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Eat Your Way Through Mardi Gras at the Mexico Beach Gumbo Cook-Off

Oct 24 17
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Mexico-beach-Gumbo

Nothing says celebrate like a Mardi Gras event coupled with a great batch of fresh, spicy gumbo, especially when you’re talking about the 20th Annual Mexico Beach Gumbo Cook-Off scheduled for February 17, 2018. Held during a season of smaller beach crowds and ideal Florida temperatures, this popular event features the best gumbo and Brunswick […]

Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival: Composers in the Spotlight

Sep 11 17
by S. Lynne
FB Songwriters Festival bars of music on white paper

The Gulf of Mexico and its white-sand beaches are the backdrop every fall for the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival. Rated one of the top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, the Frank Brown festival showcases the talents of songwriters from around the world. This year, the festival opens November 9, […]

Destin Fishing Rodeo Celebrates Seafood Every October

Aug 15 17
by S. Lynne
Children and Miss Destin standing on the dock with a giant tuna at the Destin Fishing Rodeo

Described as “the ultimate fishing tournament for saltwater anglers of all ages,” the Destin Fishing Rodeo takes place every day during the month of October, features more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, and attracts some 30,000 fishermen annually. Just about every kind of game fish is recognized with awards during the rodeo, so no […]

Baytowne Wharf Beer Fest: A Great Excuse for a Fall Vacation!

Jul 23 17
by S. Lynne
Baytowne Wharf Beer Fest glass of beer on the beach with the Gulf in the background

It’s not too early to start thinking about raising a glass or two at the Baytowne Wharf Beer Fest. Held every fall at the Village of Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin’s popular shopping and entertainment venue, the festival has earned a reputation as the “Best Beer Fest on the Emerald Coast.” Scheduled this year for October 13 […]

National Shrimp Festival Brings Fall Fun to Gulf Shores

Jun 28 17
by S. Lynne
Grilled shrimp and vegetable kabobs at the National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores

One of the most popular events on the Alabama coast returns to Gulf Shores this fall. Scheduled for October 12-15, the 46th annual National Shrimp Festival is expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors to the city. Founded in 1971 to lure tourists to Alabama beaches during the off-season, the Gulf Shores shrimp festival has […]

Country Music Stars To Shine at Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam 2017

Jun 21 17
by S. Lynne
Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam lighted stage and audience

Some of country music’s brightest stars will have an opportunity to shine at the upcoming Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam. First held in 2013, the festival has quickly become a Panama City Beach tradition. Past events have featured such familiar names as Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Trace Adkins, and Lady […]

Parasailing in Destin – Gravity-Defying Thrills and Bird’s-Eye Views

Jun 8 17
by Chris Chatelain
parasailers with multi-colored canopy

While Destin, Florida might be well known for the spectacular Gulf views from its sugar-white beaches, there’s another vantage point that provides even better views – and way more thrills as well. That’s the one from above via parasailing. A Unique Perspective Seeing this popular beach destination from 400 feet in the air provides the […]

Top 13 Destin Florida Attractions

May 30 17
by S. Lynne
View of Destin Harbor from Harborwalk Village

  With its white-sand beaches, glittering Gulf waters, and clear skies most days of the year, Destin is a popular spot for vacationers wanting to laze around in the sun. But for visitors looking for a more active vacation, or just a quick break from the beach, there are plenty of other Destin Florida attractions. […]

Plan-Ahead Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach

May 25 17
by Alison Large Ketcham
Black-and-white French bulldog sitting on a white-sand beach

  Your dog is excited to see you each and every day. His or her enthusiasm lifts you when you’re down. Your dog is your best friend. And now you want to thank your pet for such love and loyalty with a BFF beach vacation. But what are the realities of taking Fido or Fifi […]

5 Reasons for Booking Vacation Rentals from the Pros

May 24 17
by Alison Large Ketcham
booking vacation rentals

Finding the perfect beach vacation rental to book for a reasonable price can be difficult. So, we suggest that rather than struggle with uncertainty, you go through an experienced and reputable property management company when booking vacation rentals. In addition to making the booking process easier, the advantages of using a pro may include discounts, […]

“Papa” Enthusiasts Pour Into Key West for 2017 Hemingway Days

May 12 17
by Alison Large Ketcham
Hemingway look-alike contestants gathered on the stage at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West during Hemingway Days

Come one! Come all! Whether you’re a devoted Hemingway fan, a Key West lover, a white-bearded “Papa” Hemingway look alike, a fisherman, a paddleboard pro, a 5K enthusiast, a big-time partier, or all of the above, you’re in for six days of unrivaled fun at 2017 Hemingway Days. The 37th annual celebration of the life […]

Highway 30-A Arts: The Heart and Soul of South Walton

Apr 28 17
by Chris Chatelain
ArtsQuest artist painting outdoor mural

  While scenic Highway 30-A might be best known for its lush landscapes and tropical tranquillity, this renowned stretch of Gulfside road is also dotted with galleries displaying local and regional artwork. From beach paintings to driftwood furniture and seashell picture frames, these South Walton communities offer something just about everyone will love. Plan some time […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]