End of Summer Travel

    Summer is here, and if you haven’t already planned a great vacation, it’s not too late. Great deals are heating up all along the Gulf Coast, and now’s a great time to hunt for bargains. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay in a beachfront resort, or if a laid back cottage is more your style, the area offers it all: family vacations, weekend road trips and romantic getaways. Even if you’re looking for fun closer to home, check out some of these great options before the summer doldrums get a hold of you.

Eden Condominiums
    For the utmost in luxury and elegance, take a trip to Eden Condominiums on Perdido Key. Breathtaking natural beauty is combined with stunning architecture and design to create a tropical paradise that you have to see to believe. A 176-foot Gulf-side pool comes complete with three waterfalls. Exotic landscaping provides a stunning backdrop for guests to move through. An indoor solarium pool and gardens create a beautiful retreat from the elements. Indoor and outdoor hot tubs provide relaxing getaway moments. It’s all just steps away from the powder white sands and emerald green water of the Gulf of Mexico.
    As popular for family vacations as it is for destination weddings, Eden Condominiums is known for its personal and professional customer service. Amenities include covered parking, after-hours security, your own boat launch and dock, two tennis courts, a beautiful garden, covered gazebo overlooking pool and Gulf, a children’s wading pool, a fitness center, steam rooms, sauna, the Spa at Eden Salon and a seasonal café. Business clients will enjoy the elegant conference room facilities with built-in audio/visual equipment. The guest suites and condominiums come equipped with range and self cleaning oven, side-by-side refrigerator/freezer with ice maker, dishwasher, microwave oven, full-size washer and dryer, whirlpool tub, spacious balconies with Gulf view and wet bar with ice maker.
    For additional information on available special rates and/or reservations, call us today at (800) 523-8141, or visit www.edencondominiums.com.

Gulf Shores Rentals Inc.
    Gulf Shores Rentals Inc. has been locally owned and operated since 1988. They are a property management company focused on meeting and exceeding the expectations of their guests and owners. Primarily, they manage and rent condominiums along the Gulf Coast in the Orange Beach/Gulf Shores area. Featured rental properties are privately owned and each individual condominium/home is personally and/or professionally decorated based on the owners’ taste or decision.
     The Gulf Coast has been a vacation destination for many guests year after year. Gulf Coast Rentals appreciates the opportunity to be a vacation accommodation agent, providing visitors with a fun-filled vacation and memories to last a lifetime. Their staff is dedicated to meeting expectations and to offering suggestions on where to go and what to do while guests are visiting the “Island.” Whether it’s a must-attend annual event, an exciting amusement park or the best cuisine on the Gulf Coast – they have the answer.
     Additionally, Gulf Shores Rentals guests can enjoy the exclusive Stay N Play package. Enjoy complimentary golf, deep sea fishing, dolphin cruise, water and amusement park admissions, and free movie rentals with each reservation, just by being a guest!
     For more information visit www.gulfshoresrenatals.com. See you on the Island . . .

The Hilton Garden Inn
    Looking for a downtown getaway for business or pleasure? The Hilton Garden Inn offers two great, and unique, locations in New Orleans.
    The Hilton Garden Inn Convention Center is just one block from the Morial Convention Center, and within walking distance to the Riverwalk Shopping Mall, Emeril’s Restaurant and the National World War II Museum. All rooms have either new king-sized Garden Sleep System bedding or two queen-sized beds. Amenities include wireless Internet, newspaper, 24-hour Business Center and an outdoor rooftop swimming pool with great views of the city. Parking is onsite and gated. Dine in the Great American Grill, which is open for three meals a day. Evening room service is available, as well.
    The Hilton Garden Inn French Quarter/CBD is located in a historic building in the heart of the business and banking district, two blocks from the French Quarter, and easy walking distance to shops, restaurants, bars and street life. Rooms and suites are extremely spacious, and they come with new king-sized Garden Sleep System bedding or two queen-sized beds. Amenities include fitness room, valet/laundry service, a lounge, multi-lingual staff and rooftop pool with commanding view of New Orleans’ skyline. A top-quality restaurant caters to guests morning, noon and night.
    This summer keep an eye out for the famous “Southern Summer Special Package” at both hotels. The package includes a room for two, beverages for two at check-in, a free movie and parking for one standard-sized vehicle. Pricing begins as affordably as $89 a night! (*based upon availability, blackout dates do apply.) Reservations must be made prior to arrival by calling (877) 782-9444 or going online to the Hotel Specials section.

