Riad Farnatchi- A Boutique Luxury Hotel in the Heart of Marrakech www.casualtravelist.com

Riad Farnatchi- A Boutique Luxury Hotel in the Heart of Marrakech

With centuries of history and a vibrant culture it’s no surprise that Marrakech is high on the wish list of many travelers. There are a number of large luxury resorts on the outskirts of the city but to get fully immersed in Marrakech’s dynamic culture I chose to stay in a riad, a traditional Moroccan home centered around a courtyard, for a more authentic experience in the Red City. Riad Farnatchi, a beautifully restored boutique guesthouse, would be my home while exploring Marrakech.

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Nisolo:Stylish Travel Shoes You Can Feel Good About www.casualtravelist.com

Nisolo: Stylish Travel Shoes You Can Feel Good About

To say I’m a fan of Nisolo is an understatement, and really my love for the brand borders more on obsession. I was first drawn to Nisolo’s minimalist yet timeless style. Instead of indulging in fly-by-night trends Nisolo makes shoes that will look current for years to come. I was intrigued when I learned about Nisolo’s commitment to the craftsman and artisans that make their shoes and accessories by hand. (Handmade shoes, who even does that anymore?). Building close relationships with their craftsmen in Peru, Mexico and Kenya, Nisolo (which means not alone) provides a fair living wage and benefits in communities where this is not the norm. Some shoemakers have experienced a 400% increase in income, greatly benefiting their families and communities.  Eschewing fast fashion for quality and community, Nisolo is fashion you can feel good about. Lastly, Nisolo makes a damn good pair of shoes. The quality in each pair I own was evident the moment I put them on, these are shoes that are built to last. Read More

Discovering Baltimore: Three Charm City Neighborhoods You Need To Know www.casualtravelist.com

Discovering Baltimore: Three Charm City Neighborhoods You Need To Know

Baltimore surprised me. With it’s proximity to Washington DC, Philadelphia and the Chesapeake Bay, (all areas I know very well) I thought I knew what to expect; but Baltimore is never what you expect. I saw elements of the coastal South that I now call home and vestiges of the industrial Pennsylvania town where I grew up. It’s a place where you’ll find fried green tomatoes and scrapple on the same menu. It’s a working class town where the real charm is in its neighborhoods, where you’re as likely to chat up a stranger over a can of Natty Boh as a craft cocktail.  Most visitors come to Baltimore to visit the Inner Harbor, catch a Ravens or Orioles game or dine on some of Maryland’s famous blue crabs. These are all fine reasons to visit but to discover the real Baltimore you need to check out a few of it’s distinct neighborhoods. Whether you’re looking for centuries of history and cobblestone streets or something a little more modern and funky you’ll soon find out how charming Baltimore can be. Read More

Monthly Musings:October 2017-www.casualtravelist.com

Monthly Musings-October 2017

I don’t know about you guys, but as far as I’m concerned October is one of the best overall months to travel almost anywhere. Northern destinations are ablaze in fall color, warmer areas trade summer’s oppressive heat for glorious sunshine filled days and spring returns to the southern hemisphere. Coupled with the fact that flight and hotel costs are lower than peak season summer and holiday prices it would be a shame not to travel in October. If you’ve been following me on Instagram and Facebook (and you definitely should be) then you already know I spent the first half of October on the road, and while I had a jam packed itinerary in two countries on two different continents I loved every crazy minute of it. Read More

21 Tips for Your First Trip to Austin, Texas-www.casualtravelist.com

One Great Weekend: 21 Tips for Your First Trip to Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is one of the hottest cities in the country and for good reason. Whether you know it as the state capital of Texas, the Live Music Capital of the World, a growing tech hub or the home of the University of Texas; Austin has a little something for everyone. World class BBQ? Check. Miles of outdoor trails? Yup. One of the hottest music scenes in the country? You betcha. Simultaneously an oasis from the rest of Texas and proudly Texan, Austin is a city that marches to the beat of its own drum. Politicos and hippies, cowboys and musicians; there’s room at the bar for everyone. With so many options it can be hard to narrow down what to do in Austin.  Here are a few of my recommendations for things to do in Austin, Texas.

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Jet&Bo offers travel accessories to make travel luxurious again. www.casualtravelist.com

Jet&Bo:Adding a Touch of Luxury to Economy Class-Plus a Giveaway!

Travel isn’t just about the destination, it’s about the journey; but when it comes to air travel increasingly that journey has gotten less comfortable. With long security lines and ever shrinking airplane seats there is truth in the economy class moniker “cattle class”. With a little planning and the right accessories even those of us in the back of the plane can reclaim a bit of the luxury of air travel. Read More

The Best Wine Regions in the United States to Check Out Right Now www.casualtravelist.com

The Best Wine Regions in the United States to Check Out Right Now

There has never been a better time to be a wine lover in the United States. From famous wineries in California producing world class wine to smaller boutique vineyards that are a bit off the beaten path chances are you can sample some great American wine no matter where you travel throughout the country. I asked a few of my favorite travel blogging pals where their favorite wineries are and while traditional wine regions like California and Virginia are well represented there are a few surprises here as well. Here are the best wine regions in the United States that you need to check out right now.

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Discovering Melk Abbey- Austria’s Prettiest Church

Austria’s Wachau Valley is a popular destination for river cruises or as a day trip from nearby Vienna. Situated on the winding banks of the Danube River, Melk has all the elements that make for any charming European town.

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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 Hot Air Expeditions 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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