Gulf Shores, AL

Countdown to The Hangout Music Fest

Gulf Shores, Alabama, is the hub for upcoming musicians, contemporary artists, and spring breakers of all ages. For this reason, there are several fairs and festivals for you to experience. At Anchor Vacations, our team particularly enjoys the nearby music festival, The Hangout Music Fest. Dozens of our vacation rentals are within walking distance of this annual attraction. The Hangout Music Fest is one of a kind, and you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the beach-bound festival. Join us in the countdown to our beloved Alabama music festival!

67 Artists in the Hangout Music Festival Lineup

The musical acts change from year to year; One stage may be a breakthrough rock band while the stage next door features a legendary rapper. Before arriving at The Hangout Fest, make your own schedule so that you can see all the musicians that you enjoy listening to. Some big-name acts who’ve performed in past years include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone, Billie Eilish, Marshmello, Lana Del Rey, Cage The Elephant, Illenium, Kane Brown, T-Pain, Louis The Child, and many more!

15 Gulf Shores ActivitiesGulf Shores, AL

While The Hangout Music Fest is mainly about music, the annual festival has developed its own culture over the years through its one-of-a-kind activities. Since the Alabama music festival is located on the beach, there are two areas for visitors to swim, dance, and play. The Monster Energy Beach Club helps guests get pumped up by dancing all day at beach parties. Then you can take a quick dip in the ocean to cool off and re-energize for the evening festivities. At the nearby Corona Beach, visitors can play a competitive game of volleyball while sipping on a chilled Corona or two. Browse some additional activities listed below. Our team’s favorite is the puppy kissing booth, of course!

  • Malibu Beach House: DJs host beachside dance parties all weekend long. And since Malibu hosts it, you can count on a menu offering ice-cold Malibu frozen cocktails.
  • Roller Disco: Head to the roller rink with your new Hangout Fest friends and put your roller skating skills to the test.
  • Tropical Spa: Feel beautiful from the inside to the outside at Tropical Spa! You can enjoy a relaxing massage or get a gorgeous hairstyle topped with glitter—colored spray and all. Tropical Spa even offers a Hydration IV treatment. Now there’s no excuse for dehydration!
  • Hang Out Yoga: When the clock strikes 11:30 a.m., yoga begins on the Great Lawn. All visitors are welcome to participate no matter their skill level.

5 Types of Hangout Fest Tickets

Guests can choose from five kinds of Hangout Fest tickets. A: General Admission, VIP, Super VIP, Big Kahuna, and Cabana. General Admission, the most popular ticket option, includes access to all music performances and festival activities. VIP tickets include complimentary drinks all weekend, preferred viewing areas, and VIP-only hangout areas. Super VIP tickets include elevated viewing areas at the Hangout Stage, hot tub access, golf cart shuttles, and gourmet meals prepared by award-winning chefs. Big Kahuna and Cabana tickets include all of the above amenities with personalized service and fast passes. Reference the Hangout Fest Tickets page for additional information.

3 Unforgettable Days on the Beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Hangout Fest is best known for its breathtaking location on the sugary white beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama. This award-winning Alabama music festival is a quick drive away from Pensacola, Florida, and Mobile’s airports, so visitors from all parts of the country attend. The Hangout Fest duals as a vacation and a music festival. With a concert to your left and the ocean to your right, you have the best of both worlds. Take full advantage of the festival’s exciting activities because you never know when you may meet your new lifelong friends!

Countless Vacation Rentals with Anchor VacationsJulia's by the Sea, Fort Morgan

When the last concert of the evening ends, head back to your Anchor Vacations rental. Our Julia’s By The Sea vacation rental is a wonderful option for groups of 13 festival-goers. Located in Gulf Shores, Alabama, this charming resort is tucked away in a quiet cul-de-sac which faces the Bon Secour federal wildlife preserve. We guarantee you’ll have a restful night of sleep here! There are also several lively and affordable restaurants near our rentals, so you can eat before enjoying another day of live music in Gulf Shores. Start making your lodging accommodations today because the week of The Hangout Fest books quickly! For assistance finding the perfect vacation rental, talk to our staff at 800-334-5107.

