5 Must Do Unique Activities for Your Family Beach Vacation

Most visitors come to the Alabama Gulf Coast to spend as much time as possible soaking up the sun and relaxing on the beach. With the sugar-white sand and the beautiful Gulf waters, what else can you ask for? As we see much too often, visitors absorb as much sun as they can on their first couple days in town. But on the third, fourth and fifth day, the sun has taken its toll and the kids are waterlogged. In order to keep it interesting, here are a few ways to keep the kids entertained off the beach. Our Orange Beach and Gulf Shores resorts for families are centrally located to many great attractions and things to do.

Sail Wild Hearts Dolphin Cruises

Have you ever wanted to take a boat ride but don’t have a boat? Enjoy some time on the water by taking advantage of a dolphin cruise. Go sightseeing on the back bays of Orange Beach. Sail Wild Hearts, located in Orange Beach, offers a journey aboard a 53-foot, open-ocean catamaran for daily dolphin cruises. Contact (251) 981-6700 for more details.

Hunt for Treasure on a Pirate Ship Cruise

Skull Harbor offers a unique Pirate Ship Adventure aboard the American Star which features a celebration of the gold recovery with a water gun battle, a hunt for the lost treasure, and face-paintings. Spend two hours discovering the lost gold of Pirate’s Cove and listen to true stories of secret treasure maps and the journey of Captain ShiverMeFingers and Captain Edmund IronLeg. Call (251) 981-4127 for more information.

Explore the Coast By Bike

After seeing the area through the eyes of a pirate, try seeing it through the eyes of a cyclist. Beach Bike Rentals has daily and weekly bicycle rentals with three bicycle choices to choose from. Mother nature has blessed the Alabama Gulf Coast with natural beauty so avoid the highways and cycle through The Backcountry Trail, Gulf State Park or the bike path on Fort Morgan Road. For rental information, call (251) 968-1770.

Alabama Gulf Coast Sightseeing

If you are looking to sightsee and relax at the same time, look into the Guided Eco-Tours provided by the City of Orange Beach. For only $15 per person, a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide will show you around the natural habitats on a covered electric cart. Contact (251) 981-1063 for further information.

Soar Above the Coast on a Helicopter Tour

If you are a thrill seeker looking to get a bird’s eye view of the Gulf Coast, don’t miss out on a helicopter tour with Orange Beach Helicopter Tours. Make a memory of a lifetime and fly the big blue sky in a nimble open-air helicopter. Tourists and locals can take advantage of this great attraction with Beach, Sea Life, and Round the Island tours available, to name a few. Call (855) 496-2747 for more details on tours.

If you have experienced any of our recommendations, we would love to hear your feedback or additional unique activity recommendations. And remember, just because you are not on the beach, doesn’t mean you don’t have to wear sunscreen.

 

Learn more about family-friendly attractions in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores at the Spectrum Resorts Blog!

5 Happy Hour Hot Spots along Alabama Beaches

With well known and sought after restaurants along the Alabama Gulf Coast, Spectrum Resorts is investigating what establishments have the best ‘Happy Hour’ in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Here 5 of the best Happy Hours on the Island.

Village Hideaway at The Beach Club has daily Happy Hour specials from 3 pm until 6 pm daily. Hideout at the Hideaway and enjoy a casual and entertaining dining experience in the areas favorite sports themed restaurant. Happy Hour includes drink specials on domestic and import beers. Food specials include $.05 wings, $4.95 BBQ pork tacos, $ 5.95 junior burger or BLT with fries and much more. Try your swing at the HD Golf Simulator or watch your favorite team while you are there.

Tacky Jack’s in Gulf Shores offers Happy Hour Monday thru Friday from 2 pm until 6 pm where you can find $5 select appetizers and $2 domestic long necks. If you are interested in weekend specials, they offer new specials for live football games. Enjoy beer specials on beer, bourbon, vodka and bushwhackers. Don’t miss out on Jacky Jack’s Karaoke Thursday nights from 5:30 pm until 9:30 pm.

