It’s Official, You Need Vitamin SEA!

                                       It’s Official Researchers agree You Need Vitamin SEA!

This morning as I was perusing Dr. Mercola’s articles, I came across an article, I just could not pass on.

                                          “Health Benefits of Living Near the Ocean”

Catch the link below for a full rundown on the details or catch my quick take on it below

Finally, a little research behind the benefits of living within .6 miles or less of the ocean or  “Gone SEASIDE.” Lol sorry, I couldn’t resist. Just another reason for me to go seaside.

So the researcher found out that people who lived closer to the ocean experienced better mental health than those living more than 31 miles away.

 The risk was equated to a 25% lower risk of poor mental health compared to others living inland. The ranges they gave were .6 mile and 3.1 miles from the coast.

In Europe, they have what’s called a BlueHealth project, and they are looking into how inland waterways and coasts affect health and disease. And there’s also research going on in Canada that reveals that living near water reduces the risk of premature death by 12-17%.

So the next time anyone tells you, you don’t need that beach vacation; just point them to Dr. Mercola’s article and tell them Doctor’s orders!

Just getting a little vitamin Sea!

Happy Travels

Top 5 Kid-Friendly Things To Do In Perdido Key

Perdido Key is a  beautiful and unique area covering parts of Florida and the Alabama coastline.   Its located between Pensacola, Florida and Orange Beach, Alabama. It stretches 16 miles and in most places only a few hundred yards wide.

You can find pristine stretches of wilderness, wildlife, and beaches to look for seashells by the seashore. It is also home to great places to explore with your kids of all ages. Young or old, our top 5  will be sure to please all your family members.

1.The Wharf’s Ferris Wheel

If you’re a Ferris wheel buff, you may check out The Wharf’s Ferris Wheel day or night. There is a small fee of $5, but the view is worth it.  You will also find mini-golf, the hummingbird zipline course, and even The Marina.

2. Dolphin Cruises

If you’re like us, we love seeing wildlife and Dolphins. Dolphin Cruises have several options to choose from between daytime cruises, sunset cruises, field trips, and even a surf cruise.

3. Gulf Islands National Seashore

The next item on the list is visiting the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Whether you are a nature buff, soaking in the sun, fishing boating, camping, or hiking, this site is the place to go to learn about all things Seashore.  What types of tours and adventures you can have. Take a guided tour with a ranger, check out indoor activities, or explore the great outdoors. After all, this is why you’re here, isn’t it?

4. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Next on our list is the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Come check out what s new at the zoo, see their White Bengal Tiger, have animal encounters, up close and personal. Zoos are always a family favorite young and old alike.

5. Waterville USA

Last but not least, ask any kid, and no visit would be complete without a trip to the waterpark. Check out Waterville USA for many more hours of fun in the sun. From waterslides to gocarts, mini-golf, and don’t forget the Waterville 500 for all you cart enthusiasts. They also have a FlowRider for the more adventurous types, and it’s also fun to watch for those who are not.

Perdido Key area has so much to do and see you could spend your entire vacation and not see and do everything. Who knows this just could become one of your favorite places to visit.

Go ahead, visit, and have fun!

Links to all our favorite things to do with kids are below.

Our Top 5 Kid-friendly things to do in Perdido Key

  1. Ride the Ferris Wheel
  2. Dolphin cruise
  3. Gulf Islands National Seashore
  4. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
  5. Waterville USA
  6.  Search for Seashells by the Seashore Ok, and this one is a freebie but my all-time favorite!

Hawaii Bucket List-Fun Things To Do

Here’s a great list of fun things to do when visiting the Islands of Hawaii. It’s such a beautiful place to visit. You could go there year after year and never get bored. This list includes a few “key” locations on major Islands that you may not want to miss. With so many places and things to do in Hawaii, there’s something for everyone guaranteed. Keep in mind  Island hopping is NOT uncommon. Whether your an Island Hopper or prefer to stay put, there’s lots of adventure waiting for you in Hawaii. So let’s get started on a few things to see.

Below I have included a list of some of the best tours/or tour companies via word of mouth and personal use.