Gulf Shores Christmas Parade

The Annual Christmas Parade & Holiday Celebration

Ready or not, here comes Christmas! Everyone in Gulf Shores is gearing up for yet another eventful holiday season. Businesses are decorating their stores with twinkling lights, families are putting up their trees, and the staff here at Anchor Vacations eagerly awaits the arrival of our out-of-town guests. Trust us when we say, Gulf Shores truly knows how to celebrate the holidays. Experience the Christmas magic yourself by visiting the Gulf Shores’ Annual Christmas Parade & Holiday Celebration!

The Christmas Parade

Forget about searching Christmas parade “near me,” since all of our vacation rentals are located near this holiday celebration. Once you arrive, you’ll quickly notice large crowds of festive guests, many dressed as Santa, forming lines from Gulf Shores Public Beach to Sims Park. This means the Christmas parade is about to begin! You’ll catch festively-lit floats carrying notable holiday characters and marching bands down Highway 59. When the Christmas parade ends, the holiday celebration continues in Sims Park. Here, you can enjoy visits with Santa, holiday snacks, and festive arts and crafts.

To conclude your Gulf Shores Holiday Celebration, participate in the annual snowball drop. Over 4,000 ping pong balls will drop over Santa’s head to simulate a blizzard, but one snowball is different than the rest. Whoever finds the lucky snowball, wins a prize!

Anchor Vacations’ Christmas Vacation House

There are three essential parts for successful family travel: good food, great entertainment, and a stellar Christmas vacation house! Luckily, Anchor Vacations can help with all of the above! We boast a wide variety of vacation rentals to accommodate every guest’s needs. Are you traveling with your furry friend? We have a rental for you. Do you want a rental with an ocean view? We can help with that too! As for where you’ll be staying, our Gulf Shores rentals are located in the best areas around town. So no matter where your house is located, we guarantee a delicious restaurant is just around the corner! Visit our website, or talk to our friendly staff at 800-334-5107, to find the Christmas vacation house for you.

Corn Mazes

Halloween Activities near Me

Halloween has evolved from a single-day celebration to a month of festive activities. It seems as if every year there are new, exciting things to do in Gulf Shores for you and your family to enjoy. When traveling in a new city, it may seem overwhelming when tasked to pick out activities for your whole family to enjoy. During this year’s Gulf Shores vacation, there’s no need to search for “Halloween activities near me.” Our Anchor Vacations team has a list prepared of our favorite Halloween activities. Following our recommended list below is a fantastic way to start your Halloween vacation!

Magnolia Corn Maze

Lose yourself in the Halloween craze at the Magnolia Corn Maze! Not only does the farm offer a classic corn maze, but there’s also a “Fear in the Forest,” option. This attraction features costumed characters jumping out at you from the darkest spots of the woods. If this hair-raising experience isn’t for you, the farm has other activities that your whole family will enjoy! Some activities include a hayride, cow train, petting zoo, pig races, pony rides, jumping pad, paintball shooting gallery, and more! Head to their website to learn more about their upcoming special events.

Haunted Places in Gulf Shores: Fort MorganThe Fort, Fort Morgan

Attention all paranormal activity enthusiasts! There are several haunted places in Alabama, but some of the most well known are located in Gulf Shores. Fort Morgan has a rich haunted history, which dates all the way back to the Civil War. Legend has it, Fort Morgan endured heavy fire during the Battle of Mobile Bay. Locals and visitors alike claim to hear the spirits of soldiers crying through the night. People have also allegedly seen female ghosts “searching for justice,” after passing away in the fort. If you’re up for a frightful adventure, visit Fort Morgan and keep your eyes peeled for any supernatural shapes or shadows.

