Hallelujah! Summer has arrived, and it’s time to bask in the sun and all its glory. Sun is aplenty across the Gulf Coast, and from Texas to Florida, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for summer fun, both on and off the water. From the shimmering rivers and lakes of Texas and Mississippi to the beaches that extend all the way from the Lone Star State to the Sunshine State, your sun-kissed vacation awaits. When your toes aren’t in the water, there are plenty of options for indoor fun: thrilling casino gaming, historical tours, decadent restaurants, art exhibits, relaxing hotel rooms, and eclectic shops. There are also a number of festivals that take place this season, replete with delicious food, drinks, and entertainment. Travel resources are also available to help get you where you want to go, whether that’s a simple drive down the highway or to pursue creative endeavors in France. Take a look at the following destinations, and plan your summer travels now.


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 slaves that lived here and the work they did.

In 1877, 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 plantation 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.


Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery is excited to announce Three Hundred More, a compelling promotional offer designed by Old No. 77 to continue the enthusiasm generated by the city’s tricentennial celebration while further deepening the property’s connection to the community.

Three Hundred More illustrates Old No. 77’s commitment to seeing New Orleans thrive for another three centuries. Speaking to the growing need for meaningful, authentic, and contributive travel shared by many Old No. 77 guests, Three Hundred More will expand Old No. 77’s creative partnerships with organizations such as Where Y’Art, Goods that Matter, and others. In partnership with Where Y’Art, Old No. 77’s latest gallery exhibition, 300 More celebrates South Louisiana’s Coastal Regions with heavy florals, wetlands, and swamps.

As part of Three Hundred More, Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery is offering 20 percent off with a five percent donation to a coastal restoration non-profit, Restore the Mississippi Delta. The 167-room hotel 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.


The French Market District in New Orleans spans from the Shops at the Upper Pontalba on Jackson Square to Crescent Park, including the Shops of the Colonnade on Decatur Street and the open-air Farmers and Flea Markets. The District is open daily and offers an eclectic variety of shops, eateries, and events year-round. Looking for farm fresh produce and goods? Don’t miss the Crescent City Farmers Market every Wednesday from 1 to 5 p.m. October through June.

Kick off summer at the French Market by celebrating the start of Creole tomato season at the 33rd annual Creole Tomato Festival. This year’s festival, June 8 & 9, will feature two live music stages, Bloody Mary Market showcasing a variety bloody marys by local restaurants, Creole tomatoes for sale by regional growers, and free children’s activities.

Visit FrenchMarket.org for more information on the French Market District and events.


The TABASCO® Pepper Sauce Visitors Center on Avery Island brings to life the unique world of TABASCO® Sauce. Located in southern Louisiana, Avery Island has been the home of TABASCO® Sauce since it was created more than 150 years ago.

The Visitors Center showcases how TABASCO® Sauce is made—from the peppers first budding in the greenhouse, to towering walls of oak barrels where mashed peppers are aged for three years, to a glimpse into the production facility where the sauce is blended, stirred, and then bottled. Finally, visitors can snap and share pictures with life-size bottles of their favorite TABASCO® flavor before sampling treats that are only available at the TABASCO® Country Store.

While there, be sure to dine at TABASCO®’s 1868 Restaurant where you can enjoy spicy, authentic Cajun dishes and classic Southern comfort food, all seasoned with TABASCO® Sauce. Build your own bloody mary and try all of the TABASCO® Family of Flavors®.

For more information about visiting the home of TABASCO® Sauce on Avery Island, please visit TABASCO.com.


Just in time for summer, Royal Sonesta New Orleans’ annual French Quarter Fling guest package is back offering nightly rates as low as $159 and a Sonesta Savings Pack for discounts on dining, attractions, and tours for budget-friendly, fun-seeking travelers. Guests can upgrade to a newly renovated R Club Level room from $259 per night for an elevated experience including daily breakfast and more.

To celebrate 50 years in the heart of the French Quarter, Royal Sonesta New Orleans is offering guests two special anniversary room packages for truly unforgettable experiences, as well as celebratory specials at our on-site dining and entertainment venues: Restaurant R’evolution, Desire Oyster Bar and The Jazz Playhouse. Come experience the culmination of five decades of true Southern hospitality while taking in the sights of world-renowned Bourbon Street just outside our doors.

Visit Sonesta.com/RoyalNewOrleans to book your stay using online promo code FQF, or call 504-586-0300 today.

Summer Travel
Royal Frenchmen Hotel & Bar

The historic Royal Frenchmen Hotel enjoys the distinction of being the sole, luxury boutique hotel in the midst of all of the action and entertainment of Frenchmen Street. But behind its historic walls, the hotel offers much more than its luxury accommodations.

