Coastal Alabama Fall Festivals

Fall is a favorite season on the Alabama Gulf Coast for many reasons including cooler days, lower rates and explosive sunsets over the water. Visitors and locals enjoy this time of year because the weather is absolutely amazing!

Fall also means festival season and we hope you are looking forward to getting outside and enjoying Mother Nature at her finest. Enjoy all of Coastal Alabama’s attractions including kayaking, biking, horseback riding and upcoming events. With so much to see and do, we have composed a list of the top four festivals and events on the coast.

Wharf Uncorked
September 24-26

The 2nd Annual Premier Wine and Culinary Event, Wharf Uncorked is September 24th through 26th at The Wharf in Orange Beach. This three day event features over 150 labels for sampling and purchase, demonstrations from renowned chefs, sampling and purchasing of fine wines and live and silent auctions benefiting Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tickets to the Saturday night Grand Tasting are $95.20.

44th Annual National Shrimp Festival
October 8th – 11th

The Annual National Shrimp Festival is a FREE event held the second full weekend in October at Gulf Shores public beach. This outdoor festival attracts 250,000 people and over 300 vendors. Shrimp Fest is one of the nations’ premier outdoor festivals featuring fine arts, arts and crafts, an outdoor village and a retail marketplace. Get great rates at Turquoise Place and The Beach Club during Shrimp Fest when booking Spectrum Resorts Tailgate Getaway special. Save big on already low fall rates and receive all the benefits of the Spectrum Advantage.

Oyster Cook-Off
November 6th & 7th

See over 70 chefs including Food Network Stars and James Beard award winners demonstrate their oyster cooking skills during the Oyster Cook-Off. Be a part of a weekend full of activities including a Craft Beer Festival, Oyster Cook-Off, Tailgating, demonstrations, workshops and the North American Oyster Showcase. The cost to attend the Friday Craft Beer Festival is $40 and tickets to the Cook-Off are $10 at the door. Oyster Cook-Off Ticket booklets are $25 in advance.

Wine Dinners at Coast Restaurant at The Beach Club
First Friday of every month October – April

Take advantage of the opportunity to sample and learn about notable wines from around the world and how they should be paired with your food. The Beach Club is bringing wines from around the world for interactive wine dinners the first Friday evening of each month. Award-winning Chef Brody Olive will prepare a four-course meal designed to complement the evening’s featured wines. Wine reps will be available to answer questions and guests will have an opportunity to purchase select wines. Wine dinners are $40 per person and weekend rates are available with advanced reservations.

There is something for everyone to do this fall season. Book a weekend visit during the fall and take advantage of Spectrum Resorts great rates with the Tailgate Getaway special. Save big on already low fall rates and treat your family to a fall break.

post image

Coastal Alabama Tailgate Getaways

Attention football fanatics! When your team hits the road, hit the beach. Bring your friends and family to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to tailgate this football season. Cheer on your favorite team from the comforts of a Gulf-front condo or from one of the many TV’s hanging throughout all of the local restaurants and sports bars.

It’s time to get back to the beach and the fall is the perfect time. The vacation rental rates drop, there is less traffic and the weather is ideal. There are also endless activities including shopping, spa treatments and 32 miles of sugar-white sand to relax on for the ones who prefer the social aspects of tailgating.

We want to help you make your next Tailgate Getaway unforgettable so here are few tips on getting the most out of your Tailgate Getaway.

1. Know your audience. Is this a guy’s trip, a girlfriends getaway or a family vacation? Either way, you still need a place to stay. Since rates drop drastically after Labor Day, it is the perfect time to reserve your accommodations. Gulf-front resorts like Turquoise Place and The Beach Club offer great Tailgate Getaway specials and they even include visits from legendary coaches and resort activities. Turquoise Place has private Jacuzzi’s and gas grills on every balcony and The Beach Club is home to Fort Morgan’s football headquarters, The Village Hideaway.

