Happening Now

Postcard from Winston-Salem, North Carolina (September 2017)

Go, See, Do, Stay: Exploring Three Destinations in the Ozark Mountains (August 2017)

Edgar Degas and the Degas House in New Orleans (August 2017)

Find Unique Experiences in the South (and America) with "100 Things to Do in America Before You Die" (July 2017)

Dive in Gulf County, Florida with Daly's Watersports' "Discover Scuba Diving" (June 2017)

Unpacking the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama (June 2017)

Get Out(side) and Explore Seven of North Alabama's Natural Attractions (May 2017)

10 Things Not to Miss When Visiting Dollywood (May 2017)

Let the Concierge be Your Guide for Adventure in Gulf County, Florida (April 2017)

Discover Farmview Market in Madison, Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Natchitoches, Louisiana (October 2016)

Discover the Essence of the Florida Panhandle at State Parks (October 2016)

Experience Fayetteville, North Carolina (October 2016)

Nine Fun Ways to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Georgia (October 2016)

Postcard from Lexington, Kentucky (September 2016)

Get Out and Explore: Six States, 16 State Parks (September 2016)

Checking In...The Henderson in Destin, Florida (September 2016)

What to Do in Blowing Rock, North Carolina (September 2016)

Postcard from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (June 2016)

From Alligators to Whale Sharks: 10 Aquariums in the South to Explore (May 2016)

Postcard from LaGrange, Georgia (April 2016)

Nine Experiences to Enjoy in Bowling Green, Kentucky (March 2016)

Postcard from Middleburg, Virginia (February 2016)

Go, See, Do: Six Getaway-Worthy Southern Destinations (January 2016)

16 Things to Do in the South in 2016 (January 2016)

Rider or Not, There are Many Reasons to Visit Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson (October 2015)

The Great Georgia Escape: Discovering (and Enjoying) Big Canoe (September 2015)

Quick Glimpse into Birmingham, Alabama's Growing Culinary Scene (August 2015)

Discover the Vast Musical Side of the South with the Americana Music Triangle (June 2015)

Take Grilling to the Next Level with Grillocracy.com (June 2015)

True Cajun Experience Found at Crawfish Haven/Mrs. Rose's Bed and Breakfast (May 2015)

Experience Acre in Auburn, Alabama (May 2015)

Experience the Mississippi Delta with These Four Destinations (January 2015)

Four Days, Three Destinations: Exploring Columbia County and Augusta, Ga., and Aiken, S.C. (January 2015)

Finding the Perfect Southern Destination for Your Next Getaway (January 2015)

So Many Fun Ways to Spend Your Holiday Gift Cash in the South (December 2014)

Behind the Scenes: The Personal Collection (and Memories) at the Gone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square (December 2014)

Spending a Day or Weekend in Bardstown, Kentucky (September 2014)

"Celebrate" Your Getaway to The Pearl on Rosemary Beach (September 2014)

College Football Hall of Fame Debuts in Atlanta (August 2014)

Discover Alabama's Varied Culinary Side during Alabama Restaurant Week (August 2014)

Get Out and Enjoy Scallop Season (and Scallops) on St. Joseph Bay in Gulf County, Florida (August 2014)

Bringing the Past and Present Together in Rock Hill, S.C. with "75 Years, Still One Gear" (July 2014)

Four Reasons to Plan a Getaway to Sunny Isles Beach, Florida (July 2014)

So Many Ways in the South to Make This Summer One to Remember (June 2014)

Amp Up Your Doughnut Making (and Eating) Experience with Sublime Doughnuts' Kamal Grant's Cookbook (May 2014)

Streamsong Resort: A Golfing Resort Beyond the Ordinary in Florida (April 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Douglas Olsen (March 2014)

Celebrating Farmers and Farm Life with the Farm Star Living Website and App (March 2014)

In the Kitchen with Chef Sam Lodovico, The Resort at Glade Springs (February 2014)

Checking Out Charleston's Culinary Scene with Charleston Culinary Tours (February 2014)

Discovering Downtown Birmingham, Ala. with Alabama Road Trips (January 2014)

