Gulf Shores Alabama is beautiful sea-side retreat to visit year round, along with the neighboring Orange Beach. When the temps cool down, the fun heats up in this quiet coastal area.
From the opening of a one-of-a-kind lodge to a series of beloved festivals and new additions to the burgeoning dining scene, here’s a look at what Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Alabama has on tap this fall.
Gulf Shores Alabama
Nature at Your Doorstep
Located inside the beautiful 6,150-acre Gulf State Park, The Lodge at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores is set to open November 1 and will be an environmentally friendly coastal development. The experience here is defined by unique architecture and an immersion in nature, with beautiful beach or park views from private balconies. Guests will be just steps away from the park’s 28 miles of hiking and biking trails, a 900-acre freshwater fishing lake, nature center, butterfly garden, and an impressive new interpretive center with interactive exhibits about the natural history in this part of the state. The Lodge offers beautiful beach or park views from your private balcony. Bring the family and enjoy one of its uniquely designed deluxe rooms with bunk beds for the kids.
Swim To It’s Newest Attraction
The newest attraction on Alabama’s Gulf Coast is currently being installed, under water! A new artificial snorkeling reef project includes deploying 166 modules to create reefs in three locations – at the Gulf State Park Beach Pavilion, at the Romar Beach public access and at the east end of Alabama Point along Perdido Pass. While it takes about a year for the reefs to be fully mature, officials expect them to eventually be teeming with marine life, including octopuses, dolphins, turtles and fish. As for human visitors, the reef will be ready to explore via snorkeling and diving as early as mid-September.
Beach Street EATS is a new “all-you-can-eat” breakfast and lunch buffet option in Orange Beach. Open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, the restaurant uses fresh and local ingredients in its “Southern comfort”-style hot buffet menu. The menu changes daily, but you can expect to find such traditional items as fried chicken tenders, biscuit and gravy casserole, BBQ shrimp, baked chicken and crawfish mac, as well as the Southern staple for any meal.. fried okra.
Our Coffee and Wellness Bar in Gulf Shores identifies with the free-spirited ocean lovers of the world. Among the many things they’re passionate about are a great cup of coffee and clean, healthy food. In addition to coffee menu items like turmeric lattes and mushroom coffee, the shop offers breakfast items, smoothies and a vibrant place to hang out.
Delight In Half Shells
The Hangout Oyster Cook-Off brings fresh Gulf oysters to the forefront November 2 & 3 with more than 40 of the best chefs from across the Southeast vying to serve up the tastiest take on raw, Rockefeller and grilled oysters. Other activities include a craft beer festival, live music, tailgate tents to watch college football, and an oyster-shucking contest. Celebrity and James Beard Award nominee chefs lead cooking demos, but the “pearl” of the Hangout Oyster Cook-Off is the North American Oyster Showcase, where festival-goers can savor oysters from the Pacific Northwest, down to the Gulf of Mexico, up the Mid-Atlantic and into New England.
Championships Like No Other
Ever wonder what happens when somebody wins a regional or national culinary competition, like the National Shrimp Festival (held on the beach in Gulf Shores October 11-14)? They head to the World Food Championships, which will once again be held in Orange Beach this year. Called “The Ultimate Food Fight,” this event is where professional chefs and home cooks compete on even playing fields at the final stop in “food sport.” Last year’s champ was a home cook from Tennessee! Competitions happen in 10 categories, from bacon to steak. The event will take place at The Wharf November 7-11.
Which of these fantastic fall events in Gulf Shores Alabama has you ready to pack a bag and head south?