Best 2023 Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parades & Celebrations

It only happens once a year, but people from all over flock to Gulf Shores to celebrate Mardi Gras. There are beads, masks, costumes, and parades galore. Many people think of New Orleans as the birthplace of Mardi Gras but French settlers organized the first Mardi Gras celebration in Mobile, and there have been Gulf Shores Mardi Gras parades and celebrations for all ages to carry on the festivities for dozens of years.

Ready to celebrate? We’ve compiled a list of the best Gulf Shores Mardi Gras parades and events happening in 2023!

The Mystical Order of Mirams Mardi Gras Parade

When: 5:30 pm, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023

Find your best masquerade mask and head to Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach for this Mardi Gras parade! Floats of all shapes, sizes, and colors will roll along Orange Beach, flaunting their Mardi Gras best. Local organizations are welcome to participate. The parade will make its way down Perdido Beach Boulevard starting at 5:30 pm. Be sure to grab your spot before the festivities begin!

The Mystical Order of Mirams Ball

When: Friday, Feb. 18 2023, following the Mystical Order of Mirams Mardi Gras Parade

After the Mirams Mardi Gras Parade, head over to the Orange Beach Event Center for The Mystical Order of Mirams Ball. Must be 21 years or older to attend.

Mystics of Pleasure Mardi Gras Parade

When: 5:30 pm, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023

Every year since 2001, the Mystics of Pleasure have held a Mardi Gras parade along Orange Beach. The difference from all other Mardi Gras parades? Marshals of this parade ride motorcycles, not horses. Still, the eclectic theming and colors of the floats are sure to excite all ages. The parade will travel along Perdido Beach Boulevard, starting at Phoenix West and ending at Highway 161. Get there early to find your spot.

Fort Morgan Mardi Gras Parade

When: 1:00 pm, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023

You’ve never seen Mardi Gras like this before! This unique parade finds revelers rolling down the picturesque Fort Morgan peninsula on golf carts, jeeps, boats, cars, and trailers as they toss beads and treasures up and down the coast. The route will run along Ponce De Leon Court from Triple Tale Lane to Bernard Ct. E. Space is limited, so get there early!

Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade

When: 10:00 am, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023

For the 44th year, the City of Gulf Shores will be celebrating Mardi Gras with their famous Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade! The first parade made its way through Gulf Shores in 1978 and continues to wow and excite all ages with craftily detailed floats, colorful cars, and exuberant passer-bys tossing beads into the crowd. The Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Fat Tuesday (Feb. 21).

LuLu’s Mardi Gras Anniversary Celebration & Boat Parade

When: 10:00 am, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023

A Gulf Shores Mardi Gras parade on the water? Check. Live music? Check. Complimentary cake? Check! This Fat Tuesday, you’ll want to be at Lulu’s for a complete day of bead-tossing, king cake eating fun. The boat parade will depart from The Wharf towards Lulu’s and Homeport Marina. The music starts at 10 a.m. with guests dressed in costumes and good ole’ green, gold, and purple. The fun continues after the boat parade at Lulu’s with live music, delicious food, and much more!

Orange Beach Mardi Gras Parade

When: 2:00 pm, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023

Head east to Orange Beach on Fat Tuesday for the Annual Orange Beach Mardi Gras Parade! Nearly 30,000 people have stood along Perdido Beach Boulevard in years past to watch dozens of vibrant floats, costumed participants, flag twirlers, and more march down the two-mile stretch to enjoy this centuries-old celebration! The parade begins at 2 p.m., starting east of Phoenix West and ending at Highway 161 in Orange Beach.

Moon Pies on Main

When: 4:00 pm, Monday, Feb .20, 2023

If you’re looking for some family-friendly fun, head over to The Wharf on Lundi Gras (that’s the Monday before Fat Tuesday) at 4pm. The festivities will kick off with a kid and pet parade that everyone can join, followed by fun family activities and an evening float parade at 6pm. Stay tuned to the event website for more information.

As we like to say, Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

Check out our blog for travel tips, news, and things to do in Gulf Shores and along the Alabama Gulf Coast!

Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores: All You Need to Know

Who says the holidays have to be filled with stress and hassle? In Gulf Shores, you can put your feet up and relax. Enjoy your family time with a Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores. From mouthwatering Gulf Shores Thanksgiving dinner options to things to do this holiday, we’ve got the details on a hassle-free holiday in Gulf Shores.

Thanksgiving falls on November 24 this year, so make sure your holiday reservations are set!

How to Spend Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores

Spectrum Beach Chairs

When you plan a Thanksgiving getaway, you can enjoy a holiday without the hassle with conveniences like grocery delivery at The Beach Club Resort.

Forget waiting in long lines at the grocery store to purchase your prized turkey. As a Spectrum Resorts guest at The Beach Club Resort & Spa, you can pre-order your groceries with the Beach Moms Concierge Package. The Beach Moms have created a special package, exclusive for Spectrum Resorts guests.

After you’ve arrived at your fully stocked Gulf Shores condo, put your feet up. Your Thanksgiving vacation is just beginning. Enjoy the best seat on the beach when you reserve beach chairs prior to your arrival. The weather is typically great in November along the Alabama coast. The kids will enjoy building sandcastles and playing sand football or spikeball while you catch up on your favorite book.