The bar at Royal Frenchmen Hotel has recently been named the #3 hotel bar in New Orleans in the Where Y’at Best of the Big Easy Awards behind only the storied French Quarter Carousel and Sazerac bars. The Royal Frenchmen Hotel bar offers live music daily and features a Friday night residence by the Treme Prince, Glen David Andrews. Happy hour brings daily $3 martinis from 4 – 7 p.m., a perfect way to relax in the afternoon as music begins to fill the streets.

The hotel’s beautiful and spacious courtyard can accommodate up to 150 guests for weddings and other special events, placing guests right in the heart of New Orleans’ musical and cultural epicenter. Learn more about the Royal Frenchmen Hotel and book your stay or event by visiting RoyalFrenchmenHotel.com or by calling 504-619-9660.


Don’t wait to make a splash in one of the many beautiful Texas lakes perfect for family memory-making activities such as fishing, boating, tubing, and waterskiing. Holiday Inn Club Vacations® has a number of Texas properties to suit your family’s penchant for fun.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations® Villages Resort is located on Lake Palestine and just a short drive from the Tyler Rose Garden and many other attractions. Holiday Inn Club Vacations® Piney Shores Resort sits on the Lake Conroe shore and is only about an hour from Houston. Holiday Inn Club Vacations® Hill Country Resort overlooks Canyon Lake and is about an hour away from both San Antonio and Austin.

There are also beachfront resorts—sink your toes in the sands of the Gulf Coast at one of two beautiful Galveston Island resorts. Holiday Inn Club Vacations® Galveston Beach Resort is located directly on the beach and is great for kids and adults alike with numerous activities, while Holiday Inn Club Vacations® Galveston Seaside Resort offers both standard and luxurious Signature Collection villas in a relaxing escape farther down the island.

Book your stay today at HolidayInnClubVacations.com.

Summer Travel
Galveston Seaside’s Signature Collection


Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort is “The New Way to Stay & Play” on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Treat yourself to a stay at its luxurious hotel, voted Best Casino Hotel and Loosest Slots by Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Observer. Start your Sunday mornings with a Jazz Brunch featuring live entertainment by Jesse Hill and bottomless Mimosas and Bellinis. Spice it up with a loaded Bloody Mary topped with a fresh lobster tail. Dive into All-You-Can-Eat Dungeness and Snow Crab at Scarlet Pearl’s Waterfront Buffet every weekend.

Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort showcases over 1,100 video ad reel slot machines, over 35 top-of-the-line table games, and over 65 video poker games. You will find all your old favorites and experience new thrills every time you play. If you are feeling really lucky, take a shot at a hole-in-one at Lava Links Miniature Golf Course featuring a live, erupting volcano.

Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort—your home away from home. Book your next ultimate getaway at ScarletPearlCasino.com or call 888-BOOK-SPC.


Take an island adventure this summer that won’t break the bank and is located only about 70 minutes from New Orleans. Mississippi’s finest beaches are located on Ship Island, approximately 11 miles offshore from the Gulf Coast cities of Gulfport and Biloxi. The undeveloped sand island is accessible only by boat. Ship Island Excursions offers daily passenger ferry service from the Gulfport Yacht Harbor and the Margaritaville Hotel Resort in Biloxi.

Watch for Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins during an enjoyable 60-minute cruise. Part of Gulf Islands National Seashore, Ship Island offers visitors the first high quality, natural beaches for swimming and shelling east of New Orleans. Travel to a special place where the main attractions are long, quiet beaches, beautiful green water, and clean Gulf air. The nine-mile long barrier island also features historic Fort Massachusetts (circa 1858).

Food service is available on the boats and the island. Chair and umbrella rentals are also available. During summer, the National Park Service offers a lifeguarded swim beach and fort tours. Ferry service operates March through October. Visit MsShipIsland.com for info.


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.


In Vicksburg, Mississippi, you’ll find Southern hospitality in its most authentic form. A city that harbors U.S. history at some of its most poignant turns, Vicksburg features art at its most creative angles, food at its finest flavors, and outdoor adventure at its most thrilling turns. Vicksburg is a place bursting at the seams with local culture, character, art, entertainment and outdoor adventure.

With sweeping views of the Mississippi River, Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern-day attractions. From four world-class casinos and upscale shopping, dining, and spas to some of the most fascinating historic sites, architecture, and antebellum mansions in the nation, Vicksburg offers an authentic Southern experience you don’t want to miss. Just relax—it all runs on river time in Vicksburg!

