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In recent years, the City of Gulf Shores has been working diligently to improve access to local beaches and activities. It’s important that whether you’re a vacationer in a wheelchair or you have limited mobility, you have ample access to the picturesque wind-sand beaches. Keep reading to learn about wheelchair-friendly Gulf Shores beaches and other easily-accessible locations.  

For a complete guide to all the best things to do in the area, refer to our Activities Guide!

Wheelchair-Friendly Gulf Shores Beaches 

Gulf Shores cares about wheelchair users. Keep reading to learn about wheelchair-friendly Gulf Shores options!  

Gulf Shores Beach is Wheelchair-Accessible 

Thanks to the installation of an AccessMat, it’s now an easier trek through Alabama’s soft, sandy beaches to the water. The AccessMat is found on the west end of the main Gulf Shores Public Beach area and is the first of its kind on Alabama beaches. The 200-foot mat stretches from the sidewalk towards the water and runs parallel to the Gulf of Mexico for 150 feet. It is part of the Gulf Place Revitalization Project on the main public beach, including boardwalk, green spaces, shade structures, and restrooms. 

Gulf Shores Wheelchair Mat

Wheelchair traveler and blogger, Cory Lee, lists the Alabama Gulf Coast as one of his favorite destinations. Regarding the addition of mats on the beaches, he said, “The Alabama Gulf Coast is already one of my favorite destinations in the country because it offers many accessible attractions and activities, but the new AccessMat makes me love Gulf Shores and Orange Beach even more. With the mat, wheelchair users will be able to enjoy a day on the beach without arranging anything (like a beach wheelchair) in advance. Spontaneity is not something that I often experience as a wheelchair traveler, so I thoroughly appreciate this wonderful addition. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is way ahead of most other beaches when it comes to accommodating all visitors, regardless of their abilities, and that’s why I’ll continue to visit the area.” 

Orange Beach Offers Beach Wheelchairs 

Gulf Shores Motorized WheelchairsBeach Power Rentals is a company offering motorized beach wheelchair rentals in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. These custom-made beach wheelchairs allow users to have the freedom and mobility to experience a day at the beach to the fullest! Oversized wheels on the motorized beach chairs make it easy to ride through the soft sand. In addition, the seat is padded and partially reclines. Starting at $60 a day, vacationers can wheel through the sand and enjoy a day at the beach with family and friends. 

With the combination of AccessMat and powered wheelchairs, beach accessibility on the Alabama Gulf Coast has never been better!  

Wheelchair Accessible Attractions Along the Gulf 

If you don’t want to spend all your time up close and personal with the sun, sand, and surf, there are many more wheelchair-friendly attractions throughout the area.    

Gulf Shores Wheelchair-Friendly Attractions 

Gulf Shores ZooNature lovers will enjoy a ride through the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails. Twenty-five miles of paved trails wind through six distinct ecosystems from Orange Beach to Gulf Shores and includes part of Gulf State Park. Restroom facilities are available along the trails. You can dive in and learn about the flora and fauna with a two-hour guided tour available through the City of Orange Beach. You’ll hear about the history of the area and experience the pristine woodlands and natural habitats of the Backcountry Trail. You might even be lucky enough to spot an alligator soaking up the sun in the nearby water. 

Ready to get wild? Then, you’re ready for a day at the Alabama Gulf Coast ZooThe zoo is home to more than 500 exotic animals, including lions, tigers, primates, leopards, and more. Also, animal encounters allow you to get up close and personal with baby kangaroos, lemurs, and reptilesIf you visit with the lemurs, they might borrow your camera for selfies! The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo offers wide and smooth pathways to allow for foot traffic, wheelchairs, and strollers.  

Orange Beach Wheelchair-Friendly Attractions 

If you want to explore further out into the water, then take an adventure with WildNative Cruises. They offer fun-filled dolphin and nature cruises that are perfect for the whole family. You’ll cruise through the waterways of coastal Alabama on their large wheelchair-accessible boat. You’ll have the opportunity to see osprey, pelicans, and dolphins.  

Fort Morgan Wheelchair-Friendly Attractions 

History lovers won’t be able to resist a visit to historic Fort Morgan. This fort played a significant role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864 and was used during the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. This historic site is accessible to wheelchair users and those with limited mobility. The ground can be uneven in spots but is generally navigable. The on-site museum is fully accessible, where you’ll find numerous artifacts portraying the artillery, uniforms, and history of the area. 

Wheelchair-Friendly Gulf Shores Accommodations 

Here at Harris Vacation Rentals, we want to make sure that your beach vacation is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible and we offer a wide array of vacation rentals.  

Fort Morgan Beach HouseBarefoot is an eight-bedroom beach house with direct beach access that is a short drive from downtown Gulf Shores. This spacious home has an open floor plan, allowing for easy flow from the kitchen to the dining and living room spaces, as well as the beachfront deck. It also boasts an elevator, which gives easy access to the main floor bedroom and living spaces. The bedroom suite on the main floor features a convenient roll-in shower.

Check our availability and book your Gulf Coast getaway today. If you’d like more information on properties with elevators and other amenities, please feel free to contact us!

Are you guilty of letting your paid time off go unused? According to the Washington Post, 55 percent of Americans did not use all their paid vacation time last year. You may be busy with work, and you feel that you can’t leave the office for a full week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embark on a partial-week beach vacationDon’t let life get in the way of living and soaking up the sun on Alabama’s whitesand beaches. We’ve got the best ideas on how to spend a three-day vacation in Gulf Shores. 

