Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Gulf Shores Lighted Boat Christmas Parade: Where to Watch

Gulf Shores Lighted Boat Parade | Where to Watch
Photo by LuLu's - Click to Enlarge
One of the coolest things we do here in Gulf Shores for the holidays is the annual lighted boat parade for Christmas. Local boat owners go all out rigging their boats with generators and tons of creative holiday lights for your enjoyment. The parade departs from LuLu’s in Gulf Shores and travels east down the Intracoastal Waterway to The Wharf in Orange Beach. This year’s parade starts at dusk on Saturday, December 9th.

The map below shows where the best viewing areas are, along the canal, with plenty of parking. Of course you can watch the parade leave from LuLu’s and arrive from The Wharf, where the whole place is lit up with Christmas lights and decorations, too.

Where to View Gulf Shores Lighted Boat Parade
Lighted Boat Parade Viewing Areas

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Jimmy Buffet Meeting of the Minds 2023

Parrot Heads at Meeting of the Minds Parrot Head Gathering
Parrot Heads
The annual Jimmy Buffet “Parrot Head Gathering,” also known as “Meeting of the Minds,” is coming to Gulf Shores, AL October 25-29. In the late 90s, Jerry Diaz and Scott Nickerson initiated this event in New Orleans. This year, Gulf Shores, where Jimmy spent his formative years on the beach and where is sister, Lulu, still runs the popular Lulu's restaurant & bar, will host a fantastic gathering of Parrot Heads celebrating Jimmy's life. Registration closes on September 15th, and you can find more information at

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Hurricane Idalia Update

Hurricane Idalia Update | Gulf Shores
Photo by AccuWeather
Hurricane Idalia is currently gaining strength as it moves westward off the coast of Cuba. According to experts from AccuWeather specializing in hurricanes, the storm is predicted to undergo rapid intensification and transform into a major hurricane by Tuesday, while positioned over the Gulf of Mexico. Subsequently, the hurricane is forecasted to make landfall on the west coast of Florida.

The region, situated between the Gulf coasts of the panhandle and the peninsula in Florida, now faces an 'extreme' risk for various impacts due to the impending storm. This area is particularly vulnerable to life-threatening storm surge flooding, destructive winds, and heavy rainfall as Idalia advances and is projected to reach hurricane status by Wednesday morning.

In accordance with AccuWeather's RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes in the United States, meteorologists have assigned Idalia a level 3 rating. This assessment takes into account the expected consequences such as extensive flooding, damaging winds, the potential for life-threatening storm surges, and the overall toll on infrastructure and economy.

Presently, a hurricane warning has been issued for Florida's west coast, spanning from the eastern part of the Panhandle down to Tampa Bay and the regions further south.

Note: Unless the track of Idalia shifts significantly west from its current forecast, the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach region should experience relatively good weather this week. This unqualified opinion is in no way intended to be taken as advice. 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Tropical Storm Alert

August 24, 2023 - 10:50am

The National Hurricane Center is tracking a tropical development in the western Caribbean and eastern Gulf of Mexico for the possibility of increased threat to the northern Gulf Coast in the coming days.

A cluster of thunderstorms on the Pacific side of Central America has the potential for gradual development as it crosses into the Caribbean over the weekend. A tropical depression could form as it moves slowly northward.

The NHC gives the disturbance a 50% chance of development over the next seven days. If further development occurs, any resulting storm could threaten the northern Gulf Coast as early as the first half of next week (Aug 28-30).

Click for News Alert

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

National Shrimp Festival | Dates and Times

Gulf Shores National Shrimp Festival
Credit: Gulf Shores CVB
Looking for an autumn getaway filled with seafood, music, art, and more? Look no further than the Gulf Shores Annual National Shrimp Festival, a four-day extravaganza that promises an unforgettable experience for all who attend. Whether you're a seafood lover, a music lover, an art lover, or simply someone in search of a fantastic time, this festival has something for everyone. Mark your calendars for October 12th through 15th, 2023, and get ready to indulge in a feast for the senses!

Seafood Galore: Indulge your taste buds in the freshest Gulf seafood at the Annual National Shrimp Festival. Drawing in over 300,000 visitors, this festival is a seafood lover's paradise. From succulent shrimp to a variety of other mouthwatering delights, the event showcases the finest culinary creations from 50 local and regional vendors. The boardwalk along the public beach transforms into a haven of flavors, where you can savor the Gulf's bounty while enjoying the breathtaking views.

Live Music: There will be over 100 hours of musical entertainment that will have you dancing and singing along. With a lineup featuring national, regional, and local acts, the festival caters to diverse musical tastes. From the soulful notes of blues and Motown to the energetic rhythms of southern rock and zydeco, and the timeless melodies of jazz and country, the musical variety is bound to resonate with every palate. The tunes will fill the air from Thursday through Sunday, ensuring that each day is infused with the magic of music.

