Barware Gifts Made For Holiday Cheer(sing)

For the hostess who deserves the mostess. These next level gifts are made for those on your list who take their cocktail or mocktail game seriously. Ideal ice, glasses and accessories for every drink! Let’s cheers with the hottest and coolest barware gifts this year. Clink your glasses and pinky’s up!



BrüMate Hopsulator Slim Can Cooler

White marble is all the trend this year in gifts for the home. This white marble BrüMate keeps our slim cans cold and keeps us looking classy. This fancy can-cooler is a non-slip, high-grip option that keeps slim cans cold all day. The marble matte finish is more than just pretty, with a non-slip coating high-quality insulation, paired with an easy fit gasket and rubber-stop bottom, your drink will stay where you put it no matter what.



Corkcicle Stemless Glass Set Prism

Add a little more fun to wine night with the ladies. The Corkcicle Stemless Glass Cup has a neat iridescent tint to it while still being transparent. It is also double-wall insulated keeping warm drinks warm and cold drinks cold!


Corkcicle Whiskey Wedge

The Corkcicle Whiskey Wedge is here to change the traditional nightcap game forever. Simply fill it up and place it in the freezer at least 4 hours before you pour your refreshments. The wedge will form a perfect ice cube that will melt slower than traditional ice cubes, keeping your drinks flavor intact for much longer. It’s a necessity for the whiskey drinker in your life!




W&P Design Marble Sphere Ice Mold

How to elevate your home bar game? Serve your drinks with ice spheres. This mold is ideal for the slow dilution of stiff cocktails whether you’re making a Negroni or Old Fashioned. The concept is simple. Big cubes melt more slowly than small ones. The tray is designed with sloped internal molds to create a seamless sphere. The rigid connections pins help secure the tray between filling, transfer, and freezing. The Marble Sphere Ice Mold brings speakeasy-quality ice to your home freezer.



W&P Design The Porter Straw – 10” Copper

Save the turtles and be stylish! W&P Design’s 10” Porter Straw is perfect for sipping your morning ice coffee or an afternoon cocktail! The straws are made of rust-resistant, plated stainless steel. Do the planet a favor and take these with you everywhere you go. Not only are the straws sleek and stylish but they’re the perfect alternative to single-use plastics.



W&P Design Water Bottle Ice Tray

These ice trays are so brilliant they make us say “why didn’t we come up with this?” This tray makes five individual ice spears that fit perfectly in most water bottles. The provided lid blocks out pesky flavors from your freezer, while an internal steel frame makes filling and transporting the tray a breeze.


‘Tis The Season Of Giving! Check out our other gift guides to help you find the perfect gifts for the ones on your list. We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors

Pre- and Post-Game Day Adventures Around Alabama

Hiking Alabama’s Pinhoti Trail.

Please note: due to local and state guidelines surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, some information below may not be accurate. Before you travel and plan your next adventure, make sure to check each business/park/campsite for any closures or guidelines and for the most up to date information. Enjoy your next Alabama game day adventure!


Each year, as summer wanes and fall arrives, two spectacular things occur in Alabama. First, cool, dry air breezes in, providing a respite from the sweltering heat and perfect conditions to explore the outdoors. And second, college football returns and grabs the attention of fans throughout the state.

But for football fans who love the outdoors, fall weekends pose a challenge: How to balance the time watching the game with their drive to hit the trail, crag, or river?

However, with some savvy planning, you don’t have to sacrifice either. Whether your game-day festivities are in Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Birmingham, or elsewhere to watch a game, your outdoor fix is within easy reach. For a quick pre-game or post-game getaway, consider this list of convenient places to hike, bike, paddle and climb around the state.

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Nicol

Paddleboarding on Lake Nicol is a great pre-game activity.

Paddleboarding on Lake Nicol is a great pre-game activity. Tuscaloosa Paddleboard

For decades, University of Alabama students have made the short road trip to Lake Nicol to sunbathe on the cliffs that tower over the water. But, in recent years, stand-up paddleboarders have flocked to this 384-acre lake, which is located 20 miles northeast of Tuscaloosa. Because jet skis and water skiing are not allowed on the lake, SUPers and kayakers can enjoy some peace and quiet, and they don’t have to worry about avoiding speedy watercraft and the wake from a passing boat.

Even though Lake Nicol lies near a residential area, it still feels like a natural place, as the forest and 60-foot bluffs provide an attractive backdrop. Plus, you can paddle a couple of miles to the north or south to see bald eagles or osprey. If you need gear, Tuscaloosa Paddleboard provides board rentals on weekends.

Auburn University, Auburn

Mountain biking at Chewacla State Park

Mountain biking at Chewacla State Park.Mountain biking at Chewacla State Park. Leah Parker

Located less than 5 miles from Auburn University, Chewacla State Park is one of the best mountain biking areas in Alabama. This is partly due to the fact that the Central Alabama Mountain Pedalers (C.A.M.P.) put great effort into developing and managing more than 15 miles of trails that traverse Chewacla’s rugged terrain. To sample some of the park’s best offerings, link together the Kick Six, Rocky Bottom, and Tiger Woods trails in Upper Chewacla. For the biggest thrill ride in the park, take Dell’s Trail and head for the Great Wall of Chewacla. At first, you’ll ride up a wooden bridge and then make a steep and swift descent, gaining necessary speed to traverse the wooden wall at a height of 10 or 15 feet above the ground. After you negotiate the wall, you’ll cross a series of serpentine bridges, skinnies, and a few pumps and jumps.

