Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Favorite Haunts on the Redneck Riviera

I just got back from a refreshing week-long vacation on the Redneck Riviera.  For those who are unfamiliar with that area- I am referring to the Alabama Gulf Coast and the Florida Panhandle.  My family specifically stayed in Orange Beach, Alabama.  
Growing up, when we did beach vacations, they were usually in Gulf Shores. When I was really little, my grandmother even had a condo on the bay side in Gulf Shores.  Last year, we started staying about 12 miles East of Gulf Shores in Orange Beach and we just love it.  It is a bit less crowded and the grocery store is just across the street from our condo of choice.  This might not seem that important but in our family, it seems at least one of us is going to the Publix (the grocery store) at least once a day, if not more.  Also, can I just go on record saying that Publix is pretty much the best grocery store ever. It is so clean and well organized! I love it. 

We have a pretty regular routine for the beach.  We usually eat out the first night we are there and then again one other night.  We eat all our other meals at the condo.  My dad loves going to the beach on vacation- but he doesn't actually go ON the beach.  He chills out in the condo and reads and naps and cooks for us.  That's his idea of a great vacation and that's fine by the rest of us! We spend the week drinking great cocktails and eating delicious fresh seafood.  It is AWESOME. 

Since we've been going to this area for a while, I thought I would share my favorite "haunts" in the area. 

The Flora-Bama
The Flora-Bama can be described as the ultimate dive bar.  It is grungy and completely awesome.  It is legendary in the South for being an awesome hang-out.  In recent years, I think the Flora-Bama is best during spring break time.  When we went on this trip, it was not very busy. 

The Pink Pony Pub
The Pink Pony Pub is located right on the beach in Gulf Shores.  The food is pretty good (for bar food, at least) and reasonably priced.  The drinks are well-priced, too.  It is SUPER casual- I mean they don't even have a no shoes-no shirt-no service policy.  It is the redneck riviera, after all.  I can remember going here as a little kid.  (Kids are welcome in the restaurant until 9 pm.)

Louisiana Lagniappe 
We tried Louisiana Lagniappe for the first time on this trip and the food was fantastic!!! We will definitely be going back there.  It is a pretty nice restaurant inside, but still very casual.  But it definitely would not qualify as "cheap eats" although the menu was well-priced for the portion size and quality of the food. 

Tallulah's is a great little gift shop in Orange Beach.  We go there every trip and it is very hard to walk away without buying anything adorable.  I would love to have pretty much everything they sell.  There is also a great local art store right next door. 

We also decided to try Cosmo's in Orange Beach for the first time this year.  I had this yummy tuna salad- it was so light and refreshing!  Cosmo's had a really great atmosphere and waiting area with a nice bar and appetizers so you could relax while you were waiting for a table instead of just sit around.

In addition to Publix in Orange Beach, we also stock up on fresh fruits and veggies at Burris Farm Market Bakery in Loxley (on the road on the way to Gulf Shores) and my dad purchases fresh seafood from Billy's Seafood in Bon Secour, Alabama. 
There are also a couple of shopping areas in Gulf Shores- one is the Tanger Outlet Mall in Foley, Alabama.  Another is newer- its called The Wharf in Orange Beach and it has some great little local shops located in a really big outdoor mall.  On our last two trips there, I've also gotten my hair cut at Fusion Salon at The Wharf and I really love the girl who cuts it.  And it is only $35.  Can't really beat that! 

While finding photos for this post, I also found this webpage that offers more advice on fun things to do in the Orange Beach/ Gulf Shores area.  If you are planning a trip there, I highly suggest a quick browse of this page


  1. i don't think you can go there without going to the flora-bama!

  2. I saw your guest post on Primitive & Proper.
    Decided to check you out. Thanks for letting us look around. Can't wait to read more from you.

    Thanks, The Miller's from Prezidential Life.


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