With weather warming, the school year ending, and Memorial Day on the horizon, there’s no better time to plan a summer getaway. While far-flung, tropical destinations come with a hefty price tag and full days of travel, these vacation spots are just far enough to feel you’re escaping the mundane without the headache. Cultural spots, sprawling beaches, casino resorts, and lakeside retreats are scattered across America’s south waiting for summer guests to arrive. Browse these travel destinations, book your stay ahead of the summer rush, and get ready to dig out your beach towels and load up the car for some summer fun.


Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County

Activate your imagination at Art Month Walton, an initiative of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA). Art Month Walton is a collaboration of visual, performing and literary arts events presented in diverse formats and various venues throughout Walton County, located along Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. Spanning the month of May, 2022 Art Month Walton presents events and programs including Under the Sea, a fundraiser for the nation’s first Underwater Museum of Art, the 34th Annual ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival, Digital Graffiti Festival in Alys Beach, Longleaf Writers Conference, an online Art & More Auction benefiting the CAA, Music on Main in DeFuniak Springs, performances by the Emerald Coast Theatre Company, Gallery events, and more.Discover more details at culturalartsalliance.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.


St. Joseph Plantation & Felicity Plantation

Visit two homes on one property that have remained a thriving sugarcane farm for over 135 years. Learn about the sugarcane industry and its regional significance at St Joseph and Felicity Plantations. Learn about H. H. Richardson of the Priestly family, who was born at St. Joseph and became one of America’s most important 19th century architects.

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 enslaved that lived here and the work they did. 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.

Explore St. Joseph Plantation, and Felicity Plantation (by phone appointment only). Visit stjosephplantation.com, or call 225-265-4078.


Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

Longing for a trip with the girls? Pack your beach bags and head to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for an unforgettable girls’ getaway. Our destination offers 32-miles of pristine beaches, incredible Gulf Coast cuisine and exciting attractions and activities for the whole squad.

Here, you’ll have the opportunity to catch up while sunbathing in the sand or sipping on a handcrafted cocktail as you overlook the water. You’ll find fun on and off the beach as you enjoy shopping for coastal treasures, embarking on outdoor experiences like biking and dolphin cruises and visiting fabulous attractions such as The Wharf. Whether you want to unwind or find adventure, you and the girls will make memories for years to come.

Relax and reconnect on the sugar-white sand beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Visit gulfshores.com and orangebeach.com for more information.


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.


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.


Big Bay Lake

Big Bay Lake is a one-of-a-kind planned community on one of Mississippi’s largest private recreational lakes. Located just outside of Hattiesburg, and only 90 minutes from New Orleans, Big Bay Lake blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings. Waterfront homesites are available, starting at $100,000, for building custom homes and retreats and several resale homes are usually available for immediate purchase. 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 Lake. 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!”

Call for a boat tour today at 877-4BIG-BAY, or visit bigbaylake.com.