On my second visit to The Park at OWA, I was pleased to see that the OWA has added more shops and restaurants. The Park, with its signature Rolling Thunder roller coaster, is as exciting as ever. And The Park’s thrill rides do not disappoint. I still found the Twister frightening to watch as it turns its riders upside down multiple times.
For the fall festival this year, The Park added a new ride, the Mystic Mansion. It incorporates a haunted house themed ride with target shooting. This one was definitely more my kind of ride.
Quickly becoming a dining destination in Foley, Downtown OWA will soon be the home to three more restaurants to serve Downtown OWA. But first, we had to try some of the downtown favorites. And we found three secrets that need to be shared about Downtown OWA.
The Groovy Goat-We started our culinary weekend adventure here. We tried several menu appetizer selections, but the pulled pork sliders were a home run.
Wahlburgers-We lunched here on Saturday. Brian Walsh, the general manager, invited us to try everything, and we did. We started with their signature appetizer, Poutine. The Bacon cheeseburger was a hit, and the crispy onion rings made for the perfect side dish. The accompanying frappes hit the spot. There is a full bar offered here too.
Trattoria Pizza and Italian serves Italian fare with a family vibe. Our Saturday night dining choice that could easily become anyone’s regular spot for dinner. The prices are right, and the service is first class. We indulged in a medium Trattoria pizza and a Boston Tea Party, a blue-colored take on a Long Island Iced Tea. The evening football games played as we enjoyed our pizza.
Crazy Donuts-Seriously crazy flavor combinations made with tasty freshly made doughnuts. The first of the best-kept secrets at OWA with its full bar with top-shelf labels. Truly the best deal in Downtown OWA for adult beverages.
Hershey’s Ice Cream Parlor-Who can argue with a tasty treat after a long day of fun at The PARK!
The second best-kept secret in Downtown OWA is Thirsty Thursdays in the Park. This special happy hour on Thursdays through November featuring half-priced appetizers and special drink prices at the participating restaurants.
Soon OWA will have three new additions to the restaurant scene: Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant, C’est Le Vin a wine bar and shop, and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. Paula Deen’s arrival at OWA is happily anticipated. Paula’s restaurants are culinary destinations on their own so be ready to wait for a table. I have eaten at Lucy’s in New Orleans; I’m sure their laid back surfer vibe will be a fun addition to the Park.
Fairhope Soap Store-The smells here are free. Here you will find most anything needed to rejuvenate your bath time.
Pepper Palace-If you like it HOT and SPICY, then this is the place for you. Approach some items with caution. For one combination, you must sign a waiver to try it.
The Spice and Tea Exchange-Your senses will feast on the aromas found here. Ordinary to the exotic locally blended spices line the wall here. Do you want something specially blended? They will do that for you.
The manger, Kara, found my favorite tea, the Earl Gray Crème. Come in a have a cuppa, they will brew it to your specification. Be warned; they brew it hot at either 175° and 212°, so be prepared for a perfectly brewed cup of tea.
Alvin’s Island-It would be hard not to find something to buy in Alvin’s.
Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon-Tasty treats to entice your taste buds.
Brandon Styles is a talented, young, energetic magician and performer who began performing magic at the age of seven. His impersonations came along later through his father’s love of music. In fact, the majority of his impressions are of singers, from Justin Bieber to Frank Sinatra.
It is a family affair at Brandon’s show, his wife Diamond is his assistant and manages the show, and his seven-year-old daughter Bailey also performs with him. This is a fun family-oriented show. Be sure to see one of his performances. You will be amazed.
LEGENDS IN CONCERT
The third best-kept secret at OWA is Legends in Concert. It opened at OWA in June, and it is still finding its audience. Legends is a first-class Vegas show featuring some of the biggest names in tribute performance entertainment. It’s fun, professional and rocking. You will hear screams for “Elvis” nightly.
We enjoyed a musical evening with George Strait (Doug Brewin), Aretha Franklin (Denita Ashbury), Taylor Swift (Tina Dawn), Brooks and Dunn (Doug Brewin and Larry Taylor) and Elvis (Travis Powell). I must say Denita belts a song just like Aretha could. Travis embodies his role, and when he told me he had been portraying Elvis since he was four years old, it is no wonder his performance is enthralling.
I spoke briefly with Tina (Taylor Swift) and discovered she was a classically trained singer and had previously worked as a backup vocalist and dancer for Legends. I was impressed with Larry Taylor’s singing skills as he portrayed Ronnie Dunn. Larry told me he also portrays Alan Jackson on occasion, and the two singing skills are miles apart.
New performers are added to the lineup regularly, so be sure to check the website for updates. You don’t want to miss one of your favorite performers. The four hundred twenty seat theatre provides the audience with an intimate setting where you can thoroughly enjoy one of the six performances each week.
Come and enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants then see the show. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Town Suites by Marriot is the only hotel at OWA at present. We were greeted warmly by Casey, who checked us in quickly. After we got settled in our room, we headed to the lobby for a drink at the evening’s happy hour.
Located at the edge of Downtown OWA, it was an easy walk from the Town Suites to the park and the restaurants for dinner. The lighted fountains will dance as you make your way to dinner.
The room was comfortably appointed with a full kitchen, table and chair, and ottoman. The breakfast had ample selections. The biscuits were tasty, which is something you don’t always find at a hotel breakfast buffet.
Find the magic
This low key overcast weekend, made for a nice getaway and we thoroughly enjoyed spending time at the Park, Downtown OWA, experiencing the magic of Brandon’s show and the excitement of the Legend’s performers. A water park will be the next addition to Park. OWA has experiences to offer to all of those that visit. From a thrill ride to the magic of music, come and find your magical experience at OWA.