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Are you looking for the best things to do in Gulf Shores in October? With exciting festivals, beautiful uncrowded shorelines, and endless activities, fall is one of the best times to visit this Gulf Coast paradise. Get a taste of Alabama at Shrimp Fest, enjoy the Halloween festivities, or take a romantic sunset stroll along the beach. Here are some of the best fall events and activities to add to your itinerary!

Here are the best things to do in Gulf Shores in October!

Top Things to Do in Gulf Shores in October

1. Shrimp Festival

Autumn in Gulf Shores marks the return of the most-anticipated event of the year! For nearly half a century, the Shrimp Festival has been a beloved tradition for locals and visitors alike. Held right on the beach, the festival includes fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood prepared by top chefs, a sandcastle contest, live music, family activities, arts and crafts, 5k and 10k races, and the Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant. The 2019 dates are set for October 10th – 13th, so start making your plans to attend now!

2. Have A Spooktacular Halloween in Gulf Shores

Are you looking for the best thrills and chills in Gulf Shores, AL? You’re in luck! There are endless ways to celebrate spooky season along our sugar-white shores. On the weekends, visit the Town of Terror in Foley for twists, turns, and other haunted house horrors. Are you searching for Halloween family activities? Take the kids for a ride on the Pumpkin Patch Express. During the daytime, you can enjoy kid-friendly train rides, pony rides, a bounce house, pumpkin decorating, a haunted maze and more. After nightfall, however, this train ride takes a turn for the terrifying. From 7 p.m. until close, enjoy a scary ride with Halloween monsters and other things that go bump in the night!

3. Alabama Festival of Flavor 

Not to be outdone by the Shrimp Festival, the Alabama Festival of Flavor is one of the tastiest events of the year. Held in the neighboring Foley, this epicurean event features an array of mouthwatering cuisine prepared by local chefs. Offerings include everything from sandwiches and sauces to main dishes, craft beer, and wine. The event is scheduled to take place on October 5th, 2019.

4. Alabama Coastal Birdfest

Calling all nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts! October is the prime time to see migrating birds in Gulf Shores. And the best way to see them is at the Alabama Coastal Birdfest! This event offers a unique opportunity to get an up-close look at native birds, alligators, dolphins, wildflowers, and more wildlife. Mark your calendar for October 2nd – 5th, 2019! 

5. Enjoy Outdoor Activities

From hiking and biking to paddle boarding and kayaking, there are endless ways to explore Gulf Shores, Alabama in October. The mild weather is ideal for enjoying outdoor activities and attractions. Get out and explore miles of scenic trails at Gulf State Park or Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge, tee off on one of the fabulous golf courses, or take the kids to the zoo. This is also a great time to visit one of the theme parks. Have a blast playing mini-golf or race go-karts at The Track. The possibilities are endless! 

6. Visit the Beach

Many of our guests ask us if it is warm enough to swim in Gulf Shores in October. The answer is it depends. The weather in Gulf Shores in October varies year to year. Typically, the temperatures range from the 60’s to low 80’s. While it may be too chilly to swim, this is one of the best times to visit the beach! Enjoy the uncrowded shoreline while you comb the beach for shells and other treasures. Or, cast a line from the pier or a charter and reel in your next trophy fish! 

Book Your Fall Getaway With Harris Vacation Rentals

When it comes to the best lodging in the area, no place can compare to Harris Vacation Rentals! We offer a wide array of accommodation options in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. From luxury beachfront rentals to intimate cottages and condos, we are sure to have the perfect property for your stay. We can also accommodate large groups, so feel free to bring your family and friends. Are you ready for an unforgettable fall getaway to beautiful Gulf Shores? Take advantage of our current deals and discounts. Then, browse our condo rentals and contact us to start planning your trip! We look forward to seeing you soon.


 Gulf Shores Oyster Cook-Off Fall is culinary festival season along the Alabama Gulf Coast. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have become a culinary mecca. Foodies from far and near converge on Alabama beaches for fun, sun and endless eats. Whether you’re a wine lover, seafood aficionado or just love a fun festival with great food and live entertainment, you’ll find  Orange Beach attractions that’ll tickle your taste buds.

Read on for some of our favorite festivals and book your beach vacation rental before the other foodies decide to cook up a good time on Alabama beaches this fall.

The Wharf Uncorked Wine & Culinary Festival  I Sept. 13-15, 2018

If you’re looking for the perfect activity to add to a couple’s Gulf Shores vacation or a beach momcation, The Wharf Uncorked Wine & Culinary Festival is it. With more than 100 wine labels available for sampling, you’ll definitely find the pour that’s right for you. Culinary masters will give cooking demonstrations throughout the Orange Beach festival, and local restaurants will offers samplings of their most unique and popular dishes.

Main Street at The Wharf closes down for the wine festival, and ticketed guests are given a branded wine glass for sampling, in addition to other swag bag goodies. Tickets to the Orange Beach festival start at $60 per person.

47th Annual National Shrimp Festival  I Oct. 11-14, 2018

Pack your stretchy pants for the 47th Annual National Shrimp Festival. This Gulf Shores festival is one of the longest-running events on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Thousands of pounds of fresh, Gulf shrimp are served up daily by award-winning chefs. Even if shrimp isn’t your cup of tea, festival goers will find plenty to chow down on and stay entertained. Beach concerts and live entertainment will take place throughout the four-day Gulf Shores event, including more than 300 arts and crafts and fine art vendors.

Admission to the Annual National Shrimp Festival is free.

The Hangout Oyster Cook-Off & Craft Beer Weekend  I  Nov. 2-3, 2018

One of our favorite Gulf Shores events, The Hangout Oyster Cook-Off & Craft Beer Weekend boasts the best in creative oyster preparations and ice-cold craft beer. Regional and local award-winning chefs and restaurants compete for the People’s Choice award for their oyster creations. Stick around for cooking demonstrations by Food Network stars, including Martie Duncan, Cory Bahr and Rusty Hamlin. James Beard Award finalists will also be on hand at the Gulf Shores event.

Admission to The Hangout Oyster Cook-Off is $10 per person and tasting ticket booklets are $30 for 15 tickets.

2018 World Food Championships  I  Nov. 7-11, 2018

The biggest event in food sport will be played out at The Wharf. This Orange Beach attraction hosts more than 1,500 chefs and home cooks who compete in nine different culinary categories, including barbecue, chili and steak. Onlookers at the World Food Championships can watch chefs go head-to-head in the competition kitchens and then race their dishes to the judging tent. The VIP Lounge is the best spot to catch all the action, but tickets sell out quickly.

Tickets can also be purchased for a Progressive Yacht Dinner, where a small group of diners go from yacht to yacht for five different courses. In 2018, the Tasting Pavilion will be bigger and better than ever before and will showcase savory samples of dishes from local and national food brands.

Harris Vacation Rentals has the perfect vacation rental for you and your traveling group! Click here now to browse our rentals by bedrooms in Orange Beach.

After you’ve fed your foodie spirit, discover more of what Alabama beaches have to offer. There’s plenty of fun to be had during a fall beach vacation. To explore more, read 3 Hidden Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Attractions.