November 7-11, 2012

Royal Reds, shrimp of Gulf Shores of Alabama

Food for thought--Royal Reds

Fill up with succulent Gulf seafood, wake up in beach area accommodations, discover untold stories of the area, and make some great friends along the way.

Your four-day tour will feature organized group activities, plus individual options to ensure an unforgettable Gulf Coast experience tailored just for you. Whether your forte is writing or photography (or both), you’ll find a wealth of fresh ideas and visuals on our “pleasure island.”

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach welcome you to 32 miles of sugar-white sand beaches stretched along a 30,000-acre island on the northern edge of the Gulf of Mexico. Alabama’s Gulf Coast boasts a mild year-round climate ideal for enjoying great outdoor family fun – swimming, golf, fishing, trails, bird-and-wildlife watching, shopping, historical attractions and much more. IFWTWA members especially will enjoy focusing on the area’s memorable restaurants, creative chefs and wide array of outstanding “upscale to down-home” dining opportunities.


Cheeseburger in Paradise from LuLu's, Gulf Shores Alabama

Cheeseburger in Paradise from LuLu's

Food for Thought

Whiskey Steak, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Royal Reds, Sweet Home Cheese, LA (lower Alabama) Caviar, Peanut Butter Pie and Grouper Pontchartrain are just a few of the dishes to get you thinking about your Alabama culinary adventure. There’s no better time than 2012 – officially designated as “The Year of Alabama Food” – to enjoy a late-fall getaway to Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Your tour will include stops along the Coastal Cuisine Trail and a hands-on cooking experience with a top area chef. You’ll be given the opportunity to savor the best offerings of some of our local restaurants, which include12 Gulf Shores and Orange Beach restaurants featured on the website.

Red Snapper in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Red Snapper in Gulf Shores

The Nature of Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Great food and fine wine await you, but there’s plenty more to experience on your Gulf Coast visit. Options will include an inshore fishing trip to explore our bountiful back bays and waterways – a “hook and cook” experience that will end at one of our top restaurants, where the day’s catch will become your evening meal.

You may choose to get a close-up look at some of the Gulf’s most popular residents on an eco-friendly dolphin cruise. Or learn about the area’s flora and fauna on a guided golf cart tour of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, winding for 10 miles from Orange Beach to Gulf State Park and traversing four distinct ecosystems. Nearby, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge offers more than six miles of hiking trails and beach access for nature-lovers.

More than 300 animals from around the world call the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo home. Choose a zoo visit to cuddle a kangaroo, converse with a kookaburra or ogle an ocelot at the “Little Zoo That Could” – the zoo featured on Animal Planet after its amazing animal evacuation efforts ahead of Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina.

Fort Morgan, Gulf shores, Alabama

Fort Morgan

Feel the History

Perhaps you’d like to re-live the area’s history with a visit to Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines. Learn more about the Civil War exploits of Union Admiral David Farragut, steaming into Mobile Bay and into history books with his famous quote of “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” Enjoy the Gulf Coast’s most scenic means of arrival as the Mobile Bay Ferry carries you from Fort Morgan to Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island (also home to a 164-acre bird sanctuary).

Orange Beach Arts Center, Alabama

Orange Beach Arts Center

Where the Glass Glows

For a more artful experience, choose a stop at the Orange Beach Art Center, displaying works from the area’s finest artists and craftsmen. Its Hot Shop Studio, Alabama’s only public access glass studio, offers a fascinating look at the glassblower’s craft. Be mesmerized as the resident glassblower creates art right before your eyes.

Frank Brown Songwriter's Festival, Gulf Shores, Alabama

Frank Brown Songwriter's Festival

The Sound of Music

At many of your tour stops, there’ll be music in the air, thanks to the 28th annual Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival, Nov. 8-18. The popular event entertains visitors with a variety of music performed by the men and women who actually write the songs. Multiple venues host the performances at what is recognized as one of the top 20 events in the Southeast.

Sunset in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Sunset in Gulf Shores

Toes in the Sand

When you’re not on the go (or enjoying memorable meals), you’ll relax in your beautiful beachside accommodations, just steps from the sparkling emerald waters of the Gulf. You’ll have free time to refresh and restore – to seek the solace of the beach, search for shells, watch the shorebirds or marvel at the blushing dawn or a golden sunset.

TBWG team and Kim Chapman, Gulf Shores, Alabama

TBWG team and Kim Chapman

Come be our Guest

Make plans now to join us for an unforgettable tour. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism will offer a $200 travel allowance, plus complimentary lodging, meals and all scheduled media tour activities. We’ll work with you to help coordinate your flight into Pensacola Regional Airport (PNS), just 35 miles away. Our friendly staff will be on hand to meet you and shuttle you to your comfortable Gulf Coast lodging. We’ll see you in November!

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