Season Two of "Emeril's Florida" Highlights Culinary Gems of South Walton (January 2014)

Chatting with Barbecue Champion and Restaurateur Melissa Cookston (November 2013)

"Cast Iron Chef" Competition to Heat Up the 3rd annual Brooks County Skillet Festival (October 2013)

Crowd Pleasing Recipes to Amp Up Tailgating (September 2013)

Discovering Georgia's Lake Oconee Area (July 2013)

Honoring the Man in Black: Johnny Cash Museum (June 2013)

Experience Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (June 2013)

Build Your Own Memorable Experience in Columbus, Georgia (May 2013)

South Walton’s Art Culture: People Behind the Creations (May 2013)

Louisville, Kentucky Beyond the Derby (May 2013)

City Insider: Mark Wyant, owner, The Saint Hotel in New Orleans (February 2013)

Dining Out at Osteria Tulia (January 2013)

Discover Florida's Charm with Emeril's Florida (January 2013)

Taste Nostalgia (and Fun) with Pure Sodaworks (December 2012)

Find Serenity (and More) at Red Horse Inn (December 2012)

In Tall Cotton: Chef Cory Bahr and Restaurant Cotton (November 2012)

Under the Grand Chapiteau with Cirque du Soleil’s Totem (November 2012)

Feelin’ Presidential: Presidential Sites Throughout the South (October 2012)

Eight Cool Southern College Towns (September 2012)

Mark Your Calendar... Fabulous Southern Fall Music Festivals (September 2012)

In the Kitchen with Chef Eric Fulkerson (August 2012)

Visiting The Inn at Magnolia Oaks (August 2012)

Journey to New Orleans Plantation Country (August 2012)

Turn Your Vacation into an Experience at the Plantation on Crystal River (July 2012)

Dazzle Your Summer with Fata Morgana (July 2012)

Coming Home to Hightower Creek Vineyards (July 2012)

Exploring I-95 in the South with Barbara Barnes, Author of What’s Great About I-95: Maine to Florida (July 2012)

Timeless Experiences Await You at High Hampton Inn (June 2012)

Discover Cummins Falls, Tennessee's Newest State Park (June 2012)

See Savannah on a Segway Tour (June 2012)

Newest Addition to Biloxi, Mississippi - Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant (May 2012)

Coming Home: Chef David Guas set for New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (May 2012)

Experience Southern Sweetness with South Carolina's Firefly Distillery (May 2012)

The Running of the 71st Iroquois Steeplechase (May 2012)

100 Years and Counting: Riding the African Queen (May 2012)

Get Into the Wild with Safari Wilderness Ranch (May 2012)

Discover Another Side of Spartanburg with the Underground Guide to Spartanburg (April 2012)

Get Out and Explore National Parks During National Park Week (April 2012)

Glide Through Downtown Memphis on the Segway Experience of Memphis Tour (April 2012)

Congratulations to Our "Adventure Time Getaway" Winner (April 2012)

The Tennessee Aquarium, 20 Years Later and Still Going Strong (March 2012)

Fashion Weeks Show Off Stylish South (March 2012)

What to do When You’re Not Breathing Baseball During Spring Training in Florida (March 2012)

Tables are Set for Restaurant Weeks in the South (January 2012)

Congratulations to our Couples Comedy Getaway Winner (December 2011)

Discovering South Florida’s Three Distinctively Different Kimpton Hotels (November 2011)

Congratulations to our Back To Nature Getaway Winner (November 2011)

“Fall” for the Outdoors and More in Wilmington, North Carolina (October 2011)

Festivals, Football, Foliage and Fun: The Many Reasons Fall is Great in the South (October 2011)

The New Must-Do’s in Raleigh, North Carolina (September 2011)

Culinary Delights and Cultural Gems Await You Along SW Alabama's Culinary Trail (September 2011)

Exploring Seaside with the Seaside Walking Tour (September 2011)

Ending the Summer with a Bang: Labor Day Weekend Fun in the South (September 2011)

Celebrating Food and Music at The Shed in Ocean Springs, Miss. (August 2011)

Extend Your Summer with an Outdoor Concert (August 2011)

