Celebrate the Fourth of July Gulf Coast Style

With Fourth of July approaching, Spectrum Resorts wants to make sure you know the best places to see fireworks light up the Gulf Coast sky. Various celebrations will be had across the Alabama Gulf Coast that includes family-friendly fun and activities for all ages. And our Gulf Shores resorts provide all of the comfy accommodations and generous amenities to create a memorable Gulf Coast family vacation for this year’s Independence Day.

What are you waiting for? Check out these can’t miss Gulf Coast July 4th celebrations below!

 

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Independence Day Street Party | The Wharf | July 3rd, 5 pm – 9 pm

The Wharf is celebrating Independence Day a little early this year! From 5 pm – 9 pm, a patriotic street party will be held on Main Street with live entertainment, kid-friendly activities, and prize giveaways. Once 8:45 pm hits, the palm trees that line the street will begin to glimmer in red, white, and blue and the night sky will light up with a fireworks extravaganza. Admission is free. Some activities do require a fee. For more information, call (251) 224-1000.

 

*All events below take place on July 4th.

6th Annual Shark Run | Flora-Bama | 7 am – 10 am

What has become an Independence Day tradition continues this July 4th as hundreds of runners will be on hand to compete. Several races will be available:

  • 4 Mile All Road Race – a 4-mile course on a flat, road surface
  • Original Adventure Run – 2 miles of road course then 2.5 miles on beach sand; runners will wear flag belts that “sharks” will attempt to steal; must have flag intact when crossing the finish line to be eligible for awards
  • 1 Mile Adventure Run – an out and back course on the beach; runners will wear flag belts that “sharks” will attempt to steal

After the races, refreshments and free beer (over 21) will be available. A DJ will also be on hand spinning the hits. You can register on the Harley Sports website.

J4 Celebration | Turquoise Place Resort

Turquoise Place Resort will be hosting the J4 Celebration in honor of July 4th with a fireworks display and live music at the Tip Tops of the resort. When you upgrade with the Freedom Pass you’ll even get to enjoy delicious All American BBQ and kid-friendly activities like laser tag and rock wall climbing. For more information, and to add your Freedom Pass, call (855) 267-4885.

City of Gulf Shores Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration | Gulf State Park | 9 pm

The Gulf State Park will be helping the city of Gulf Shores celebrate the Fourth of July with a firework show that starts at 9 pm. The fireworks will be shot from the Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier. You can find a spot on Gulf Shores Public Beach and the surrounding area for perfect views of the extravaganza.

 

Have you booked your Gulf Coast accommodations for the summer? Reserve your luxury Gulf Shores condo at one of our Gulf Coast resorts!

 

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!

4 Reasons to Book Your Beach Vacation in Advance

Looking to get away? We suggest getting a jumpstart on your beach vacation by booking ahead of time! There are many benefits to booking your accommodations early including meeting your travel goals as well as your budget. For families, couples, groups and solo travelers, planning a vacation requires optimal time to get the best deal possible. That’s why we have great Orange Beach and Gulf Shores vacation tips to give you.

We have composed a list of 4 reasons to book your vacation in advance by providing you with information on the ideal time to reserve your condo at the beach.

Sought After Units Go First

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Don’t procrastinate if you want to get the best price on the most sought after vacation rental. You will have a larger selection of accommodations to choose from the earlier you book. Condos are typically decorated by the owner so there is a wide range of styles to choose from. Some of the decorations are modern and up-to-date and those are the condos that are selected first.

Rates Change with Occupancy

In the vacation rental industry, rates go up as occupancy goes up. Some travelers who visit the same location book their accommodations a year in advance. We suggest making your reservation as far in advance as possible so you can get the best possible rate. Condos normally do not offer last minute deals like hotels unless it is the shoulder season.

Book Early to Start Planning

mother and child having fun in the pool

Planning your vacation ahead of time gives you ample time to select the most desirable lodging options in ideal locations. Once you choose a location, then you can start researching activities, excursions, and nearby restaurants. Planning ahead allows you to concentrate on planning other aspects of your beach vacation once you have selected your accommodations.

Avoid Cancellation Penalties

Some vacation rental companies allow you to make reservations with no money down when booked in advance. If you are required to make a deposit, we recommend reviewing the cancellation policy to avoid losing money. We suggest you seek out the rental companies that let you book with no money down and allow you to cancel up to two weeks before your arrival date without a penalty in case your plans change.

