Gulf Shores Events and Seasonal Activities

Savvy Travelers Are Using Vacation Rentals to Save Big!

Savvy Travelers Are Using Vacation Rentals to Save Big!

With prices seeming to be on the rise at the fuel pump and everywhere you look, it’s understandable that many of us are looking for ways to cut costs. But canceling that annual Gulf Shores vacation doesn’t have to be one of the things you give up to save money.   By taking advantage of some cost-saving tips, you can still enjoy that amazing beach getaway…and you won’t miss that chance to make life-long memories on the Alabama coast.

Many savvy travelers are using vacation rentals to keep costs down and offset the rising fuel prices. Booking your stay in a vacation rental, like those that Harris Vacation Rentals offers, allows you to take advantage of a couple of key things that can save you hundreds. With the options and amenities a vacation rental provides, you can actually save money while still making those priceless memories that all great vacations are made of.  Check out these ways your fellow travelers are using vacation rentals to save money and still enjoy an amazing family getaway.

Book Direct to Save on Fees 

Have you ever wondered why the final cost of your reservation is so much more than the per-night price? Platforms like AirBNB and VRBO charge service fees for the “convenience” of booking rentals through their site, and they don’t show you those fees until the end of the process. Some booking sites have service fees as high as 20-30 percent! 

On the other hand, when you book directly with Harris Vacation Rentals, you eliminate much of the added cost. By cutting out the middleman, you can secure the best rate and book your rental without paying costly fees.  Sometimes these savings can add up to hundreds of dollars!  That’s more money in your pocket for fun activities, dining, and souvenirs!  And more than enough to offset that uptick in gas prices.

Dine In to Save on Meals

Everyone enjoys eating at a new restaurant, but doing so for every meal can be expensive. Booking a vacation rental property means you’ll have a private kitchen where you can prepare your own meals…for less money. Even if you dine out for dinner, choosing to have breakfast and lunch in your property can add up to big savings by the end of your trip. 

Our kitchens are fully stocked with all of the needed appliances, cookware, plates and utensils, and almost everything you’ll need to cook with ease. You’ll also have pantry space for storing snacks, drinks, and other daily items you may need. When grocery shopping, focus on cost-effective items that are easy to prepare and can feed your whole group for a day on the beach – things like bread and deli meat for sandwiches, cereal, fruit, and assorted chips.

Pack Lighter to Save on Baggage Fees

If you plan to fly, you know packing extra outfits can make a big difference in your baggage fees. Luckily, you can pack lighter when staying in your vacation rental that includes laundry facilities.  Instead of packing a big suitcase with clothes for every occasion, you can pack just a few items and wash them during your stay. You may even be able to skip checking your bag altogether for a fee-free flight! Laundry may be the last thing you want to do on vacation, but it will really pay off in the long run with some savings!

Use Amenities to Save on Activities

Activities and attractions can really add up, but the right vacation rental can even help you save money on family fun! In addition to those fun beach days, many of our properties have great amenities like swimming pools,  gaming areas, nearby playgrounds, parks, and things that can take the place of more expensive activities. Some rentals are located in places that offer great outdoor opportunities for activities like fishing, shopping, paddle boarding, biking, and more. 

With so much to do around the Gulf Shores area, there are likely some must-do activities or attractions on your trip itinerary – and that’s totally fine! Taking advantage of rental amenities on other days means you’ll have more to spend on the adventures you really want to do.

So don’t fret about things this season or cross that unforgettable beach vacation off the list.  You can still have the getaway of your dreams to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach.  Just plan smart, like so many savvy travelers are doing, and head over to Harris Vacation Rentals to pick out your perfect place in the sand!

