Happening Now

14 Food Trails Worthy of Packing an Extra Pair of Comfortable Pants (March 2019)

Exploring Algiers Point, New Orleans' Second Oldest Neighborhood (January 2019)

Postcard from Bristol Tennessee/Virginia (January 2019)

21 "Spirited" Stays Throughout The South (October 2018)

Checking In for the Night: Nine Bed-and-Breakfasts Throughout the South (October 2018)

Rhythm is Deep during Cumberland Caverns Live at Cumberland Caverns (September 2018)

Postcard from Panama City, Florida (August 2018)

Take a Tour of The Lewis Ranch (July 2018)

Reservations, Please! New and Upcoming Properties in the South (July 2018)

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Four Very Different Museum in One Place on the Mississippi State University Campus (July 2018)

Explore Revolutionary War Sites in the South (July 2018)

So Cool, It's Hot: Southern Summer Bucket List (June 2018)

"It's Ours!" Tennessee Town Reclaims Long Island Iced Tea (June 2018)

In a Travel Slump? Find Some Getaway Inspiration with These Four Destinations (June 2018)

Remember and Honor: Seven Military Museums to Visit Year Round (May 2018)

Postcard from Tupelo, Mississippi (May 2018)

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Seven Museums (and a Bonus) Not to Miss in New Orleans' French Quarter (May 2018)

Relax, Recharge and Refresh at Coldwater Gardens in Milton, Florida (April 2018)

Let's Go! Reconnect and Create Memories at These Seven Family Fun Destinations (March 2018)

So Many Reasons to Visit Nashville, Tennessee (February 2018)

Gowns, Costumes and History: 11 Museums (and a Bonus) That Highlight Mardi Gras (January 2018)

Take a Retro U.S. Road Trip with "Addicted to Americana" (January 2018)

Experience Valhalla Resort Hotel in Helen, Georgia (December 2017)

Shop Local: Nine Places to Find Distinctive Gifts (November 2017)

Pose, Snap, Post at Any of These Top Seven Instagrammable Georgia State Parks and Historic Site Locations (November 2017)

A Quick Peek Inside the Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta (November 2017)

It's Coming! Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange, Georgia to Open at the end of May 2018 (October 2017)

Take the Scenic Route: Three Drives not to Miss in the South (October 2017)

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 2018
Gowns, Costumes and History: 11 Museums (and a Bonus) That Highlight Mardi Gras  

From the elaborate gowns and costumes to the colorful krewes and parades, there is a mystique surrounding Mardi Gras. Even if you are unable to attend any of the festivities that lead up to Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), you can learn more about the history and pageantry regarding this annual celebration year round at various Mardi Gras museums in the South.

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu

Located in the Central School Arts and Humanities Center is the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu.

The museum houses the largest display of Mardi Gras costumes in the South, with around 280 costumes on display at all time, and details the history of Mardi Gras in the area.
Tues. - Fri., 1 - 5 p.m., with extended hours during Mardi Gras season, Sat., 1 - 5 p.m. $10 for adults, $5 for children and senior citizens. 

Shreveport, Louisiana

Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Museum

The Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Museum shows off two decades of Mardi Gras in northwest Louisiana. View displays of costumes, memorabilia and parade floats.
Call 318-741-9264 to arrange an appointment to tour. $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens, $1 for children, ages 5 - 18 and free for children, ages 5 and younger.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Capitol Park Museum

The Mardi Gras section at Capitol Park Museum provides a general overview of Mardi Gras and highlights how parishes throughout the state celebrate.
Tues. – Sat., 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. $6 for adults, $5 for students, senior citizens and military, free for children, ages 6 and younger.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World

Get a behind-the-scenes look at how props and floats are created and designed during a one and a half hour guided tour of Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World. See artists' studios and learn how different pieces are crafted.

The tour begins with a short video and the opportunity to on costumes and sample of a King Cake from Gambino's.
Mon. - Sun., 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., tours begin every half hour with the first one at 9:30 a.m., and last one at 4 p.m. $22 for adults and children, $17 for seniors, ages 65 and up, and for students with college ID; $14 for children, ages 2 - 11.

