Food Traveler Magazine Winter 2016 - Page 119

Southeast Gulf Shores & Orange Beach ALABAMA Refreshing cool air, waves crashing on the sand and the scent of a Gulf breeze are what guests are greeted with when visiting Alabama’s beaches during the winter months. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach provide the ideal locations for the perfect warm weather winter getaway. During this season, the destination is booming with fun, nature-based activities, delicious dining and several culinary events. As if the beach alone was not enough reason to visit the area, visitors can enjoy a variety of other outdoor activ- ities including hiking and biking, fishing, golf and much more. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail features paved trails, bridges, lakes and beautiful landscapes winding through six diverse ecosystems. The trail makes for a wonderful place to bike, hike and explore the unique wildlife that inhabits the Alabama Gulf Coast. For those golfers visiting the area, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach boast over 200 holes between their nationally-recognized courses. Many of the courses were designed by some of golf’s greatest including Jerry Pate, Earl Stone and Arnold Palmer. Fishing is another fun outing one can enjoy while on Alabama’s beaches. The destination offers a multitude of inshore, nearshore and offshore fishing excursions. From deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico or cruising on the back bay to casting a line off the side of the Gulf State Park Pier, there is something for everyone. And divers might enjoy a spear fishing excursion. Several restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer hook ‘n’ cook, a service that allows guests to bring in their catch to be prepared by the chefs in a variety of delicious ways. There’s nothing quite like a true boat to table meal on the Alabama Gulf Coast! FoodTraveler l Winter 2016 117