Labor Day weekend is summer’s last hurrah. Before school starts and we all have to buckle down at work, come to the beaches of Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach and Perdido Key.

It’s a great way to wrap up your summer and soak in those rays while relaxing on the crystal-white, powder-soft sand. Be sure to make time for celebrating all your hard work by heading just a few miles north of the beach to watch the sparks fly!

A relatively new addition to the Gulf Coast entertainment scene, OWA includes an amusement park with fun roller coasters and midway-style games appropriate for all ages as well as a downtown area filled with family-friendly restaurants and shops.

The skies over OWA light up on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend with a huge fireworks display. Watch the show from Downtown OWA or The Park.

Some of the OWA team’s favorite viewing spots in Downtown include the bridges over Lake OWA, the green space on either side of Cinnabon, by Clash eSports Center and the OWA theater, and the OWA Island Amphitheater.

In the Park, you’ll enjoy the great view from behind the Rollin’ Thunder roller coaster, by the fountain, on the benches at the Midway Games, or by Sky Balloons and the Magic Fountain.

Also on Saturday is OWA’s annual labor Day Car Show, which starts early that morning.

Stroll OWA’s pedestrian-only streets to see unique and classic cars spanning the decades. Enjoy lunch at the Groovy Goat, El Diablo, Trattoria Pizza & Italian or Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. If you’re looking for a treat, there’s Hershey’s Ice Cream Parlor, Cinnabon and other spots to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Or, take a break and choose your favorite adult beverage at C’est Le Vin Wine Bar & Shop. This shop specializes in fine wines by the glass and bottle, spirits, craft cocktails, craft beer, charcuterie boards, artisanal cheeses and more.

There are many other fun amusements to enjoy during your vacation, including Pirate’s Island in Gulf Shores for mini golf and the Track Family Recreation Center for go-karts, arcade games, mini golf and rides.

There are numerous reasons to choose a beach vacation rental property instead of an average, cookie-cutter-style, small hotel room for your Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast vacation. First, you’ll enjoy having extra living space for everyone (multiple bathrooms in many cases, private balconies or decks, etc.). Second, having your own kitchen to prepare meals means you can save a little extra cash for all your Labor Day fun! Third, it’s simply less expensive to be able to house everyone together in one space than in multiple hotel rooms.

Choose a three-bedroom condo in Orange Beach for your Labor Day celebration vacation of up to 10 people. Or, enjoy access to the beach while staying off beach at a waterfront vacation rental.