January is the timeVisitors to Alabama can win  for star senior football players from the North and South to compete in what may be one of the most important games of their career — the Under Armour Senior Bowl Football Game. The game, held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, will draw thousands of travelers to the area and many will stay at Gulf Shores beach house rentals. So it's never too early to start planning where you'll stay so that you don't miss out on your favorite vacation rental property.

Of course, one of the best parts of any football game is the tailgating fun beforehand, which is why the annual Baumhower's Restaurant Senior Bowl Tailgate Challenge will be so much fun.

Beginning in early January, fierce tailgaters can register to participate in this competition, where they will fight for the official title of "Senior Bowl Tailgater of the Year." The pre-game event takes place in the parking lot of the stadium. Although being named "Senior Bowl Tailgater of the Year" is the grand prize, there are other awards at the event, which honors tailgating traditions as well as local fare like shrimp, oysters, fish, crab and gumbo.

The grand prize in this competition of cuisines and traditions varies, and in some years it has been a massive outdoor cooking package from Academy Sports and Outdoors, valued at more than $1,000. The winner will also be recognized on the field during the first half of the game and will receive a special tailgate-themed trophy.