3 Reasons to Plan a Late Spring Weekend Getaway to the Beach

Spring Break is winding down on the Gulf Coast and Memorial Day weekend is a month away.  This time of year is the calm before the storm on Alabama’s beaches.  The time of year when travelers turn their attention back to work and school before heading to the beach again for a summer vacation.  This is also the perfect time of year to plan a weekend getaway trip to the beach, and here are three reasons why.

Beaches, Restaurants and Attractions are Less Crowded

Anyone that has traveled to the Gulf Coast during the summer season knows that things can get a little
crowded.  You won’t be able to get into restaurants without a wait and you’ll need to hit the sand early to get a front row view of the water.  During the late spring season, however, you’ll almost feel like you have the beach all to yourself.  Occupancy rates are about a third of what they are during the summer which means you typically won’t encounter a wait at restaurants and you won’t need to rush to claim a spot on the beach.

Rental and Shopping Specials are Easier to Find

The cost of a beach vacation is at its highest during Spring Break and summer, but savvy travelers can save big on a getaway during the time between these two peak seasons.  Rental management companies will offer special rates that can save you up to 40% on accommodations, and local restaurants offer daily specials that can help you save big on dining costs.  Many of the stores at the Tanger Outlets offer deep discounts on spring items in order to make room for summer inventory during this time as well.

The Weather is Perfect

The Gulf Coast is prone to cold snaps thru mid-April, but beginning in late-April the weather will warm up for good.  Late spring days are typically sunny and the temperatures are in the low 80’s.    Vacationers that visit the coast during this time of year will experience warm temperatures without the high humidity of summer.  It truly is the perfect time of year!

What Beach Bunnies Need to Know to Plan an Easter Beach Trip

Holidays are always special on the Gulf Coast, and Easter is no exception. There’s a multitude of special Easter Sunday services, brunches, egg hunts and other festivals being planned for the weekend. So, whether you want to start a new tradition or make sure you family doesn’t miss any of its old traditions while you are on vacation, here’s a guide to some of the special activities being planned for Easter weekend.

Easter Sunday Services

Worship on the Water. 11 a.m. Honky Tonk-style worship service at the Flora-Bama.

Gulf Shores United Methodist Church. 6:30 a.m. sunrise service at the Hangout.

Gulf State Park. 6 a.m. non-denominational sunrise service at the beach pavilion.

Romar Baptist Church. 7 a.m. sunrise service on the beach featuring the Glorymen and Gladheart.

Easter Brunch/Activities  

LuLu’s at Homeport Marina. Egg hunt starts at 2 p.m., and the Easter Bunny will be on hand taking pictures.

The Hangout. Billed as “The Island’s Largest Kids Easter Egg Hunt.” Brunch begins at 8 a.m. Activities for the kids begin at 11 a.m.

The Beach Club. The Beach Club’s Easter Jazz Buffet features more than 25 items. After brunch, the
continues on the Village Lawn from noon – 2 p.m., where there will be a petting zoo, pictures with the Easter Bunny, live music by This Side of 49, train rides and an Egg Dash starting at 1 p.m. Make reservations by calling 866-966-6451.

Perdido Beach Resort offers an Easter Buffet of traditional family favorites in their grand ballroom from 11 a.m.– 3 p.m. Brunch includes a visit from the Easter Bunny and an egg hunt at 12:30 p.m. For reservations, call 251-981-9811.

Louisiana Pantry at the Wharf. Brunch on April 19 and 20 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. with a special Bunny appearance at each brunch. Bring your own camera to take photos.

Easter Brunch Cruise— Alabama Cruises, 4575 South Wilson Boulevard, Orange Beach. Enjoy Easter Brunch as you cruise the waters near Perdido Pass from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 251-973-1244.

Saturday Egg Hunts/Festivals

Funny Bunny Fun Run. April 19 at 8 a.m., The Gulf, 27500 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach. No entry fee to participate in this non-competitive 1.5-mile fun run back and forth across Perdido Pass Bridge. Live music, prize for the funniest costume and Slip ‘n Slide at the Gulf Restaurant.

Bear Point Civic Association Easter Egg Hunt, April 19 at 11 a.m., Bear Point Civic Association Park, 5761 Bay La Launch Ave. Orange Beach. Hotdogs, hamburgers and drinks will be served until 1 p.m. Also includes Easter Bunny pictures, a bake sale and a raffle.

The Wharf, April 19 at 11 a.m.Free Easter egg hunt plus face painting and balloon artists on the lawn.

Flora-Bama, April 19 at 2 p.m., the Flora-Bama hosts a family friendly Easter Egg Hunt.

If you know of other events being planned for Easter weekend, please add them in the comment section below.

What You Should Know About the Weather on the Gulf Coast

As we all know, weather is a tricky thing to predict—even for a meteorologist. So, while we can’t predict the weather with 100 percent accuracy, there are seasonal patterns that are fairly predictable.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, are in a subtropical area of the country, where visitors can expect mild temperatures year-round. Gulf breezes temper the hot summers, and spring and fall days are warm with cool evenings. The temperature here is rarely below 32°F or above 96°F. So, there is really not a bad time to visit.

Here’s the lowdown on what the four seasons bring to the Gulf Coast.

Spring Sparkles

By March, a lot of people can’t wait to put their toes back in the sand—especially after a brutal winter like
the one we had this year. So, the Gulf Coast is becoming more and more popular as a Spring Break destination.

April is one of those months where we will certainly have some glorious 75-degree days without a cloud in the sky. It’s also one of those months when winter reminds us she’s not quite done yet. So, it’s a good idea to bring along a light jacket if you visit in April.

By May, the daytime temperatures are consistently in the upper 70s to 80 degrees. In fact, May is arguably one of the nicest months to visit the coast. Crowds are minimal and the weather is almost ideal.

Summer Sizzles

Things really heat up in June, July and August. School is out and water temperatures are in the mid-80s. Of course, this is also when the beaches are most crowded.

It’s not uncommon to get summer showers—especially in late afternoon. But it’s rare to get a summer rainfall that ruins the entire day. And even when temperatures reach the upper 90s, there is almost always a cooling breeze coming off the Gulf.

Fall is Truly Fabulous

If you ask people who live here full time, most will say fall is their favorite time of year. It’s still warm enough to do all your favorite outdoor activities through September and most of October. Even though we’ll start getting a few chilly days in October and November, there are still plenty of days that the temperature climbs back near 70 throughout November.

Plus, there is something exhilarating about throwing on a light jacket for a sunset beach walk after the summer heat has passed.

Also, the “off-season” is a good time to visit the Gulf Shores area not only because of cooler days, but also because of better rates on vacation rentals. That’s one of the reasons Thanksgiving is becoming such a popular time for families wanting to gather somewhere besides home.

Is this What You Call Winter?

There is a reason Snowbirds flock to the Gulf Coast for winter. With average January temperatures in the 50s, crowds are at a minimum and many local restaurants and retailers run deep-discounted specials.

There is also something very beautiful and pristine about walking along the beach in winter with no beach chairs or umbrellas dotting the shoreline. This is also the time of year when you can get monthly rentals for about the same price you would pay for a week in summer.

To sum it up, with an average of only four days of cloud cover per month and moderate temperatures year-round, there is not really a bad season to plan a trip to the Gulf Coast.