2. The advantages of staying in a condominium for your Tailgate Getaway are the ability to prepare food in a well equipped kitchen. There are certain foods that are a staple for most tailgate parties. Chicken wings, hamburgers, hot dogs and pretty much anything you can eat with your fingers are must haves for game day cuisine. Spectrum Resorts offers a grocery delivery service so all of your tailgating treats can be delivered before your arrival so you don’t even have to stop at the store.

3. Go ahead and pick your date. Find a game weekend when your team is on the road. If you can coordinate a travel weekend that coincides with a festival weekend, you can get the best of both worlds. Wharf Uncorked, The National Annual Shrimp Festival and Oyster Cook-Off are a few upcoming fall events on the Alabama Gulf Coast that we recommend attending.

Bring your MVPs to the beach for an unforgettable Tailgate Getaway and cheer on your favorite team in style. Tell us your favorite team and some of your game day must haves.

tailgate_getaways_logo_med

4 Must Try Alabama Seafood Dishes

In last week’s post we highlighted 10 Things to Expect When Vacationing on the Gulf Coast.  Number seven on the list is the fact that every restaurant claims to have the best seafood in town.  The fact is you really can’t go wrong at any of the local seafood restaurants if you’re looking for fresh Gulf seafood, but some dishes stand out more than others.  Here are four local seafood dishes you must try on your next Gulf Shores and Orange Beach vacation. Continue reading “4 Must Try Alabama Seafood Dishes”

Watts Up on the Beach

Spectrum Resorts has something we want you to see including sugar-white beaches, panoramic Gulf views, resort amenities, area attractions and much more.

Spectrum Resorts in going “out in the field” with the locals and visitors with our new vlog called “Watts Up on the Beach”.  We are highlighting amenities around Turquoise Place and The Beach Club along with activities and restaurants around the Orange Beach and Gulf Shores area.

We want to give you an inside look of what it’s like on the Gulf Coast and how Spectrum Resorts helps our guests create happy memories.

Our first vlog is a preview of the beach club and kicks off our series for the summer. Next we will be heading to the Gulf Adventure Center zipline in Gulf Shores. Follow me along my summer journey through the Gulf Coast area on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Share your vacation pictures with us at marketing@spectrumresorts.com, and we will feature you at the end of our next vlog! Have any questions or comments about Spectrum Resorts or the area? I’ll answer them all!

Danielle Watts

#wattsup

Spectrum Resorts Marketing

Stay connected with us!

Facebook Instagram Twitter Youtube

 

 

Tips for Planning a Hassle-Free Summer Vacation

Tips for Planning a Hassle-Free Summer Vacation

Today’s technology makes planning a vacation a lot easier and stress free. When it’s time to book your beach getaway, try using the many available resources to save time and money. Let us help you find the best accommodations, show you the best places to dine, and help you plan an unforgettable Alabama Coastal Getaway.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Travel Apps

Use the multipurpose mobile apps provided by Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism to help you navigate your way around Coastal Alabama. Download the app to find specials on beach houses and condos, to find live music, and to learn about the area’s history or to just find a peaceful walking trail.  Apps include the Gulf Beaches App, the Scenic Byway App, and the Backcountry App.

Alabama Gulf Coast Vacation Guide

Enjoy hassle free planning with the Alabama Gulf Coast Vacation Guide. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism makes it easy with two options including the online version or a free copy that can be sent to you by mail. They also offer the Alabama Civil War Trail Guide, Orange Beach Fishing Association Charter Directory, Gulf Shores Golf Guide, and the E-Tiding Newsletter.

TripAdvisor

Read reviews on TripAdvisor to see what experiences other people have had. Find inside information from previous patrons on accommodations, entertainment, and attractions. All contributors are unpaid, and TripAdvisor has one of the largest collections of user-contributed pictures from more than 45 countries. Look for the owl of approval at your favorite destinations.

Travel Bloggers

Ask the experts. Do your research and find travel bloggers and writers who are social media enthusiasts. Bloggers are bloggers because they can tell you about their experiences and relay them in a manner in which you can almost picture yourself there. The art of penmanship is great when looking for the perfect vacation.