Don’t forget to book your Gulf Shores vacation home with Harris Vacation Rentals. We’ve got the best properties around!

Your Three-Day Vacation in Gulf Shores 

Day 1 of Your Gulf Shores Vacation 

Morning 

gulf shores beach

You’ve arrived in Gulf Shores! Most Gulf Shores vacation rentals have afternoon check-in times, but don’t let that stop you from getting a jump start on your vacation. Call ahead and make arrangements to use your rental home’s amenities like pools and beaches. Nothing will melt away stress like taking a refreshing dip or listening to the waves roll in. 

Afternoon 

If you’re still looking to kill some time, take a trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Visitors young and old will have a blast getting up close and personal with an array of fascinating animals. Their family of fascinating species includes kangaroos, tigers, lions, monkeys, amphibians, and more! 

Evening 

After you’ve settled into your home away from home and worked up an appetite, head out for dinner at Luna’s Eat & Drink. You don’t want to miss out on the appetizers at this cherished Orange Beach restaurant. Wet your whistle with one of more than 30 local and regional craft beers and pair it with an order of Luna’s Beer Cheese Dip served with soft pretzel bites. This is the perfect start to your three-day vacation in Gulf Shores.   

Walk off that cheesy delight with a stroll on the beach near your vacation home. Bring your flashlights and watch tiny sand crabs scurry through the sand. When you’re done, enjoy the nighttime sights and sounds from your Gulf Shores vacation rental balcony or deck. 

Day 2 of Your Gulf Shores Vacation 

Morning 

Kickstart your first full day in Gulf Shores by making a homemade breakfast and enjoying it outside while the salty sea breezes flow through your hair. Take in the view and relax. This is YOUR time! (Until the kids get up, that is!) 

Afternoon 

kayaking

Explore the backwaters of the Alabama Gulf Coast with Coastal Kayak Excursions, a tour company unlike any other around. Choose their Paddle and Play Tour to be transported from Caribe Marina to Walker Island via pontoon boat and spend the morning paddling around Robinson and Bird Islands at your leisure. You can also take an Eco-Kayak Tour. The captain will motor you to the backwaters of Wolf Bay, where you will be guided through the area. This private kayak tour is perfect for families and provides memories that will last a lifetime.  

After your day exploring the water, you’ll be hungry for a delicious lunch. No Gulf Shores vacation is complete without a visit to LuLu’sThe restaurant owner, Lucy Buffett, is famous in her own right as a creative culinary master and author of several top-selling cookbooksLucy is sister to legendary singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who has been known to drop in and perform an impromptu concert for Lucy’s restaurant guest! Both the young and young-at-heart enjoy a stop at LuLu’s. There’s a large sand area for the kidsa sand volleyball courtand an exciting ropes course. Ask for a table by the water and watch the boats float by on the Intracoastal Waterway. 

Evening 

Tonight is the night to get your seafood fix at one of the area’s longestrunning restaurants in Gulf ShoresOriginal Oyster House. Order up one of the restaurant’s signature dishes like the Shrimper’s Delight, which features fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, stuffed shrimp, fried flounder, and a delicious crab cake! Don’t forget to save room for a mouthwatering dessert like their Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie! This decadent dessert has a hint of Kahlua and is big enough to share (or not). If you just can’t get enough, you can buy a whole pie to go! 

The night doesn’t have to end after dinner. Chase the sunset and set sail on an evening dolphin cruiseWild Hearts offers a dolphin cruise through Orange Beach, where you’ll sail through the Gulf of Mexico in search of resident bottlenose dolphin pods and, of course, a magnificent sunset. 

 Day 3 of Your Gulf Shores Vacation 

Morning 

It may be the last day of your Gulf Shores getaway, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop just yet. Have a leisurely morning, and take your time getting packed before checking out of your Gulf Shores rental. If you don’t want to worry about cleaning up dishes in your kitchen, grab your daily cup of Joe at The Southern Grind Coffee House in Orange Beach.  

Afternoon 

biking

After you’re all packed up, rent some bicycles and go on an expedition through the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. There are 27 miles of paved trails and lakeside boardwalks that are ideal for getting a glimpse of beach nature. The kids will also enjoy climbing the rocks at Boulder Park along the trails, as well as the Butterfly Garden. 

Evening 

Before you drive back to your hometown, you’ll want to leave with a full stomach. Feast on deepfried oysters cooked to perfection at Bahama Bob’s, a seafood shack that’s a favorite among locals. Take in the views from this beachside eatery and know that you’ve had three days well spent on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Hopefully, it’ll hold you over until your next weekend getaway. 

Pick Your Perfect Vacation Rental 

Gulf Shores vacation rentals beachfront

When it comes to picking the perfect vacation home for your group, look no further than Harris Vacation Rentals. We’re happy to offer many homes varying in sizes throughout Gulf ShoresOrange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Whether you’re looking for pet-friendly rentals or beachfront properties, we’ve got you covered.  

Browse our properties and book your dream vacation home today. We can’t wait to welcome you! 

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Is a hassle-free holiday calling your name? Sit back and relax and spend Thanksgiving in Gulf ShoresAmazing fall weather and even better fall rates on your favorite Gulf Shores condos are just two of the perks of a holiday at the beach. What else do you need to know about spending Turkey Day on Alabama’s beaches? We have the details! 