Gulf Shores Thanksgiving Dinner Options

Whole Roasted Turkey Dinner For Thanksgiving with All the Sides

If you’re a DIYer and love a great home-cooked meal, turn up the heat and make your favorite Thanksgiving dish in your fully equipped condo kitchen. Each Gulf-front condo at The Beach Club Resort comes with its very own fully equipped gourmet kitchen that includes an oven, stovetop, and microwave.

Thanksgiving To-Go Options

If cooking the Thanksgiving feast from scratch isn’t your cup of tea, you’re in luck.

The Beach Moms are offering a special Thanksgiving delivery service that includes turkey and all the fixin’s – all delivered directly to your condo on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Reheating instructions will also come with your order. Orders must be placed by Nov. 17. Call 251-979-3347 for details.

Coast Restaurant Thanksgiving Dinner

If your idea of the perfect Gulf Shores Thanksgiving dinner includes having someone else do the dishes, then Coast Restaurant is your sweet (and savory) spot. Make reservations for the Thanksgiving feast at Coast here at The Beach Club Resort. Coast offers a special holiday meal that will please even the pickiest of holiday eaters. Award-winning Chef John Hamme and his talented culinary team will prepare a feast fit for a king and his court!

Delectable servings include roast turkey served with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, braised green beans, red-skin mashed potatoes and gravy and cornbread dressing. Or select house-smoked Scottish salmon served with broccoli, orzo, and bell peppers. And, finally, you can also choose a marinated loin of smoked pork with all the fixings. Starters and dessert will also be served. Prices are $45 for adults. Reservations for this taste bud-tempting feast are required. See the full Thanksgiving Day menu.

Flora-Bama Thanksgiving Potluck

17401 Perdido Key Drive, Perdido Key, FL

(251) 980-5118

Open: 1 pm

Price: Complimentary, just bring a side dish; cocktails are separate

Reservations: None

Cobalt the Restaurant

28099, Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach

(251) 923-5300

Open: 10 am to 4 pm

Reservations: Recommended

GTs on the Beach

26189 Canal Road, Orange Beach

(251) 980-8400

Open: 10 am to 4 pm

Reservations: Recommended

Thanksgiving at The Hangout

101 E Beach Avenue, Gulf Shores

(251) 948-3030

Open: 11 am to 4 pm

Reservations: Recommended

woman shopping at the village mercantile at the beach club resort

Gulf Shores Thanksgiving 2022: Things to Do

After the dishes are cleared and the naps have been taken, there’s plenty to do during Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores. Make the short trip to Foley and do some Black Friday shopping at Tanger Outlets. With over 120 name-brand retailers, you’re sure to find the perfect gifts for your family.

Don’t forget to stop by The Village Mercantile at The Beach Club for fun finds, including jewelry, shoes and casual wear.

The weather during November is typically mild, making for comfortable days on the beach and for outdoor activities. Relax and soak in the sun while you enjoy your hassle-free Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores.

Reserve your Gulf Shores condo at The Beach Club Resort & Spa and enjoy a holiday to write home about with family and friends. 

6 Fun Things to Do for Labor Day in Gulf Shores

The Labor Day holiday weekend serves as the unofficial end to summer, so it’s only fitting to spend it at the beach. (Wait a second, did you know it’s warm well into November? That’s right! You’ve got plenty of time to keep on summering. But, we’re also celebrating a staple to beach vacationing – Labor Day in Gulf Shores!)

Take advantage of that three-day weekend and plan a getaway. After all, there’s plenty of sunshine, long summer days, warm temperatures and lots of activities for every member of the family to enjoy during Labor Day in Gulf Shores.

Labor Day Weekend Fun

Fort Morgan - Gulf Shores

Escape Fort Morgan

It’s the summer of 1864 and you’re a Federal spy captured by Confederate soldiers during the Battle of Mobile Bay. Your job is to find a defensive map and escape route. It’s the challenging scenario for the Espionage at Mobile Point escape room at Fort Morgan Historic Site. The hours are 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so your options to be a spy are limited. Be sure to reserve your time in advance!

Address: 110 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Alabama Gulf Coast Fishing

Set A Hook

Celebrate the end of summer with a charter fishing excursion, either inshore or offshore. Book with one of the experienced local captains who will take you right to the fish during your Labor Day in Gulf Shores.

Labor Day Celebration at OWA

Wrap up your summer and celebrate Labor Day Weekend with an epic fireworks show at OWA on Saturday, Sept. 3. The fireworks go off at 8:45 p.m. sharp. This show is timed perfectly with music and can be seen throughout the entire property at OWA in nearby Foley. 

Address: 100 N. OWA Blvd. Foley, AL 36535

Labor Day Car Show

Returning for its third year, the OWA Labor Day Car Show is back on Saturday, Sept. 5! Cars of all makes and models will be on display throughout the Southern-style streets of Downtown OWA. With hot rods and custom builds lining the street, this car show is picture perfect.

Address: 100 N. OWA Blvd. Foley, AL 36535

Listen to the Music

For those about to rock….Parker McCollum will take the stage at The Amphitheater at The Wharf in Orange Beach! Come down and also hear your favorite tunes from Corey Smith and Frank Foster.

The Wharf Address: 4550 Main St., Orange Beach, AL 36561

Kids activities at The Beach Club

Enjoy the Amenities

A stay at The Beach Club provides everything you need for a memorable Labor Day in Gulf Shores, including great amenities and a fun line-up of kids and family activities. Get as involved as you want, or kick back and relax by the pool, at the beach or on your balcony. Spread out and enjoy five football fields of private beaches, treat yourself at The Spa or indulge in your favorite dishes at Coast Restaurant & Sushi Bar.

