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.
Breakfast. 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.
Breakfast. 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.
There’s just something special about that first visit to the beautiful beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. Nothing quite compares to the feeling of slipping off your shoes, walking barefoot across the sand and dipping your toes in the Gulf of Mexico. Browse our Gulf Shores vacation guide for tips to make the most of your visit to paradise.
After settling into your Gulf Shores condo, make your next stop the Gulf Shores Welcome Center, 3459 Gulf Shores Parkway, just north of the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge. Get a coupon book for goodies like free desserts or appetizers at restaurants, as well as discounts on attractions. Plus, hear about special events taking place during your visit from the friendly and knowledgeable welcome center staff.
The Gulf Shores Welcome Center also provides an official vacation guide, free Wi-Fi access and public computer terminals. It’s open seven days a week, but closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.
If you ask, the Welcome Center staff might just give you the local favorites for places to enjoy delicious seafood, like King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant, The Flying Harpoon and Beach House Kitchen & Cocktails. Or, try one of our newer Gulf Shores restaurants like Sunliner Diner, Picnic Beach or CoastAL for a truly unique dining experience.
There’s a ton of activities great for fall, or anytime really. Swing by one of the mini-golf courses, catch a movie or take a Segway tour. Check our list of top 10 activities to enjoy during your Gulf Shores vacation.
If you’re more into the thrill of high-speed adventure, check out The Park at OWA or take a drive around the Wild Woody at The Track for heart-racing fun. Learn more in our list of adrenaline-pumping Gulf Shores attractions.
The weather in Gulf Shores and Orange Breach is great all year ‘round. Fall is a beautiful season with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the high 40s. Winter doesn’t get much colder, though there may be some heavy jacket days in January and February. By spring, everyone’s ready to hit the beach again as temperatures warm up. Summertime brings highs near 100 degrees, but the cool breeze from the Gulf keeps it nice for beach-goers.
If it’s your first Gulf Shores vacation, here is our list of five must-do activities…
When you’re in 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 so many of the best Gulf Shores restaurants provide fun for adults and children alike.
What’s even better is that at the right time, at the right place, kids can eat free! If you’re planning a budget-friendly vacation, a free meal is certainly a nice perk.
At CoastAL Gulf Shores, for example, kids 12 and under eat free on Mondays and Wednesdays. Check out the fun menu that includes unique dishes like alligator sausage, beignet fries and Greek shrimp nachos as well as more traditional fare including a large array of steak, sandwiches, seafood, soups and salads. When you’re finished eating, head next door to the CoastAL Ice Cream Co., to top off your meals with shakes, sundaes, scoops, splits and more.
At the Original Oyster House in Gulf Shores, 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, top off dinner with a slice of Peanut Butter Pie!
There are other ways to save on dining as well. Keep an eye out during the fall and winter for early-bird specials like 15 percent off the regular menu at Bill’s by the Beach in Gulf Shores when you dine in from 4 to 6 p.m.
Another great Gulf Shores restaurant, Beach House Kitchen & Cocktails, offers $2 tacos on Tuesday. That’s right! Just $2 gets you a taco with chicken, ground beef, blackened Gulf shrimp or pulled pork.
For more budget-friendly restaurants, stop by the Gulf Shores or Orange Beach Welcome Centers to pick up coupons and special discounts.
Didn’t find what you were looking for here? Browse these blogs for the beach eats info you’re seeking…
Sometimes it feels good to get away for the holidays, Christmas included. No matter if it’s staying through Christmas Day, attending a holiday event or enjoying New Year’s Eve, Christmas in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach has much to offer the early winter traveler.