Gulf Shores Wedding Checklist: How To Have the Perfect Big Day

Do you want to celebrate the beginning of your “happily ever after” in a tropical paradise? The Alabama Gulf Coast is the perfect spot for you! Our picture-perfect area is filled with sugar-white sand beaches, beautiful weather, breathtaking sunsets, and plenty of fantastic local venues, businesses and vendors. Plan the perfect beach wedding with our Gulf Shores wedding checklist 

Are you extending your stay in Gulf Shores, AL, before or after your big day? Bypass scrolling through Google to find the activities and services you may need. Let our team do the searching for you, so you can focus on what matters most: making unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

Our Gulf Shores Wedding Checklist 

1. Get Your Marriage License 

If you’re an Alabama resident and planning your Gulf Shores wedding, you’ll need to get your license in your home county or at the Baldwin County Courthouse in Bay Minette. The address for the courthouse is 220 Courthouse Square, Bay Minette, AL 36507, and the phone number is (251) 937-0260. To receive your license, you’ll need to bring two forms of identification, such as a certified copy of your birth certificate and a valid driver’s license. The marriage license itself costs $70.00. 

2. Pick Your Ceremony Location 


With our out-of-this-world scenery, Gulf Shores weddings are unlike any other.  

If you’re having a smaller ceremony (10 – 20 people), renting an oceanfront property and having the wedding right there may be the best option. Our luxurious properties in Fort Morgan are perfect because they are more secluded and uncrowded. You could have the whole beach to yourself! 

If your party is going to be larger, consider having the ceremony at one of the gorgeous State Park beaches, like Gulf State Park Beach. You will need to contact them for a permit. They also have venues to host the wedding ceremony and/or the reception.  

If you’re searching for a more traditional ceremony location with amenities, our area is filled with many stunning churches, historic homes, event centers, golf clubs, and more. 

3. Find a Photographer for Your Gulf Shores Wedding

beach wedding

If you’re planning a wedding on the beach, the best time to hold the ceremony is generally around sunset, when you’ll encounter the best light for photography. Nothing beats golden hour! Local photographers like the ones listed below can help you plan the perfect shots for your wedding. 

Paisley Studios Photography
Julie Adamson:
(251) 622-8085

Andrea McDaniel Photography:
(850) 687-5773

Shore Shooters Beach Photography:
232 Professional Court, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
(866) 856-2435

AJM Photography:
101 E Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
(850) 687-5773

Your Dream Beach Wedding:
160 Cotton Creek Dr. Suite 270, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
(850) 559-5560

4. Choose an Officiant 


In Gulf Shores, you’ll also find a number of ministers, wedding planners, and officiants eager to assist you with your big day. Below, we’ve put together a list of a few great businesses to help you get started. 

A’Gape Wedding Service:
(251) 709-8220

Tammi May – Ordained Minister:

Gulf Coast Wedding Minister:
(251) 709-5007

Gulf Shores Wedding Officiant:
(352) 232-9112

5. Hire a Wedding Planner


We know that wedding planning can be overwhelming and stressful—it shouldn’t be, though! Make this day as magical as possible and hire someone to offer you wedding planning services. These local businesses offer wedding planners, in addition, to help with reception venues.

Southern Sass Weddings & Events – Intimate Beach & Vintage Weddings:
Tammi May
[email protected]

Big Day Weddings:
(251) 223-7430

Sand Dollar Beach Weddings & Receptions:
(251) 223-9013

Let Harris Vacation Rentals Help You with Your Dream Gulf Shores Wedding!

Contact our reservation specialists to find out more information on the best spots in Gulf Shores for breathtaking weddings and other extraordinary touches you can add to your special day. Browse our collection of top-notch vacation rentals and find the perfect property to call your home base while you’re in Gulf Shores for your wedding. 


How To Have the Best Vacation in Gulf Shores in September

When you visit the Alabama Gulf Coast during the summer months, you’ll find that area is bustling with lots of vacationers. If you want to explore our charming beach town during a calmer time, you should visit Gulf Shores in September. This is one of our favorite times of the year here, and we’ll tell you why! 

Start getting excited about your getaway to Gulf Shores in September! Let our team do the searching for you, so you can focus on what matters most: making unforgettable memories with your loved ones. You can experience sunset cruises, sailing charters, parasailing, and more! 

Have a Blast in Gulf Shores in September 

No matter what time of the year you visit, there’s always something fun going on in Gulf Shores—and September does not fall short! 

