Perched on the beautiful white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, Orange Beach, Alabama is a visually stunning and activity-filled destination, perfect for your next getaway. Settled by Americans in the mid-1800’s, Orange Beach first attracted new residents thanks to opportunities for farming, forestry and fishing. As the local forests disappeared, they were replaced by orange groves, hence the eventual naming of the city as Orange Beach.
The early 20th century was rough on the city. Factors such as stretches of subfreezing weather, blight amongst the orange groves, and a nation wide economic downturn changed the face of the city. The Intracoastal Waterway brought tourism, new businesses and residents to the area. In 1979, Hurricane Frederic cause major damage to the city and the region. As the rebuilding process began, people noticed the area for its great potential. Soon the rebuilding turned into new developments and tourists and new residents began to flock to the area. In fact, the city was quickly forced to incorporate in 1984 to deal with all the rapid growth.
Currently, Orange Beach has a population of over 5,700 people and is one of the top tourist destinations you’ll find on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Take a journey to one of the many local beaches feature cool white sand, glimmering aquamarine water, and loads of sunshine. Activities on the beach include sunbathing, fishing, sailing, boating, diving, snorkeling and so much more. Away from the beach you’ll encounter some great championship level golf courses, amusement parks, public parks and the list goes on. The culture and entertainment scene is vibrant and the museums, galleries, and entertainment venues give you a unique experience. To get the true feel of Orange Beach make sure to visit during one of the great local events like the Bama Coast Cruise.
Only entering its seventh year, the Bama Coast Cruise has already established a dedicated following. Expecting over 800 people this year, this event is perfect for families, singles, couples and anyone else that loves cars, cruising and good times. This car show is free to attend and is held at The Wharf, right in Orange Beach. Set against the beautiful background of the Intracoastal Waterway, you’ll find beautiful cars, opportunities to drive, live entertainment, great food and plenty of like minded people to meet. Whether you're a gearhead or not, the Bama Coast Cruise is a great event for you and your family. Resortsandlodges.com got the oppotunity to speak to Adam Mclean, Executive Director of Motorsports Productions, Inc., to talk about this fun and entertaining event.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
AM: Bama Coast Cruise was started in 2010. We are proudly heading into our 7th Annual event. Each year we have grown and we're expecting to draw over 800 participants this year. We already have over 400 attendees pre-registered for this year's event. We are definitely a family friendly event. Most of our participants include couples and families with kids.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
AM: Two things separate our event from other cruisin’ events. The first is location. Bama Coast Cruise is held at The Wharf in Orange Beach. During the weekend of our show, Main Street is closed to the public and only our show cars are allowed to park there. Our participants have shopping and dining at their fingertips all weekend long while they enjoy the show! There is still plenty of public parking in the free parking decks right off of Main Street.
The Bama Coast Cruise also features Reserved Parking on Main Street. Those who pre-register for a space on Main Street get to select their space for the weekend. The space is held for them with a pre-placed commemorative sign that has their name and car on it. They can leave the grounds, cruise around Orange Beach and return to the show without worrying about losing their spot or having to try and find an open spot next to friends. For participants who do not choose Reserved Parking, there is still plenty of Open Show Car Parking at The Wharf, just like at any other cruisin’ event.
RAL: Take me through what people will find a the event for activities, guest appearances, food and environment.
AM: There are door prizes given out every hour and cash giveaways for participants, live music, nightly parties (family friendly), a poker run on Friday, and a Parade Cruise lead by Orange Beach Police on Saturday. There are awards for the cars that shine above the rest and we also have our Grand Prize Giveaway!
Our special guest this year is Von Hot Rod, internationally known West Coast Pinstriper and "Master of the Fine Line".
Dining ranges from casual to gourmet, right in the heart of the show at The Wharf. You'll also find a wide assortment of restaurants close by throughout Orange Beach.
The environment is very laid back and always friendly. Beautiful cars are on display as far as the eye can see, and every night The Wharf puts on a laser light show set to music on Main Street.
RAL: What can attendees expect to find for local lodging?
AM: There is lodging right in the middle of our show at Levin's Bend Condominiums at The Wharf. We also partner with several local hotels to get great rates for our participants and attendees. Our guests have been flocking to Levin's Bend at The Wharf every year since we started the show. So many, in fact, that it fills up quickly. Luckily, a new Marriott Spring Hill Suites hotel is being built on The Wharf's property and is set to open in May of 2016! These hotels and other local hotels can be found on our website.
While lodging at The Wharf hits maximum occupancy quickly, the City of Orange Beach does not! Orange Beach is a destination city and they are set up to handle the lodging requirements of large crowds. There are several beautiful beachfront hotels throughout the city, all of which are just minutes away from our event.
RAL: What does the event mean to the community?
AM: Our event adds a huge boost, not only to The Wharf, but to all of Orange Beach during a time that was typically a slow weekend before the summer rush. We are very fortunate to work with such a great city that appreciates our event and has worked hard to help us grow. We have also worked with the Christian Service Center in Orange Beach.
RAL: Why should people come?
AM: People should come to Bama Coast Cruise for the atmosphere, the beauty of the show and the city, and for the people. Even if you don't know anyone when you arrive, you will leave with dozens of new friends and great memories of a relaxing, fun filled time.
For more information about the Bama Coast Cruise, please visit their website.