The Presbytère

Learn about the celebrations and rituals that make up Mardi Gras at Mardi Gras: It’s Carnival Time in Louisiana, one of two permanent exhibits at The Presbytère.

Climb aboard a parade float, see the different throws, learn about Mardi Gras music and more.
Tues. - Sun., 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and students, free for children ages 6 and under.

Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum

Located on the second floor of Arnaud's is the Germaine Cazenave Wells Mardi Gras Museum. Named for the daughter of Count Arnaud, the museum provides an intimate look at the grandeur of Mardi Gras.

The exhibits highlight over two dozen elaborate costumes that include 13 of Mrs. Wells' queen costumes as well as vintage photographs, Carnival masks and krewe invitations.
Open to the public during restaurant hours. Free.

Backstreet Cultural Museum

Situated in the Tremé district, less than a mile northwest of the French Quarter is the Backstreet Cultural Museum.

Local photographer Sylvester Francis has curated a vast collection of Mardi Gras items associated with the African American community in the Big Easy. On display includes everything from Mardi Gras Indians costumes to artifacts related to jazz funerals, social aid and pleasure clubs and more.
Tues. - Sat., 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Admission is $10.

Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture

Opened on Jan. 6, 2017, the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture features the private collection of Carl Mack, owner of Carl Mack Presents, an entertainment and costume providing company.

Enjoy the craftsmanship of various costumes representing Kings and Queens, Mardi Gras Indians, Walking Clubs, Cajun Mardi Gras and more. Don't miss the Costume Closet, where you can dress up in costumes, wigs, crowns and tiaras, masks and beads.
Mon. - Sun., 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., with docent-led tours conducted at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. $12 for general admission, $10 for senior citizens and students; $15 for docent-led tour, $13 for senior citizens and students.

House of Dance and Feathers

Located in the Lower Ninth Ward, the House of Dance and Feathers, started by life-long resident, Ronald Lewis, could be described as a living history museum. The collection celebrates the significance of Mardi Gras Indians, Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, and Skull and Bone Gangs. More than just displays, Lewis intertwines personal stories with each item represented.

Be sure to check out his book, The House of Dance and Feathers: A Museum by Ronald Lewis that discusses the cultures and communities of New Orleans.
Call 504-957-2678 to schedule a visit. Free, but donations are appreciated.

Slidell, Louisiana

Slidell Mardi Gras Museum

A part of the Slidell Museum, the Slidell Mardi Gras Museum features over 800 artifacts that include everything from costumes to throws to scrapbooks of past kings and queens.
Wed. - Fri., 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Free.

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Bay St. Louis Mardi Gras Museum

Located inside the historic train depot, the Bay St. Louis Mardi Gras Museum displays over a dozen intricately-designed costumes.
Mon. - Fri., 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., and Sat., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free.

Mobile, Alabama

Mobile Carnival Museum

The birthplace of Mardi Gras is home to the Mobile Carnival Museum. Housed in the historic Bernstein-Bush mansion, the museum details over 300 years of celebration in the city through photographs, gowns, costumes and other Mardi Gras-related pieces.
Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat., and every other Thurs., 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. $5 for adults, $2 for children, ages 12 and under.

Bonus... Not a museum per se, but three of Antoine's private rooms are named after krewes: Rex, Proteus and 12th Night Revelers. Each room's walls are decorated with photographs and various memorabilia from throughout the years.
Call 504-581-4422 to arrange a private tour of the restaurant.

photos: personal collection; except for Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras Museum, courtesy of Shreveport-Bossier City Louisiana's Other Side; The Presbytère, courtesy of quirkyjazz, Flickr; Backstreet Cultural Museum, courtesy of  Tess Dixon, Flickr; photo of Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, courtesy of the museum; Ronald Lewis' bead patch, courtesy of House of Dance and Feathers; Slidell Mardi Gras Museum, courtesy of  Louisiana Northshore, St. Tammany Parish