Everyday lives need a break from hurried and harried. The holidays are the perfect example. Shopping, parties, events, planning, catering, cooking, more shopping. . .the list is never ending. This year, why not leave gridlock behind and head to the beach for some rest and relaxation, and do the holiday season a little differently for a change. Eat out for Christmas dinner, deck the halls in a Gulf Shores condo or Fort Morgan beach house, see a boat parade and most of all, just enjoy the family. Here are some ideas to bring out the yuletide mood in your brood with Christmas in Gulf Shores
Tanger Outlet Center, 2601 S. McKenzie Ave. Suite 182, Foley
Nov. 9 – Dec. 23, 2018, Mon-Sat, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Come join the fun as the Foley Art Center kicks off the annual six-week holiday fine arts and crafts event on Friday Nov. 9 and continuing through Dec. 23. The event features creations from more than 200 artist and craftsmen from all over the Southeast. Juried vendors are all members of the Foley Art Center and offer a huge assortment of items for gifts and holiday decorative ideas including ornaments, florals, wood-carvings, stained glass, quilts, jewelry and so much more. Also, original art work will be available in a variety of mediums.
Fort Morgan, 110 Hwy 180, Gulf Shores
Nov. 18, 2018 from 1-4 p.m.
Jumpstart your holidays with the “Holidays at the Fort” tour. There will be a small arms demonstration, special holiday decorations and gifts on sale in the gift shop along with refreshments.
Bellingrath Gardens and Home, 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Rd., Theodore
Nov. 23-Dec. 31, 2018 from 5-9 p.m. (Closed Christmas Day)
In its 23rd year, this annual event, Bellingrath Gardens and Home is a Gulf Coast holiday tradition where guests can stroll through a beautiful display featuring some three million lights and 15 scenes across the 65-acre garden estate. The Bellingrath Home will be in its holiday finest and enhanced with lovely poinsettias. Magic Christmas in Lights also features choral performances each evening on the south terrace of the home (Sunday – Thursday). This award-winning event allows opportunities for photos with Santa and shopping in the Bellingrath gift shop.
Cultural Arts Center, Gulf Shores
Dec. 4, 2018 from 7-9 p.m.
A traditional Christmas Concert by the Baldwin Pops that will get your whole family in the holiday spirit! Free admission and there will be a visitor all the way from the North Pole! The concert is one of the highlights of Christmas in Gulf Shores.
348 W 19th Ave. Gulf Shores
December 7, 2018 beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Spectators will enjoy the festive lighted floats, holiday characters and marching bands that make up the Lighted Christmas Parade during Christmas in Gulf Shores. The route will follow Highway 59 from Gulf Shores Public Beach to the Sims Park where the celebration will commence immediately following the parade. Families take note – there will be Santa pictures, holiday treats, crafts and a snowball drop (a man-made blizzard of sorts with a helicopter dropping some 4,000 ping pong balls, some of which might have a winning number for a prize).
Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s, 200 E. 25th Ave. Gulf Shores
Dec. 8, 2018 from 1-4 p.m.
Billy Claus is a free, family-friendly holiday event at LuLu’s Gulf Shores. Billy Claus is Santa’s brother from the Caribbean who comes in each year to help Santa with Christmas in Gulf Shores AL. The LuLuBelles are like elves, just Billy’s fun version. Billy is delighted to hear wish lists from children and then pass along to Santa as well as pose for photos with the young ones. The kids will love doing the arts and crafts and the reading of “Billy Claus and the Spirit of Christmas” written by Lucy Bufffett. Plan to stay after to watch the Nautical Night of Lights at dusk, as the Lighted Boat Parade passes down the canal.
Parade path (by water) from LuLu’s to Cobalt
Dec. 8, 2018 from 5-8 p.m.
Looking for a unique experience? This is it! More than 45 decorated vessels (sailboats, charters, kayaks even) make this the largest boat parade in the Southeast. The Intracoastal Waterway offers great viewing sites but groups looking to watch together will have the best luck at The Wharf in Orange Beach.
Erie H. Meyer Civic Center, 1930 W. 2nd Ave., Gulf Shores
Dec. 15 at 8 a.m.
Enjoy a full breakfast and pictures with Santa! Admission is $5 for adults and kids three and under are free.
17401 Perdido Key Drive, Pensacola, FL
Dec. 25, 12-4 p.m.
What a fun way to enjoy a Christmas meal at the Flora-Bama. Flora-Bama will provide the main dish and everyone else just brings a covered side dish or dessert to share. Enjoy live music beginning at 11 a.m. and food will be served at 1 p.m.
