Bustling cities, shopping, museums, live entertainment, unrivaled golf courses – all framed by white sand beaches that are home to incredible sea life – make a Gulf Coast road trip a memorable one. Whether traveling in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama or Texas alone, with a romantic partner, or with the kids, you’ll find comfort in one of our many Country Inns & Suites By Carlson hotels.
With diverse attractions across the region, there are itineraries for all kinds of interests. Let our list of suggestions inspire your next unforgettable trip!
Galveston Beach, TX A Gulf Coast town visit isn’t complete without time on the water. For the full experience, take the Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry, which travels between Galveston Island and Port Bolivar, TX. You’ll find 27 miles of beach, featuring bird sanctuaries and a lighthouse that was originally built in 1852, later destroyed and then rebuilt in 1872. Immerse yourself in history with World War II airplanes at Galveston’s flight museum. Or truly experience another era with an evening of live theater or concerts at Galveston’s stunning opera house. Built in 1894, the venue, with its three tiers of box seats, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
If you’re in search of adrenaline, happy hormones will skyrocket while plunging, whipping and twisting on a roller coaster that rockets over the Gulf of Mexico. For more unique views, take a short drive to the rainforest pyramids to spot monkeys wandering freely. While there, the ropes course and zip line offers a 60-foot view as you or the kids glide over the lazy river. Conveniently, children younger than 18 stay free with an adult at our Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Galveston Beach, TX hotel.
New Orleans, LA Founded in 1718, the Big Easy has a long-established history of good times and rich culture. The concierge at one of our local Country Inns & Suites By Carlson hotels can help you discover exciting attractions or traditional Creole and Cajun cuisine – like mouth-watering gumbo, crawfish etouffee or fresh beignets. Architectural tours take travelers through dazzlingly different neighborhoods with architectural styles ranging from Gothic and Swiss Chalet to Queen Anne and Italianate to French Creole.
You can experience Louisiana wildlife indoors or out by viewing the more than 10,000 mammals and sea creatures at the aquarium or or taking an airboat tour of alligator swampland. New Orleans’ famous Mardi Gras parade events start weeks before the big day and is filled with Dixieland jazz, costumes and a party atmosphere like no other. Later, cool off from a hot time on the town with a dip in the pool at our Country Inns & Suites By Carlson hotels in the French Quarter or in Metairie.
Mobile, AL Say “Mardi Gras” and New Orleans comes to mind, but most people are unaware that the U.S. version of the celebration first came to life in Mobile. See colorful proof at the city’s museum of costumes, photographs, crowns and more, illustrating the traditions behind the annual carnival. History buffs will enjoy tours tours of Mobile’s 1855 Greek Revival mansion; Native American and European artifacts on view at the recently renovated, 300-year-old Historic Fort Conde; and exploring the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, which displays the 680-foot namesake battleship and the USS Drum submarine.
For curious kids, there’s Mobile’s science center and and zoo. Adults looking for a more active getaway can take on the challenge of the 54-hole golf course or head to nearby Blakely State Park to explore the nature trails or play on the beach. Whatever your interests, kick back after a day of entertainment at our pet-friendly Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Saraland, AL, a few minutes away.
Bradenton, FL When not frolicking in one of Bradenton’s eight area beaches, take in one of the Sunshine State’s other diverse views. At the South Florida Museum, you can look back in time, observe the skies at the planetarium or admire the seas at the aquarium – it’s three world-class attractions for the price of one. To surround yourself with creativity, visit the live-work arts community in downtown Bradenton, a unique area comprised of local artists from all genres. Visit the artwalk during the ﬁrst weekend in March or simply meander around the lovely galleries.
If bargain hunting is your vice, the flea market and plaza is your one-of-a-kind souvenir shop. This 80,000-square-foot attraction offers nearly 600 different vendors and is open every weekend. All of that treasure hunting is bound to make you hungry, so head down the street to the local oyster bar. A mixture of fresh seafood, steak, pasta, and chicken dishes makes this restaurant an ideal location for any appetite. At the end of each day, our Country Inns & Suites By Carlson hotels in Bradenton and Pinellas Park are waiting for you with freshly baked cookies and friendly smiles.
Panama City, FL You’ll never want to leave the beauty and adventure that awaits you in Panama City. Just take a sea-sprayed stroll along Russell-Fields Pier, one of the Gulf Coast’s longest piers, to see what we mean. Grab a rod and reel, swim with dolphins, rent a catamaran or take photos of the “golden hour” sunsets – they’re sure to have friends and family in awe. Be sure to update your travelogue using the complimentary high-speed Internet at the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Panama City hotel during your stay.
Whether you’re shopping in the city or jet skiing in the ocean, we hope you have a fantastic Gulf Coast vacation! What attractions are must-sees on your itinerary?