Always nice when a national organization calls Gulf Shores, our vacation home away from home, “One of the most beautiful collegiate sporting venues. Ever.”
Beach volleyball is relatively new. In fact, this is the inaugural year for the national championships. And, they are being held right in our own backyard in Gulf Shores on May 6-8th. If you happen to be around, stop by and check them out. Other than catching them on summer olympics coverage, or if you happen to have a daughter (or son) who plays, you likely have never seen competitive beach volleyball in person, so this is a great opportunity.
Plus, they seem to love Gulf Shores. Here’s what the NCAA press release had to say:
An aesthetic benefit of beach volleyball is, well, the beach. The inaugural beach volleyball championship is being played on the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Ala., and this gulf coast destination is one of, if not the most, beautiful place an NCAA sporting event has been held.
“It is beautiful. The wind’s not too bad. It’s sunny; it’s wonderful,” said FSU’s Hailey Luke. “It’s kinda perfect.”
Earning a trip to the “Redneck Rivera” must seem like a second spring break for the student-athletes, with the added bonus of possibly returning to campus with a trophy. But, getting to compete at such a picturesque locale is a victory in itself.
“You can’t beat the venue,” McPeak said. “You’ve got white sand and blue skies.”
Read more about 5 things to watch from Gulf Shores including that its truly history in the making.
Where can I watch the NCAA Beach Volleyball National Championships?
Well, unless you happen to be nearby and can shoot over and stay in one of our open vacation homes this weekend (because, well, why not!), then you can catch the inaugural championship on tv. It
will be held Friday through Sunday, May 6-8, from Gulf Shores, Ala. Turner networks will televise the event, with truTV providing live coverage on Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7, from 3-6 p.m. ET and the championship round airing on TBS on Sunday, May 8, at 2 p.m.
Where can I play volleyball during my Gulf Shores vacation?
You can play at the Gulf Shores public beach. If you happen to be at one of our Orange Beach locations, like the Jewels by the Sea (and who wouldn’t want to stay at these very nice, upscale, fully decked out accommodations?), you might try Gulf State Park Romar Beach or Gulf State Park Cotton Bayou.
Gulf Shores Main Public Beach
If you’re looking for volleyball-playing, beach-bar-hanging good times, this spot – where Highway 59 dead-ends into the Gulf – is for you. For a small fee, you get all-day, up-close parking, making it easy to unload your gear. Beach attendants, three open-air pavilions and a picnic area are available. There are also restrooms and showers on site. This is a popular spot, so you may want to arrive early to get a prime parking spot.
Cotton Bayou Beach
This public beach area is located 5.1 miles east of Alabama Highway 59 and .2 mile west of Ala Highway 161. The Cotton Bayou beach access area has restrooms, outdoor showers and free parking. The beach is a short walk from the parking lot.
This beach area – with a limited amount of free parking – is easy to get to. It’s perfect for a quick beach stroll or an impromptu picnic. It’s located 6.8 miles east of Highway 59. Future plans call for restrooms and outdoor showers, but currently there aren’t any.
Not in the mood to share the volleyball court? Why not rent your own….
Rent a volleyball setup when staying in a Gulf Shores vacation home?
You bet! There are several local rental companies that specialize in providing everything you might need to complete your already awesome Orange Beach or Orange Beach vacation house stay. You can rent volleyball posts, nets, and balls.
Several of the companies will even come to right to your Gulf Shores vacation home and set the nets up using nice sturdy posts. Add something different this time you visit Gulf Shores, Alabama with a little family playtime on the beach. Set up, tear down, not your problem. Family fun? Definitely! While we don’t recommend a particular vendor, a quick web search should give you plenty of choices.