December is a fantastic time of year to visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach with plenty of sunshine, fresh Gulf seafood and great lodging deals on condos and beach houses. As you can see, there’s plenty to do during Christmas in Gulf Shores, too. Check those final gifts off your list with a shopping trip to Tanger Outlets in nearby Foley and if plans allow for staying a bit longer, ring in the New Year on the Gulf Coast.
Want to head to the Alabama Gulf Coast on your fall school break, but don’t know what you’ll do once you get here? No worries. There are plenty of Gulf Shores family activities all year ‘round to keep the whole family entertained. In fact, don’t tell anyone, but fall is a favorite season at the beach for locals! This handy list should give you a good idea of some of the many Gulf Shores attractions and activities you can enjoy during fall break in Gulf Shores.
5749 Bay La Launch Ave., Orange Beach, AL
Who’s ready to kick back and relax on a sunset sail? Who isn’t? Fall is the perfect still time to take a dolphin cruise or sail along the back bays of Orange Beach with Back Bay Sailing Adventures. You can swim, paddle board and even go to a marina for drinks. You set the agenda, they can make it happen.
20115 AL-135, Gulf Shores, AL
Get some fresh air along with a little exercise while learning about nature with Coastal Segway Adventures. The two-hour guided Segway tours takes you through the beautiful Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Explore the untouched beauty of the diverse environment along its many trails.
28101 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL
Take a leisurely ride into Wolf Bay aboard a 40-foot pontoon boat. Then, hit the backwaters on kayaks to see wildlife up close and personal. It’s relaxing, beautiful, and you might even get a friendly dolphin to come along on your tour.
26389 Canal Road, Orange Beach
Get creative on your beach vacation at the Coastal Arts Center’s Hot Shop or Clay Studio. Both offer lessons, or watch others turn molten glass into a masterpiece. Or, take hand-building, glaze or pottery throwing classes. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Closed on Saturday and Sunday, and during Thanksgiving holidays.
28273 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL
Get a bird’s eye view of the beach with a family-friendly excursion with Orange Beach Helicopter Tours. The company offers multiple family-friendly tours including the Beach Tour. Check out nearly seven miles of beachfront aerial tours, or the longer Round the Island tour.
1501 S. OWA Blvd., Foley, AL
Discover your new favorite spot at OWA in Foley. With more than 20 thrilling rides for kids of all ages, The Park at OWA is sure to be a family favorite. Downtown OWA, which is free, offers shopping and dining in the atmosphere of a charming Southern town. Fall hours are 4 to 8 p.m. on Fridays; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. The parks is closed Monday through Thursday. On Monday, Nov. 12, the park is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will be open 4-8 p.m. Nov. 19-22 and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Various locations, Gulf Shores, AL
Learn from the experts with a personalized class from Sand Castle University. They’ll bring the equipment and come right to your beach house or condo for a sandcastle building workshop. The pros specialize in teaching the best tips and tricks of building amazing sandcastles to groups of all ages and skill levels. Just call and set up a time.
1204 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores, AL
When the kids need to spend a little extra energy, take them for a round of mini-golf at Tiki’s during a fall break in Gulf Shores. For just $5 you can play under the shade of oak trees. Hours are 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week. Bonus! Tiki’s is a pet-friendly Gulf Shores attraction!
3200 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores, AL
Feel the need for speed? Head to the The Track Family Fun Park to get the adrenaline pumping. The park offers several go-kart tracks along with an arcade, kids rides, bumper boats and more. You’ll find all the fun at the track with a fall break in Gulf Shores. October hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Starting Oct. 31, hours are 12 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. While the park is closed on Thanksgiving Day, it stays open until 7 p.m. during the week of Thanksgiving.
23101 Canal Road, Orange Beach, AL
Whether you want to chow down on delicious menu choices, relax at a spa or shop a collection of unique and eclectic shops, The Wharf is a great spot. There’s also plenty of entertainment with an arcade, movie theater, miniature golf and even a Ferris wheel. During the holidays, check for special Gulf Shores family activities like the ice skating rink and petting zoo.
