Football on the Beach: The 5 Best Places to Watch Your Favorite Team

Now that summer has come and gone, fall is upon us. That can only mean one thing down on the Alabama Gulf Coast, football season. There is nothing better than watching your favorite team with a group of friends in a great atmosphere while enjoying great food. If you find yourself visiting Gulf Shores or Orange Beach during football season, we have a few suggestions on great spots to catch the game.

Rafters Restaurant & Bar

Rafters Restaurant & Bar is located in the Pelican Place Shopping Center in Gulf Shores next to the Cobb 14 movie theater. They have three 12-foot screen TVs as well as a dozen other high definition flat screens. Any seat in the house will be a great seat with this many TVs. Rafters offers drink and food specials during game day. The menu includes everything from salads, seafood, steaks, barbeque, wings, burgers and more.

The Village Hideaway at The Beach Club

If you are staying on Fort Morgan Road then The Village Hideaway is the perfect place to cheer on
your favorite team. The team décor and the variety of food and beverage choices make the Hideaway a great place to kick back and score big with fresh seafood options, homemade pizzas, burgers, wings and much more. Happy hour is every day from 3pm-6pm. Make sure you take advantage of the HD golf simulator where you can play famous courses from around the country.

Baumhower’s at The Wharf

Baumhower’s is located at The Wharf in Orange Beach and is a great sports bar to catch your favorite team in action. Baumhower’s has over 70 TVs including five 70” flat screens.  They have every game playing every weekend so this is a great place to go if you’re team’s game is only available on pay per view.  Baumhower’s is famous for their wings and sports, but offer other great food including, burgers, steaks, chicken, fish, and salads.

The Flora-Bama Yacht Club

Flora-Bama Yacht Club is located across the street from the famous Flora-Bama Lounge on Perdido Beach Blvd. What could be better than digging your toes in the sand and watching your favorite football team? This famous bar and grill offers several TVs to catch the game while enjoying one of Flora-Bama’s famous Bushwhackers. This bar and grill is kid friendly and offers everything from seafood, chicken, burgers, sandwiches and more.

The Gulf Bowl

Gulf Bowl is located on Juniper Street in Foley, just behind Lamberts Café. The bowling alley is a great place to take the family to watch the game. There are several TVs and plenty of activities for the entire family. There are 24 bowling lanes as well as a arcade and laser tag. Visit the Captains Choice for great food and drinks. They serve everything from seafood as well as southern favorites like fried pickles and corn fritters.

If you’re looking for a great fall vacation that includes tailgating and family friendly activities, then be sure to check out our Tailgate Getaway special for a fun filled vacation at a great rate.


Liven Up Your Beach Vacation with a Skate Park, Alligators and Laser Tag

There are several activities in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach that the entire family will find entertaining.  From putt-putt golf and go-karts to arcades and water parks there is something for everyone.  Sometimes, though, the more adventurous family members can get bored with the same activities year in and year out and want something a little different.  No worries, the Gulf Coast has the bases covered there as well.  Here are three activities you can find near the coast that everyone can enjoy but are more interesting for those looking for something a little out of the box.

Hit the Rails at the Gulf Shores Skate Park                 

Not many people know that there is a skateboard park located in Gulf Shores.  Located on West 3rd Street, the park is open Monday – Saturday from 12pm to 8pm and from 1pm to 8pm on Sundays during the spring and summer season.  During fall and winter, the hours change to 3:30pm – 8pm Monday – Friday and from 1pm – 8pm on Saturday and Sunday.  The “street oriented” park features half pipes, quarter pipes, rails and more.  The skate park is located next to the Gulf Shores Kids Park and the Bodenhamer Center which offers family friendly activities and facilities like indoor and outdoor pools, a game center, basketball courts, dry sauna, fitness center and more.

Hold an Alligator at Alligator Alley

Alligator Alley opened in 2004 and is now home to over 450 alligators.  All of the residents at Alligator Alley were transferred to the farm after being found in areas with a heavy human population.  Take a guided tour of the facility where you can see the feeding crew enter the alligator’s habitat to feed them, and even
get the chance to hold a baby alligator.  Alligator Alley is also the home to the world famous Captain Crunch.  Crunch is known for holding the world record for measured bite strength coming in at almost 3,000 pounds!  Alligator Alley is open seven days a week from 10am – 5pm.  Admission is $10 per person for adults, $8 per person for children age four to twelve and children three and under get in free.

Enter a Futuristic War Zone at The Gulf Bowl

The Gulf Bowl has been a favorite hangout spot for locals since 1959.  Don’t let this bowling alley’s age fool you, the owners have made continuous improvements and additions to keep this place on the cutting edge of family entertainment.  Their newest addition may be their most fun yet, a multi-level laser tag arena that pits teams of friends and families against others in a battle for laser tag dominance.  If teamwork isn’t your thing, then cover your own back and play chaos mode where it’s every man and woman for themselves.  The Gulf Bowl also features an arcade with over 30 games and a redemption counter as well as 24 bowling lanes.  There is also an on-site restaurant, Captain’s Choice, that offers seafood as well southern favorites like fried pickles and corn fritters.