Hotel MitcHELL Haunted House

Are you brave enough to survive the Hotel MitcHELL Haunted House? There’s only one way to find out. Bring a friend and opt for the “Passport 2 Terror Combo.” This package includes two of the three adventures, such as one amusement park day pass, one visit to Hotel MitcHELL, and one entry to the family corn maze/haunted corn maze. If you’re traveling alone, select the single entry Hotel MitcHELL pass. Don’t be a scaredy-cat and purchase your pass today, before the attraction closes in early November.

Anchor Vacations

For decades, families journey to Anchor Vacations for unforgettable Halloween vacations. After searching for, “Halloween Activities near me,” they find there are many things to do in Gulf Shores. Your days will be spent enjoying pumpkin-shaped treats, running through haunted houses, and shopping for the perfect costume. Vacations at Anchor Vacations are perfect for all occasions, and guests of all ages. To learn more about planning a Halloween vacation in the Gulf Shores, visit our website, or call us at 1-800-334-5107.

Alligator Alley

Fun Family Activities in Gulf Shores

Deciding on the best state for a family vacation can be difficult. All families are different and have different ideas of fun. So, stop searching for “family fun near me,” and head down south! Your children can choose from several things to do in Gulf Shores, such as Alligator Alley, Mermaid Cruise, and The Wharf, oh my! Enter the adventurous world of Gulf Shores, Alabama, where your family’s wildest dreams come true.

Alligator Alley

Have you ever imagined standing in the same room as over 200 alligators? Alligator Alley offers a guided adventure to an elevated viewing platform where you’ll see alligators relaxing, sunbathing, courting, and nestling. Guests can also take a nature walk, on an elevated boardwalk, to see the alligators and other local creatures in their natural habitat. Finish your alligator alley adventure indoors where you’ll hold, feed, and maybe even cuddle baby alligators. During designated feeding times, you can learn how to feed the adult alligators properly.

Dolphin Cruise

Your Gulf Shores family vacation is not complete without seeing a dolphin or two! The Sunny Lady Dolphin & Sunset Tours are the ideal way to observe dolphins from the comfort of their luxurious boat. The dolphin cruise accommodates up to 133 passengers and has three decks. The boat features a snack bar, restrooms, and a temperature-controlled cabin. The Dolphin Cruises are about 1.5 hours long through Orange Beach’s scenic bays. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins jumping around in their natural habitat.

Mermaid Cruise

Mermaids are out and about in Gulf Shores, and now is your time to finally meet them! Head to Orange Beach, AL, and board the beautiful 50-foot covered pontoon boat. During the cruise, the mermaids will ask the guests to help collect their magical seashells to protect their homes. The mermaids say that each child holds a magic that seashells absorb for protection. Depending on the weather, there will be a point when you can dive into the water with mermaids.

Anchor Vacations Inc. Family Vacation

After your long day of adventures, continue your family fun time back at your Anchor Vacations rental. Our affordable, cozy rentals will make your family feel right at home. Your Gulf Shores Beach House rental may include easy beach access, Gulf waterfront views, covered parking, or an indoor pool! View the rental homes available during your vacation. Book your vacation rental today, because you can’t create these unforgettable memories anywhere else. Alabama is easily the best state for a family vacation.

Nightlife Gulf Shores Orange Beach

Seven Stops for Gulf Shores’ Nightlife

When the sun goes down, Gulf Shores turns up! Whether you’re looking to dance, sing, play games or just catch up with your friends, there’s an option for everyone. You’ll find plenty of local entertainment during your stay at Anchor Vacations. To start, check out some of our favorite spots to grab a drink, or two.


LuLu’s Gulf Shores is best known for its great food and atmosphere. While waiting to be seated, make your way over to the Bama Breeze Bar. If you have children with you, they’ll love LuLu’s three-story rope-climbing course. There is also live music every night, so break out your dancing shoes!