Papa Rocco’s has been voted the People’s choice Award for Best Raw Oysters for eight years in a row. Their motto, “The home of warm beer and lousy pizza” is completely inaccurate but that is why it is so catchy and memorable. Happy hour is Monday thru Friday from 11 am until 7 pm. where you can find $2.50 drafts and $3 well drinks. Papa also offers daily menu specials until 2 pm for only $5.95 

Rafters Restaurant and Sports Bar is not only for avid fans but for anyone looking for good food, a great atmosphere and Happy Hour Monday thru Friday. Located at Pelican Place at Craft Farms, Rafters offers food and drink specials daily.

  • Monday – Domestic drafts are $1.50
  • Tuesday – Frickles and cheddar cheese taters are $3.99
  • Wednesday – $1 off specialty drinks
  • Thursday – All you can eat catfish is $10.99
  • Friday – $2 select wines

Cosmos restaurant and Bar is located in Orange Beach on Canal Road and offers a wide range of dining including hand-cut steaks, local seafood, pasta and sushi. Cosmo’s Happy Hour is daily from 3pm until 5:30 pm and includes house favorites like $5 Firecracker Shrimp and $5 Sweet Home Farms Cheese dip. They offer $3 wine, $3 Cosmopolitans, and $1 Miller High Life. Make sure you check out the chalkboard specials in the bar.

Bike Your Way Through Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

The cooler air of fall has arrived and many residents and visitors are looking for outdoor activities on theAlabama Gulf Coast. Biking is a popular land-based adventure that offers exercise and site seeing at the same time.  Get in touch with Mother Nature and have fun biking along the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach trails.

Alabama State Parks are celebrating a milestone this year – its 75th anniversary. Celebrate by hopping on a bike and exploring miles of trails including the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail where hikers and riders can see marshes, sand dunes, swamps and creeks. The Backcountry Trails consist of 13.5 miles, six trails and seven distinct ecosystems.

The trails run from Orange Beach to Gulf Shores in the wilderness part of the State Park. There you will find a biking friendly culture and peaceful natural surroundings that will keep you coming back for more.  Biking is a great way to escape the big city lights and hustle and bustle so you can clear your thoughts and appreciate your surroundings. If you are visiting Fort Morgan Road, Coyote Crossing is a 6 mile trail that is an extension of the Backcountry Trail.

Many visitors to the Gulf Coast do not want to have to haul a bicycle from home to the beach. We completely understand and so does Infinity Bicycles. Located in Orange Beach, they offer rentals and are conveniently located less than a mile from one of the entrances to the park. They also offer group rides every Saturday at 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The early morning ride is theRoad Ride and is 30-35 miles in and around Orange Beach. The Leisure Ride is later and more casual through the Backcountry Trail.

Biking is an adventure and regardless of the temperature outside, you should always pack enough water and keep safe by wearing a helmet.  There are so many great trails located on the Alabama Coast that you should avoid the busy highways and take advantage of the nature trails. Ride safe and please leave us a comment on your biking tips.

It’s 5 O’clock at LuLu’s Homeport Marina Restaurant in Gulf Shores

To wrap up our September blog series on Gulf Shores’ most popular restaurants and area attractions, the Spectrum Resorts team headed to Lucy Buffett’s popular LuLu’s at Homeport Marina. Just like The Hangout, LuLu’s offers more than delicious seafood and Southern favorites.  Lulu’s is more than just a place to go eat. It is an experience. From the time you arrive, it is like an oasis of all things paradise. The bright colors and the nicely manicured entrance make for a very welcoming restaurant.

 

Colby Turner, Revenue and Marketing Director

Just like The Hangout, LuLu’s offers more than delicious seafood and Southern favorites.  The atmosphere is as much of a draw as the food.  With live music daily, on-site boutiques and gift shops and the Mountain of Youth rope course, there is fun to be had at LuLu’s.

drinks_LULU

We started off with an order of fried crab claws for the table.  I’ve eaten fried crab claws from nearly every restaurant on the island, and these were by far the best I’ve had.  The claws were all large and meaty and fried to perfection.  If you like crab claws like I do, then I would definitely recommend these as an appetizer.  For my entrée, I had the blackened shrimp quesadilla.  Technically this is one of their appetizer items, but it was plenty of food to be considered a meal.  Again, this menu item was cooked perfectly.  The shrimp were seasoned just right, enough of a kick to spice up the flavor but not so much that it was over powering.

