Summer vacation season may be over, but there’s plenty of good reasons to make time for a fall escape, and nearby destinations along the Gulf Coast offer a variety of ways to relax and enjoy autumn months. There’s nothing like a Southern fall sunset, with its vibrant colors accompanied by the season’s perfectly cool breezes. Outdoor dining is one way foodies take advantage of this time of year, diving into the local seafood of beach communities, the Cajun cuisine across South Louisiana, and the creative dishes and wine pairings offered at downtown restaurants. Hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals lure travelers with a variety of packages and entertainment options tailored to your interests. Meanwhile, Southern cities and Louisiana parishes welcome visitors to explore the unique cultural and environmental characteristics and exclusive points of interest that make their areas one of a kind. Find your fun this fall among the following destinations found in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and get away for a memorable respite with friends or family.
St. Martin Parish draws visitors year round with its welcoming hospitality, world-class music and famous local cuisine. Accommodations offerings include beautiful B&B’s, top quality campgrounds and cabins, houseboats, and hotels. Breaux Bridge offers an array of shopping, antiquing and world-renowned hot spots like the famous Zydeco Breakfast at Buck & Johnny’s on Saturday mornings or Cajun music and nightly entertainment across the parish. The Henderson area, at the edge of the Atchafalaya Basin, offers airboat and swamp tours and great family-owned restaurants such as Chicken on the Bayou and Crawfish Town USA.
Highlights of year-round festivals and events include the Pepper Festival in St. Martinville October 26, Breaux Bridge City Wide Garage Sale (Oct. 4-5), Tour du Teche (Oct. 4-6). See “where Cajun began,” and visit CajunCountry.org.
Football season is in full swing in Ruston and Lincoln Parish. Home to Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University, the area welcomes fans from across the country to enjoy game day activities.
Loyal Blue Weekends start in September with outdoor concerts and downtown events, late-night pep rallies, tailgating activities and more. First game weekend is September 6, when the LA Tech Bulldogs and GSU Tigers go head to head. Fans can avoid game-day traffic this season by parking downtown and enjoying a shuttle ride to the stadium free of charge.
Downtown Ruston offers a variety of boutiques and specialty shops, restaurants, and cultural events. Plan a visit this fall on October 26 for Ruston Makers Fair, a festival celebrating the arts culture of the area with works of local artists and makers of all kinds.
For more information and events, or to plan your visit to Ruston and Lincoln Parish, visit ExperienceRuston.com.
Hail half of a century at the landmark Royal Sonesta New Orleans. The resort-style luxury hotel in the heart of the French Quarter continues its 50th anniversary celebration with an array of exciting opportunities for guests and visitors alike.
Through September 30, Royal Sonesta New Orleans’ annual French Quarter Fling guest package offers nightly rates as low as $159, and guests can upgrade to the French Quarter Fling Royal package featuring R Club Level rooms from $259 per night with even more upgrade options available.
The hotel’s premier fine dining establishment, Restaurant R’evolution, launched a special Cabernet Sauvignon varietal. Priced at $15 per glass or $60 per bottle, the wine is also available across all of Royal Sonesta New Orleans’ on-property dining and entertainment outlets. Additionally, Bar R’evolution, housed inside Restaurant R’evolution, launched its brand-new, daily happy hour on Monday through Friday (5 to 7 p.m.), Saturday (12 to 7 p.m.), and Sunday (10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.) with bar bites, house cocktails, wines by the glass, and beers all at inviting prices.
Visit Sonesta.com/RoyalNewOrleans or call 504-586-0300 to learn more and book your stay.
A stay at the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in New Orleans offers much more than a comfortable room. Known for its commitment to New Orleans’ artistic community, the Old No. 77 welcomes guests to its latest exhibition, Building Blocks: The Architecture of New Orleans. Currently on display, the show was curated by local Trapolin-Peer architect Gene Guidry along with Where Y’art.
An intersection of the prevailing cultural attitudes that have shaped New Orleans’ architecture, Building Blocks is a look at the influences of French, Spanish, and American styles, overlain with the distinctive Creole character that have become synonymous with the city’s unique neighborhoods. From the grand Greek Revival homes in the Garden District to the colorful Creole cottages in the Marigny, the city’s history and dominant social trends can be witnessed from front porch to inner courtyard.
The Old No. 77 is Hotel & Chandlery is located in the Warehouse Arts District, three blocks from the French Quarter and a short stroll from the Convention Center. Book online at Old77Hotel.com.
Spend warm New Orleans nights with a glass of wine in the serene courtyard at Effervescence Bubbles & Bites. Enjoy the peaceful fountain, relax on the outdoor couch, or grab a sidewalk table on North Rampart and treat yourself to bubbles. The impressive wine list spans the globe, including over 80 Champagnes by the bottle and 30 sparklers by the glass.
Every Wednesday, Effervescence pops open a magnum of Champagne to pour by the glass—double the excuse to celebrate midweek. Flights are the perfect way to explore the list, available by the full or half glass. Try their sparkling rosé flight for a fun, crisp and fruity sparkling adventure. The full bar also serves bubbly cocktails, beer, and spirits.
Effervescence’s bites menu features fresh, local ingredients prepared by the Michelin-trained chef couple. Highlights include Caviar Service, Dry-Aged Louisiana Wagyu, Pommes Frites and their signature Gulf Seafood Plateau, featuring five exceptional local and refreshing seafood preparations.
Effervescence is open Wednesday-Sunday; for hours, menus, and event bookings, visit NolaBubbles.com. Upcoming events include wine classes, outdoor movie screenings and their Second Annual Chicken Picnic on October 2nd. Limited reservations on OpenTable.
