Gulf Shores Christmas and New Year Holiday Events

When Bing Crosby crooned, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,” we Gulf Shores enthusiasts imagine he was singing about our white, sandy beaches. Because, even Santa can’t resist taking a minute to soak in the warm breeze and a salty, sunset vista before hopping back in his sleigh during the holidays.

And although any time of the year is perfect for visiting the Gulf, the holiday season, with its bounty of can’t-miss festivities, just holds a bit more magic. Don’t believe us? Give our list of featured events a glance, and with all that the Gulf has to offer this holiday season, we bet you’ll be checking it twice.

Magic Christmas of Lights at Bellingrath Gardens and Home

November 23 – December 31

Nothing puts you in the Christmas spirit quite like meandering through Bellingrath’s light display. Boasting over 3 million lights across the 65-acre property, the endless illuminated holiday features will leave you positively enchanted. And don’t forget to snap a photo with Santa to commemorate your evening!

Merry Market Unique Gifts and Crafts Expo

December 7 – December 8

With enough unique and handcrafted gifts to make Santa’s elves do a double take, the Merry Market, with food vendors and a storytime with Mrs. Claus, is the perfect place to find one of a kind presents and a little extra holiday spirit for both you and your loved ones.

Lighted Christmas Parade and Beach Celebration; Happy Howlidays Kid and Pet Parade

December 7; December 9

Is there anything more festive than a parade? Take your pick of the Gulf shores’ parades, with the Lighted Christmas Parade featuring marching bands, holiday characters and a man-made blizzard, and the Happy Howlidays parade perfect for families and furry friends alike.

Flora-Bama New Years Eve Bash

December 31 – January 1

Finally, ring in 2019 by indulging in food buffets, dancing across multiple live music stages, and cheering family and friends galore at the Flora-Bama NYE Bash. Now, that’s something we can toast to.

For a comprehensive list of these holiday events and more, visit the Gulf Shores Calendar of Events here.

Posted in Beach Blog
Alabama’s Gulf Shores: Local Attractions To Visit

Spending time in Alabama’s Gulf Shores leaves you and your loved ones with special kinds of memories; ones with warm, nostalgic feelings of incredible beauty, of quality time spent together, and the happy excitement of participating in once-in-a-lifetime activities.

Gulf Shores AL

Those special memories are why booking a stay at Martinique on the Gulf is so much more than your ordinary vacation experience. Take a look at a few of the local attractions the Gulf Shores boasts and see what really sets it apart.

The Natural Beauty:

White, sandy beaches and oceanside vistas all along the Gulf coast afford miles of uncrowded access to clear water and primo beach chair locations. Additionally, places like Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, with hiking trails, guided or self-guided tours, and plenty of wildlife for viewing, make getting the whole family outside for fun in the sun easy.

The Attractions:

With more than enough attractions to fill your vacation schedule, Gulf Shores has something for every person in your family. For animal lovers and thrill seekers alike, check out the Alabama Gulf Shores Zoo or wandering through Alligator Alley. Then, take a trip to the Wharf at Orange Beach to ride the Ferris wheel, to play laser tag, to try out an escape room, or to weave through nearly endless shops and boutiques. And, of course, to slow it all down, catch a movie at one of Gulf Shores’ best theaters.

The Food:

Shrimp Jambalaya

With access to fresh seafood and traditional southern cuisine, dining in Alabama’s Gulf Shores is a unique experience not to be missed. And although we have whole lists dedicated to our favorite eating and drinking establishments, there are just a few places providing experiences in addition to deliciousness that are worth mentioning twice, like Lulu’s, with a family-fun atmosphere and beachside dining, Cosmo’s Restaurant and Bar, with regular live music and a fresh, eclectic menu, and Nolan’s Lounge for fine-dining service and quality.

Whatever sort attraction you’re after, Gulf Shores is sure to deliver. See you when you arrive!

Posted in Beach Blog
Beach Travel Destinations: Why We Love Gulf Shores, Alabama

Beach vacations are at the top of most people’s travel lists, as there are few better ways to ditch the stress of everyday life than by burying your toes in the sand or feeling a salty breeze whip through your hair.

