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Gulf Shores and Orange Beach: A Year-Round Festival Destination

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama are two beautiful award-winning coastal cities on the Gulf of Mexico. These beachfront vacation destinations are known for their white sandy beaches, stunning summer sunsets, warm winter sunrises, and Southern hospitality. They are also home to a variety of festivals throughout the year, making them a popular tourist destination for families throughout the Southeast and visitors from all over the world who come to enjoy the warm weather and the beach lifestyle. 

In between festivals, keep in mind that Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are also home to some of the best restaurants in the country, offering fresh local seafood dishes, award-winning BBQ joints, and steakhouses, among others. 

Here are some of the festivals that take place in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach each year:

The Orange Beach Seafood Festival & Car Show
Each February at The Wharf, the event features a full day of delicious food, 100 artists from throughout the South, a huge car show on Main Street, a Kids’ Zone, and music for the whole family to enjoy. 

The Ballyhoo Festival
Springtime on the shores of Gulf State Park’s Lake Shelby, the juried fine art of 100 artists combines with a unique focus on cultural exchange with the Poarch Creek Indians.

The Orange Beach Festival of Art
Held the second weekend in March, the juried fine art show at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach includes more than 100 artists, a kids’ art alley, a culinary arts court featuring local fare, and a music and songwriter's stage.

The Waterway  Village Zydeco & Crawfish Festival
Each April in Gulf Shores, this festival celebrates the unique culture of Louisiana with live music, dancing, and of course, crawfish.

The Interstate Mullet Toss
The Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast's Greatest Beach Party is legendary. What started as just a reason to party at the Flora-Bama on the beachfront border of Orange Beach and Florida has become one of the biggest beach parties on the coast. 

The Hangout Music Festival
Every year in May, thousands of music fans flock to Gulf Shores, Alabama from around the world for the Hangout Music Festival. This festival, which takes place on the stunning beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, is a three-day world-class celebration of music,  art, and beach culture. With a diverse lineup of some of the biggest names in music, as well as up-and-coming artists, the Hangout Music Festival has something for everyone.

The Orange  Beach Freedom Festival
The first weekend in October features this patriotic event at The Wharf in Orange Beach with a car show, arts and crafts, food, and music as a salute to the military and first responders. 

The Annual National Shrimp Festival
The second full weekend in October features this longtime festival at the public beach in Gulf Shores. The four-day event celebrates the Gulf Coast's most famous seafood with live music, cooking demonstrations, and shrimp-eating contests. The festival plays host to 100 hours of musical entertainment featuring a lineup of national, regional, and local acts. The festival also features 50 local and regional food vendors and nearly 200 booths of fine art and arts and crafts lining the festival site. 

In addition to these festivals, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach also offer a variety of other attractions, such as:

  • Gulf State Park: This state park offers hiking, biking, and bird-watching trails, as well as a beautiful beach.
  • Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge: This refuge is home to a variety of wildlife.
  • Water sports: Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are great places to go kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing.
  • World-class fishing: Orange Beach and Gulf Shores are a fisherman's paradise. From red snapper, amberjack, and grouper to even a blue marlin, you'll find plenty of opportunities to reel in a big one.

Whether you're looking for a beach vacation, a music festival, an art festival, or something in between, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are the perfect destination. With beautiful beaches, a laid-back atmosphere, and a variety of attractions, these coastal getaways have something to offer everyone.

Book your vacation today and experience the magic of the Alabama Gulf Coast. Brett/Robinson has a variety of Orange Beach condosGulf Shores vacation rentals and Gulf Shores hotels to choose from, all located in prime locations near the beach and festival sites.