There’s nothing like the feeling of unlocking the door at your vacation destination and that first big sigh of relief that says, “You’ve arrived—it’s time to relax and have some fun.” New Orleans is fortunate to be situated near a wealth of fabulous travel destinations that tantalize with decadent food and drink, exciting nightlife, calming vistas, and luxurious accommodations. A good time can be had just about anywhere along the Gulf Coast, and whether you’re looking for family friendly activities for kids and adults or just a getaway with your friends or significant other, you’ll find no lack of travel resources ready to assist in your planning. Set your GPS to one of the many surrounding, easy-drive cities and experience the best of what neighboring states have to offer.


Awe-Inspiring Alabama

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

Springtime is full of fun on Alabama’s beaches—you and your family will love the fantastic events that Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have to offer during March and April.

Discover incredible coastal artwork from over 100 vendors at the Orange Beach Festival of Art, March 12-13 at Orange Beach Waterfront Park. Those who love boats, fishing, or being on the water will want to visit The Wharf from March 18-20 for The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show. Then, head to Gulf Shores to chow down on fresh crawfish at the Waterway Village Zydeco & Crawfish Festival on April 16. Car enthusiasts won’t want to miss Bama Coast Cruisin’ from April 28-30, where goers can marvel at the dozens of beautiful classic cars that line Main Street at The Wharf. 

If you’re searching for excitement for the whole family this spring, head to the sugar-white sand beaches of Alabama. Visit GulfShores.com to learn more about the Alabama Gulf Coast and upcoming events.

Visit Mobile

In Mobile, Alabama, folks like to say they’re “Born to Celebrate.” Plan a trip to Mobile and discover what all they’re celebrating; maybe it’s the combination of flavors and traditions or the full calendar of festive events. Funky, feisty, and festive, historic, hip, and happening, or colorful, cool and cultured—you can call this coastal town a lot of things when you have a vibrant 300-year history with lots of stories to tell and long-standing traditions celebrated on a regular basis.

Add America’s original Mardi Gras destination to your bucket list for Carnival season, enjoy a family “PLAYcation,” tee off into beautiful, rolling fairways, or taste your way around town at celebrated restaurants across the area and along the bay. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a family vacation, you’ll find there’s nowhere quite like Mobile. For 300 years, this vibrant coastal town has been the gem of the Gulf Coast, and the Port City is excited to host you as a guest. 

Visit mobile.org to begin planning your trip to join the celebration.

The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel

Unlike regular beachfront 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 beachfront 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 spring or summer getaway today by visiting LodgeatGulfStatePark.com.

 

Fun & Sunny Florida

Berkshire Hathaway Beach Properties of Florida

Whether you are looking for a permanent residence, a second home, or an investment property, Steve and Suzy Neal with Berkshire Hathaway Beach Properties of Florida are the agents to call. After vacationing, investing, and now working along the Emerald Coast for the last 30 years, Steve and Suzy offer value-added service through responsive communication, attention to detail, and trusted advice. 

The BHHS Beach Properties of Florida team has led 30A + Destin in property sales for the last decade and has a distinguished team of sales executives who are experts in the communities of Northwest Florida including Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, WaterSound Beach, WaterColor, Seagrove Beach, Grayton Beach, Sandestin, Miramar Beach, Destin, Navarre and Gulf Breeze. 

For more information and to view available properties, visit NealEstateGroup.com or call Steve and Suzy at 504-220-6483 or 504-236-6084.

Sandestin Wine Festival

From April 7-10, wine enthusiasts from all over the Gulf South and beyond will return to South Walton and The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort for the 35th Annual Sandestin Wine Festival. Full of grandeur and tradition, this “Kentucky Derby of Wine Festivals” offers a picture-perfect escape with flowing wine, gourmet food, and live music. The event features one-of-a-kind, seminars, wine dinners, and tastings and highlights a variety of both domestic and international wines.

Arrive Thursday, April 7, and enjoy a festive, food- and wine-filled kickoff party before spending two days strolling the Grand Wine Tastings and meeting vineyard representatives from around the globe. With over 75 tents of wine, attendees will get plenty of opportunities to try all varieties and styles. Meanwhile, Savor South Walton will highlight the talent and flavors of the region’s food purveyors through delicious food pairings.

For ticketing and information, visit sandestinwinefestival.com.

Premier Island Management Group

This spring, treat your family to an island getaway 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 the Portofino Island Resort.  

Northwest Florida’s premier beach vacation experience, Portofino Island offers families the perfect location to work, learn and play. Step away from your laptop or packed schedule to enjoy a kayak or paddleboard adventure in the sound. At recess surf the emerald green waters, or take a parasail ride. Whether you chose to leave your work behind or bring it with you, there’s a Premier Island property that will be the perfect home away from home for you and your family. 

More than just another getaway, this will be the one your family remembers for a lifetime. Discover yours at PremierIsland.com or call 866-935-7741.  

 

Mighty Mississippi

Visit Vicksburg

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 homes 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.

Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort

Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort continues to redefine the VIP experience. In addition to over 800 slots and 36 table games, enjoy the Orchid Room where the property has redefined the high-limit gaming experience. The space features private gaming, personal televisions, top of the line slot machines and amenities that you cannot find anywhere else on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. 

Scarlet and E.I.P. members of the Pearl Rewards loyalty program have access to the VIP Lounge, which offers three unique upscale experiences. Sip a deliciously curated cocktail at the gravity-defying, full-service bar and tantalize your taste buds with delectable light fare cuisine and scrumptious desserts in the dining area. E.I.P. guests can take a break from the action in the plush Parlor.

Gulf Coast players can book the ultimate staycation at the Scarlet Pearl’s 300-room modern hotel. With breathtaking design, superior service, and bathrooms that feel more like a spa, they have taken the definition of luxury into the clouds.

Book your next stay at ScarletPearlCasino.com or call 888-BOOK-SPC.