From NCAA championship beach volleyball action in Gulf Shores to roses in bloom at Bellingrath Gardens, Coastal Alabama is your spring destination for fun events and festivals.
Here in Coastal Alabama we tend to get a head start on the calendar by celebrating spring events well before the season is official. And now that the calendar agrees with us, it’s time for even more spring festivals.
Dauphin Island calls you to enjoy a spring day at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Estuarium on April 7 for Discovery Day. This annual event gives the public the chance to tour the research facilities and learn about our coastal environment. Also on April 7 head to North Baldwin County for the Stapleton Bluegrass Festival for community fun.
The weekend of April 13 – 15 brings the SouthSounds Music & Arts Festival to Mobile. The tunes will cover the best emerging and independent Southern music and art.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are celebrating all spring long with the Waterway Village Zydeco & Crawfish Festival on April 14, the Hangout Music Festival on May 18-20, the C Spire Concert Series at The Wharf and many more.
Reconnect with our natural world at the 10th Anniversary Delta Woods & Waters Expo on April 28. The expo is held at 5 Rivers Delta Center on the Causeway in Spanish Fort. Here you can try more than 25 hands-on activities.
May 4-6 all eyes are on the skies around Foley for the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival. The family fun includes balloon flights, glows, tethered rides, arts and crafts and more. The following weekend (May 12-13) brings the popular Art in the Park arts and crafts event to downtown Foley. More than 110 exhibitors will be displaying their works.
As the calendar turns to June, head to Bay Minette on June 1 for lip-smacking goodness at the Crawfish Bash.
Each year tens of thousands of locals and those from many miles away flock to Bellingrath Gardens and Home in South Mobile County to marvel at the annual azalea season. But what is there to see after those blooms have faded?
The answer: plenty!
On the heels of the azalea bloom, guests to the 65-acre gardens can enjoy the fragrance of more than 2,000 roses representing 75 varieties. April is also a great time to view the Begonias, Cape Daisies, Delphinium, Dianthus, Easter Lilies, Fuchsia, Hydrangeas, Marguerite Daisies, Petunias, Roses, Sunpatiens and Verbena. May adds Caladiums, Calibrachoa, Cape Jasmine, Coleus, Hibiscus, Mexican Heather, Morning Glory Bush, Scarlet Sage, Southern Magnolia, Shrimp Plants and Zinnia.
Not sure what all those plants look like? That’s another good reason to make the drive southwest of Mobile to take a stroll through the grounds. While there, include a tour of the Bellingrath Home to see the collection of porcelain and other furnishings.
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE BEACH VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Typically Gulf Shores’ sunny beaches are all about relaxing. But from May 4 – 6, the competition will be fierce at the 2018 National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship as the white-sand beaches of the Alabama Gulf Coast host eight of the country’s best women’s teams. LEARN MORE
From a hearty brunch to a late-night snack, Mobile knows how to put out a spread to feed an army. So rally your troops, and head to the Port City to check out several new eateries.
Your shopping trip to the Shops at Bel Air just got tastier because sports legend Bob Baumhower has opened Baumhower’s Victory Grille, serving up those famous wings. Downtown has a new monger at The Cheese Cottage on St. Louis Street, and Old Shell Road just welcomed a bit of Ireland with the Dublin Irish Pub and Eatery.
Check out this great article from AL.com to see the 25 spots open now or opening soon in the Mobile area.
Each month the merchants in downtown Fairhope invite the public to shop, dine and mingle late with the Fairhope First Friday Art Walk. The event is held on the first Friday from 6:00-8:00pm.
A long-standing tradition along the Eastern Shore, the Art Walk gives people the opportunity to visit their favorite stores during extended hours. They can enjoy a meal out at one of Fairhope’s restaurants and relax with friends. A popular addition in the spring and summer months is to make the drive down to the Fairhope pier to catch the sunset over Mobile Bay, and then come back into downtown to stroll the art walk.
The Boardwalk Talk series at the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is a free, public program on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Attendees will hear from researchers, graduate students, educators, aquarist and others.
The informal chats are designed to cover a broad range of science topics and to encourage questions from the audience. Check out the Estuarium’s website for upcoming topics and to learn about their Summer Excursions.
Each year on the Saturday before Father’s Day, cyclists come to Bay Minette to turn their pedal power into real power for change at RIDEYELLOW, Alabama’s largest charity bike ride.
The June 16 ride will begin at Halliday Park with a six-mile tribute ride. Those wishing to continue for a longer ride can participate in the 10-, 20-, 37- or 62-mile routes at their own pace. Rest stops are available along the way and food, beverages and vendors will be available when riders return to the park.
Since its founding in 2007, RIDEYELLOW has donated more than $500,000 to cancer charities. Learn more about this event and its history at rideyellow.org.
A day at the beach can be anything but easy if you have difficulty crossing the sand to get to our beautiful Gulf waters. Now the City of Gulf Shores has an Access Mat to help make that journey a lot easier.
Located at the West End of Gulf Place Public Beach, the mat is designed to make the beach more accessible for those in wheelchairs, parents with strollers, those with a cart in tow and others with mobility concerns.
Fresh from the farm and from the Gulf, the Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market in Foley is your one-stop place for fruits, veggies, shrimp, oysters and so much more.