As a Spectrum Resorts guest, you get priority reservations when it comes to booking a beach chairs, umbrella or other services. But reserve your beach chair early. It is a holiday weekend, after all.

And, remember that our guests enjoy a hassle-free vacation guarantee including freshly laundered coverlets with every stay, complimentary resort activities, onsite maintenance and housekeeping, and more. And, who could forget the 10% discount on dining, shopping, and spa when Spectrum guests use resort charging privileges!

Book your stay at The Beach Club, a secluded resort on the Fort Morgan peninsula for one more great summer hoorah over Labor Day in Gulf Shores.

Six of the Best 2021 Summer Events in Gulf Shores

The season is heating up and so are the summer events in Gulf Shores! Whether you’re up for watching pro-anglers weigh in their trophy-winning catch or high-flying feats by the Blue Angels, there’s something fun and exciting around every corner on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

2021 Summer Events in Gulf Shores

Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo

June 11-13, 2021
Flora-Bama Ole River Grill

Kick off the summer season at the “funnest” fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast: the annual Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo! Always heralded as one of the best summer events in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, this three-day Captain’s Choice fishing competition is open to all anglers and offers great prizes in over 30 categories, from catfish to billfish and everything in-between. Come for the fishing but stay for the fun three-day beach party!

C Spire Concert Series Presents: John Pardi

June 18-19, 2021
The Wharf Amphitheater

Come party with Jon Pardi and special guest Larry Fleet as part of the C Spire Summer Concert Series. Space is limited and masks and social distancing will be required at one of the most fun summer events in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

4th of July Fireworks at OWA

OWA’s Fourth of July Celebration

July 4, 2021

Celebrate Independence Day the Gulf Coast way with a family-friendly party in downtown OWA, where you’ll enjoy fun activities, live entertainment, and a fabulous fireworks show timed to toe-tapping tunes.

Blue Angels Pensacola Beach Air Show

July 7-10, 2021
Park East on Pensacola Beach

Head just over the Florida state line to ooh and aah at one of the most spectacular aviation attractions of the year. The Blue Angels will be demonstrating daring feats of bravery as they roll, tuck, and maneuver through the skies at speeds up to 700mph.

Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf

July 14-17, 2021
The Wharf Marina

Catch the finale of the acclaimed Gulf Coast Triple Crown Series – and some mega Marlin – at this renowned summer billfish tournament. It’s free to spectators, so head to the Wharf to view the weigh-ins and party with the prize-winners at one of the best summer events in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Labor Day Car Show

September 4, 2021

Ride out the end of summer in style at the 4th annual Labor Day Car Show. The streets of Downtown OWA will be lined with the rarest rides around, including hot rods, antiques, classics, custom builds, and more. Trophies will be given to the coolest cars from every decade, so be sure to cruise over!

To start savoring your summer early and enjoy these fun summer events in Gulf Shores, book your stay at The Beach Club today. You’ll have your choice of our luxurious beachfront condos, plus plenty of prep time to plan the ultimate summer adventure on our shores.

In the meantime, don’t miss our pro-beach bag packing tips!

2020’s Hottest Spring Events in Gulf Shores

As winter melts into spring, locals and visitors alike swarm to the beaches of the Alabama Gulf Coast to soak in the warm weather. Spring is one of the best times to visit the beach – the crowds are still low, the weather is mild, and the area is abuzz with lots of spring events in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to celebrate the season. In fact, spring is the beginning of the festival season on the coast, and like everything else, we do it big. So, if you’re visiting Alabama’s beaches between March and May, you’ll want to get in on these can’t-miss events to get a true taste of southern spring. To get ahead on your planning, check out these hottest 2020 spring beach events.

For even more things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, download the Ultimate Vacation Guide! It’s everything you need to be plan a vacation as sweet as a spring flower.

Spring Events in Gulf Shores

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Brunch

February 28, 2020 @ 10am
The Island Room, The Beach Club Resort & Spa

Dine in luxurious Tiffany’s style at the Breakfast at Tiffany’s Brunch. This themed event starts off your day in southern style thanks to a breakfast buffet loaded with traditional favorites like scrambled eggs, loaded grits, southern-style biscuits with sawmill gravy, and all the bacon and sausage you can eat. Be sure to save room for whipped cream and toasted pecan pie! Tickets are $27 for Spectrum Resorts guests and $30 for non-Spectrum guests. To get the best price, book your stay direct through Spectrum Resorts at The Beach Club! Register for the breakfast at the Club Desk by February 21.

Ballyhoo Festival in Gulf Shores

Ballyhoo Festival

March 7-8, 2020
Gulf State Park

Kick off the spring festival season at Ballyhoo. This weekend event combines everything we love about spring – warm outdoor weather, fun cultural events, and delicious local seafood. This year, the local Poarch Indians will perform a tribal dance and a unique banjo and fiddle competition will bring you the traditional songs of the south. It’s one of the most anticipated spring events in Gulf Shores.

Orange Beach Festival of Art

March 14-15, 2020
Orange Beach Waterfront Park

You know spring is in the air when it’s time for the annual Orange Beach Festival of Art. Known as the “first rite of spring,” this popular festival shares in the season’s beauty as it showcases a variety of arts by more than 100 of the area’s finest artists. No medium is left untouched – visual, performing, culinary, and musical arts give festival goers a blend of experiences to tantalize all the senses. The festival is FREE and open to the public.