Tacky Jack’s

Deciding on a restaurant can be difficult, which is why Tacky Jack’s has many dining options. Tacky Jack’s boats a harmonious blend of great food, drinks, and company. Visit this bar from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for impressive drink deals at Jack’s bar downstairs. If you visit on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, you’ll have the chance to sing your favorite karaoke song.

Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar

Straddling both Florida and Alabama’s state line, Flora-Bama is a favorite for everyone in the area. Flora-Bama hosts weekly events such as open mic night and Wacky Women Wednesday (the night where women get their first drink free.) This classic bar is also known to host annual events such as the Polar Bear Dip, Mullet Toss, and the Super Bowl Chili Cook-Off.

Pink Pony Pub

Few Gulf Shores spots can beat Pink Pony Pub’s food, atmosphere, and prices. If you’re into singing, Pink Pony offers karaoke every night for you to sing your favorite tune. Watch the dance floor go crazy when “Sweet Home Alabama” plays through the speakers.

Cohiba Dunes Cigar Bar

Whip out your dancing shoes it’s time to go to Cohiba Dunes! Tucked away in the Pelican Plaza, Cohiba Dunes boasts themselves to be an exclusive music venue. They’re home to some of the finest cigars, fancy cocktails, and best entertainment in all of Gulf Shores.

Pleasure Island Tiki Bar

For an outdoor night scene with a view of Terry Cove, head to Pleasure Island Tiki Bar. This bar is no stranger to hosting live music all week long. Plus, their food is always great, and drinks are always cold. You can’t ask for much more!

The Hangout

When visitors think of bars in Gulf Shores, often The Hangout comes to mind. The Hangout is a great place to have a meal and catch live entertainment year-round. They’re also known to host fun events such as Cruzan Fun Olympics and Oyster Cook-Off. You know what The Hangout says, “Every day is a perfect day to have a perfect day!”


At the end of your fun-filled night, your Anchor Vacations rental home will welcome you back with open arms. We promise that your stay with us will be more than just a vacation, but an unforgettable memory. To learn how you can have your dream vacation, visit our website, or talk to our friendly staff at 800-334-5107.

Gulf Shores Snorkeling

Although Alabama’s limited coastal region compared to other states on the Gulf of Mexico, snorkelers from across the globe flock to the Alabama Gulf Coast for beautiful public beaches exciting snorkel spots. See the Gulf Shores water yourself with one of the full-service dive shops located near our Anchor Vacations rentals. Want to go snorkeling, but you never learned how? No problem! Down Under Dive Shop’s professional staff will teach you proper snorkeling techniques, safety tips and information about Gulf Shores’s aquatic life.

Down Under Dive Shop

Kick-off your snorkeling adventure by boarding Down Under’s 46’ custom Newton Dive Vessel. Your two-hour snorkeling excursion will visit about 30 popular snorkeling locations. The Down Under friendly staff is happy to cater the trip to your needs, so you have the best possible experience. If you have an area in mind that you’re dying to see, let the staff know! Keep in mind; water conditions vary from day to day. No two snorkeling trips will ever be the same.

Snorkel Spots

There are many accessible snorkeling spots for those not looking to use a boat. One popular spot is The Alabama Point jetties at Orange Beach. Guests can see crabs and other marine life near the rocks. This location also has picnic tables, restrooms and outdoor showers. Another site to visit is the Whiskey Wreck. The wreck is only 150 yards off the beach and Bahama Bob’s Beach Side Cafe. The water is shallow enough for snorkelers, but many divers choose to visit this location at night. Professionals say that diving the Whiskey Wreck at night is best because of the marine life that retreats there for safety. Lastly, Perdido Pass is a quick drive east. This snorkel spot is about 200 hundred feet off of the public Johnson Beach.

