Traveltino + [travel]

Top Five Reasons To Visit The Gulf Coast NOW.

You Will Get A Great Deal
The unfounded media hype has a silver lining for those of you coming down... great rates on rooms! Many hotels, condos, and home rentals have been flooded with cancellations. Realize that this is their prime season and they usually make 50% of their income in the next 2-3 months. The wave of cancellations has left them desperate to get these rooms rented. For instance, Seaside, FL is offering a “No Risk Deposit”.Excerpted from an email from Seaside: If there is any unlikely beach closure in Seaside you may reschedule or cancel your booking without loss of your 30% deposit. This flexibility is offered up to 24 hours prior to your scheduled arrival.

You Will Be Helping The Local Economy
The people of the Gulf Coast make their living off the tourist that come down and visit their beaches. The cancellations I mentioned earlier are having a real economic impact on those communities. They have been hit with the recession just like the rest of America and they don’t need this double whammy right as the economy seems to be turning around.

When you come down and rent that room, go out to eat, and visit local attractions you are helping a community.

It would also be great if after your visit you went home and told 10 people how wonderful it was and urged them to visit also!

It’s Vegas on the Beach
Did you know that Mississippi has 12 casinos along the Gulf Coast. One of the best is the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS. The hotel is owned by MGM, the people that own the Bellagio, MGM Grand, and the Luxor. The benefit to you is that its right on the beach in Mississippi.
In the past they have had performances by magician David Copperfield, the Blue Man Group, and Cirque du Soleil.
If you want to play golf, check out the Fallen Oak golf course at the Beau Rivage. It was list as a “Must Play” Golf Resort in the Robb Report “Best of the Best” issue.

photo credit: Orange Beach | chris johnston There Is More To The Coast Than The Beach
There are 15 golf courses near Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, AL. The Tanger Outlet Mall a few miles up the road from there has over 120 brand name outlet stores.
If you are a history buff you can visit the site of the Civil War’s last major battle at Blakeley State Park. The park has 11 miles of hiking and biking trails and a boardwalk next to the Tensaw River.
You can also visit the Monroeville Old Courthouse Museum that was the centerpiece of a play based on Alabama native Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird.

photo credit: New Orleans | chris johnston The Food
No discussion of the Gulf Coast is complete without a mention of the food. The best food, in my opinion, is found in my hometown New Orleans, LA. It is home to over 900 restaurants, not including national chains. There are more restaurants now than existed prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.When you come to New Orleans stay in the Historic French Quarter. You’re walking distance from hundreds of restaurants, some with celebrity chefs.

Check out Restaurant August, with Iron Chef runner-up John Besh or K-Paul’s, home of world-famous chef Paul Prudohomme.
If you want real star status though you need to check out the restaurant’s of Food Network star Emeril Lagasse. He has a place for every budget.
If your funds are limited checkout N@LA in the French Quarter. They serve lunch 11:30am - 2pm Fri-Sun.
If you want a little more upscale, check out Emeril’s Delmonico and try the Orecchiette al pomodoro or the Moroccan-spiced lamb sirloin.
If money is no object than look no further than the flagship restaurant, Emeril’s New Orleans. You will not just have a delicious menu items like Andouille Crusted Texas Redfish with Grilled Vegetables, Shoestring Potatoes, Glazed Pecans and Creole Meunière Sauce but a truly exquisite dining experience. It is well worth the $200-300 bill you will gladly pay at the end of the night.

The Gulf Coast is awesome place and I consider myself fortunate to have grown up in the area. I hope you will considering coming down South and enjoying what we have to offer. See y’all real soon.
--
The guest post above was written by Christopher Johnston, a social media obsessed blogger, dad, and amateur photographer from New Orleans, LA. You can find Chris on Dadomatic.com or follow him on Twitter.