We also recommend looking at social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.  Most businesses have at least one social media channel and general response times are quick and informative. Have a relaxing summer and please let us know your tips for planning a hassle-free vacation.

5152013_CWR_1928 (Small)

 

5 Kid Friendly Coastal Alabama Restaurants

One of the benefits of going on vacation is the luxury of dining out. Most people dread the everyday routine of cooking and cleaning on vacation and going out to eat while out of town is the easiest way to experience the local cuisine. And you don’t have to clean up afterwards makes it even more appealing.

Picture this… you spend the day relaxing on the beach or by the pool and the kids play their little hearts out. Right before dinner, everyone decides on a restaurant, gets ready and goes out. Once you arrive, you realize that you did not account for the wait time and everyone is getting ill because they are tired, sunburned, thirsty and hungry. What next?

When traveling with children, we suggest choosing a kid friendly restaurant when dinging out, especially during high volume seasons like summer and holidays. As many parents will agree, it is exhausting trying to entertain kids that are hungry, thirsty, tired and sunburned.

We see this all too often so here is a list of five kid friendly restaurants on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

  1. LuLu’s This family-friendly open air restaurant caters to all ages.  Kids can watch the boat traffic on the Intercoastal Waterway, browse the gift shop, hit the ropes course or visit the Fountain of Youth.
  1. The Hangout Located directly on the beach, The Hangout offers convenient beach access, foam parties, a wish wall, sand pit, a wall collection of unique treasures, courtyard games and much more
  1. Lambert’s Café The home the throwed rolls, Lambert’s Café is located in Foley just south of the Tanger Center.  With generous portions and throwed rolls, kids love to eat at Lambert’s.  Children are taught not to play with their food, but at Lambert’s, it is perfectly acceptable.
  1. The Village Hideaway Located at The Beach Club, The Village Hideaway has interactive video games, pool tables, shuffleboard and a High Definition Golf Simulator. Kids can share a pizza and even play life size chess on the front lawn.
  1. The Original Oyster House It is no secret the Oyster House loves kids. Located in the Bayou Village Shopping Center, The Oyster House is a great location for kids to watch for alligators and feed the fish. And, kids really appreciate the toy served with all of the kid’s meals.

For additional information on area restaurants, please visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism.

509 (Small)

Girls Getaway: Setting Sail to the Beach


Blog written by Heather Boothman

A Brit and a Southerner

Planning a girl’s getaway can be difficult especially when trying to come to an agreement on the best destination. Whether it’s shopping sprees or relaxing with spa day treatments, identifying a perfect location is critical before hitting the open road.

After much discussion, we all agreed that our chosen location required a beach, good shopping, fun attractions and of course great food! I soon realized that the choice was not difficult at all and the question had been answered in record time – Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in Alabama. Having visited this stretch of coastline previously with my husband, I knew that taking my girls here was the perfect choice.  All we have to do now is plan our itinerary in an area that has endless possibilities.

Where to Stay

During my last visit to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, we stayed at The Beach Club by Spectrum Resorts and had an amazing experience there. We researched various other alternatives in the area but many of the resorts just didn’t compare to Spectrum Resorts high quality accommodation. A word of caution if you are planning a getaway for early May. Book early because this is the start of the peak season and this is a much sought after destination and you certainly don’t want to settle for something if it is not at the beach.

Spectrum Resorts has the ‘best of the best’ along the Gulf of Mexico so when we stumbled across another property of theirs I didn’t think twice. Turquoise Place is a luxurious resort that is located in the heart of Orange Beach. All the best amenities like a gas grill and your own private Jacuzzi are included, in addition to their Clean Bed Guarantee that is revolutionizing the market.

Have you ever wondered how frequently hotels and resorts actually wash your bed linens? Sometimes comforters may only be washed twice each year. However thanks to Spectrum Resorts, “Each guest bed will be made with a freshly washed duvet and linens prior to your arrival.”  Turquoise Place here we come! 

