Monday, January 15, 2024

Margaritaville Restaurant/Bar Coming Soon

Margaritaville Gulf Shores
Click to enlarge photo
Gulf Shores is getting a new highly anticipated attraction. Jimmy Buffet’s world-renowned Margaritaville restaurant/bar company will be opening a new Gulf Shores location in 2024 or early 2025, putting Gulf Shores on par with other top destinations around the world that enjoy the Margaritaville experience. It will be located at the also brand-new Legendary Marina and Yacht Club on the Intracoastal Waterway just west of the Hwy 59/Gulf Shores Parkway bridge. The full-service marina will feature:

- Onsite fuel dockings

- Launch requests through an app

- Indoor boat storage for boats up to 50 feet

- Complimentary waste pump-outs

- Complimentary freshwater fills

- On-site service and parts department

Located on the water with beautiful views of the marina will be the new Margaritaville restaurant/bar will feature:

- Island themed décor

- Coastal-inspired, made-to-order food

- Hand-crafted cocktails

- 5-0’Clock Somewhere Bar

- Great live music & fun party atmosphere

Situated just west of the famous LuLu’s restaurant & marina by Jimmy Buffet’s sister, LuLu, the new Margaritaville restaurant/bar will give Gulf Shores’ visitors the opportunity to experience the full Buffet Family experience.



Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Pedestrian Bridge Delayed

Gulf Shores pedestrian bicycle bridge
Pedestrian Bridge
Gulf Shores is planning a pedestrian/bicycle bridge that will run parallel to the Hyw 59/Gulf Shores Parkway Bridge that will cross the Intracoastal Waterway just east of Lulu's and Tacky Jack's restaurants in Gulf Shores. The bridge is part of the ongoing development of Gulf Shores' "Waterway Village" the goal of which is to create a "second waterfront" in Gulf Shores that will attract more restaurants, bars, boutique stores, entertainment attractions, art galleries, and the like. 

The idea is create a beautiful park-like area where visitors can park their cars and spend their time walking from place to place, perhaps with a drink in their hands, enjoying food, shopping, live music and other entertainment similar to what you find in cities like New Orleans or Nashville. The pedestrian/bicycle bridge is the key element connecting the new village's northern and southern banks along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Unfortunately, there has been significant delay in the project because construction bids have come in far above what the City estimated. The key factor in the cost of the bridge is the requirement that it be at least 72 feet tall to allow commercial vessels and tall-mast sail boats to pass beneath it. 

The beginning of construction was originally planned for this year, but it is now delayed until 2025 with a target of completion in 2026.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

New Year's Eve in Gulf Shores | Orange Beach |2023

New Year's Eve in Gulf Shores | Orange Beach | AL
The Wharf New Year's Eve
It’s time to make a New Year’s resolution that's both refreshing and easy to uphold this year. Begin by ushering in the New Year with a rejuvenating vacation in the picturesque Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

While things might be winding down in your locale, the New Year in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is just gearing up. Celebrate New Year's Eve and New Year's Day surrounded by sandy shores, crashing waves, and delectable food and drinks, setting the tone for a promising and inspirational start to the new year.

New Year's Eve at Live Bait in Orange Beach - Celebrate the New Year at Live Bait with live music, a mid-night countdown and a champagne toast. Club will be open with late night food and karaoke in the Tiki Bar.


Experience the 12th Annual Noon Year's Eve at LuLu's in Gulf Shores—an event filled with fun for both kids and adults. Engage in crafts, enjoy kid-friendly "fireworks" (made from bubble wrap), and participate in a lively sandcastle-building contest. When the clock strikes noon, witness a colorful beach ball drop, followed by live music, face painting, balloon animals, and more at LuLu's to kick off your New Year's celebration.


For a high-energy New Year's celebration, check out Reelin' in the New Year at The Wharf in Orange Beach. The carnival vibe comes alive with activities for kids, including bouncy houses, a mechanical bull, camel rides, rock climbing walls, face painting, and more. Top DJs provide the soundtrack, and live music sets the tone for a memorable New Year's Eve. Don't miss the epic fireworks display and the midnight Marlin Drop as the calendar turns.