  1. Blue-Hawaiian-Helicopters  Available on the Big Island, Maui, Oahu & Kauai
  2. Kayak Kauai   Try a river paddle, kayak, whale watch, snorkel, or even hike.
  3. Iolani Palace For all you history buffs. It’s really a beautiful site to see.
  4. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve for a fun day snorkeling
  5. Valley Isle Excursions for the Iao Valley State Park & Road to Hana tours.
  6. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park & Volcano Hotel
  7. Waipi’o Valley Shuttle, Kahua Ranch,  for horseback riding, mule wagon tours.

Na Pali Coast, Kauai

The Na Pali coast is one of Hawaii’s most beautiful coastlines with its steep shorelines massive towering cliffs to beautiful waterfalls. I totally missed this gem when I went because I was an uninformed tourist at the time. Sure, I caught the beautiful beaches with hardly a soul on them. And they were spectacular!

This is definitely on my list of to-do’s next trip.

 This coastline is one you will want to see via a helicopter tour, plane, or a sunset cruise. There are several types of these tours to choose from. This is definitely one you should do some research on and decide which way you would like to tour this beauty. Who knows, you may choose to stick around a while do a few different tours.

Wailua Falls, Kauai

Wailua Falls has so much to see and do for the young at heart and adventurous. The Wailua Sacred Falls Tour is family-friendly and just requires a 2 person minimum to open a tour. Although the minimum age is 5. You may encounter mud.  The trip is about five hours long and does include refreshments, sandwiches and bottled water.

Enjoy bird watching in a tranquil and tropical environment where the pace is unhurried and swim in the pools or stream leading to the waterfall. Last I checked this tour runs about $75 for children and $95 for adults. Totally worth the price for an adventurous fun-packed day. Also, I noticed Kayak Kauai was featured on the cover of national geographic adventure magazine as “The Adventure 100-America’s Best, 2000.

Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Oahu

Iolani Palace is a living restoration of a proud Hawaiian heritage, and a registered National Historic Landmark. It is also the only official royal place in the United States.

The Palace was Started in December 1879 and completed in 1882. It was the official residences of the Hawaiian monarchs. You will want to check out the Keliiponi Hale: The coronation Pavilion still used today for the inauguration of the governors of the State of Hawaii.

You will also be able to see some important and exciting rooms in the Palace. The throne room,  the Grand Hall,  the Imprisonment room, the King and Queens bedroom, along with the King’s library and other interesting must-sees. If you visit the website, you can also catch a 3-D virtual walkthrough if you want a sneak peek. The palace is a lovely and inspiring place to visit when staying on Oahu.

Hanauma Bay Snorkeling, Oahu

Hanauma Bay, where do I start?  It is one of the most spectacular natural resources in Hawaii. It has a pristine marine ecosystem. This is a lovely place to spend the day at the beach, snorkel and check out the reef and all the sea life. This is also an inexpensive way to spend the day on the beach and snorkel.  It is located about 10 miles outside of Waikiki. Not hard to find, and  Admission fees were only $7.50.

The parking lot does fill up early, and when it’s full, they will turn you away. They open at 6 a.m for all the beach early birds. They have a snorkel concession if you don’t have your own masks, fins, and snorkels as well as lockers to store your things. We really enjoyed the day here.

It’s a must-see when visiting the island of Oahu.

Iao Valley State Park, & Road to Hana, Maui

The Iao Valley & needle can easily be seen in a ½ day, and you can stroll on fully paved pathways and stairs. At 1200 feet high, this razor-thin ridge is a sight to behold. This is also home to a famous battle that took place on the island, “battle of Kepaniwai.” Many warriors died in this place, It is also a spiritual and sacred place since chiefs were also buried here.

You will actually find two Parks in this valley to explore, so there’s so much to see.

The Road to Hana is also known as “The Divorce Highway,” and for a good reason,  with its 68-mile road with 600+ turns, 50+ one-lane bridges. With the occasional mudslide. Need I say more? This is actually where the local’s vacation. Too many turn s for me. That’s why I recommend Valley Isle; Their tour guides are trained for the drive!

 Besides, you get a light breakfast and a  Hawaiian BBQ lunch included with all you can drink non-alcoholic drinks. This is a great way to spend the day in Hana. Tours usually begin between 6-7:30 am and return 5-6:30 pm. Book online to get their $159.99 special( at the time of review).

This is a must when visiting Maui. This is the longest drivable rainforest in the USA.

Makena Beach State Park, Maui

Makena Beach State Park is considered one of Maui’s signature beaches. With beautiful white sand beaches, it is divided into two beaches, known as Big Beach and Little Beach. Spend the day basking on the beach, snorkel, or kayak. A favorite of tourists, it’s not to be missed.