Fall is the perfect time of year to work on your golf swing during a Gulf Shores beach vacation. You probably don’t need to be convinced to spend time playing championship golf in Gulf Shores, but if you need a list of reasons why (and reasons to convince your spouse), we’re happy to oblige.
First up is the weather. Mild temps and light breezes make it a great time to play 18 holes. With average temperatures in the mid-70s to low-80s during the fall, you won’t find a better time to hit the fairway for Gulf Shores golf. Even when the winter temperatures begin to break through, the Alabama Gulf Coast’s sub-tropical climate means you still have plenty of time to tee off.
The incredible selection of championship golf courses in Gulf Shores makes it difficult to pass up a fall golf vacation. You’ve got 36 holes of golf at the Craft Farms courses, the highly-rated Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club with its three, nine-hole courses, and the 18-hole Gulf Shores Golf Club. Each course boasts its own, unique attributes and many have been designed by golf greats like Earl Stone and Arnold Palmer. With the great selection of beach houses and condos in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, there’s sure to be a course near your accommodations.
In addition, there’s Kiva Dunes, the links-style course named the No. 1 course in Alabama in 2017. Located beachside on the Fort Morgan peninsula, the views doesn’t get any more spectacular and the golf doesn’t get any better. Speaking of Kiva Dunes, we can put you right on the course with our four-bedroom beach house, 19th Hole. It’s a third reason to enjoy Gulf Shores golf this fall.
Fourth, it’s the perfect opportunity to up your game. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, there’s always room for improvement, right? Sign up for golf instruction with top-rated PGA pros at any one of those courses. It’s a win-win. You can have fun and drop your score a couple of points. Junior golf lessons are also available, so the whole family can up their game this fall with Gulf Shores golf.
The fifth reason you’ll love a golf vacation at the beach this time of year is the lower rental rates. Save on Gulf Shores condos while enjoying a nearly secluded beach. And, get in some golf. What’s not to love about that?
Book a stay now to enjoy spectacular golf in Gulf Shores this fall. Our experienced staff will help you find the best Gulf Shores condos or Fort Morgan beach houses close to your favorite golf course. You just remember to pack the clubs.
Charter fishing, craft beer, championship golf…it’s all the makings for a guys weekend in Gulf Shores, AL.
You hear about girlfriend getaways all the time, but when was the last time you packed your brew crew into the car and bonded over a flight of craft beer? Whatever your answer is, it’s probably been too long! Whether you’re planning a bachelor party, a dadcation or even a father/son vacation, learn why Gulf Shores and Orange Beach has your passport to fun. We’re rounding up our three favorite things to do near Gulf Shores to make a break for the beach to reconnect with your man posse.
Nothing kicks off a guys weekend in Gulf Shores quite like reeling in bragging rights on an Orange Beach fishing charter. The waters off of Orange Beach are home to the largest artificial fishing reefs in the country. Reel in red snapper, grouper, amberjack, mahi mahi and so much more more. With more than 100 charter fishing captains, the Alabama Gulf Coast boasts the largest charter fishing fleet in the southeast. It’s easy to find an experienced captain and crew to put you on the fish.
If you’re planning a budget-friendly guys weekend in Gulf Shores, consider reserving spots on a head boat. Head boats, like Reel Surprise Charters in Orange Beach, offer a variety of charters, including private fishing trips. On a head boat, you’ll be sharing your fishing trip with 15, 20 or more anglers. It’s a fun way to experience a day on the water without spending a lot of money. If you’d prefer to keep your excursion between you and your friends, a private Orange Beach fishing charter is for you. Book an eight-hour charter leaving from SanRoc Cay with Reel Surprise Charters.
The number one tip we have is to avoid a night of over indulgence prior to your trip! Drink plenty of water before and during your excursion, too. It’s easy to become dehydrated while spending a day on the water in Orange Beach. You should also pack a cooler filled with water and plenty of protein-packed snacks. Pack a few extra for the crew, too!
