Lonely Planet Writer

Why you should go to the Gulf Coast

National Parks volunteer snaps a photo of a Kansan family at Gulf Shores National Seashore, near Pensacola, Florida.

I returned from my research trip to the Florida Gulf Coast a week ago, and walking its gorgeous white-sand beaches (and splashing in the blue water offshore) felt like something of a farewell to me, as I said in this video shot in Panama City Beach:

Turns out, oil has splashed ashore some of these beaches now, and the first dolphin has died. Still, as I write in the Huffington Post, I think people still have many reasons to go to this area.

As locals seem to say, with no small resignation that it's only going to get worse, 'see it while you can.'

Would you still go, even if the beaches were closed?

Above: National Parks volunteer snaps a photo of recently vacationing Kansan family near Pensacola Beach.