At Gattitown, a vast buffet quells the hungers caused by romping through up to 10,000 square feet of violence-free arcade games, bumper cars, and mini bowling. Before meals, kids scurry between more than 150 exciting games, including virtual-reality racing and tax-filing simulations. In the bumper-car arena, wee ones determine driving dominance by crashing and cruising around a spacious floor. Players then hone their underhand tosses with mini bowling and skee-ball, shooting for tickets to spend on doodads, gadgets, and teddy-bear ransoms inside the Gatti goods store.
It's hard to imagine a restaurant that epitomizes the great American diner better than Huddle House. Since 1964, the restaurant?which has locations scattered prominently throughout the southern states?has warmed bellies with burgers, hearty breakfasts, and heaping helpings of friendly hospitality, available 24-hours a day. Even the moniker is All-American: founder John Sparks came up with the name after a football huddle, hoping it would inspire his customers to gather round a table and swap stories over a warm meal.
Over the years, Huddle House's menu has expanded and adapted to changing tastes, but its focus has remained the same: old-fashioned, American comfort food. No matter what time it is, guests can order up biscuits smothered in gravy and cheese or dig into the shop's signature waffles, whipped up using a secret recipe and waffle irons that can't read. Afternoon eats include chopped steak burgers served with regular or sweet potato fries and sandwiches with a southern twist, like a Philly cheese steak stuffed between slices of thick-cut Texas toast.
More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.
Rife with pristine sands and thick tendrils of marsh grass, Bay St. Louis is known as one of the highest elevations on the Gulf of Mexico coastline, falling almost directly between Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans, Louisiana. Just a short walk from the hotel, travelers discover alluring beaches, artist cafés serving up healthy portions of cappuccino and poetry, and quaint local shops with a clever combination of fashion and local flair. Arguably the hub of the downtown arts scene, the Alice Moseley Folk Art and Antique Museum proudly displays honest portraits of life in 20th-century Mississippi.When the quiet life gets too quiet, guests pop over to New Orleans for a wild night of music and revelry. Although Bourbon Street enchants party-harders, the storied Big Easy has as many faces as it has nicknames, and foodies, music aficionados, and architecture buffs all find their place. With a truly rich musical history, countless bars and speakeasies offer opportunities to see renowned local and national artists. At the intersection of it all is the French Market, an eclectic open-air market dating back to the 1790s when it was a trading post for Native Americans, Germans, and Caribbean immigrants. This cultural crossroads is vibrant circus of creole cuisine, live music, and shopping.
Owning a bar was not Patrick Sullivan's primary life goal. "Archaeologist" claimed that title, but after three years of kneeling in the dirt digging holes and finding nothing but Martian bones, he decided that wasn't the life for him. When he came to his parents with his idea of opening a bar, he was in for a shock: instead of scolding him for throwing away a good career, his parents approved. His mother even volunteered to be his business partner. A second shock came when three months before Patrick was set to have all the money he needed, his mother was killed in an accident. To honor her wishes, Patrick's father took on her responsibilities to the business, and in 2005, Government Street Grocery opened to the public.
The welcoming vibe beyond the bar's neon-splashed front doors is a fitting tribute to Patrick's mother, as local art lines the walls and live bands regularly fill the space with the danceable rhythms of blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, and rock tunes. As guests take in the entertainment, they can savor a plethora of hearty bar food ranging from 100% Angus burgers to massive muffuletta sandwiches to vegetarian options such as veggie burgers and falafel wraps. And then, of course, there's the beer. An ever-changing lineup of craft brews from Rogue, Abita, New Belgium, and other producers pour into pint glasses, while those of a more spirited persuasion sip cocktails mixed from premium spirits at the full bar.