Category Archives: Resorts

Continue Alabama Rising Part 2

American Press Travel News–Part 2 of Alabama visit by Bob and Barb Epstein “On The Road Again”–After a great dinner at Lulu’s-owned by Jimmy Buffet’s sister. Lulu’s restaurant has become an iconic emporium of drink and vittles, and the place was a real happening for families and anyone wanting to visit an American Caribbean spot full of fun and frivolities.
Last month’s article ended with a trip out on the Gulf for red snapper with Captain Randy Boggs of Distraction Charters. Fishing was excellent and we caught and released several fish in the 3-6 pound class with a couple even larger. No, we could not keep any fish for dinner, but the catch and release that Captain Boggs believes is important for the future of the fishery and was A-OK with us too! Do I recommend this Captain? Absolutely! Beverly Hogg really enjoyed herself hauling in these strong-pulling red snapper.
(www.distractioncharters.com Give Boggs or Captain Troy Frady a call at 251-975-8111 These guys are terrific at what they do. Their mate, 39-year old Ken Wright had the right stuff too!
After the fishing we headed out on an informative nature cruise with Sailaway Charters-we eased our way through the estuaries and backwaters of Longs Bayou and Wolf Bay. We learned about oystering techniques, crabbing and shrimping which is big business in this area. We checked out the various sea-birds and had dolphin (major residents and fishers) come over to inspect us several times. For more information, visit wwwgeocites.com/sailorskip
The next day we headed for Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research and Education Center- we meandered along a 5,000 foot elevated boardwalk that winds through 6,000 acres of coastal habitats and wetlands, including a protected estuary.

Orange Beach Gulf Coast Finally the Sun Also Rises on This Sweet Place

American Press Travel News--Flashback-—Bob and Barb Stopped to Smell the Roses —Just south of Mobile, Alabama, along the 32-miles of Gulf Coast coastline, lies an active beach community called Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. Last month Barb and I had a chance to stay, play, be greeted and introduced to the areas attractions, accommodations and dining spots-from fine dining to waterfront vittles that warmed the cockles of our hearts, although Barb would say: “made no dent in our waste-lines.” Recently the area along with Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida’s Gulf Coast took a hit from a man-made disaster: the oil spill brought to us all by British Petroleum.

We went to Orange Beach hoping to find things getting back to business as usual and we found this to generally be the case. Unfortunately, far too many tourists and visitors just don’t know this yet, or assume the worst from the heavy media coverage recently broadcast around the world-rightly so, but now it’s time to tell it like it is today!

Our stay was well complimented by having been ensconced in The Beach Club ‘Resort and Condominium project that had everything you could ask for in a great vacation paradise. The beaches were clean and white, the pool complex rivaled anywhere we have ever been that had this amenity, the restaurant served seafood’s and various chef prepared dishes that were quite scrumptious. Our condo apartment rental was 1st class with a wide gulf- view right out our bedroom windows.
Barb grew up living on or near the various saltwater shore locations in New York and Long Island in particular. Her dad, Herb wouldn’t have it any other way-he enjoyed and instilled in Barb the same love of the surf and sand at a few beachside communities that had been a boon to me too, as I love it all as well and got to fish into the bargain when visiting my then girlfriend, now 44-years my wife.

We’ve been to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores a few times and always loved the friendliness and cleanliness, and this time was like all the rest, except businesses had been suffering from lack of tourists.
However, based on many of the restaurants with busy tables full of patrons, you’d never think this was the case right now.

One of the restaurants we ate at: The Hangout where Rt. 59 ends and as they say: “the fun begins.” Even Paul Simon came to entertain here at their Music Fest which featured scads of bands and entertainers such as Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue group, and the Flaming Lips too to name but a few! We were hungry for a great seafood dinner with king crabs too! We were not disappointed. Make a visit to their web site: www.hangoutal.com or call for more info. At (251)948-3030. The Hangout was one swinging place and everyone rousingly joined in the song and dance venues. The next night we we stopped by under the Perdido Pass Bridge at the Cobalt Restaurant. The views of Perdido Bay were spectacular and we ate in a sunset setting al fresco, just outside of the many windows of the inside restaurant. The foods were exquisite, can’t recommend this place more highly and I tend to be conservative when recommending food emporiums, but not here. You can come by any size boat, or by auto. I tried their yellowfin tuna and avocado stack served between fried wontons-scrumptious, Barb had Spanish Paella-all in all a very memorable meal topped off with fried apple pie with ice cream and carmel sauce. Chef Jack Baker really does it up well.
www.cobaltrestaurant.net Call at 251-923-5300