    Check out the Web sites for summer specials and further information at www.neworleansfrenchquartercbd.hgi.com or www.neworleansconventioncenter.hgi.com.

Holiday Isle Properties
    Looking for a great beach getaway at a great price? Check out Holiday Isle Properties along Destin’s beautiful Gulf Coast. Nestled between the clear emerald Gulf waters and the excitement of the Destin Harbor, Holiday Isle offers everything you could want in a beach vacation – a quiet relaxing stay within easy distance of the shopping, restaurants and nightlife of the harbor, and with great day trips and adventures such as deep sea fishing. Looking for a Gulf-front retreat? Holiday Isle provides a great selection of beach homes with fantastic views of the Gulf. Travelling with a lot of friends or family members? They offer a selection of homes large enough for a family reunion or wedding party. Looking for a romantic getaway for two? Check out some of their Destin condo rentals with great amenities.
    Since 1985, Holiday Isle, a full-service real estate company, has been specializing in the best properties along the Florida coast, offering a remarkable variety of properties to suit any taste. Not only rentals: For anyone looking to buy a home or a vacation house, they offer everything from luxury condominiums and townhomes to single-family homes, to yearly rental units that are great for couples. Many of their canal-side properties include boat slips, making Holiday Isle Properties known as the “Beaches to Boating” destination.
    For information on properties and great summer discounts visit www.holidayisle.net.

Newman-Dailey Resort Properties
    Looking for a great summer vacation getaway that won’t break the bank this year? Look no further than Newman-Dailey Resort Properties. With top-rated customer service and great money-saving options, such as the popular FUNtastic program, it’s no wonder this full-service real estate sales, property management and vacation-rental company has been helping people from all around the globe fall in love with Florida’s Emerald Coast over and over again for more than 24 years. Newman-Dailey Resort Properties has been ranked in the top 10 percent of local realtors for the past four years running, and they were voted Best Vacation Rental Company for 2007 and ‘08 by Emerald Coast Magazine’s readers. They offer everything visitors could hope for along the coast, from quaint beachside inns to exquisite Gulf-front homes and condominiums.
    In addition to offering vacation properties along one of the most beautiful coastlines in America, Newman-Dailey also offers great budget and family-friendly programs like the FUNtastic and the annual Many Happy Returns program. The FUNtastic Recreation Program gives you free golf, amusement park tickets, water park tickets, movie rentals, Dolphin cruises and kids’ fishing trips for each night guests stay.
    For more information or for help planning a getaway, visit www.DestinVacation.com or call (800) 225-7652.

New Orleans Culinary History Tour
    For a fascinating, and delicious, trip into history, join a New Orleans Culinary History Tour as it winds its way through the French Quarter. Hear the fascinating stories behind legendary pre-Civil War restaurants, including some that are remembered only through the meals that they once served. New Orleans has long been an epicurean playground, and the history of the city comes alive in the stories of the food, the restaurants and the people who made it all happen.
    The Tasting Tour is a rare opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the history of New Orleans and how its unique cuisine evolved. Selecting historic restaurants, including Antoine’s and Tujague’s, two of the oldest restaurants in the nation, the guide discusses their culinary contributions. Visitors will learn to appreciate the differences between Creole and Cajun cuisine, and will hear of the varied ethnic influences that contribute to New Orleans cuisine. Tasting samples typically include: seafood gumbo, red beans and rice, beef brisket with Creole sauce, pralines, mini-muffulettas, New Orleans rum cake, and La Divina’s homemade gelato, as a cool and delicious respite from the warm weather. New this summer: Antoine’s Restaurant provides a sample of their Shrimp Regua.
    Proprietor Kelly Hamilton holds an M.A. in History and teaches in the history department of Xavier University. Her specialty is U.S. ethnicity and immigration and culinary history.
    For more information or to book a group, family or individual tour, call Zerve Ticket Center at (504) 875-6570 or visit www.noculinarytours.com.

