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Emerald Coast Poker Run: Playing Cards for a Cause

Apr 24 17
by S. Lynne
emerald coast poker run power boats

You don’t have to own a boat to find plenty of fun during the Emerald Coast Poker Run. This is the 25th anniversary of the annual boating event, presented by the Emerald Coast Foundation as part of Boat Week, August 8-13. And it’s the largest summer poker run in the U.S., annually earning around $150,000 […]

Fort Myers Hosts Fifth Annual Fort Rock Festival, April 29 – 30

Apr 22 17
by Alison Large Ketcham
Fifth annual Fort Rock festival poster featuring English rock band Def Leppard

Music and beach lovers will experience rock-and-roll heaven on earth at the Monster Energy fifth annual Fort Rock Festival, Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. South Florida’s biggest rock festival will feature two stages with a lineup of artists that is sure to appeal to rock-and-roll […]

Billy Bowlegs Festival Pirates Invade Fort Walton Beach

Mar 9 17
by S. Lynne
Billy Bowlegs Festival Pirate handing out beads to the crowd

Visitors and residents alike, beware! Fort Walton Beach is bracing for trouble when that infamous pirate, Captain Billy Bowlegs, and his band of merry men stage their annual invasion at the Billy Bowlegs Festival. But the resulting skirmishes should be fun, not mayhem, when Billy and his Krewe come ashore at Fort Walton Beach Landing […]

Thunder Beach Bikers’ Rally Rolls into PCB Every Spring and Fall

Feb 18 17
by S. Lynne
Thunder Beach motorcycle rally biker with his dog riding behind at The Chateau in Panama City Beach

Twice a year, thousands of bikers wheel into Panama City Beach, FL, for the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally. Held in spring (late April or early May) and fall (mid-October), the five-day event is huge, regularly featuring more than 200 vendors and exhibitors. With no gate fees, no admission charges, and no charge for parking, Thunder […]

Beach Vacation Rentals Vs Hotels: Pros and Cons of Each

Feb 9 17
by Chris Chatelain
Row of colorful beach vacation rentals

Where you stay on vacation truly can make or break your experience. Booking a hotel room has been the traditional vacation practice for decades, and it’s an economical choice for a short stay. But vacation rentals – private homes and condominiums, typically located in residential areas – offer a different experience. Rentals not only feel […]

Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin – Fish, Fun, Prizes!

Feb 7 17
by Celeste Bracewell
Night view of fishing boats under way during the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin

The excitement is building already for the 2017 Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic at Sandestin. One of the top big-game fishing tournaments in the world, this year’s competition is scheduled for June 21-25 in Destin, Florida. The fabulous Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is the host facility for this five-day sporting event with a nearly $2 […]

Hangout Music Fest 2017 Brings Star-Studded Lineup to Gulf Shores

Feb 3 17
by S. Lynne
Hangout Fest Gulf Shores stage and crowd

Some of the hottest new artists on today’s music scene will head the lineup at Hangout Music Fest 2017 in Gulf Shores. English rock band Mumford and Sons, American musical duo Twenty One pilots, rapper and songwriter Frank Ocean, and Chicago-born hip hop artist Chance the Rapper will take the stage during the three-day event, […]

Sandestin Wine Festival Promises Food, Wine, and Fun in the Sun

Jan 27 17
by S. Lynne
Sandestin Wine Festival sample bottles grouped on table

It’s almost time again to “Uncork Some Fun in the Sun” at the SANDESTIN WINE FESTIVAL, which celebrates its 31st anniversary in 2017. Named the “Best Annual Event” by Destin magazine, the popular event offers wine lovers the opportunity to sample hundreds of wines from around the world. Festival guests also have opportunities to interact […]

Seabreeze Jazz Festival: Sea Breezes and Smooth Jazz in PCB

Jan 25 17
by S. Lynne
Saxophonist and violinist on stage at the Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Panama City Beach

The white sands and emerald waters of Panama City Beach are the backdrop for the 19th annual Seabreeze Jazz Festival. The five-day festival, scheduled for April 19-23, 2017, at Aaron Beasant Park Amphitheater, has been named one of the Top 10 Jazz Festivals in the United States by JazzIZ Magazine and one of the Top […]

Beach Family Photos – Capturing Memories To Cherish for a Lifetime

Jan 18 17
by Alison Large Ketcham
family beach photos

If you’re planning to take beach family photos during your next Gulf Coast vacation, you probably have several questions: • Should we hire a professional or take the photos ourselves? • Should we take pictures in the morning, mid-day, or evening? • Is it better to face the sun or have our backs to it? • Should […]

