Posted on 6/20/2024 by TP

Best Fall Events in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL

Nestled along the stunning Gulf of Mexico on the Alabama coast, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are lively fall destinations, and one of the reasons is the packed calendar of events. The autumn months bring a delightful array of festivals, concerts, and local celebrations that highlight the area's rich culture and community spirit. Whether you're into food, music, or outdoor adventures, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Is it your first time visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in the fall? Worry not. With this blog, we've got you covered with a curated list of the best events during the season.

At Vacation Home Collection, your comfort and happiness are our top priorities. With a wide variety of properties in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, we've been creating dream vacations for years, ensuring you and your family have the best time ever. We're experts in the area, so be sure to check out our blog for tips on making the most of your trip. Whether you're looking for a guide to a great weekend or a bucket list of activities, we've got all in there.

Now, let's talk about those events!


Gulf Shores, AL

Orange Beach, AL

Best Fall Events In Gulf Shores, AL

Brett Robinson Alabama Coastal Triathlon

Outdoor, sports

The Brett Robinson Alabama Coastal Triathlon, held at the beginning of September, is an exhilarating event that combines a refreshing gulf swim with a fast, flat bike and run course.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico, this triathlon offers participants a unique race experience. Athletes can choose between an Olympic distance triathlon or a beginner-friendly sprint triathlon, making it suitable for various skill levels.

Located at The Hangout, a revived 1950s beachside venue, the main staging area, finish line, packet pick-up, and post-race party offer a vibrant and electric vibe where participants and non-participants can mingle and enjoy live entertainment.

The Annual National Shrimp Festival

Food, music, family-friendly

Marking the transition from hot summer days to the cooler breezes of fall, the Annual National Shrimp Festival, held during the second weekend of October, is a beloved tradition in Gulf Shores.

This four-day event features delicious Gulf shrimp prepared in different ways, a wide array of arts and crafts, and live music ranging from country and classic rock to jazz. It's an event designed for the whole family, with activities such as children's sand sculpture contests and the Shrimp Fest Singing for Scholarships contest.

Happening at 101 Gulf Shores Pkwy, if you want to have a shrimp extravaganza during your fall trip to Gulf Shores, the Annual National Shrimp Festival is unbeatable. Beyond shrimp, there’s also a wide variety of fresh seafood delicacies available for a complete culinary experience.

Coastal Alabama Food Truck & Beer Festival

Food, outdoor, family-friendly

The Coastal Alabama Food Truck & Beer Festival, held in November at Gulf Place Town Green, is a paradise for foodies and beer enthusiasts.

The event boasts a relaxed and fun atmosphere, where festival-goers can savor a variety of delectable cuisines from popular food trucks and sip on regional and national craft brews. Adding to the fun, there’s live music, yard games, and face painting for the little ones. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to fully enjoy the outdoor setting by the Gulf.

With free admission and leashed dogs welcome, this is a perfect fall outing in Gulf Shores for families and friends looking to enjoy good food, drinks, and entertainment in a scenic environment.

John L. Borom Alabama Coastal BirdFest

Nature, family-friendly, educational

The John L. Borom Alabama Coastal BirdFest, taking place in early October, is an event dedicated to bird enthusiasts and nature lovers. Named in honor of conservationist John L. Borom, the BirdFest celebrates the rich birdlife and natural habitats of the Alabama Gulf Coast.

All the activities during the event are highly educational and engaging, with guided birding trips to prime locations like Dauphin Island and Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge where visitors can observe a variety of migratory and resident bird species.

The event includes workshops and seminars on birding and conservation, enhancing participants' knowledge and skills. It is family-friendly, featuring activities for children such as bird-themed crafts and educational games.

Best Fall Events in Orange Beach, AL

Orange Beach Freedom Fest

Patriotic, family-friendly, automotive

Orange Beach Freedom Fest, held at the beginning of October at The Wharf, is a patriotic celebration filled with music, food, and classic cars. Attendees can enjoy live music, arts and crafts vendors, and delicious southern cuisine while soaking in the buzzing atmosphere.