You could scroll nearly indefinitely on Instagram or Pinterest through images of popular sunny vacation destinations, of far-off places in foreign countries, with bustling beaches and crashing waves. But did you know that you don’t have to travel quite so far to find aqua-marine water and warm temperatures? And that the beaches don’t necessarily have to be packed with people?

That’s right. The Gulf Shores in Alabama, the hidden gem of travel destinations, is the daydreamy vacation you’ve been waiting for.

Sandy Beach Gulf Shores

With over 30 miles of sandy, pristine coastline, and more than 10 public beaches, you’ll have more than enough oceanfront to keep you and your family entertained, without the crowded feel of other popular beach destinations.

Then there’s the water itself. Clear, blue, and wonderfully warm, the Gulf Shores waterfront is the perfect place for all of your favorite recreational activities, including swimming, SUP boarding, kayaking, parasailing, jet skiing and more.

And splashing along with you is the Gulf Shores marine wildlife. Take a Dolphin cruise, skirting the coastline in search of the social, smart, and playful creatures that call Orange Beach their home. Additionally, keep your eyes peeled for nesting sea turtles, crabs, jellyfish, stingrays, and more. Seeing animals in their natural habitat is really something special.

Finally, Gulf Shores boasts an impressive lineup of restaurants and activities to keep you and your family well fed and having fun.

With renowned seafood, traditional Southern cuisine, and lively atmospheres try one of the many beachside dining locations, catching a sunset while munching on fresh-caught fish and chips.

And of course, there’s The Wharf at Orange Beach, with a Ferris wheel, mini golf, laser tag, shopping, an escape room, live music, and literally something for whatever type of vacationer you are.

We know, Alabama’s Gulf Shores sounds too good to be true. You’ll just have to visit yourself to believe. Book a beach vacation to the Gulf Shores today!

Posted in Beach Blog
What To Look For in a Gulf Shores Vacation Rental

Martinique Gulf Club House - Luxury Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals & Resort

So you’ve decided to visit the gorgeous Gulf Shores for your next vacation. We, like you, think this is an excellent choice, as the Gulf is positively brimming with warm, sunny beaches, with the premier cuisine, shops, and nightlife, and with natural beauty at every turn.

Your next step is sorting out your accommodations because where and how you stay can have a significant impact on your vacation experience. Sure, you’re familiar with hotels, but have you considered booking a vacation rental home for your trip instead?

More and more travelers are opting to stay in rental homes over hotels, with rentals offering a more authentic living experience. Rental homes can be cost-effective, can encourage and allow large parties to stay together, can afford the option of cooking at home, and are located across cityscapes, providing greater location variation than hotels.

But before you get to renting along the Gulf, there are a few important things to consider.

Not all vacation rental homes are created equally.

When it comes to the quality of your vacation, it’s important not to cut any corners. Carefully read the reviews and scour the specs on homes you are considering renting. Additionally, contact the owner with questions about the property. Is there a cooling unit? What about laundry? Will I have to pay for parking? If you’re unsure, simply ask!

Size matters.

It’s easy to get swept up in stunning photos and rave reviews. But, make sure the space you’re considering has enough bedrooms, bathrooms, and livable space to accommodate your entire party.

Location, location, location!

The last thing you want while vacationing is to get stuck in traffic. Before you book, check your proximity to the beach and to the downtown districts. Are you close to our public transit? Or maybe, the remote rental views are worth renting a car.

But first, what’s the wifi password?

If streaming shows or posting pictures to Facebook is important to you, double check the strength of your rental’s internet connection. Because when there are beaches to hit and etouffe to guzzle, you really don’t have time to buffer.

Visit our Gulf Shores rental homes and condos to find the perfect place for your trip here. Happy renting!

Posted in Beach Blog
Gulf Shores September Events You Don’t Want To Miss!

It’s not too late to join in on the fun here at Martinique on the Gulf! We have already enjoyed amazing local events like the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation Professional Rodeo and the Hangout Music Festival. Luckily there is still so much more to come! There is no doubt that Gulf Shores September events are noteworthy…So grab your friends and family, or that special someone, and come to enjoy a few entertaining special events.