Experience Flora-Bama's Non-Stop New Year, where celebrations extend from New Year's Eve through New Year's Day. Enjoy the New Year's Eve Bash with an all-you-can-eat buffet, free breakfast sandwiches, complimentary champagne, cool party favors, souvenirs, and three stages of live music. The festivities continue with the Flora-Bama Polar Bear Dip on New Year's Day, featuring a plunge into the Gulf of Mexico followed by a unique spread of ham, cornbread, black-eyed peas, and various sides.


Brave the Annual Kiwanis New Year's Day Polar Bear Dip starting at noon at The Hangout. Dry off and recharge with complimentary hot chocolate and chili, and join the after-dip party with live music, a customized New Year menu, football on the big screen, and Polar Bear Dip merchandise—all while supporting charitable donations to the Gulf Shores Kiwanis Club and Alabama Special Olympics.


Wednesday, December 13, 2023

What Gulf Shores Restaurants Open on Christmas?

Gulf Shores Restaurants open Christmas
Image from Doc's Seafood & Steaks
Wondering what Gulf Shores restaurants will be open over Christmas? Look no further! Here is what we know about dining opportunities during your beach holidays:


During Christmas Eve, The Hangout, Sunliner Diner, and TheGulf will remain open, while Picnic Beach will close at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. All establishments will be closed on Christmas, with the exception of Sunliner Diner.


Join the longstanding Christmas Day potluck dinner tradition at the iconic Flora-Bama. Bring a side dish for 10-12 people, and the Bama will provide ham and turkey. Serving starts at 1 p.m. on Christmas Day.


Both sister restaurants, Doc's Seafood Shack and Doc's Seafood & Steaks will open at noon on Christmas Day, serving from their regular menus.


Bubba’s Seafood House will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas, featuring a special menu with options like New York strip, a seafood tower with crab legs, shrimp, grilled oysters, mussels, and Conecuh sausage. Notable dishes include the royal reindeer, a grouper filet fried and topped with Hollandaise, a skewer of shrimp, and lump crab meat. Specialty drinks include the Grinch Hopper Bushwacker and the Salty Santa with vodka, Irish cream, caramel drizzled glass, and a sea salted rim.


Both Foley and Orange Beach Wolf Bay Lodge locations will be closed on Christmas Day, but the Orange Beach location is offering to-go meals daily during the off season. For $35, feeding four to six people, you can choose from entrées like shrimp and grits, chicken or plain Alfredo, beef medallions with mushroom gravy, country fried steaks and white gravy, chicken tenders, chicken Parmesan, and a soup of the day. All meals come with a choice of house salad or Caesar salad and bread, with individual sides available for $12 per quart.


Bolo Steaks & Seafood, a new addition to the beach restaurant scene will host a special dinner on Christmas Eve, offering a choice of three appetizers and three entrées, including duck confit, Beef Wellington, or Trout Almondine, along with two desserts for $60 per person.

And here are several well-known Gulf Shores area restaurants that WILL NOT be open: Big Fish Restaurant and Bar will close from Dec. 17-26, reopening on Dec. 27. LuLu's Gulf Shores will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. De Soto’s Seafood Kitchen will be closed from Dec. 16-25 for maintenance and repairs, and Duck’s Diner will be closed on Christmas Day. COASTAL in Orange Beach will be closed on Christmas day. Finally, Bahama Bob's is still closed as they recover from a July 2023 kitchen fire.

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

Friday, September 1, 2023

Best Sports Bars | Local Favorites

Wondering where the best places in Gulf Shores are
The Sloop sports bar local favorite
The Sloop
to watch the NFL playoffs, Super Bowl, March Madness
, and all the other sports? There are several sports bars that offer the games (Google them), but the locals’ favorites (at least in this writer’s opinion) are listed below. So, read on and find your favorite spot to watch the big game like a local.

