There's no reason to forgo vacation plans just because it's getting cooler - and luckily for people who book a Gulf Shores area vacation rental this winter, the temperature doesn't even get very low. If you're the type of person who relishes light-sweater weather and prefers walking along the beach in the peace and serenity of fewer crowds, then perhaps fall and winter are ideal seasons for you to enjoy a getaway.

Not convinced yet? Besides the fabulous deals of off-season rates for your favorite vacation condo or house, here are just a couple of things that make winter getaways along Alabama's Gulf Coast so exciting:

Mardi Gras celebrations

Take advantage of winter deals in Gulf Shores, AlabamaMardi Gras usually occurs in February, which also happens to be one of the coldest months of the year. But in the Gulf Shores area, the average daily temperature settles around the mid 50s - and of course, no snow! You'll love how the city streets heat up in celebration of the final day of merriment before the 40 days of Lent. Bring lawn chairs to relax in as you wait for the vibrant parade floats to make their way down the main road. Each year, you can enjoy the Gulf Shores parade in the morning, grab lunch, then head just a few minutes east to the Orange Beach parade in the afternoon. Make sure you leave room in your luggage to bring home the piles of beads you'll catch!

Peninsula Golf Course tournament

Prefer to stay cool while hitting the links at Gulf Shores golf courses? Alabama's Gulf Coast is like a massive air-conditioned room in the fall and winter, so you'll barely break a sweat when you're swinging your 9-iron for what could very well be your first hole in one. The annual golf tournament at the Peninsula Golf Course in February attracts thousands of people to watch some of the best professional and amateur players in the world. Bring your family or your pals to enjoy a few hours surrounded by not only athletic talent, but the incredible beauty of this coastal area.