Boat Parade at LuLu's

Life’s a Beach at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores, Alabama

The beachfront town of Gulf Shores, Alabama, is headquarters of Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s, a combination restaurant, gift shop, fun park, and way of life perched on the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway. LuLu’s,which is getting ready to celebrate its 19th anniversary, heads into Mardi Gras with a party involving a boat parade, live music from New Orleans’ Big Fun Brass Band, birthday cake and a couple of thousand well-wishers. “Mardi Gras is in the Buffetts’ blood,” says Marketing and Communications Director Gabrielle Barnett, who as she spoke was getting ready to go to Destin, Florida, which has its own LuLu’s. Lucy Buffett agrees: “Mardi Gras is special to me because I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, where Mardi Gras originated.”

High Country North Carolina offers great fall getaway

Nestled in the High Country of North Carolina, lay the small mountain towns of Valle Crucis, Blowing Rock and Boone. The area, just a three-hour drive from Greenville, boasts elevations of 3,000 feet or above, making it one of the first in the region for leaf peepers to view mother nature’s magnificent fall display of red, gold and purple splendor and a great place for a fall getaway.

How to choose a bike

When it’s time for an upgrade, choosing the perfect bike can get confusing for some of you. But that doesn’t mean you pick the first bike you find, especially when it’s your first bike. Looking for professional bikes with a solid design and additional features is never easy. That requires accurate knowledge and understanding about what type of bike do you want to ride.

Mobile’s Kate Shepard House—Old South Charm

A tree-lined neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama’s midtown cradles a Victorian mansion where visitors can experience the gentility of the Old South. The Kate Shepard House, a stately Queen Anne-style home replete with porches, balconies and turrets, was built in 1897 from a kit—the house’s components were assembled on-site–and went on to a distinguished career as both the Shepard family home and a private school run by Miss Kate Shepard. Outliving its original family by some years, the building fell upon hard times before it was rescued and renovated. Today, as the Kate Shepard House Bed and Breakfast, it has become a beloved Port City destination.

Ride the Virginia Creeper Trail

Getting its name from the steam locomotives that would slowly struggle up the mountain passes, this 34.3-mile former railway attracts over 100,000 visitors each year since it opened in 1987. The trail is open to hikers, bicyclists and horses but bikes dominate the pathway. Riders range from cycling pros and enthusiasts to grandparents taking their younger family members out for a ride.