Labor Day 

One of the most anticipated days in Gulf Shores in September is Labor Day! Take advantage of the three-day weekend and head to the coast. One of the best ways to celebrate the holiday is to head to the sand for a relaxing beach day. Whether you prefer to swim in the water, work on your tan, or play beach games, you’ll have the best day ever at our picturesque white-sand beaches 

Bulls on the Beach 

Do you want to attend an adrenaline-filled evening that’s exciting for the whole family? Head to Bulls on the Beach at Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar and experience thrilling rodeo action. This event spans over three nights and is one of the area’s most anticipated events of the year. Bulls on the Beach features professional bull riding, mechanical bulls, and contests for children.  

CSpire Concert Series 

There’s nothing like attending an amazing concert by the beach. Each year, The Wharf Amphitheater hosts impressive live shows featuring top-notch artists. In past years, the CSpire Concert series has welcomed Luke Combs, Zac Brown Band, Jim Gaffigan, and Hootie and The Blowfish. This year, you can look forward to all-star lineups, including Chris Stapleton, Jimmy Buffett, and more! 

Gulf State Park Turtle Fest 

Sea turtles are fascinating creatures that call our Gulf Coast beaches home. You can learn all about these beautiful animals at the Gulf State Park Turtle Fest. The festival includes sea turtle education classes, pier walks, sea turtle nest demos, a TED exhibit, crafts, and more! This event is only $3 to attend and is held annually at the Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier 

Fort Morgan Ghost Investigation and Historical Haunted Tour 

Do you have a love for the supernatural and paranormal? We’ve got the perfect activity for you! This September, join the members of Second Sight Paranormal TV for a full-blown ghost and paranormal investigation at Fort Morgan—one of Alabama’s most haunted places. The Fort Morgan State Historic Site guides will educate guests on the fascinating historical background of the fort. Then, you’ll get handed state-of-the-art ghost hunting equipment and start your spooky evening. Reservations are required for this event! 

Stay With Harris Vacation Rentals 

Perdido Key Luxury Rentals

Whether you want to visit the Gulf Coast during spring, summer, fall, or winter, Harris Vacation Rentals will have the perfect vacation home for you! We offer properties throughout Fort MorganGulf Shores, and Orange Beach, ranging in size and shape. If you’re looking for a home with a private pool, elevator, deck, or beach views—we’ve got you covered! 


The Best Vacation Awaits for You in Gulf Shores in July

Nothing says summer is here” like a vacation to the beach in July! Head to the Alabama Gulf Coast and spend the hot summer days on serene white-sand beachesWe’ll let you in on the best local tips so you can make the most out of your getaway to Gulf Shores in July 

No beach vacation is complete without an amazing rental that you can turn into your home away from home. Harris Vacation Rentals is happy to offer top-notch properties throughout Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan 

Find a Vacation Rental 

Your Guide to Gulf Shores in July 

What’s your favorite summer month? We can’t help but favor Gulf Shores in July. Keep reading to find out how you can have the best vacation ever! 

Gulf Shores Weather in July 

It’s no secret that the weather heats up during July in Gulf Shores. The high temperature is typically around 90 degrees, with the low being around 75 degrees. The water temperature hovers at about 84 degrees, perfect for taking a dip during a fun-filled beach day.  

Rainy Day Activities 

trampoline park

When you vacation by the coast, there’s always a chance you might encounter some rainy days, especially in July. That’s no problem! Our area is filled with exciting things to do, no matter what the weather brings 

  • Indoor trampoline park – Do you or the kids have lots of energy to burn? Head to The Factory and bounce away the day. From foam pits to dodge ball to trampoline basketball, the opportunities for thrilling fun are endless.  
  • Bowling – One of the best rainy day activities to enjoy at the beach year after year is bowling. Gulf Bowl features over 20 bowling lanes, in addition to a full-service bar and grill, arcade, laser tag course, high ropes course, and pool tables.  
  • Catch a movie – Head to Cobb Pinnacle 14 Theatres in Gulf Shores and spend the day warm and dry inside the movie theater. If you’re visiting on a Tuesday, you can enjoy $5 ticket prices!  

