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“I don’t want to leave the Hangout” yelled Grace Potter of “Grace Potter and the Nocturnals,” halfway through the band’s Friday afternoon set. “I want to stay here forever with all you beautiful people.”

Potter’s quote pretty much sums up the feelings of both the musicians and participants of this year’s Hangout Music Fest. Boasting sold-out ticket sales (35,000 tickets) and practically sold out room accommodations from Fort Morgan to Orange Beach, nobody can claim the event was not a success.

The weekend festivities began Thursday evening at the pre-party, open to those who opted for the extra night’s ticket, giving those in attendance a sneak peak of what was to come. Friday, the opening day of the festival, could have been described as hectic but fun, with thousands of people excitedly waiting outside the gate to exchange their paper tickets for the 3-day wristband before the festival’s 1 pm start time.

“The priority is the fan experience,” Shaul Zislin, the festival’s founder, told a Press-Register [Read more...]

Back for their eighth season, the University of Alabama’s professional summer theatre group, SummerTide Threatre, is returning to the Gulf Coast!

Starting June 3rd, and running every Tuesday through Sunday at 8 pm at the George C. Meyer Performing Arts center in Gulf Shores, the SummerTide Theatre will be performing the iconic 60’s musical, Dames at Sea. Written by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller, Dames at Sea hit its first off-Broadway stage in 1966 and has been gaining notoriety every since. Originally created to parody the upscale Busby Berkeley-style musical pictures, which were prevalent in the 1930s, the SummerTide crew will be sure to keep you entertained with this fantastic comedy.

To order tickets prior to May 31st, please call 205-348-3400. For purchasing tickets from June 1st and later, please call 251-968-6721. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for anyone less than 12 years-old. Tickets can also be purchased online at a later date through summertide.org

Vacation.

For some people, it is the perfect time to relax, forget about the stresses of everyday life and do absolutely nothing.  For others, it may be the only time that their entire family is in one place for longer than 15 minutes at a time.  Along the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast, it doesn’t matter what your vacation goals may be, there is something perfect for everyone!

For those looking for a great place to grab a book, ditch your cell phone and bask in the warm rays, then look no further than our white sand beaches.  And for those close-knit families looking for a crowd-pleasing assortment of amazing activities like charter boat fishing or parasailing, our charming area in South Baldwin County has something for everyone in your entourage.

A great way to get up close and personal with the Gulf of Mexico is to jump on one of the Dolphins Down Under glass bottom dolphin tours. Dolphins Down Under tours not only offer a majestic view into life below the surface through their “glass bottom” catamarans, but they also offer snorkeling tours, bird watching and sunset party cruises. These fun, affordable and unforgettable cruises are sure to create some family memories.

For the more daring water lovers, Perdido Key Parasail is calling your name.  This U.S. Coast Guard licensed fleet out of Gulf Shores offers everything from parasailing and sea kayak rentals, to jet ski rentals and banana boat rides.  If the idea of hanging out 800 feet over the Gulf of Mexico seems a little daunting, they also offer water trampolines.  Just another fun way to spend more time with the family!

If flying 800 feet above the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico doesn’t get your engine going, how about hot air balloons?  Taking Off Hot Air Balloon Comnpany, located just north of the beaches in Magnolia Springs, is proud to offer FAA licensed commercial hot air balloon pilots and small group settings for all of their trips.  Most balloons hold up to 6 people, but if there’s a certain someone that you’re looking to spend some quality sky-time with, they offer exclusive two-person charters as well.  Break out the bubbly and reminisce among the clouds!

Ground more of your thing? Look no further than the Oak Hollow Farm located in serene Fairhope, Alabama.  Situated less than an hour away from the beaches, Oak Hollow’s 300-acres of horseback riding trails and obstacles may be just the dose of old world charm that you and your family are looking for.  With great instructors and an on-site playground for the little ones, your family can truly be at ease far away from the stresses of everyday life.

For this year’s trip, it is time to try something new, something fun and something as a family. Whether you’re the adventurous type of clan, traditional type of clique, or just looking to make memories together; let us help you make this vacation one that you talk about years to come. C’mon and have a ball with us!

On May 21st in Gulf Shores, Waterville USA is opening its doors for the season to offer classic Gulf Shores fun in the sun while raising donations for the tornado victims in north and central Alabama.

Waterville USA will be offering their always exciting lineup of signature rides and attractions such as the energizing Flowrider, zippy nascart go carts, the ever-famous wave pool as well as dozens of other great rides and activities for the entire family.

BIG BONUS FOR OPENING WEEKEND: The “Cajun Classic” Flowrider Competition will also be hosted on May 21st during the season opening at Waterville USA. This adrenaline-powered event is open to all ages and skill levels looking to compete for some awesome prizes.  All those competing in the “Cajun Classic” competition must be pre-registered by 9:00 am on May 21st to be able to participate in the event.

TAKING ACTION TO HELP: Waterville USA will also be host to the Shelby County Aviation Association to collect toys for the children of families affected by the tornado in central Alabama.  Everyone bringing items for donation during the event between 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm will also be eligible to receive great discounts, freebies and prizes from the Waterville USA team!

“So many people are anticipating the opening this year. [Read more...]

GULF SHORES, Alabama – 500 people lined an enormous table in front of the beach pavilion at the Gulf State Park.  This invite-only dinner marking the approaching anniversary of the April 20, 2010, Gulf Coast Oil Spill and was a celebration of recovery.

“Supper on the Sand: A Celebration of the Gulf” featured a menu inspired by the farm-to-table concept showcasing Gulf Seafood and local produce. Guy Fieri, host of NBC’s “Minute to Win It” and Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” as well as “Guy’s Big Bite”, served as the event’s special guest host. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Congressman Jo Bonner and several other elected officials attended the event in support of the Gulf’s comeback.

In the sand, just south of the Gulf State Park Pavilion, a 175-yard-long, white-clothed table stood parallel to the water. The menu included gumbo, oysters, royal red shrimp and crab claws — seafood straight from the Gulf of Mexico. (Click here for the menu)

[Read more...]

The Alabama Gulf Coast is a critical stopover point as migratory birds return from Central and South America. Banding hours are from before dawn to mid-afternoon, depending on the flow of birds. Bring a lawn chair, binoculars and inquisitive mind but leave the pets at home.

Bird banding will begin before dawn each day. It is free and open to the public. There is a fee for entry onto the Fort Morgan Park. The banding normally ends each day between 3:00 and 5:00 PM.

Location:  Fort Morgan Historic Site, Gulf Shores
Price:  Admission to Fort: $5:00 adults, $3:00 children 6-12, free to younger children. Banding is FREE.

For more information visit www.hummingbirdsplus.org

Shrimp lovers unite! The 39th Annual National Shrimp Festival is set for October 7-10, 2010 in Gulf Shores, AL. Presented by Zatarain’s, Shrimp Fest has become a huge event from its meager beginnings, now easily drawing over 300,000 festival goers over the 4 day event. Peruse the wares of local artisans and sample food from over 300 local vendors. Also, don’t forget about the music. Shrimp Fest 2010 features major recording artists, including John Rich and Lou Gramm, formerly of Foreigner. Admission is free, so bring the whole family and enjoy fresh Gulf seafood, live entertainment, as well as arts and crafts from Gulf Shores area artists and craftsmen.

Check out Kaiser Realty’s Hot Deals for great savings on your festival accommodations.