Melbourne Beach: A Space Coast Gem

It is one of America’s magical roadways. A north/south route, Highway A1A sprawls out in sections along Florida’s entire Atlantic coast. Cruising along A1A in Central Florida we pulled into the towns of Melbourne Beach and Indiatlantic located on the barrier island between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean. Relaxed and unhurried, the twin sister towns offer unspoiled beaches with sparkling blue-green waters and large dunes blanketed with sea oats and native wildflowers.

Mentone, Alabama: A Rustic Retreat

Perched on the western slope of Lookout Mountain, the little Alabama town of Mentone has welcomed travelers since the nineteenth century, when the area’s natural springs were a draw. Today, visitors come for the views, the recreational activities and the laid-back vibe. Summer camps have long called the area home, and generations of kids have spent a chunk of vacation here.

Mobile’s Gulfquest Explores the Gulf

Mobile, Alabama’s bustling riverfront is now home to Gulfquest, the world’s only maritime museum dedicated to the maritime history and culture of the Gulf of Mexico. Designed to look as if it were a ship headed into Mobile Bay, the 120,000-square-foot building includes 90 interactive exhibits which immerse visitors ( roughly 50,000 since its 2015 opening) in the heritage and culture of an area which is sometimes referred to as America’s “forgotten coast.”

Augusta, GA is more than just the Masters

Since 1934 thousands of golf aficionados from around the world descend upon Augusta, Georgia the first full week in April to attend one of the four major championships in professional golf. But after the sea of green jackets at the Augusta National Golf Club fades away, visitors to the city discover that there is more to Augusta than just the Masters tournament.

USS Alabama—Historic Fun Afloat

The battleship USS Alabama, having come through World War II with nine battle stars to her credit, now lies at anchor on the shore of Mobile Bay, where she is rated one of Mobile’s top family attractions. Designated as a National Historical Landmark, the Mighty A is the centerpiece of the 100-acre Battleship Memorial Park, which is also home to the submarine USS Drum as well as vintage aircraft, Coast Guard vessels, and tanks.

Sweet Home Farm Says Cheese

Ten miles inland from Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the little town of Elberta is home to farmstead cheesemaker Sweet Home Farm. Owners Alyce Birchenough and Doug Wolford are Michigan transplants who in 1985 relocated to become Alabama’s first licensed farmstead cheesemakers.

Magnolia Springs Offers Timeless Charm

Nestled on the banks of the Magnolia River in south Baldwin County, Alabama, the tiny town of Magnolia Springs is an oasis of calm a few miles inland from the bustling Gulf beachfront. In addition to being charming and peaceful, Magnolia Springs is unique—the only town in the continental U.S. where mail is still regularly delivered by boat.

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.

Half-Mile Farm: Highlands Charm

Just outside Highlands, North Carolina, an iconic retreat welcomes visitors to fourteen acres of secluded luxury surrounding a circa-1870 farmhouse. Now known officially as Half Mile Farm: A Country Inn by Old Edwards Hospitality, the Inn has been a favorite with visitors to the area since its opening in 2001.