Host Central

Adam Richman's Guide to the Gulf Coast

Filed Under: Alabama, Florida, Host Central

The Gulf Coast of the US is made up of those states that border the Gulf of Mexico. They include Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Some people refer to them as the Gulf States. Man v. Food Nation took a trip to three of the Gulf States to find some tasty seafood, ribs and the famous Muffaletta.

While shooting, Adam Richman and his crew visited hotels, restaurants and attractions in cities in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Check out some of the places they went, along with some other recommendations for your trip to the Gulf Coast.

Panama City Beach, Florida
Known for its emerald waters and white sandy beaches, Panama City Beach prides itself one being one of the best beach vacation spots. Over 6 million tourists come through the city, whose population year round is only 7500, a year.


How to Get There
There are several ways to get to this beach town but the quickest seems to be flying into the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. Both Delta and Southwest Airlines service the airport. Other options include the Auto Train into Sanford, Florida and then driving 7 hours, or the Greyhound bus but you will have to do some transferring.

Where to Go
Being a beach town you can always do water sports like fishing, jet skiing, etc. Here are some other things to try out.

Pier Park and Miracle Strip
This large mall with shops and restaurants is a must for any shopper. While you are shopping the rest of the family can check out the amusement park.
Address: 600 Pier Park Drive, Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Gulf World Marine Park
Get your marine fix here and while you are at it jump in the water with dolphins.
Address: 15412 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Panama City Beach Winery
The winery is known for their citrus, berry and fruit wines. You can participate in tastings or buy some
wine to take home.
Address: 8730 Thomas Dr, Suite 1103B, Panama City Beach, FL 32408

Coconut Creek Family Fun Park
This family-fun destination has mini golf and a Gran Maze (maze the size of a football field).
Address: 9807 Front Beach Rd Panama City Beach, FL 32407

Golfing:
Holiday Golf Club
Hombre Golf Club


Where to Eat
Known for seafood and lighter beach fare, we've selected a restaurants for different meals and price points.

Firefly
One of the highly rated restaurants in the area. It's on the pricer side and recommended for couples not families.
Address: 535 R. Jackson Blvd., Panama City Beach, FL 32407

David's New Orleans Style Snow-Balls
This snack/dessert place is known for their stuffed snow-balls that include shaved ice with ice cream in the middle.
Address: 13913 Panama City Beach Park, Panama City Beach, FL 32407

Finn's Island Style Grub
A food truck set up that is known for their fish tacos, catch of the day ceviche and "The Chop" burrito.
Address: 7220 S Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32408

Calypso Beach Cafe
The cafe is the site of the Muffaletta Sandwich Challenge.
Address: 15812 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Liza's Kitchen
This place is family-friendly and known for good sandwiches and brunch.
Address: 7008 Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32408


Where to Stay
There are many hotels in the area but we selected ones that seemed to have positive feedback. We also tried to spread out the price points to fit different budgets.

Holiday Inn Paradise Resort
Address:
11127 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407

Comfort Suites
Address:
225 Richard Jackson Blvd, Panama City Beach, FL, US, 32407

Sandpiper Beacon Beach Resort
Address:
17403 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort
Address:
11212 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407

Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, Alabama
Gulf Shores is located in the north-central region of the Gulf of Mexico. It has white sandy beaches along with a Civil War history. The city offers lots of outdoor activities and sports for the whole family. Orange Beach is a small city that is 5 miles from Gulf Shores.


How to Get There
There are several ways to get to get to these Alabama towns. You can drive which can take anywhere from 3 hours if you are in New Orleans to 15 hours if you are in Chicago. Check out the times and routes. If you are lucky enough to be able to take a charter flight you can go into Jack Edwards National Airport. They are hoping to start commercial flights soon. Otherwise, you can fly into Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport and drive 43 miles, or Mobile Regional Airport and drive 63 miles.


Where to Go
From history to seafood, here are some fun things to do during your visit.

