Subject: Re: Driving the Emerald Coast
Hi Marghe & Marty, Glad to hear you'll be visiting the Deep South this summer. I grew up just north of New Orleans so I'll do my best to give you a few sights to see. As for the nickname of the Emerald does refer to parts of the Gulf Coast, mostly the parts that lie in Florida as the water is typically a pretty emerald green color. Not sure how the area compares to your native Australia as I haven't been lucky enough to visit there yet.

Depending on when you'll be arriving in New Orleans, I can recommend a wonderful bed & breakfast (Tchefuncte River B& B) that is about 45 minutes north of the airport. It's in the town of Madisonville, right on the river and just a couple of blocks from a great seafood restaurant. Madisonville is a very small town and may make a great stop to recover from a long flight.

The Honey Island Swamp Tour is in Slidell, LA and would give you a great chance to see local wildlife.

Gulfport and Biloxi, MS do have nice beaches (though not quite as pretty as Florida, I think). The nice thing about the Mississippi beaches is that there are very few buildings on the beach side. Most buildings & homes are on the other side of the street. This makes the drive down the beach very nice because you can see sand & water...not just hotels! The beach itself is very wide in most places and there is plenty of parking. The casinos have taken over these areas in recent years. An occasional trip to the casino may be enjoyable. The Grand Casino (one in Biloxi and one in Gulfport) and The Beau Rivage are my favorites. and Two other Biloxi websites are and

On your drive you'll pass through Mobile, AL. We always have to stop for a tour of the battleship in Mobile.

Pensacola has a WONDERFUL (and free!) museum called the National Museum of Naval Aviation. It is truly one of the best air & space type museums I've been to. Hook up with a free tour group when you get there and you'll learn all about the different planes.

There is plenty more to see and do. Just remember that it will be very hot that time of year and you may get afternoon thunderstorms too. Have a wonderful trip!

Jennie in Atlanta Homesick for the good food back home after writing this!