Visiting Grand Rapids: Beer, Art, Beer, Repeat

Tell people you’re visiting Grand Rapids and you’re likely to get a confused look. This city of 200,000, located in Western Michigan, is still an under the radar travel destination, but it won’t be for long. It’s easy to navigate, features a premier art destination, and has a lively craft beer scene. It’s easy to sample during a quick weekend getaway, but, once you get a taste, you’ll want to return for a second helping.

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The dominant sculpture in the garden is American Horse by Nina Akamu. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase LLC

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Shoulder Season: The Most Wonderful Time of Year for Sports Fans

Michigan Wolverines

On every sports fan’s bucket list? Attending a major college football game.

Shoulder season. The time of year when it’s okay to wear a wool dress and thong sandals to work.
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Why You Should Vacation in a College Town This Summer

Ithaca gorge waterfall

I discovered a new waterfall each day during my morning walks in Ithaca.

America has many beautiful college campuses. Featuring ivy-draped academic buildings clustered on a quad and a community dedicated to learning, thinking, and drinking, they are outstanding places to visit with your teenage son or daughter who is immersed in the college application process.

But what if you’re a senior without a junior? Don’t let that stop you. America’s college towns are terrific vacation destinations. Continue reading

Why I Travel Like A Psycho

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Photo credit: Luxury Travel Magazine

Wooooooh! Woooooooh! The trend train is leaving the station and I’m going to miss it – again. I’ve lost track of all the ones that have passed me by; fedoras, “Breaking Bad”, and kimchi come to mind. Continue reading

Crowdsourcing a Travel Itinerary

Do you ask questions? All the time? Like a 4-year-old riding a Skittles’ high? It’s a habit I developed at a young age, along with a rather unfortunate character descriptor: “Cathy? She’s like a dog with a bone.” However, this inquisitive tendency serves me well on the road. People respond to questions with generous amounts of information. Who doesn’t want to tell you where to go? Occasionally you feel like the locals are trying to take you for a ride, as if you’re a city slicker in an episode of “Green Acres“, but generally you’ll garner priceless insider tips.
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