SummerTide Theatre Brings Song to Gulf Shores

SummerTide, the University of  Alabama’s  professional summer theatre, returns to Gulf Shores in June, 2021, with “Starting Here, Starting Now,” a musical revue featuring the songs of  award-winning Broadway veterans Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire.

Alabama’s Bamahenge Weathers the Storm

It all started with dinosaurs (yeah, I know, lots of things did). Wealthy Alabama businessman George Barber had commissioned artist Mark Cline to create some dinosaurs, a move guaranteed to add interest to one of Barber’s properties. In 2006, Cline was on-site, directing repairs to the giant beasts when Barber broached the subject of Stonehenge. Not exactly all in a day’s work, but Cline had previous experience building a Stonehenge replica from Styrofoam (and of course it’s known as Foamhenge). By 2012, Barber had selected the ideal spot for his own Stonehenge:  the spacious grounds of Barber Marina, on the Intracoastal Waterway inland from Orange Beach, Alabama.

Bellingrath Gardens’ Azalea Paradise

Each Spring, visitors to Bellingrath Gardens, near Mobile, Alabama, can wander through a fairyland of more than 250,000 spectacular azaleas in full bloom.

U.S Space and Rocket Center: Out of this World

Located in Huntsville, Alabama, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center serves as the official NASA Visitor Center for Marshall Space Flight Center, home to development of the Space Launch System– the most powerful rocket ever designed—which will carry human explorers to an asteroid and to Mars.

Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Window on the Gulf

Dauphin Island, located in the Gulf of Mexico south of Mobile, Alabama, is home to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and its Aquarium, which offers a close-up look at life under the water. The Aquarium—30 aquariums housing more than 100 species—is open to the public and highlights the four key habitats found along the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo—All About the Animals

Located in Gulf Shores, Alabama, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is not afraid of a challenge. In 2004, the Zoo had to relocate its animals in the face of Hurricane Ivan; the epic evacuation was featured in an Animal Planet documentary series, “The Little Zoo that Could.”

Dinosaurs Stalk Mobile’s Exploreum

From now through May 10, 2020, visitors to the Mobile, Alabama,  Gulf Coast Exploreum and Science Center, will take a […]

Fairhope’s Mystic Mutts Parade Puts on the Dog

Fairhope, the scenic Alabama resort town on the shores of Mobile Bay, hosts a Mardi Gras which is a little […]

Bellingrath Gardens Makes Christmas Magic

Bellingrath Gardens and Home, a 65-acre estate located near Mobile in Theodore, Alabama, is currently presenting its 24th annual Magic […]

Gulf Shores’ National Shrimp Festival—Shrimply Fun!

On October 10-13, the Alabama coastal town of Gulf Shores celebrates the 48th annual National Shrimp Festival, four days of peace, love and shrimp on the white Gulf beaches. The Festival began in 1971 as a way to keep tourists on the beach after Labor Day. That first Festival was more like a shrimp boil on the beach, with star power provided by a couple who had won a trip to Gulf Shores on the television show “The Dating Game.” All 1500 attendees were reported to have had a good time.

Eastern Shore Art Center—Fairhope’s Link with the Art World

The little resort town of Fairhope, Alabama, set picturesquely on the shores of Mobile Bay, has long had an intimate […]

Sand Castle University Sculpts the Beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Visitors to Gulf Shores. Alabama, who want to take playing in the sand to the next level now have the option of learning how to construct an awesome sand castle under the tutelage of Janel Hawkins, young owner of Sand Castle University.

Alabama’s Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge Provides Haven

Just east of the beachfront town of Gulf Shores, Alabama, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge offers a safe home to some of the area’s most threatened species. The last large undeveloped parcel of land along the Alabama Gulf Coast, the 7,000-acre refuge was created in 1980 to protect the habitats of migratory songbirds and those of threatened and endangered species. The Refuge, which has been named as one of Alabama’s Ten Natural Wonders, also offers humans a chance to commune with nature along one of its scenic hiking trails.

