Hilton Sandestin resort on Florida Gulf Coast

The way it sounds, oil is washing up on shore at every beach along the Gulf Coast. But that’s not the case, folks in the Southeast want us to know.

No problems in Florida. (check the new website www.floridalive.com  for real-time info from local beaches and Florida residents. Most of the Louisiana Coast is fine too. Currently all Mississippi attractions are open and ready for business too, officials there say.

The good news for consumers is just in time for Memorial Day, there are a slew of deals to encourage us to stick our toes in the surf and build sand castles with the kids along these spectacular white-sand beaches.

Resorts like Hilton Sandestin in Florida (www.sandestinbeachhilton.com ) for example, are dropping cancellation penalties–you can cancel within 24 hours–and are adding free nights. Look for  a gas card giveaway at www.gulfcoast.org . And thanks to the internet, you can see for yourself minute-to-minute how the beaches look and what is expected before you leave home.

Wherever you go, you are guaranteed to get a lot more for your vacation buck and a lot of thank yous for not letting the oil spill ruin your fun in the sun. You can feel good too that you are helping the locals.  Happy Memorial Day!