Late summer in the southeast is a festive time for a number of reasons, but for those who are born-and-raised natives, the time of year means one exciting thing: football season is almost here. A new tradition has hit the Gulf Coast, and devoted SEC football fans will get to officially kick off the season with a festive celebration before the first games. The SEC BeachFest invites football fans staying in Gulf Shores rentals to play golf, participate in games for young and old, attend music concerts and hear tips from legendary coaches and players for a whole weekend in mid-August.

Sound like fun? Then make sure to kick-off football season by heading to BeachFest at The Hangout in Gulf Shores this summer! Here are some tips for planning your weekend right:

Find the right beach vacation rental

Gulf Shores gears up for the annual summer SEC BeachFest.Share this exciting event with friends and family and save money during this extra-special weekend. Whether you reserve a five-bedroom Gulf Shores house for a group of tailgating friends or a cozy condo for you and your spouse, you'll get a free night and free tickets to the event just by booking your vacation rental. Hundreds of spacious vacation houses and coastal condos dot the Gulf coastline, and many of them are close to the SEC BeachFest activities. If you're lucky, you might even hear the faint melodies of live performers from your property balcony such as the B-52s and Dr. John who performed the inaugural year. 

Mingle with legendary players and coaches

The SEC churns out quite a few Heisman Trophy winners and it's probably no surprise that these skilled players would want to hit the shores of Alabama for one of the greatest parties of the summer. Iconic athletes and coaches will be on hand for interviews and tips. SEC BeachFest organizers tend to wait until weeks before the event to announce the roster, so make sure to check in and start planning your schedule around the must-see attendees!

Break a sweat during your Gulf Shores vacation

Feeling sporty yourself? Hit the ground running (literally) in the 5K or 1-mile Fun Run that happen during BeachFest weekend. Most attendees sport their school's team colors as they race toward the finish line, so make sure you pack your favorite SEC football tee or cap for the event.

Cap off the weekend at The Hangout

During your weekend vacation at a Gulf Shores condo after you've spent hours learning tips from football legends, danced to some live music, took part in the fishing challenge and sat in on a chalk talk with a coach, it's a natural to enjoy fresh seafood at The Hangout. Tantalizing cocktails, a tasty menu and a beautiful view of the sunset will definitely make this spot a highlight of your Gulf Coast getaway.