The Wharf Uncorked

the wharf uncorked

The Wharf Uncorked is a wonderful food festival that is celebrating its 5th year on September 13th-15th. This event is at the beautiful Orange Beach Wharf, and it has something for everybody.

If you consider yourself a foodie, The Wharf Uncorked should be on your calendar. This festival will provide the opportunity to observe world-class chefs cook, eat their amazing food, and even have opportunities to get your cookbooks signed. The talented chefs in attendance include the Food Network’s James Briscione and ABC’s former food series host Brooke Parkhurst – as well as many others!

The Wharf Uncorked is also a must-attend if you are a connoisseur of fine wines. With more than 100 labels on hand, there are many wines to taste, and a lot of tasty food to pair it with! If beers and ales are more your speed then you will be excited to hear that there will also be a variety of local breweries and craft ale makers in attendance.

Bulls on the Beach

bulls on the beach

If you are looking for something a little more exciting – something to get your adrenaline pumping – check out the Bulls on the Beach, professional live bull riding at the Flora-Bama Lounge just a short drive away in Pensacola, Florida on September 7 and 8.

You can grab a drink and some food at the lounge and watch the rodeo! There’s also a mechanical bull if you feel inspired to try bull riding for yourself! And make sure to check their website for other events such as Oktoberfest and the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.

Come to unwind and enjoy these entertaining festivities with us at Martinique on the Gulf. We have just the vacation rental you need to make your next getaway unforgettably amazing!

Posted in Beach Blog
Gulf Shores Food Festivals

Enjoy Some of the Best Culinary Events of the Year

One of the enduring Fall traditions along the Alabama Gulf Coast – aside from relaxing on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – is of course eating!  Fall is a time we can enjoy unique foods, a good meal and the company of friends and family. Gulf Shores food festivals really are unique.  With so many wonderful restaurants and culinary choices In the Gulf Shores area, we have the celebration of food down to an art form! We all like to eat well on vacation, so this is a terrific opportunity to combine two of the best things – a beach vacation and fabulous food festivals.

Fall Food Festivals in Gulf Shores 

The Gulf Shores area is home to a number of food festivals and events running through the fall season.  No matter what your taste, you will find something new and interesting to try.   Check out the schedule of Autumn food events, and plan your visit!

*Events frequently require tickets and admission so check the websites listed for more information.

Oktoberfest   Oct. 1
Taking place in Orange Beach, this 21 and over event features beer, German food and events!

Festival of Flavor   Oct 5-7
Just north of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores lies the town of Foley, AL. Making the short trip up on October 5 would be well worth the time as the 6th annual Festival of Flavor takes place there. This festival includes beer and wine tasting as well as great food!Food Festivals in Gulf Shores, AL - Shrimp Festival

Shrimp Festival   Oct. 12 – 15
Four days of live entertainment and – of course – shrimp, highlight the 2017 Shrimp Festival!  Check out the entertainment lineup!

German Sausage Festival      Oct 28
Since 1978, the sausage festival has been led by the Elberta Volunteer Fire Department.  The event includes great food, entertainment and a great many arts and crafts booths.

Read more ›

Posted in Beach Blog
Fall Retreat Ideas – Why Go To Gulf Shores in the Autumn

Many of us don’t really need a reason to escape to the beach – especially in the Fall.  Uncrowded beaches and warm weather are reasons enough to pack up and head to the shore.  An escape to the beach may be best enjoyed in the company of friends and family. So, if you need some reasons to make those reservations, here are some retreat ideas.  (We would love to year yours as well, so please comment on our Facebook page)

Uncrowded Beaches and a Relaxed Atmosphere

Gulf Shores offers uncrowded beaches and fabulous weather in the Autumn!  It is the perfect time to kick back and relax!  If that isn’t enough, there are some great lodging deals, too! Read about some retreat ideas, get your group together, and make your reservations soon!Looking for retreat ideas ? An uncrowded beach and resort is a perfect place to get together with friends and family.