LuLu’s is a popular Gulf Shores restaurant year round, and especially in the summer.  If you’re on island time though, and don’t mind a bit of a wait, then this is another great spot to relax and enjoy time with friends and family in a restaurant with a lively atmosphere and great food.

 

Veronica Petkov, Public Relations 

It was years ago but Lulu’s started on Weeks Bay as small watering hole for locals and now it is a Gulf Coast favorite located on the coastal waterway. The food is great and the atmosphere is even better.

This week, we chose to go to Lulu’s on a Friday after work. Since Lulu’s is known for their amazing frozen drinks, it was a good decision to take the “5’oclock Somewhere” approach. We were seated immediately with a great view of the intercostals waterway and great shade. Since we all like crab, we started out with a pound of fried crab claws. The basket was filled high and cocktail sauce was already on the table. They had a perfect amount of batter and they were good in size. For my drink, I ordered an Island Mango Coloda with Margaretville Dark Rum, Mango and Pina Colada. It was refreshing a great way to start the weekend.

crab_toast_lulus

For my entrée, I ordered the Crazy Sista’s Crab Toast appetizer. It had sweet claw meat, cheese, green onions and mayonnaise on French bread perfectly toasted. This is a favorite of mine and a house favorite. Crab meat seemed to be a theme for me, but when you are on the Gulf Coast at a waterfront restaurant, I couldn’t help but indulge.

The food and the atmosphere at LuLu’s is definitely top notch. From the marketing team at Spectrum Resorts, we highly recommend adding Lulu’s to the list of must do’s.

 

Jamie Croft, Graphic Designer

LuLu’s restaurants is great place to go and hangout and enjoy a meal with friends and family. There are plenty of things to do besides eat at LuLu’s. There is a gift shop, ropes course and a variety of games and activities for the entire family.

chicken_fingers_LuLus

Our group started with the fried crab claws and they were very tasty. I actually have not had many fried crab claws, but I really did enjoy these. The basket they came in was piled high and there was more than enough to go around.

For my entrée, I got the chicken finger basket. There were plenty of Fried Chicken Fingers and I really enjoyed the seasoning on the chicken. Also, with my dinner I had a bottled Yuengling Beer.

Thank you for taking the time to read our September Blog Series. It was a pleasure sharing our findings with you and we hope you continue to read our weekly blog about the Alabama Gulf Coast. Please leave us a comment and tell us about your favorite place to dine in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach. For information on local restaurants, click the link below.

Sail Away with Wild Hearts

If you looking for a fun and relaxing way to spend time with your family on the water instead of in the water, then Sail Wild Hearts is for you. You can’t imagine a more perfect day to go sailing. The sun was shining and there was a late summer breeze. Sail Wild Hearts owner, Ted Scarritt, was more than thrilled to have us on a sail. The dock is located in the heart of Orange Beach about a mile from Turquoise Place, a Spectrum Resorts’ property.

Capture

 

Colby Turner, Revenue and Marketing Director 

Growing up in the area, I’ve spent plenty of time cruising the Gulf and the back bays in center consoles, pontoon boats and jet-skis, but hitting the open water on a sail boat was a new experience for me.  First, I was surprised at just how fast the boat was able to move with only the wind pushing us along.  It also made for a much quieter and relaxing boat ride being able to hear the breeze and the water instead of the constant scream of a boat motor.

The boat is stunning in and of itself.  At 53 feet long, Sail Wild Hearts is easily the largest boat that I’ve been on, and the open deck provides a ton of room for everyone to make their way around the boat comfortably.  The crew was very hospitable and took the time to explain some of the finer points of sailing a boat so large.  If you’re looking to get out of the sun, the cabin area is also very spacious with plenty of seating.  You’ll also find two restrooms and even a bar below deck.

 

Veronica Petkov, Public Relations

I have had the pleasure on sailing Wild Hearts before and each trip brings something completely different.  Even the dock walk is a time to take it all in and enjoy the natural settings.

