Visitors to Alabama can win "Senior Bowl Tailgater of the Year" this month.

January is the best time for football fans to book Gulf Shores vacation packages, especially if they are hardcore tailgaters.

Visitors to Alabama can win "Senior Bowl Tailgater of the Year"

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.

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It might be even more fun to host your own tailgating party for the Senior Bowl - right from your be

Throw your own tailgate party for the Senior Bowl in Gulf Shores

The festivities surrounding the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama are sure to be fun, but if you're staying in a Gulf Shores rental and don't feel like leaving the beach, you can have just as much fun. Follow these steps to throw a beach-side tailgate party.

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Take a day trip to Dauphin Island

Vacationing in Fort Morgan is a fantastic choice for the whole family, and a day trip to nearby Dauphin Island offers even more fun. Whether you'd like to see historical sites or dive deeper into nature, this island will keep you interested and entertained.

There are plenty of fun opportunities to tailgate the 2013 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

Best places to tailgate the Senior Bowl

Heading to southern Alabama for the big game between the North and South? Senior Bowl fans know that tailgating the game is almost as important as seeing the action play out on the field, which is why Mobile is hosting two fantastic parties for tailgaters before the game.

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Kick off football season with BeachFest

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Last Updated on January 16, 8:35 PM CST

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