End of Summer Travel

Gulf Shores Orange Beach

After being cooped up all spring and into summer, New Orleans residents are ready to hit the road and find a little escape.

There’s still time to soak up the summer sun along the Gulf Coast or venture out for a weekend or day trip to do some sight-seeing and unwind. For beach goers, choices abound from amenity-loaded hotels and resorts to vacation homes and condos sized to your family’s needs. Meanwhile, take a trip to the fascinating nooks of Louisiana and see history come to life through tours at historic sites or leisurely walks through historic neighborhoods with a cold beverage in hand. Mississippi also offers charming destinations a short drive away with an option for lake-side vacation homes that offer a fun getaway year-round.

Take advantage of the last days of summer by exploring any of the countless travel destinations a simple car-ride away. The Gulf South is a treasure trove of unique destinations and landscapes that await curious minds and adventuresome explorers ready to experience a little something different.


TRAVEL RESOURCES

AAA 24/7 Roadside Assistance

Now is the perfect time to dream about your future road trip escape. When the time is right and you’re ready to jump in the car, you can make sure your road trip stays on track with the peace of mind that accompanies AAA 24/7 Roadside Assistance. AAA covers you in any car, SUV, or pick-up truck even if you’re not the driver. AAA provides members with free towing, free tire change, free lock-out assistance, free minor mechanical first aid, free jump start, and free delivery of emergency fuel.

For a limited time, readers of New Orleans Magazine can join AAA for only $52 and get two household members free (promo code 175614). Current AAA members can add two new household members free (promo code 175616). For more details, see AAA’s ad in this issue, call 844-330-2173, or visit AAA.com/JoinPromo. Join AAA today.


BEACHSIDE DESTINATIONS

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

Alabama’s beaches are open and ready to welcome you back when the time is right. The state’s 32 miles of sugar-white sand coastline are spacious, allowing for your family to have plenty of fun in the sun while maintaining a safe distance from other beachgoers.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach also provide plenty of off-the-beach activities like kayaking, biking, fishing and golfing that are perfect ways to get some fresh air and experience a change of scenery. The area’s restaurants, attractions and lodging partners are working diligently to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both locals and visitors by following state and CDC guidelines, implementing new policies, and offering unique services. Alabama misses you and can’t wait to create new memories together when the coast calls you back.

For more information, call 877-341-2400 or visit their site.

The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel

Unlike regular beach hotels cluttered together along the coast, The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel is a unique destination on the Alabama Gulf Coast with nature at its doorstep. Located within the beautiful 6,150-acre Gulf State Park, The Lodge at Gulf State Park provides refreshing accommodations with direct beach access, four dining options, 40,000 square feet of flexible event space, and miles of beach trails with the pristine coastal scenery of this natural wildlife habitat. During your stay, you’ll connect with the outdoors on a whole new level. And in doing so, you’ll be helping in the hotel’s conservation efforts to restore and maintain the beauty of this truly distinctive property.

Each of the 350 non-smoking guest rooms, including 20 suites, weave comfort and sustainability with a contemporary flair. All rooms bring the outdoors in by providing guests views of either The Gulf of Mexico or Lake Shelby/Gulf State Park. At The Lodge at Gulf State Park, doing nothing is really something. Book your summer or fall getaway today by visiting LodgeatGulfStatePark.com.

Premier Island Management Group

Make the most of the summer travel season with an escape to Pensacola Beach, Florida, and the properties of Premier Island Management Group. Situated just a few hours outside of New Orleans along the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Island National Seashore, this collection of vacation rentals includes beach homes, condos, and the acclaimed skyhomes of Portofino Island Resort where families enjoy the perfect balance of indulgence, natural beauty, and adventure.

Northwest Florida’s premier beach vacation experience offers an abundance of open space and countless opportunities to enjoy nature: explore the Santa Rosa Sound on a kayak or paddleboard, surf the emerald green waters of the Gulf, soar through the sky under a parasail, or board Portofino I and watch curious dolphins play in the bay. Guests of all ages will enjoy time spent at a Premier Island property.

