Fall for Golf, Shopping and Lessons in Coastal Alabama

Craft Farms, Gulf Shores

FALL FOR A GOLF VACATION: Teeing off in Gulf Shores

With cooler fall temps some people dust off their holiday decorations while others dust off their golf clubs. We’re fine with inflatable lawn pumpkins, but we’re more in tune with the autumn golfers and their desire to escape for a golf trip with friends or family. Good thing Gulf Shores has 16 courses within an easy drive of the beach.

Golf in Gulf Shores
Fall is the ideal time to enjoy a golf trip to the Gulf Shores area. Photo from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism.

 

Golf enthusiasts know the names. Craft Farms delivers with two championship courses – Cotton Creek and Cypress Bend. Just a short drive down Fort Morgan Road the play continues with Peninsula and Kiva Dunes. And when you need even more golf – because there is no such thing as too much golf – the courses await at Lost Key, TimberCreek, Rock Creek, Gulf State Park, Glenlakes, Gulf Shores Golf Club and more. Plan your golf trip now and let’s knock the dust off those clubs.

 

ON THE TRAIL: A Foley Shopping Adventure!

How do you define the perfect shopping trip? Is it one where you take a step back in time with antiques? Or perhaps you seek bargains to brag about? Maybe you are planning to decorate your home and are looking for inspiration. Whatever your ideal shopping trip is Foley is your destination.

Foley Welcome Center
Start your shopping adventure at the Foley Welcome Center for helpful tips and brochures. Photo from City of Foley.

 

If you seek antiques, you’ll love the Antiques Trail through Foley. From the Old Armory Antique Mall to the Gift Horse and Hollis Ole Crush Antique Mall, you’ll be transported to a world of porcelain treasures, vintage finds and sometimes just the quirky stuff from your childhood.

For bargains that you’ll boast about, Foley offers the Bargain Hunter’s Thrift Trail. Here you can stock up at the Book Exchange, keep your kids busy with Action Game & Movie and get a whole new wardrobe for your family at consignment shops and flea markets.

When the urge to redecorate your home hits you should head to the trail aptly named A Decorator’s Heaven. Along the way you’ll visit Hoods Discount Home Center, Art Warehouse, Fran’s on 59 and Trees and Trends. Stop for a lunch break and get ready to shop more at Big Fish Trading Company, Bugalow’s, Malouf Furniture and Old Time Pottery.

 

REGIONAL VIEW: Educational Excursions

Our coastal region has so many lessons to share that we consider it to be a living classroom. And from the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to the Dora Franklin Finley African-American Heritage Trail in Mobile, it’s a classroom we invite you to explore. Cross the bay to the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center on the Causeway and keep on learning into Foley and Gulf Shores.

Beach Excursion
Learning on the beach bring appreciation for our coastal environment. Photo courtesy Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

 

On Dauphin Island get ready to learn about our coastal environment at the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. From Boardwalk Talks to Excursions you can learn from the experts.

In Mobile, listen to the voices of the past and today with a tour of the Dora Franklin Finley African-American Heritage Trail. From the legacy of the Clotilda, the last slave ship to enter Mobile Bay to medical achievements, the trail has much to share.

Along the Causeway crossing Mobile Bay, stretch your legs and your mind with a stop at the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center. From the elevated walkways you may just spot an alligator, herons, egrets and other coastal critters.

The learning isn’t over yet. It’s all aboard for the Foley Alabama Railroad Museum to get a feel for a time when rail was king and our coastal area grew in response to the L&N line.

In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach the lessons happen on dolphin cruises, at the zoo, on a nature trail and at an historic fort. Parents and teachers can find lots of helpful planning information online.

More classroom ideas can be found with our Edutainment Day Trip.

 

DOWN IN THE DELTA

Planters, boots and boxes re-imagined. Vintage frames and baskets. All you need to set your Thanksgiving table. Get your fill at Down in the Delta, October 20-21 in Bay Minette.

Vintage finds and contemporary treasures at Down in the Delta. Photo from vendor 116 Grace Lane.
Vintage finds and contemporary treasures at Down in the Delta. Photo from vendor 116 Grace Lane.