St. Pawtty’s Day at OWA

March 14, 2020
Downtown OWA

Our furry friends love to celebrate spring, too – and now they can! The 3rd annual St. Pawtty’s day lets you don your spring-green apparel and take a four-legged romp around the fun of downtown OWA. A themed pet parade, dog-gone activities, and plenty of yummy treats make this a day that’s gone to the dogs. Be sure to bring your leash and clean up after your pup.

BBQ & Blues Cookoff

March 14, 2020
Heritage Park, nearby Foley, AL

Spring brings you cheer – and we’re bringing you the blues! The annual BBQ & Blues Cookoff spices up your early spring with a delicious BBQ cookoff and then cools it down with the sounds of cool blues musicians. If you’re a fan of warm spring weather, delicious southern BBQ, and good music, you’ll feel right at home at this mouth-watering event.

German Sausage Festival

March 28, 2020
Elberta Town Park

If you need a break from the beach, the semi-annual German Sausage Festival is a popular spring event for locals and visitors alike. Besides all the German sausage and sauerkraut you can eat, you’ll also find traditional festival fare, fun family games, live music, and more than 200 arts and crafts vendors. All proceeds benefit the town of Elberta and local non-profit organizations. It’s a great way to soak up the spring weather and help support our Gulf Coast community at the same time.

Zydeco & Crawfish Festival & 5K Run

Zydeco & Crawfish Festival & 5K Run

April 4, 2020
Waterway Village in Gulf Shores

Spring isn’t complete without crawfish, and the Zydeco & Crawfish Festival serves them up by the bucket full. Start the day off by working up an appetite at the 5K or 1-mile fun run races. Afterward, crack open those salty shells while you enjoy live music from the best Zydeco bands around and browse original arts and crafts by local artists. They Zydeco & Crawfish Festival is one of the top spring events in Gulf Shores.

Mullet Toss

April 24-26, 2020
FloraBama Lounge & Oyster Bar

If there’s one event that you can’t miss during a Gulf Coast spring, it’s Mullet Toss. Each year, thousands of beachgoers crowd onto the shores of the FloraBama for a weekend of fishy fun. Participants line up to toss a mullet over the Florida-Alabama state line – mostly for fun, but also for bragging rights. This legendary event is mostly just an excuse to party, as the majority of attendees spend the weekend boozing and bronzing on the beach. Rentals go fast, so be sure to book your Beach Club condo early to guarantee your spot.

The Hangout Music Festival

May 15 – May 17, 2020
The Hangout

Say goodbye to spring and hello to summer at the annual Hangout Music Fest. Music lovers know this is a must-do for spring events in Gulf Shores. This beachfront music festival is known as one of the best music festivals in the U.S. and it happens right on the shores of Gulf Shores. A-list bands, delicious seafood, and daily beach parties combine with sand and surf to make a fun festival weekend you won’t want to miss. More than 15,000 people attend each year and rentals go fast, so be sure to book with The Beach Club early to guarantee your spot!

If you’re coming for some spring fun, don’t forget to book a Gulf Shores rental that fits the trip! The Beach Club offers upscale vacation rentals in a resort that’s full of amenities and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Browse our event calendar and book your condo or cottage today!

Top 6 Gulf Shores New Year’s Celebrations

For travelers looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve in Gulf Shores, we’ve got good news for you. We’ve collected the best Gulf Shores New Year’s parties—as well as nearby celebrations along the coast—including kid-friendly occasions and adult-centered extravaganzas to usher in 2020.

Welcome the new decade Gulf Coast style with these festive Gulf Shores New Year’s events!

New Year’s Eve for the Family

Kids Confetti Drop

Youngsters will have a blast at this kid-friendly event with tons of activities like face painting, camel rides, a bouncy house, a surf simulator, and much more! The countdown starts just before noon and when 12 o’clock strikes, the air will fill with colorful confetti. After the Kids Confetti Drop, stick around for the Reelin’ in the New Year celebration.

When: 10 am to 3 pm

Where: The Wharf in Orange Beach

Admission:  Free; various kids activities from $5-$10

woman celebrating new years and holding sparkler

Noon Year’s Eve at Lulu’s

Kids and adults alike will have tons of fun at Lulu’s Noon Year’s Eve in Gulf Shores. This exciting event will include tons of kid-friendly activities including face painting, live music, and a colorful beach ball drop! Welcome 2020 a little earlier this year with this family-friendly New Year’s Eve event in Gulf Shores.

When: 10 am to 3 pm

Where: Lulu’s in Gulf Shores

Admission: Free

Ice Skating Rink at The Wharf

Celebrate the new year with an evening of ice skating. The ice skating rink at The Wharf provides a classic winter activity next to the Gulf. Take the family to the rink for a day of skating or enjoy a romantic skate with your SO to celebrate the new year. The price of admission is $10 and includes skate rentals.

Where: The Wharf

Admission: $10 per person; includes skate rentals

new years eve fireworks in the night sky

Reelin’ in the New Year at The Wharf

Live bands, a surf simulator, face painting, and fireworks at midnight; that’s what you can expect at this year’s Reelin’ in the New Year at The Wharf. The New Year’s Eve Street Party kicks things off at 5 pm with kid-friendly activities including a rock wall, mechanical bull, and a trampoline jumpee. Live music includes the Travis Clark Band and the Jason Jones Band with the tunes starting at 7 pm. All of the fun leads up to the marlin drop and fireworks at midnight!

