Creola in My Soul-a Beach and Bayou Adventure Itinerary
[Meal codes are B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner]
Day 1: Welcome to Biloxi - Y’all are Gonna Love it Down Here
The Gulf Coast welcomes you with a piney-scented, salt-air embrace. You are about to discover why this coast enchants so many in words and lyrics. Now, pretend that you're a hound dog and sniff out the fastest route to the Gulf Hills Hotel, Elvis Presley's summer home from 1951 to 1957. At this quaint place of southern charm and moss-draped oaks, you are being treated to a catered welcome dinner. However, we do suggest that you let those Mississippi stars lure you into deep slumber tonight - because tomorrow our road trip commences. [D]
Day 2: The Scent of Salt Air is Aloft, We Must be in Pensacola Beach
We have a very cool surprise for you this morning but it is top secret and we don't want to expose any of you to a security review so you will just have to wait and see what we have in mind. Our lunch will be at a gigantic, funky barbecue shack. Great food and more cool junk than you can explore in a week. As we pass through Mobile, Alabama on our way to Pensacola, we plan on checking out some childhood haunts of Jimmy. Then after crossing two majestic bridges, we arrive at the impressive gulf-front Pensacola Margaritaville Beach Hotel and, invitingly tucked into the sand dunes right next door, a Landshark Bar. [B,L]
Day 3: Blinding White Beach Sand Drifts and Forts to Explore - Oh Boy!
We will be joining Frank and Lola for breakfast (anyone know them?) and then off to an American treasure, the Gulf Islands National Seashore for some of the most pristine, breathtaking beaches and dunes in the country.
With old military forts to climb and explore and a beach picnic planned, today should be simultaneously kicked-back and eventful. Tonight, we will be taking a walk to a sumptuous feast. Our restaurant leads us up one tall flight of stairs to allow for a panoramic view of the bay. [B,L,D]
Day 4: A Road Trip along the Scenic Route, the Gulf of Mexico Hugs us Close
It's time to hit the road again. We will be checking out some really cool stops along the scenic route including dropping in for lunch at Lulu's, Jimmy's lil sis's place. On our way into New Orleans, we have staked out a great little surprise. Tonight we arrive in the 'Big Easy' to stay for the next three nights in the heart of the French Quarter, one of the most festive districts in America. Bourbon Street is calling so, as they say down here, "Let the good times roll!" [L]
Day 5: All Bow, the Queen of the Delta has Entered the Trip
New Orleans is a feast for the eyes, the taste buds and especially, the imagination. A French outpost in the new world, the city is centuries-old with a rich architectural heritage replete with lots of wrought-iron artistry and historic embellishments. The home of Jazz, the Blues, Mardi Gras, Creole cooking, and voodoo; New Orleans boils over with mirth and the opportunity for mischief. This morning we take a historic street car to tour the majestic Garden District. Lunch and early afternoon are yours to explore but save your energy because come late afternoon, we will be joining the delta city's Queen of Voodoo for a tour of graveyards and famous haunts!. Finally, we usher in the evening by dropping into a local eatery/bar. [B,D]
Day 6: How Much Creola will it Take to Fill My Soul-a
On this fresh new day, we are heading south out of the city into pure Cajun country. Some good ole boys out here are taking us on an airboat ride to see the wilder side of Southern Louisiana. After lunch, you can join a thrilling (optional) bicycle tour of several authentic New Orleans neighborhoods or check out what the hotel and city have to offer on your own. This evening we are in for some exceptional dining at an iconic French Quarter restaurant. And after dinner, well... It is Friday night in New Orleans. [L,D]
Day 7: Biloxi Wants Us Back for a Second Charm Offensive
Today is a good day to have a luxuriant jazz brunch at the Court of Two Sisters in the French Quarter. What a way to pay final homage to New Orleans for her graceful hospitality. This afternoon we check into our home-stretch, beach abode on the Gulf of Mexico, the Margaritaville Resort Biloxi, a beautiful property with stunning views. Tonight, we board a replica shrimping schooner for a sunset sail into the Gulf followed by a beach shrimp boil around the fire pit. There is plenty of time now to recount the adventures and misadventures of the week. [L,D]
Day 8: Goodbye to the Gulf Shores Until the Next Margaritaville Adventure
Depart today with indelible memories, new friends and the lingering scent of salt air and gumbo dancing through your subconscious. These sentiments will remain with you until your next vacation...on a Margaritaville Adventure.
All taxes and fees are included in the price as well as ALL accommodations, activities, transportation, and meals as outlined on the itinerary [B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner]. So get ready for beach bonfires, BBQ joints, Fort tours, Pascagoula runs, Bourbon Street, cemetery tours, exploring hidden corners and a whole lot of eating and live music! All you have to do is show up!
Tipping is solely at your discretion. If you feel that your guide has done an outstanding job, a tip of $5 per person per day is suggested.
Twenty-one years of age and older is one of our few restrictions. Margaritaville Adventures and its partners do not provide alcohol during the trip. Alcohol may be purchased by participants at any restaurant or attraction where available on your own and for an additional price. Some of our guests do not drink at all and then there are the others.
On Sunday afternoon in Ocean Springs, meet your fellow travelers and guide(s)-extraordinaire for the week at the Gulf Hills Hotel (13701 Paso Road, Ocean Springs, Mississippi 39564). Welcome session with dinner afterward. If the starting location changes, we will notify you 30 days prior.
We can provide airport transfers upon request for an additional fee. Otherwise, taxi rates from Gulfport-Biloxi (GPT) airport to the hotel are approximately $40-50 plus gratuity. If you wish to drive rather than fly in, there is an opportunity to park your car and leave it for the duration of the trip at the Gulf Hills Hotel. Please notify us if this is your plan. You will still need to arrange your own transportation from our final hotel, The White House Hotel, in Biloxi back to your car. Taxis have been reported to be around $20 for the 7.1 miles between hotels. ALL transportation from the moment we meet at the first hotel until the moment we say our sad goodbyes at the last hotel is INCLUDED.
Break out the camping gear. No? Okay, during the trip we will be staying at four separate hotels with a combination of beachfront and center-of-town locations. Ninety days before the trip you will receive the itinerary with hotels and scheduled activities. We always have a few surprises along the way and sometimes due to season or additional participant signups we may send out revised itineraries before the actual departure date with adjustments to activities or hotels. If you would like a tentative list of hotels prior to sign-up or the ninety days, please call us!
Seasonally this trip can be very cold or hot. Bring t-shirts, shorts, bathing suit (you always pack that, right?) for the summer and switch out the shorts for long pants and a sweatshirt or light jacket for fall, winter and spring. We will be in a range of environments from the beaches of Pensacola to the city of New Orleans and out to the Louisiana bayous. We will be walking on some of the excursions so bring comfortable shoes. Sunscreen is always plus. Keep all prescription medications with you in your carry on. We will be traveling on a motor coach and boats, so if you are prone to motion sickness bring something along. Quick drying clothes are recommended for water activities. None of the restaurants/activities require a fancy outfit but some participants may want to bring a few nicer items for dinners. Weather can sometimes be fickle; layers help. We may have extra eye patches and cutlasses if you should forget to bring yours.
There are endless opportunities along the gulf and in New Orleans! Boating, kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, SCUBA, birding, plantation tours, ghost tours... the list goes on. We have compiled a mix of some of our favorite excursions and we feel the perfect amount of relaxation and activity is included in the itinerary pricing. But we know that some people like to really maximize their vacations so we have put together a list of attractions and outfitters for you to inquire with on your own for additional activities. Check out the optional activities for free time given to you upon booking.