Balloons Soar over Baldwin County, Alabama

Baldwin County, Alabama, is pretty scenic from  the ground, but for visitors who want to  literally take their experience up to the next level, there’s nothing like floating over the Gulf Coast in a hot air balloon. Tommy Rachel of Taking Off Hot Air Balloon Company has been taking passengers aloft for eighteen years now, though his interest in ballooning started more than thirty years ago when he went to help a friend in Orange Beach set up a balloon.

Punta Clara Kitchen—The Sweet Life

Scenic Point Clear, Alabama, is home to an iconic business, born as a backyard hobby, which has been dishing out sweet and savory treats for more than 65 years. Punta Clara Kitchen, located in the circa-1897 Brodbeck family home, welcomes visitors to enjoy a step back in time.

Genghis Khan Invades Mobile

Through April 28, 2019, Mobile, Alabama’s Gulf Coast Science Center is host to a spectacular exhibit spotlighting the world of […]

Cruising Alabama’s Coastal Backwaters

Tommy Rachel’s boat tours are headquartered in Magnolia Springs, Alabama, near the Alabama Gulf Coast. In addition to fishing trips, he offers nature cruises ranging from two hours to all day.

The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, AL Shines Anew

Since 1847, The Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa has welcomed travelers to the shores of Mobile Bay. Recently, the Queen of Southern Resorts completed a three-year transformation and has now joined the Autograph Collection, Marriott’s portfolio of more than 150 distinctive properties.

Big Beach Brewing Company Quenches Beachgoers’ Thirst

The coastal town of Gulf Shores is now home to the southernmost brewery in Alabama. Big Beach Brewing Company, the […]

Yard Sale Covers Lookout Mountain

Every August, the World’s Longest Yard Sale snakes its way 690 miles from Gadsden, Alabama to Hudson, Michigan. With such an embarrassment of riches, the shopper may not know where to start. (The stopping part is easy: you run out of money and/or room in the car). Here’s a suggestion: the southernmost part of the route follows the scenic Lookout Mountain Parkway 93 miles from Gadsden through a corner of Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since the Alabama portion of the route alone boasts some 1000 vendors, you will probably be throughly over the whole experience by the time you hit Chattanooga. If not, no problem. Just keep following the U.S. Highway 127 Corridor from Chattanooga for another 600 miles.

Baldwin County Strawberry Festival Celebrates Spring

Spring brings the strawberry to Baldwin County, Alabama, and the fruit is celebrated with its own festival.

Life’s a Beach at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores, Alabama

The beachfront town of Gulf Shores, Alabama, is headquarters of Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s, a combination restaurant, gift shop, fun park, and way of life perched on the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway. LuLu’s,which is getting ready to celebrate its 19th anniversary, heads into Mardi Gras with a party involving a boat parade, live music from New Orleans’ Big Fun Brass Band, birthday cake and a couple of thousand well-wishers. “Mardi Gras is in the Buffetts’ blood,” says Marketing and Communications Director Gabrielle Barnett, who as she spoke was getting ready to go to Destin, Florida, which has its own LuLu’s. Lucy Buffett agrees: “Mardi Gras is special to me because I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, where Mardi Gras originated.”

Fairhope’s Purple Martin Riviera is for the Birds

Early each spring, the charming resort town of Fairhope, Alabama, welcomes special guests to its haven on Mobile Bay. The travelers happily settle into their cottages near the pier and enjoy a hearty welcome-back dinner of mosquitoes.

Mentone’s Sallie Howard Chapel Rocks

Near the little mountain town of Mentone, Alabama, is a rustic chapel which appears to have suffered a close encounter with a meteorite.

Mobile’s Kate Shepard House—Old South Charm

A tree-lined neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama’s midtown cradles a Victorian mansion where visitors can experience the gentility of the Old South. The Kate Shepard House, a stately Queen Anne-style home replete with porches, balconies and turrets, was built in 1897 from a kit—the house’s components were assembled on-site–and went on to a distinguished career as both the Shepard family home and a private school run by Miss Kate Shepard. Outliving its original family by some years, the building fell upon hard times before it was rescued and renovated. Today, as the Kate Shepard House Bed and Breakfast, it has become a beloved Port City destination.

In Gulf Shores, The Royal Oyster Reigns

Gulf Shores, Alabama’s happening beachfront town, is now home to an oyster bar with a twist.