When: 5 pm – 12 am

Where: The Wharf

Admission: Free; various kids activities from $5-$10

New Year’s for Adults

Flora-Bama’s New Year’s Eve Bash

New year, same exciting Flora-Bama new year’s celebration. Take a short drive from Gulf Shores to Pensacola, Florida for the famous Flora-Bama’s New Year’s Eve Bash, featuring live music on three stages, mouthwatering food, party favors, and champagne. Advance tickets are $40 for ages 21 and up and includes an all you can eat dinner buffet from 6 pm to 11 pm, a breakfast buffet from 12 am to 2 am, party favors, and a free champagne split at midnight. You won’t want to miss this!

When: 6 pm – 2 am

Where: Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar

Admission: $40 for advance tickets ages 21 and up

Contact: (850) 492-0611

clinging glasses of champagne

Flora-Bama Polar Bear Dip

Dress in your best new year’s attire and take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico once high noon strikes on January 1st for the Flora-Bama Polar Bear Dip! Fully submerge beneath the waves and receive a free draft beer and a new year’s lunch at Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar.

When: Noon, January 1st, 2020

Where: Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar

Admission: Free

Winter is a great time to take a Gulf Shores vacation –> Check out these 5 reasons to take a Gulf Shores getaway during the winter.

2019 Gulf Shores Events for Your Beach Vacation

The beachside cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are well known for amazing beaches and superb culinary treats, but there are also festivals and events galore that attract visitors year ’round. As you’re planning your Spectrum Resorts vacation at The Beach Club Resort & Spa, keep these Gulf Shores events in mind.

2019 Gulf Shores Events

Valentine’s Day at The Village Hideaway

Feb. 14, 2019

925 Beach Club Trail, Gulf Shores, AL

(251) 224-3650

Kick off your Valentine’s weekend early with a special dinner at The Village Hideaway at The Beach Club Resort & Spa with the Sweetheart Dinner, $22 per person. Reservations required.


Orange Beach Seafood Festival & Car Show

February 23, 2019

The Wharf in Orange Beach, 4830 Main St., Orange Beach

(251) 981-1524

Celebrate this 27th annual event with a full day of seafood, activities for the kids, live entertainment, a car show and more. There will be two stages with lots of music, almost 100 arts and crafts vendors, and both seafood and specialty food booths at this Orange Beach event. This is the primary fundraiser for the Orange Beach Sports Association supporting local youth sports.

Orange Beach Festival of Art

Orange Beach Festival of Art
March 9-10, 2019

Orange Beach Waterfront Park, 26389 Canal Rd., Orange Beach

(251) 981-ARTS (2787)

The 45th annual Festival of Art is a celebration of the arts where attendees will see visual arts, fine arts and crafts, glass, potters, painters, sculptors and more. Also enjoy a culinary arts court with local fare and a stage featuring music and songwriting as well as a kid’s art alley for the young ones at this Orange Beach event.

The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show

March 29-31, 2019

The Wharf in Orange Beach, 4550 Main St., Orange Beach

(850) 348-1498

The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show is the largest in-water display of any boat show along the upper Gulf Coast. The event highlights the latest and greatest offerings from manufacturers and dealers throughout the Southeast. Visitors can also see the newest finds in marine electronics, fishing tackle, engines and outdoor equipment.

Waterway Village Zydeco & Crawfish Festival & 5K Run

Gulf Shores event

April 20, 2019

Waterway Village in Gulf Shores, 225 E. 24th Ave. Gulf Shores

(251) 968-1174

Who doesn’t love a fun festival with tasty crawfish, great Zydeco rhythms, arts and crafts vendors and children’s activities? Put this Gulf Shores event on your calendar for a 2019 beach vacation in Gulf Shores.


Easter Brunch and Dinner at Coast Restaurant & Sushi Bar

April 21, 2019

925 Beach Club Trail, Gulf Shores, AL

(251) 224-3600

Spend your Easter weekend at The Beach Club Resort & Spa and enjoy Easter Brunch at Coast from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., $34.95 per person, reservations required. In the evening, feast on Easter Dinner at Coast from 5 to 8 p.m.. The full menu will be offered. Reservations are recommended.


National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship

May 3-5, 2019

Gulf Shores Main Public Beach (Gulf Place), 101 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores

The NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship is where the top eight teams from across the country will compete for the championship title.

Mother’s Day Brunch at Coast

May 12, 2019

925 Beach Club Trail, Gulf Shores, AL

(251) 224-3600

Treat Mom to a special Mother’s Day weekend at The Beach Club Resort & Spa and leave the cooking to our talented culinary team. Mother’s Day Brunch will be served at Coast from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations required.


The Hangout Music Festival

Hangout Music Festival

May 16-19, 2019

Gulf Shores Public Beach, 101 E Beach Blvd., Gulf Shores

Award-winning Hangout Music Festival is one of Alabama’s Gulf Coast premier music events with a terrific lineup of great live music plus festival amenities like beach volleyball, carnival-style rides, Gulf-front hammocks, seafood and more! (Note: Hangout Fest’s Thursday Kick-off Party is a separately ticketed event.) Get ticket and lodging packages to make the most of your stay with Spectrum Resorts.

