City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Experts in Generating Fun

A creative and entertaining guide on how to have fun in Connecticut — today, tomorrow, and forever

Craving a little summer getaway? With that school's out mentality, I think it's fair to say we're all itching for that carefree, summer fun mindset (if we're not there already). If you savor new and exciting experiences, please keep reading to learn about the fun-loving duo that's bringing playfulness, creativity, and unfiltered authenticity to Connecticut locals.

It can sometimes feel overwhelming to try and come up with fun, new adventures to be had with your family and friends, especially if you feel like you've experienced everything your town has to offer. What restaurant should you try next? How can you mix up date night? Is there a new art museum to check out?

Thankfully, there are two local travel experts who just so happen to love frolicking from place to place across the state, giving us a taste of towns, parks, restaurants, shopping destinations, and more that we would have otherwise never heard of.

Introducing Lora and Bev of Unlocking Connecticut — not your typical business owners. They are, as they put it, "two fun-loving BFFS sharing our adventures, stories, and experiences in the beautiful state of Connecticut" through their wildly popular local travel platform, Unlocking Connecticut.

In a nutshell, Lora Karam (the photographer) and Bev Canepari (the writer) hop from town to town in Connecticut uncovering the coolest spots — from eateries to fitness studios to spas to boutique hotels to (literally) everything in-between.

And they don't just give you a roundup of wellness-y to dos here or best lakes to go boating there — they fully immerse themselves in the experience at hand, and capture it all on camera so you're never left wondering, "What should I do this weekend?" again. 

This may go without saying, but if you're in need of a staycation or adventure of any kind, save yourself the time and look no further than Unlocking Connecticut. One glance at their Instagram page and you'll get why they are so successful at what they do — they put their heart and soul into each excursion they set out on, blocking out the noise of life and focusing solely on the present moment — with absolutely no shortage of laughs as they go.

Whether you're looking for a nearby town to discover, a new shopping treasure to peruse, or fun dance class to try, this duo shows you not only where to go and what to do in and around Connecticut, but they give you their own personalized guide of how to adventure about while having Capital F Fun doing it.

To put it bluntly, this business bestie duo is #summerfungoals if we've ever seen them.

The pair met at, wait for it, Jazzercise class. Bev was an instructor and Lora was a class manager at a different location.

"We met at a team meeting," they said. Lora liked Bev’s scarf, and a friendship was born. "We became friends on Facebook and Bev saw that Lora was doing fun fashion shoots as a professional photographer and messaged her to say, “If you ever need an assistant….” and BAM, the friendship was born.

"On our second friend-date to New York Fashion Week, we were riding home on the train and came up with the idea to start a blog," they said. With Bev’s love of writing and Lora’s photography skills, they feel like they were meant to do this together.

Starting out as "Unlocking Litchfield," where they lived at the time, the two knew there was so much more to Connecticut than they were taking advantage of. "So we started exploring beyond our own backyards," they explained. "And then we found that our followers loved discovering hidden gems alongside us."

In 2018, Unlocking Connecticut became official upon getting requests from around the state. From there, word started to spread pretty quickly and businesses began contacting Lora and Bev for their services.

As to deciding where to go and what to do around Connecticut, the duo explain that it's a combination of requests from businesses and unique feature ideas that they themselves come up with — "Like 'Cakes by the Ocean' where we ate delicious treats from Connecticut bakeries along the shoreline," they say.

This summer, look out for more day-tripping posts (one of their most popular features), hopping on e-bikes, hiking some of the state's 139 state parks and forests, and discovering new restaurants including the best outdoor dining spots and trying out summer cocktails.

The two are closing out the summer with a trip to Scotland (Bev's homeland) followed by some time spent in Spain. "We go farther than Connecticut sometimes!" they laugh. To that end, they disclose their ultimate goal is to unlock the world. I wouldn't put it past them.

You can keep up with Lora and Bev's latest escapades via their Instagram page and/or website.


Instagram:  @unlockingconnecticut

"We started exploring beyond our own backyards. And then we found that our followers loved discovering hidden gems alongside us."