Discover Southern Charm and Hospitality at Fairview Inn in Jackson, Mississippi (August 2011)

Living History (and More) Awaits You at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (August 2011)

Exploring New Orleans’ Culinary Scene During COOLinary (August 2011)

Celebrate Hampton Bear and Teddy Bears at High Hampton Inn (July 2011)

Fireworks, Parades and More: 25 Ways to Have a “Blast” This 4th of July Weekend in the South (July 2011)

Simply Southern...James Madison Inn in Madison, Ga. (June 2011)

Fun and Free (or Inexpensive) Ways to Celebrate Dad this Father's Day (June 2011)

Congratulations to Our Simply Delightful Getaway Winner (June 2011)

Discovering One of Florida’s Surprises: Paddling the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (April 2011)

Rediscovering old Florida at the Florida House Inn (March 2011)

Sip and Taste at the 26th annual Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival (March 2011)

Congratulations to our "Savannah's Best" Getaway Winner (March 2011)

Let’s Play Ball! Spring Training in Florida (February 2011)

Getting Back to Nature: Touring Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (February 2011)

Spotting Winter Wildlife (and Possibly Whales) in Virginia Beach, Virginia (January 2011)

Congratulations to our “Let’s Just Go” Getaway Winner (January 2011)

Finding “Treasures” on Jekyll Island, Georgia (January 2011)

Yo, Ho Ho: Exploring the Life of Pirates at the Pirate and Treasure Museum (January 2011)

It’s All About Experiences This Year in the South (January 2011)

Holidays are Hot at Hotels Across the South (December 2010)

It’s Nice on Ice–Where to Go Ice Skating in the South This Holiday Season (December 2010)

Congratulations to our Private Island Getaway Winner (December 2010)

Celebrating the Holiday Season in Williamsburg Virginia (December 2010)

Discovering Nu Wray Inn in Burnsville North Carolina (December 2010)

Thanksgiving Day Chef Competition at Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation (November 2010)

Many Reasons to Celebrate the Holiday Season at Gaylord Opryland (November 2010)

Discover the Birdhouse Trail in Monroeville Alabama (November 2010)

Congratulations to Our Casino Giveaway Winner (November 2010)

Get Out This Saturday for VISIT FLORIDA’s Great Beach Walk (November 2010)

Nathan Beaver set to Return to Perform in Madison Georgia (November 2010)

Fall for Fishing Along North Carolina’s Coast (October 2010)

Savor the Flavor in Polk County, Florida One Bite at a Time (October 2010)

Congratulations to Our Beach Giveaway Winner! (September 2010)

Discovering Mississippi's Culinary Trail (August 2010)

Going Coastal…Now is the Perfect Time to Visit the Florida Panhandle (August 2010)

Ways You Can Support the Recovery Effort in the Gulf (June 2010)

Get Out and Go to Alabama’s Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Soak in the Sun (and Fun) Along Florida's West Coast Beaches (June 2010)

It's New - The Titanic Museum Attraction (June 2010)

Celebrate Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country in 2010 (June 2010)

Tell Orlando (and the World) Why the City Makes You Smile (June 2010)

Fun Awaits You Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast (June 2010)

Staying Current on the Oil Spill in the Gulf (May 2010)

Where to Go for the Latest on the Nashville Floods (May 2010)

Keeping Current with the Oil Spill (May 2010)

Published: January 2015
Finding the Perfect Southern Destination for Your Next Getaway  

Are you the type of traveler (or perhaps related to or friends with) who enjoys exploring small towns and cities, or who rather spend the majority of the time in the great outdoors? Maybe you enjoy sampling as much local cuisine as possible.  Regardless of where travel interests may lay, there is a perfect southern destination (or two) for you to explore or re-discover.