This beach also has showers and restrooms,  and food trucks so you can easily spend a long day here. You will find quite a few families and children enjoying the surf. The mornings are less crowded, and as afternoon approaches, it gets a little crowded, but it didn’t really feel crowded. There are also two parking lots and can fill up after 11:00 a.m. so you may want to get there early.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Big Island

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a biggie all by itself. You will want to visit the National Park Service site for all the details. It lists alerts in effect for planning your visit, what to see where to stay and things to do. For a place to stay while at the park, you will want to check out the Volcano house. It offers 33 historic guest rooms,  a dining room, snack bar, lounge and gift shop. It also manages 10 camper cabins and campsites in nearby Namakanipaio campground.

Waipio Valley, Big Island

Waipio Valley, also called Valley of the Kings it’s located in the Kohala Mountains. This valley was the home of King Kamehameha I and is located on the Hamakua Coast.

Come visit the black sand beaches of Waipi’O valley for their unique beauty. Or maybe a Horseback riding tour of the valley?

Or check out …

Waipio Valley Shuttle is a great way to get to the valley floor to witness the 1200 foot waterfalls. The valley is approximately six miles wide and sits between 2,000-foot high cliffs and has some mesmerizing views.

Here you will see roaming horses, Taro patches, and freshwater rivers. I remember buying a Taro Patch Doll the first time I went to Hawaii back in 1984. They were Hawaiian style cabbage patch dolls basically.

The shuttle tour is about 1 ½-2 hours, and you will learn about the history & the Legends.

Or you could make your way down via a Mule Drawn Wagon Tour. Yes, you heard me right. I have not personally done this tour but will be putting it on my bucket list of things to do next visit. This would undoubtedly be fun for the whole family.

 But if your more adventurous, you could just go for a horseback riding adventure at Kahua Ranch. They have been operating since 1981; this is a 2.5 hr ride, and their guides will take you through jungle trails, freshwater streams, taro fields, and then show you the magnificent waterfalls.

So whichever way you choose to see Waipi’0 Valley, there’s an adventure for you.

Hawaii For An Unforgettable Experience

I have been to Hawaii several times, and it never gets old. There’s just too much to see and do. This list is, by all means, not exhaustive, only a shortlist of some incredible things to do and see in Hawaii.

 So many islands, so little time.

If you have never been to Hawaii, you need to go. I do recommend staying for at least 11-14 days, if at all possible. For me, I found by the time I got my bearings and learned the names of the streets, it was time to leave.  I have never seen a picture that does Hawaii justice; it just needs to be experienced with the eyes!

Go Hawaii

ALOHA, Alyssa


Destin: Changing it up at Christmas!

                                   Changing it up at Christmas!

Every year, I’m always thinking of ways to make Christmas more exciting, fun, and just a little different.

I think it’s fun to change things up a bit, sometimes don’t you? I get that Christmas is NOT about the gifts, although fun. I love to give my kids gifts. Now Let me also say that my kids are also grown. My youngest is 23, still at home and in college. My oldest is married.

We don’t have any grandkids, so things can get a little too quiet around here. Children always have a way of making the holiday’s fun, busy, and sometimes downright exhausting, especially if the children are under the age of 10, and there are several running around. Children are entertaining to watch around the holidays especially. Our little one? An 8lb Yorkie who loves to open presents and every year whines because he can’t wait to get into his stocking. Hey, we people with no small children must entertain ourselves somehow.

So, what exactly can you do at Christmas with All grown-up kids? Rent a beach house, of course!

One Christmas, the very year we moved into our new lake house, we decided to rent a very Nice Beach house in Destin, Florida. Technically it was on a lake across the street from the beach. It had enough sleeping room for about 13 people. I invited everyone on my mom’s side of the family to meet up at the house for Christmas in Destin. It was the first time I had ever tried such a thing and will do it again. We only had seven takers, but it worked out great?

The name of the home was the Endless Sunset. Oh, it had sunsets all right. It was a two-story Mediterranean on a small lake with a pool. In a gated neighborhood, and I love a sizeable Mediterranean home anyway. It had so many things about it that reminded me of the new house we just bought a few months earlier.  You can’t believe how long I looked over that house comparing it to mine and what I could improve on my own home.

