7 things you’ve never done in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach during the holidays, but should right now

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Gulf Shores, The Wharf, Orange Beach
The Wharf is gorgeous in lights. Photo via Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

Think you’ve done all there is to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach? Here are seven things we bet you’ve yet to experience during the holiday season and why you should.

1. Holiday Horse + Carriage Rides

Christmas Wharf Cb Gms2018 6588
Get your jollies this holiday season. Photo via Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

I’ve never been on a horse-drawn carriage before, but it sure does sound like a dreamy way to get festive this holiday season. As you’re pulled along to the soothing clip-clop, you’ll discover hundreds of awe-inspiring lights and decorations—perfect for magical Insta-worthy photos.

When: November 12-January 17 | View available times here.  
Where: The Wharf in Orange Beach, 23101 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
Price: Combo Pass (ice rink + ferris wheel) – $15 | Frequent Skate Pass (10 passes) – $20

Ready to experience all the Gulf Coast has to offer this holiday season? Check out Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism and start planning your vacation now.

2. Ice Skating

Gulf Shores, Orange Beach
Hit the ice this holiday season. Photo via Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

Pull on your warmest socks and mittens for the perfect holiday experience—ice skating. So head to the rink at The Wharf and glide, spin or coast into the holiday season.

When: November 12-January 17 | View available times here.  
Where: The Wharf in Orange Beach, 23101 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
Price: Combo Pass (ice rink + ferris wheel) – $15 | Frequent Skate Pass (10 passes) – $20

3. The Wharf North Pole Express

Gulf Shores, Orange Beach
Christmas at The Wharf. Photo via Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

Nothing beats getting warm and snuggly in those fave festive pajamas. Except when it also includes a trip on The Wharf North Pole Express. So hop aboard every Saturdays November 13 through Christmas Eve.

Bring the kids along and they’ll receive a candy cane, coloring book and golden ticket stickers.

When: Saturdays, November 13-December 24
Time: 10AM-8PM
Where: The Wharf in Orange Beach, 23101 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
Price: 
$6 per person | Ages 3 + under – FREE

4. Photos with Santa

Santa
Santa Claus is coming to town. Photo by Mike Arney

You may picture Santa Claus in cold and snow, so I bet you’ve never paid him a visit at the beach. This year, you can! He’ll be hanging beachside at The Wharf in Orange Beach, so dress your kiddos in that special outfit and pay him a visit to snap that perfect holiday card photo.

When: Weekends from November 19-December 24
Time: Friday 3-6PM | Saturday 10AM-6PM | Sunday Noon-6PM | Special Hours: December 20-23, 10AM-6PM | December 24, 10AM-2PM
Price: Various scenes + photo packages available for $19.99-$39.99
Where: The Wharf in Orange Beach, 23101 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Want more events? Visit Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism.

5. Black Friday Shopping

Gulf Shores, The Wharf, Orange Beach
Find all sorts of cool gifts when you shop Black Friday sales at The Wharf in Orange Beach. Photo via Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

Is Black Friday your favorite day of the year? This year, avoid those never-ending lines at Walmart and head to The Wharf in Orange Beach instead. Here you’ll discover epic steals and deals at all sorts of specialty stores and restaurants.

After your long day, you can celebrate a day of successful shopping with Gulf Coast views. I’ll cheers to that. 🥂

When: Friday, November 26 | 10AM-6PM
Where: Various merchants at The Wharf in Orange Beach, 23101 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

6. Holly Days on Main

Gulf Shores
Boats on Parade is a magical experience your won’t want to miss. Photo via Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

Turn your calendar to December, folks, you’re going to want to plan ahead to attend Holly Days on Main at The Wharf in Orange Beach.

Offering two days of jam-packed holiday fun, you’ll discover everything from special performances and arts and craft vendors to a lighted boat parade and more.

A holiday weekend getaway? Consider me intrigued.

When: Saturday, December 11, 9AM-5PM | Sunday, December 12, 9AM-4PM
Where: The Wharf in Orange Beach, 23101 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
Price: Free admission + parking

7. Reelin’ in the New Year

The Wharf, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores
Spend New Years in lights at The Wharf in Orange Beach. Photo via Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism

If you’re like me, you love to end the year on a high note. Instead of surfing the same couch as you watch the ball drop, I have a much better recommendation for you—visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and attend the annual Reelin’ in the New Years Street Party.

From live bands and family-friendly activities to a grand fireworks finale and marlin drop at midnight (yes, a jumbo fake marlin fish drops from the sky), it’s an unbeatable way to reel in 2022.

Where: The Wharf in Orange Beach, 23101 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
When: Friday, December 31 | 5PM-Midnight
Price: FREE admission + parking. Some kids’ activities cost $5-$10.

Why else should you experience Gulf Shores and Orange Beach during the holiday season?

  1. Lower rates
  2. Less crowded beaches
  3. Enjoyable weather

To learn more, visit Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism and start planning your vacation now.

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Patience Itson
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