Fireworks exploding in the summer night sky, abundant juicy watermelon, pedaling for a great cause or a relaxing cruise… However you define summer, Coastal Alabama is your destination for family fun all season long.
REGIONAL VIEW: CELEBRATE JULY 4TH
July 4th, for many along Alabama’s coast is the highpoint of summer. It is the time to gather with friends and family to celebrate our country’s freedom. We celebrate in small ways like wearing our red, white and blue and in large ways by attending major events with thousands of others to cheer the fireworks, the pops band and the traditional eats of the season.
To help you make the most of the holiday on the coast, we have gathered some top events.
Mobile: Enjoy the fireworks on July 4th with two great options. Gather with your friends and family at Cooper Riverside Park in downtown Mobile to have a front row for the fireworks. Mobile Pops will be performing. Additionally viewing spots are at the Colonial Fort of Mobile and Mardi Gras Park. Across the river at the USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park you can purchase a ticket in advance for special viewing from the fantail of the ship. Once on board, you’ll be treated to live music, barbecue, ice cream, and an awesome view of the fireworks.
Fairhope: Celebrate the 4th in the spot where many of us celebrate the daily sunset, the Fairhope Pier. The Baldwin Pops will perform at Henry George Park (near the pier) from 6:30 to 9:30 pm and the fireworks will begin at 9:00 pm.
Gulf Shores: See the beach bathed in color from exploding fireworks on July 4th. The area around the Gulf State Park Pier is the ideal viewing spot, but the show is visible from many of the beachfront condos and homes as well as from other public beach access points.
Orange Beach: The Wharf gets a head start on the festivities with their July 3rd Independence Day Street Party from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. The event features live entertainment, kid’s activities, the Spectra Sound & Light Show and a fireworks display. Admission is free, with fees for some activities.
RIDEYELLOW: PEDAL POWER
If you’ve ever felt that your individual efforts couldn’t make an impact on something as big as the fight against cancer, the June 16 RIDEYELLOW Infirmary Health charity bike ride will change your mind. Whether you pedal for the six, 10, 20, 37 or the ambitious 62 miles, or even if you just volunteer your time, your efforts will be part of this grassroots event which has donated just shy of a half million dollars to cancer charities.
Founded in 2007, RIDEYELLOW began as a tribute by two local women to loved ones lost to cancer. Inspired by earlier success participating with rides in other areas, Ann White-Spunner and Mary Trufant decided to start an annual ride here on the Alabama Gulf Coast.
The ride begins at Halliday Park in Bay Minette. Rest stops are available along the way before the riders return to the park. Registration and additional information can be found on the RIDEYELLOW website.
CRUISING FROM MOBILE
Time to set sail for a relaxing cruise from Mobile. Kick back and enjoy all the amenities, the great food, the activities. Not a care in the world. But what about all of the before and after details? Where should you stay in Mobile the night before or after your cruise? Where should you park? What if your departure is delayed? Relax. The team at Visit Mobile has compiled all the information you need to navigate your planning.
On the “Cruisin’ from Mobile” page you can learn about local hotels offering stay and cruise packages, parking at the cruise terminal and discounted offers from local attractions. All of these are designed to make your cruise more enjoyable.
With a stay and cruise package you can leave your car at the hotel and utilize the round trip shuttle to and from the cruise terminal. If you choose to park at the terminal, you can prepay online and secure your spot. If you have extra time to explore Mobile, the site will give you access to lots of discounts from local historic homes and museum to gardens and tours.
Be sure to follow Cruising from Mobile on Facebook for important updates on cruise schedules, especially weather events that can delay arrivals and departures.
KEEP ON SUMMERING
Whether you like to hang out on the beach with your girlfriends, the guys or with the grand kids, nobody likes to see the summer end. Good news! In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, summer doesn’t have to end.
Our coastal summers feel almost endless. Even after the kids are back in school, the warm temperatures call you back to the beach for one more visit, maybe for a quick family fall break trip or a girls or guys getaway. It’s the Keep on Summering spirit and you can celebrate it well into September and October with great rates on accommodations, fun events and, the best part, no waiting in line for your favorite restaurant. Learn more at GulfShores.com.
OWA’S TASTY FOOD SCENE IS EXPANDING
OWA, the coast’s amazing new entertainment destination in Foley, is getting even more awesome and delicious as Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen joins the lineup of restaurants.
The downtown area at OWA already has Wahlburger’s, the Groovy Goat, Hershey’s Ice Cream, Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon. Crazy Donuts just opened on Memorial Day weekend. Trattoria Pizza & Italian plans to open by mid-Summer. Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is working to open later this year.
Stay in the know about OWA on their Facebook page and website.