University of Alabama (UAB), Birmingham

Climbing at Moss Rock preserve

Moss Rock Park is an excellent add-on to any game day weekend.
Moss Rock Park is an excellent add-on to any game day weekend. Will Gurley

UAB fans in Birmingham don’t have to travel far for a great day of climbing. In the heart of Hoover, Moss Rock Preserve has about 40 bouldering problems ranging from V4 to V8, providing good options for beginners as well as experts. When the cool, dry air of autumn arrives, you’ll have ideal weather for exploring the high concentration of sandstone boulders in the south-central portion of the park. From the parking lot and trailhead on Preserve Parkway, you only have to walk about a hundred yards to reach easier problems for beginners, as well as moderate to difficult problems ranging from V4 to V8, plus a few V10s. If you would rather do roped climbing, head to the Bolt Boulder, which has a few bolts for a top rope anchor and a handful of 5.10 routes.

University of Alabama (UAH), Huntsville

Hiking Wade Mountain Preserve

The Wade Mountain Preserve has 11 miles of trail.
The Wade Mountain Preserve has 11 miles of trail. Shannon McGee

When you take your seat at Louis Crews Stadium to watch the Alabama A&M Bulldogs, you’re only about three miles from a great trail system. Covering 843 acres, the Wade Mountain Preserve includes 11 miles of unpaved trails that wind through quiet forest. While plenty of people walk and bike the preserve’s paved greenway path, this is still the least visited of the five land trust preserves in north Alabama, and Wade Mountain’s unpaved trails are rarely overcrowded. Two loop hikes—a 4-mile route on the east side of the preserve, and a 5.3-mile trek on the west side—wind among rock gardens and streams, and climb above 1,000 feet of elevation to offer good views of north Huntsville. On really clear days, you can even see into Tennessee.

University of South Alabama, Mobile

Mountain Biking at University of South Alabama

As you speed through dense forest on the Red Rock Trail, you’ll forget that you’re riding in the middle of a college campus. In total, there are 12 miles of bike trails that wind through the heart of the University of South Alabama. Because Mobile is so flat, these trails have little change in elevation, but that doesn’t mean that every ride is easy. While the 3.5-mile Orange Loop suits beginners, there are plenty of fast singletracks, including Eric’s Trail, which stretches for a mile. If you like technical obstacles, hit the Bottoms trail where you’ll encounter tree roots, ditches and dives. Also, the 8-mile Red Loop will challenge intermediate riders, while the White Loop and Yellow Loop are best for advanced riders.

University of North Alabama, Florence

Paddling Cypress Creek

Cypress Creek beckons with flat water for relaxed paddling.
Cypress Creek beckons with flat water for relaxed paddling. Marcus Woolf

With a morning start, you can easily get in a few hours of paddling on Cypress Creek and still make an afternoon tailgate for the UNA Lions. Winding through the west side of Florence, this tributary of the Tennessee River has easy currents and flat water, so it’s great for beginner paddlers, anglers, and folks who just want to relax and float the day away.

If you put in at Cox Creek Parkway (off of Waterloo Road) and take out at Wildwood Park, you’ll cover about 4 miles, which can be done in a couple of hours. Though the creek does run past housing tracts, farms, and a park, it also snakes through wild corridors with forested banks and high bluffs. Along the way, you’ll see a wide variety birds, turtles, and other wild creatures. In many parts of the creek you can land smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegill, and catfish. If you have time, continue past Wildwood Park and go downstream another three miles to Savannah Highway Bridge. In this lower section of the creek you’ll see large cypress trees and great blue herons.

Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville

Hiking the Pinhoti Trail

One of Alabama’s most rugged trails lies less than 30 minutes from Jacksonville State University in Anniston. Stretching 171 miles through the Talladega National Forest, the Pinhoti Trail passes through the Dugger Mountain Wilderness and other large tracts of contiguous forest that actually support populations of bears. If you’re a Gamecock fan in Anniston, you can escape for several hours with heart-pumping day hike that climbs Dugger Mountain and exceeds 2,000 feet of elevation. Beginning at the Pink E. Burns trailhead on Rabbittown Road in Piedmont, the trail ascends through towering mature hardwoods. Near the 3-mile mark, the forest changes dramatically, as mosses, ferns, and deep-green mountain laurel line the trail. At 4.8 miles, on the upper reaches of Dugger Mountain, a break in the canopy allows you to look north and see the broad rural landscape far below. While the Pinhoti continues to climb, this is a good spot to turn around and retrace your steps.

Find your favorite Fall gear at Alabama Outdoors. We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors

Written by Marcus Woolf for Blue Cross Blue Shield of AL and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

Featured image provided by ktrussell15

Tailgating Essentials


Friends tailgate in a truck in woods.

