Many travelers have made a habit out of planning future trips around the culinary offerings of a destination. Whether they make it a point to dine at some of the top restaurants in the area or simply want to incorporate a few of the local flavors into their food choices, these vacationers have many opportunities to expand their palates. When visiting Gulf Shores, some choose to satisfy their taste buds by attending a major regional event highlighting authentic food. 

A new festival scheduled to take over this region is the Alabama Festival of Flavor. Held in October, this event features a wide range of activities and dining experiences that are sure to bring visitors closer to classic Southern cuisine and Gulf Shores fare. 

Origins of the festival

Sample some of the tastiest Southern cuisine at the Alabama Festival of Flavor.Although it is a relatively new addition to the Gulf Coast region, the Festival of Flavor quickly staked its claim as one of the more unique gatherings in all of Alabama. With everything from cooking competitions to catered dinners on the menu, guests have a chance to partake in the fun, pick up some tips and indulge their taste buds in one fun location. 

Visitors who can tear themselves away from the gorgeous fall beaches long enough to attend this event will be able to taste many of Alabama's signature flavors. 

"It's centered around Alabama foods and the concepts of buying local and eating fresh foods," Donna Watts, president of the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, told Gulf Coast News Today.

The festival is hosted by the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce - located just a few miles north of Gulf Shores rentals - and takes place in downtown Foley. 

What you can enjoy

If you're considering making the trek to the Alabama Festival of Flavor, there are a few special events you should try to make time for. Visitors who are eager to pick up some tips to try out in the kitchen of their Gulf Shores vacation rental should be sure to attend one of the public cooking classes and browse the selections to pick up some ideas for their next homemade meal. 

Another highlight of the event is the farm-to-table dinner, which is held by the Chicago Street Supper Club. This ticketed event is the first of the festival, happening about two weeks before the actual weekend, and it features a special arrangement of expertly prepared foods for guests who purchase tickets to the meal. In a previous year, the Gulf Coast Culinary Institute prepared about 16 dishes, all of which are centered on ingredients like freshly caught seafood or Alabama-raised beef, and visitors can expect to dine on similar scrumptious plates during the upcoming event. 

In addition to the fabulous food displays and dinners, there are also a number of street vendors on hand to show off crafts and other works of art. Jazz performers and similar live entertainment provide the perfect background music for a relaxing day at the festival. Face painting and other kid-friendly displays are planned as part of the festival.