[Roven Images/Unsplash]

Hitting The Coast For The Fourth

00:00 June 26, 2012
By: Kristal Blue
[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]

The Fourth of July is always a fun holiday full of good people, fun times, and of course a healthy serving of fireworks. However within the city, besides the Go Fourth on the River celebration, many things stay the same. Shows still go on, the street cars run, and the restaurants stay open. The only difference from the usual routine is the hoards of people who have substituted their regular city life for an outdoor excursion to enjoy the national holiday. Whether you enjoy cruising, lounging, fishing, hiking, or any other of the many outdoor festivities during Fourth of July you won't have to search too long to find fun getaways close to home.

One of the more exotic ways to spend your Fourth on the coast this year could be on a cruise to the Caribbean. Cruises are relaxing and simple and for the many boats leaving out of New Orleans, are chock-full of fun, sun-filled activities. Food is fully paid for with the package making it easy to grab a bite to eat at any time. There are a variety of cruises that complement a wide range of packages leaving out of New Orleans and venturing into the Caribbean. Carnival Elation has a five-day cruise leaving on June 30th that travels to the Western Caribbean and Carnival Conquest comes with a sevenday cruise that leaves on July 1 heading to the Eastern Caribbean. If you're looking to start your vacation a little later in the week since this year's Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday then there is also a four-day weekend cruise on the Carnival Elation leaving that Thursday July 5.

The Carnival Elation is a celebration of the muses who inspire the arts. It hits the Mexican cities of Progreso and Cozumel to provide for days filled with white sandy beaches, snorkeling, and swimming. At night, the boat itself provides a multitude of amusements including a video arcade for the kids along with a variety of entertaining dining areas including the Musical Café.

There are also plenty of nightlife hot spots for the adults that include nice places to get a cocktail, such as Duke's Piano Bar, as well as the Jekyll & Hyde Dance Club. The Carnival Conquest is a seven-day cruise ship that is a tribute to the arts inspired by the great impressionist painters. The ship is adorned with artwork everywhere you look, including the dining areas, promenade, show room, and its art galleries. It not only cruises over to the Bahamas and Florida Keys, but has its own unique nighttime activities on board the ship as well. The Moulin Rouge influence can be felt everywhere on board the ship and through its entertainments. There is a Blues Piano Bar, a Degas Lounge that provides karaoke and comedy, Alfred's Lounge that is a cigar and jazz bar, and an array of other places to have some unsupervised fun. Still, if you're looking to really stay closer to home and have more of a casual experience, then you need not look any further than your own Louisiana coast.

For centuries the island of Grand Isle has been a recreational and sportsman vacation retreat for all city dwellers of south Louisiana. The area is full of recreational boating, large public beaches, and a fishing agenda that never stops. The island has more than 280 species of fish in its waters and provides for deep-sea, marsh, bay and surf fishing. Bird watching is another outdoor activity to be enjoyed on the island, as it hosts thousands of species of birds. There are more than 50 lodging options including motels, fishing cabins, private camps, and public camping grounds to stay at during your visit that can accommodate a number of different agendas. This year the big Fourth of July event will be held on Saturday, July 7 at the Bridge Side Marina where there will be live music and fireworks. However, you can simply take time to celebrate with all the residents and visitors of Grand Isle during the wild and fun weekend with a nice relaxing dip in the Gulf of Mexico, and a steaming grill on the beach. This is one of the biggest fun-filled weekends of the whole year for the island with plenty of people to meet and share in the good times. Just down the road from Grand Isle is the other bustling fishing community of Port Fourchon, where celebrations are usually held at Moran's Marina. This year the weekend after the Fourth of July will be extra special as they will have both entertainments for the holiday as well as the annual Tarpon Rodeo. This will make for a happening weekend down in the Gulf, as fishermen from around the globe attend this large tournament every year. There will be live music, food tents, games for kids and awards given to tournament participants.

No matter what coast you set sail to this Fourth of July, the fun is always good in the sun. Choose your coastal getaway and get going! The fun is limitless, the water is fine and the people are good. For more information regarding these coastal vacations please visit carnival.com, gmfourchontarponrodeo.com, or townofgrandisle.com.

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