The Gulf Coast is a perfect location for getting together, and Martinique on the Gulf is much more than a hotel.  The resort provides comfort, room, privacy and all the amenities that you and your group could want for just about any kind of get-together.


Friends Retreat Ideas

Why wait until the holidays to reconnect with old friends? Gathering at holiday time is busy. Meeting up at the beach is much more relaxing, and getting together away from home means that no one is stuck doing a lot of work to make the group comfortable.   Groups of friends can spend the time walking on the beach, talking and enjoying one another’s company without the pressures of hosting everyone at hotels or in one’s home.

Read more ›

Posted in Beach Blog
Welcome to Fall at Gulf Shores!

Autumn is Wonderful at Martinique on the Gulf

With all the kids back in school, the beach takes on a much more relaxed and uncrowded atmosphere. Fall is a perfect time to take a book and a beach chair and spend all day by the water. If you like a little more activity to your vacation, there is a lot to do and see. From zip lining to shopping, there is something for each visitor to enjoy.

If you needed any more reasons to visit us during the fall, here are a few of our favorites:

Great Weather!Fall at Gulf Shores provides a wonderful time to just relax on the beach

After a long hot summer, it would be difficult to get excited about more hot weather! Fortunately, average high temepratures in September range into the upper 80s after Labor Day and decline to the mid-70s by the end of October. These are quite possibly the best temperatures to have when visiting the beach; warm enough to relax, but cool enough to be comfortable.

New Things to Try

Many of our guests enjoy adding a new activity to their schedule each trip. The more ambitious among our visitors try things like zip lining over the dunes or driving the go karts! There are even two-seater go karts for those that don’t want to ride alone. Having trouble deciding what to do? Contact us at 855-858-6950 for help deciding!

Read more ›

Posted in Beach Blog
Football Season at Gulf Shores

For many, this is the perfect time of year. The sea breezes are fresh, the sands are warm and…. football season is nearly here. This convergence of near perfect events occurs for a few weeks each year and allows us to build anticipation for another exciting season and to plan for how to best enjoy our fall sports.

Football on the Beach

What does football have to do with the beach? If you think about it, the game of football is best enjoyed with family and friends. So is going to the beach. Each game is its own holiday of sorts and hitting the beach is a treat. Gathering with friends from college or family members is always enjoyable. But when these gatherings take place somewhere special, it can be even better!

Football parties go naturally with a weekend escape with friends. So why not take your football gathering on a road trip this year? To help, here are some reasons – if you really needed any – to inspire your friends to join you at Gulf Shores for your favorite game.

No Driving

We all drive too much. Eliminate the time behind the wheel and really allow your guests the opportunity to relax and do something fun!

Kicking the Ball AroundKicking the Football around on the beach is as American as the 4th of July!

We don’t do enough of this. Find the old football in the garage and dig out the bicycle pump to put air back into it. Then take the thing to the beach! When was the last time you just went out to throw the ball? Kids of course love this, but don’t leave the adults out of the activity. The beach is the perfect place for throwing and kicking the old ball around.

Read more ›

Posted in Beach Blog
10 Relaxing Things to do on Your Beach Vacation

Planning a vacation usually includes making plans for all the things that you will do once you arrive at your destination. Planning a beach vacation frequently involves none of that! After all, what is there exactly to do on a beach?

Modern life is filled with family, work, commuting, school, volunteering and other activities from which, now and then, people really need a break. For many of us, vacation and vacation planning adds up to more work, more planning when in the end, we really need a bit of rest and relaxation. And that is a major benefit of a beach vacation…. other than getting to the ocean-front, there really isn’t that much to plan for.

What is There to do on the Beach?

There are many benefits to a beach vacation that you can’t get on many other types of escapes. Although these can be easily overlooked, here is our top ten list of things our guests enjoy about their beach vacations

1. Talking

Seriously… the time we spend with family and loved ones is often focused on accomplishment of some goal, achievement of some objective or other highly focused activity. On the beach, dreaming and fun take the place of pressure-filled conversations.

Read more ›

Posted in Beach Blog