What are our Plans

When you make a trip to the beach of course there will be morning runs, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets and that amazing beach smell with the waves crashing while we are relaxing. What do you do when you venture away from the beach? 

We are hoping to save time for a little retail therapy in the nearby Tanger Outlet mall in Foley, as well as the local markets and boardwalks within the area.

There is something to be said for being one with the ocean and we are excited to have booked a sunset cruise with Sail Wild Hearts. The cruise will last around 1.5 to 2 hours on a 53-foot catamaran. Tickets are $35 to cruise around while we sooth our souls and embrace the moments with the ocean.

The Waves of Wine Festival will be taking place during our visit, featuring live music, food from a variety of local restaurants as well as craft beer and of course over 120 different wine selections to try. Tickets are also $35 and that includes a cruise around the bay during the event for you to enjoy the breathtaking scenery in the Gulf. An added incentive is the inclusion of a wine glass and bag to help cherish your memories from this experience. The festival will be at a Caribe The Resort, which is in close proximity to Turquoise Place.

Where to Eat 

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is spoiled for choice when it comes to fine restaurants and cuisine options. Seafood here is delicious and the hardest part is choosing which of the many establishments to sample.

One restaurant that I am really excited about trying is The Gulf, which is located directly on the beach. Serving food inspired by the Gulf of Mexico, this outdoor venue is just a really cool looking restaurant. Did you know The Gulf is made out of repurposed shipping containers? This beach bar has much to offer in terms of atmosphere and of course food selection, from burgers to tacos this place looks like it has it all and dinner is going to be amazing.

Girlfriends getaway (Small)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter EGGcitement

Easter is a time to rejoice and celebrate life.  Make plans to spend quality time relaxing and creating happy memories with your family. The Gulf Coast is filled with Easter festivities and Spring Break activities.

Are you looking for some Easter EGGcitement? Here are a few events you should add to your must do list for Easter weekend.

Wales West Cottontail Express

Board the Cottontail Express at Wales West on weekends until April 4 for a real Steam trail ride through the Bunny Hutch. Take your pictures with the Easter Bunny, visit the petting zoo and blast Peeps’ from cannon. Hop your way to Wales West and get your complimentary Easter basket and bunny ears.

Spring Azaleas at Bellingrath Gardens

Bellingrath Gardens is showcasing over 250,000 lively azalea blooms on 65 acres.  Azaleas are at their peak in full bloom for the next couple of weeks and the display is a “true southern icon.”  Bellingrath Gardens is open year round featuring floral pageantry in a spectacular estate garden.  As the sun rises over Bellingrath Gardens on Easter Sunday, a sunrise service will begin at 6:30 a.m. and offerings will benefit Family Promise of Coastal Alabama.

Easter Sunday Brunch at The Beach Club

Brunch is an Easter morning tradition and Executive Chef, Brody Olive and his team are serving an annual brunch at Coast Restaurant at The Beach Club.  Enjoy Blue Crab Deviled Eggs, Grilled Leg of Lamb Skewers, Bon Secour Shrimp & Grits, Herb Rubbed Prime Rib and much more. Click here to view the entire menu.

Egg Hunts

The Hangout is offering brunch at 8:00 a.m. and activities for all ages begin at 11:00 a.m. Known as “the Island’s largest kids Easter Egg Hunt.” You can have an EGGcellent time where “59 ends and the fun begins.”

The Beach Club is hiding an ocean of 6,000 eggs for kids 12 and under at the Annual Easter Eggstravanza on the front lawn of The Village for the egg dash at 1:00 p.m.  Get your face painted, take a train ride and get your photo made with the Easter Bunny.

LuLu’s at Homeport Marina is hosting their Annual Easter Egg Hunt at 2:00 p.m. on Easter Sunday. Take  your picture with the Easter Bunny and hunt for EGGciting treasures in the sand.

We hope everyone has an EGGcellent Easter Sunday. For additional information on area events and activities, please visit www.gulfshores.com.