Wild Hearts was immaculately clean and there were cold drinks and snacks waiting. We started to set sail immediately and when passing the islands, I had memories of me on Robinson Island wishing I was on Wild Hearts when it passed by. Imagine the sweet sound of Mother Nature’s cool breezes, the sight of pure-white beaches and the Gulf of Mexico.

Being on the water is completely relaxing for me, especially knowing that the next couple hours are a ‘Calgon Take Me Away” moment. It was nice to see the Alabama Gulf Coast from a different perspective. The gulf view has another meaning when out in the Gulf looking in. The sail was perfect because of the friendly and professional crew and the quite sounds you can only hear without a motor.

Thank you for sailing away with us on Sail Wild Hearts. For additional information on other must do area activities, click the link below. We are looking forward to you reading about our next trip to Lulu’s at 5’Oclock Somewhere in Gulf Shores. Comment below and tell us at Spectrum Resorts where you ike to go.

 

Take a Step Back in Time at the National Naval Aviation Museum

Visiting the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida was like taking a step back in time.  As soon as we drove onto the navy base, there was an overwhelming patriotic feeling that came over us. Service men and women risk their lives every day and the museum is one of many ways they are honored. Admission to the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum is free, so it makes for a great family outing or group excursion.

 

Veronica Petkov, Public Relations

We were greeted immediately upon entering the state-of-the-art museum by very polite and well dressed volunteers. Our group chose to walk through on our own but on my next visit, I will take the tour. The 350,000 square feet exhibit is on 37-acres and it took us over 2 hours to do a complete walkthrough.

The first plane that caught my attention was the first plane to make the flight over the Atlantic Ocean in May 1919. Albert Cushing Read (1887-1967) was the pilot-in-command for the NC-4 aircraft during the historic trans-Atlantic flight. It was the “Mightiest Aeroplane of the Day.”

The Museum showcases over 150 restored planes representing the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation. In addition to the planes, the museum is home to flight simulators, Blue Angels X4D Experience and my favorite, the Virtual Flight Deck. The Flight Deck exhibit was a brief look into the operations “on board” an aircraft carrier.  That is the closest I will ever be to experiencing the wind, smell and rumble of an aircraft catapult.

 

Colby Turner, Revenue and Marketing Director

Growing up in the area, the Naval Aviation Museum is something that I visited often with my family when I was younger.  I was always intrigued by the amazing collection that the museum had put together, but it has been many years since I have been to museum and I honestly didn’t know how much I would enjoy it as an adult.  Well, I can absolutely say that even as an adult visiting the Naval Aviation Museum is an awe inspiring day trip.

I wouldn’t consider myself a history buff by any stretch of the imagination, so I was surprised by how the history grabbed me on this trip.  The museum’s collection of airplanes and naval artifacts is staggering with over 150 aircraft stored from floor to ceiling.  I was most interested in the Curtiss NC-4 which was the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.  The NC-4’s trip took 19 days to complete and started in New York State and ended in Lisbon Portugal.

The Naval Aviation Museum has also worked hard to add interactive attractions.  The IMAX theatre offers three films with a showing every hour beginning at 10:00am and ending at 4:00pm.  I was talked into taking a literal spin on the flight simulator which puts you and another person in the cockpit of a fighter jet on a training mission.  I also enjoyed the virtual aircraft carrier simulation which walks you through the enormous efforts it takes to operate an aircraft carrier as well as a simulation of the conditions experienced by the crew on the flight deck.

All in all, it was a very interesting trip and I was surprised by just how much I still enjoyed the museum as an adult.  Any travelers looking for a fun day trip off of the beach will not be disappointed with a trip to the Naval Aviation Museum.

We hope you find this information useful. Plese leave us a comment if you have tips or suggestions on the National Naval Aviation Museum. Click the link below to read about additional day trips along the Alabama Gulf Coast.

 

The Hangout – Where 59 Ends and the Fun Begins

This month, The September Series Blog will feature Spectrum Resorts marketing team visiting four of the Alabama Gulf Coast’s top restaurants and attraction to give readers an inside look at area favorites. Read three first-hand descriptions about The Hangout, The Naval Aviation Museum, Sail Wild Heartsand LuLu’s. This week features The Hangout in Gulf Shores where “59 Ends and Fun Begins.”