Marine Life

Unlike tropical waters in the Caribbean, the Gulf Shore waters aren’t known for the colorful reefs and bright fish. Instead, snorkelers and divers will see stingrays, octopi, butterflyfish, damselfish, sea turtles and occasionally a shark. When in the water, you have the chance of seeing over two hundred species of fish.

Book your stay with us at Anchor Vacations to spend more time in the Gulf of Mexico and less time in the car! For more information, call our office at 800-334-5107.

Snorkling Alabama beache

Summer Splash in Alabama

If like most people you love the ocean, whether it’s swimming, snorkeling, surfing or Parasailing, you’re in luck because Anchor Vacations is located amongst some of the best beaches on the Gulf Coast. The sun and salt water are great to help free the mind from your daily routine. Not to mention the relaxing sounds of waves crashing onto the shores of the white sandy Alabama beaches. Let yourself get carried away by the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico or just enjoy the scenery as you soak up some sun. Grab a beach chair and your favorite lounging buddy and spend the day with your toes in the sand. Nothing compares to lazy beach days when it comes to finding things to do in Gulf Shores. However, if you’re little ones are over relaxing beach days, there’s always the water park.

Gulf Shores Water Park

After you’ve spent a few days splashing around the beach or the condo pool, your kids might want a change of pace, and that’s just what you’ll find at Waterville USA. Other than the wet and wild fun of the water park, the amusement park also offers fun activities. From thrilling rides around the go-cart track to a round of miniature golf, you’ll find entertainment for all ages. For some additional excitement, try parasailing in Gulf Shores Alabama, or perhaps a breezy cruise for a change of scenery. You can also rent a private boat which comes with a licensed captain. Whom will drive you around as you desire, whether it’s exploring local islands, going restaurant hopping, or sunbathing on secluded beaches; even having a picnic on the water while watching the sunset. Regardless of what you choose to do, there are plenty of things to do in Gulf Shores.

Things to do in Gulf Shores this Summer

Soar above the gulf coast as you enjoy spectacular views one of the most adventurous activities on the Gulf Coast. Once you try it, you’ll want to do it again. Feel the tingle in your stomach as the adrenaline rushes through your body, as you’re pulled up high into the sky. Dive into the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico with a snorkeling and scuba diving adventure to explore our regions’ marine life. Access to water fun is unlimited in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, grab your swimsuits and jump into any of these exciting things to do in Gulf Shores. Alabama’s Gulf Coast is home to one of the largest charter fishing fleets on the Gulf, which makes fishing another fun activity to enjoy during your stay at Anchor Vacations. Book your stay with us at Anchor Vacations, to make a splash in the Gulf Coast this summer!

Gulf Shores, Red, White and Blue

Red, White, and Blue in Gulf Shores AL

In Gulf Shores AL we are always looking for reasons to throw a party. From shrimp and seafood celebrations to music and football festivals, we were born to celebrate! Book your Anchor Vacation rental and join us for thrilling patriotic holidays. Whether it’s to kick off summer in style during Memorial Day weekend, or with an outburst of independence for Fourth of July on Gulf Shores Alabama beach!

Memorial Day Weekend

As you take in the view from your vacation rental terrace, take a moment to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Visit The Wharf in Orange Beach, AL for a Memorial Day celebration called the Pepsi Beach Ball Drop. You can savor the serene beauty of Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Whether you decide to grill at your rental or catch a glimpse of the epic firework show at OWA’s Memorial Day Weekend Celebration, Gulf Shores AL is the perfect place to spend time with your loved ones as you remember fallen soldiers. Plan an adventurous day out on the water with deep sea fishing charter from Zeke’s Lady Fishing. Receive one FREE adult admission when you book one of Anchor Vacation Rentals.

