A Taste of the Gulf Coast, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida
It has been my routine to do research for things to do and where to eat when I go on vacation. But because of my hectic schedule, I wasn’t able to do so… So I went “Que Sera Sera!” to my very first Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast vacation!
Flew out of Bradley Airport to New Orleans, I grabbed my rental car and couldn’t wait to check-in to my hotel to freshen up and rejuvenate for a week-long of tasty road trip adventure.
InterContinental Hotel New Orleans
Walking into the sophistication of gold and black tones and a gallery of captivating paintings, showcasing NOLA’s vibrant jazz scene, it was delightful to arrive to an elegant and beautifully decorated hotel after long hours of traveling. It is situated in the business district of NOLA which is ideal to explore Nola’s famous attractions like Bourbon St., French Quarter, etc.
Welcome to Bourbon Street! Nola’s infamous drinking street!
First impression – everything I expected it to be; talented street performers, vibrant, colorful, fun, CRAZY atmosphere and definitely no shortage of booze… and yeah drunks and beggars everywhere. Is Bourbon Street for me? Let’s just say, I’m glad I was able to check it off my bucket list.
The food, the music, the people, the cool shops, the culture, the richness in history, the party scene, the balconies and the lovely architecture, need I say more? ALL FASCINATING and AMAZING, no boredom here! So much to do, and so much to see, I’ll definitely go back for more.
New Orleans is a true foodie paradise – soulful, savory, comforting, aromatic and rich in earthy flavors and well-seasoned Creole and Cajun foods.
I was very happy to experience the Annual Oak Street Po-boy Festival. I have no words to describe this festive culinary celebration of (used to be) “poor man sandwich.” But not anymore, you can get po-boys from any types of restaurants. Also, it has been deliciously evolving. You can get it grilled or baked with different types of marinades and fillings like shrimp, meat, chicken and even vegan-friendly.
Headed east to Destin FL, it’s about 4 hours from New Orleans without stopping, but who’s in a hurry? Rt. 10 freeway is beautiful. There is so much to see and do. You have outlet shopping, casinos, white sandy beaches and lots of dining options. My favorite stop was the WWII battleship Alabama in Mobile Alabama.
WWII Battleship Alabama
What a great historical experience (and convenient location too, just off the highway). It was WOW at first sight. I was speechless. I couldn’t help but admire its greatness and massiveness. Just by being on the ship, and seeing and touching the well-displayed memorabilia would give you this very realistic feeling and instant gratitude to all the men who served on board. What an unforgettable experience. A MUST SEE!
Hungry? Check out The Hang-Out. It’s right on the beach of Alabama Point East.
Fort Walton, Destin and Panama City Florida
First of all, this part Florida is in the Central Time Zone, not Eastern. Please take note of that. It messed me up a little bit.
The beaches on this side of the Gulf are world class! It features miles and miles of clear emerald and calm water. The sand is crystal white and powdery soft that made my feet so happy. Sunsets are absolutely stunning. The piers are beautiful and well-maintained. There are lots of restaurants, stores and activities for everyone. The people are so nice and friendly. It was pure joy. I will definitely be back to catch the sunrise.
Biloxi = CASINOS, this was the last leg of my road trip. I just wanted my last two days to be relaxing before heading back to Connecticut. Ok. fine, it was a gambling trip. Yeah, I went casino hopping. My favorite was the IP Casino because that’s the only casino I got lucky! Hooray!
I stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The resort is beautiful, big pools and spectacular scenery of the beach and the sunset. My room ROCKS! It has over-sized windows with a great view of the Gulf. It’s decorated with music memorabilia and was equipped with high-end appliances and electronics. My room was so cool that I didn’t go out that evening. I ordered take out, relaxed and just enjoyed the room (for a change). However, since this is like a party hotel, it’s hard to get a good night’s sleep. I called the reception twice after midnight to report unacceptable noises next door and in the hallway.
“In one week, I had a sweet taste of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast. From white sandy beaches, spectacular sunsets, heartwarming and inspirational historical places and distinctive food, making this vacation one of the most unforgettable and delicious road trip adventures I’ve ever taken. I can’t wait to go back… and add Texas to the list.”