    For incredible history, premier museums and historical sites, combined with scrumptious seafood dishes, sugar-white beaches and clear, emerald water, don’t miss a chance to visit Pensacola. 2009 will be an exciting year as the city celebrates its 450th anniversary. Settled by Spanish explorer Don Tristan de Luna in 1559, Pensacola was one of the first major settlements in North America, and a whole season of special events is planned to celebrate the anniversary.
    This summer, outdoors enthusiasts are flocking to Pensacola, as well. For the first time since 2004, the road to Fort Pickens is reopened, allowing visitors new opportunities to rediscover the wild side of Santa Rosa Island. Whether visitors like beaching their kayak for lunch or using a flashlight to search the white sands of the Gulf beaches for ghost crabs, the Pensacola Bay area offers a terrific natural experience.
    Adventures aren’t just on land, either. The beautiful clear waters off Pensacola offer numerous dive sites, from natural limestone reefs and an underwater archaeological preserve, to the USS Oriskany, a retired aircraft carrier that is the world’s largest artificial reef. Thickly populated with marine life both common and rare, the “Mighty O” is a unique experience for recreational and technical divers alike.
    For more information or for help in planning a great vacation, visit www.visitpensacola.com.

St. Bernard Parish
    Just five minutes from downtown New Orleans, St. Bernard Parish offers a small-town Louisiana experience while at the same time offering residents all the advantages of living near a major city. A unique heritage and culture, combined with remarkable natural resources, preserves and scenic beauty, make the area a choice destination in South Louisiana. Miles of scenic roadways, walking trails and waterways will thrill outdoors enthusiasts and families looking for fun-filled outings. Boating, hiking and birdwatching are just a few of the many outdoor activities that residents enjoy.
    St. Bernard is also known as a World-Class Fishing Destination. This month, from July 30 to Aug. 2, St. Bernard Parish Government will host for the fourth year the Professional Redfish Cup Tournament at the Gulf Outlet Marina in Chalmette. The public is invited to the festival and weigh-in each day, when 114 professional anglers will compete for top prizes for the largest catch of Redfish. St. Bernard is a favorite stop on the five-stop tour because of its local hospitality and abundance of fish.
    With a visit to St. Bernard, “New Orleans’ Most Historic Neighbor,” you will learn about its history at the famous reenactments of the Battle of New Orleans and the Islenos Fiesta, celebrating the Spanish culture of the Canary Islanders, who flocked to this parish in the 1700s. Other festivals celebrate the bounty of the region, not to mention the delicious cuisine – crawfish, tomato, shrimp and oysters.
    For more information, visit www.VisitStBernard.com.

Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort 
    Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort  is a premier resort destination that features seven miles of sugar-white beach and pristine bayfront on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast and the Choctawhatchee Bay. Guests enjoy a wide variety of amenities, including four championship courses, 15 tennis courts, a day spa and a wide variety of restaurants, pubs and unique retail shops. Choose from one, two, three and four-bedroom condominiums, villas, townhomes and standard rooms for your relaxing and fun-filled stay.
    Sandestin provides a variety of free activities for families, as well. Bicycling, water sports, tennis, nature trails and beach fun – there’s something for everyone. The resort also boasts The Village of Baytowne Wharf, where guests can explore charming shops and boutiques, enjoy awarding winning restaurants and eateries, and experience late-night fun at exciting nightclubs and bars.
    Look out for these exciting events: Red White and Baytowne (July 3-5). Join us for our 4th of July Celebration. Enjoy a day of family fun in the sun, an evening that lights up the sky, and free family activities all weekend long. Art Expo (Sept. 4-6). Begin the fall season with a relaxing weekend filled with world-class art and entertainment from some of the best artists of the Southeast.
    Book now for a Sensational Sandestin Summer Deal. Now from $169 per night at the Bayside Inn, $209 per night in a Luau standard room, or $219 in a Resort Classic two-bedroom Villa.
    For more information, visit www.sandestin.com.

