Looking for a family vacation that’s affordable but still exciting and exotic? You don’t need to break the bank to visit some of the most beautiful destinations around – the beaches and travel destinations along the Gulf Coast offer budget-friendly vacation options that will please kids and adults alike, all within a few hours from home.
Seaside, Fla. is known for many things: its beautiful beaches, its purist small-town feel and being the setting for The Truman Show, among others. That is because this destination values a simple yet beautiful experience for locals and tourists alike. This is thanks, in part, to some unconventional rules: No two houses on a street can have the same kind of picket fence, no Seaside home can have grass in the yard because only native vegetation is allowed and every property is identified by a name, not an address (such as “Moon Doggie” or “Cork the Whine”). Other attractions at Seaside include the ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival in May and YOLOing, an activity similar to surfing that involves stand-up paddling that is one of the most popular destinations in the area. Visit www.seasidefl.com to plan your vacation.
Southern Resorts is celebrating their 15th year of helping families find beachside vacation beach homes, cottages and condominiums on the Gulf Coast – this longevity is due to a commitment to quality and offering only the best getaways. Their properties range from Pensacola Beach to Port St. Joe – and each beach community between – and include all sizes from studios to eight-bedrooms. Their “Southern Perks” plan offers vacationers free and exclusively discounted activities, such as free tickets to the Gulfarium and dolphin cruises, as well as discounted golf rates and surfing lessons. Reservations can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit www.southernresorts.com for more information.
If you’re looking for a travel plan that gets the most bang for your buck, check out Newman-Dailey Resort Properties in Destin, Fla. When you stay in one of their beachfront properties, Newman-Dailey will offer every guest a complimentary round of golf, a ticket to Big Kahuna’s, a dolphin cruise ticket, amusement part tickets, movie rentals and kids’ fishing trips – all part of their all-inclusive “FUNtastic Recreation Program.” To commemorate Newman-Dailey’s 25th anniversary, they will also be offering an “Anniversary Party Saver Coupon Book” with over 38 pages of savings including premier shopping and dining. Visit www.destinvacation.com for more details.
The Beaches of South Walton, located along Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, boasts a casual yet elegant atmosphere that’s perfect for a summer destination. They also offer several ways to save on your trip through accommodation specials and package deals, such as $100 gift card for every 20-room nights booked. Enjoy upscale shopping or down-to-earth nature hikes at this versatile location. Adults can enjoy the local winery, Chautauqua Vineyards, for some award-winning wine and spirits. Check out beachesofsouthwalton.com for more information.
Sometimes the best part of a vacation isn’t the busy schedule of attractions or activities, but just the experience of getting away. The Mississippi Gulf Coast offers several lodging options, from cozy bed and breakfast inns to lavish casino resorts to beachfront condominiums. Whatever your preference, you’ll certainly find a relaxing escape while still feeling the comforts of home. Biloxi’s Chateau Blessey Bed & Breakfast offers southern hospitality with a French flair; the glamorous Beau Rivage Resort & Casino is both fun and pampering; and a wide selection of condominiums allows beach access for the perfect getaway. Call (888) 388-1006 to access a free reservation service to all Mississippi Gulf Coast hotels. Visit www.gulfcoast.org/hotels to find your destination.
If your vacation plans require a variety of personalized options and choices, then the Alabama Gulf Coast is the perfect destination for you. With 32 miles of white sand beaches and 16,000 rooms – the majority being condos – visitors can tailor their plans to suit their travel needs. The area boasts the nation’s largest artificial reef program, the gulf’s only trolling alley, 10 signature golf courses, several historic sites and museums, dolphin cruises and much more. The Alabama Gulf Coast also offers several ways for guests to keep up-to-date on travel deals and savings. Follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GulfShoresOrangeBeach and on Twitter at @beachspecials.
If you’re looking for a little excitement in your next vacation, look no further than Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Hancock County and its thrilling casinos. The Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis and the Silver Slipper Casino offer 24-hour gaming, live entertainment and premier dining, all within a short drive from your house. And when you’ve exhausted your Blackjack skills, you can enjoy the various outdoor activities the area has to offer, such as a day at the Crosby Arboretum or a free tour of Kiln’s own microbrewery, Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company – and be sure to sample the Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale (the first beer in the world made with whole roasted pecans) and the Jefferson Stout, an indulgent sweet potato cream stout. Visit www.mswestcoast.org for more details.
Spectrum Resorts represents three resort properties on the Alabama Gulf Coast: The Beach Club (in Gulf Shores), Turquoise Place and Caribe Resort (both in Orange Beach). Summer is the perfect time to frequent one of these resorts, not only for the pristine weather but also for the summertime deals. Move quickly to catch Turquoise Place’s spring discount, ending May 26: The package includes 35 percent off your stay, as well as your choice of either a $50 spa gift card, complimentary grocery shopping and delivery service or a “Beach Survival Kit,” including cooler, snacks, sunscreen, a float and more. As for summer deals, Turquoise Place and Caribe Resort will not require a minimum night stay, nor will they ask for any money upfront – guests can pay upon departure (although Turquoise Place is offering 20 percent off total cost for guests who do pay upfront). Visit www.spectrumresorts.com to plan your trip today!