Fall in Love (Again) on Alabama’s Gulf Coast

08/25/2018  | 
Travel USA
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Stroll hand-in-hand along the sugar-white sand as you reconnect with your partner, and observe the vibrant colors of the sunset as it dances off the water. Fall is the perfect time to visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach because of the abundance of activities and events, and the weather is perfect, too.

Flavors and Sounds of Fall

Sample more than 150 tantalizing fine wines from around the world, sip and savor craft beer from regional breweries, taste a variety of distilled choices ranging from infused vodka to single malt whiskey, and enjoy tastings and demos of delicious food by the Gulf Coast’s top chefs at The Wharf Uncorked September 13-15.

Stroll the beach-side grounds and listen to live music, admire beautiful arts and crafts, and enjoy great seafood favorites including crab cakes, conch fritters, lobster, and of course, cajun pistols at the 47th Annual National Shrimp Festival October 11-14.

At the Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend November 2-3, enjoy fresh, Gulf oysters and thirst-quenching craft beers and cocktails, live music by some of your favorite artists and even special treats prepared by local chefs.

Enjoy flip-flop fine dining of scrumptious crawfish and ice-cold craft beer, 70 musical acts and over 200 musicians at the Shindig in the Sand event September 29.

And you don’t want to miss all of the competition action, delicious food and world-renowned chefs at the 2018 World Food Championships at The Wharf November 9-11.

Explore the Arts

Whether you enjoy taking in the beauty of art or if you are more hands-on and enjoy creating your own masterpiece, the Alabama Gulf Coast is your one-stop destination for arts and culture. View demonstrations on ceramics or try your hand at the pottery wheel at The Clay Studio. If you prefer the beauty of glass, The Hot Shop has been Alabama’s premier hot glass blowing facility since 2009. Or catch an exciting performance at the South Baldwin Community Theatre. Whether you choose to create your own works of art or watch someone make theirs, you’ll make lots of fun memories along the Gulf Coast.

Adventures Galore

You’ll find numerous adventures at Gulf State Park which includes 6,000 acres of pristine coastline and a wildlife refuge. Spy an alligator basking in the sun or a white-tailed deer grazing along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail which includes more than 27 miles of paved, scenic paths perfect for hiking and biking. To view and learn more about native plants and animals including snakes, owls, rabbits and more, visit the nature center. The park also offers guided nature walks, beach walks, pier walks and other educational programs. Or grab your fishing rods to catch a whopper from the 900 acres of scenic freshwater lakes or from the second largest pier in the Gulf.

Prepare to gasp with wonder when you spot frolicking dolphins on a romantic sunset dolphin cruise. On your adventure, keep an eye out for alligators, deer and unique coastal birds while your experienced crew tells you about the history of the area and other points of interest. Want to get your heart pounding? Check out high-in-the-sky adventures such as the mighty Ferris wheel, parasailing, helicopter tours, flying your own gyroplane and traversing Alabama’s longest zipline.

Delve into History and Science

Travel back in time when cannons protected the waterways, and explore the nearly 200-year-old Fort Morgan. Afterwards, ride the scenic ferry to Dauphin Island for a hands-on learning experience exploring coastal Alabama’s habitats at The Estuarium on Dauphin Island, the fourth largest estuary system in the United States. Enjoy the educational and informative exhibit hall, the sting ray touch pool and the scenic, living marsh boardwalk while learning about the more than 100 local species of plants and animals on display. While in the area, stroll through 137 acres of the Audubon Bird Sanctuary consisting of forest, marsh and dune habitats that hosts 420 different species of native and migrating birds.

A Day of Bliss

After all of the fun, you might need a day of shopping and relaxation. Some places to check out are SanRoc Cay, Pelican Place at Craft Farms, The Wharf, Tanger Outlet Center or one of the many eclectic boutiques around the area. So, shop until you drop, and then visit one of the many spas for a relaxing couples massage, manicure and pedicure.

Popular Fall Events in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

  • Wharf Uncorked: September 13-15, 2018
  • Shindig in the Sand: September 29, 2018
  • 47th Annual National Shrimp Festival: October 11-14, 2018
  • Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend: November 2-3, 2018
  • World Food Championships: November 9-11, 2018
To begin planning your romantic escape to paradise, visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach’s website at GulfShores.com.
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