The oil spill scared many tourists away, but the Gulf Coast is ready for business. The shoreline has been spruced up and its kitchens have been restocked with local shrimp. The average daily rate at regional hotels is down between 12 to 43 percent since 2009 depending on the destination, and tourism levels aren't expected to rebound until late 2011, which mean deals abound. Keep in mind: there's more to do than just sunbathe. In November, Biloxi unveiled its Frank Gehry-designed Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, a 12-years-in-the-works project dedicated to Mississippi potter, George Ohr (admission is $10).
There are also 11 casino’s to choose from, and a choice of 20 golf courses, many of them created by the top course designers in the world - Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Davis Love III, Mark McCumber, Jerry Pate and Tom Fazio!
Golfers could also tee up at Kiva Dunes in Gulf Shores, Alabama, ranked one of the top three public greens in the state by Golf Magazine (18 holes cost $78 after 1pm).
For sun worshippers, Florida's Panama City Beach averages 320 days per year of blue sky, flip-flop fun! Coconut Creek offers fun for all ages... Its an 18 hole mini golf course, and kids under 6 play free. 18 holes not your ideal vacation? Spend a day getting pampered at one of the best spas in Florida! Lounge beside a sparkling pool, then watch the sun set into gorgeous Gulf waters, and you can feel awfully good about ordering that third Piña Colada when you know that your money is helping rebuild this beautiful region.