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What exactly is OWA? It’s the newest entertainment district in Foley, Alabama. Located about 20 minutes from Gulf Shores, The Park at OWA includes a new amphitheater, splash pad, playgrounds, amusement rides, dining, entertainment, and more! Read on to find out how you can plan your trip to the Park at OWA.
OWA in Foley, Alabama consists of the Downtown OWA Entertainment District and The Park at OWA.
OWA provided me admission in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.
What does OWA mean?
In the Muscogee Creek language, OWA, pronounced as one word and not an abbreviation, means Big Water. It’s run by the Parch Band of Creek Indians and the Tribe is the sole owner and developer.
I include this tidbit as I found it fascinating and dug in to learn more about the Parch Creek Tribe. Their roots lie in the Southern Alabama area and are the only federally recognized tribe in the state of Alabama. In addition to OWA, their enterprises focus on hospitality. You can read more about the Tribe here.
OWA Entertainment District
The OWA entertainment district or downtown OWA includes shopping, dining, and live performance entertainment.
It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening with friends or family. The best part, parking is free and plentiful!
While the Park at OWA may cater to the younger kids, the entertainment at Downtown OWA is perfect for teens.
Gravity Island Watersports is a wakeboard skiing and watersports park right in the middle of downtown. Go for a pulley pulled wakeboarding experience, or jump and play at the inflatable obstacle course.
eSports more your thing? Clash eSports Center has the latest technology and video games for PC, Xbox, PS, and Nintendo Switch games. Pay by the hour starts at a reasonable $8.
Downtown OWA has a variety of dining options, with plenty of room for growth, I see many more coming to that area. Some highlight:
Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant for laid-back beach vibes, with ultra-fresh foods. Sit outside if you can and watch the wakeboarders try their skill on the water. I felt as if I was dining in the Florida Keys here.
Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is the perfect place for that southern-style family food. Your options include main and side dishes shared with your entire party at the table, just as you would if you were at home. Unlike at home, however, the portions are endless!
Murder Creek Distillery serves up and sells moonshine flavors such as apple pie, peach, pickle, and more. You can try them all out for $1 so you know just which variety to take home.
There are a few shopping places to include in your trip to the Park at OWA. Be sure to check out Native Treasures. As mentioned above, OWA is part of the Poarch Tribe. Native Treasures showcases authentic Native American creations for your home or clothing
Entertainment at OWA is another area not to be missed and fun for the whole family, including the teenagers.
Brandon Styles’s comedy, comedy, magic, and impressions will have you awed and amused.
Legends in Concert features celebrity performance tributes. At first, when I heard that it was impersonators singing the famed artists’ hits, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. However, it was one of those events that completely exceeded my expectations.
The venue itself is a state-of-the-art theater complete with a spacious lobby and proscenium stage. The lighting and accompaniment matched the performance, giving a fun concert atmosphere. The size of the theater is not so big however that you don’t feel a connection with the performer.
Speaking of connections, the performers I saw included Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and Tina Turner. Each performer embodied her celebrity look alike. These ladies sang, danced, and entertained from the bottom of their gut. You easily forget these are tribute artists.
I thoroughly enjoyed the concert and only wish I could return to experience the variations they offer throughout the year such as the upcoming holiday performances.
The Park at OWA
Let’s talk about the fact that there’s also an amusement park at OWA. Named the Park at OWA, this is a gated amusement park full of classic amusement rides. Over 20 different rides are here with a mix of thrill and family-friendly attractions.
You’ll find a trip to The Park at OWA rides include classics like teacups and flying carousel as well as thrill rides such as the Rollin Thunder roller coaster that travels nearly the length of the entire park.
OWA Tickets start at $24.99 for specially priced fall admission.
Because OWA is all about including the entire family, they offer a non-rider pass to the park for free. No need to pay to watch the grandkids squeal with delight on the rides.
The Park at OWA Hours are limited during the off-season, so be sure to check the hours here ahead of time.
Year-round, The Park at OWA has can’t miss events for the whole family. While visiting, I enjoyed the Halloween festivities that included trick or treating and pumpkin decorating, as well as Terror in the Park.
Events for the holidays will include the Holiday Tree Show, The North Pole Experience, and Classic Christmas at Legends in Concert.
Where to Stay
between the Entertainment and The Park at OWA, you can easily make a whole day or two-day event here. Of course, that means you need a place to stay.
The Towne Place Suites offer rooms with full kitchens if you’d like to stay longer and take some of your meals at the hotel. In the lobby, you’ll find comfy chairs and lots of meeting spaces. find a full breakfast included for free in the mornings in the lobby area as well.
The room was super comfortable and I appreciated just how close it was to the park as well as having a full-size fridge to stash my leftovers for the following day.
You could easily plan a few days at the beach before or after your trip to the Park at OWA. The Beach Club by Spectrum Resorts is only about 30 minutes away.
Future of OWA
OWA has a bevy of expansion plans. Coming soon in 2022 is an indoor/outdoor water park. In the coming years expect to see more restaurants and shops, a campground, and more hotel space.
Highlights at OWA
Overall, I was impressed with the cleanliness and designs of The Park at OWA and the entertainment district. The staff cares about their surroundings as well as the patrons. Everyone I encountered had a smile on their face and enjoyed talking about what they do at the park, from the waitstaff to the marketing team.
I can see that a trip to the Park at OWA will be a destination vacation in the years to come, beyond being just an amusement park close to Gulf Shores.