5 Reasons to Visit the Gulf Coast in July

July is one of the best and busiest times of the year to head down to the Gulf Coast and spend your summer days. You’ll have a litany of family-friendly activities and events to enjoy throughout your Gulf Shores vacation. Better yet, our Gulf Shores luxury resort is in prime location to many of the exciting things you can do this July along the Gulf Coast!


Gulf Shores Concerts at The Wharf Amphitheater

cheerful concert goers

The Wharf is one of the hubs for entertainment and fun along the Alabama Gulf Coast, and this July is no different. There are a ton of concerts throughout the summer at The Wharf, and a couple of performances will be performing at The Wharf Amphitheater in Orange Beach. This year’s July concerts include:

  • Jason Aldean with special guests Luke Combs, Lauren Alaina, and Dee Jay Silver | Thursday, July 26th, 7:30 pm | Tickets start at $62.75
  • Dave Matthews Band | Sunday, July 29th, 8 pm | Tickets start at $85

For more information on The Wharf Amphitheater, contact (251) 224-1020.


Blue Marlin Grand Championship | The Wharf Marina | July 10th – 15th

Orange Beach’s biggest fishing event of the year takes center stage at The Wharf Marina from July 10th – July 15th. Eighty-five teams of fishermen will set to the sea to pull the biggest catch they can find, and weigh their monster catches and see the biggest fish on display. From beginners to professionals, all are welcome to participate in this popular Orange Beach fishing event. For more information, call (251) 224-1900.


Gulf Shores 4th of July Celebrations

a crowd watching fireworks

This 4th of July, Gulf Shores will be boasting several patriotic festivities and family fun. Fireworks will light the night sky and parties with kid-friendly activities, yummy food, and more will be available. This year’s Gulf Shores 4th of July celebrations include:

  • J4 Celebration at Turquoise Place – Turquoise Place Resort; Wednesday, July 4th; Kid’s activities, live music, delicious BBQ, fireworks; unlimited fun passes are $20 per child ages 5-15 and $35 for adults. Children 4 years and younger are free; find out more about the J4 Celebration
  • Independence Day Street Party – The Wharf at Orange Beach; Tuesday, July 3rd, 5 pm – 9 pm; Family-friendly activities, giveaways, live entertainment; Admission is free; some activities have a fee
  • Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration – Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier; Wednesday, July 4th; Fireworks starting at 9 pm; Free Admission
  • 4th of July Fireworks Celebration at The Beach Club Resort & Spa – The Beach Club Resort & Spa; Wednesday, July 4th, 9pm; Kid’s activities, live music, food specials, fireworks.


Sunny Days and Tropical Drinks

The Alabama Gulf Coast is known for its beautiful sunny days and a nice breeze. What better way to cool off on those hot summer days than with a colorful tropical drink. Enjoy a refreshing beverage at the Gulfside Bar & Grill, located on-site at The Beach Club, or visit The Village Hideaway, also located on-site, which boasts tons of delicious food and drinks, and their own arcade.


The Beach Club Clubhouse Activities | Ongoing

clubhouse activities are a big part of the beach club experience

Throughout the month of July, The Beach Club Resort & Spa will be hosting numerous Clubhouse activities and things to do for all ages! Enjoy dance parties, balloon sculptures, on-site entertainment, poolside music, and so many more free activities at our Gulf Shores resort. Check out our summer events schedule at The Beach Club here!



Fort Morgan Guided Tours | Ongoing

History buffs may find it a fitting time to tour Fort Morgan http://www.fort-morgan.org/ at the end of the scenic Fort Morgan peninsula. During the summer months of June and July, there are daily guided tours at 10 a.m. Staff dressed in period clothing will speak about the Fort’s historical significance, military occupancy and the like. Self-guided tours are also available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Pricing is available on their website.


Pirates and Princesses Breakfast | Ongoing

Need an extra little something for the wee travelers this holiday? Check out the Pirates and Princesses Breakfast at The Hangout! Available 8 to 10:30 a.m. through Labor Day, this all-you-can-eat breakfast feast is accompanied by skits and sword fights, as well as a search for pirate booty! Affordably priced (adults $13, ages 6-12 $7, 5 and under free), don your princess or pirate costume and head on over for a value-added vacation extra! The kids will love it (adult kids included).