Conveniently located on County Road 20, near OWA, the market is open on Saturdays 9:00 am-2:00 pm and Tuesdays 2:00-6:00 pm. Stop by during your Saturday errands or Tuesday afternoons to browse the selection from local farmers and fishermen. You can also expect to find baked goods, honey, flowers and organic beef.
The market is covered so a rainy day doesn’t slow things down. The hours change in the winter months. Find out more on their website.
- Through April 15: Titanic Honour & Glory, History Museum of Mobile
- Through April 21: Savage Ancient Seas, GulfQuest, Mobile
- March 31: The Original German Sausage Festival, Elberta
- April 2-28: Traveling Postcard Exhibit “Alabama Main Streets,” Spanish Fort
- April 4: April Showers Observe and Explore Day, Graham Creek Nature Preserve, Foley
- April 4, 18, May 2, 16, June 6: Boardwalk Talks. The Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab
- April 6, May 4, June 1: First Fridays at Holly Hills, Bay Minette
- April 6, May 4, June 1: Fairhope First Friday Art Walk
- April 7: Civil War Trust Park Day, Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island
- April 7: 25th Annual Camellia Classic Open Car Show, Bellingrath Gaardens and Home
- April 7: Discovery Day, The Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab
- April 7: Stapleton Bluegrass Festival
- April 7, 14, 21, 28: Downtown Foley Walking Tours
- April 7, 14, 21, 28: Walking Tours of Fairhope
- April 7, 14, 21, 28: Free Downtown Walking Tours in April, Mobile
- April 7-8: 2018 UTR Spring Tennis Tournament, Orange Beach
- April 12: Baldwin Historic Tours – “Tales of the Rails,” tour departs Foley
- April 12-13: 2018 AISA Outdoor Track & Field State Championship, Gulf Shores
- April 13, 20, 27, May 18: Live at Five, a New Concert Series, Fairhope
- April 13, May 11, June 8: LoDa ArtWalk, Mobile
- April 14: Living History Crew Drill, USS ALABAMA
- April 14: 2018 Waterway Village Zydeco & Crawfish Festival & 5K Run, Gulf Shores
- April 14: A Day for Science, Mobile
- April 14: 2nd Annual Forward City Con, Foley
- April 14: C Spire Concert Series presents: Styx & Reo Speedwagon with special guest Don Felder, The Wharf, Orange Beach
- April 15: Spring into WINE + ART, Fairhope
- April 15, May 20: Daphne Sunday Sunset Series
- April 17-21: Coastal Alabama Bird Banding Project, Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores
- April 19: Burgers & Bingo on the Square, Bay Minette
- April 19: Olde Towne Daphne’s Third Thursday
- April 20: C Spire Concert Series presents: Chris Young Losing Sleep 2018 World Tour with special guests Kane Brown, Morgan Evans & Dee Jay Silver, The Wharf, Orange Beach
- April 20, 27, May 18, 25, June 1, 8: Heritage Park Marketplace, Foley
- April 20, 27, May 18, 25, June 1, 8: Music and a Movie, Foley
- April 21: Pride Fest 2018 – Stronger Together, Mobile
- April 21: 22nd Annual Mullet Man Triathlon, Flora-Bama
- April 21: 2018 Bald Eagle Bash, Weeks Bay, Fairhope
- April 26: 9th Annual Bama Coast Cruise, The Wharf, Orange Beach
- April 26-29: 2018 Alabama Tennis Invitational, Gulf Shores
- April 27-28: Bay Shore Ballet Spring 2018 performance Coppelia, Fairhope
- April 27-29: Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party, Flora-Bama
- April 28: Wiggle Waggle 5K Race and 1 mile Fun Run, Bellingrath Gardens
- May 2: Caterpillars Observe and Explore Day, Graham Creek Nature Preserve, Foley
- May 3: 2018 Hot Air Balloon Fest Balloon Glow, Tanger Outlet Mall, Foley
- May 3-5: 2018 AHSAA State Track Championship (4-5-6-7 A, boys and girls), Gulf Shores
- May 3-6: 2018 National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship, Gulf Shores
- May 4-6: 14th Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, Foley
- May 5: 14th Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival and 10K/5K Run, Foley
- May 11: National Public Gardens Day, Bellingrath Gardens and Home
- May 11: An Evening on Broadway with the Baldwin County Youth Orchestra, Daphne
- May 12-13: Art in the Park, Foley
- May 13: Mother’s Day Evening Garden Concert, Bellingrath Gardens and Home
- May 17-19: 2018 Orange Beach Billfish Classic, The Wharf, Orange Beach
- May 18-20: The Hangout Music Festival 2018, Gulf Shores
- May 19: May Flowers Observe and Explore Day, Graham Creek Nature Preserve, Foley
- May 19-20: Thunder on the Bay, Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island
- May 24: Country Superstar Dwight Yoakam, The Wharf, Orange Beach
- May 24-26: 2018 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championship, Gulf Shores
- May 26: Memorial Day Tribute 2018, Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores
- May 26: LuLuPalooza 2018, Gulf Shores
- May 27: 2018 Paradise Island 5k, Orange Beach
- May 27: C Spire Concert Series presents: Dave Matthews Band, The Wharf, Orange Beach
- June 1: 6th Annual Crawfish Bash, Bay Minette
- June 1-3: 5th Annual Flora-Bama Fishing Rodeo