Gulf Shores & Orange Beach
From the time the Marlin drops over The Wharf in Orange Beach to ring in the new year until the snowbirds are welcomed back in December, Alabama’s Gulf coast entertains guests with a packed schedule of events all year long.
Less than 40 miles from the birthplace of Mardi Gras, you’ll find coastal takes on the legendary celebration in the month leading up to Fat Tuesday.
At the first hint of spring, the early birds that flock to Alabama’s beaches enjoy annuals such as Orange Beach Festival of Art, The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show and Waterway Village Zydeco and Crawfish Festival. Plus Flora-Bama’s Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party brings fans from around the globe to try their hand at tossing this local fish (the mullet) from Florida to Alabama. (Bet you were thinking of the hairstyle from the 1980s, weren’t you?)
Each summer kicks off with Hangout Music Festival with top performers in the music industry. Previous acts have included the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone and Lana Del Ray.
Throughout the year Gulf Shores and Orange Beach also welcome some of the finest student-athletes in the country and their fans for the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship, NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championship and SEC Women’s Soccer Championship.
Even as a new school year looms, guests are encouraged to keep on summering at Alabama’s beaches with events for lovers of food, nature, sports and music alike.
Brett/Robinson Alabama Coastal Triathlon, National Shrimp Festival and Hangout Oyster Cook-off and Craft Beer Weekend ensure there’s never a dull moment.
During Alabama Coastal Cleanup and the John L. Borom Alabama Coastal Birdfest visitors experience the natural beauty of coastal ecosystems and wildlife.
Singer and songwriters of all ages and fame play the free shows of Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival for 10 days each November.
For those looking to trade slushy snow for sugary white sand, the south Alabama region offers Alabama’s Coastal Christmas, Christmas at OWA and Bellingrath’s Annual Magic Christmas in Lights .