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Celebrate National Lighthouse Day around the USA

Susan B. Barnes, Special for USA TODAY Published 7:46 a.m. ET Aug. 7, 2017

Our country’s history of helping sailors navigate North American waters dates all the way back to 1673, when, according to the United States Lighthouse Society, a beacon was hoisted in Nantasket (now Hull), Massachusetts, fueled by “fier-bales of pitch and ocum” in an iron basket at its base.

Fast forward nearly half-a-century to when the first lighthouse was built on Boston’s Little Brewster Island in 1716. But the

15 Affordable Small Towns We Love

Vibrant communities loaded with charm and character, these small towns are our favorite budget-friendly picks.

Perri Ormont Blumberg

El Dorado, Arkansas or Florence, Alabama, might not be on your radar—yet—but affordable small towns like these are gaining attention nationwide and with good reason: They offer budget-friendly real estate, plenty of cultural activities that are kind to your wallet, and superb access to nature and outdoor recreation. Read on to find your ideal spot for affordable living in the

The most beautiful lighthouses in America

Ciara Appelbaum, INSIDER

Aug. 4, 2017, 12:32 PM

Biloxi Lighthouse, Mississippi

One of the first cast-iron lighthouses in the southern US.Shutterstock/ Rob Hainer

Built in 1848, Biloxi Lighthouse was one of the first cast-iron lighthouses in the South. It has since become a post-Hurricane Katrina symbol of the city’s resolve and resilience.

Original article:

Perri Ormont Blumberg, CNN • Updated 4th August 2017

10. Gulfport, Mississippi


Start at Triplett-Day Drug Co., a family-owned soda fountain that will teleport you to the "Leave it to Beaver" glory days.

Next, scope out the eclectic Fishbone Alley, a mural hunter's Eden, which puts you a stone's throw away from more local artwork, bars, restaurants and live music. (Be warned: Football game days are LOUD.)

Fight the heat with a small-batch icicle from Pop Bothers with inventive flavors ranging from Dragon Fruit to Graceland (an alluring

Our Favorite Fall Beach Destinations

Southerners love spending autumn by the shore.

Southern Living Editors

Nothing against summer at the beach or fall in the mountains, but give us a balmy autumn day on a stretch of sand with no crowds, and we’re in a state of bliss. As points out, while North Florida and South Florida have opposite high seasons, their shoulder seasons (that's when they begin dropping rates) are consistent: April-May and September through November. Shoulder season is a little harder to define on the Outer Banks,

50 states: 50 most recommended restaurants on Facebook

, USA TODAY Published 7:02 a.m. ET July 31, 2017 | Updated 7:08 a.m. ET Aug. 1, 2017

Mississippi's most recommended restaurant on Facebook is Shaggy's Harbor Bar & Grill on the Gulf Coast.

10 Louisiana day trips you can take with your dog

Updated July 31, 2017
Posted July 28, 2017

Waveland Beach in Mississippi

Drive time: 1 hour

The Mississippi Gulf Coast boasts a stretch of dog-friendly beaches, particularly along the shoreline of Hancock County. Hancock welcomes dogs on their beaches from Waveland to Bay St. Louis (pictured), where pups can splash around in the typically uncrowded surf.

Drive about an hour east from New Orleans into Mississippi to reach Waveland Beach.

Hungry after splashing in the waves? Stop for a bite to

Fifty spots worth road tripping for.

Perri Ormont Blumberg

Mississippi: The Shed BBQ

The endearingly kitschy establishment has won many awards for its bayou-side barbecue. And if this picture doesn’t make you want to head to The Shed in Ocean Springs immediately, well, consider the Shed Sample Platter: It comes loaded with baby back ribs, spareribs, pork, brisket, chicken, sausage, and three sides. Plus, there's live blues on the weekends.

Full piece:

Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Taking the family to the beach can create lifelong memories, as long as every member of the family is satisfied. To help you choose your next family beach vacation, U.S. News considered factors like safe waters, kid-friendly attractions, dining options, spacious accommodations and multigenerational appeal to determine the list below. Weigh in by voting below, then use this list to plan your upcoming travels.

Biloxi Travel Guide


#5 in Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA

Why Go to Biloxi

Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Craig Mackay Is a “Future Game Changer”

By Matt Swenson, June 15, 2017

What Craig Mackay, sports development manager at Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, may lack in experience, he makes up for with enthusiasm. Perhaps that’s what makes the 28-year-old a perfect fit for the role, which he assumed in November 2015. As Mackay further grows into the role, the destination will continue to develop its reputation as an ideal host for sports events.

Mackay is “a breath of fresh air, to be honest,” says Jon Schmieder,