Are you looking to spend Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores, but don’t want to miss out on quality time with family and friends? No problem! We offer an impressive selection of large group vacation rentals throughout Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. 

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How To Spend Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores 

Wide-Open Beaches and Fantastic Fall Weather 

One of the perks of the fall season is our mild weather. The humidity is reduced, and temperatures range from the low-70s to mid-80s. Plus, you’ll benefit from fewer crowds on the beach during this season. You’ll have more than enough room on the sand for a game of football, volleyball, or horseshoes before you settle in for your Thanksgiving meal 

Cook a Mouthwatering Thanksgiving Feast 

THANKSGIVING FEAST

If you love to prepare a big, traditional Thanksgiving dinner for your family, we’ve got you covered. You’ll find plenty that we offer many beach houses throughout the Gulf Coast that feature fully-equipped kitchens fit for a chef. When you stay in a Harris Vacation Rental, you’ll have everything you need for the perfect holiday with spacious living areas, accommodating dining rooms, and pristine kitchens. 

Let Someone Else Do the Cooking 

If you’d prefer someone else to take care of the cooking, you’ve got options. Plan ahead and pre-order your Thanksgiving meal at Rouses Market or Publix in Gulf Shores. Both locations are open on Thanksgiving Day and offer traditional delectable meals prepared and ready to go. Simply heat them up, and you’ve got a feast fit for the family.  

If you want to get out of the house, load the family up and head to Flora-Bama for their Annual Thanksgiving Potluck. Bring your favorite covered dish and indulge in all the turkey and ham your appetite can handle. The event is free, all ages are invited, and you’ll feel like family the moment you walk through the door. 

Shop ‘Til You Drop 

Is the day after the holiday your favorite part of Thanksgiving? You’re in luck! You can have the ultimate Black Friday shopping adventure at Tanger Outlets in nearby Foley. You’ll find more than 120 stores, including Banana Republic, Columbia, Express, and more!  

Get Active 

After eating lots of delicious food, you might be craving an active day. Rent kayaks and paddle your way around the back bays of Orange Beach, or get your adrenaline pumping on the Hummingbird Zipline at The Wharf. Many of the activities and attractions you love during the summertime are still open for business during the fall months. However, days and hours of operation may be more limited. Be sure to call ahead. 

Where To Stay During the Holiday 

kitchen and dining table

As you plan your vacation to the Alabama Gulf Coast, many questions might immediately pop into your head: 

Harris Vacation Rentals is here for you to take all of your stress away. With our large selection of Gulf Coast rentals, we’ve got all of those bullet points covered! Our large group vacation rentals have everything you need to enjoy the holiday and will be the ultimate home away from home. When you end Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores, a hassle-free holiday at the beach is sure to become your family’s new favorite tradition.  

OUR LARGE GROUP RENTALS (1)

 

When you’re visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, it’s easy to find kid-friendly restaurants. After all, the Alabama Gulf Coast caters to families, so it’s no surprise that so many of these Gulf Shores restaurants let kids eat for free. If you’re planning a budget-friendly vacation, a free meal is certainly a nice perk!

Don’t forget to book your Gulf Shores vacation home with Harris Vacation Rentals. We’ve got the best properties around!

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Gulf Shores Restaurants Where Kids Eat for Free

Los Tacos

Head to Los Tacos and enjoy a fantastic Mexican meal. Each Thursday, when you purchase an adult entree, you can receive one kid’s meal for free! Their kids’ menu includes favorites such as chicken tenders, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Plus, on Saturdays, you can enjoy their refreshing Traditional Aguas Frescas for free all day. You can try unique flavors such as Horchata, Jamaica, Tamarindo, and Limonada. 

Original Oyster House

Gulf Shores Restaurant

At the Original Oyster House in Gulf Shores, you can get up to two kids (10 and under) meals free on Tuesdays as part of winter specials from November through February. The Causeway location offers “Kids Eat Free” on Tuesdays all year long. The kids’ menu includes popcorn shrimp, pizza, chicken tenders, fried fish fillets, and more. Of course, the regular menu offers an array of delicious seafood favorites for the adults. With your savings, you’ll be able to top off dinner with a slice of peanut butter pie!

O’Charley’s

Take a quick drive with the family up to Foley, AL, and enjoy a scrumptious, wallet-friendly meal. When you dine in, kids under 10 years old eat for free all day, every day! You can’t beat that. You can get one free kids’ meal for every adult entree purchased. Their kids’ menu features pasta dishes, pizza, corn dogs, and more! 

Other Places to Eat in Gulf Shores That Are Kid-Friendly

Tacky Jacks

playground

Your kids will have a blast at Tacky Jacks as they romp around the sandpit and children’s playground. Their kids’ menu has tasty treats, such as grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, popcorn shrimp, cheeseburgers, and more. Then, satisfy their sweet tooth with the Chocolate Brownie Explosion and a scoop of vanilla icecream

The Hangout

Your children will thank you when you take them to the Pirates and Princess Breakfast Feast at The Hangout. Throughout the summer, this hands-on event features treasure hunts, sing-alongs, magic tricks, and more! The feast is offered daily three times throughout the day, so there’s always something to accommodate your family’s busy schedule. 