Fort Morgan Beyond the Torpedoes

Alabama’s Fort Morgan perches on the shores of Mobile Bay, which was indeed the site of Admiral Farragut’s profane denunciation of torpedoes. Today the Fort, a State Historical Site located on 600 scenic acres at the end of State Highway 180, offers everything from historical reenactments to beach-going to world-class birding.

Mobile’s Mardi Gras Rules!

Mobile, Alabama, is the original home of Mardi Gras. No! Really! Mardi Gras was observed for the first time in […]

USS Alabama—Historic Fun Afloat

The battleship USS Alabama, having come through World War II with nine battle stars to her credit, now lies at anchor on the shore of Mobile Bay, where she is rated one of Mobile’s top family attractions. Designated as a National Historical Landmark, the Mighty A is the centerpiece of the 100-acre Battleship Memorial Park, which is also home to the submarine USS Drum as well as vintage aircraft, Coast Guard vessels, and tanks.

Sweet Home Farm Says Cheese

Ten miles inland from Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the little town of Elberta is home to farmstead cheesemaker Sweet Home Farm. Owners Alyce Birchenough and Doug Wolford are Michigan transplants who in 1985 relocated to become Alabama’s first licensed farmstead cheesemakers.

Magnolia Springs Offers Timeless Charm

Nestled on the banks of the Magnolia River in south Baldwin County, Alabama, the tiny town of Magnolia Springs is an oasis of calm a few miles inland from the bustling Gulf beachfront. In addition to being charming and peaceful, Magnolia Springs is unique—the only town in the continental U.S. where mail is still regularly delivered by boat.

Mobile’s Gulfquest Explores the Gulf

Mobile, Alabama’s bustling riverfront is now home to Gulfquest, the world’s only maritime museum dedicated to the maritime history and culture of the Gulf of Mexico. Designed to look as if it were a ship headed into Mobile Bay, the 120,000-square-foot building includes 90 interactive exhibits which immerse visitors ( roughly 50,000 since its 2015 opening) in the heritage and culture of an area which is sometimes referred to as America’s “forgotten coast.”

Mentone, Alabama: A Rustic Retreat

Perched on the western slope of Lookout Mountain, the little Alabama town of Mentone has welcomed travelers since the nineteenth century, when the area’s natural springs were a draw. Today, visitors come for the views, the recreational activities and the laid-back vibe. Summer camps have long called the area home, and generations of kids have spent a chunk of vacation here.

Saltwater Grill: Gourmet Seafood with a View

Alabama’s stately waterfront Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club and Spa has provided travelers with a gorgeous view over Mobile Bay for more than one hundred fifty years. Today the resort’s restaurants invite the public to drop in for the ultrafresh food and bayfront ambiance which has long wowed guests.

Grand Hotel’s Beverage Academy Mixes it Up

On the third Friday of every month, spirits are high around the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club and Spa […]

Ring in the New Year at Moon Pie Over Mobile

Who needs to watch a ball drop when you can have the truly Southern experience of watching a giant Moon Pie drop from the sky instead? Yes, you heard that correctly. In Mobile, Alabama on New Year’s Eve, a 12-foot-tall, 350 lb. cookie descends 317 feet from the RSA BankTrust Building downtown while people line the streets cheering in the New Year.

Dauphin Island—Birds in Paradise

Dauphin Island—a sliver whose sugar-white beaches rise out of the Gulf of Mexico just south of Mobile, Alabama—has become one […]

Orange Beach, Alabama—Glass Menagerie

Orange Beach is home to Alabama’s only public-access glass blowing studio. The Hot Shop @ Orange Beach Arts Center is  […]

Get to the Gulf – Gulf Shores, Alabama

  A lot of people don’t equate Alabama with great beaches, but the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area has over 32 […]

Heritage Trail Celebrates Mobile History in Alabama

by Kathie Farnell Mobile’s African-American Heritage Trail celebrates the contributions of the Port City’s black citizens by recognizing significant historic […]

Songwriters Festival Rocks the Beach in Alabama

It began, as so many things do, at the Flora-Bama, rogueish beach bar perched precariously on the line which divides […]