On the Alabama Gulf Coast, we’ve established plenty of traditions –some newer, some long-standing—that without them, well, it wouldn’t be the holidays. Here are a few traditional activities that we’re quite proud of and certainly invite you to join in!
• Sure, we have plenty of palm trees in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach (and we might even string some lights around them), however, we also have real Christmas trees. In fact, on Tuesday, November 28 at the Wharf in Orange Beach, we have the City of Orange Beach Christmas Tree Lighting at 5:30 p.m.
• The Holiday Open House: On November 19, the shops at the Wharf open their doors with special deals for eager holiday shoppers.
• On Friday, December 1, the Annual Christmas Parade takes place in Gulf Shores. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. and feature festive lighted floats, as well as appearances from holiday characters and marching bands. After the parade, attendees can continue celebrating at Johnnie Sims Park where there will be holiday treats, crafts, a snowball drop, and an appearance from St. Nick himself!
Tip: This year, the route will run from Gulf Shores Public Beach to West 19th Avenue and End at Johnnie Sims Park.
• Traditional Horse & Carriage Ride: Throughout November and December, take a ride in a one-horse open sleigh around The Wharf property or take a spin on the Ice Skating Rink. Weekends at The Wharf also feature photos with Santa and great deals from retail stores!
• Merry Market Unique Gifts and Arts & Crafts Expo: Starting December 9 at 9:00 a.m. and running until December 10 at 6:00 p.m., the Merry Market at the Orange Beach Events Center at the Wharf features a great time for the whole family with arts and crafts, food, and story time with Mrs. Claus.
• Lighted Boat Parade: This unique boat parade kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on December 9 at Lulu’s at Homeport Marina in Gulf Shores and makes its way into Orange Beach; it will pass The Wharf Marina along the way to Cobalt in Orange Beach.
The holidays on the Gulf Coast are joyful and filled with love. Check out the Alabama Coastal Christmas webpage for a full list of exciting holiday events, activities, and call 800-959-7326 if you need help finding a place to stay!