Tourism/travel news, updates & discussions about Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas & Mexico. Please add your own thoughts, questions & observations!

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  • An excerpt from Associated Press this morning re Alabama:

    "Scattered tar balls and blobs of weathered crude were again washing up on the sand from Orange Beach to Gulf Shores on Wednesday. The oil stained the tide and left the sand streaked brown up to the tide line in many spots along the strand.

    Cleanup operations were cranked up along much of the coastline, with gloved workers wearing fluorescent green vests outnumbering swimsuit-clad beach visitors in most areas.

    Heavy equipment and portable shelters dotted the beaches. Officials said the oil returned Tuesday after a few days’ respite for the Alabama shore."
  • Radio says 65% of weddings cancelled in Pensacola!!!!!!!! Weddings are big part of economy. this is going to hurt our whole State.
  • Announced late yesterday: "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has opened more than 8,000 square miles of previously closed offshore fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico, because the agency has not observed oil in the area. The most significant opening is an area due south of Mississippi which was closed Monday, June 21.

    Additionally, some smaller areas were opened off the Louisiana and central Florida coasts. These areas were initially closed as a precaution because oil was projected to be within those areas over the next few days. However, the review of satellite imagery, radar and aerial data indicated that oil had not moved into these areas.

    The closed area now represents 78,597 square miles, which is approximately 32.5 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters. This leaves more than two-thirds of Gulf federal waters available for fishing."
  • The Pensacola News Journal is now reporting tar balls and clumps as well as mats of oil on and in the waters off the county's beaches today:

    "Heavy oil tar balls, mats and mousse showed up on Escambia County beaches this morning...

    At 11:40 a.m. it was reported that visitors to the beach noticed an overpowering chemical smell in the air. Beachgoers would begin their walk to the shoreline only to be hit by the powerful odor and would turn around and begin walking back.

    The beach was mostly deserted, save for a few fishermen catching and releasing fish off the Pensacola Beach Gulf Fishing Pier.

    The state's online incident reports show multiple sightings of oil, including a beached dolphin covered in oil...

    'This is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen; this is totally devastating,” said Gary de Shazo, pointing at a 10-foot-long wave of oil approaching the white sands of Casino Beach. “I never imagined it would be like this.'”

  • The Islander newspaper in Baldwin County, Alabama, reports that Jimmy Buffett will be giving a free concert on July 1:

    "It will be in the form of a free, but ticketed concert at the Gulf Shores Public Beach on July 1. Country Music Television will beam it live across the country into 90 million homes.

    Tickets were made available June 23 at 10 a.m. For details go to, and all Ticketmaster outlets. There is a four-ticket limit and tickets are required for entry. Organizers expect to accommodate up to 35,000 people at the event."
    CMT : Country Music Television : Country Music Television - News, Videos, Artists : Online Radio, T…
    Visit for all that is Country Music; Artists, Photos, Videos, Shows, Online Radio and More. Get the latest Country Music News and Videos on y…
  • I went to a meeting about the spill held by a law firm that included scientists from University of Miami and University of South Florida. Here's a few takeaways from their lectures:

    Essentially, given the extremely dynamic environment in which the oil is being leaked, there is no way of predicting where oil will travel with ANY certainty past 72 hours. Even within 72 hours, it is extremely difficult to forecast with any real accuracy. They showed models that included only some of the variables, and even those have a very, very low predictability. It echoed the sentiments of Coast Guard Search and Rescue talking about search fields for missing persons. The field grows exponentially with time. Currents, wind, and properties of the tracked objects can all change the situation drastically, as well. It's a needle in a haystack with the needles and hay being blown around the ocean.

    The Gulf, and all it's life is severely threatened. Entire year classes of pelagics will likely be wiped out. For already-threatened species such as Blue Fin Tuna, it may be their swan song.

    Political and regulatory changes will occur as a result of this spill, no doubt. However, we should be focusing on how to fix the problem- not who/how to blame.

    Entire ecosystems are being decimated, along with the livelihood of the people who depend on them.

    Please hold your local politicians accountable and continue to push the story in to the headlines.
  • From today's Miami Herald:

    "Florida Keys Dodging Threat From Oil Spill

    Forecasters say the state's delicate chain of islands is in no imminent threat from the oil gusher.

    The risk of oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout reaching the Florida Keys and South Florida anytime soon is now so remote that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has suspended its trajectory maps for the area, effectively downgrading the region to low risk...

    ...And thanks in part to changes in currents, the oil still spewing from the well site does not have a clear path to the Keys, said Billy Causey, the southeast regional director of NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program."

    This could always change, of course, but for the time being...
  • Of course Haley Barbour says everything's fine... Republicans have a long and distinguished history of burying their heads in the sand to defend their industry sponsors. The beaches in Mississippi may be fine for now, but what's going on in the Gulf is ECOCIDE, and it's the fault of Haley's party for deregulating every industry in sight and letting Big Oil call the shots. You reap what you sow, Guhvnuh.
  • Mississippi Governor Says Come, the Gulf's Fine... but not everyone agrees.
  • Peter Greenberg will be broadcasting live from Alabama this weekend to discuss the oil spill and its effect on tourism on the Gulf Coast.
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OK, what I'm going to say might make me sound like a jerk, but here goes: Last night I was having a heated discussion with my girlfriend , whose sister was planning to spend a week on the Florida panhandle in August (she'd bought tickets before the BP oil spill) and is now looking into canceling her tickets. My girlfriend thinks her sister should go anyway and show solidarity with the poor folks on the coast, and help them out with her vacation dollars. It's true those poor people need all the…

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The Fla Panhandle

I recently visited the FL Panhandle. I was impressed with how everyone kept things going despite the misperceptions on how the oil spill has affected nearby areas. Everything is alive and well from Destin to Panama City.   My first feature from the trip is on YOLO Boarding. Check it out here.   The next feature will discuss the rise of Alys Beach and much more. We will have it all up on Mens Traveler.    beaches.jpg

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Road Trip to Apalachicola

I'd like to drive over to Apalachicola from Miami in a few days. It seems to me that the oil spill is not affecting this area (my heart goes out to all the areas affected now or in the future). Can someone provide more information on the current conditions there? Are oysters still being served? Also, any stops that you recommend on my way, or in that area? My interests are: dog friendly, slow food, nature & hiking.

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