Gulf coast beaches are NOT all oil slicks

If you’re planning a family trip to the Gulf coast beaches, don’t assume that they are all an oily mess from the BP oil spill.  Here are 6 reasons to visit the Gulf Coast now, in case you were wondering, and the Traveling Mamas have a post on October Gulf Coast travel deals and free concerts.

Tourism and visitor numbers are way down all along the coast, often for no reason other than people are assuming that the beaches are full of tar balls and such.

I’m not discounting the tremendous damage that some areas have experienced, but many places are suffering from a lack of visitors because people aren’t calling ahead or checking online.

For an overall view of coast conditions, go to the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) oil/tar tracking map.  It….

“….tracks the history of closures, advisories, and notices by county for beaches that have been affected by the oil spill. The tar ball icon indicates counties with any historical or current beach actions related to the oil spill. The sand pail icon marks counties that have not had official closures, advisories, or notices due to the oil spill.”

For Florida, go to the Florida Live site set up by Visit Florida and including beach webcams and local CVB (Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) tweets.

For anywhere, make some calls ahead to the local hotels and even restaurants.  They’d love to give you their perspective.