From restaurants and shops to historical sites and museums, you’ll find destinations, events, and lodging for your next adventure at VisitVicksburg.com.


Summer Travel
Orange Beach and Gulf Shores

The weather’s perfect for catching a wave and relaxing on the sugar-white sand beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. It’s never too early to start planning your summer getaway to Alabama’s beaches, just a short a drive from New Orleans. Explore 32 miles of beaches warmed by sunshine and unspoiled natural beauty. When your toes aren’t in the sand, discover the history, culture, attractions, events, and award-winning restaurants that make this area a truly special summer vacation destination. Southern hospitality is at its finest in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, where there’s something for everyone—from amusement and water parks to fantastic shopping, beachside restaurants, concerts, and more.

Splash into summer and soak up the sun on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. With lodging options, things to see and do, amazing places to eat, and area maps, the area’s 2019 Vacation Guide makes planning your trip a breeze. Visit GulfShores.com or call 877-341-2400 for more information and to get your copy.

Summer Travel
The Lodge at Gulf State Park

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 summer vacation today by visiting LodgeatGulfStatePark.com.


Activate your imagination at Art Month South Walton, an initiative of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County. Art Month South Walton is a collaboration of visual, performing and literary arts events presented in diverse formats and various venues throughout South Walton, located along Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. Spanning the month of May, Art Month South Walton includes Under the Sea, a fundraiser for the nation’s first Underwater Museum of Art (recently named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Greatest Places), the 31st Annual ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival, Digital Graffiti Festival in Alys Beach (recently featured in National Geographic as one of 24 Unconventional Art Destinations Around the World), Longleaf Writers Conference, the Rosemary Beach Sculpture Exhibition, the Northwest Florida Theatre Festival, and more.

Discover more details at CulturalArtsAlliance.com.


More than a place to stay, Holiday Inn Club Vacations® at Orange Lake Resort is a place to play. Every corner of the resort has treasures to discover—from River Island, the 12-acre pool complex that includes a 1,200-foot lazy river, restaurants, bars, shops and more, to the Water’s Edge Beach Club with daily activities, arcade, mini golf, and a fantastic view of the 80-acre lake and watersport activities. Additionally, the Splash Lagoon Pool Complex offers a zero-entry pool, waterslide, multi-level pool decks, and lush landscaping, while The Legends Clubhouse and pool overlook one of four signature golf courses.

Orange Lake Resort is the perfect alternative to Orlando hotels. As you step into your villa, you will know immediately that you have entered the ideal vacation home. This family-friendly resort is conveniently situated right next door to Walt Disney World® Resort Animal Kingdom and other popular, nearby attractions.

Surprise your family with a vacation that they will not soon forget. Book your stay at discoverhcv.com/stay-and-play.


Florida’s Franklin County is open for the business of fun for you and your furry, four-legged friends. This pristine coastal oasis offers some of the best dog-friendly beaches. Book a beachside cottage and spend your days basking while your dog runs and splashes in the surf. Dogs that enjoy waves will love the safe and gentle surf of the Gulf of Mexico. Franklin County does require your dog to be leashed when you visit the beaches, and the state park beaches on St. George Island and Alligator Point have specific rules on where dogs can visit—please check before you go.

Pet-friendly water sports, camping, and accommodations are all available in Franklin County. Several local outfitters offer boat, kayak and paddleboard rentals and can recommend calm water locations to try with your furry friend. In addition to state forest and national forest primitive camping, there are a number of RV campgrounds in the county that welcome pets. Additionally, you can find pet-friendly hotels, motels, inns, cottages, or bed and breakfasts from Alligator Point to Apalachicola.

Visit FloridasForgottenCoast.com/BigEasy to enter to win a coastal getaway.

Travel All Over

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 vacation 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 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 175486). Current AAA members can add one new household member free (promo code 175488). For more details see the ad in this issue, visit your local AAA branch, call 844-330-2173, or visit AAA.com/ValueAd. Join AAA today.


The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is celebrating 40 creative years, offering degrees in more than 100 programs, including architecture, animation, fashion, film and television, plus cutting-edge disciplines including immersive reality, motion media, visual effects, UX design, and more.

SCAD is a global university, enrolling nearly 15,000 students at campuses in Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia; Hong Kong; Lacoste, France; and via SCAD eLearning.
Career preparation is woven into every fiber of the university, resulting in a superior alumni employment rate. SCAD’s 99 percent alumni employment rate is testament to the creative careers of the more than 40,000 SCAD graduates working at the world’s most prestigious companies, including Google, Disney, BMW, Nike, Uber, Amazon and beyond.

For more information about SCAD, visit scad.edu.