The glittering waters of the Gulf of Mexico lap the shores of the American South, from Florida’s southwestern tip over to Louisiana’s bayou country and beyond. For millions of Southerners, the region is synonymous with spring break and summer vacation. Our guide to the Gulf offers some of our favorite ways to enjoy a getaway to this picturesque shoreline. Find your perfect Gulf town, choose from the coolest accommodations (private island, anyone?), and pull up a chair at the bars locals swear by. There’s even a field guide of sorts for spotting colorful residents and sighting visiting celebs. So dive right in, and find the corner of the Gulf you want to explore.
By Jennifer Bradley Franklin | Illustrated by Anna Simmons