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If you’re looking to take a break with loved ones this summer, Alabama and its many beach towns offer a breath of fresh Gulf air and a unique locale. This includes the beach towns of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan, just to name a few. You’ll find plenty of fun things to do in Gulf Shores and exciting summertime events and celebrations to create a one-of-a-kind summer vacation for you and your loved ones!

Sparks After Dark

Every year, May-July, Orange Beach puts on a weekly fireworks display that’s a must-do for your summer vacation To Do List during your visit. The Wharf shopping center boasts dozens of local and national brand retailers, dining, and entertainment where you can spend the day. The day’s festivities include magicians, stilt walkers, jugglers, camel rides, and a DJ spinning tunes perfect for dancing all night long. When the sun finally sinks below the water of the Gulf, the sky lights up to cap off the night with the fireworks show as well as a SPECTRA Laser Light Experience. The weekly event takes place 6-9 p.m. Mondays, May 29-July 31. Fireworks begin at 8:45 p.m., and the laser light show can be seen at 8:30, 9, and 9:30 p.m. Parking and admission are free, and camel rides are $10/person.

Blue Marlin Grand Championship

If you love fishing and fireworks, combine your Sparks After Dark visit with entering what’s considered the Greatest Show in Sportfishing! It’s the final tournament of the Gulf Coast Triple Crown Championship, which also include the Orange Beach Billfish Classic, Mississippi Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, and the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic. This year’s tournament takes place July 12-16 at the waters of The Wharf in Orange Beach.

Music at Meyer Park

Gulf Shores knows how to party when the heat of summer cranks up with music, food, and fun. The concerts are free and open to the public and go on “rain or shine.” This summer’s remaining dates are July 20 and August 17, so make sure to add them to your itinerary should your visit include those dates. Shows begin at 6 p.m. Meyer Park is located at 400 E. 22nd Ave in Gulf Shores, and the backup indoor location is Big Beach Brewery, 300 E 24th Ave in Gulf Shores.

Independence Day Celebration

Celebrate independence this summer during your trip to the area. Gulf Shores knows how to celebrate the patriotic holiday with a bang. The show begins at 9 p.m. on July 4th at the Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier.

S’mores on the Shore

When you picture a fun beach summer day or night, you may picture the waves crashing on the shore, soft sand in your toes, and a beach bonfire lighting up the night and offering a place to gather with loved ones. Gulf Shores knows exactly what you’re imagining and provides it along with plenty of other summer fun. The official celebration includes campfires, live music, and all the makings for delicious s’mores treats. The family-friendly event is hosted at the west end of Gulf Shores Public Beach. Bring your beach blanket, chairs, and whatever else you may need for all the summer beach fun you can handle. The event starts at 3 p.m. on August 3.

Flora-Bama Bulls on the Beach

As summer draws to a close, the rodeo comes to nearby Perdido Key in Pensacola, FL – only 30 minutes from Gulf Shores. The annual competition is full of adrenaline-pumping bull riding –  so much it’ll get your own blood pounding while you watch! The three-night event features professional bull riders from across the country. There will also be a Junior Riders tournament on Miniature Bulls, a coloring contest for kids 12 and under, and a bike giveaway (2 winners). The three-day event runs September 7-9 and includes music, food, and fun, with the kids’ bull riding event taking place September 7. Tickets go on sale July 4. Gates open nightly at 6 p.m. and the rodeo begins at 8 p.m. Find the coloring page for the coloring contest on the official event website. The venue is located at 17401 Perdido Key Dr, Pensacola, FL 32507.

Make Summer Memories

When you book a summertime getaway with Alabama Beach Vacation Rentals, you won’t be short on amazing activities to fill your time. Enjoy the water, lounge around your rental, or experience the myriad of summer events and other celebrations. For an intimate stay, choose a studio-style unit, or bring a larger group and spoil everyone this summer when you book a five-bedroom unit. Savor the taste of home when you prepare a home-cooked meal, from daily meals to a fun summer cookout, in the unit’s fully equipped kitchen. Spread out in spacious living areas and private outdoor spaces like patios and balconies. Unwind in your own private bedroom or gather some snacks and enjoy your favorite movie or TV show together on a flat-screen TV.

Contact us today to book a summer trip to remember for a lifetime!

Celebrate summer and independence with a break to a beach locale bursting with fun, sun, sand, and water. Make this trip memorable with a trip to the beach and crashing waves of the Gulf of Mexico and the Alabama shores. Choose the towns of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, or Fort Morgan for your ultimate destination and start planning the fun. There are plenty of things to do in Gulf Shores 4th of July, including some patriotic ones, but you’ll want to make sure to book a private vacation rental with Alabama Beach Vacation Rentals so you can enjoy time with loved ones private.

Gulf Shores Independence Day Celebration

Celebrate Independence Day with a bang, and with the City of Gulf Shores. The fireworks display starts at 9 p.m. on July 4th and will be based at the Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier. Starting at 7 a.m., the pier will close for setup and reopen to the public 100 feet north of the launch site. At 8:30 p.m., the pier and on-site restaurant close to make time for visitors to get in place for the show. The pier will reopen to the public at 6 a.m. on July 5th.

Shark Run

Get your exercise in during your 4th of July vacation and join Orange Beach’s 9th annual Shark Run. Register on the event website. Packet pickup information will follow in late June. The first 350 to register get a custom Shark Run shirt – limited edition from the rest of the shirts. Everyone gets a finishers medal, and there are age group awards for 5K runners. The 5K run/walk and 1-mile fun run starts at 7 a.m. The race is part of the “Run the Coast Summer Series,” which includes the Labor Day 8th annual Bloody Mary 5K run/1-mile walk.