The Sloop is a locally owned unicorn (part dive, part fantastic food, part sports bar, part live music venue) with TVs everywhere, all the sports packages, and a crowd that is heavily local, friendly, and welcoming. Fair warning to get there EARLY on game days. The Sloop is not large, parking is not plentiful, and when people get their seats they tend to stay until their game is over (and longer).


Island Wing Company sports bar Gulf Shores
Island Wing Company

Island Wing Company offers everything you expect from a quality sports bar. The food is good, the service is good, there are TVs everywhere, and the place is huge with plenty of parking, so you don’t have to worry too much about being able to get a seat to enjoy your game, even if you are running a little late. It's little bit up Gulf Shores Parkway/Hwy 59 from the heart of Gulf Shores, so plan (and pace) accordingly for that drive home after the game - better yet, consider using that ride-sharing app on your phone!


Gulf Shores sports bars | The Cove Bar & Grill
The Cove
The Cove Bar & Grill is a nice little dive in Gulf Shores that locals love for its friendly atmosphere, great food, pool tables, and live music – but it also doubles as a great game-day spot with plenty of TVs and fans rooting for (and against) the teams that excite them. The burgers are especially good, and the drinks are cold and delicious. Tucked away on Cove Ave in the heart of Gulf Shores, the Cove is not a large place, nor is there a ton of parking, so if you want to watch the big game like a local, get there early.


Big Beach Brewing | sports bar | Gulf Shores
Big Beach Brewing

Big Beach Brewing in Gulf Shores is a terrific brewery offering great locally made craft beers and wine. The atmosphere is classy, open-air (when it’s warm) and offers plenty of comfortable seating (including couches) inside and outside where you can watch your games in style. Its a laid-back place complemented by an on-site food truck for those moments when hunger strikes. Located across from Tacky Jacks in Gulf Shores, Big Beach has more parking availability on-site and down the street than some of the other local favorites detailed in this article, but you will still want to be there early to secure you favorite seats. And one last bit of advice from this writer’s personal experience: Pace yourself! Those craft brews pack a punch!


Thursday, August 31, 2023

Where to Shop | Beach Girl at Home

Gulf Shores Shopping | Beach Girl at Home boutique
Located at 3947 AL-59, a short distance north of the Pelican Place Shopping Center, Beach Girl at Home is a one-of-a-kind boutique dedicated to coastal-inspired home decor in Gulf Shores. This charming establishment is a tribute to the spirit of the Beach Girl within all of us. The boutique has meticulously curated an assortment of the region's most vibrant and individualistic home accessories, furniture, artwork, lighting solutions, tableware, area rugs, and an array of other items for your living space.

Beach Girl at Home excels in crafting holiday-themed decor, creating captivating tablescapes, and expertly staging or revitalizing your existing decor. The boutique also takes pride in providing a platform for local artists to showcase their talents. Beyond this, they offer a distinctive selection of unique gifts that capture the essence of the coast.

Beach Girl at Home extends its services beyond the physical store. They facilitate shipping, along with complimentary delivery options, ensuring your purchases reach you conveniently. Additionally, their signature gift wrapping adds a touch of elegance for those seeking the perfect present.

LEARN MORE about Beach Girl at Home

SEE MORE local favorite shopping spots

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

The Cove Bar & Grill | A Local Favorite

The Cove Bar & Grill | A Local Favorite
The Cove Bar & Grill is a local favorite dive located on Cove Avenue off Hwy 59 in Gulf Shores. Owned by local restauranteurs with 30 years of experience, The Cove is a place where locals and visitors hang out to have a drink (or 3), shoot some pool, enjoy live music, and eat some great food in a fun and welcoming environment. The Cove offers excellent cheeseburgers, Tuna Nachos, Wings, Fish Tacos, Wraps, multiple salad options, and more.

LEARN MORE about The Cove

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