Summer is officially in our rearview mirror, but that’s not stopping the twin-city destinations of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, from looking at the open stretch of beach ahead! While these Gulf Coast destinations are synonymous with summer vacation for many travelers, today we’re sharing why a visit during the “off” season – specifically autumn – should be put on the map!
Mild temperatures, special rates and fewer crowds are just a handful of reasons why a trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is special in the fall.
The Beach Within Reach: After peak summer season, the temperature isn’t the only thing coming down. Average daily rates for lodging also drop in the fall. A list of seasonal vacation packages, deals and special offers can be found at GulfShores.com.
Uncrowded Beaches & Restaurants: With its colorful sunsets, fall is an amazing time to enjoy 32 miles of sugar-white sandy beaches and the clear – still warm – waters of the Gulf of Mexico without the heavy summer crowds. Food is this destination’s love language and there’s no shortage of dining options. Many restaurants here have outdoor dining well into the fall season and the wait times are much shorter at this time of year.
Fishing: Though fishing is a year-round sport along the shores of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, there are unique opportunities to reel in seasonal catches. The 2022 amberjack season remains open until November 1, and recreational harvest of gray triggerfish will be open until December 31. Check out the Fishing Seasons page for a full list of the best time to catch different species.
Mild Temperatures: After the country recorded its second hottest season on record, a break in the heat may be a welcome change. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are located in the southern subtropical area of the country, where mild temperatures – like an average monthly temperature of 71.2 degrees in October – greet visitors.
Fall Migration: At this time of year, birds and butterflies – including the endangered monarch – count Gulf Shores and Orange Beach as part of their migratory route. The destination offers such spectacular birding locations as Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Gulf State Park, and the Audubon Bird Sanctuary on nearby Dauphin Island.
Festivals & Events: There’s always something to do, see, and experience on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. The annual Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival takes place November 3-10 this year, and it will draw more than 200 songwriters from around the country and the world. The festival is named for Frank Brown, the former night watchman at the famed Flora-Bama roadhouse, and it serves as a fundraiser to provide healthcare for musicians, who are typically self-employed.
From tiny homes to RV resorts to beachfront condos and resorts, there’s a place for everyone in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
Brett Robinson Vacation Rentals: Offering the largest selection of beachfront and bayfront condos and hotels on the Alabama Gulf Coast, Brett Robinson Vacation Rentals’ “Outstanding October” promotion features 15% off bookings now through October 31, with additional savings available the longer you stay.
Perdido Beach Resort: This family-friendly resort, which underwent a complete renovation in 2021, is located right on the Gulf of Mexico in Orange Beach. The “Fall into Savings” offer includes a savings of 30% off when booking three or more nights. The offer is valid through December 31.
Sugar Sands RV Resort: For those who take their “home away from home,” this RV resort features 82 spacious sites with full hook-ups and five “tiny homes.” Sugar Sands is offering end-of-season specials through October.
Here’s a look at some new and beloved dining opportunities and experiences in the destination.
NEW! The Oyster Experience: Murder Point Oyster Company is debuting “The Oyster Experience” on Saturday, November 19. This one-day oyster festival will feature local and East Coast oyster farmers and restaurants. Tickets can be purchased on Murder Point’s website.
Fisher’s: Chef Bill Briand, a five-time James Beard Semifinalist, leads the culinary charge at one of the best restaurants in town. Fisher’s Dockside is the downstairs, more casual restaurant, while its sister restaurant, Fisher’s Upstairs, offers a fine-dining experience. Open-air seating at both restaurants overlooks more than 150 yachts docked at Orange Beach Marina.
Fresh of the Boat: Enjoy waterfront casual dining at SanRoc Cay Marina in Orange Beach with an upscale bar and live music daily.
Picnic Beach: The menu at this indoor/outdoor, picnic-themed restaurant focuses on fresh, clean ingredients, from premium smoked BBQ to healthy green drinks. You can even take your picnic to go and head to the beach!
Opening Soon! The owners of the beloved Jesse’s Restaurant in Magnolia Springs are opening a second location on Fort Morgan. Offering casual fine dining, Jesse’s is known for its steaks, fresh local seafood and signature entrees. This new restaurant is expected to open in late October.