Summer Kickoff List 2023

School may not officially be out yet, but the warm temps are here and we are ready for some major F.U.N. It’s easy to feel like a kid again with this list of the coolest ways to kick summer vacation off with a splash!

OWA’s indoor water park and wave pool is a great way to make a splash into summer while escaping the rain or taking a break from the blazing sun.

Water Park Fun

OWA Parks & Resort has something for everyone. There’s an award-winning outdoor theme park, and a brand-new indoor water park to spend a rainy afternoon or to get out of the summer heat. Plus, there’s dining and shopping for the grown-ups, and a variety of live shows to entertain the whole family.

Ride a Bike

There’s no better way to enjoy May’s warm (but not too hot) days than on a bicycle. Here are five ways to get pedaling.

  • Infinity Bicycles – Orange Beach
    Gulf State Park is less than a mile from the rental shop, and is full of trails that encircle Lake Shelby and lead down the Catman Trail in Orange Beach. Bathrooms, picnic areas and a kids’ climbing park are a few of the amenities, not to mention wildlife along the trails!
  • The Fairhope Store
    Comfy bikes in The Fairhope Store blue will zip you around downtown Fairhope in classic style. Pedal from cafes to shops to the pier, all in an afternoon!
  • Have your own wheels?
    Join Mobilians on Bikes to find fun people and great rides around the Port City anytime! Everything from easygoing tours to hard-core distances can be found with these like-minded MOBsters.

Outdoor Tunes

Soak up the live music and sunsets on the patio at the Bluegill. Flaming oysters are a must!

Merry Go-Round

Get your first views of the beautiful beaches from the tippy top of The Wharf’s famous ferris wheel.

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Shark Attack

Go full-on tourist and marvel at the giant shark at Souvenir City in Gulf Shores. Be sure to purchase a pet hermit crab while you’re there!

Perdido Queen

The city skyline reflecting on the mobile river while you enjoy dinner from Dauphin’s makes this dinner cruise unforgettable. 

Get Bushwacked

To date, MB has tallied more than 25 local hot spots to get the ultimate cool teat — a creamy (and highly alcoholic) bushwacker. Here are our top five places to sip.

  • Flora-Bama
    The legendary dive bar and package store serves bushwackers and live music to a diverse crowd on the state line. 
  • Pirates Cove
    Though it’s grown over the years, the spirit of the little shack in Josephine has remained. Going by boat is half the fun!
  • Tacky Jacks
    Great views of the boats plowing Cotton Bayou entertain while a bushwacker washes down a plateful of Mexican Garbage.
  • River Shack
    A favorite local watering hole on the Western Shore, boaters stop by in flip-flops for a bushwacker and some social time.
  • Pirates Bar and Grill
    Time slows down on Dauphin Island and stands still at the old Isle Dauphine Club, where a dip in the pool is still possible.

Hit Up a Farm Stand 

While May might be a tad early for the full bounty of summer produce, you’ll still find early okra, squash and sweet white corn at roadside farm stands across Mobile and Baldwin counties. Watermelons may technically not come in season until late July, but honestly, does it matter if it was grown just a state over in Florida? There is nothing more summery than an ice-cold melon. Give it a chill in your cooler, slice it and share it with some kids.

Ride the Ferry 

Whether the ferry is getting you where you need to go, or you’re just along for the ride, a jaunt across the mouth of Mobile Bay on a passenger ferry is an unforgettable experience. 

Top Golf at Waterville

Set to open this month in Gulf Shores, two Top Golf Swing Suites offer the most fun part of playing golf — whacking the ball —  from the comfort of an air conditioned room. These virtual simulators bring the excitement, while bar service ensures the second most fun part of playing golf­­ — drinking an ice-cold beer! And, if you still need to cool off, make a splash into the waterpark!

Grab a Snowball 

At Ice Ice Baby
It’s not summer until the colorful little snowball cart on the shores of Mobile Bay opens for businesses. Head to Ice Ice Baby in Fairhope for a large dreamsicle snowball with cream on top for instant vacation vibes.

Yabba Dabba (must) Do

At Yabbas Wacky Snack Shack
Visit the Foley or Gulf Shores locations to treat yourself to a giant burger or order of gooey nachos. Then cool off with a giant sundae or milkshake. Some nostalgic candy from your childhood — along with some timeless classics — make a great souvenir for the ultimate summer staycation.

Alligator Alley

Immerse yourself in the world of Alabama’s last apex predator with nature boardwalks and more than 600 gators of every age and size, including the famous “Captain Crunch.” According to gator-guy Wes Moore, you can feed them, hold them and have lunch with them. Just make sure you aren’t on the menu.

Alabama Aquarium

Get your hands wet in the 7,000-gallon stingray touch pool, walk the Living Marsh Boardwalk and gape in awe at the 30,000 gallons of water across 31 aquariums with more than 100 species on display. it’s our local marine environment, up close and personal!

Brewery Tour

The sun is out, the temps are warm and you deserve a cold one to celebrate! A do-it-yourself brewery tour is the cure for the common beer. 

  • Big Beach
    The southernmost brewery in Alabama is a tank-to-tap operation, with 12 house offerings. Four garage doors open to the outdoors, and you can order in food to enjoy while you’re there.
    300 E. 24th Ave., Gulf Shores
  • Fairhope Brewing Company
    Started in 2012 with just two beers, this local spot offers 14 beers and a cider on tap. Whether you prefer IPAs, stouts, ports, fruited beers or golden ale, they have the right beer for your taste buds.
    914 Nichols Ave., Fairhope
  • Braided River Brewing Company
    Named for the way multiple rivers come together in the Delta, this brewery makes craft beer that pairs perfectly with a day in the Gulf Coast summer heat.
    420 St. Louis St., Mobile
  • Oyster City Brewing Company
    Started as a Florida-based backyard brewery that has expanded to Mobile, Oyster City offers easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing drafts.
    600 Government St., Mobile
  • Iron Hand Brewing
    Named after the prosthetic worn by neighborhood native Henri De Tonti, Iron Hand Brewing pairs their brews with a full menu of pizzas, sandwiches, wings and more.
    206 State St., Mobile

Causeway Fun

  • Air Boat Tour
    Some people book an airboat ride of the Alabama-Tensaw Delta because it can get you places boats with outboard motors can’t go. learn about the flora and fauna of the marshy landscape, and see why it is honored as a National Landmark. Then there are those of us who just book it for the pure SPEED. Hang on to your hats!
  • Battleship USS Alabama
    Sit in the turret behind one of the 16” 45-caliber guns on her bow and feel the power of the Mighty A. Crawl through the bowels of the submarine uss drum, or gape in awe at the collection of military airlines. stop by on Armed Forces Day, May 20, and witness a fly-in and patriotic concert!

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