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

Leota-A Travel Dress That Keeps You Looking Good on the Go (Plus a Giveaway for You!) www.casualtravelist.com

Leota-A Travel Dress That Keeps You Looking Good on the Go

When I’m on the road I want to look put together without a lot of effort. Classy but not fussy, beautiful yet comfortable; that is the look I’m going for. I need something that packs easily but doesn’t wrinkle and above all keeps me looking good all day long. Enter Leota.

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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 Day I Climbed a 14,000 foot Volcano in Ecuador and Didn’t Die

Our day started out simply enough, enjoying a cup of coffee while watching llamas graze on the grounds of our 16th century hacienda in the Ecuadorian highlands. Originally we had planned to hike around the base of Cotopaxi, the snow-capped active volcano south of Quito as popular with day trippers as it is with hardcore mountaineers, but the park was closed as a precaution due to Ecuador’s recent earthquakes. Our  innkeeper pointed across the valley “You should hike at Pasochoa, I’ll let Flavio know”.

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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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Why I’m Perfectly Content not Quitting My Job to Travel

It seems like every week I’m asked by friends, coworkers or readers when I’m going to quit my 9-to-5 job and do this traveling thing full time. Ditching the corporate rat race while living on a tropical island while making thousands working four hours a week, isn’t that the ultimate goal of every travel blogger? While I’m inspired by those full time travelers out there I’m well aware that most of us (particularly Americans with our meager vacation time which we don’t use all of) don’t travel that way. Truth is, I rather like the dichotomy of my life-suburban physical therapist during the week and international jetsetter on the weekends. Here’s why I’m perfectly content not quitting my job to travel the world.

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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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Mashpi Lodge-Luxury in Ecuador's Cloud Forest www.casualtravelist.com

Mashpi Lodge-Luxury in Ecuador’s Cloud Forest

Winding bumpy roads snake their way through Ecuador’s chain of  Andean volcanoes. Three hours in the van watching city turn into farmland and eventually something more remote we arrived at our destination. Greeted by a large Jurassic Park style wooden gate, the doors opened and we began our descent into one of the most wild places I’ve been. Jungle in every shade of green imaginable stretched out for miles while the heavy mist sunk throughout crags of the surrounding valleys. This was the singular environment of Ecuador’s cloud forest and home to Mashpi Lodge.

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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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