For more budget-friendly restaurants, stop by the Gulf Shores or Orange Beach Welcome Centers to pick up coupons and learn about exclusive discounts.

The Perfect Family Vacation Home Awaits

yellow beach house

When you rent with Harris Vacation Rentals, you’ll have no problem finding a vacation rental that will fit all of your needs and budget. We have an impressive collection of homes located throughout Gulf Shores available in various sizes. Some properties are even pet-friendly! Browse our properties and find the perfect one for you and your family today! 

 

More Gulf Shores Restaurants

Didn’t find what you were looking for here? Browse these blogs for the beach eats info you’re seeking…

7 of the Best New Gulf Shores Restaurants

6 Must-Try Restaurants for Orange Beach, Gulf Shores Breakfast

The Best Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach

Over the last decade, the Alabama Gulf Coast has become a culinary mecca for creative cuisine. Award-winning chefs paired with unique dining concepts have us craving more and more! Recently, local restaurateurs and chefs have upped the ante and opened these new Gulf Shores restaurants. During your next beach vacation to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, pack your suitcase and your appetite. You might as well throw in some stretchy pants, too!

Dine at These New Gulf Shores Restaurants

1. Sunliner Diner

Location: 100 E. 2nd Ave., Gulf Shores, AL

Phone: 251-937-6590

You’ll find all the cool cats at Sunliner Diner. The diner’s décor is straight out of the 1950s. Bright reds and a wall full of jars filled with colorful candy invite you to sit down and take it all in.

Breakfast is served all day at Sunliner Diner. Traditional diner fare is also served for lunch and dinner, beginning at 11 A.M.  Just like a classic old-school diner, you’ll find rotating glass cases displaying the most divine desserts you’ve ever laid eyes on. There are even “boozy milkshakes” when you want a little something more “adult.”

2. Picnic Beach  

Location: 128 E. 1st Ave., Gulf Shores, AL

Phone: 251-540-0117

If you’re looking for a fun and funky Instagram-worthy spot for lunch, there’s nothing in Gulf Shores like Picnic Beach. This Gulf Shores restaurant caters to both meat-eaters and vegan travelers with delicious barbecue dishes and an impressive selection of clean greens and acai bowls. Did we mention the BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich? Image smoked jackfruit, sriracha BBQ, key lime coleslaw, and grilled pineapple on a whole wheat bun. Wait. Why imagine it when you can order it at Picnic Beach?!

This indoor/outdoor picnic-themed restaurant is located in the heart of Gulf Shores. It’s within walking distance to the main public beach area, making it easy to reach from the beach and offers a fun spot to order up something besides traditional fare at beach restaurants.

3. Margarita Loca Bar & Grill  

Corn tortillas filled with shredded lettuce, shredded barbecue chicken and topped with mango pineapple salsa

Location: 3800 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Phone: 251-948-0818

This Mexican restaurant specializes in all of your beloved favorites— tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, and more. Guests go loco over their mouthwatering fishbowl margaritas, which is large enough to share. To listen to fun live music, visit Margaritas Loca on a Friday evening. 

4. The Crazy Cajun 

Location: 1220 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Phone: 251-948-0862

Satisfy your Louisiana cuisine cravings and head to The Crazy Cajun for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. This authentic, full-service, Cajun restaurant has it all!  Whether you’re seeking po-boys, crabcakes, jambalaya, etouffee, or seafood gumbo, this restaurant has all of the favorites.

5. The Wacked Out Weiner  

Location: 3800 Gulf Shores Pkwy #340, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Phone: 251-948-0988

Get a fix for your hot dog craving at The Wacked Out Weiner. They offer a variety of hot dog combos that come with chips, a drink, and unlimited toppings. Don’t be afraid to go nuts and add as many toppings as you want, such as bacon, banana peppers, homemade chili, bbq baked beans, and more.

6. Bleus Burgerburger

Location: 3800 Gulf Shores Pkwy #240, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Phone: 251-948-2538

Put a spin on your typical burger and fries and head to Bleus Burger. This eatery dresses their burgers with your choice of delicious ingredients, sbuch as candied jalapenos, house-smoked pulled pork, french-friend onions, and more. You can also customize your fries with parmesan truffle seasoning and gorgonzola cheese. In addition to meat-centered dishes, you’ll find shrimp tacos, quesadillas, salads, and more.

7. Playa 

Location: 27842 Canal Road, Orange Beach, AL

Phone: 251-981-9891

Are you wondering where you should have Sunday brunch? We have one word for you—Playa. In addition to fantastic brunch specials, Playa serves endless mimosas until 2 P.M. Some of our favorite Playa dishes include the Cuban sandwich and Crab and Manchego-Crusted Amberjack. This Caribbean-inspired restaurant also offers several allergy menus, including dairy, gluten, shellfish, and soy-free.

Enjoy Your Gulf Shores Vacation With Harris Vacation Rentals 

Orange Beach condo rentals

When you stay in a Gulf Shores vacation rental with Harris Vacation Rentals, you’ll be near all of the fantastic new Gulf Shores restaurants. Vacationing doesn’t always mean eating out, though. Sometimes, it’s fun to bring your eats back to your vacation home, sit on the balcony, and enjoy the view. Whatever your vacation dining style, know that you’ll find plenty of delicious dishes to rave about from many delectable restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Planning Tip!

