Mardi Gras Madness on Alabama Beaches

It only happens once a year, but people from all over flock to the Gulf Coast 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. The first Mardi Gras parade was held in New Orleans in 1837 and is now considered the place where the good times roll.

If you are staying in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach this Mardi Gras season, there are many ways to celebrate. You can line the streets to yell at passing floats for beads, you can attend a Mardi Gras ball or enjoy a Mardi Gras boat parade.

Here are 5 parades you won’t want to miss in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

1. LuLu’s is hosting the 3rd Annual Birds of Paradise Mardi Gras Ball on February 11 at 7 p.m. Tickets include open bar, music by the Tip Tops and dinner. Guests must be 21 or older to attend this event.

2. The Mystical Order of Mirams rolls down Perdido Beach Boulevard on February 13 at 6:30 p.m. in Orange Beach.

3. The Mystic of Pleasures starts in Orange Beach on February 14 at 5:30 p.m. on Perdido Beach Boulevard.

4. Two family-friendly parades make their way down Main Street at The Wharf on February 14. The Children and Pet Parade begins at 4 p.m. and the traditional float parade begins at 6 p.m. All kids are invited to jump in the free bounce houses and the nightly light show will feature the sounds and sights of Mardi Gras.

5. Three parades occur on Fat Tuesday, February 17:
• The Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade starts at 10 a.m. on Highway 59 from Clubhouse Drive to the Main Public Beach by Hangout.
• The Orange Beach Mardi Gras Parade begins at 2 p.m. on Perdido Beach Boulevard and ends at Alabama Highway 161.
The Annual LuLu’s Mardi Gras Boat Parade will depart from The Wharf at 3 p.m. and travel along the Intracoastal Waterway to LuLu’s. It is also LuLu’s 16th anniversary so indulge in a slice of complimentary cake to celebrate.

Freelance writer, Karon Warren recently shared her tips with Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism on how to Have a Family-Friendly Mardi Gras on Alabama Beaches. Please read her blog post and let us know how you celebrate Mardi Gras.

Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

Clean Bed Guarantee with Spectrum Resorts

Every year hundreds of thousands of travelers come to the Alabama Gulf Coast for their family vacations. While there are some beach front hotels, the vast majority of guests will rent a condo or beach house for their stay. These guests will arrive to a cleaned condo or beach house with freshly made beds complete with clean sheets and pillow cases, but what about the comforter? It’s a little know fact that vacation rental comforters are usually only washed once per year or even less. Spectrum Resorts is tackling this issue head on in 2015 with our exclusive Clean Bed Guarantee.

The average vacation rental will host 30 different families each year. With an average party size of 5 travelers, that means that your family could be sharing the bed with 125 strangers during your vacation. Spectrum Resorts is not OK with this practice, so we’ve decided to do something about it. Beginning in March 2015, all Spectrum Resorts rentals will be furnished with a white duvet on each bed. This duvet will be professionally laundered after each guest departure so all Spectrum Resorts guests will arrive to a crisp and truly clean bed. Finally, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach travelers will receive the same duvet service that is currently only found in luxury hotels.

The Clean Bed Guarantee is the latest addition to the Spectrum Advantage, an exclusive set of perks that combines the spaciousness and amenities of vacation rentals with services typical of hotel rentals. Only Spectrum Resorts guests have access to on-site staff at both Turquoise Place and The Beach Club as well as: complimentary resort activities, a 100% satisfaction guarantee, discounts on purchases made at the resort outlets and more. Click here to learn more about how the Clean Bed Guarantee and Spectrum Advantage are changing the vacation rental industry.

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5 Things to Do on a Rainy Beach Day

Rain always puts a damper on a fun day at the beach. When you envision a relaxing day of waves, sand and pure relaxation, you don’t expect it to rain. No one expects rainfall on their coastal getaways but weather is often unpredictable.

When rain dampens your beach vacation, make the best of your time and have a plan in place for the perfect rainy day on the Alabama Gulf Coast. We have composed a list of 5 fun things to do on the Alabama coast on a rainy day.

The Wharf
Keep everyone entertained and dry with a trip to The Wharf in Orange Beach. There is something for all ages happening at The Wharf including shopping, dining, concerts and the daily Spectra Light Show.

Tanger Outlet
Shop the nation’s leading brands and designers at Tanger Outlet. It’s only a 15 minute drives from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Tanger has everything from accessories, apparel, footwear and home furnishings.

Gulf Bowl
Visit Foley’s family owned and operated 24 lane bowling center for a bowling experience you won’t forget. Gulf Bowl has state-of-the-art technology, a game room, a pro center and a family restaurant. They offer good food and good times with play and eat combo.

Indoor Pool Games
Most resorts and hotels on the Gulf Coast have indoor pools. In many cases, they have great beach views and are heated. Enjoy some swim time inside with the kiddos and play some great pool games including Marco Polo, noodle joust, ping pong scramble and scavenger hunt. For a list of safe and fun pool games, visit SwimmingPool.com.

Fat Daddy’s Arcade
Arcades are entertaining and fun for all age groups. Take the family to Fat Daddy’s Arcade for a fun-filled day. With over 65 arcade games to choose from, even the adults give into their inner child. Test your skills on interactive games including Fruit Ninja, Temple Run, Big Buck Hunter HD, Termination Salvation and many more.

Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s blog by Spectrum Resorts. Please send us your favorite rainy day activities you would like us to write about.