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Plan a one-tank trip to experience what’s new in regional hotspots

We don’t have to tell you that gas is painfully expensive right now, but you don’t need to go far to indulge your wanderlust. Lots of new adventures await — all within a short drive of the Coast. 


Encompassing the cities of Spanish Fort, Daphne and Fairhope, Alabama’s Eastern Shore offers unique shopping, eco-tourism and culinary experiences. Visitors can take a delta tour in Spanish Fort or stroll along the waterfront on the Eastern Shore Trail, which extends from The USS Alabama to Weeks Bay. Most attractions are open to the public year-round. 

“There is something for everyone in all three of our family-friendly cities,” says Liz Thomson, director of Tourism & Special Events for the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce. “Whether you are an avid foodie or an outdoor traveler, you will love the Eastern Shore experience.” 

What’s new: 

  • Dragonfly Tavern — Dine in one of Daphne’s oldest buildings in the heart of Olde Town Daphne. This restaurant features a global fusion of flavors in tacos, bowls and tapas. One of the local favorites is the tomato plate. Toppings change daily on this delectable dish. 
  • Provision — Located in downtown Fairhope, Provision is a new, modern take on a general store. Walk through the doors to find a coffee shop, wine bar, local goods and a delicious menu. They make it easy to lounge and chat with friends over a drink of your choice. 
  • Live at 5 — Grab a blanket or a chair and get ready for a rocking good time at Live at 5, an outdoor concert series at Halstead Amphitheater. Coastal Alabama Community College’s campus in Fairhope. Locals have enjoyed tapping their feet to tunes played by local artists. This kid-friendly event is fun for the whole family. 

What’s in the works: 

The city of Daphne hopes to start construction on an amphitheater at the Bay Front Park that will offer new entertainment options. 




From its beguiling, emerald-colored waters to its laid-back vibe, Destin offers a picture-perfect escape for all types of adventurers. Whether you’re looking to shop, reel in a fresh catch, engage in water sports or just relax on the beach, you can find your bliss in the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” which attracts millions of visitors each year. 


What’s new: 

  • The Rooftop Bar at the Henderson – Destin’s first rooftop bar is now open at the Henderson Resort and Spa offering live music, lite bites and an incredible view. Grab a cocktail and take in a spectacular sunset. 
  • East Pass Seafood & Oyster House — Located in Harborwalk Village, Destin’s entertainment epicenter, this eatery is an open-air, family-style seafood house that serves Gulf to-table fare. 
  • Captain Leonard Destin Park – With a ribbon-cutting last May, this three-acre park off Calhoun Avenue is officially open and ready for family fun. It features an accessible beach area, playground, boardwalk, splash pad, pavilions, dock, and launch area for paddle boards and kayaks. 

What’s in the works: 

Adventure Packs, which pair dining and attractions, are being expanded. Check for further details. 




We all know New Orleans has rhythm, style and attitude, and fun and festivals are a way of life in the Crescent City. From endless entertainment and food options to distinctive neighborhoods and architecture, The Big Easy is like no other place in the world – and any visit there is a guaranteed good time. 

What’s new: 

  • The Sazerac House — Located in the Central Business District, this unique museum traces the history of bourbon
  • and the cocktail culture at the heart of New Orleans. 
  • The National World War II Museum — The continuing expansion at the National World War II Museum adds a sense of freshness to this well-established museum in the heart of the Warehouse/Arts District. New buildings and exhibitions continue to be added. 
  • Vue Orleans — This observatory atop the new Four Seasons hotel at the foot of Canal Street on the Mississippi River boasts an incredible 360-degree view of the city, showcasing how the river defines the city’s geographic landscape and celebrating the city’s history with interactive exhibits. 

What’s in the works: 

After being cancelled for two years, the city’s great festivals are back, says Kelly Schulz, senior vice president of communications and PR for New Orleans and Company — beginning with Mardi Gras, which saw tremendous crowds and excitement. 

“We are thrilled to have many great events on the horizon,” Schulz says. These include the NCAA Men’s Final Four in April, French Quarter Fest, Jazz Fest, Navy Week, Tales of the Cocktail coming this summer and many others. 



Mix two parts sugar-white sand with one part genuine Southern small-town hospitality, and you have the recipe for the Alabama Coast’s enduring allure. With its blend of family-friendly accommodations, attractions, events and dining options, it’s a great getaway for all ages. 

What’s new: 

  • Sea View Tours — Starting in 2021 and launching from the Cobalt Marina in Orange Beach, Sea View Tours offers clear kayak tours where guests can view the floor of the Gulf of Mexico and bays surrounding the area right beneath them. The clear kayaks are outfitted with LEDs that provide visibility for safety and fun, allowing for sunset and night “glow” tours 
  • Jurassic Indoor Mini Golf — This dinosaur-themed course, all housed indoors, is a perfect activity for families looking to avid inclement weather. The course, located in Pelican Place at Craft Farms in Gulf Shores, is full of glow-in-the -dark paints, obstacles, dinos and more. 
  • Pop-up Beach Picnics — Southern Charm Picnic Co. was founded to give customers a top-of-the-line, first-class picnic experience where all they have to bring is themselves; everything else will be provided. You pick the location and the offerings, and they do the rest. This treat is available in both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. 

What’s in the works: 

Visitors can look forward to many new offerings in the area, says Easton Colvin, public relations coordinator, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach tourism — including a new Embassy Suites hotel in Gulf Shores and a new Springhill Suites in Orange Beach, both within walking distance of the Gulf. 

Also, The Gulf Coast Center for Ecotourism and Sustainability is moving toward a groundbreaking. This facility will allow visitors to learn about the destination from a whole new perspective and more about how we can give back to our environment. 

Colvin also noted that the team known for Partying on the Line at Flora-Bama has launched a new project in Orange Beach called CoastAL. The new restaurant project will offer Gulf front dining and hangout opportunities, including a greenspace for outdoor activities.

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