The Village Lawn Opens

May 22, 2019

925 Beach Club Trail, Gulf Shores, AL

The Village Lawn is the hottest summertime attraction at The Beach Club Resort & Spa. Enjoy a fun atmosphere under festival lights in the evenings with live entertainment, life-sized games and food trucks.


July 4th Festivities

July 4, 2019

925 Beach Club Trail, Gulf Shores, AL

(251) 224-2582

Have a star-spangled Fourth of July at The Beach Club Resort & Spa. Enjoy a parade at 11 a.m., fireworks, beverage cart and shrimp boil at 6 p.m.


Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf

July 10-14, 2019

The Wharf, 4673 Wharf Parkway, Orange Beach

(251) 224-1900

Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf is one of the greatest shows in sportfishing and a Top 20 event in the Southeast.

Labor Day Weekend

August 30 – September 2, 2019

925 Beach Club Trail, Gulf Shores, AL

(251) 224-2582

Soak up summertime at The Beach Club Resort & Spa with Labor Day weekend festivities, including Football Saturday and a Foam Party on Sunday.

The Wharf Food and Wine Festival

Orange Beach wine festival

September 2019 TBA

The Wharf at Orange Beach, 23101 Canal Rd, Orange Beach

(251) 224-1000

This three-day event combines food, wine, live entertainment and great coastal hospitality all in an effort to raise money for Make-A-Wish® Alabama. It’s a premier event each year and offers a fantastic silent auction as well.

Annual National Shrimp Festival

October 10-13, 2019

Gulf Place, Gulf Shores, AL

Thousands of pounds of fresh, Gulf shrimp and seafood are served up at this annual Gulf Shores event. Browse more than 300 arts and crafts and fine art vendors, listen to hours of live music or enter the sand sculpture contest. There’s something for everyone at this annual event.

Hangout Oyster Cook-Off & Craft Beer Weekend

November 1-2, 2019

Gulf Place, Gulf Shores, AL

Oyster loves won’t want to miss this annual Gulf Shores event! Sample dozens of preparations of oysters by the country’s top chefs. Enjoy cooking demonstrations by Food Network stars, live entertainment and much more!


World Food Championship

November 2019 TBA

The Wharf, 4673 Wharf Parkway, Orange Beach

Watch more than 1,300 chefs and home cook teams compete for bragging rights in the greatest show in food sport!

Thanksgiving Buffet at Coast

Nov. 28, 2019

925 Beach Club Trail, Gulf Shores, AL

(251) 224-3600

Enjoy a hassle-free holiday and leave the cooking to us for Thanksgiving. Join us for a Thanksgiving buffet at Coast Restaurant & Sushi Bar. Reservations are required.

Christmas Dinner at Coast

December 25, 2019

925 Beach Club Trail, Gulf Shores, AL

(251) 224-3600

Have a holly, jolly Christmas and enjoy Christmas dinner at Coast Restaurant & Sushi Bar at The Beach Club Resort & Spa. Reservations are required.

New Year’s Eve Celebration

new years eve fireworks in the night sky

December 31, 2019

925 Beach Club Trail, Gulf Shores, AL

(251) 224-3600

Ring in the 2020 with a spectacular evening at Coast Restaurant & Sushi Bar. Enjoy dinner and fireworks. Reservations are required.

Remember when planning to visit, Spectrum Resorts offers VIP perks for booking direct. Enjoy the Clean Bed Guarantee — a clean coverlet with every stay, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and book with no money down when planning at least 30 days in advance. Spectrum Resorts at The Beach Club also offers onsite concierge, front desk and housekeeping/maintenance teams for the perfect hassle-free vacation experience. Enjoy discounts at onsite restaurants, The Spa and receive complimentary bike rentals.

Reserve your 2019 Gulf Shores vacation at The Beach Club today with $0 deposit.

The 12 Best Things to Do in Gulf Shores at Christmas

From lighted boat parades to merry celebrations and Christmas tree lightings, there are so many things to do in Gulf Shores at Christmas!

We’ve rounded up the best family-friendly Christmas events in Gulf Shores for the perfect coastal Alabama Christmas.

Check out the 12 best things to do in Gulf Shores at Christmas for the 2018 holiday season!


christmas tree and lights in background with wooden table in foreground

Ice Skating Rink at The Wharf

Ice skating by the Gulf? That’s right! Just a short distance from Gulf Shores, The Wharf in Orange Beach will once again feature its ice skating rink, a unique experience for all ages to enjoy this holiday season! Located next to the Fire Station at The Wharf, the ice skating rink is open from November 16th thru January 13th, with various times throughout. Admission is $10 per person and includes skate rentals. For $13, skaters can enjoy the ice skating rink and a ride on the Ferris wheel.

When: Friday, November 16th thru Sunday, January 13th; Various times

Where: The Wharf

Admission: $10 per person; includes skate rentals


Photos with Santa at The Wharf

Visit Santa’s Village and get a picture with the big man himself! You’ll find Santa’s Village at The Port at The Wharf from November 16th thru December 24th, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

When: Friday, November 16th thru Monday, December 24th; Various times

Where: The Port at The Wharf


Holiday Horse & Carriage Rides at The Wharf

Holiday Horse & Carriage Rides is the perfect way to spend an evening getting into the holiday spirit with your loved ones. Visit The Wharf Friday, Saturday, or Sunday between November 18th and December 16th for a ride through the lights and decorations of Orange Beach. Carriage rides are $25 per ride, up to four people, and $5 for single riders.

