Connect with nature, the past and each other along the Alabama Gulf Coast by attending Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism’s free educational showcasing and lecture series in January and February. Celebrating the Alabama Coastal Connection National Scenic Byway, the series will highlight attractions and related organizations at the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Welcome Centers as well as the Gulf Shores Cultural Center.

“Last year, we expanded our welcome center winter programming to include nature-focused lectures,” said Kim Chapman, director of hospitality and information at the tourism bureau. “Due to the popularity of those lectures, we grew the series again this year as we wanted to introduce our guests to those truly unique or new businesses along our national scenic byway. This series is an excellent way to learn about our beautiful area from local experts in addition to reminding or possibly introducing our welcome centers to the visiting public.”

Connect with nature by attending lectures and showcases by the Alabama Marine Resources Division, Baldwin County Trailblazers, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, birding experts, Coastal Alabama Clean Water Partnership, Graham Creek Nature Preserve, Gulf State Park, Leave Only Footprints, NUISANCE Group, oyster experts and Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Relive coastal Alabama’s history with presentations from the African American Heritage Trail, Foley Train Depot, Fort Morgan State Historic Site, Gulf Shores Museum, GulfQuest, Historic Blakeley State Park, Holmes Medical Museum, Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum and National Museum of Naval Aviation. Make connections with each other by learning from the Big Beach Brewing Company, Blue Girl Beading, Clara’s Loom, Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach, Karen Kurtz (local author), Pottery Central, SEA Quilt and Sports Commission restaurant sponsors.

Lectures and showcases will begin Jan. 6 at the Orange Beach Welcome Center, 23685 Perdido Beach Blvd., and Jan. 7 at the Gulf Shores Cultural Center, 19470 Oak Road West. Beginning Feb. 2, lectures and showcases in Gulf Shores will continue at the new welcome center, located at 3459 Gulf Shores Parkway.

To view a full schedule of events, click here.