Take advantage of the Fourth of July sale at nearby Tanger Outlets in Foley. Shop at famous brand stores from Friday, June 29 to Sunday, July 8 and download the Tanger APP for additional sale finds! If you’re a Spectrum Resorts guest, you’ll find a voucher for a Tanger Outlets coupon book in your check-in packet. Redeem the voucher at the mall office and get started shopping and saving!

Book your Gulf Shores luxury condos at The Beach Club Resort & Spa for July before they’re all booked up!

Five Reasons to Book Your Vacation Early

Seriously, stop reading this blog immediately and go ahead and book your vacation.  Ok, maybe not right this second, but definitely soon.  Why would you wait?  There are several advantages for the planners that book their vacation months in advance rather than waiting until the last minute.

  • You’ll Have More Available Rentals to Choose from

You don’t want to end up in a condo that hasn’t been updated since shag carpet and fake plants were all the rage.  The best condos fill up fast.  You’ll have much better luck finding a room that’s been updated with modern décor and technology (I’m talking flat screen TVs and Blu-ray players instead of box TVs and VCRs) if you’re doing your research in January instead of June.

  • You’ll Save Money

It’s simple supply and demand.  As more and more reservations come in, vacation rental companies increase the price on their remaining inventory.  That means the longer you wait to book your vacation, the more money you’ll end up paying.  Make your reservation earlier in the year to lock in the lower prices before they start to go up.

  • You Won’t Have to Put Down a Huge Deposit

So this varies by rental company, but generally speaking if you book your reservation more than a month in advance you’ll pay a smaller deposit that you would if you book at the last minute.  Most rental companies require a 50% deposit for reservations booked more than a month in advance and full payment for reservations made within a month of the arrival date.  Some companies even let you book with $0 down if you’re booking far enough in advance. For example, Spectrum guests are not required to pay anything until 30 days from their booking date. So you can lock in a great rental at a low rate and not even have to spend a penny to do it!

  • You’ll Have More Time to Plan Your Trip

Booking early allows you to better plan your vacation.  Once you know where you’re going to stay, you can search the amenities in the area for you and your family to enjoy while on vacation.  It also gives you more time to coordinate with friends and family members that may want to come along on the trip too.  You could even look at bunking up and staying in a larger condo (there are four and even five bedroom options available) to split the cost and save some money.

  • You’ll Have a Vacation to Look Forward to

Wouldn’t you rather take your time and plan out your vacation or be stressed and scrambling to book something last minute?  Think about it, you could have everything planned and reserved before winter is even over and you’ll have a vacation to look forward too.  It’s much less stressful than waiting until June to try and pull a summer vacation together.

10 of the Best Family-Friendly Activities along the Alabama Gulf Coast

Planning your family trip to the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast? Here are 10 of the best local family-friendly activities in Gulf Shores, Alabama and the surrounding area you won’t want to miss!

1. The Beach – If you are ready for swimming, sun bathing, snorkeling, or many other beach activities, you should not miss the Gulf Coast’s renowned sandy white beaches. There are no fees for beach access and parking is free at most of the public beaches. A list of all the public beaches can be found at gulfshores.com.

2. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo – Home to more than 500 exotic animals, the zoo offers various education shows, daily keeper talks, and encounters with sloths, kangaroos and lemurs. The zoo is open daily from 9am-4pm, but be sure to call (251)968-5731 to ask about their current exhibits and show schedules.

3. Waterville USA – Don’t forget to pack your suits! Known for its famous water rides such as the Flowrider, Triple Dog Dare, and Screamin’ Demon, this destination is a guaranteed success with the kids. There is also complimentary parking and cabana rentals for the parents. An open days and hours calendar is available on their website at WatervilleUSA.com.

4. Hangout Restaurant – Sip on a “Colossal Cocktail” while your daughter becomes the new Foosball champ. You can shop for souvenirs, chase the kids in the sand pit, and take a picture in the Giant Hangout Chairs to share with your family and friends back home. Be sure to order the golden fried Alabama Shrimp before you leave!

5. SPECTRA Light Show – Totally unique to the Gulf Coast, The Wharf’s Sound and Light Spectacular incorporates choreographed lighting effects with popular, surround sound music that is selected to engage audiences of all ages. The show starts at 6pm and 7pm and is FREE to the public.