Celebrate the Fourth of July  


Take advantage of a three-day weekend and celebrate July 4th in Gulf Shores. There are lots of dazzling fireworks displays and lively celebrations that will make this day unforgettable.  

  • Fireworks show at Gulf Shores Public Beach – This annual celebration is free to the public and cherished by locals and visitors alike. Head to the beach and enjoy live music, food trucks, and outstanding fireworks shot from the Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier. 
  • Independence Day Street Party at The Wharf – Head to Orange Beach and attend the street party and fireworks celebration at The Wharf. This extravaganza features vendors, face painting, a petting zoo, and a dance floor with lively music. Plus, the fireworks display includes a sound and light show!  
  • 4th of July Celebration at OWA – Celebrate Independence Day with family-friendly activities, live entertainment, and an out-of-this-world fireworks show at OWA, the area’s best amusement park. 

Pick the Best Beach House in Gulf Shores 

sandy pearl

It’s time to plan your best summer vacation yet. When it comes to luxurious vacation rentals along the Alabama Gulf Coat, Harris Vacation Rentals has got you covered. We offer homes with top-notch amenities, such as oceanfront viewsprivate pools, community pools, hot tubs, beach access, game rooms, and more! For years we’ve been helping families have memorable beach vacations, and we can’t wait to do the same for you.  

View Our Vacation Rentals 

How You Can Have the Best Vacation in Gulf Shores in May

Did you know that May is one of the best months to visit the Alabama Gulf Coast? The weather is warm enough for you to take a dip in the water, but the crowds of summer haven’t arrived yet. To learn how you can have the ultimate vacation in Gulf Shores in May, keep reading!  

Where will you stay during your May getaway? Harris Vacation Rentals offers the best luxury vacation rentals throughout Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, and we’d love to host you! All of our properties feature top-notch amenities, such as private pools, beach access, hot tubs, game rooms, covered decks, and more!  

View Our Vacation Rentals 

All About Gulf Shores in May 

The following events/activities might be postponed or altered due to COVID-19. Be sure to check event websites.   

Fantastic Weather 

swimming in ocean

You can’t beat the weather in Gulf Shores during this time of year. During May, temperatures hover between 75 and 85 degrees. Plus, the average seawater temperature in May is 76.8 degrees. This is still considered chilly to some people, but swimming isn’t out of the question. If you work up a good sweat playing an exciting game of beach volleyball, you’ll be dying for a refreshing dip in the cool waters.  

Memorial Day Celebrations 

Nothing says “summer is here” like a Memorial Day celebration! If you visit Gulf Shores for Memorial Day this year, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy the weekend. One of our favorite activities is packing a picnic and heading to the beach. You can also take a picnic with you to the Fort Morgan Historic Site or Lake Shelby Recreation Area. Saturday evening, head to Downtown OWA and watch their dazzling fireworks display.  

Attractions and Activities  

When it comes to Gulf Shores in May, there’s always something exciting to do. If you want to get out on the water, why not treat yourself to a cruise with Condor Sailing AdventuresYou’ll set sail on their world-class 40-foot Condor racing trimaran and venture through Pensacola Bay. Some other tour companies that we recommend include Lost Bay Helicopter ToursGulf Island Charters Family Adventures, and Dolphins and Wildlife Kayak Tours 

Book One of Our Luxurious Vacation Rentals 

Beach Mouse deck

If you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to vacation rentals along the Alabama Gulf Coast, look no further than Harris Vacation RentalsWe dedicate ourselves whole-heartedly to providing you with luxury Gulf Shores vacation rentals in varying sizes so you can find the perfect one for you.  

One of our new homes to our program is Beach Mouse. This property features six bedrooms and five bathrooms and can comfortably accommodate 19 guests (plus two dogs). Beach Mouse is newly renovated and features new tile flooring, a new outdoor shower, and a brand-new hot tub. This beautiful, custom beach home also offers beautiful beachfront views of the white-sand beaches and views of Little Lagoon.  

Our properties are booking up fast! Book your stay with us today and start getting excited about your Gulf Coast getaway!  

Book Your Stay Today 

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