The football season’s far from over. In fact, the best games are still ahead of us — which means the best tailgates are still ahead of us, too. We’ve gathered a list of tailgating essentials to help you get out there and enjoy the fall weather, friends and family, food, and — of course! — football. 


Keep It Cool …

A good cooler is essential to successfully keeping all of your food and drinks cold and in one easy-to-reach place. The Corkcicle Virginia Tote looks like a chic and stylish purse, but is powerful enough to keep that Pinot Grigio ice cold. The Hydro Flask Unbound Series Soft Tote and the YETI Hopper Flip 12 are both excellent options for soft but rugged coolers. If you’re looking for powerhouse insulation and an unbelievable capacity (45 12 ounce cans!), try the YETI Tundra Haul.


Three women tailgate by a truck in the woods.… Or Hot! 

How do you keep your drinks cold after you’ve pulled them from the cooler? With either the YETI Colored Rambler Tumbler or Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Beer Pint, that’s how. Double wall insulation helps keep hot and cold from seeping into or out of the containers. That makes them a perfect companion for late-season tailgates, where you’ll need some hot chocolate (or a hot toddy) to keep you warm.


Your New BFF: This Blanket

You might have plenty of sunshine, but temperatures can drop suddenly and drastically. Keep warm with the insulated Kelty Bestie Blanket. At over 75 inches long and more than 42 inches wide, it’s plenty big enough to cover you and someone else. Or, you know, just you. You don’t have to share.


Share the Love(seat)

What better way to warm up on those cold nights than by snuggling up next to someone? Wrap yourselves up in that blanket and take a seat in the Kelty Loveseat, built for two. With a steel frame and insulated drink holders, this chair was built for tailgating.


Made in the Shade

Never underestimate the value of a good pair of sunglasses — even in the fall and winter! The Suncloud Optics Sentry and Costa Del Mar Zane 580P Mirror both allow you to be outside without squinting or covering your eyes with your hand. Plus, they’re both polarized, which further helps reduce glare.


Walking on AirThree men tailgate by a truck in the woods.

If you’re tailgating, you’re going to be standing, walking, and pacing while the ref decides on a call — and you’re going to want to be comfortable. A good pair of shoes is essential for avoiding blisters and keeping you on your feet. The On-Running Men’s Cloud 2.0 (also available for women) are practically made for tailgating. Lightweight and adaptable, they’re truly have you walking on clouds, no matter the score. 


Pro-Tip: Bring a Bucket

Yes, a bucket. Why carry a bucket to a tailgate? Because you’ll need somewhere to stash all the extras, like silverware, napkins, condiments and more. Besides that, it can be used as a makeshift cooler or even chair. Check out the 5 gallon, food-safe YETI LoadOut. With sold-separately accessories like a Utility Gear Belt and a Caddy for organization, it’s endlessly adaptable. You’ll find at least a thousand ways to use it.


Text by Bo King

Building the Best Spread for Your Tailgating Party

Truck loaded with Yeti tailgating accessories.

Tailgating combines the joys of friends, family, football, and, of course, food. No wonder it’s one of our favorite fall outdoor activities. Clay Greene, Operations Manager at Market Table, gave some suggestions on building the perfect spread for your tailgating party.


Clay Greene's headshot.

Clay Greene, Director of Operations, Market Table

Cheese: A Must-Have!

What’s the most important ingredient for a successful tailgate party? Clay’s answer may surprise you: “Any kind of cheese!”

“As long as there is some sort of cheese involved,” Clay says, “guests will be happy!”

We couldn’t agree more. A cheese board and hot dips topped with cheese disappear quickly at tailgates. Clay likes to offer a few different dips for her grazing guests. “My Buffalo Chicken Dip (recipe below), a bean dip like Texas Caviar and a Hot Bacon & Swiss Dip are always crowd pleasers.”


Bring on the Meats


Clay’s second-most important component of a successful tailgate is meat: “Smoked chicken and buffalo wings are key.” She recommends finger foods because no one wants to fool with a knife and fork while tailgating. Are there vegetarians on your invite list? This delicious vegan alternative to made from cauliflower will give them wings.


The All-Important Drink

Last but not least, you’ll want to have plenty of beer. “Locally brewed craft beer from the likes of Good People, Avondale and Cahaba Brewing will pair perfectly with your tailgating menu,” Clay writes. For kids and booze-free tailgaters, try one of these non-alcoholic party drink recipes.


Clay’s Buffalo Chicken Dip:

– 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese (room temperature)

– 1 cup fat-free sour cream

– ½ cup hot sauce or buffalo sauce (Clay likes Moore’s Original Buffalo Wing Sauce)

– ½ cup Lite Ranch Dressing

– 1 tsp white wine vinegar

– 2 cups cooked shredded chicken

– A couple handfuls of shredded, reduced fat cheddar cheese

  1. Mix all of the ingredients except for the cheddar cheese together in a mixing bowl until they are well combined and the cream cheese is no longer lumpy.

  2. Transfer the mixture to a small baking dish. Top with the cheddar cheese.

  3. Bake on 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.

  4. Serve with tortilla chips and celery.

  5. Enjoy!


Text by Nick Adrian