Dreaming of a (Sandy) White Christmas?
Once you cross the bridge and begin your island time at the beach, your potential for a fabulous holiday rises greatly. If your idea of a wonderful Thanksgiving or Christmas is relaxing while reconnecting to family, then the coast is a wise choice.
Maybe you like the thrill of the hunt -- bargain shopping that is. If so, rise early for the Black Friday sales at Tanger Outlet, Pelican Place, The Wharf and more shopping venues. And there will always be after-Christmas sales to entice you to save (while you spend).
Your vacation residence will provide a fully equipped kitchen that’s ideal for preparing meals. But if cooking is not your preference, a number of restaurants will be featuring holiday buffets. Several sports bars are hot gathering spots to cheer for your favorite team, including The Hangout, Live Bait, Champs Place, After Ours, Tacky Jack’s, Lester’s, Rafters Restaurant and Sports Bar, Papa Rocco’s Oyster Bar and Pizzeria, Joey’s North Shore Grill, Bella Luna Pizzeria, Hooters, Mud Bugs Pub & Club, and Pink Pony Pub. Or you can kick your feet up at your condo or beach house and watch the game. We just can’t promise that your team will win.
Get a FREE night during our winter special and turn your holiday dreams into reality.
Off the Beaten Path -- Meat Mart
Glenn and Dale Beard, from Georgia, decided to open their Meat Mart in Orange Beach after falling in love with the area during a visit last fall. In addition to restaurant-quality prime beef cuts, they also offer 100% natural chicken that is hormone-free and antibiotic-free.
Remember pimento cheese? Well you’ll find that and more, such as smoked tuna dip, five flavors of twice-baked potatoes, homemade seafood, chicken and potato salads. Sausages are also a specialty at the Meat Mart, with move than 20 varieties that include sun-dried tomato basil and savory chicken. As if these items are not enticing enough, they also sell crab cakes and portabella mushroom caps filled with crab cake stuffing, as well as kabobs and beef pinwheels.
Whether you are a couple spending a couple of days or a big group staying a week at the beach, you now have new culinary options.
Billy Claus, Noon Year’s Eve & L.A. Caviar
Perhaps you are not aware but Santa’s younger brother Billy is allergic to snow, so he spends his time in the Caribbean and gathers toy lists from the children in the southern hemisphere. Join Lucy Buffett on December 10 as she reads the story of Billy Claus while awaiting his arrival with his elves, the LulaBelles. The little ones can have their photo made with Billy Claus and personally hand him their wish list. Stick around that evening for the Nautical Night of Lights that departs from LuLu’s at 6 p.m.
Spend the first morning of the new year at LuLu’s, where the fun events include clowns, face painters, sand castle contests, bubble wrap and even the appearance of some exotic animals from the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. The fun begins at 10:00 and the countdown to noon is followed immediately by a musical performance by Suite Caroline.
One of the favorite menu items at LuLu’s is L.A. (Lower Alabama) Caviar; Lucy Buffett generously shares her recipe here. This black-eyed-peas dish is offered as an appetizer on the LuLu’s menu, but it’s also ideal as a side dish or salad for your holiday meals. Of course it’s a must for ringing in the new year, since lots of people believe eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will bring good luck all year.
Where to go and what to do: Before you arrive and even during your visit to our beautiful coast, find out your entertainment options by checking our Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Calendar of Events and Gulf Shores Music Calendar.
Here are a few of the coastal happenings:
1-30 Kangaroo Kraze at Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, Mobile
25-30 Bellingrath Garden’s Magic Christmas in Lights, Mobile
1-31 Bellingrath Garden’s Magic Christmas in Lights, Mobile (closed 12/25/11)
1-31 Kangaroo Kraze at Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, Mobile
1 Christmas Open House at City of Gulf Shores, Gulf Shores
3 Christmas Parade & Christmas at the Beach, Gulf Shores
3 “Cheesecake” Culinary Class at Faulkner State Community College, Gulf Shores
10 Billy Claus at LuLu’s Homeport Marina, Gulf Shores
10 Nautical Night of Lights, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach waterways
10-11 Christmas Show at Orange Beach Events Center at The Wharf, Orange Beach
31 New Year’s Eve at The Wharf, Orange Beach
1 Polar Bear Dip at Flora-Bama, Perdido Key
1 Noon Year’s Eve at LuLu’s at Homeport Marina, Gulf Shores
22 Alabama Gulf Coast Bridal Expo, Orange Beach Events Center at The Wharf, Orange Beach