Fort Morgan
The fort was part of both the War of 1812 and Civil War and acted as a protector for the Bay.
Address: 110 Hwy 180W, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Craft Farms and Pelican Place
The golf club has two award-winning courses along with the nearby mall.
Address: 3840 Cotton Creek Cir, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
The zoo is home to more than 290 animals some of which you can meet up close in the animal encounters.
Address: 1204 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Pirate Ship Adventures
A pirate adventure for the kids with games, a treasure hunt and pirate crew.
Address: 4575 South Wilson Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Gulf State Park Pier
This is a great place to relax and do some fishing. Adam stops here during his visit.
Address: 20800 East Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL

Blalock's Seafood and Specialty Market
Here you will find some of the freshest seafood in Orange Beach.
Address: 24822 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Shrimp Festival
The festival includes over 300 vendors that offer crafts and food, along with entertainment, and of course lots of shrimp.
Held Oct 13-16, 2011


Where to Eat
Here are some restaurant suggestions that cover different types of food.

Original Oyster House
Know for their fresh seafood that is so yummy that Adam had to try a little of everything.
Address: 701 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Fish Camp Restaurant
This family-friendly place will cook your catch if you bring them your fish.
Address: 27121 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

West Beach Grille
The Grille serves up American food and is very kid-friendly.
Address: 1154 West Beach BLVD, Gulf Shores, AL

Cafe Beignets of Alabama
This restaurant is not expensive and they have a great variety of fillings for the beignets.
Address: 625 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542


Where to Stay

Here are our picks for lodging that include different types and priced accommodations.

Staybridge Suites Gulf Shores
Address:
3947 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Phoenix All Suites West
Address:
533 W. Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Island Retreat RV Park
Address:
18201 Highway 180 West, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

The Original Romar House Bed and Breakfast Inn
Address:
23500 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Ocean Springs/Biloxi, Mississippi
The Mississippi Gulf Coast includes 62 miles of scenic shoreline including the world's largest man-made beach. The area is known for beaches, golf, seafood and 24-hour gaming at one of their many casinos. Biloxi and Ocean Springs were the cities Adam visited.

How to Get There
The best way to get to the Biloxi area is to fly into Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. Many of the commercial airlines fly there from major cities.

Where to Go
Much like Alabama, the Mississippi area is filled with history and seafood. Check out attractions that bring these to life.

Walter Anderson Museum of Art
This museum features art of local artist Walter Inglis Anderson as well as other exhibits.
Address: 510 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Biloxi Shrimping Trip
The 70-minute trip includes the history of shrimping, how shrimp get to your plate and the dropping of a net to see what you can catch.
Address: 693 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530

Beauvoir
This home of Jefferson Davis has now become a museum and library, and tribute to the Confederates.
Address: 2244 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39531

NASA Stennis Space Center
Head here to test out a space shuttle main engine, go aboard the International Space Station and go to Astro Camp.
Address: Stennis Space Center, Mississippi 39529 (48 miles west of Biloxi)


Where to Eat
From sushi to burgers, check out these restaurants.

The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint
Ribs that are so good the meat falls off the bone.
Address: 7501 Mississippi 57, Ocean Springs, MS 39565

Shady's Global Grille
They are know for their Thai coconut soup, gumbo and ribs.
Address: 1601 Government St, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Chef Scott's Sushi
Reviewers sum this up as great sushi and service.
Address: 711 Washington Ave, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Burger Burger
This burger joint is home of the best "burger-burger" on the Gulf Coast.
Address: 1039 Howard Ave, Biloxi, MS 39530

thirty-two
Located in the IP Casino and Resort this fine dining restaurant has great seafood and steak.
Address: 850 Bayview Ave, Biloxi, MS 39530


Where to Stay

From casinos to more basic hotels, here are some place you might want to stay.

IP Casino Resort and Spa Hotel
Address:
850 Bayview Ave, Biloxi, MS 39530

Beau Rivage Biloxi Resort and Casino
Address:
875 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39530

Comfort Inn Beach View
Address:
1648 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, MS 39531

Hampton Inn Biloxi/Ocean Springs
Address:
13921 Big Ridge Road, Biloxi, MS 39532



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