Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

9 Things to Do Thanksgiving Weekend in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Sometimes holidays give folks an opportunity to get away and enjoy family time.

The beach cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are a little less crowded after kids go back to school, yet still attractive thanks to great weather in November. Consider these nine fun ideas if you’re wondering what you can do during Thanksgiving weekend on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

The Wharf
The Wharf

1.) Shop! Known as the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season, Thanksgiving weekend brings sales and deals to the Gulf Coast and beyond. It’s a great time for marking those items off your gift-giving list. Places you shouldn’t miss include the unique shops at OWA and The Tanger Outlet Center in nearby Foley, boutiques and specialty stores at The Wharf in Orange Beach, and SanRoc Cay’s selection of shops.

2.) Participate in the Vacasa Coastal Half Marathon and 5K Run on Nov. 27, 2021.  There’s no better way to shed those extra turkey pounds than a run along scenic paths in Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. There is also a One-Mile Fun Run if that’s more your speed.

3.) Follow a food trail. Literally, you can eat your way across the Alabama Gulf Coast by following suggestions included in the Beach Burger Trail, Bread Pudding Trail, Gumbo Trail, Shrimp Trail, Sweet Treats Trail and many more.

Indian & Sea Museum

4.) Visit a museum and learn a little about Alabama’s history. Many educational and exciting ideas for heritage and cultural tours and exhibits are available in the Alabama coastal region. Spend some time at Fort Morgan (which played a critical role in the 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay), the Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum (showcasing the area’s Native American and fishing heritage) and the Gulf Shores Museum (including a technology-based interactive display of “Hurricane Hunters”).

5.) Take a hike. Corral the family and head to Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail to explore more than 28 miles of walking/hiking trails. You can trek through different ecosystems located within Gulf State Park and maybe even see a gator.

6.) Play golf on some of Alabama’s top-rated courses such as Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club or Kiva Dunes on the Fort Morgan peninsula. The weather is plenty warm enough to work through 18 holes of challenging golf set against beautiful beach backdrops with gentle Gulf of Mexico breezes blowing.


Beach Yoga

7.) Practice self-care. Check out area spas and treat yourself to a pampering or therapeutic massage, a facial, or other salon services. Relax with Glow Yoga and find your balance and strength while enhancing your flexibility. Perhaps you already practice yoga and just need a place to keep it up during your vacation. If so, this is your haven.

8.) Don’t miss the chance to have your Thanksgiving feast in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach. Most condos have plenty of room for dining and you can pre-order a turkey dinner from area grocery stores like Publix or Rouses. You can even find coastal traditions like oyster dressing at Rouses. Want to turn it up a notch? Consider allowing a personal chef like Chef David Pan of Orange Beach Concierge to take over your meal prep for Thanksgiving Day.

9.) Check out the Coastal Christmas events and get in the Christmas spirit.

Order a FREE Vacation Guide to help you navigate the planning process of your holiday getaway. Even though it’s November, weather is typically warm, so don’t rule out iconic sunset sails and coffee with sunrises on the beach. Whatever you do, don’t forget to find time to relax and savor those famous beachside sunsets. They’re worth the trip on Thanksgiving or any time.


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