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


As the region continues to monitor the daily developments with the Gulf Coast oil spill, the beaches along Florida’s west coast wants travelers to know they are open for business, and ready for the summer season. From Cedar Key to Anna Maria Island to Key West, there are ample opportunities for you to enjoy some sun and fun on Florida’s west coast.

  • Perhaps best known for their clams, Cedar Key is reporting that as of now the spill is not forecasted to head their way. If anything changes, they will updated with the pertinent information.


While sampling the clam dishes at Tony’s Seafood Restaurant in Cedar Key should be on everyone’s to-do list, this unspoiled island located 50 miles southwest of Gainesville, is also known for its arts community, outdoor activities and natural beauty. For a complete day here, go gallery hopping,  followed by kayaking at Manatee Springs State Park, then dinner and end the evening with a nice walk around town.

  • According to Josh Hall, public relations manager with Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, the destination is using various avenues, including Facebook and Twitter, to get the word out that the 35-miles of beaches are opened for business. In addition, several hotel properties have established a “Book with Confidence” guarantee, which provides guests a promise that if the beaches are affected by the oil spill in any way their first night is taken care off (including taxes and resort fees.)


Did you know the St. Pete-Clearwater area is home to three of the top beaches in the U.S. as determined by Dr. Beach? Those that received the high accolades are Fort DeSoto State Park, Caladesi Island and Clearwater Beach. When (or if you can) tear yourself away from the beaches, you can enjoy exploring the Salvador Dali Museum, venturing out on a two-hour Sea Life Safari through Clearwater Marine Aquarium or following possible sightings of ghost on the Ghost Tour at John’s Pass.

  • Per the website, Sarasota and Her Islands are not projected to see any oil from the spill. You’ll also find a live cam showing the current conditions in Siesta Key. The page is update every few days with new information.


Whether you’re interested in eco-friendly activities, an arts vacation or a culinary adventure, you’ll find it at this destination. Did you know that Siesta Key was recently voted #2 in Dr. Beach’s 2010 Top Beaches? The Sarasota area was recognized by TripAdvisor as one of the Top 10 Beach and Sun Destinations in the U.S.

  • Located about 300 miles away from the plume, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands remain unaffected and ready for guests, says Jennifer Huber, public relations manager with Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau. However, the VCB is closely monitoring the oil spill daily and are posting messages on both their Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as their website.


From the 28-miles of beaches to Rick Treworgy’s Muscle Car City (Punta Gorda), you’ll never be bored while vacationing in Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands. Take a wading trip into the harbor to see what you can discover with Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center. Get ready, because you just might spot a gator or two while on swamp buggy tour with Babcock Wilderness Adventure. Spend the afternoon or evening exploring Fisherman’s Village in Punta Gorda.

  • According to The Beaches of Ft. Myers/Sanibel Island’s update, no oil is expected to impact the area. Just like with the other destinations, they continue to closely monitor the situation and will provide updates in the event the situation changes. The site also has links to local beach conditions, live beach cams for Captiva Island, Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach, and more.


Looking for new things to do in the area? Consider touring the Art of the Olympians museum, a visual journey for everyone.  Find out how many butterflies you can spot at The Butterfly Estates. Explore C.R.O.W.’s new Visitor Education Center and go behind-the-scenes at the Sanibel Island facility to learn about the wildlife hospital.

  • “The Coast is Clear,” says the announcement on Naples, Marco Island and Everglades CVB site. Click on the box to read the latest on the conditions in the area. According the report, the oil spill will not have an affect on the area as of now and into the immediate future. To stay informed, you’ll also find links to beach cams as well as a link to NOAA Loop Current Imagery and more information.


It’s called Paradise Coast for a reason, and once you’ve experienced any of the over 30 miles of beaches, you’ll quickly understand why. The area has introduced a variety of new attractions throughout the area. For instance, you can toast the sunset on a Sip ‘n Sail cruise with Vine Resource Production. Learn about Naples past on the Historic Naples Trolley Tours. Test your fishing skills on a guided kayak fishing trip with Everglades Area Tours. First thing is first, though; don’t forget to pick up your VIP (Values in Paradise) card for huge savings throughout the area.

  • The Florida Keys has an oil spill page that include links to news articles, videos and imagery of the NOAA Surface Oil Spill Forecast Map. They also provide information on what guests need to know about the area, such as the seafood is safe to eat and there has been no impact thus far in Keys from the oil spill.


Unlike any other destination in the state, the Keys are an experience within themselves. Whether you visit all of them or just one, you’ll walk away with a new view of the state. If you are looking for beyond-the-usual things to do, you’ll find them all over the Keys. Take a guided tour of the Turtle Hospital in Marathon to learn how they care for their special patients. Feed tarpon at Robbie’s in Islamorada. Walk through Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden in Key West. More than a just a garden, it’s a work of art. Those who enjoy diving can explore the Shipwreck Heritage Trail along the Keys.

photo credit: 096-Flip Flops, flickr, creative commons by Fuschia_ Foot

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