Southern Resorts Vacation Rentals
    Florida’s Northwest Gulf Coast is alive with summer activity. Locals and visitors alike are taking advantage of the beautiful warm weather on Florida’s Panhandle. Visit one of the many beach communities along the 150-mile stretch of white sandy beach where Southern Resorts Vacation Rentals feature vacation condos, homes, cottages and resorts. Plan for a quick weekend getaway or stay for the week. Southern Resorts has more than 600 properties to fit your needs for a beach vacation. With locations in Pensacola Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, the Beaches of South Walton, Panama City Beach and the Forgotten Coast, we have just the style, pace and budget for everyone.
    Learn how to scallop on St Joseph’s Bay in Port St. Joe. This destination is reminiscent of Old Florida at its finest. Stand-up paddle boarding is popular in the Gulf on calm days or in one of the beautiful Coastal Dunes lakes found in the Beaches of South Walton. Discover hidden treasures on Shell Island in Panama City Beach or search for our very friendly dolphins in Destin’s East pass aboard a Dolphin Cruise. Get up close and personal at the Gulfarium in Ft. Walton Beach and explore the magnificent history and remaining structures of Fort Pickens right on Pensacola Beach. Each beach community has a personality of its own and shares a common thread – the most beautiful beaches. Let Southern Resorts help find the perfect spot for you.
    For more information, including images, video tours, descriptions, reviews, online reservations and more, visit www.SouthernResorts.com.
Spectrum Vacations
    Looking for an affordable luxury vacation in a beautiful Gulf beach location? Look no further than Spectrum Vacations. Spectrum offers affordable luxury vacation destinations for family and weekend getaways, including the Turquoise Place and Caribe Resort, both in Orange Beach, Ala. From the luxury towers or the private beach, visitors are sure to enjoy both the amenities and the breathtaking sunsets.
    Turquoise Place rises to a majestic 370 feet, with 400 luxurious condominiums housed within two towers: each encased in shimmering “turquoise” glass. The 13.75 acres of property provide a solitary, relaxing atmosphere in the beauty of the extending sugar-white sand. Each unit, ranging from approximately 2,300 to 5,900 square feet, has a magnificent view of the turquoise blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Turquoise Place is truly taking expectations to the next level by providing Jacuzzi-brand hot tubs and outdoor kitchens on each balcony, a high-definition digital television mounted above a gas fireplace and Wolf and Sub-Zero stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. Great summer promotional deals include $290/night for 3 bedroom/3.5 bath luxury units at Turquoise Place.
    Meanwhile Caribe offers one of the most amenity-packed condominium rentals that Gulf Shores or Orange Beach has to offer. With three 14-story towers loaded with fun, the resort boasts five pools, one and a half miles of shoreline, private beach cart service, lazy river pool, tennis courts, restaurants and much more. Caribe Resort is a great location for meetings and reunions, but most of all for families.
    For more information, visit www.spectrumvacations.com.
Special Services

Au Pair des Chiens
    People aren’t the only ones looking to beat the heat this summer, and no one knows this better than the professionals at Au Pair des Chiens, New Orleans’ premier dog day care, boarding and grooming facility. Au Pair des Chiens offers 100 percent, cage-free day care and boarding, bathing, grooming by appointment and training classes. The dogs play inside and out, always under the supervision of a handler. Indoor play rooms are equipped with Tuflex floors, Kuranda doggy beds and plenty of toys. Play groups move outside several times a day into a yard that provides both open and shaded areas. Pools and misters offer dogs a playful respite from summer heat.
    On Fridays, from noon to 7 p.m., Dr. Jessica Coates-Hudson brings her mobile veterinary clinic to the Dog Nanny. Dr. Jessica can perform almost all veterinary services (including annual exams, dental services, vaccinations, spays and neuters) for dogs and cats. Most medications are available, as are flea and heartworm preventive drugs. She offers special rates for feral cats. No appointment is necessary.
    This summer Au Pair des Chiens is offering a terrific deal – a Summer Boarding Special at $30 per night to help those whose vacation budgets are tight this year.
    For further information or to schedule a visit, call (504) 528 3747 or visit www.neworleansdognanny.com. n

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