Keg and Barrel’s grub gurus sizzle up a selection of hearty pub fare, and its tap masters furnish chalices with sudsy selections from onsite Southern Prohibition Brewery and from hop-houses around the country, earning the drink haven a spot as one of Draft Magazine ’s top beer bars in America for 2010 and 2011. While perusing the list brimming with 55 on-tap beers and more than 40 bottled brews, nosh on an order of fried green tomatoes ($7) or chips and homemade salsa ($5). Then move on to more substantial spreads, such as the traditional fish ‘n’ chips ($8) or a selection from the bevy of burgers, seafood, and salads. John Neal’s chicken and waffles, much like a Pop Tart–flavored Hot Pocket, fuses the tastes of breakfast and dinner for a distinctive dining experience ($7), and the Sweet and Smokey sandwich lassos together turkey breast, provolone, and granny-smith apples between cinnamon-raisin bread for a highly inventive take on a traditional deli staple ($8). The knowledgeable staffers provide suggestions for beer pairings, helping patrons to find the perfect complement for any meal, from the wasabi-crusted tuna ($15) to a bag of smuggled-in fruit snacks.
Ronald Doyle Jr. spent his entire life on a 42-foot shrimp boat with his dad. After spending that much time on the water, he was hooked. Now Ronald runs cruises and fishing expeditions through Another Fish Charters. Private dolphin tours search for stunning wildlife sightings while night fishing trips ensure solitude out on the water or at least a chance to see sleeping mermaids. Another Fish Charters runs these trips regularly along with shrimping tours, scenic tours, and Bull Red fishing on Dixie Bar.
Although Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic features a discounted price online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.
Members of Freedom Boat Club enjoy the luxury of captaining their own aquatic excursions without the maintenance and storage hassles of owning a boat. Outings begin with a boat-orientation course, during which an experienced captain teaches students key nautical skills such as tying knots, docking in the wind, and navigating by the position of a half-eaten sandwich that kind of looks like the Big Dipper. Once skippers feel comfortable commanding a water chariot, they take to the seas for a day of sailing along with up to six additional guests. With the trial membership, boaters can choose any available Hurricane deck boat, inshore fishing boat, or pontoon. Hop aboard Orange Beach's 21-foot Hurricane 2100 to cut through the water on the strength of a 150-hp engine or commandeer Perdido Key's Sweetwater 2486 pontoon boat to benefit from a deck-top canopy in the event that a witch's curse makes it rain salamanders.
Combining entertainment, information, and breath-taking views, Cruise Orange Beach's captains take passengers to the waters of the Alabama Gulf Coast for an afternoon of adventure. The captains helm two 50-foot vessels?the Ann-Sea and Dolphin-Fun?ferrying passengers of all ages on fun-filled cruises that might result in sightings of leaping dolphins and sunbathing krakens. Best of all, midway through the trip, the crews pull the two boats side by side and incite a water war. Armed with water cannons, kids and adults alike soak the opposing group?or their own leader if they've declared mutiny?in a spirited water fight. Passengers will even get a chance to handle a live blue crab plucked from one of the scattered crab traps before returning to shore.
Although these sightseeing trips comprise most of Cruise Orange Beach's outings, the captains also offer private charters for visitors looking to scuba dive, parasail, or view the sunset while bobbing in the water.
If you ask them for a job description, the guides at Gulf Coast Charters aren't likely to mince words. "We catch fish" is the company motto here, and that remains the mission day after day as their 22-foot Offshore boat heads out in search of speckled trout, flounder, redfish, and other species. Gulf Coast Charters' customized charters come with everything necessary to pull a prize catch from the water, including rods, bait, and fishing licenses.