When: Sunday, November 18th thru Sunday, December 16th; 5 pm – 8 pm

Where: The Wharf

Admission: $25 per ride (up to four people); $5 for single riders


christams tree up close

Magic Christmas in Lights at Bellingrath Gardens

Get into the holiday spirit with over 3 million lights and 15 different scenes at the Bellingrath Gardens from November 23rd thru December 31st! Located about an hour and a half from Gulf Shores, this dazzling display of Christmas lights will fill all ages with Christmas cheer, including decorations at the Bellingrath Home, nightly choral performances, hot cocoa available for purchase, and holiday meals available nightly at the Magnolia Cafe. Listed as one of America’s top 100 events by the American Bus Associaton and one of America’s best public light displays by USA Today, you will not want to miss it! Tickets start at $8 for children ages 5-12 and $16 for adults.

When: Friday, November 23rd thru Monday, December 31st; 5 pm – 9 pm

Where: Bellingrath Gardens and Home

Admission: $8 for children ages 5-12; $16 for adults

Contact: (251) 973-2217


Christmas Tree Lighting at The Wharf

Visit The Wharf in Orange Beach, Tuesday, November 27th for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting! This jolly celebration is filled to the brim with holiday activities and excitement, including festive musical performances, cookie decorating, letters to Santa, and much, much more. This festive event concludes with the SPECTRA Sound & Light Spectacular.

When: Tuesday, November 27th; 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Where: The Wharf

Admission: Free


7th Annual Merry Market Expo

Over 70 vendors will be on hand at the 7th Annual Merry Market at the Orange Beach Event Center! Shop, peruse and enjoy the season’s tidings with unique gifts, crafts, and more Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th. Search for the perfect gift for that special someone or shop for yourself at this year’s Merry Market. Admission is free.

When: Friday, December 7th 9 am – 6 pm & Saturday, December 8th 9 am – 5 pm

Where: Orange Beach Events Center

Admission: Free

Don’t miss out on the best holiday shopping in Gulf Shores.


9th Annual Gulf Shores Lighted Christmas Parade

Find the perfect spot around Gulf Shores Public Beach and Sims Park for this festive parade in Gulf Shores! Floats with glimmering lights, special appearances from holiday characters, and live performances from marching bands will be on hand for this holiday celebration. Once the parade concludes at Sims Park, the celebration continues at Sims Park with more Christmas fun and excitement including photos with Santa Claus and a snowball drop!

When: Friday, December 7th; 6:30 pm – 9 pm

Where: Gulf Shores Public Beach

Admission: Free


christmas ornaments on the beach

South Baldwin Community Theatre presents A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Christmas season isn’t complete without enjoying the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas, and at South Baldwin Community Theatre in Gulf Shores you can enjoy it live! Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the other Peanuts come to life during this Christmas classic. Show dates are December 7th thru December 9th and December 14th thru December 16th.

Tickets start at $15 for adults and $9.95 for students. Call (251) 968-6721 for more information.

When: December 7th, 8th, 14th, and 15th at 7:30 pm; December 9th and 16th at 2:30 pm

Where: South Baldwin Community Theatre

Admission: $9.95 for students; $15 for adults

Contact: (251) 968-6721


2nd Annual Jingle Jubilee Kids Crafts Day

Visit The Wharf Saturday, December 8th for a fun-filled day of arts, crafts, and more! The Jingle Jubilee Kids Crafts Day is a great day for kids to use their Christmas spirit and create unique, homemade crafts like ornaments, cookie decorations, and more. Craft stations will be set up at various shops along The Wharf where kids can use their creativity for special holiday treats. There will also be live music. The fun starts at 12 pm and ends at 4 pm, but stick around for the evening’s Christmas Lighted Boat Parade!

When: Saturday, December 8th; 12 pm – 4 pm

Where: The Port at The Wharf

Admission: Free


33rd Annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade

Find a spot near the water for this year’s Christmas Lighted Boat Parade Saturday, December 8th from 5:30 thru 8:30 pm. Beginning at Lulu’s Homeport Marina, this glimmering holiday bonanza will wind past The Wharf, Bear Point, Ono Island, and Perdido Pass before making its stop in Terry Cove. Kayaks, sailboats, charters and many other vessels will be decorated with dazzling light displays and holiday spirit. A post-parade awards ceremony will be held at FloraBama Ole River Grille.

When: Saturday, December 8th; 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Where: Lulu’s Homeport Marina


2nd Annual Happy Howlidays Kid & Pet Parade

Humans and pets alike are invited to this jolly pet-friendly parade! Take a short trip from Gulf Shores to Orange Beach for this year’s Happy Howlidays Kid & Pet Parade at The Wharf. Don your four-legged friend in their holiday attire so they can strut their stuff along The Wharf. Kids and adults are encouraged to dress up too, so make it a family affair! The parade begins at 2 pm on Sunday, December 9th and concludes with kids activities like a bouncy house, a live DJ playing music and games, and face painting. Pet adoptions and donations will also be available through the Baldwin Humane Society.

When: Sunday, December 9th; 2 pm – 5:30 pm

Where: The Wharf

Admission: Free


12 Days of Christmas Shopping

Still in need of that perfect gift for that special someone? Don’t fret, the 12 Days of Christmas Shopping event at The Wharf has you covered! For 12 days starting December 13th, various shops at The Wharf will be offering exclusive deals and one-day-only sales so you can grab the perfect present that won’t cost you an arm or a leg.

