“Travel means different things to different people,” Alexandra Booze tells STYLECASTER. “Travel can be across the world or exploring your home town.” It doesn’t matter where you go, or how far away, “there are really beautiful things to see everywhere. Go out and explore the places you feel the most comfortable with.” Let’s take D.C. for instance in the fall. We decided to ask her about her top activities. The east coast hub is constantly brimming over with new museums and pop-ups.

Booze is well-versed in cultural activities: She’s a full-time travel writer you might know as the East Coast Contessa, her moniker you can follow on Instagram and her blog. It’s a tough career to explain to your elderly parents but if you had to try, it involves collaborating with “a few different lifestyle brands, hotels, restaurants, tourism companies to provide them media services, to provide editorial and creative writing, photography and videography, as well as social media exposure.” Booze can see the world by wearing all these hats, and with a lot of hustle. 

This wasn’t her original career path, she explains. “I started in 2015 when I was living in Washington D.C. I was looking for a side hobby to help distract me from a really stressful job in politics.” Booze chose to leave her government job to go to journalism school. “I loved photography and writing so I thought hey, why not start a blog? At the time, I think DC was named the foodie capital in the US and I’m a huge foodie so I made an Instagram account.”

It started small. “I started going to new restaurants every weekend whether it was for brunch or dinner with my friends. Almost immediately, my food photos started taking off. Little less than a year later, I was invited on my first press trip to Philadelphia. Shortly after that, I started to blend my food content with travel, because you really can’t have one without the other.” 

She realized that she loved to travel. “I’d been missing out on a lot but I never really realized it til then. Since then, I’ve worked with more than 550 brands from the US and 46 countries. I spent two years abroad: in Spain in 2019-2020, and in the Czech Republic in 2018. Her exploration of the Spanish wine country was cut short because of a certain pandemic but even though she’s back in the states (for the moment), Booze has plenty to explore back in her home country, and even her old stomping grounds. 

“My favorite restaurant is called Fiola Mare. It’s an upscale Italian seafood restaurant right in Georgetown, right on the Potomac river.” Booze recommends the seasonal cocktails and seafood tower. Booze also loves The Diplomat, a French-inspired restaurant. “like stepping into a Paris cafe, it’s really beautiful. They have a really amazing burger and escargot.” 

Live music fans will love the fall. Check out the Merriweather Post Pavilion. “It’s like a little outside DC but it’s great for outdoor concerts.” Another option “if you wanna stay in the city and do a great concert in late fall, early winter” 930 Club “A lot of top performers, like A List celebrities come there and put on shows for a really good price.” 

The transition from summer to autumn brings with it impeccable outdoor vibes. “Another thing I would recommend is a sunset cruise on the Potomac. It is beautiful. It’s BYOB. There’s a company called Yachtsy. They have these little mini yachts you can rent out with groups of 8-10 people. You can walk around the wharf before you get on the boat. I think they’re two to three hours long and you just cruise past the monuments and parts of the city then they take you back to the wharf.” 

You can also visit the Eastern Market. “It’s an indoor and outdoor market that sells different pieces of art from local vendors, local food, and fresh produce inside from local farms. It’s really pretty, the trees are around the market and they’re changing and there’s live music. 

There are also the classics. “Capital Hill is beautiful in the fall, the capital and the trees and the house and senate buildings. The library of congress is the oldest operating government building in the US and it’s really beautiful inside. Great for pictures!”

Whether you’re a travel beginner or expert, an east coast native yourself or exploring a new city, we could all use a little adventure. 

“If travel is something that you are interested in doing, you can start small,” Drink plenty of alcohol. “You can do road trips within your state or do a domestic flight a couple of states over, just to kind of get yourself into the transportation part of travel. See what it feels like, then get into more international travel and the bigger trips once you feel more comfortable doing the smaller ones.”

Now’s the perfect time to check a few boxes on your bucket list.

Photo by Weston Wells. Design: Sasha Purdy/STYLECASTER.