DSC_0014For Mountain Lovers: There is just something about Blue Ridge, Ga., which can’t be put into words but only felt when you are there. All it takes is one visit to this destination and you, too, will fall under its spell as many have before (and some ended up moving there permanently.) Best Bet…explore downtown, filled with quaint shops and local eateries. Whether you are a browser or serious shopper, you’ll enjoy popping in such places as Huck’s General StoreGaudy Baubles and Oyster Bamboo Rods, among others. Never know, you might find something (or somethings) to take home with you. Round out the visit with The Art Center to view the latest exhibit. Grab a bite…Stop by Blue Ridge Oil Olive Company to sample unique combinations, and/or pick up something sweet to enjoy later from The Sweet Shoppe. Consider having lunch at Harvest on Main or Blue Ridge Brewery, and dinner at Black SheepWorth the drive…It’s more than apples at Mercier Orchards. The family-owned and operated orchard offers a bakery featuring a variety of fried pies, deli with a tasty breakfast menu, a store with all kinds of fun items to try at home and winery.  Worth the trip… From March - December, take a ride aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. The four-hour roundtrip adventure departs from downtown Blue Ridge and travels along the Toccoa River to McCarysville, Ga. & Copperhill, Tenn. Enjoy two hours exploring both sister towns.
Depending on the duration of your visit, accommodation options include everything from cabin rentals to bed and breakfasts to lodges.

Second choice: When you crave a slower pace on a mountain getaway, Townsend, Tenn., and the surrounding area is known as the “peaceful” side of the Smokies. Get out…go museum-hopping. Learn about the land and the people when you combine DSC_0061a self-guided tour of the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center with a guided tour of Cades Cove (with Cades Cove Heritage Tours). Also located in Townsend is the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum that details the town’s time as a logging community, and includes such artifacts as a vintage caboose. Over in Maryville, the Blount County Historical Museum covers a little of everything related to east Tennessee. Next door to the museum is the Cades Cove Museum at the Thompson-Brown House. The structure is one of the oldest two-story, dog-trot log buildings in the state. Inside you can view artifacts and items of all kinds from descendants of Cades Cove. A few miles north of Maryville is a one-room log cabin where Sam Houston taught school in 1812. Still sitting on its original site, it is the oldest school in Tennessee, built two years before Tennessee became a state. Check out… fly fishing classes offered through Little River Outfitters. Visit  Wood-N-Strings and watch the artistry of hand-crafted dulcimers. Depending on what time of the year you visit, there might be a scheduled Pickin’ Porch performance. Try this…Enjoy an order of Smoky Mountain trout cakes at Miss Lily’s Cafe. Grab something chocolate-ly to enjoy later from the Chocolate B’ar of Townsend.  Worth the drive…Go underground to explore the formations in Tuckaleechee Caverns.
Stay at Chilhowee Inn or for complete indulgence, Blackberry Farms

For Coastal Lovers…16 communities, each with their own distinctive personalities make up South Walton, or 30A as it is photosandredfishvillage 061better known. While the beach is the main attraction year round, there is plenty to do and see beyond the views of the Gulf. Go local…why bring back home a postcard or a key chain, when you can get something a little more original. From local artists to local products to one-of-a-kind boutiques found in each community, you won’t have an issue finding that special item to remind you of your visit. Go natural…get on the water with a kayak or YOLO board, either through a rental or with an eco-tour. Rent a bike and explore as much of the 26-miles that you can. Hike one of the over 10 trails in Point Washington State Forest, or along the four-mile trail in Grayton Beach State Park. See rare coastal dune lakes in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park or Deer Lake State ParkZipline at Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin. Worth the drive…enjoy walking around the picturesque grounds of Eden Gardens State Park.

Dine around…Given the proximity of the communities it’s quite easy (and fun) to make your  lunch or dinner a progressive one.  Start out with appetizers in one community,  followed by a quick pick me up at another (or with something Modica Market in Seaside), and dessert in another.
Depending on your length of stay, accommodation options feature boutique hotels, resorts and house or cottage rentals.