Fourth of July in Gulf Shores AL

Anchor Vacations encourages fun in the sun all year round. However, when it comes to Independence Day, nothing compares to fireworks over Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Fire up the barbecue, grab some sparklers and cozy up for the fireworks in Gulf Shores AL. Whether its parades and festivals, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to celebrate our country’s birthday! Celebrate the Fourth of July at the Gulf State Park Pier or The Wharf in Orange Beach.  Enjoy an evening of music, drinks, food, ice cream, and children’s activities, as well as a unique view of the fireworks! Book one of our Anchor Vacation Rentals and bring your summer crew to Gulf Shores AL, and enjoy the best beaches around!

Spring into Festival Season in Orange Beach, AL

Festivals are a year-round essential that you won’t want to miss around Orange Beach, AL! You’ll discover fun for the whole family, from inflatable play areas, music, face painting, and so many more activities. For that reason, you won’t want to miss “Festival Season” on the Gulf Coast. Gather your crew, and pack your bags to enjoy all the fun things to do in Gulf Shores, Alabama. We’ll have one of our Anchor Vacations rentals ready for you upon your arrival.

The Hangout Music Festival in Orange Beach, AL

The Hangout Music Festival is an award-winning festival that takes place in Gulf Shores, just a short drive from our Anchor Vacations rentals and Orange Beach, AL. Hangout Music Festival is as much of a vacation as it is a concert event. It’s more than just music; you can enjoy beach volleyball, carnival rides, delicious seafood, and much more as you roam the grounds of this exceptional event. There are many different options to attend this exciting event. Choose from single day tickets, general admission weekend passes, VIP, and a Super VIP weekend pass. Anchor Vacations has the perfect place for you and your crew to enjoy a good night sleep to delight in the festivities.

Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival

The Gulf Coast Balloon Festival features several family-friendly activities. The festivities are spread throughout the first Saturday and Sunday of May, giving everyone a chance to experience the balloons. The Gulf Coast Balloon Festival is the perfect occasion to gather your friends for an exciting weekend around Orange Beach, AL. Make sure to bring your camera and capture fun memories of your time at the festival! You can enjoy them for years to come as you reflect on your time inside a conveniently located Anchor Vacations rental. Weather permitting at dawn and dusk, you’ll be able to experience secured balloon flights. With all of these festivals, make sure to book your stay with us at Anchor Vacations soon to take part in the fun!

Meet our Alabama Gulf Coast Wildlife

Gulf Shores attracts both wildlife lovers and beach bums throughout the year, from visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo to sunbathing on white sandy beaches, and more you’ll find plenty of exciting things to do in Gulf Shores. With its warm light blue waters, and Anchor Vacations‘ beautiful rentals offer a distinct ocean-side escape you won’t find elsewhere. Our beautiful waterfront condos and Orange Beach vacation homes give you a premier seat to the extraordinary wildlife that surrounds Alabama Gulf Coast.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo features wide pathways that allow you to get up close to over 500 exotic animals. Such as lions, tigers, leopards, wolves, bears, primates, and more! Check out the reptile house and petting zoo to feed and hold some of our friendly animals. The zoo is open year-round; however, the animal encounters and shows are seasonal. The keeper talks also vary throughout the year. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo relies on admissions, memberships, and personal contributions to remain in business. The zoo’s mission is to create compelling experiences that connect the community with wildlife as they inspire personal responsibility for the conservation of these animals in the wild.

Animal Encounters

If you want to see animals up close during your next Alabama Gulf Coast getaway, make sure to experience one of Cruise Orange Beach’s Dolphin tours. Ride into the Gulf of Mexico, take in the beautiful scenery of the bays, as you keep your eyes peeled for marine wildlife. The whole family will love the dolphin cruise. Gulf Shores is home to 20 species of whales and dolphins, even manatees, so you’ll get a chance to see at least one of these marine creatures from the boat as you coast through. Both Orange Beach and the Gulf Shores offer incredible opportunities to reconnect with nature while enjoying a relaxing beach vacation. Book your next Alabama Gulf Coast adventure with us at Anchor Vacations for an unforgettable experience.