Avoid stress and get the best rates and the most desirable condo by booking your stay in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan a vacation you daydream about all winter long. Take your time and research an ideal location for you and your family!

 

Learn more about our Gulf Shores and Orange Beach resorts here, and stay up-to-date on the latest coastal Alabama news here!

7 Must Dos for Spring Break in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

don't miss out on ziplining during your gulf shores spring break

If you are beating the winter blues by daydreaming of a relaxing beach vacation to the Alabama Gulf Coast, then we’ve got you covered. When reserving your spring break vacation rental, we recommend planning a few local activities that we think are must-dos for the perfect Orange Beach and Gulf Shores spring break.

Don’t miss out on these great spring break activities below!

1. Relax on the Beach

With 32 miles of sugar-white sand for you to enjoy, we recommend making time to catch the waves and enjoying a little peace and quiet. If your vacation rental is not directly on the beach, check out these great coastal Alabama public beaches.

2. Sail Away

Set sail with Sail Wild Hearts this spring and take in the views of the beaches from the water. The 53-foot catamaran cruises daily and offer excursions just off the shore. You can set sail on a daily dolphin cruise or the three-hour adventure sail that includes an island stop, kayaks, paddleboard, and snorkeling.

3. Catch the Big One

Alabama is known for the diversity of saltwater and freshwater with inshore and offshore fishing. Get hooked on blue marlin, yellowfin tuna, red snapper and much more. An Alabama fishing license is required when fishing in public waters unless you are aboard a licensed charter boat.

4. Take a Hike

Walk, jog, bike or take a guided golf cart ride through the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail in the Gulf State Park. Six trails make up 13.5 miles so you can connect with nature. Schedule a 2-hour guided eco-tour with the City of Orange Beach on a covered electric cart. And check out these other fantastic trails and parks in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

5. Zip the Gulf

Experience the great outdoors and fly high about the waters of the Hummingbird Ziplines. Located at the Gulf State Park, the two-hour circuit zipline offers an unforgettable experience and a thrilling adrenaline rush, making for a great Gulf Shores spring break activity.

6. Go Wild at the Zoo

See lions, tigers, and bears at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo where you can get up close and personal with over 500 animals. Enjoy spending time with a number of species facing extinction while getting a unique educational experience.

7. Rope the Course

Sharky’s Family Adventure Park is located at the Wharf and features rope courses for participants of all ages. Enjoy the thrills of soaring and testing your balance or challenge your putting skills on the 18 hole miniature golf course.

 

Get your spring break started by booking your stay at one of our luxury Gulf-front vacation rentals!

 

3 Things to Add to Your Beach Bucket List

Whether you are a visitor or a local, there are countless places to go on the Gulf Coast.  It is the time of year when everyone starts to enjoy being outdoors and taking in some fresh cool air. Don’t miss out on making memories by visiting a few hidden gems. Here are a few things you should add to your Coastal Alabama bucket list.

Take a hike, bike or jog along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail and enjoy Mother Nature at her finest. The beauty and diversity of the Backcountry Trails are sure to wow. Take time to read one of Spectrum Resorts previous blogs, Bike Your Way Through Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for inside tips on getting the most out of your ride. The City of Orange Beach offers Guided Eco-Tours  for only $15 per person on a covered electric cart. Reservations can be made via email at lellis@cityoforangebeach.com.

For anyone who is adventurous, take a helicopter tour. Fly high in the sky and get a bird’s eye view of the pristine Gulf Coast.  Orange Beach Helicopters offer packages to fit anyone’s budget and flight route. They offer a Beach Tour, Sea Life Tour, Round the Islands Tour, Deluxe Combo Tour and a Sunset Tour.

Parasailing is one of many water sports in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The feeling of flying high in the sky is a rush for thrill seekers. It is also a great time to see the beaches from the Gulf waters. Most parasail rides are between 10-15 minutes and fly around 800 ft. high! Some can even accommodate up to three people so you can bring friends or family and everyone can check parasailing off their bucket list.

Making a bucket list is a great way to keep up with ways to create happy memories. Plan a trip to the coast so you can start checking items off right away. Have fun in your next adventure and please put safety first.

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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.

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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.

