During the fall season, Alabama’s sugar-white sand beaches are the perfect escape for foodie lovers. Throughout this time of year, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach host a variety of unique food festivals and events that highlight local, regional and national chefs, fresh Gulf seafood and the eclectic culinary scene of the Alabama Gulf Coast.
The 45th Annual National Shrimp Festival takes place at the public beach in Gulf Shores from Oct. 13-16. Presented by Zatarain’s, this free festival attracts more than 250,000 attendees and features 800 lbs. of fresh Gulf shrimp, over 300 arts, crafts and retail vendors, and live musical performances.
On Nov. 4-6, The Hangout will host its 9th Annual Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend. Over 60 restaurants from across the Southeast will be represented at this event serving oysters prepared in a variety of ways. Last year, the event featured James Beard award-winning chefs, Food Network stars and many other talented culinary masters.
More than 60 craft beers will be available from various breweries across the country. This year Alabama’s beaches will host a renowned food sport competition – the World Food Championships. Join us Nov. 8-15 at The Wharf in Orange Beach as chefs compete in nine categories, then face off at The Finale Table, with the winner being awarded the grand prize of $100,000. The event is expected to attract 400 teams from 45 states and 20 countries.
You don’t have to wait for a festival to savor the local fare. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have a multitude of fabulous dining options for whatever you crave. With waterfront views, open-air seating and live music performed nightly, many restaurants have become destinations of their own. Many take pride in serving not only fresh local seafood but locally sourced produce, cheeses and meats as well.
Visit GulfShores.com to learn more about the Alabama Gulf Coast. While there, be sure to request a copy of the 2016 vacation guide, a 100-page magazine that features a photographic tour of the area, and includes complete listings of accommodations, things to see and do, and great places to eat.