hearing a lot about Fredericksburg so on a recent weekend I paid a visit to see what all the buzz was about.

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Why Milwaukee is cooler than you think www.casualtravelist.com

Why Milwaukee is a lot cooler than you think

 

Milwaukee is a town with working class roots, that made working class things and working class beer. Like many industrial cities the last few decades took a bit of a toll but Milwaukee. Industrial giants crumbled and took parts of the city with them, but they never took Milwaukee’s spirit. Laverne and Shirley schlemiel and schlemazeled their way through the city and Harley-Davidson produced an American icon here. I have extended family who live nearby who have been telling me for years what a fun town Milwaukee is and it was high time I see what the buzz is about.

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One Great Weekend: What to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee brings to mind images of beer barons and motorcycles, the Fonz and a couple of girls named Laverne and Shirley just looking to do it their way. This city on the shore of Lake Michigan is shedding its industrial image and showing its creative side. Milwaukee has always been a city of makers, only now instead of leather and car parts you’ll find craft breweries and independent boutiques while a new crop of innovative chefs is out to prove that Wisconsin’s culinary scene is more than just brats and cheese curds(though you should most definitely get your fill of both while in town). This city is forging a new path but stays true to its roots,here are my recommendations for what to do in Milwaukee.

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A weekend trip to Virginia’s Eastern Shore

After an unusually cool and wet spring summer’s warmer days meant one thing– it was time for a road trip. Steve’s Mom was in town and I wanted to show her a part of Virginia she hadn’t yet been to and a place that’s become a favorite of mine for a quick trip, Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Just an hour from my home in Virginia Beach this thin peninsula bordered by Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean is only connected to the rest of Virginia by the 21 mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and is easily reachable from both Washington DC and Philadelphia. Flip-flops and Wellies of the footwear of choice and oyster shell roads lead out to the water. The remote beaches, small towns and pristine barrier islands of the Eastern Shore feel both of another time and place making for the perfect Mid-Atlantic weekend getaway.

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The Fairmont Washington DC offers a peaceful retreat in the nation's capital. www.casualtravelist.com

Capital Elegance at the Fairmont Washington DC

I travel to Washington DC often and I’m always on the lookout for the right hotel for the right trip. DC is a large city full of diverse and unique neighborhoods and I’ve spent some time exploring a number of them; Dupont Circle’s lively vibe,the politico airs of downtown, Capitol Hill’s classic meets funky charm and the quiet appeal of Woodley Park. One place I haven’t been was Georgetown and it was high time I explore one of Washington’s most alluring neighborhoods along with one of DC’s most alluring hotels, the Fairmont Washington DC.

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Tips for enjoying cherry blossoms in Washington DC. www.casualtravelist.com

Tips for Enjoying the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC

While Washington DC is great destination any time of year, it is particularly magical in the springtime when the cherry blossoms bloom in a burst of pinks and whites highlighting the beauty of our nation’s capital. One of my favorite cities, I try to get to Washington DC as often as I can but I always try to plan a springtime trip in hopes of seeing the cherry blossoms in all of their glory. A gift of friendship from Japan to the American people in 1912, the pastel blooms that line the Tidal Basin explode with color and signal that spring has arrived to the Capitol. Planning a trip during cherry blossom season can be a bit tricky, here are a few tips for enjoying the cherry blossoms in Washington DC.

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