Coastal Currents - News & Events on the Gulf Coast

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September 2012 - Festival Family Fun & Savings

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Food, Music or Art Fest?
This year's National Shrimp Festival (Oct. 11-14) marks the 41st year for this fun, family-friendly festival that focuses on our favorite crustacean. It features music, fine arts, arts and crafts, and a children's village on the beachfront directly in front of The Hangout at the end of Hwy. 59 in Gulf Shores.

Our top ten tips for attending Shrimp Fest:

1.       Transportation – Ride the BRATS “Park-N-Ride” shuttle for $2, since parking is extremely limited. Click here for the schedule and locations.

2.       Children – The little ones in your group will love the Children’s Activity Village, open 10-5 each day and featuring free arts and crafts, inflatables and entertainment throughout the day.

3.       Sand Sculpture Contest – Dive in individually or as a family to make your artistic mark on the beach at the Sand Sculpture Contest on Saturday, Oct. 13. Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the contest runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Age categories are 5-10, 11-15, & 16+, and you can assist your child with his or her creation in the “Family” category, which has a cash prize of $100 for the winner. 

4.       Music – Bring your portable lawn chair and set up early for your favorite entertainers at either the East or West Stage. Here’s the schedule for four days of music featuring country star Phil Vassar on Friday evening and Eddie Money on Saturday night, along with a wide array of music acts.

5.       Run – Register online for the 10K/5K Shrimp Festival Run/Walk benefiting Coastal Baldwin Education Enrichment. You’ll find it at the Orange Beach Sportsplex on Saturday, Oct. 13 beginning at 8 a.m.

6.       Arts & Crafts – The area for Arts and Crafts has expanded to allow for even more variety. Give yourself two days, not just one, to browse and shop the 250+ vendors at the Shrimp Festival. Keep in mind that most vendors close shop around 6 p.m. even though the festival continues into the night.

7.       Fine Art –  Don’t miss this juried section of art that is located at the end of Hwy. 59 (between The Hangout and the Public Beach restrooms) and you’ll find photography, oil & watercolor paintings, sculpture, pottery, jewelry and more from some of the best artists originating from throughout the U.S.

8.       Food – There are two sections of food vendors along the beach boardwalk to the east and west of the center of the public beach, so plan to view your selections in both areas. Local restaurants participate in the festival alongside food vendors from other areas serving shrimp, of course, plus other fresh seafood delicacies. There are even a handful of places where you can fill up on the typical festival foods like corn dogs, roasted corn, funnel cakes and even fried Oreos. Be sure to find Rockin’ Roger’s Cajun Cuisine and try their famous Cajun pistols.

9.       Dress – We are always casual at the beach. The weather should be warm during the day, with a historical average of 80 degrees, and a little cooler at night with temps averaging 59 degrees.

10.   Beach – One of the best reasons to attend the National Shrimp Festival is the beautiful beach venue. So relax, take off your shoes and feel that soft white sand between your toes, or just sit on the boardwalk benches and take in the sights and sounds of the surf.

In addition to this feast for your eyes, ears, and certainly your palate at the National Shrimp Festival, you can feast on a FREE night at select properties during the festival.

Shrimp Festival Deals
3rd night FREE in condos 
4th night FREE in houses 
NOTE: Offer includes Fort Morgan, Orange Beach and Perdido Key properties only; Gulf Shores properties excluded.
Promo code 12SF.

Off the Beaten Path
On your next coastal visit, step inside The Compleat Studio at The Wharf where you will find a large space filled with an amazing variety of art from oils and acrylics to driftwood sculpture and blown glass. There are even local jams, jellies, cookies, candies, wines and cheeses. Everything you see on display is for sale by artists from the local community and a portion of the sales is donated to support the Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach.

But The Compleat Studio experience doesn’t stop with items for sale. This lovely gallery is also available for special events such as wedding receptions. Catering is offered by either The Compleat Angler or Baumhower’s at the Wharf. There are also educational opportunities that include cooking, dancing and painting classes.

Something NEW on the Coast
Have you noticed the wide variety of unique restaurants and shops in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan and Perdido Key? The list of places to experience that you won’t find back home is growing! Here are a few of the newest additions:


  • YaYa’s Country Café – 25908 Canal Rd., Orange Beach
  • Diamond Jim’s and Mrs. Donna’s – 24538 Canal Rd., Orange Beach
  • Nibbles Redneck Café – 24705 Canal Rd., Orange Beach
  • Dancing Cup Café 26831 Canal Rd., Orange Beach
  • Bikini Wings   25755 Perdido Key Blvd., Orange Beach
  • Shawn’s House of Burgers and Eatery 4651 Main St. (The Wharf), Orange Beach
  • Blondie’s Deli Café – 160 Cotton Creek Dr. (Publix Shopping Center), Gulf Shores
  • Jalapenos Café and Cantina – 200 E. Beach Blvd., Gulf Shores

More Food

  • Buford’s Smokehouse BBQ (take out only) – 1618 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores
  • Yogurt Plus – 25241 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach
  • Gulf Shores Family Pharmacy (soda fountain) – 251 Clubhouse Dr., Gulf Shores


  • Tervis (retail store)4830 Main St., Suite G112 (The Wharf), Orange Beach
  • The Compleat Studio (art gallery) – 4851 Main St. (The Wharf), Orange Beach
Fabulous Fall Things to Do
Plan your fall retreat around these events. Find more details at our Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Calendar of Events and Gulf Shores Music Calendar.

DeLuna Fest on Pensacola Beach - FREE Night in Perdido Key September 21-23

Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Zac Brown Band, Florence & the Machine, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Fitz and the Tantrums, Dwight Yoakum, Rebirth Brass Band, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Honey Island Swamp Band, The Wood Brothers, Jimmy Cliff, The Villains, Ben Sollee, Blackberry Smoke and so many more cool bands on Pensacola Beach September 21-23, 2012.

We have many properties in Perdido Key, Florida only about 15 miles from the first trolley hut and many more in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan. See the complete lineup and get ticket details at www.delunafest.com. Fall weather, incredible music on the beach, a free night – it’s times like these, you learn to live again – according to the Foo Fighters!

3rd night FREE in condos
4th night FREE in houses
Valid for stays 09/15/12-10/06/12

Promo Code 12DEL

4                Miranda Lambert, Lee Brice & Thomas Rhett at The Wharf Amphitheater, Orange Beach
5–7            BayFest, Mobile
6                 Heart Walk at Heritage Park, Foley
11–14        National Shrimp Festival, Gulf Shores
19–20        Alabama Festival of Flavor, Foley

1–3   Angel Ride & Concert at Oak Hollow Farm, Fairhope
2–3   Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show, NAS Pensacola
8–18 Frank Brown Songwriters Festival, Orange Beach & Gulf Shores
23     Coastal Christmas Kick-off
24     Santa by the Fire at Gulf State Park Pavilion, Gulf Shores
29     City of Gulf Shores Open House, Gulf Shores

7          Sleigh Ride through the Backcountry Trail, Orange Beach
8          Santa Drop at Flora-Bama, Perdido Key
8          Merry Market at The Wharf, Orange Beach
8          Lighted Boat Parade, Orange Beach

Meyer is your beach vacation and concert connection.



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