Artistic Treasures: For those with an eye for art, the Annual National Shrimp Festival delivers a visual feast with nearly 200 booths of fine art and arts and crafts vendors. Stroll through the booths and discover a world of creativity, from captivating paintings to unique handcrafted pieces. Whether you're looking to add a special touch to your home or find the perfect gift, the array of artistic treasures is sure to captivate your imagination.

Save the Date: Make sure to reserve your spot at this year's Annual National Shrimp Festival, taking place from October 12th through 15th, 2023. Gather your friends and family, and get ready to immerse yourself in the ultimate celebration of Gulf seafood, music, art, and community. With each passing day of the festival bringing new experiences and memories, this is an event you won't want to miss. Embrace the fall vibes, relish in the flavors, and let the music and art sweep you off your feet. See you there!

WHERE TO STAY: Resorts or Hotels


Monday, August 21, 2023

Beach Restoration | Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

Beach Restoration Winter 2023/24
Beach Restoration
UPDATE 11/1/23: See link below for live updates of the ongoing progress/locations of the beach restoration

If you’re a regular visitor to the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area in the winter months, or planning a getaway during that time, this year (Winter 2023/2024) might not be the best time to come. A massive beach restoration project, complete with heavy equipment and plenty of noise, will be conducted between November and April. 

However, if you plan appropriately and are flexible on when you come, and where you stay, you may find some spots and times to visit that enable you to avoid the construction project (see below).

Consisting of dredge barges off the coast, pumping thousands of metric tons of sand onto the beaches, which is then spread by bulldozers and other heavy equipment, this vital restoration initiative aims to address the extensive damage done by Hurricanes Nate and Sally. The focus is to repair and rehabilitate the beaches, which lost a lot of height and width to the hurricanes.

According to plans released by the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, the project's implementation timeline is as follows:

November: Initiation of beach restoration activities, with a primary focus on the severely impacted area east of Little Lagoon Pass.

December: Continuation of beach restoration activities, shifting the efforts to the west of Little Lagoon Pass.

January: Gradual transition to beach restoration within Gulf State Park.

February: Initiation of beach restoration along Romar Beach.

March: Progression to beach restoration along Perdido Key.

April: Phasing out of equipment and concluding the project operations.

So, if you plan your dates and locations carefully, with a little luck that the project stays on schedule, you may find that you can have a relatively normal experience on our beaches this winter. The map below illustrates the schedule for the planned work outlined above. 

Beach Restoration Map and Schedule
Click to enlarge photo

NOTE: This is advice, not a promise. Projects like this experience delays and revisions all the time. Come at your own risk!

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Bahama Bob's Restaurant Fire | When Will it Re-open?

Bahama Bobs restaurant fire
Photo by WKRG News
Approximately one month following a July fire that forced the closure of Bahama Bob’s Beachside Cafe in Gulf Shores, there are promising signs of a revival for the iconic restaurant in Alabama.

In an interview with WKRG's Debbie Williams, Whit Spellman, the manager of the establishment, expressed strong optimism about the restaurant's future. He affirmed, "We are committed to making a comeback. Currently, we are in the process of evaluating the extent of the damage. However, as we gradually clean up the aftermath, the situation is progressively improving."

Tina Wesner, another manager at Bahama Bob's, acknowledged the restaurant's history of encountering adversity. She stated, "I've experienced challenges like [hurricanes] Ivan and Katrina, but, as my colleague mentioned, this is an unprecedented situation for us." According to both Spellman and Wesner, it is estimated that the fire caused significant damage to around 30 to 35 percent of the building.

The incident occurred on the evening of Sunday, July 16, during dinner service when patrons began to notice the emergence of smoke within the popular tourist destination. Beverly Cross, who was present at the time, recollected, "We were enjoying our meal when the scent of smoke reached us. Soon after, there were urgent shouts instructing everyone to evacuate. It's truly unfortunate. Thankfully, everyone managed to escape."

When will Bahama Bob's re-open in Gulf Shores
Photo by Gulf Shores FD
The staff promptly guided customers out of the premises, with Cross observing the unfolding events from across the street. She recounted that it took merely seven minutes before flames engulfed the restaurant. Matt Mauller, vacationing with his family, had a similar experience. He shared, "Right after placing our orders, we detected smoke. Before we knew it, the entire area was filled with smoke and the front of the building was ablaze. Despite the chaos, the team at Bahama Bob's exhibited remarkable efficiency in evacuating and ensuring the safety of everyone. Even the wait staff ensured that all their assigned tables were accounted for amidst the fire."

Firefighters managed to extinguish the flames within a span of 30 to 40 minutes after the evacuation.

In the aftermath of the disaster, the local restaurant community came together in a remarkable display of support, absorbing all 60 of Bahama Bob's employees into their establishments.

Tina Wesner expressed lightheartedly, "When we are ready to reopen, they'll need to return to us." However, the reopening date remains a distant goal. She added, "Although it might take some time, we are dedicating our efforts to expedite the process as much as possible."

LOCAL NOTE: Rumor around town is Bahama Bobs is likely to be closed until next tourist season (sometime between Memorial Day and Labor Day).