When: Thursday, December 13th thru Monday, December 24th

Where: The Wharf


Looking to book your Gulf Shores vacation? Why wait till summer? Check out these 5 reasons why you should book a fall and winter vacation rental in Gulf Shores.

Hot Gulf Shores Events Happening this Fall

Fall is a fantastic time to plan a trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast. If you are a fan of food, music and fun festivals, then these Orange Beach and Gulf Shores festivals for fall 2018 are for you. Browse our favorites and make a beeline to the beach for a fall vacation to remember. Get the best rates of the fall season on our specials page.


The Wharf Uncorked Wine & Culinary Event  I  Sept. 13 – 15

Orange Beach wine festival

With last year’s event raising more than $20,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, this three-day Orange Beach event is sure to be even more successful and fun. Enjoy cooking demonstrations, tastings, and sample more than 100 wine labels at this taste bud tempting event. Tickets start at $35 each.

For tickets and more information, call (251) 224-1000.


15th Annual John L. Borom Alabama Coastal BirdFest  I  Oct. 3 – 6

This birding and nature festival showcases bird and nature-watching spots all around Baldwin and Mobile counties. Trips and workshops are scheduled Wednesday through Saturday and include a variety of experiences including photography workshops, kayak tours and nature presentations. General admission is free—guided trips are not included.

Contact (251) 990-5004 for more details.


47th Annual National Shrimp Festival  I  Oct. 11 – 14

There is a reason the Annual National Shrimp Festival is one of the top Gulf Shores festivals! This family-friendly festival has been going strong for more than 40 years and attracting more than 300,000 people from all over. Food (did someone say shrimp?), art and shopping, and more than 100 hours of entertainment are all featured at this Gulf Shores event. Admission is free.

For more information, call (251) 968-7200.


Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend at The Hangout  I  Nov. 2 – 3

Craft Beer and cocktails, oysters from near and far, great live music…what’s not to love about this Gulf Shores festival? If you like them right out of the shell or prefer them a little more “done,” The Hangout is definitely your oyster. Celebrity chefs from all over, including the Food Network, attend this Gulf Shores event! Don’t miss their cooking demonstrations in between oyster tastings. General admission tickets start at $10; kids 12 and under are free; VIP tickets start at $150.

Visit the Hangout Cook-Off website for more details.


2018 World Food Championships  I  Nov. 7 – 11

More than 1,500 chefs and home cooks compete for big prize money in this event touted as America’s most-watched food sport event. You’ll find competitions such as the Steakout, BBQ, Chili Fest, and more. This tasty Orange Beach event is one that foodies will not want to miss. Admission is $10; kids 12 and under are free; VIP tickets are also available.

Contact (615) 297-6886 for more information.


34th Annual Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival  I  Nov. 8 – 18

Songwriters' Festival

This Gulf Shores festival runs across multiple venues and features nearly 200 songwriters from around the world. The festival and has been named one of the top 20 events in the Southeast. Listeners are treated to an intimate “behind the music” experience from amazing songwriters, many are also Grammy winners! Price of admission varies by venue.

For more details, call (850) 492-7664.


With so many Gulf Shores events to choose from, it’s time to start planning and packing. Book your Gulf Shores AL vacation rental now and take advantage of the lowest rates this fall by browsing our specials page.

Things to Do During Inclement Weather on the Gulf Coast

The sun is shining and there’s not a cloud in the sky. Picture perfect weather is what everyone is expecting during their beach vacation. Unfortunately, sometimes rain and sleet do happen. In that case, you shouldn’t have to stop your dream vacation from continuing just as planned. We have created a list of the top activities to do to entertain your guests during your beach vacation along the Gulf Coast.

The National Naval Aviation Museum is a quick drive along the coast into Pensacola, FL and is an ideal location for rich history and historic displays. The 350,000 square feet museum is the largest Naval Aviation museum. The best part of a visit to the museum is that it’s FREE!

The David L. Bodenhamer Recreation Center  is located in the heart of Gulf Shores, AL and offers a variety of recreational activities. Even though the center is membership based, daily passes can be purchased for only $10 per day per person and include access to the indoor pool, basketball/racquetball courts and game room.

Gulf Bowl is not your ordinary bowling alley. Located in Foley, AL, the owners of Gulf Bowl focus on family entertainment that includes state-of-the-art lanes, laser tag, ropes course, interactive arcade, dining and even private parties.

Fat Daddy’s Arcade is in Orange Beach, AL and offers over 80 different arcade games. Catering to all ages, Fat Daddy’s offers something for everyone. Many of the larger-than-life size games award tickets that can be redeemed for sought after prizes.

The Factory in one of Gulf Shores newest additions for family fun. With so many different activities under one roof, they encourage everyone to play now and grow up later. Guests can jump around on over 12,000 square feet of connected trampolines. Other activities include an obstacle course, foam pits, dodgeball, flight simulator and an arcade.

The Gulf Coast Escape Room is great for all ages and is designed to get you out of your comfort zone. Work together as a team to make your great escape in under 60 minutes. Each room has a different theme where you have to crack codes, solve ciphers and decode clues for an unforgettable adventure.


Don’t let a little bit of inclement weather put a damper on your visit to the Gulf Coast. Visit one of the establishments listed above and leave us a comment on how much fun you had.