Coastal Alabama Restaurants that will Cook It when you Hook It

It is no secret that the Alabama Gulf Coast is famous for offshore and inshore fishing. The variety of saltwater and freshwater fish will have you hooked, especially when you catch it yourself. After reeling in the big one, sit back and let one of Coastal Alabama’s restaurants cook it when you hook it.

The Village Hideaway at The Beach Club
925 Beach Club Trail
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
251-224-3650
The Village Hideaway is a family friendly sports themed dining establishment with grilled dishes, craft beers, and interactive games including a golf simulator by High Definition Golf™. Get the best of both worlds and enjoy golf and fishing in the same day. Enjoy your fresh catch, drinks, games and good times at the Hideaway.

Wolf Bay Lodge – Orange Beach
26619 Perdido Beach Blvd.
Orange Beach, AL 36561
251-965-5129
Wolf Bay Lodge is family owned and operated and is well known for their high quality fresh seafood and local ambience. Nestled in Zeke’s Landing, it is an ideal location for fresh fish right off the boat and great waterfront dining.

Tacky Jack’s – Orange Beach
27206 Safe Harbor Drive
Orange Beach, AL 36561
251-981-4144
Located off Marina Road, Tacky Jack’s atmosphere is described as FUN. Quality, value, family and community are the Tacky Jack’s brand standards and the waterfront views and friendly staff makes every guest want to return for multiple visits.

Flora-Bama Yacht Club
17350 Perdido Key Drive
Perdido Key, FL 32507
850-525-4460
Technically, the Flora-Bama Yacht Club has a Florida address but Alabamians still claim half of it. You can bring your cleaned, filet fresh catches to the Yacht Club and they will prepare you a delicious meal in the open-air casual restaurant. Located on Ole River, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

If you are planning a trip to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, most likely someone in your party is going to want to catch the big one. Let these restaurants prepare your fresh catch after a fun filled day of fishing.

IMG_5032 (Small)

4 Popular New Year’s Eve Celebrations on the Coast

New Year’s Eve is a time to say goodbye to one year and to start a new year off with a bang. Where better to do that than on the Alabama Gulf Coast watching fireworks, enjoying fresh local cuisine and spending quality time with friends and family?  With all of the Gulf Coast activities taking place, we have composed a list of the most popular New Year’s Eve celebrations in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

The Wharf’s Annual New Year’s Eve Street Party

Reel in the New Year at the Wharf with fireworks, family friendly activities, live music and a Marlin Drop at midnight. Admission to the annual street party on Main Street is free and features a variety of entertainment for all ages. VIP tickets are available for the Jim Beam Kentucky Fire VIP Club that includes hors d’oeuvres, complimentary drinks, party favors and a comfortable lounge with the best seats in the house.

Flora-Bama’s New Year’s Eve Bash

Enjoy live music on three stages, party favors and champagne flowing all night. You won’t regret blowing it out one more time before committing to your New Year’s resolutions.  Enjoy a dinner buffet from 7pm until midnight and take advantage of the complimentary breakfast sandwiches served at the gift shop starting at 12:30am. “Do it on the line” and enjoy the New Year’s Eve Bash at the Bama.

Celebrate New Years at The Beach Club

Begin 2015 with elegance and flair at Coast Restaurant at The Beach Club. Create happy memories with your friends and family at the renowned annual celebration featuring a spectacular fireworks show, dinner at Coast Restaurant prepared by Executive Chef Brody Olive, live music and a champagne toast at midnight.  Accommodations packages are available so skip the drive and sleep in. 

New Year’s Eve at Fisher’s

If you are looking for a more romantic and intimate setting, then we suggest Fisher’s Upstairs for an all inclusive four course dinner and wine pairing with an open bar. Enjoy live music by Robert Ellis and band. Seating is limited to 100 tickets. Cocktails start at 7:30pm, Dinner is served at 8:30pm and the show begins at 10:30pm.

From the Spectrum Resorts family, we wish you a safe and Happy New Year.