6. The Track – Go-Karts! Do we need to say more? How about three and a half stories of go-kart track to suit your families need for speed. There is also miniature golf, an arcade, and other thrill rides for a guaranteed victory visit! The Track’s peak season runs from about May-August and the hours are Monday-Saturday from 9am-10pm.

7. OWA – Alabama’s newest amusement park is home to over 21 thrill rides and several restaurants including Wahlburgers. The hours vary daily but you can call (251)923-2111 for more information. Also, tickets are half off on Fridays from 4pm-9pm.

8. Gulf State Park Pier – Catch the big one on 2,448 feet of fishing space. The pier is the 2nd largest on the Gulf of Mexico and is 1,540 feet long. You can purchase tackle and souvenirs in the indoor retail area and have a seat at one of the comfort stations along the midpoint of the pier. The pier is open 24 hours, but the bait shop is open 6am until 6pm.

9. Orange Beach Marina – If your family is looking for some fun beach activities this place has you covered. They offer jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides along with boat and yacht rentals and charters. Give them a call at (251)981-1800 for pricing and hours.

10. Fort Morgan – The wide variety of activities offered at Fort Morgan in Gulf Shores make it a great day trip for families. Enjoy a history lesson and beautiful nature walks at this historic site. Fort Morgan opens 8am-5pm daily. Please call (251)540-5257 for information on ticket prices.

Many adventures are just waiting for you and your family at Gulf Shores, AL. We hope to see you soon!

5 Tips to Find your Perfect Vacation Rental

You need a vacation and you know about where you want to stay and heard great reviews. Everything seems perfect, at the beginning. After you rent, you run into problem after problem and with no solution, your perfect vacation is not so perfect. So what do you do? These tips can help you avoid the headaches and allow your perfect vacation to be worth every moment.

Rental Management Company. Who are you renting from? What is their reputation? How do you know you are getting a better deal? Most rental companies sell you on the perfect vacation by showing you everything you COULD have, not everything you get. They show you the price and the property and tell you it’s a great deal, do your own research. With Spectrum Resorts, you have access to everything on property including resort discounts and perks that other rental management companies and owners cannot offer. A lot of times you run into the problem that you don’t have access to this or you have to pay more for that and in the end you pay more than your original budget with hassle and headaches. Now, there are some benefits to renting through an outside party only if you want a room and a beach and nothing else. Your experience is lacking, a little sandy and wishing you did more.

Location, Rooms and Standards. Click on that one, that one is perfect. Why are there only a few pictures? This is NOT like the pictures. Always know what you are renting and who you are renting from. Make sure the room you rent has more than just a few pictures. You can do a lot with a camera to make a “one bedroom” studio look like the bed is not next to the couch and the laundry room door actually closes. Call the property for the actual description or ask for more pictures that are not on the website. If you cannot see everything from different angles, you might want to try a different room. Take a virtual tour of the property and look it up on different websites to know you are getting the same thing. Keep in mind, everything might look clean, but take a closer look and you start asking for a mop and bucket to clean the floors yourself before you take off your shoes. Check their quality standards and what they allow to pass as clean. At Spectrum Resorts the higher quality standards mean they are cleaned from top to bottom and everywhere in between. If you are not happy with your accommodations for any reason you can change rooms to fit your needs. Spectrum Resorts is the only rental management company that offers a complete 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Fine Print. What does that mean? Read everything. Cancellation policies are something that can essentially take all your money and no vacation or they can be a drop in the bucket depending on when you cancel. Check for hidden fees. Along with cancellation fees there could be a cleaning fee, maintenance fee, activities fee, access fee, etc. The list goes on and on, leaving you with a somewhat great deal that quickly spirals out of budget. All of your fees are listed and included when you rent through Spectrum Resorts including discounts and extras you cannot purchase.

Maintenance. What could go wrong? A lot. The A/C went out, the toilet isn’t flushing, the door locked me out, there’s no hot water. These are all common when it comes to a rental unit, remember these are just like your house and sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes they go wrong in the middle of the night on a hot day and maintenance won’t be there until tomorrow at 5 pm, because they are busy. Check for on-site maintenance staff and someone to talk to at all times. Is there a late night number you can call for emergency service or just an automated message to call back during normal business hours? Spectrum Resorts has on-site maintenance services and security to handle any problems that might go wrong during your stay and are there when you need them.