Flora-Bama Mullet Toss: Fishy Fun on Florida’s Perdido Key

Jan 13 17
by S. Lynne
Flora-Bama Mullet Toss worker talking mullet out of a blue bucket

If you think a mullet is just a bad haircut, you probably haven’t heard about the Flora-Bama Lounge’s Annual Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party. Centerpiece of this tongue-in-cheek Perdido Key event is a strange but satisfying three-day competition. It involves tossing a mullet  – a small fish that’s found in abundance in […]

Highway 30A Songwriters Festival Brings Stars to the Beach

Jan 6 17
by S. Lynne
30A Songwriters Festival big audience in Gulf Place Amphitheater

John Prine, Cheap Trick, Dr. John and the Nite Trippers, and Shawn Colvin head the exciting lineup of 175 performers participating in this year’s Highway 30A Songwriters Festival. Scheduled for January 13-16, the star-studded event, which also features Parker Millsap, Drivin N Cryin, and Amy LaVere, will be held in a variety of venues, large […]

Budget-friendly Beach Games and Activities

Dec 7 16
by Chris Chatelain
Flying kites is fun for the whole family

All too often, guests plan a beach vacation to Southwest Florida and forget about the key component when planning activities for the trip — the BEACH.  Water parks, excursions and dining can run up vacation expenses in a hurry, especially for families. But there are dozens of beach games and activities that come with little to […]

Bellingrath Gardens Magic Christmas in Lights Dazzles Visitors

Nov 21 16
by S. Lynne
bellingrath magic christmas poinsettias

More than three million lights will illuminate the skies over Bellingrath Gardens and Home as the Theodore, Alabama, estate celebrates its 21st annual Magic Christmas in Lights. The show, which starts November 25 and runs through December 31, includes some 1,000 displays throughout the 65-acre property. Indeed, so dazzling is this show that USA Today recently […]

Ten Easy Day Trips From Gulf Shores, Alabama

Nov 2 16
by S. Lynne
Blooming red plantings and frog fountain at Bellingrath Gardens and Home

When it’s chilly, raining, or you just want a break from the beach, these destinations offer fun-packed options the whole family will enjoy. All 10 are easy day trips from Gulf Shores, AL. – BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME, Theodore, Alabama, near Mobile. The former country estate of Mobile Coca-Cola bottler Walter Bellingrath and his wife, Bessie, […]

5 Tips for Knowing When to Buy Travel Insurance

Sep 27 16
by Jennifer Merritt
Tips to buying travel insurance

You’ve picked your dream beach destination, found a vacation rental, and you’re booking your stay, but inevitably you’ve got one more decision to make: Should you or shouldn’t you buy travel insurance. What would happen to your beach vacation investment in the event of a tropical storm or an unforeseen illness? What if you have […]

Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show: Honoring Veteran’s Day, and 70 Years of the Blues

Aug 22 16
by S. Lynne
The Blue Angels flying in the Diamond 360 formation

Just in time for Veteran’s Day, Naval Air Station Pensacola will welcome the Blue Angels back to the base for their homecoming air show. Scheduled for Friday and Saturday, November 11 and 12, the show will also commemorate the Angels’ 70th anniversary. Since 1946, they have been traveling the country, wowing audiences with their precision flight […]

Thrilling Yet Relaxing, a Destin Dolphin Cruise Delivers on Family Fun!

Aug 6 16
by Chris Chatelain
Southern Star wm

On your next trip to Destin, why restrict all your fun to the beach? The Gulf of Mexico is home to thousands of marine creatures, and they offer plenty to explore beyond the water’s edge. But few inhabitants of the Gulf capture the imagination as well as dolphins. With their mouths curved into permanent smiles, […]

Beach Safety Tips for an Amazing Vacation

Jul 21 16
by S. Lynne
Blond-haired child on the beach wearing a red life jacket

BE SAFE SWIMMING Make sure everyone in the family knows how to swim. Swim where there’s a lifeguard, and don’t swim alone. When swimming in the ocean, avoid getting into water that is more than waist-deep. Young and/or inexperienced swimmers should wear U. S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. If you’re planning on going boating, canoeing, kayaking, or […]

Blue Angels Air Show: Keeping Your Cool in Pensacola’s July Heat

Jun 23 16
by Chris Chatelain
Blue Angels fighter jet flies over the Gulf of Mexico.

There’s nothing quite like watching the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration team, perform aerial acrobatics near its home base at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Most everyone enjoys watching fast planes, and if the sight of their vapor trails doesn’t send you daydreaming, then the sounds of the screaming jets roaring overhead is sure […]