GULF SHORES AND ORANGE BEACH

Fun Festivals and Outdoor Adventure

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Alabama’s 32 miles of white sandy beaches and vast Gulf waters are the ideal location for an exciting yet rejuvenating fall vacation. During this time, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are booming with fun festivals, exciting outdoor adventures and of course, delicious fresh Gulf seafood.

From girlfriend getaways and guys trips to a week-long vacation with the whole family, the Alabama Gulf Coast has lots to offer its fall guests.

For food lovers, fall is the perfect time to visit Alabama’s beaches. Kicking off the season is the annual National Shrimp Festival in early October, one of the destination’s most highly-anticipated events of the year, celebrating its 45th year on Alabama’s beaches. Held at the public beach in Gulf Shores this festival attracts over 300,000 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 9th annual Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend (Nov. 4-6). 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 fall food festival season are the World Food Championships (Nov. 9-15). This new area event is sure to attract a multitude of people from all across the country.

Over 400 teams of chefs from 45 states and 20 countries will travel to The Wharf in Orange Beach to compete in the largest food sport competition in the world. The contestants will face-off in several different categories and the winner will take home the grand prize of $100,000.

The fall is also full of other exciting festivals and events. The Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival (Nov. 3-13) is an 11 day celebration of music where more than 200 nationally acclaimed songwriters perform in venues all across the Florida and Alabama Gulf Coast. Also in November is the Kaiser by Wyndham Vacation Rentals Coastal Half-Marathon and 5K Fun Run (Nov. 26). Held the Saturday following Thanksgiving, this race is a great way to get the family out and active. The race goes throughout the Gulf State Park, making it a memorable, scenic running experience.

Aside from area runs, there are many other ways for guests to explore flora and fauna on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is a 15-mile trail system that runs across Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Gulf State Park. This trail encompasses six unique ecosystems that span Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

For a really thrilling site, travel down the Rosemary Dunes trail to encounter the park’s resident alligator “Lefty.”

Guests also have a multitude of opportunities to experience the great outdoors on the open water. From kayaking excursions on the back bays and deep-sea fishing trips to stand-up paddleboard yoga classes and dolphin cruises, there is a wide variety of watersports for all interests and ages.

For a more relaxing experience, guests have several options, including spa locations and beachside yoga classes. And, for those looking to find the perfect souvenir to bring back home, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have many local boutiques, souvenir shops and a nearby outlet mall to explore.

Of course a trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach would not be complete without a trip to one or several of the area’s many delectable dining options. The restaurants on Alabama’s beaches are known for serving unique dishes crafted from fresh Gulf seafood and local produce. Whether guests are looking for a romantic, waterfront dinner or a casual open-air lunch, there is something for everyone when it comes to dining in this destination.

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 GulfShores.com to learn more about Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. While there, be sure to request a copy of the 2016 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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