Mangia! Arthur Avenue – NY’s Other Little Italy

If your summer plans include a family trip to the New York Botanical Gardens or Bronx Zoo, take a detour to Arthur Avenue before heading home or back to your hotel. Insiders consider it the real “Little Italy”. Authentic or not, the food was delicious and it’s a worthwhile detour if you’re visiting attractions in the Bronx. Continue reading

Where Have You Been All My Life, Disney Springs?

What to see at Disney Springs include a hot air balloon for tethered rides.What to See at Disney Springs

I had no idea what to expect when I climbed the stairs to the pedestrian walkway leading to the entrance to Disney Springs.

And I’m glad I didn’t. Continue reading

3 Perfect Places to Travel in 2017

Ask and ye shall receive.

farms make perfect places to travel to see sunflower in field at dusk

Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase LLC

I posted my request for submissions for the best places to travel in 2017 a couple of weeks ago, and held my breath.

I expected some smart alecky proposals, but, instead, was intrigued by the compelling suggestions that I received.

One entry stood out, standing taller than the other sunflowers in the patch. Continue reading

Help! I Need Travel Ideas for the New Year

The Open Suitcase needs travel ideas for the new year. Where’d you go in 2016? What did you love? Or hate? Leave your suggestions for places to visit, foods to eat, and things to do, or not do, in the comments section for a chance to win some travel inspiration.

quebec-city-street-with-orange-balloons

The calendar flips in a few days and I need travel ideas for the new year. It’s how I survive winter.

I’m inviting you to play a round of show and tell. Continue reading

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.

visiting-grand-rapids-frederik-meijier-gardens

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

Continue reading