We hope you find these suggestions helpful.  Let us know if you have found any fun and unique activities that your family enjoys during your trips to the coast.  If you’re interested in learning more about activities in the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area, check out our blog’s activities page for more info.


Here’s Why Fall is the New Summer on the Gulf Coast

School is starting back and some kids are experiencing back-to-school blues, so give them something to look forward to. A fall break at the beach will give the kiddos something to look forward to, and you can offer it as a reward for good behavior and grades. The rumor on the island is that fall is the new summer. It’s not as hot; there are shorter wait times at your favorite restaurants and shorter commute times.

The secret is out about the sugar-white sand in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The Alabama Gulf Coast is so tranquil it is almost like you’re in a dream. People escape the hustle and bustle of the daily grind to relax. The beach is the place to getaway and fall is definitely prime time. There is something for everyone in the fall including football, Fort Morgan and Flora-Bama. What more do you need?

The rates for accommodations drop in the fall and some of the area’s most popular events take place after school starts back.

  • Thunder on the Gulf rolls down the beach on Friday, August 22 and in Pensacola on Sunday, August 24.
  • Bulls on the Beach at the famous Flora-Bama Lounge.  Head to The Bama September 12-13 for a high-energy, rock-and-roll rodeo with professional bullriders from across the southeast.
  • Mercedes-Benz of Mobile is presenting the Wharf’s first premier wine tasting and culinary competition,Uncorked at The Wharf on September 25, 26, and 27.
  • Presented by Zatarain’s, the 2014 National Shrimp Festival is October 9-12 in Gulf Shores featuring fine art, live music, Children’s Village, shrimp, more shrimp and Cajun Pistols.
  • Restaurateurs and celebrity chefs will be shuckin’ the Gulf’s finest treasures for food fanatic’s and oyster connoisseurs at the Annul Oyster Cook-Off at The Hangout November 7-9.

Fall begins an array of great outdoor activities and events in coastal Alabama.  Golf, fishing, football and hiking are at their peak when the air is cooler and more refreshing. Think about booking a Tailgate Getawaypackage, a tee time at an award-winning golf course or a girlfriend’s getaway before you FALL back into the daily grind.

Wine dinners are great for a date night in the fall and many of the local restaurants start hosting them often. Spectrum Resorts offers wine dinner packages at Coast that include accommodations at The Beach Club.  Wine dinners are great for anniversary dinners or romantic getaways. Fall is one of the most romantic times of year and the fall holidays are a great time for engagements and weddings. Many couples come to the coast and Fall in love.

Check back in with the Spectrum Resorts blog for our September series on Fall Favorites where we will spotlight a different restaurant, event or attraction each week.


The Thunder Rolls on the Coast August 22

Thunder is the last sound you want to hear when you are relaxing on Alabama’s beautiful beaches unless it’s the roaring sound coming from Thunder on the Gulf. Fans of all ages are eagerly anticipating the annual powerboat races on the liquid race course in Orange Beach. The speed, the adrenaline and the anticipation of seeing what high powered speed boat is going to win are memories in the making.

The Gulf Coast Powerboat Association announced the creation of the Flora-Bama Shootout Grand Prix Championship. This year fans can take advantage of two exciting race days by viewing two races in two different cities in the same weekend.  The 11th Annual Thunder on the Gulf is in Orange Beach on August 22 and the Inaugural ThunderRun Super Boat Grand Prix is in Pensacola on August 24. Both locations are only a short drive apart so you can cheer on racers in both Alabama and Florida.

Thunder on the Gulf is a well-known event recommended by many travel industry experts and it draws in teams and fans from around the country and world. This fun-filled event has been named by The Southeast Tourism Society as one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast for August 2014.

Festivities will begin at the famous Flora-Bama Yacht Club for a meet and greet with race teams and to celebrate Flora-Bama’s 50th anniversary. All ages are welcome to this historic party on Thursday, August 21. This year’s race is being called the “Flora-Bama Shootout” in honor of their half a century anniversary. After the Welcome Party, The Marshall Tucker Band will take the stage and bring their Thunder to the Gulf at The Wharf’s Amphitheater for the official kick off concert.

Thunder on the Gulf is a family-friendly event and can be viewed by thousands of spectators. Viewers can watch the race from any Orange Beach public beach accesses for free.  The liquid race course runs from Perdido Pass west to the boundary of Gulf State Park.  VIP Pass Packages are available for admittance into the VIP Tent at Race Central at Island House Hotel in Orange Beach and the VIP Tent at Plaza de Luna in Pensacola. Kid’s VIP passes are also available for kids age 12 and under.

For the first time ever, Thunder on the Gulf is offering an elite Platinum VIP Experience that will include access to watch the race from the 29th floor at Turquoise Place for a bird’s eye view of the race.  Included in the Experience is lunch, drink tickets, live entertainment and access to the VIP tent in Pensacola.  Click hereto reserve your VIP Passes or Platinum VIP Experience Passes.

Platinum VIP Pass Package          $160.00

VIP Pass Package                        $126.50

Kids VIP Pass                              $27.50

For a complete list of Thunder on the Gulf events, visit

If you’re looking for the perfect location to view the races, check out the Thunder on the Gulf free night special at Turquoise Place.