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Flora-Bama Polar Bear Dip: Chillin’ in the Gulf on New Year’s Day

Nov 27 17
by S. Lynne
polar bear dip sign

Continuing what has become a New Year’s tradition on the coast, the Flora-Bama Lounge invites everyone to take a quick dip in the Gulf on January 1, 2018. Scores of partiers, some in costume and others wearing nothing but their swimsuits, will gather on the beach outside the iconic roadhouse at high noon for the annual […]

Festive Naples, Florida, Cocktail Party Raises Funds “For the Love of Art”

Nov 21 17
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Live entertainment and art at Naple Art Association fundraiser "For the Love of Art"

Art connoisseurs know that the love of art comes from the heart, bringing joy and visual engagement. So it’s no wonder that “For the Love of Art,”  a festive cocktail party/gala organized by the Naples Art Association, is a highly anticipated event that has become as unique as the artistic creativity and artists it showcases. […]

Bellingrath Gardens Magic Christmas in Lights Dazzles Guests

Nov 15 17
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 22nd annual Magic Christmas in Lights. The show, which starts November 24 and runs through December 31, includes more than 1,100 displays throughout the 65-acre property. Indeed, so dazzling is this show that USA […]

ArtFest Fort Myers – Waterfront Event Is Southwest Florida’s Premier Art Festival

Nov 10 17
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Colorful painting of a tropical scene by ArtFest Fort Myers artist Jim Holehouse

If you ever need a reason to head to the beach, ArtFest Fort Myers is destined to be one of them. The popular event gives you all the fun and sun you need wrapped in one sweet weekend. Held each February on the city’s beautiful waterfront, ArtFest features original artwork from more than 200 experienced […]

Venice, Florida, Christmas Boat Parade Dazzles Visitors

Nov 3 17
by Lisa Milberger Moore
Holiday lights decorate a boat in the Venice Christmas Boat Parade.

As the sun sets on December 2, the Intracoastal Waterway will twinkle with lights from the lineup of boats decked out for the 29th annual Venice, Florida, Christmas Boat Parade. Seasoned boating enthusiasts and novices alike will take to the water for a glittering evening and a chance to claim top spot for the best-decorated […]

Highway 30A Songwriters Festival Brings Stars to the Beach

Oct 26 17
by S. Lynne
30A Songwriters Festival big audience in Gulf Place Amphitheater

Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, and Patti Griffin head the exciting lineup of 175 performers participating in this year’s Highway 30A Songwriters Festival. Scheduled for January 12-15, the star-studded event also features the Zombies, North Mississippi Allstars, Lee Ann Womack, Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum), Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls), and Shawn Mullins. Slated to perform as well […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]