Anytime you are going to a big music festival like Hangout Fest you really want to be as close to the festival as possible. You can obviously save some money by staying further away from Hangout, but the traffic getting to Hangout Fest is going to make you wish you had just paid more to be closer. That said, sometimes you do stay further away and you need to know the best approaches to get to the festival. This article will go over everything transportation related to Hangout Fest from the closest airport to Hangout Fest to how to get around Gulf Shores, AL. After reading this you should have a pretty good idea for all of your options for getting around Gulf Shores during Hangout Music Festival.
If you live nearby and can drive you can see the driving directions below. Note that there are limited routes to Hangout Fest and the traffic gets absolutely abysmal on Thursday evening. If you are driving in on Thursday aim to be there by noon or enjoy your time in god awful traffic.
From Atlanta, Auburn, Georgia and the Carolinas: take I-85 South to I-65 South.
From Nashville, Chattanooga, Louisville, Indianapolis, Chicago, Huntsville, and Montgomery: take I-65 South.
From Texas, New Orleans, & Baton Rouge: take I-10 East.
You take either the I-10 East or the I-65 South to Highway 98, which will lead you to Gulf Shores, AL. From there take either Beach Express or Gulf Shorts Parkway, both of which lead you to Hangout Fest. The Beach Express is a toll road that will run you $3.50 but it’s worth it if you are in a rush or really hate traffic. The official address for Hangout Fest is 101 East Beach Boulevard Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA.
Flying into Hangout Fest? No problem – a lot of people come from out of town to experience Hangout Fest! The closest airport to Hangout Music Festival is Pensacola International Airport, which is about 45 minutes by car from Gulf Shores, AL. A lot of major cities have connecting flights to Pensacola so you shouldn’t have a problem getting a flight. As usual with travel I would suggest you book early in order to get a deal. This is a really busy weekend in Gulf Shores, AL so flights will fill up quickly and it is a fairly small airport. Other airport options are Birmingham, AL and New Orleans, LA. New Orleans is the closer option as it is about 3.5 hours from Hangout while Birmingham is closer to 5 hours away from Hangout. You may find a far cheaper rate at one of these airports, which could make it worthwhile.
There is absolutely no public transportation from Pensacola International Airport to Gulf Shores, AL. Thus you will need to rent a car to get to Hangout. Rates for rental cars will obviously vary, especially as you get closer to Hangout, but it will usually be about $200 for the full weekend. This is expensive but at least it gives you the freedom to get around Gulf Shores when you aren't at Hangout. You may be tempted to drive to Hangout since you are getting a rental car, but I highly advise against this. There is no parking at Hangout, the traffic will be terrible, and the parking you will find throughout Gulf Shores will be overpriced. Rent a car to get to Gulf Shores, AL but don't use it to get to Hangout every day.
Gulf Shores ultimately isn’t that big – getting to Hangout Fest has pretty limited options. As I said, there is no public transportation for getting around Gulf Shores so you have three options essentially assuming you cannot walk to Hangout Fest: drive yourself, rideshare/taxi, the Hangout Fest shuttle, or bike. Let’s go through each of these options.
Don’t do it. If you are staying far away from Hangout Fest you may be tempted to drive yourself and park there. First, there is no official on-site parking for Hangout Fest. Thus you will need to find a business who is renting out their parking lot. Do not expect to find any good deals. Second, there are cops everywhere, and they will not hesitate to pull you over. Do not drive even the least bit impaired – don’t turn Hangout Fest into the time you got a DUI. Third, traffic is absolutely abysmal. This is one of the busiest weekends in Gulf Shores all year – it will be a slow, painful and agonizing crawl to Hangout. Skip driving yourself.
Uber recently was asked to suspend services in Gulf Shores so that’s not happening. Cabs are possible if you can get one and want to pay inflated rates. Cabs are incredibly difficult to get, especially at night after Hangout Fest ends for the evening. You also will still be stuck in traffic, so enjoy watching the meter rise and rise. Again, skip the taxi option for getting to Hangout.
The official Hangout Shuttle is a great option for getting to Hangout every day. First let’s go over how you get your Hangout Shuttle pass. You can buy the official Hangout Shuttle pass at their website. You can and should just buy your shuttle pass when you purchase your Hangout Fest tickets. The Hangout shuttle pass is $50 plus service fees of a few bucks for the full three day weekend. You do not need to specify a bus line when buying the shuttle pass – just buy it and figure out the closest shuttle stop to your accommodations.
The map above shows the stops for Hangout shuttles. The shuttles cover the entire Gulf Shores area, with many stops along Perdido Beach Blvd, where most hotels and condo rentals are located. The shuttle also covers distant areas such as Orange Beach and Foley. Regardless of where you are staying for Hangout Fest, you should be able to find a shuttle that will work for you. Note that the shuttle passes sell out every year! Do not hesitate to buy these, even if you do not yet know where you are staying. There is over a 99% chance that your accommodations will be near a shuttle stop unless you are trying purposefully to stay away from Hangout. For full details on all the stop locations see the link above.
Overall the shuttles are pretty awesome. They’re clean, air conditioned, have friendly bus drivers, and run fairly frequently. The Hangout Fest shuttles begin running every day at 11 am and run continuously throughout the day. The final shuttles leave Hangout 30 minutes after the final show of the evening. I should also say that by ‘run continuously’ I mean there is no schedule – if you need to get to Hangout just go to your closest pickup/dropoff spot and a shuttle should arrive shortly. You won’t have to wait long, the shuttles run quite efficiently.
The last option is biking to Hangout Fest, which is also a great option. Gulf Shores is incredibly flat so the terrain is very accommodating for biking. There is official bike parking at Hangout Fest; it is located at the North Gate Entrance on Highway 59. Note that locks are not provided so be sure to bring your own or rent it at your local bike shop. Don’t get out of an awesome day at Hangout Fest only to find your bike has been swapped. Also, a lot of people bike to Hangout Fest so be sure to remember where you parked!
There are a lot of places to rent bikes for Hangout Music Festival. If you are interested in renting a bike here are some of the places in Gulf Shores to check out:
Infinity Bicycles (Located in Orange Beach) - http://infinity-bicycles.com/product-list/bike-rentals-1238/
Beach Bike Rentals (Located in Orange Beach but free delivery) - http://www.beachbikerentals.net/
Coyote Beach Sports - http://coyotebeachsports.com/home
Beach Bum Services - https://beachbumservices.com/
Hangout Music Festival has no public transportation from the nearby airports or around in Gulf Shores, AL where the festival takes place. Thus, you are going to need a car to get around. Your best bets for getting to the festival are either the Hangout Shuttle or renting a bike – both are affordable and convenient options for getting to Hangout daily!