The festival includes the Bama Coast Cruisin' car show, where vintage and classic cars line Main Street, and a Kids' Zone by the Ferris wheel. Military booths and patriotic displays add to the festive spirit.

Additional family-friendly activities include a motorcycle and Jeep rally, and a beach cruise. With entertainment provided by the Flora-Bama and CoastAL, Freedom Fest is a perfect way to celebrate the red, white, and blue with the whole family.

Coastal Half Marathon, 5K, & 1 Mile Fun Run

Sports, family-friendly, outdoor

The Coastal Half Marathon, 5K, & 1 Mile Fun Run, held annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is an invigorating event that takes runners through the scenic Gulf State Park.

Whether you choose to run, walk, or wheel, there is a distance for everyone, including a half marathon, 5K, and a 1-mile fun run. The race course winds through beautiful backcountry trails, offering breathtaking views of the Gulf Coast. This family-friendly event culminates in a festive post-race celebration with music, food, and drinks. It’s a great way to stay active and enjoy the natural beauty of Orange Beach during the holiday weekend.

Annual Frank Brown International Songwriters' Festival

Music, culture, family-friendly

The Frank Brown International Songwriters' Festival is a highlight of the fall season in Orange Beach, providing an intimate experience for music lovers. The festival usually happens in early November, bringing together the nation's best singer-songwriters for 11 days of live music across the Gulf Coast.

Musicians share the stories behind their songs at various venues, including outdoor restaurants, local dive bars, and lively music venues. Named in honor of Frank Brown, the festival features over 200 songwriters, including Grammy Award winners and emerging stars. It’s an opportunity to enjoy unique, up-close music experiences and learn the stories behind the lyrics.

FAQ: Fall in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL

This FAQ section is designed to make your life easier and answer all your questions about visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in the fall.

  • What is fall like in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach? Fall in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is a vibrant season with mild temperatures and fewer crowds. The region hosts numerous events, festivals, and outdoor activities, making it an ideal time to visit.

  • Are there any family-friendly events in the fall? Yes, many fall events are family-friendly, including the Annual National Shrimp Festival, Coastal Alabama Food Truck & Beer Festival, and John L. Borom Alabama Coastal BirdFest. These events offer activities and entertainment suitable for all ages.

  • Where can I find accommodations during these events? Vacation Home Collection offers a variety of properties in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. They provide comfortable and convenient accommodations to ensure you have the best experience.

  • Are the fall events pet-friendly? Many fall events in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are pet-friendly. For example, the Coastal Alabama Food Truck & Beer Festival allows leashed dogs.

  • Is parking available at these events? Yes, most events offer ample parking options. However, it’s always a good idea to arrive early to secure a spot, especially during popular events like the Annual National Shrimp Festival.

  • What should I bring to these events? Bring essentials like sunscreen, a hat, comfortable walking shoes, and a reusable water bottle. For outdoor events, consider bringing lawn chairs or blankets.

  • Are there restrictions on bringing outside food and drinks? Policies on outside food and drinks vary by event. It’s best to check the specific event’s website for detailed information. Generally, food and drinks are available for purchase on-site.

  • Are there age restrictions for any events? Most fall events are family-friendly and open to all ages. However, events featuring alcohol, like beer festivals, may have age restrictions. Always check the event details beforehand.

  • What kind of food and drinks can I expect at these events? Expect a wide variety of food and drinks, including local seafood, regional cuisine, craft beers, and non-alcoholic beverages. Many events feature food trucks and local vendors.

  • Do the events offer accessibility for people with disabilities? Yes, many events in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach provide accommodations for people with disabilities. Check the event’s website or contact the organizers for specific information on accessibility.

  • Are there restroom facilities at these events? Yes, most events provide restroom facilities, including portable toilets and sometimes permanent restrooms. Facilities for people with disabilities are usually available as well.

Wondering Where to Stay During Your Trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL?

With years of experience in Gulf Shores, we're experts in making memorable getaways. Our vacation rentals range from beachfront homes to high-rise condos and are perfect for a home base for your next getaway. When you stay with us, all you need to focus on is letting the coastal beauty whisk you away - rest assured, it will!

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