Beach Time

You chose a beach destination this 4th of July for just that reason: the beach. The best thing about the beach is that you can do whatever your heart desires. Enjoy lazy beach activities like sunbathing, picnicking, reading, taking a swim in the Gulf, and more. Get an adrenaline boost with activities like parasailing or snorkeling and end the day with a sunset or wildlife-watching cruise.

Fort Morgan Road Trail

Change up your exercise routine and skip the treadmill. In addition to participating in the Shark Run, the 5.6-mile asphalt Fort Morgan Road Trail starts just outside the western border of Gulf State Park, runs parallel to Fort Morgan Road/Highway 180, and stretches west through Gulf Shores, past tree-lined areas, and neighborhoods, and finally ending at the Peninsula Golf Club. The mostly flat surface trail is an easy hike or bike, with the eastern end having only a few gentle climbs. Add on some difficulty at the eastern end and continue through Gulf State Park’s Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trails.

Gulf Shores Museum

Learn about Gulf Shores and the surrounding area this 4th of July. The museum is in what was the beach house of Valerie Cole’s family from Mobile, and the structure dates back to before World War II. The family donated the structure that was originally in West Beach, and then moved to its current home after Hurricane Frederic in 1979. The museum boasts a myriad of permanent and temporary exhibits that tell Gulf Shores’ history, as well as offering various programs and activities.

Gulf State Park

Wander the park’s two miles of Gulf beachfront, swim, surf, build sandcastles, and enjoy many other beach activities. Have a beach picnic or move it to the beach pavilion for a bit of shade. If you and your loved ones like to fish, bring some gear and spend some time at the pier in search of the main course for your 4th of July cookout. For those looking for an adventure, try kayaking or parasailing. Keep in mind the pier will close at 7 a.m. on July 4th for the fireworks display but reopens at 6 a.m. July 5th.

Souvenir City

It’s a souvenir store and a local attraction in one! While you’ll collect souvenirs from your many 4th of July beach adventures and other activities, the boasts “thousands of gifts for everyone on your list” so you’re bound to find a memento to remember your trip. The shop has been a Gulf Shores staple of the Gulf Shore retail landscape since 1956.

Celebrate 4th of July with Us

When you and book a 4th of July getaway with Alabama Beach Vacation Rentals, you won’t be short on amazing activities to fill your time during your 4th of July holiday adventure. Enjoy the water, lounge around your rental, or enjoy the myriad of other activities available to help build a 4th of July vacation that is uniquely yours. We have everything from studio-style units up to 5-bedroom single-family homes. Prepare a home-cooked meal, or fixings for a 4th of July cookout in the unit’s fully equipped kitchen. Enjoy spacious living areas and private patios and balconies. Unwind in a private bedroom or gather some snacks and enjoy your favorite movies together on a flat screen TV with entertainment center.

Contact us today to book your 4th of July vacation!

After several years of postponing trips and rescheduling family outings, beach trips have finally been on the rise giving everyone in the family a chance to bond over good food and some coastal fun in the sun. If you’re planning a family beach trip soon, why not schedule some time to get a few family portraits taken together? It’s the perfect way to capture a moment in time while everyone’s on the same schedule enjoying each other’s company on a much-needed vacation. Alabama Gulf Shores has some of the most vibrant ocean water you’ll come across. We also have beautiful pearly white sand that’s perfect for creating the perfect family beach backdrop for your next photo session.

A few of our recommendations for your next beach family photoshoot are to first, stay away from going onto the sandy dunes. While it might be tempting to find the perfect photoshoot spot among the dunes, having people walk all over them tends to damage the beach grass and plants inside the dunes which protect the inland and everyone living on the coast from large swells and tides. We also recommend finding matching or coordinated outfits for everyone in the family that way you can get a beautifully cohesive and visually striking photo of everyone by the water. We love the look of an all-white family portrait where everyone wears a crisp white outfit that contrasts beautifully against the dunes and the ocean water. For your next trip to the Alabama Gulf Shores we have a couple of wonderful photographer recommendations, Shore Shooters Beach Photography, and Sun Shots Photography.

Joy & Laughter Photography –


My name is Rebecca Smith and I have always had a love for photography and started Joy & Laughter Photography in 2009.  The name came from my daughter’s name, Abigail, which means joy of the father, and my son’s name is Isaac, whom laughs. Images will outlive us. I love capturing families and creating lifetime moments we will never get back. Thank you for trusting me with these memories that will last a lifetime. 

Shore Shooters Beach Photography – Expanding in 2010 and now thriving in over 16 beach towns across the coast, the skilled and visionary team of photographers from Shore Shooters calls themselves a network of creatives passionate about beach photography. They are consistent with ongoing training and know exactly what to do to get the best lighting and grab that perfect shot. They are very transparent about costs on their website and create a fun environment where they take many candid’s and posed shots that you’ll get to see in as little as 2-3 days. Check out their blog page where you can learn more about the families they’ve worked with and the photos that were taken for their sessions.  Shore Shooters takes photos for couples, families, and weddings.

Sun Shots Photography – Sun Shots Photography is a full-service photography company that specializes in family beach portraits.  Since 2001, the husband-and-wife team (Maggie and Ryan Caver) have worked hard to build their brand from the ground up. As active members of Professional Photographers of America and the local Chamber of Commerce, Maggie and Ryan consistently strive to be better in their industry and what they offer to their clients. Not only are they sought-after photographers, but they are also certified print masters and work hard to give you a perfectly edited and retouched collection to look through. Sun Shots Photography offers family beach, seniors, couples, engagements, and wedding photography.