DISCOVER THE MOBILE-TENSAW DELTA
Known as America’s Amazon, the Mobile-Tensaw Delta is the largest river delta and wetland in Alabama and one of the largest in the country. It holds the eco-diversity of bayous, bays and beaches.
The ways to explore this natural paradise are almost as diverse as the Delta itself. You can choose to paddle a kayak or canoe for an up close and personal view. You can take a guided scenic tour on an airboat, duck boat or pontoon. If wetting a hook is your thing, you can bring your own boat or rely on the experience of a guided fishing tour.
For land-based views and information, stop by 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center on the Causeway in Spanish Fort or head south to the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Both attractions deliver a wealth of knowledge about our coastal environment and how you can be a better steward. Learn more at Mobile.org.
DAPHNE’S JUBILEE FESTIVAL OF ARTS
The 30th Annual Jubilee Festival of Arts in Daphne Alabama is set to attract thousands to the oak-lined Main Street on September 29 & 30. Art, music & seafood meet southern charm at this annual festival set along the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay.
You’ll find the very best in hand-made crafts and fine arts while local chefs are put to the test in two World Food Championships Qualifying events. Children can even try their hand at creating their own works of art in the Kids Art Park. Admission is free. For more details, visit the festival’s website or Facebook page.
GRAND BAY WATERMELON FESTIVAL
Sweet and sticky, served ice cold and the perfect complement to summer! We’re talking about watermelon and you can enjoy all the yummy goodness on July 4th.
In South Mobile County the town of Grand Bay becomes watermelon central each July 4th with their annual festival. A massive refrigerated truck is enlisted to chill down the watermelon which is served up free to the crowd.
The gates open at 8:00 am to allow festival goers to check out the arts & crafts, the food vendors, rides, an open car show, and of course all the sweet, chilled watermelon you can eat. The grounds are open on July 3rd with free admission to give attendees the chance to check out the vendors and entertainment. But the stars of the show, the watermelons, aren’t available until July 4th. Learn more at the festival’s website.
GET DIRTY AT DELTA DASH
Challenge your friends to join you for a Delta experience like no other. Registration is open now for this September 29 5K obstacle course race.
Put your endurance, stamina and resilience to the test as you make quick decisions, call on your animal instincts and, let’s be honest, have some kid-at-heart fun in the mud.
The Delta Dash is a challenging three-mile course that takes you through wooded terrain, a creek, a crawl in the mud, over hay bales and no doubt some surprises to keep you on your toes. The fun is centered around Lower Bryant Landing in Stockton. To learn more, visit the Delta Dash website.
- June 1-19: Summertide Theatre presents: Pump Boys and Dinettes, Gulf Shores
- June 8, July 13, August 10, September 14: LoDa ArtWalk, Mobile
- June 11-September 3: Water’s Extreme Journey Exhibit at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, Mobile
- June 13, 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25: Wonderful Wednesdays at Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Theodore
- June 14, July 12: Arts at the Market at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermans Market, Foley
- June 15, 22, 29, July 6, 13, 20, 27, August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31: Music in the Park at Spanish Fort Town Center Park
- June 16: 12th Annual RIDEYELLOW, Bay Minette
- June 19-July 31: Tuesday Evening Living History Tour at Fort Morgan
- June 20, July 18, August 1, 15, September 5, 19: Boardwalk Talks at the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab
- June 21, 28, July 12, 26, August 2: Southern Grace Dinners at Fisher’s at the Orange Beach Marina
- June 28-30: Distinguished Young Woman’s 61st National Finals, Mobile
- June 29: International Mud Day Observe and Explore at Graham Creek Nature Preserve, Foley
- July 3-4: Grand Bay Watermelon Festival
- July 6, August 3, September 7: First Friday Art Walk, Fairhope
- July 10-15: 2018 Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf, Orange Beach
- July 20-22: Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, Dauphin Island
- July 20-22, 27-29, August 3-5, “The Skin of Our Teeth” at Theatre 98, Fairhope
- July 21: Community Yard Sale & Market, Bay Minette
- August 2-4: Jennifer Claire Moore 21st Annual Professional Rodeo, Foley
- August 4: 154th Battle of Mobile Bay Commemorative Day at Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island
- August 6: Founder’s Day / Mr. Bellingrath’s Birthday Celebration, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Theodore
- August 25: Dauphin Street Beer Festival, Mobile
- September 8: 2018 Brett Robinson Alabama Coastal Triathlon, Gulf Shores
- September 13-15: The Wharf Uncorked Wine & Culinary Event 2018, Orange Beach
- September 15-16: 2nd Annual Massacre Island Pirate Event at Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island
- September 29: Delta Dash, Stockton
- October 6: 7th Annual Festival of Flavor, Foley