Sleeping Arrangements. It said it sleeps 10, with only three beds and a couch. Make sure that when you book, you know the sleeping arrangements. Is there a fold out couch, bunk beds or just an uncomfortable roll-away cot that no one wants? Check the size of the beds and the amount. If it says it sleeps ten, ask what form the other sleeping arrangements are to determine if you really want to stay.

While these tips are big things to keep in mind when renting, another thing that makes your vacation worth every moment is renting through Spectrum Resorts. With a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee the headaches disappear before there is a possibility to start. Those hidden fees are included in your stay. The quality standards go beyond your typical rental management company with the Clean Bed Guarantee and the Rest Assured Program guaranteeing every part of your bedding is freshly laundered and the bed might be newer than your own giving you peace of mind, body and soul. Onsite maintenance and concierge means when things go wrong they are fixed ASAP, you are our priority. Everything you see is everything you get, with the Spectrum Experience you get an all access pass to all amenities and activities. Pictures are everywhere from every angle, Spectrum Resorts is proud of its product and shows it off every chance it gets. While there are other options, the only option for the perfect vacation on the Alabama Gulf Coast is through Spectrum Resorts. Make your vacation worth every moment and #creatinghappymemories a priority.

Fall Fun and Activities on the Alabama Gulf Coast

The weather is getting cooler and the crowds are thinning out on the Gulf Coast, at least for a little while. While you are choosing your pumpkins for carving and costumes for Halloween there is more fun to be had that can be spooky and creative.

Fall Festivals. When October and November roll in, so does fall festivals including Shrimp Fest, Oyster Cook-Off and this year World Food Championships. While these are just the big name events, there are lots of small local food tastings that gives your inner foodie a chance to find your new favorite local restaurant. Shrimp Fest is a giant festival of fun filled with art, clothes, gifts, music and more, even a kid’s area to tire them out before going home with all your goodies. Of course you come for the shrimp and you can taste all your favorites as well as some new creations. Oyster Cook-Off is another favorite on the Gulf Coast with a craft beer tasting and live music on opening night for you to try all the local brews before you dive into the oysters the next day. Enjoy selections from award winning chefs and Food Network stars and learn a thing or two about oysters. Shuck your heart out in the shucking competition or just sip on a Bloody Mary. World Food Championship is brand new to the Alabama Gulf Coast and is taking over the Wharf for a week in November. Watch fierce competitors battle to be the next World Food Champion and taste all their creations in the process. Learn tips and tricks for your own kitchen and take home some tasty treats.

Pumpkin Carving. It’s a traditions that families do not miss, instead of going to the grocery store this year and picking out the picked over pumpkins, take the whole family to Wales West for the Pumpkin Patch Express and Scary Night Train. Ride an authentic steam train to the Haunted Barn Maze to the kiddie friendly pumpkin patch and pick that perfect pumpkin. While you are carving your new creations, keep the seeds and the guts to make a pumpkin pie and roasted pumpkin seeds for a healthy fall treat. Before you light that candle, put a wash of bleach on the inside so that your jack o lantern will last all the way to Halloween.

Fall Treats. What’s better than Fall festivals and pumpkin carving? Those sweet treats that make Fall the best time of year. Candy apples, caramel apples and hot apple cider, these are a few of the sweet treats that you can make at home and have fun for all those Fall parties. Candy apples are fun and perfect for this time of year, but why not make them spooky for Halloween? While you are making your signature candy apples, add a little black food coloring for poison apples even Snow White would know were poison but delicious. Or make a bloody chocolate candy apple. Simply dip the base in white chocolate and drip your red candy coating on top for a bloody delicious treat. If you love candy apples, but don’t want the little ones to have that much sugar, simply take a melon baller to your apples and turn them into mini candy apples, perfect for a small snack and portion control. With all these apple, hot apple cider is the best drink for Fall. If you can’t find that perfect mullen spice to make your apple cider just like home, try using chai tea as your spices and add that to your hot apple cider for a treat that will warm your heart.

Fall is the perfect time of year to relax and spend time with your family, there are so many crafts and activities that will keep you busy until the holidays and will keep you #creatinghappymemories that will last a lifetime and maybe start a tradition for the next generation.

Tips and Tricks for Beach Days

For most of us the beach, sand and waves are our happy place. For those who do not frequent the beach often, here are a few tips that beach goers should know.