That’s another article, though. Home remodeling is something we do around here quite regularly. Since I’ve been a licensed Realtor for over 14 years and my son is my contractor.

We made sure we rented a dog-friendly home so our beloved Yorkie Bentley could be with us. We also brought his Play crib with us so we could contain him when he happened to be by himself. Yes, I said crib. When he was a puppy, he had to have 2 knee surgeries, and this was a great way to keep him from jumping and running around the house while he was recuperating. It is just a small Graco Pack N Play Playard that folds up.

We did the usual touristy things like checking out the local shopping eateries and things to see. We quickly decided upon our favorite places to eat. One being McGuire’s Irish Pub. My fav was the Fish & chips, of course, my husband and my dads were the Philly cheese-steak sandwiches.

We saved all our Christmas shopping fun for Destin. One family tradition we have always had is Christmas Shopping and lunch. Destin has a very nice shopping mall. The Destin Commons voted best shopping center by locals was definitely one of our favorites too. We really enjoyed it. Its open-air type of shopping is set up to look like a small-town village and has about 95 stores, restaurants, and even a little entertainment for the kids.

We even ran to the local Big Lots to see what kind of inexpensive Christmas trees we could locate to set up next to the fireplace. We found two cute 4-foot snow flocked trees and set them up. Plugged them In and quickly got to the wrapping part of the occasion. Everyone ran off to their bedrooms to secretly wrap their treasures.

The weather was a little chillier than we had hoped but, it was still a great atmosphere with new places to see and things to do. But we still managed to get to the beach a few times for walks and jellyfish sightings. The water was cold, but we managed to get a few pictures of our toes in the sand.

We had a great Christmas, even with a few of the usual family hiccups that sometimes happen during the holidays. But we got through it, moved on, and stored it away as a memorable family Christmas at the beach!

If ever you have the opportunity to go somewhere different exciting or fun for the Holidays, and your family is on board, go for it. Make some new family memories, and don’t forget to stop by the local souvenir shops and pick up a few keepsake Christmas ornaments for your tree.

Merry Christmas!

About Us

Hi, and Welcome to GoneSeaSide. This is a place for all things Coastal, Travel, Healthy Living, and Family. If ” it” adds value to our lives we want to share it with you.

Our Story

Gone SeaSide originally started on Pinterest when we opened our cruise franchise several years ago.  For the love of the ocean, travel, beaches, great food, and family fun. It has turned out to be a website dedicated to finding exciting places to go and see with your family and even your fur baby.

We really enjoy traveling as a family with our 8lb. Yorkie Bentley, and we enjoy coastal destinations and luxury beach houses to call home when we go places.

I also like to find new recipes to try out and coastal decor to decorate our lake house.  My love of travel started a long time ago. So, when I can’t travel, I arm-chair travel on Pinterest, planning my next adventure to an exotic destination.

I also enjoy finding new ways to make boring foods taste better without too much time in the kitchen. I’m not a chef, and quite frankly too much time in the kitchen for me is tiring. If only, I loved to cook. Of course, I love my sweets but try to find ways to make them healthier. I’m just an average mom trying to make life a little better on a daily basis.

If you love Coastal decor as I do, then you’ll want to check out some of our favorite items we find and share on the site.

My happy place is at the beach and when I can’t get to the beach, I Pinterest. I also decorate my home with beach colors and decor. I enjoy finding new and unique items to decorate my home.

Light Bright and Happy!

To Help You Find Places To Go & Share With The One’s You Love.

We want to help people find ways to explore the world, their world, whether in their favorite chair or really going out and doing it. We will share places we’ve been, places to go, and things to do with your family. The best ways to get there, what works and what doesn’t.

Today our boys are all grown up, but we still like “the” family vacation so we can still explore fun & exciting things together as a family.

Obviously, I want the trips to get more engaging, exciting, and exotic for my family and me. We like things like that.

For you? Just get out there, get started and enjoy your travels, bring home unique souvenirs, and, most of all love life, and enjoy your family.

Hopes For You

My wish for you is you get inspired about traveling the world with your family, find new and even fun ways to make a boring dish healthy, and taste great without spending forever in the kitchen. To find new and exciting adventures in life, live healthily and travel as often as you wish. To learn new things you can add to your lives to make them richer, healthier, and more vibrant.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out, and I will be more than happy to help.

All the best,