Second Choice: Heralded as the “Playground of the South” in the late 1800s, modern-day Galveston Island, Texas provides many ways to be engaged and entertained as well. Oh, and there is a beach, too. Walk the walkexplore DSC_0450Galveston Island’s downtown, Strand and seaport, all within easy walking distance of one another. Meander in and out of shops, check out museums like the Ocean Star Offshore Rig and Texas Seaport Museum. Grab something sweet at La King’s Confectionary. Hungry? Consider grabbing at table at Rudy and Paco to enjoy KT Delicias de Mar, or a grilled shrimp pita at Olympia Grill at Pier 21Worth the drive…schedule a half-day to experience Moody Gardens. Take your time and don’t rush through the three pyramids, which are home to an aquarium, a rainforest and a hands-on science museum. Take a tour… The stately and ornate Bishop's Palace offers either a self-guided audio tour or guided tour. Located in the East End, the home took about six years to build at a cost of $250,000 (would be $6 million today), and home survived the great hurricane of 1900. Take a guided tour of the East End Historic District on an electric shuttle with the Galveston Island Tours.  Indulge (your) inner child…head over to Galveston Island Historic Pier for rides, midway games, live entertainment and shops. Be warned, not all of the rides are for the faint of heart.
Rest in the evening at either Tremont House or Hotel Galvez and Spa 

For Foodies…While it is safe to say you are going to eat well in any Louisiana town or city, Lafayette tends to stand out from the others. It’s here that you can enjoy such dishes as a Cajun Benedict or Sweet Baby Bresus at The French Press. Yes, when IMG_6080you visit Lafayette bring your appetite, and stretchy pants. Taste the Town…Whether you reserve a spot with the Cajun Food Tours or create your own tour, you can’t go wrong with either. If you are venturing out on your own, some places (and dishes) that should be on your radar include: any sweets from Pouparts Bakery, boudin corn dogs from Bread & Circus Provisions, chicken and sausage gumbo from Village Cafe and shrimp half and half from Randol’sStop inE’s Kitchen more than likely has that one particular kitchen gadget that’ll make your life easier, or one that looks so neat that you just have to have it. You’ll also find gourmet foods, seasonings, oils and more. Plan your visit so that you can take a cooking classSample some suds… Pop into the tap room at Bayou Teche Brewing in Arnaudville to sample their beers like Biere Pale (their flagship beer), LA 31 Passionné (passion fruit wheat ale), and/or  LA 31 Boucanée (smoked wheat ale).  Tour the brewery to see where the magic happens. Must visit… Vermilionville highlights the Acadian, Native American and Creole culture from 1765 - 1890. The living history museum/park features 19 attractions to view and explore. As you walk the grounds, many of the structures have local artisans demonstrating crafts from those times. Be sure to enjoy lunch at La Cuisine de Maman.
Hotel Acadiana is conveniently located to many attractions and restaurants.

Second Choice: Loudoun County, Va., is one of those destinations that can appeal to every type of traveler. It can be a shopping destination, a historical destination, an outdoors destination, but more importantly, it can be a foodie (and wine) destination. And quite a memorable one at that. Elevate (the) dining experience… savor a cup of Virginia Peanut Soup or crab cakes at The Red Fox Inn and Tavern in Middleburg. Rich in history, the site has hosted such notables as Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis. The J.E.B. Stuart room even served as the background for a press conference by President 081John Kennedy.  A part of the “Destination Restaurants” collection, which are restaurants recognize for offering more than just a great meal, it also includes such places like Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville with its view of the Potomac River and menu highlighting local and organic foods, and the cozy Wine Kitchen in Leesburg, with its menu featuring ingredients from local and regional farmers. Take a tour… The National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg is dedicated to preserving and sharing the art, literature, and culture of horse and field sports. The art collection features pieces from the late 17th century to present time, while the library’s collection is filled with over 20,000 volumes covering a span of 500 years. Wine Around…known as D.C.’s Wine Country, the area is home to over 40 wineries and tasting rooms. Create your own wine experience as you discover new favorites at 8 Chains North in Waterford, Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg and Tarara Winery in Leesburg, among others. Stop in…Find something fun to take back home when you visit Philomont General Store in Philomont.
Accommodation options include Lansdowne Resort or Middleburg Country Inn