Jellyfish and wildlife. Anyone who goes to the beach notices the beach flag warning system, but a lot of people don’t know what the flags mean. When you see a purple flag flying, there are potential dangerous marine life in the area. Now, this does not necessarily mean sharks, this means jellyfish and other creatures that can sting too. If you do swim, make sure you bring with you some meat tenderizer or vinegar. Sounds weird right? Well, the acid in the vinegar calms the affected area after a sting and the meat tenderizer breaks down the affected skin and removed toxins. You don’t have to have both, you can use one or the other, just make sure you scrape the sting with a credit card before applying these remedies or they will make it worse.

Sand. It’s the beach, sand is everywhere and you cannot get rid of all of it even if you wash off. Try bringing with you baby powder and a large bristled paint brush. The baby powder will get the sand off feet easily and the paint brush for the rest of the body. A lot of public beaches do not have wash stations when you come off the beach so this helps keep the sand where it belongs, on the beach and not in the car.

Beach toys. If you have kids these are essential for a day at the beach. Instead of bringing them in a beach bag, try a mesh laundry hamper. Put everything in and turn it sideways, the sand falls through the mesh and not in your bag or car.

Coolers. It’s not a beach day without a cold drink in hand. Whether its waters and drinks for the kids or something stronger for adults, it’s always difficult to carry a cooler to the beach. Don’t bring a wheeled cooler, you may think “oh, it’ll roll in sand,” no, it will not. If anything this will make it much harder. Try a small over the shoulder cooler if you can and if it is completely full of food or drinks and pretty heavy there’s a fix for that too. Use a boogie board and put your heavier items, i.e. your cooler, on the board and use it as a make shift sled. It’s a lot easier to carry and the kids can help pull.

There are a ton of tips for beach days, but the only one you really need is have fun and enjoy the day, after all you are there to #createhappymemories.

What’s New in Gulf Shores?

Gulf Shores is always changing with the tides, usually the restaurants and building have been here for 20 plus years if they survived hurricanes and not much changes. This year is different, Gulf Shores is bursting at the seams with new and exciting activities and restaurants that are popping up like crazy. Here are a few of the newest and coolest that you should know about.

The Village Lawn. The Village Lawn at The Beach Club is a brand new entertainment venue with nightly live music crafts and activities and is open to the public. Located towards the end of Fort Morgan Road you will find a place to relax and have a good time with family and friends and good food served from vintage airstreams. Take a load off and grab a drink from The Chill. Go healthy with a hearty sandwich from The Press. Sit down and grab a napkin for a two- handed burrito at The Spice or feed the whole family with a family sized barbeque plate at The Smoke. Enjoy the summer nights and grab an ice cream cone to finish the night at the Village Creamery. This place has it all and is fun for the whole family.

Burris Farmer’s Market at The Wharf. If you have ever been to Loxley, Ala, you know that the best farmer’s market is Burris, but it’s such a long drive for fresh food so you settle for the grocery store instead. Well, now you can shop the freshest foods while you shop and enjoy the night at The Wharf. Just like its primary location, Burris at The Wharf has fresh baked goods, all the in season produce and fruits you love as well as those quirky extras you’ve come to love in Loxley.

Escape Room. Have you seen those escape rooms on TV where you have to work together to survive and you have one hour to do it? Well, it’s not just a TV thing for Hollywood or NYC anymore. You and your friends can try your hand at “escaping” obstacles designed to make you think and work together to “survive” in less than one hour. Choose from the Doll Room, Zombie Autopsy or Stop the Oil Spill to test your skills. Do you have what it takes to make it out in under an hour?

The Factory. This is not your average backyard trampoline, if you had fun jumping as a kid then this place will blow your mind with fun. Jump until you can’t jump anymore! The Factory is full of over 50 trampolines with launching pads, foam pits, angled wall trampolines even air dodge ball and a basketball goal to dunk with style. Jump for an hour or all day, you can even have birthday parties and lock-ins with your own special music. Teens can have fun and meet new friends in a laser show every Saturday night between 10 and 11:30. All ages are welcome and parents can jump with little ones too.

Pappadakis. You come close to visiting Greece with Greek food at Pappadakis. Located on Canal Road, enjoy a taste of the Grecian isle on the Gulf Coast. Enjoy a gyro or a Greek salad that will transport your senses with authentic food. A little secluded and off the beaten path, but worth the journey.