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Stay and Play Labor Day

Labor Day is considered the unofficial end of summer but it is also a great time to plan a trip to the beach. You can find a wide range of activities and entertainment including concerts, fishing tournaments, sporting events and family fun. Beat those back to school blues by giving the family something to look forward to. Here are few ways to make your Coastal Alabama Labor Day memorable.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism’s blog, The Beach Is Calling has suggestions on how to Celebrate Summer’s end with a Labor Day Beach Vacation. They even offer a gas calculator to help you figure the estimated cost of gas.

Take advantage of great rates and accommodation specials at The Beach Club and Turquoise Place. Stay and play Labor Day Monday for free when you book the weekend. Take advantage of the Spectrum Advantage and save on food and beverage purchases all weekend long.

Make plans to visit The Wharf during this Labor Day weekend. The Wharf is hosting a Labor Day Street Party on September 5th from 5pm-9pm. Street activities include Kangaroos you can pet and feed, a bouncy house, face painting, a rock climbing wall and Spectra Sound and Light Show.

The Waterway Village Art Market will be September 5th from 10am-4pm a Waterway Village in Gulf Shores is across from the Gulf Coast Arts Alliance Art Gallery. Regional and local artists will display paintings in oil, acrylic, pastel, watercolor and more. Enjoy handmade art, live music and children’s activities.

Country Supergroup Alabama will be playing at the Amphitheater at the Wharf on September 6. Get your tickets at Ticketmaster so your Labor Day will be “Close Enough to Perfect.”

We hope you have a safe and Happy Labor Day! Please share your pictures with us on Instagram, follow us on twitter and like us on Facebook so you can stay up to date on what is happening around town.

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Gifs That Will Make You Miss the Beach

Summer is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean your love for the beach has to! We decided to compile a small list of all our favorite things about the beach “gif style.” These gifs will make you ready to book your beach vacation for next year.

1. Letting the waves hit your feet

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2. Watching those people who take running on the beach very seriously 

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3. Night walks on the beach

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4. Having a girls’ weekend 

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5. Impressing everyone with your sandcastles 

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6. Wishing you were at the beach instead of in the office 

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7. Eating your first watermelon of the summer 

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8. Having the perfect beach setup

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9. The water 

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 10. Wishing you could spend your entire summer on the beach 

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Are you ready to get back to the beach now?

4 Coastal Attractions Keeping You Cool this Summer

With temperatures at their summer peak, the things on people’s minds are ways to stay cool and have fun at the same time.  When you add the humidity factor that is ever so present in the southeast, you have one hot summer. The standard attire in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is bathing suits and flip flops so you are always prepared to make a splash into some cool refreshing water.  Here is a list of four coastal attractions designed to help keep you cool this summer.

Waterville USA – If you are looking to relax along the lazy river or thrill seek on one of the 17 waters slides, then Waterville should be on your list of must do summer attractions. Also included in the 20 acre waterpark  is a wave pool, Shrimp Boat Village, Wa-Wa World and Flowrider. The amusement park includes Nascart Go-Carts, Cannonball Run roller coaster, mini golf, trampoline, kiddie rides and much more.

Happy Harbors – Conveniently located in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, both restaurants have watersport rentals including pontoon boats with slides, waverunners, kayaks, center console boats and more. You can get there by car or boat! We suggest you go hungry and enjoy some of their award winning oysters since they did win the 2012 Gulf Coast Oyster Cook-Off.

Sail Wild Hearts – It’s no secret that Spectrum Resorts is a huge fan of Sail Wild Hearts. After all, they cruise by Turquoise Place multiple times a day. We suggest booking a Kayak Adventure Sail where you can Paddleboard, snorkel, and kayak all on the same excursion. Sail away to an island and let the fun begin. They even make it easy for all ages and sizes with a descending staircase, not a ladder.

Flyboard Bama – Prepare for Liftoff and experience flying like a superhero with the newest and most exciting water sport on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Flyboard Bama is located at The Beach Club in Gulf Shores and behind Cayman Grill on Canal Road in Orange Beach. Get ready for liftoff!

Beat the heat this summer and enjoy Coastal Alabama’s most popular water attractions. Share your favorite photos with us on Facebook, twitter and Instagram and use #WattsUp and your photo may be featured in our next vlog, Watts Up on the Beach.

Kayak Adventure Sail