Are you bringing Fido along on a pet-friendly vacation? Learn all about

The Best Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Nothing compares to the sweet feeling of summertime. If you’re searching for the best summer getaway, look no further than the Alabama Gulf Coast. With breathtaking white-sand beaches, fantastic restaurants, and a plethora of things to do, Gulf Shores is your headquarters for summertime fun. Read on to find out our picks for the best summer activities in Gulf ShoresOrange BeachFort Morgan, and other nearby towns. With our help, it’s easier than ever to create the ultimate summer vacation bucket list.  

It’s time to start getting excited about your Gulf Shores vacation this summer! Browse our collection of luxurious vacation rentals and find the perfect one for your group. 

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The Best Summer Activities in Gulf Shores 

The fun never stops on the Gulf Coast! Discover the best summer activities in Gulf Shores and give yourself something to look forward to.

1. OWA 

roller coaster

OWA is an amusement park and entertainment destination with over 20 rides and an interactive splash pad for hot summer days. The area also features restaurants, shops, and fun-filled events. You can easily spend an entire day getting an adrenaline rush and feasting on good eats just north of the beach in Foley, Alabama.    

2. Waterville USA 

Waterville is an amusement park and waterpark consisting of 20 acres of pure fun. Whether you want to sit back and relax while floating down a lazy river or pick up speed on the Dune Racer, there’s something for all levels of adventurers here at Waterville USAThere’s also a Flowrider surf simulator, arcade, mini golf course, concessions, and more!  

3. Kayaking 

kayaking

If you want to combine an adventure in the great outdoors with a bit of healthy exercise, why not try kayaking? Guided kayaking tours in Gulf Shores are a great way to discover the coastal ecosystem and backwaters of this gorgeous area! Some of our favorite nearby kayaking outfitters include Wild Native Tours and Coastal Kayak Excursions. They offer nature tours, sunset tours, dolphin tours, and more! You’ll fall in love with the natural beauty of this stunning environment.  

4. Lost Bay Helicopter Tour 

Get an out-of-this-world bird’s eye view of the beach on a Lost Bay Helicopter Tour. These tours are perfect for seeing miles of our famous white-sand beaches and turquoise water. You can even see schools of fish from up above. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures! 

5. Holmes Medical Museum 

If you’re a history buff, you need to go back in time and visit the Holmes Medical Museum. The museum was Baldwin County’s first hospital and operated from 1936 to 1958. The museum is arranged as it was an operating hospital, and most artifacts and machinery are original. This unique piece of history has remained virtually unchanged for the last 60 years! 

6. The Dog Pond 

dog splaying

Here at Harris Vacation Rentals, we’re proud to offer pet-friendly vacation rentals. If you want to take your pup’s vacation up a notch, head to The Dog Pond at Lake Shelby for swimming, running, and playing with other fur kids. Then, visit one of our favorite dog-friendly restaurants.    

7. Cat Boat Tours 

Are you ready to take things up a notch? Cat Boat Tours are like water sports, but better! You can glide over the back bays in personal watercraft. The boats sit low and zip through the water. You choose to embark on your own expedition or take a guided tour and hear about celebrity homes on Ono Island.  

8. Big Beach Brewing Company 

Quench your thirst and order a flight of the bartender’s favorite craft brews, like the Hundred Daze IPA, at Big Beach Brewing Company in Gulf Shores. This fun spot is kid and dog-friendly—another reason we love it! Be sure to get there before sunset and watch the sun sink from the brewery’s deck. 

9. Sand Castle University 

sand castle

If your sand castle skills aren’t what they used to be, give Sand Castle University a try! You’ll learn all the tips and tricks for building a spectacular sand structure. You’ll even be provided with a video from your lesson. It’s a great souvenir and fun way to share your experience with friends and family. 

10. Gulf Shores Beaches 

No beach vacation during the summer is complete without spending some days in the water and sand. The Alabama Gulf Coast public beaches are some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, and once you visit, we know you’ll agree!  

11. Flora-Bama Marina 

What better way to experience Gulf Shores than on the water? Live the life of a local for a day and rent a boat from the Flora-Bama Marina. They offer luxury pontoon boats, as well as pontoons with slides. You can also rent jet skis. After your day on the water, hit up the Flora-Bama Yacht Club for icecold Bushwackers and fire-grilled oysters. 

12. The Wharf 

beach bar

With its plethora of delicious restaurants and exciting activities, it’s easy to spend an entire day at The Wharf in Orange Beach. Treat the family to miniature golf, a Ferris wheel ride, or even a concert in the 10,000-seat arena. Satisfy your hunger with yummy eats at some of our favorite Orange Beach restaurants, including Ginny Lane Bar & Grill and Villaggio Grille. 

13. Charter Fishing 

Orange Beach is the fishing mecca of the Southeast. Head out to see, drop a line, and try your best to reel in red snapper, Spanish mackerel, redfish, grouper, and more. Some of our favorite fishing charters include Orange Beach Fishing Charters and Red Eye Charters.  

14. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo 

lemur

No trip to the Gulf Shores would be complete without a trip to the infamous Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. The zoo is home to over 100 animal species, including 22 critically endangered species. During your visit, you can have the unbelievable opportunity to hold a baby sloth, kangaroo, or lemur!  

