Located in the north-central region of the Gulf of Mexico, the Alabama Gulf Coast is known for its sugar-white sand and sparkling emerald waters. However, the nearly 4.5 million people who visit the region every year know there's so much more to this coastal community. Championship golf courses, historic sites, and of course, world-class meeting space, are just the beginning of what the Gulf Coast has to offer.
Also appealing about the Alabama Gulf Coast is its accessibility. The region is just a few hours away by car from cities such as New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Birmingham and Jackson, Mississippi. Ground travelers from Atlanta, Chattanooga, Memphis, Nashville and Houston can arrive at the Gulf Coast in just one day. Meanwhile, air travelers can take their pick of the nearby Mobile and Pensacola airports, both of which are within an hour of the Gulf Coast and offer service on most major carriers.
After touching down, visitors easily reach the Gulf Coast via taxi, shuttle or rental car to find more than 15,000 hotel rooms and plenty of venues for work and play. In fact, the region has a number of all-in-one hotels and resorts that offer comfortable accommodations, superb amenities and plenty of meeting space. The sprawling Perdido Beach ResortPerdido Beach Resort boasts more than 45,000 square feet of meeting space, capable of hosting groups ranging in size from 20 to 1,000 people. The Mediterranean-style resort also offers 346 oversized guest rooms and suites, restaurants, tennis courts, an indoor/outdoor pool and more.
Also proving that meetings can be effective and entertaining is The Conference Center at the Wharf, the Gulf Shore's newest event space. With 18,600 square feet of meeting space, the center provides striking waterfront views and space for as many as 2,000 people. The center is also part of Orange Beach's popular Wharf resort and marina, home to restaurants, bars, family-friendly attractions, an 18-hole golf course and a 10,000-seat outdoor amphitheater that regularly hosts live performers such as Kid Rock, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Miranda Lambert.
For a less traditional take on meetings, consider one of the Alabama Gulf Coast's truly unique special event facilities. Make sure meetings are up to par at one of the region's championship golf courses. Craft Farms, home to the 18-hole, Arnold Palmer-designed Cotton Creek course, offers space in its Cotton Creek Clubhouse for events, as well as unique group programs such as cocktail parties on the 18th green and glow-in-the-dark putting contests. Or, treat up to 150 guests to a leisurely sunset dinner cruise aboard the Southern Rose.
The economy of the Alabama Gulf Coast is based largely on real estate and tourism. In fact, the area generated more than $2.8 billion in travel-related dollars in 2008. The region is in close proximity to several colleges and universities including Faulkner State Community College, Bishop State Community College and the University of South Alabama-Baldwin.