Luxury meets Texas Charm at the Four Seasons Austin www.casualtravelist.com

Luxury meets Texas Charm at the Four Seasons Austin

With an easy-going mix of down home Texas charm, live music on every corner and one of the hottest food scenes in the country its no surprise that Austin has quickly become one of my favorite cities. When a tech conference brought Steve and I to Austin over our fifteenth wedding anniversary I know I wanted to celebrate in style. What better place to treat myself and the hubby than the Four Seasons Austin?

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The Inn at Perry Cabin: Casual Luxury on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Imagine waking up to the pristine waters of the Chesapeake Bay, with shorebirds announcing the start of the day as oystermen head out to ply the water. Small towns with centuries of history and timeless charm dot the inlets of the bay and with a slower pace of life it’s easy to see why the Eastern Shore of Maryland has an enduring appeal. Home to watermen and artists, farmers and transplants looking for a more relaxed pace; life here is tied to the water and no place embodies the best of the Chesapeake Bay like the Inn at Perry Cabin.

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25 Tips for Your First Trip to Washington DC www.casualtravelist.com

25 Tips for your First Trip to Washington DC.

Once known best for monuments and museums, the White House and the Capitol; Washington DC has shed it’s formerly buttoned up reputation to become one of the most dynamic cities in the country.  A visit to the American capital today finds eclectic neighborhoods, an ever-changing roster of cultural events and one of the most exciting food scenes in the world. Here are a few tips to help plan your first trip to Washington DC.

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A Waterfront Getaway at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay

The more of the Bay I see the more I want to explore every inlet, every waterway and every town. It was this desire to know all things Chesapeake Bay that brought me to the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland.

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Girlfriend Getaways: Skiing at Wintergreen Resort,Virginia www.casualtravelist.com

Girlfriend Getaways: Skiing at Wintergreen Resort, Virginia

My friend Heather and I had been talking about a girls getaway for a few months and the stars aligned for an early February trip. We bandied about a few ideas but when she mentioned that she wanted to try her hand at skiing I had the perfect place in mind-Wintergreen Resort.

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Whale Watching in Virginia Beach

“Whale watching in Virginia Beach?”

The looks from my friends were incredulous as I told them about my experience whale watching a few years ago. Every winter, from December to March, several pods of humpback whales migrate from their summer homes of the coast of Maine and Nova Scotia and spend the winter months feeding in the rich waters where the Chesapeake Bay opens into the Atlantic Ocean. Whale sightings have been plentiful and frequent the past few years but despite this,  one of Virginia’s greatest winter experiences remains a secret even to many locals. On a clear but chilly January weekend I brought my friends down to the Virginia Aquarium for a winter wildlife boat trip so they could see the whales for themselves.

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A Winter Weekend in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

“Four score and seven years ago……..”

This famous speech from Abraham Lincoln is the introduction to Gettysburg most of us get in elementary school. Lincoln’s speech and the events that inspired them also inspire many people to visit this area of southern Pennsylvania. With a year round population of only 7,000 people Gettysburg has a staggering 4 million visitors a year with the bulk of them coming in the spring and summer. Winter? Well, that’s another story. On a quick weekend trip in January we practically had Gettysburg to ourselves. No traffic clogging the bucolic country roads and no fighting the crowds at the monuments. A weekend is just long enough to get a taste of Gettysburg, with one day focused on Gettysburg’s past and one day focused on Gettysburg’s present.

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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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