15. Shopping at Tanger Outlet Centre 

Who doesn’t love a good discount? If you’re looking for a rainy-day activity, head to Tanger Outlet Centre and shop until you drop! The outlets feature over 120 stores and a merrygoround and splash pad to keep the kids happy. 

Reserve Your Summer Vacation Rental 

Barefoot 2020

It’s time to plan the best summer vacation you’ve ever had! Harris Vacation Rentals offers the best rental properties in the area—hands down! No matter what size property you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered. Plus, all our rentals come with superior amenities, such as oceanfront viewsfully-equipped kitchens, game rooms, private/community pools, hot tubs, elevators, and more!  

Browse our availability and pick the perfect home for you! We can’t wait to host you this summer.  

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Memorial Day is right around the corner, and that means it’s officially time to start planning your getaway to Gulf Shores, Alabama! Come soak up the sun, build sandcastles, and enjoy the company of friends and family. On Memorial Day, we celebrate the beginning of a summer season filled with long weeks and weekends on Alabama’s white-sand beaches. So, what are you waiting for? Leave school and work behind and come celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in Gulf Shores!

If you’re planning to join us for an unforgettable Memorial Day Weekend in Gulf Shores, you’ll want to plan your itinerary ahead of time. There are so many amazing activities and attractions available along our sugar-white shores. And when you book a Harris Vacation Rentals family vacation rental, you’ll even receive up to $100 off local tours and activities through TripShock. Planning the perfect vacation has never been easier!

How to Celebrate Memorial Day in Gulf Shores

1. Attend The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show

Kick off the weekend with The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show. This highly-anticipated festival will take place March 20th – 22nd in beautiful Orange Beach, Alabama. When you go, you’ll find over $150 million in boats and marine products on display, as well as  exhibitor displays, educational workshops, live music, and so much more. Book your stay in one of our Orange Beach vacation rentals to stay near the festival.

2. Hit the Beach

This Memorial Day Weekend, it’s all about the beach! Come relax on our sugar-white shores, sink your toes into the sand, and enjoy bonding with family and friends in a beautiful destination. Play in the Gulf, challenge your friends to a game of beach volleyball, and create memories to last a lifetime! Afterwards, head back to your Harris Property and have a cookout with friends and family. It doesn’t get much better than that!

3. Attend the Memorial Day Weekend Celebration

You definitely won’t want to miss out on the annual Gulf Shores Memorial Day Weekend Celebration. Head to the Park at OWA and bring in the beginning of summer. There will be tons of family-friendly activities and fun festivities, including a fireworks show on May 23rd! 

4. Celebrate the Beginning of Summer at LuLuPalooza

Boogie your way into summer at Lulupalooza! This free event held at Lulu’s offers tons of family fun, delicious food, and great live music. The concert starts at 12 p.m. on May 23rd, 2020 and goes all night long on the outdoor boat stage. But the fun doesn’t end there! While you’re at Lulu’s, make sure to climb the Mountain of Youth Ropes Course and win prizes at the Arcade. 

Book Your Stay in a Harris Property

Are you ready for an action-packed Memorial Day Weekend in Gulf Shores, Alabama? Experience your long weekend to the fullest when you book your stay in a Harris Property. We offer a wide range of gorgeous rentals in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Whether you prefer a beachfront property, a home with a private pool, a large family home, or a pet-friendly accommodation, we are sure to have the ideal vacation rental for your vacation. Check our availability and contact us to book your stay today

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If you’re planning a trip to Gulf Shores, you’ve probably already know about popular attractions like Waterville, USA , The Hangout, and the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. But what about the area’s best-kept-secrets? If you’re looking to explore Gulf Shores off the beaten path, we’ve got you covered! Pack your bags, book your vacation rental, leave the itinerary to us. Here are three of our favorite lesser-known activities and attractions in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. 

Here are the best things to do in Gulf Shores off the beaten path.

Experience Gulf Shores Off the Beaten Path

1. Alabama Fishing Charters

Have you ever wanted to explore the hidden backwaters and beaches along the Alabama Coast? Now is your chance! There are several fishing charters to choose from in Gulf Shores. However, if you’re looking for a more unique experience, we recommend taking a tour with Nelson Fishing Charters. Tours are captained by Gator Nelson and Matt White, who will navigate you to all of the best fishing holes and hidden gems along the Alabama Coast. From pontoon reef trips and dolphin cruises to nature tours and fishing trips, they offer a little bit of everything. Their local knowledge and experience makes for a fun and interesting tour every time!

2. Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Trade the Gulf waters for a day on scenic Wolf Bay. Orange Beach Waterfront Park is an ideal spot where families with small children can relax and enjoy some quality time together. The water is shallow and calm, and there is a small beach area. Watch the kids build sandcastles, or bring a kayak or stand up paddleboard and paddle away in smooth bay waters. A 400-foot fishing pier offers covered pavilions with seating. Bring your fishing pole and cast a line right from the pier. 

The park is open year-round and is rarely crowded, even on a typical summer day. Picnic tables and grills make it easy to spend the entire day at the park. Restroom facilities are nearby, and an outdoor shower is available to rinse the saltwater away before heading back to your Orange Beach vacation rental

Are you traveling with dogs? It’s also important to note that Orange Beach Waterfront Park is dog-friendly, which is just another reason that we love it so much. Bring your pooch and enjoy a day splashing in the water! 

3. Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

You may have hiked or biked the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, but did you know that there are more scenic trails to explore? Just a short drive from Gulf Shores, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge offers 7,000 acres of protected trails and beaches just waiting to be explored. A great destination for birdwatchers, the refuge is a stopover for more than 300 species of migratory birds. 

If you’re looking to reconnect with nature, you will definitely want to plan a visit to the refuge. Away from all the crowds, there’s a large secluded beach area that feels like a private oasis. Numerous trails offer miles of opportunities to see native wildlife. Relax by the beach and then get out and explore miles of scenic trails. Or, take a short hike along the one-mile-long Jeff Friend Trail and launch your canoe or kayak into Little Lagoon. The possibilities are endless! 

Book Your Stay With Harris Vacation Rentals

Experience Gulf Shores off the beaten path when you book your stay with Harris Vacation Rentals. We offer a wide range of vacation rentals in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, and Orange Beach. Whether you prefer an intimate condo, a luxury home, or a beachfront property, we are sure to have the ideal vacation rental for your getaway. We also offer pet-friendly properties for guests who are traveling with their four-legged friends. 

If the quiet and tranquility of Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge appeals to you, consider spending your vacation on the Fort Morgan Peninsula. We offer a variety of Fort Morgan rentals near the refuge, including beautiful beach houses and condos. If you prefer to stay near Orange Beach or Gulf Shores, consider booking your stay in Adagio. This great 3-bedroom cottage is ideal for a memorable Orange Beach vacation (and it’s pet-friendly!). Enjoy being just minutes from the waterfront park. 

Are you ready to start planning your family beach vacation? Browse our properties and contact us to book your stay. We can’t wait to welcome you!

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So, you’ve been dreaming of sun-kissed beaches and turquoise water, but Mother Nature has other ideas? Don’t let a little (or even a lot) rain ruin your day at the beach! Luckily, there are plenty of fun things to do in Gulf Shores on a rainy day. Here are some of the best activities to enjoy when it’s raining. 

If you’re looking for even more ideas about things to do in Gulf Shores on a rainy day, make sure to check out our Activities page. It’s full of recommendations about the best things to see and do during your family beach vacation. 

Book your activities now!

8 of the Best Things to do In Gulf Shores on a Rainy Day

1. Visit the #1 Escape Room in Orange Beach

An exciting adventure is just what you need to cure the rainy day blues! Challenge your friends and family to a life-sized adventure game at Breakout Orange Beach. You’ll have 60 minutes to solve your puzzle with hidden clues. From thrillers to spy situations, there’s a scenario for everyone. 

Breakout Orange Beach is located at The Wharf. A 10 percent off coupon is available on their website for weekday games. After you’ve beaten the clock and escaped, reward the team with gelato at The Southern Grind Coffee House or enjoy penny martinis at Ginny Lane Bar & Grill. Covered parking and walkways make it easy to navigate The Wharf without getting too wet. 

2. Play Games at the Arcade

If you’re looking for something a bit more fast-paced, head over to Arena: The Next Level. Also located at The Wharf in Orange Beach, this indoor amusement park features laser tag, bazooka ball, and an array of arcade games. Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, you’ll have a blast spending the day at Arena: The Next Level. It’s known as one of the top things to do in Orange Beach!

3. Fly High at the Trampoline Park

Toddlers, tweens and teens (and adventurous parents) can bounce around at The Factory in Gulf Shores. The trampoline park is packed with ways to burn energy during a rainy day at the beach. From Foam pits and dodge ball to trampoline basketball, you’ve got several options.

 The Factory in Gulf Shores also offers a separate area for the littles. Parents can observe from an upper deck or join in the action! In addition to the trampoline floor, The Factory offers arcade games, batting cages and a flight simulator. Vending machines are available for drinks, snacks and even ice cream.

4. Take a Glass-Blowing Lesson

Let your inner artist out with a visit to The Hot Shop at the Coastal Arts Center in Orange Beach. Local artisans will give you a hands-on lesson in glass blowing, and you can take home a souvenir you make yourself! Be sure to call ahead for a reservation, as this is one of the most popular things to do in Gulf Shores on a rainy day. 

The Hot Shop offers bench seating to watch demonstrations. If you prefer to watch rather than participate, the staff welcomes you to do so. Glass blowing is a fascinating art that will capture the attention of the whole family during a rainy day at the beach. In fact, the open air studio is perfect for watching demonstrations and listening to the rain. Once your lesson has ended, stop in the other local art galleries and browse the works of local artists, including pottery, paintings, sculptures and more.

5. Spend a Day at the Museum

History-buffs will love exploring all of the fascinating museums in Gulf Shores. Discover what life was like for the area’s earliest inhabitants at the Gulf Shores Museum, admire incredible Southern architecture at the Swift-Coles Historic House, or see elaborate model train displays at the Foley Railroad Museum. Then, make sure to take your time exploring Fort Morgan Historic Site. It’s open every day of the week. 

6. Go Bowling

Just north of Gulf Shores in nearby Foley is the Gulf Bowl. Rent a lane and spend a rainy day bowling for strikes! The Gulf Bowl offers 23 lanes, as well as an arcade, laser tag, high ropes course and pool tables. There’s so much to do at Gulf Bowl, you could easily spend the entire day. It’s also home to the full-service Captain’s Choice seafood restaurant. A local’s favorite, you’ll find everything from fresh seafood to burgers. Before you go, make sure to visit the Gulf Bowl’s Facebook page for rainy day specials.

7. Visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

A trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is one of the best things to do at the beach when it rains! See more than 600 animals and 22 different endangered species as you wander through the exhibits. Get an up-close look at some of the world’s friendliest animals with an “Animal Encounter,” tour the Reptile House, and pet goats, sheep, and deer at the Petting Zoo. Some of the animals you’ll see at the zoo include Black bear, Bengal tigers, black leopards, tropical parrots, camels, monkeys, alligators, and more. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

8. Stay Cozy in Your Vacation Rental

Sometimes the best way to spend a rainy day is enjoying your Orange Beach, Fort Morgan or Gulf Shores rental! Plan ahead and bring a deck of cards and a board game or two and have a family game day. Cozy up on the couch, pop some popcorn and watch a movie. Order from your favorite restaurants using Gulf To Go restaurant delivery service and you never have to leave!

Book Your Stay in a Harris Property

When planning your vacation, consider booking a Harris Property with an indoor swimming pool. Gulf Shores rentals like Coastal Bliss, Lil Bit a Paradise, Ray of Sunshine and Sunset Paradise offer indoor pool facilities and are located at The Beach Club resort in Fort Morgan. There is also a game room to keep the kids busy! Coastal Krusen in Gulf Shores at Crystal Towers also offers an indoor swimming pool. The four-bedroom Dolphin View condo at Mustique boasts an indoor pool, as does Summer Breeze. Condos at Martinique in Fort Morgan also have an indoor swimming pool and spa, including La Brisa.

Don’t let a rainy day at the beach in Gulf Shores get you down. Whether you stay in or opt to explore in the rain, make the most of every minute and make memories to last a lifetime. Browse all of our properties and contact us to book your Gulf Shores getaway today in our rentals. We can’t wait to welcome you!

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Need a break away from it all for just the two of you? We can help with that. After all, there’s nothing quite like time at the beach to help you reconnect. A couple’s getaway in Gulf Shores is easy to plan, but we’re making it even easier. Browse our itinerary for two days on the Alabama beaches.

 

Day 1 of a Couple’s Getaway in Gulf Shores

Sunliner DinerBreakfast. Kick off your vacation with breakfast at the Sunliner Diner, one of the newest additions to the Gulf Shores culinary scene. Located just a block north of the intersection of Highway 59 and the beach, Sunliner Diner serves up delicious breakfast favorites all day long. Waffles, pancakes, biscuits, eggs Benedict, scrambles and more. What a way to start your day!

 

Morning. Work off those morning calories with a hike along one of the trails at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. Four trails wind through the refuge, for a total of six miles to explore. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the way.

 

Lunch. Now that you’ve worked up your appetite, enjoy lunch at Bahama Bob’s, located right on West Beach in Gulf Shores. Sit out on the deck for a view of the Gulf and dig into a po-boy piled high with shrimp, oysters or the catch of the day.

 

Afternoon. Spend some time browsing the unique shops and boutiques at The Wharf. There’s plenty for everyone to enjoy including marine outfitters, men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, souvenirs and more. Don’t leave without taking a ride around the Ferris wheel.

 

Dinner. Since you’re at The Wharf anyway, enjoy dinner and drinks at Ginny Lane

Bar & Grill. Happy Hour takes place every day ’til 6 p.m., or sip one of their Daily Penny Cocktails (one penny cocktail per person, per day). For your meal, the menu offers an array of options, from fresh local seafood to Black Angus beef to pasta.

 

Day 2 on a Couple’s Getaway in Gulf Shores’ Alabama Beaches

Gulf Shores restaurantBreakfast. Sleep in, then enjoy a brunch at Tacky Jack’s on the canal in Gulf Shores. Have a Whiskey Willies Bloody Mary while chowing down on an omelet with your choice of fillings. Or enjoy a breakfast burrito with a Mexican coffee.

 

Morning. Sit back and relax aboard a Sail Wild Hearts excursion. This seasoned crew takes its passengers on sails aboard a 53-foot catamaran. Opt for a snorkeling, paddle boarding or kayaking adventure when the crew pulls up to Robinson Island in Orange Beach.

 

Lunch. Pick up a salad, protein bowl, meat platter or smoothie and fruit at Picnic Beach in Gulf Shores. This new restaurant near the Gulf Shores Public Beach offers a unique dining experience. Set up your picnic lunch in the open, airy space with a view of the Gulf.

 

Afternoon. Swing by one of the local courses for a round of golf. Craft Farms, just over the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge, offers two courses with 36 holes of extraordinary golf. Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club on Fort Morgan Road has three, nine-hole courses. The Gulf Shores Golf Club is a beautiful 18-hole course right in the center of the community. Golf is a fun way to spend a quiet day outdoors on a couple’s getaway in Gulf Shores.

 

Dinner. End your day at the Beach House Kitchen & Cocktails on West Beach in Gulf Shores. Start off with a seasonal, craft cocktail made with fresh, flavorful ingredients. Juices are squeezed daily. Syrups are made in-house. The bacon-wrapped shrimp is a favorite as an appetizer, but the Gulf Coast coconut shrimp is pretty tasty, too. Entrees include chili-lime shrimp skewers, Gulf grouper and crawfish mac & cheese.

 

Ready to book your couple’s getaway in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach? Browse vacation rentals and make plans today.