Best Time of Year to Visit Alabama Gulf Coast


Warm weather, sugar-white sand, fresh Gulf seafood and a plethora of festivals and events make fall one of the best times of year for a trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Seafood is king on Alabama’s beaches, and during the fall, the destination celebrates their favorite menu items at various foodie festivals and events. Kicking off the season is the annual National Shrimp Festival (Oct. 12-15), one of the destination’s most highly-anticipated events of the year. Held at the public beach in Gulf Shores this festival attracts over 250,000 people every year, serves up to 200 pounds of fresh Gulf shrimp each day and hosts an array of local and regional arts and crafts vendors.

Then, The Hangout in Gulf Shores will host its 10th annual Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend (Nov. 3-4). This three-day event includes oysters prepared in a variety of ways by local and celebrity chefs, crafts beers from all across the southeast and live entertainment throughout the entire event. Rounding out the season are the World Food Championships (Nov. 8-10). The largest food sport competition will be at The Wharf in Orange Beach for the second year in a row. This event attracts more than 400 teams from across 40 states and 16 countries, competing in nine different categories for a $100,000 grand prize.

Along with these festivals, guests can enjoy the cuisine of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach at several of the area’s many dining options. Most of the restaurants in the destination serve locally-sourced produce, meats, cheeses and seafood. From waterfront, open-air restaurants to candle-lit fine dining, there is something for everyone when it comes to finding a good meal on Alabama’s beaches.

Food isn’t the only thing worth celebrating on the Gulf Coast. Music is a way of life in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. With local venues hosting live music nearly every weekend, it’s no wonder that people continue to flock to the destination for a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience. For those looking to listen to music, hear the stories of why and how songs were written then look no further than the Frank Brown International Songwriter’s Festival (Nov. 9-19). This 11-day event celebrates the history of music and songwriting with more than 200 nationally acclaimed songwriters performing at venues all across the region.

No vacation is complete without a proper place to end the night. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach feature many accommodation options for groups of all sizes including high-rise condominiums, nationally-acclaimed hotels, unique beach houses and full-service resorts. Several offer amenities such as indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, spas, group activities and fully-equipped kitchens. There’s nothing quite like returning to a comfortable retreat after an exciting day spent exploring Alabama’s beautiful beaches. And, during the off-season, many accommodations offer seasonal discounts on room rates.

Visit to learn more about Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. While there, be sure to request a copy of the 2017 vacation guide, a 100-page magazine that features a photographic tour of the area, and includes complete listings of accommodations, things to see and do, and great places to eat.

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