More than just another summer vacation, this will be one to remember for a lifetime. Discover yours at PremierIsland.com or call 866-966-1420.


LOUISIANA GEMS

Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins

A visit to the Vidalia/Natchez area is incomplete without experiencing all facets of the Delta lifestyle: gracious town homes of the Natchez elite and the cottonfields that created the area’s wealth.  Explore Louisiana history and music with an experience unlike any classroom— take an unforgettable trip to Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins, a Rand McNally “Must-See Site.”

Professional videos, voices of former slaves, trials and triumphs of freedom, music originating in the cotton fields, and today’s high-tech operation are why visitors comment that Frogmore is the highlight of their trip to Natchez/Vidalia. The guided tour includes eight of the 19 historical buildings on site, including a National Register steam cotton gin, furnished cabins, a hand-hewn church, and an authentic plantation store.

The 1800-acre working plantation and computerized cotton gin offers a number of individual tours and specialty group tours, including “Cotton, Then & Now,” “Delta Music,” “Plantation Civil War,” “Christmas on the Plantation,” and School Tours. From September 15 through October 31, the cotton harvest will be underway, a sight to see. For information, visit FrogrmorePlantation.com.

St. Joseph Plantation

Take a walk through time as you enjoy a glimpse into the lives of fascinating people who have called St. Joseph Plantation home.

Learn about the Priestly family and grandson H. H. Richardson, who was born at St. Joseph and became one of America’s most important architects of the 19th century. Explore the story of Valcour Aime, known as “The Louis XIV of Louisiana,” and his two daughters, Felicite and Josephine, to whom he gave St. Joseph Plantation and neighboring Felicity Plantation. Discover the stories of the enslaved that lived here
and the work they did.

In 1877 (post-Civil War), the story of St. Joseph’s Plantation’s current family began when Joseph Waguespack purchased the plantation. Joseph’s descendants, the Waguespack and Simon families, have kept this sugarcane farm thriving for over 135 years, operating the plantation with over 1,000 acres planted. Visit and learn about the sugarcane industry and its regional significance.

Additionally, see where scenes from All The King’s Men, Skeleton Key, 12 Years a Slave, Underground, Queen Sugar, the remake of Roots, and four-time Oscar nominee Mudbound were filmed.

Visit StJosephPlantation.com, or call 225-265-4078.

Windsor Court Hotel

An elegant escape in the heart of a legendary city, Windsor Court Hotel offers the quintessential New Orleans experience. Committed to classic luxury with contemporary comforts and anticipatory service, the property features 316 spacious guest rooms and suites, all of which embrace the abounding beauty with sweeping views of the Mississippi River or city skyline from private balconies or bay windows and provide guests with enough room to spread out and relax, making it the perfect escape.

Guests need not even leave this urban oasis as Windsor Court offers a number of on-site amenities, including a museum-worthy art collection valued at more than $10 million, the nationally recognized Grill Room, a classic cocktail lounge, and a 65-foot saltwater pool with a cabana-style bar.

With a central location just steps from the French Quarter, Windsor Court encompasses the full range of what it means to be in New Orleans. For more information, call 833-862-1463 or visit WindsorCourtHotel.com.


MISSISSIPPI LIVING

Big Bay Lake

Big Bay Lake is a one-of-a-kind planned community on one of Mississippi›s largest private recreational lakes. Located just outside of Hattiesburg, and only 90 minutes from New Orleans, Big Bay Lake blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings. Waterfront homesites are available for building custom homes and retreats starting at $70,000 and several resale homes are usually available for immediate purchase. Both the homes and homesites within this community provide unique opportunities to create the perfect home or weekend getaway.

It’s time to relax, unplug, make memories and create new traditions at Big Bay Lake. Whether you are a boating or fishing enthusiast or just a family who loves to make a big splash, Big Bay Lake is simply about the lure of the water. Come enjoy sun-kissed, fun-filled days at Big Bay Lake, where the little things make life…“Big!”  Call for a boat tour today at 877-4BIG-BAY or visit bigbaylake.com.


The Lodge At Gulf State Park

The Lodge at Gulf State Park