 

Twice a year Pimperl Place in Bay Minette transforms into the ultimate marketplace. You can stroll among vendors offering vintage and unique merchandise, many with items you won’t find anywhere else. Food vendors will be on hand to keep you fueled for all the shopping, and live entertainment will keep you humming a tune. Keeping with the fall season, there will be hay rides, pumpkins and mums. Admission is $8 for adults. Kids 12 and under are free w/paying adult.

RUN THE BEACH  

How’s the scenery on your morning run? Wish it included views of white sand beaches and Gulf waters? We can fix that! The Run the Beach series hits the sand with three awesome opportunities to pick up the pace in paradise.

Run medals for just one run? Nah, you want the Run the Beach medal to show you completed a series of three runs!
Run medals for just one run? Nah, you want the Run the Beach medal to show you completed a series of three runs!

 

You can conquer the 2018 Run the Beach Series by completing the Big Beach Marathon, the Sea Turtle Half Marathon, and the Kaiser Half Marathon. All finishers receive a medal depicting all three Gulf Coast Marathon races and a shell jacket after completing the Kaiser Half Marathon in November 2018.

And if you need a warm-up run, you still have time to participate in the Kaiser Half Marathon this November 25.

GRAHAM CREEK NATURE PRESERVE

Cool, crisp fall mornings beckon you to get outdoors. In Foley one of the best spots to enjoy nature is at Graham Creek Nature Preserve. Whether a quiet walk or fun events, there truly is something for everyone in your family.

Plan to pause often at Graham Creek Nature Preserve to enjoy the flora and fauna. Photo from Graham Creek NP.
Plan to pause often at Graham Creek Nature Preserve to enjoy the flora and fauna. Photo from Graham Creek NP.

 

Maybe you want a pathway to explore and plenty of time to stop and soak in the beauty of the surrounding environment. Or perhaps you want the opportunity to crawl through the mud or get a good scare. It is all available in one amazing place, Graham Creek Nature Preserve in Foley.

MOBILE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL

Take a trip around the globe in one convenient location with the Mobile International Festival, November 18. Experience culture and culinary treats at the Mobile Civic Center.

Parade of Flags brings attention to our global culture. Photo from Mobile International Festival.
Parade of Flags brings attention to our global culture. Photo from Mobile International Festival.

 

Entertainment at this year’s festival will include Matsuriza Japanese Traditional Taiko Drummers, McGuire’s Irish Band, Nepalese musician Pranaya Rana, Akbar Imhotep – storyteller of African folklore, and others. See the full lineup and learn more about the festival here.

PAUSING FOR SUNSET

Whether you are a local busy with family and work or a visitor busy taking in all the fun along our coast, there is a special time each day when we all pause. It’s our coastal sunset.

Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina in Fairhope is one of the best spots to gather for sunset. The views are only matched by the food and drink. Photo: Instagram/sunset_pointe.
Sunset Pointe at Fly Creek Marina in Fairhope is one of the best spots to gather for sunset. The views are only matched by the food and drink. Photo: Instagram/sunset_pointe.

 

Maybe it is our abundance of coastal waters that makes our sunsets extra impressive. All the beauty of the purple, red and orange in the sky is reflected in ripples in the water below. It’s as though nature delivers two sunsets for us. Share your favorite Coastal Alabama sunset with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

MUM’S THE WORD

And mum’s the flower of the season at Bellingrath Gardens and Home in South Mobile County. This November, the Gardens celebrates their 54th Annual Fall Outdoor Cascading Chrysanthemums.

Mums cascade over the entrance to the rose garden at Bellingrath. Photo from Bellingrath Gardens and Home.
Mums cascade over the entrance to the rose garden at Bellingrath. Photo from Bellingrath Gardens and Home.

 

What is a cascade? It is the result of nine months of work on the part of the Gardens’ horticultural team to produce hundreds of displays that are draped on bridges and balconies and placed in containers throughout the 65 acres. Truly a fall masterpiece.

 

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