 

Colby Turner, Revenue and Marketing Director
Entrée –Shaka-Shaka Shrimp Po Boy
The atmosphere at The Hangout was amazing.  Even on a weekday afternoon in the middle of August, The Hangout delivered fun entertainment

as well as great food.  As always, the staff was very friendly and quickly seated us at a table near the stage at the north end of the restaurant.  Wewere lucky enough to catch “JUMP, The Ultimate Dog Show” which featured several dogs performing agility and Frisbee catching tricks.

I went with the Shaka-Shaka shrimp po boy for my entrée.  This is easily my favorite po boy in the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area.  I’ve had po boys at other restaurants that were way more bread than shrimp, but this is not the case at The Hangout.  The po boy arrived in a basket and was stuffed with fresh golden fried shrimp as well as lettuce and tomatoes.  A generous portion of shoe string fries was also included in the basket along with the Shaka-Shaka sauce on the side.  The sandwich would be good even without the Shaka-Shaka sauce, but this sweet and spicy sauce is what makes this my favorite dish at The Hangout.

It was another great lunch at one of the top restaurants in the area.  The great food and fun atmosphere make The Hangout a must visit restaurant for anyone visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast.

 

Veronica Petkov, Public Relations
Entrée – Blackened Mahi Tacos
The Hangout’s slogan is so very true. “Where 59 ends and the fun begin,” explains it all. The prime location and the panoramic views of the sugar-white beach create a sense of relaxation and peacefulness as soon as we arrived.  The fresh salt air and beautiful day got this lunch off to a great start.

There is never a dull moment at The Hangout because their social calendar is full of special events and live entertainment throughout the year.  If I would have been at The Hangout on a personal visit, I most likely would have started with the cucumber Bloody Mary with Smirnoff citrus, Zing Zang mix garnished with traditional vegetables and cucumbers. Instead I had a diet coke.

The team members at The Hangout are always so helpful and friendly. Our server made lunch very enjoyable with his professional manner and helpful personality. He was kind enough to let us take a few pictures and he even recommended a few popular entrees.

I was torn between the fish tacos or the Shaka-Shaka shrimp. So as a group, we decided on the Shake shrimp as an appetizer so I went with the Blackened Maui Tacos with cheese, black beans, cilantro, roasted red pepper sauce with tortilla chips and tomato salsa for my entrée.

It was nice to see the Shake shrimp were not popcorn shrimp. They were just the right size and the sweet and spicy Shaka sauce came on the side. We knew why the Shaka shrimp was a favorite when we tasted right amount of sweet heat on the sauce and the savory shrimp.

When the tacos arrived, I knew I made the right choice even before taking a bite. It looked absolutely delicious and tasted even better. The added black beans and roasted peppers went very well together and the colorful chips and the melted cheese made this dish one of my area favorites.

 

Jamie Croft, Graphic Designer
Entrée – Hang 10 Cheese Burger 

 

The Hangout is one of my favorite places to eat here on the Gulf Coast. There is always some sort of entertainment and the relaxed beach-front atmosphere is hard to beat. The open-air restaurant is something to experience, especially having a great view of the beach and Gulf.

The unique décor is eye-catching and everyone seemed to be checking out the large displayed collection of old tin lunchboxes, the never-ending display of Pez dispensers and the fun, colorful sand bucket collection. Our group started out with Shaka Shaka Shrimp. As an appetizer, these were really high-quality shrimp and a large portion. The Shaka -Shaka sauce had a nice spice that blended well with the shrimp.

For my entrée, I chose the Hang 10 Cheese Burger which came with shoe string fries. My Cheeseburger arrived in a basket packed with crispy fries. The fries were tasty and fresh with the perfect amount of salt. I almost ate all of my fries before I took the first bite of my cheeseburger.  The cheeseburger was a cooked to perfection and it was a nice size burger. It was full of flavor and had plenty of American & Swiss cheese.

For a complete menu list, visit The Hangout website. Please leave a comment about your favorite menu item and come back next week and read the reviews about the Naval Aviation Musuem in Pensacola, FL.

 

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.