Alabama’s got soul. Here's where to dance and sing along.
You can find it in the cozy beach towns snug along the Gulf of Mexico or the country roads rolling into Muscle Shoals, cradled between the two musical meccas of Nashville and Memphis. Alabama tells its own story with melodies and lyrics inspired by its storytellers – musicians.
Not-to-Be-Missed Music Festivals
Hangout Music Festival
Gulf Shores knows how to throw a party. Beach vibes, headliners and regional talents with cult followings stir up fun at this three-day festival held annually on the local public beach areas. The added bonus? Pristine beaches and a tempting food truck scene.
W.C. Handy Music Festival
Held every year in Florence, this festival pays homage to the “Father of the Blues” with a strong lineup of blues and jazz artists and bands. Count on a string of events to coincide with the festival – everything from car shows to street dance parades.
Mardi Gras in Mobile
Parades, parties, food, flying moon pies and fantastic music are the hallmarks of this two-week extravaganza. If you can make it, don’t miss it. It’s the nation’s oldest Mardi Gras celebration and it only gets better every year.
Rock the South
Hosted in Cullman, a small town north of Birmingham, this music fest is billed as the biggest party in the South and Alabama’s largest country music festival. Expect two days of song and dance the first weekend in June. It’s an excellent start to summer.
Alabama Coastal Bars & Shacks
Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Bar
Known as Jimmy Buffet’s favorite hangout, the Flora-Bama is a legendary beach bar that’s played host to national as well as local musicians and bands. The entertainment complex straddles the Florida-Alabama state line and is considered one of the USA’s last roadhouses. It serves up a variety of food and drinks, including the infamous Bushwacker cocktail, a sweet, frozen concoction featuring rum and coffee liqueur.
Drive up or dock your boat on the causeway for nightly live music Tuesday – Friday and all day on the weekends. The food is like the music – consistently good. Don’t leave without trying the flaming oysters.
Big Beach Brewing Company
Alabama’s Southernmost brewery hosts live music throughout the week and frequent firkin tappings (a firkin is a type of keg that is laid sideways to be tapped). The beer at this watering hole includes something special in every pint glass, such as local citrus Satsumas and even sweet potatoes.
The Wharf Amphitheater at Orange Beach
Nearby shopping and dining make concert going at this breezy amphitheater even more enticing. Major artists like the Dave Matthews Band, Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert have performed here.
Fresh-caught seafood and top-notch musical entertainment pair up nicely at this festive indoor and outdoor beach bar. You can also get playful with a variety of outdoor courtyard games and ping pong and foosball tucked inside.
Lulu’s Gulf Shores
Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, the allure of live music, tasty seafood and a solid beach ambiance make this spot a favorite. Eat like a local and try the Big Fry Seafood basket for two.