We began our first day aboard a dolphin and nature cruise out in the back bay’s of Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Dolphins always fascinate me and as I believe anyone having a chance to get up close and comfy wit them. These playful cetaceans (they are in the whale family) are around all year in this area and together with the bird and other sealife made for a great beginning to our visit. Contact: www.cetaceancruises.com
Later in the day we visited the Orange Beach Art Center’s hot shop for a glass blowing demonstration. This the first and only glass blowing studio in Alabama open for public use. It was founded in cooperation with Bear Creek Glass and the studio now welcomes nationally known resident glass artist Sam Cornman. WOW! The many moves he made with 2000-degree molten glass to make a magnificent arty piece of table-top collectible well worth the watching and the buying. For more information: www.orangebeachartcenter.com

The following day I went fishing for red snapper with another writer Beverly Hogg, who was as interested in a great bite as I was. We were not disappointed!
As the various trips were quite inclusive and exclusive, yet anyone reading this can enjoy all of the above, there are many more venues we experienced. So this is a two part article on Orange Beach, Alabama.
Please look for an additional article that will tell the rest of the story next month.

Duck delight!

Planning a trip consider the real bargain that this area snuggled against Florida’s Gulf Coast tip has to offer. Contact Gulf Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau at 800-745-SAND (7263) or go: www.gulfshores.com

 

The Orchard Inn Best B&B

American Press Travel News–Jan 10th, Barb and I were on the road again!! The Orchard Inn is the best B&B with the best dining opportunities we’ve experienced in over 250-visits to other great B&B’s. 

Thu, Jan 10, 2019 4:29 pm–The Orchard Inn (innkeeper@orchardinn.com)

Did you have leftover vacation days last year? Did you wish you had taken more time to relax and reset? You may not be able to pack up and leave this instant, but you can make your reservations and plan an incredible getaway for the year to come!

Start the New Year off right by reserving one of our stunning suites, charming cottages, or cozy rooms in the Western North Carolina mountains. That way, you can ensure you won’t arrive at the end of the year wishing you had traveled more!

The Perfect Getaway in 2019,,Choose Your Suite ›

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You Have To…

Discover the Smokies >

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We’re Happy to Help!
If you have any questions related to your stay at The Orchard Inn, please give us a call at (828) 749-5471. You may also reach us via email at innkeeper@orchardinn.com.

Cabin Creek Trip to Sulpher Well, KY.

 

Fine meeting place for outdoor cooking events. Very family oriented and fun for all. The old cook shed is festooned with old tools of the past.

American Press Travel News–December 17th,-Richard Hines, guest correspondent–

From 1902 until 1969, Sulphur Well, Kentucky was a famous destination for people wanting to visit the Beula Villa Hotel. The resort was well known for its food and other local amenities including an Artesian well the town was named for. Drilled in 1848, the well has flowed continuously and is still visited by tourists traveling along Kentucky 70. 

Outdoor over wood cooking is what’s it all about!!!

When the hotel closed, the small town of Sulphur Well almost faded away but the community was far from giving up. The South Fork of the Little Barren River runs through the town. A park was established on the bank of the river accenting the old well. The towns old general store is still in operation. Some years back, the Lighthouse Restaurant was opened and has become a destination for many travelers who enjoy the large servings of catfish, chicken and other dishes served country style. It was recently voted the second best non-franchised restaurant in Kentucky.

Our main reason for our overnight trip to this small Kentucky community was the lodging at Cabin Creek. Although we live only a few miles from Cabin Creek, we decided to spend the night and get a feel for the place. Many times, our house is full during family gatherings and other events, so I wanted to be able to recommend other lodging options for our friends. We were very pleased.

Cabin Creek is the perfect setting in this historical town. Long-time resident Dean Rowe started the project 15 years ago when he moved an original 1820s log cabin to the 11.5-acre site next to the River. Rowe said, “we have period correct furnishings, but you will find modern conveniences with electric and running water”.  Everything is hidden away unless you open one of the kitchen cabinets where you will find a coffee maker, microwave, and toaster oven. The old claw foot tub in the bathroom is a nice touch but antique or not I still prefer a hot shower adding to essential items I rank as necessary.

Even with these modern but hidden amenities, you get the feel of living in the early 1800’s with the fireplace or waking up to water flowing through the riffles of the adjacent river.

Smallmouth bass and rock bass or as they are called around this area, “redeyes” are abundant in the river. In addition to the South Fork, there are at least six additional access points for kayaks or anglers who prefer wading for bass and redeyes.

With over 11-acres of land, birders will find a nice mix of birds throughout the spring and summer months with numerous neotropical migrant songbirds. Watch for the orchard oriole, summer tanager, eastern phoebe, or listen to the chattering of one of many resident belted kingfishers flying along the river. 

There is also an early blacksmith shop on the grounds, also constructed of half dovetailed logs and other buildings with antique farm equipment and many items to view and photograph.

Rates for Cabin Creek is $80 for two and $15 for each additional person. The cabin will sleep from five to seven.

For more information contact Dean Rowe at 270-670-8686 or check them out on Facebook at; 

https://www.facebook.com/CabinCreekKentucky c.n