Big Bay Lake is a one-of-a-kind planned community on Mississippi’s largest private recreational lake. Located just outside of Hattiesburg, Big Bay Lake blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings. Homesites are available on the water starting at $100,000. 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. 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!”
Big Bay Lake is only 90 minutes from New Orleans. Call for a boat tour today at 877-4BIG-BAY or visit BigBayLake.com.
It’s fall, y’all—and that means football season is here! Visit the Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort to experience “The New Way to Bet.” DraftKings at Scarlet Pear Sportsbook offers the best sports betting on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Place a bet on your favorite teams on one of several self-service kiosks. The kiosks are available 24/7 and accept wagers for as little as $2.00. The kiosks also offer in-play betting. Catch every NFL game on 23 HD screens surrounding an astounding 144 square foot entertainment screen all while playing your favorite video poker game and enjoying a bite to eat.
Treat yourself to an ultimate getaway at Scarlet Pearl’s luxurious hotel. With breathtaking views, superior service, and bathrooms that feel more like a spa, Scarlet Pearl has taken the definition of luxury into the clouds. Book your next stay at ScarletPearlCasino.com or by calling 888-BOOK-SPC.
Fall is all about enjoying life on the Mississippi in Vicksburg. With special events on the Old Mississippi River Bridge like the Over the River Run, Bricks and Spokes Bike Ride, and Supper on the Sip, Vicksburg has one-of-a-kind experiences you won’t soon forget.
If you are in search of the elusive sound of the Mississippi Delta Blues, you will find it in Vicksburg. Learn American history by visiting the site of the defining battle of America’s defining war at the Vicksburg National Military Park. Enjoy the southern charm of Vicksburg by strolling the brick-paved streets of its historic downtown. Visit eclectic boutiques, art galleries, and various eateries featuring Southern specialties. Enjoy sweeping views of the mighty Mississippi River and some of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable.
Relax—it all runs on river time! For more to see and do in Vicksburg, go to VisitVicksburg.com or call 1-800-221-3536.
There’s nothing more refreshing and restorative than a vacation with your best gal pals. This fall, gather your friends for an unforgettable trip to Alabama’s sugar-white sand beaches. From sunset wine sippin’ and laughs over decadent meals, to morning beach yoga classes, shopping and spas, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have everything you need to make your next girlfriends getaway a relaxing, enjoyable experience.
No matter how many friends want to join your fall getaway party, this Alabama destination has a wealth of outstanding lodging options to fit your needs. With more than 18,000 units, including nationally-recognized hotels, condominiums and beach homes, you can pick the perfect place to lay your head after a long day of soaking in the sun. Get your girls together and start planning your next getaway by visiting GulfShores.com, or call 877-341-2400 to request a vacation guide.
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 luxurious 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 fall getaway today by visiting LodgeAtGulfStatePark.com.
At Henderson Park Inn, an adults-only, gulf-front bed and breakfast in Destin, Florida, privacy seekers will find the ultimate sanctuary for rest, relaxation, and romance. With serenity and style, the Inn boasts 37 intimate rooms, luxury amenities, and gulf-front terraces. Enjoy complimentary beach chairs/umbrellas, bicycles, chef’s gourmet breakfast, picnic-style boxed lunches, happy hour drinks at the “Tiki” bar, as well as wine, chocolates, and roses upon arrival.
Dine on property in the evening at BeachWalk Café, Destin’s only fine dining located directly on the Gulf with unique dining opportunities such as rose-petaled “Toes in the Sand,” and outdoor, veranda dining overlooking the sugar white sands and translucent waters of the Emerald Coast.
Looking for more activities than relaxing at the beach? The Inn’s guests have access to all the amenities next door at the Inn’s sister property, The Henderson, a Salamander Beach & Spa Resort. Amenities include a full-service spa, fitness center, and two beautiful pools.
Visit HendersonParkInn.com or call 866-398-4432 for more information.
Make the most of the fall 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 plenty to do: 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 water. Whether you want to spend time at the beach with your family, children, spouse or friends, guests of all ages will enjoy the properties of Premier Island.
More than just another fall vacation, this will be one to remember for a lifetime. Discover yours at PremierIsland.com or call 866-966-1420.
Louisianians have long discovered that fall is the perfect time of year to escape to the beach. With summer crowds a distant memory and vacation rental rates discounted up to 30% off, Destin, Miramar Beach and Scenic Highway 30-A are especially attractive. As an added bonus, Newman-Dailey Resort Properties has created fall packages tailored to individual interests.
Those who enjoy craft beer will appreciate the “Craft Your Beach Vacation” package, while fashionistas will value the “Make A Statement” package, which includes a $50 gift card for Silver Sands Premium Outlets in Miramar Beach to purchase a statement piece that will serve as a reminder of their beach vacation.
Newman-Dailey Resort Properties features premier South Walton, 30-A and Destin vacation rental homes, condominiums, and cottages on and near the beach. Call 1-800-225-7652 or visit DestinVacation.com to learn more about fall promotions and special offers.
There’s nothing like the feeling of jumping in the car and embarking on a long-awaited road trip. If there’s one thing that could ruin your journey, it’s unexpected car trouble. Fortunately, 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 $50 and get a second household member free (promo code 175498). Current AAA members can add one new household member free (promo code 175500). For more details see AAA’s ad in this issue, visit your local AAA branch, call 844-330-2173, or visit AAA.com/JoinPromo. Join AAA today.