For History Lovers… Gracefulcharming and fascinating are just a few words that could be used to describe St. Augustine, Fla. Historical and modern mesh seamlessly together in one of the oldest European settlements in the U.S. One that happens to be celebrating its 450th anniversary this year. Lay of the land…if you are unsure of where to start or what to 326(a)see, the Old Town Trolley Tours can help. Their sightseeing tours include over 100 points of interest and 23 stops, allowing you to get off or back on to explore. Be transported to the 19th century…view the grandeur and opulence of the Gilded Age when you tour the Lightner Museum. Housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, the three floors showcase an interesting hodgepodge of items, including am extensive collection of Tiffany Glass. Got to eat…St. Augustine doesn’t disappoint when it comes to dining options. Whatever you are in the mood for, you’ll find a restaurant serving it. The culinary scene reflects the many cultural influences that have touched the city. Dine at Bistro de Leon and enjoy the seafood crepe. Start off with a bowl of soup at Alcazar Cafe. Before you leave St. Augustine, take the chocolate-dipped Datil pepper challenge at Hot Shot Bakery n’ Cafe. If you like the pepper, check out their line of Datil B. Goode products. Sample a little of everything while on the Original City Walks’ Savory Faire Food & Wine Tasting Tour. Worth the visit…built in 1883, the -now Villa Zorayda Museum is a scaled down replica of Alhambra Palace in Spain. Take an audio tour of the museum to learn about its history, the collections and its role in the city.
Choose from the Inns of EleganceCasa Monica and other accommodation options.

Second Choice: While Harrodsburg, Ky., is the state’s oldest city (established in 1774), it is far from being dull and tired. Offering something for all ages to stay engaged, every day you can experience something new and different. For example, you can tour  Old Fort Harrod State Park, and then go on a guided trail ride with Big Red StablesMust visit…devote at least a DSC_0162half-day or a full day exploring Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. The largest restored Shaker village in the country features 34 original 19th-century buildings, around 3,000-acres of farmland, miles and miles of trails for hiking and more. Be sure to grab a schedule listing daily activities. Enjoy a meal at the Trustees’ Office Dining RoomStop byDedman Drugstore/Kentucky Fudge Company for a treat from the original soda fountain (or a quick bite to eat) as you stroll the historic downtown. Worth doing…cruise down the river with Dixie Belle Riverboat. An offshoot of Shaker Village, the hour-long tour introduces you to Kentucky’s natural beauty as well as details the important of the river to the Shakers.
Relax in the evenings at Beaumont Inn.

For Charming Small Town/City Lovers…Recognized as the Bed and Breakfast Capital of the South as well as the Biscuit Capital of the World, Natchez, Miss., is definitely in a class of its own. Situated on a bluff 200 feet above the Mississippi 049River, it is also home to more surviving antebellum structures than any other city in the South. In fact, Natchez Under-the-Hill, the former port, is an original part of the city. It’s here where you can find Under-the-Hill Saloon still going strong in one of the oldest buildings in the area. Home visits… A selection of historic homes is open year around for tours. You can spend an entire day visiting stately sites like LongwoodRosalieMelroseStanton Hall and others. Want to go out on your own? Grab a map from the Visitor Center and take a self-guided tour of downtown on foot. Check out…First Presbyterian Church’s Stratton Chapel houses a varied collection of historical photographs depicting life in Natchez. Take a ride… relax and enjoy a narrated carriage ride through the historic district. Dine with a view…Grab your meal to go and enjoy it at Bluff Park.
From bed and breakfasts to hotels, there is something for all budgets.

Second Choice: With the success of the television series, Duck Dynasty, many have become familiar with the twin cities of Monroe/West Monroe, LaLocated in the northeast part of the state, the destination might be home to some “big personalities,” but it still maintains its small city charm. Go hereBiedenharn Museum and Gardens includes a historic home, formal garden, bible museum and Coke Museum. Joseph Biedenharn was the first bottler of Coca-Cola. Spend a few IMG_7807hours to take in the decor of the home, view the rare bibles and see various Coke memorabilia. Afterwards, meander through the former garden featuring numerous flowers and plants intertwined with water features, sculptures and music. Find something special…Filled with antique shops and boutique speciality stores, Antique Alley in West Monroe is a great place to stroll and browse, and possibly purchase a few things. Dine in…Considering you are in Louisiana, you know you are going to eat well. Choose among such places (and dishes) like fried chicken at Big Momma’s Fine Foods, muscovy duck wraps at Restaurant Cotton, or shrimp combo at Cheniere Shack. Worth the drive…Arrange to tour Landry Vineyards, followed by a tasting of their wines. If you just want to sample, the tasting room is open on Saturday, and on weekdays with prior notice.
Destination offers various accommodations options.

