Many travelers come to Orange Beach, Alabama, for the beautiful white sand beaches, but in March, many more come to enjoy this beach town's vibrant art scene. Although Orange Beach has a number of artist studios, galleries, and arts and crafts boutiques open to visitors throughout the year, March is when artists of all varieties come together to display their work to thousands of visitors for the Orange Beach Festival of Art.
During the three-day event, which is hosted by the Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach, visual artists, musicians and songwriters, performing artists, chefs and authors come to this city to entertain locals and visitors. If you are staying in Orange Beach rentals during this time, there will be plenty to keep you busy.
Enjoying the performance arts
Everyone from actors, belly dancers and ballerinas to bluegrass musicians and martial artists shows off their skills at the many performance arts events that take place throughout the three-day festival.
Watch artists in their element
If you enjoy the fine arts, head out from your Orange Beach condo during the weekend portion of the event to see fine artists in action. There are often demonstrations in glass-blowing, pottery and iron works, so you can see how the artists create the beautiful pieces you see in the boutiques and galleries.
More than 80 artists showcase their skills in glass, sculpture, Alabama clay, watercolor, acrylics, wood, graphic arts and jewelry. The festival gives visitors a chance to explore the depths of the local art scene, since many of the artists hail from the Southeast, but some visiting artists come from the Midwest and farther.
Free family entertainment
Perhaps best of all, the entertainment offered at the festival is free, making it a perfect way for families, friends or couples to spend their vacation.
Party with the artists
In addition to the free entertainment during the day, you might choose to attend a dinner and concert at the Orange Beach Event Center at The Wharf. You can also buy tickets to other performance arts events held there, such as children's musicals.
Visit the Coastal Art Center year-round
Although the March festival gives visitors a broad view of the art scene in this tropical beachside city, the Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach is open year-round to treat visitors looking to add a particularly creative element to their vacations.
The center, which is just a short drive from your vacation house rental in Orange Beach, offers adult classes in painting, drawing and stained glass, as well as lampworking and glass bead making. There is also a gallery of paintings, pottery, sculptures and textiles open for visitors, as well as The Hot Shop, where visitors can take glassblowing lessons or pick up unique blown glass pieces to take home. The Hot Shop is the only public access glass studio in Alabama, so it's a unique addition to any Orange Beach area vacation.