7 Reasons Why You Should Skip New Orleans and Spend Mardi Gras on the Alabama Gulf Coast
Mardi Gras is Tuesday, March 5, 2019, and we, along the Alabama Gulf Coast, are already gearing up for our first big party of the year. Everyone knows the beach is a great place to spend New Years, Independence Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day, but did you know Coastal Alabama does Mardi Gras in a big way, too? That’s right! We do! Here in our island paradise, we have some of the best gumbo, brightest beads, and host the most family friendly Mardi Gras day anywhere. In short, we can laissez les bon temps rouler with the best of ‘em! We just prefer to do it in our flip-flops and shorts! As for the upcoming Mardi Gras Season, we have so much fun planned, we need to start early getting the word out. Here are seven reasons why you should skip New Orleans and spend Mardi Gras 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:
- Fresh Alabama Seafood makes the best gumbo
The term Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. What better way is there to enjoy Fat Tuesday than with a bowl of some of the best gumbo anywhere? While we will agree that the first recorded references to gumbo were around 1803 in New Orleans, we strongly disagree when folks say the best gumbo is still found there. We actually believe we live where the best gumbo is made. Talented chefs at local restaurants like DeSoto’s, Doc’s, and Sea-N-Suds make gumbo that can challenge (and we think top!) any gumbo made anywhere in Louisiana. DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen, located just a block or so off West Beach in Gulf Shores, has some of the best gumbo around. DeSoto’s serves gumbo in a cup or a bowl. We suggest a bowl (because you’re gonna love the stuff!), and add a side of fried green tomatoes, too! Next, you need to try the gumbo at Doc’s. Doc’s Seafood Shack is located on Canal Road and its been there so long, we can’t even remember a time when it didn’t exist. A local favorite for many years (34 years to be exact) , the folks at Doc’s have perfected the art of making gumbo. They say they “have the best fried shrimp in the entire civilized world”. We think their gumbo is pretty alright, too! Sea-N-Suds Restaurant and Oyster Bar, located right on the Gulf in Gulf Shores, has been serving their amazing gumbo for over 40 years. We have been in love with it for just that long, too! They are so sure you will love their gumbo, they will actually give you a free cup with an entree. Check with them for details. Don’t just take our word for it, give our Alabama Seafood gumbo a try! You’ll agree fresh Alabama Seafood makes the best gumbo!
- Beads are better if you can actually catch them
What does that mean? It means you have a much better chance of catching beads if half the folks who live south of Nashville are not blocking your view of the floats. Why would you drive all the way to Louisiana only to find yourself lost somewhere in a crowd of revelers five, six or maybe ten people deep? Because the crowds are smaller in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you can position yourself closer to the parade route. You can actually make eye contact with the masked revelers and, therefore, strongly increase your odds of catching more beads than you can comfortably wear. The goal of Mardi Gras for most folks is to catch a ton of beads. Come to our parades and get ready to collect your share. After all, beads are so much better if you can actually catch them!
- We love you to the Moon(Pie) and back
Over 100 years ago, the Chattanooga Bakery started producing MoonPies. Made originally of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows, MoonPies have become one of America’s favorite treats. MoonPies and Mardi Gras married up in Mobile in the early 1970s. Before then, revelers threw Cracker Jacks to parade goers. As you can imagine, getting smacked in the head with a sharp cornered box of popcorn and peanuts was no fun. A ladies’ parading group thought it would be safer and more fun to toss round, lightweight MoonPies. Those ladies started a tradition that is still going strong today. Now, in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, just like with our neighbor across the bay, MoonPies are a parade staple. Even though Chattanooga is some 425 miles away from Gulf Shores, locals have adopted the tasty round treat as a Mardi Gras must and we can honestly say, “we will love you to the MoonPie and back!”
- Local folks are friendly
While I tease about “love” and “MoonPies” I am definitely not teasing when I say local folks are really friendly. Being from South Alabama, we say “yes ma’am” and “thank you” and “y’all come back again”. We don’t consider it (like some folks do) as talking “southern”. Instead, we just think its the right way to treat people. Treat folks with kindness and respect and they become more than just visitors to our little island paradise, they become a part of our extended family. We, at Sunset Properties, have grafted in quite a few of our guests. Some of our best family members are not technically related to us at all. Nevertheless, they liked our friendly disposition and we liked them right back. Locals are not only friendly folks, they might become some of your best friends anywhere!
- Parade access is super easy
Have you ever tried to park on Bourbon Street? I guess the better question is: why would you try to park on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras? How about this: skip the whole thing and just come to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach and park literally right off our parade routes. With parking options all along the parade routes on Alabama Highway 59 and Beach Boulevard, parking is a breeze ( a sea breeze, even!). You won’t have to walk far from your car to get the best spot to stand as the floats pass by and your walk back to your car won’t exhaust you either. Another great thing about our parade parking, you start out and end up right near our best retail shops, restaurants and local pubs. The Original Oyster House Boardwalk, for example, right on Highway 59 has all three! And access to our Gulf Shores parade route from the boardwalk, is as easy as pie!
- Accommodations are affordable
Affordable accommodations..now this is big deal, especially if you’re coming to the beach for more than a couple of days. While Mardi Gras is technically only on Tuesday, we believe in hanging out for a few days. After all, who goes to the beach just for one day? At Sunset Properties, we have several great properties to choose from. If you’d like to stay close the the Gulf Shores route, take a look at Beachview 223. If Orange Beach is more your style, check out Moorings 414. Looking to stay a little off the beaten path where the scenery is fabulous, but the pace is a tad bit slower? Check out My Sunshine, Big Pelican and Sundown. Our accommodations are tastefully decorated, spacious enough for your whole family and affordable so that you can enjoy your Mardi Gras week or weekend in our area without killing your entertainment budget.
- The beach is your backdrop
With thirty-two miles of sugary white sandy beaches, the Alabama Gulf Coast should not only be your first choice for summer vacations, but for Mardi Gras, as well. We love to have fun on Pleasure Island and our beaches make any day a great day! While you’re in town getting a jump start on your summer tan, be sure to take some time to visit the Alabama Gulf State Park Pier and Pavilion, located in Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores. Visit our public beach areas in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The days are getting longer and the sea oats are starting to rustle in the spring breezes. Summer is right around the corner and you can feel the happiness in the air. Mardi Gras is a fun time of each year, but there is something super special about it when the beach as your backdrop.
So what are you waiting on? Get your sunblock, shades, flip flops together. Grab a big ole bag to carry all your throws home in, and come on down! Plan on spending Mardi Gras on the Alabama Gulf Coast and plan to stay with Sunset Properties. We are ready to help you “let the good times roll!”
Come for Mardi Gras, stay for Spring Break!