For Outdoor Lovers…If you believe you’ve seen all and done all when it comes to the Florida Panhandle, you haven’t spent time in Gulf County, Fla., (Wewahitchka - aka WeWa, Port St. Joe, Indian Pass and Cape San Blas.) If you are looking for DSC_0004one-of-a-kind experiences, this is your place. It’s the perfect destination to come and just be in the outdoors (and on the beach.) Get out on the Water…nearly all of the activities here take place on the water. Book a charter trip with Captain Charlene Burke and About Fun Charters, and have her take you out to her favorite fishing spots on the Intracoastal Waterway. Whether it’s sightseeing, shelling or fishing, or a combination, the father and son duo of Break-A-Way Charters will help you plan your perfect day on the water. Discover why Gulf County is known as the “champion of sunsets” aboard a sunset cruise with Seahorse Water Safari Boat Tours. Learn about the ecosystem of St. Joseph Bay as you go on a guided kayak tour with Happy OursWorth the drive…kayak the impressive-looking Dead Lakes in Wewa with Off the Map ExpeditionsNeed to eat… enjoy oysters (and more) at Indian Pass Raw Bar. Indulge in one of the seafood platters at Triple Tails Restaurant. Wake up your taste buds with the Cajun shrimp salad at Sunset Coastal Grill. Pick up barbecue sandwich and/or baby back ribs at Sand Bucket Smokehouse Order one of the po’ boys or the fish tacos at Dockside. Close to (the) water…rent a bike and explore along the trails. Go horseback riding on the beach with Broke-a-Toe. Cape San Blas is one of three places in the state that you can do this. Go hiking on one of the three trails in St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. You never know what you might see.
Accommodations include everything from rentals to inns.

Second Choice: If it is being in the outdoors you are looking for, look no further than the Smoky Mountains (Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville) Plan your visit correctly and you’ll never have a dull moment while you are here. Going up Gain a new perspective of the area and the surroundings with Scenic Helicopter Tours in Sevierville. IIMG_6759t's one of the few operators that can fly over the National Park. In the air or on the ground…ziplines are aplenty in the area. The one at Foxfire Mountain in Sevierville is largest zip line attraction in the Smoky Mountains; and possibly the prettiest zip since it goes through the forest and over waterfalls and creeks. Check out their Swinging Bridge, which is said to be the longest one in the U.S. The bridge crosses over Foxfire Gorge and the Little Pigeon River. Don't let the swinging stop you, especially when you reach the middle. Ride an ATV on a guided trail ride with Bluff Mountain Adventure. Try to tame the rapids when you go white-water rafting in the area. Take a hike…tell everyone you hiked a part of the Appalachian Trail at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. An entrance to the trail is located off Newfound Gap. The portion of the 70 miles of the trail runs through the park. Order up…being active and adventurous can work up an appetite. With such places as Smoky Mountain Trout HouseOld Mill RestaurantsTony Gore’s Mountain BBQClint’s BBQ and Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and Grill, rest assured you can eat well and heartily.

Rent a cabin or stay in a hotel during your visit.

photo credits: personal collection; (top left) scene from Blue Ridge, Ga., (top right) church in Cades Cove), (upper middle left) scene from South Walton, (upper middle right) Ocean Star Offshore Rig, (middle left) boudin corn dogs  from Bread and Circus Provisions in Lafayette, La., (middle right) crab cake from Red Fox Inn and Tavern in Middleburg, Va. (below middle left) Inside Villa Zorayda Museum in St. Augustine, Fla., (below middle right) Entrance to Old Fort Harrod State Park in Harrodsburg, Ky. (below left) Natchez, Miss., (below middle right) Biedenharn Museum and Gardens in Monroe, La., (below left) in the Gulf from Port St. Joe, Fla., (below right) swinging bridge at Foxfire Mountain in Sevierville, Tenn.

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