After your trip, your deckhands will clean your catch for a nominal fee. Take your fish to a cook-your-catch restaurant like Flora-Bama Yacht Club and have the chef prepare it his favorite way. It doesn’t get any fresher than right off the boat! After you’ve had your fill of fresh catch, take your guys weekend across the road to the legendary roadhouse, Flora-Bama Lounge, Package & Oyster Bar. Top off the night with live music and bushwackers.
Tee off with a round of championship golf in Gulf Shores. There are more than 15 golf courses on the Alabama Gulf Coast. No matter where you stay, you’re just a chip shot away from great golf! The nearest courses are Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club and Kiva Dunes Golf Course. Both are located on the Fort Morgan Peninsula and near Fort Morgan vacation rentals like the 19th Hole, a four-bedroom beach house in Kiva Dunes.
Don’t have room in the car for everyone’s clubs? Most Gulf Shores golf courses offer Ship Sticks. You can have you clubs sent directly to your course. You can also rent high-quality sets, including Calloway, and not worry with shipping your clubs at all!
Check out the craft beer scene in Gulf Shores with a stop at Big Beach Brewing Company. Not only is the beer great, but the atmosphere is relaxing and perfect for bonding over brew. Catch a game on the TV over the fireplace or challenge your crew to a session of disc golf. Hang out on the upstairs deck and you’ll feel like you’re reliving childhood in your treehouse, only this time you’re with your brew crew. Order up a flight of the bartender’s favorites and find your perfect blend. Food service isn’t available at the brewery, however, they encourage you to call in an order from your favorite Gulf Shores restaurant and have it delivered. Gulf to Go offers delivery from more than 24 restaurants, making it convenient to get your grub on at Big Beach Brewing Company.
Luna’s Eat & Drink in Orange Beach also carries an impressive collection of craft beer on tap, including Big Beach Brewery and Fairhope Brewery in nearby Fairhope, AL. Luna’s offers more than 30 varieties, so there’s something for every palate.
You can always plan your guy’s weekend in Gulf Shores in conjunction with the annual Oyster Cook-Off & Craft Beer Weekend at The Hangout. Held the first weekend of November, the event boasts hundreds of labels of craft beer and a myriad of oysters prepared by local, regional and national award-winning chefs.
Whether you’re interested in being in the middle of the action in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach or prefer the quieter side of the beach in Fort Morgan, there are plenty of fun things to do near Gulf Shores to choose from. Select a condo or beach house based on the activities and atmosphere your crew wants to enjoy.
Is a hassle-free holiday calling your name? Sit back and relax with Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores. Great 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!
One of the perks of fall is our spacious beaches and mild weather. There’s plenty of room for a pre-dinner game of sand football, volleyball or spikeball. You’ll feel like you have your own, private beach. There’s no competition for the best seat at the beach, either. Everyone will have beautiful, panoramic views when you spend Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores. The humidity is lower and is perfect for walking off your turkey on the beach, too.
This is what you really want to know! If you love to prepare a big, holiday meal for your family, by all means…go for it! You’ll find plenty of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach condos and Fort Morgan beach houses with kitchens fit for a chef. You can even arrange for grocery delivery through several services, including Orange Beach Concierge. You can also pre-order your groceries and take advantage of curbside pickup at Wal-Mart in Gulf Shores.
However, if you’d rather someone else take care of the job, you’ve got options. Plan ahead and pre-order your holiday meals at Rouses Market in Gulf Shores and Publix, also in Gulf Shores. Both offer traditional Thanksgiving meals prepared and ready to go. Simply heat them up and you’ve got a feast fit for the family. Orange Beach Concierge offers personal chef services, as well as meals to go. However, you’ll want to make arrangements as early as possible.
For a Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores you won’t soon forget, head over to the Flora-Bama. That’s right. We said spend Thanksgiving at the Flora-Bama Lounge. Load the family up and feast at the Bama’s annual Thanksgiving Potluck. Bring your favorite covered dish and indulge in all the turkey and ham your appetite can handle. The event is at 1 p.m. and is free, but we highly recommend adding on a Flora-Bama bushwhacker from the bar to your meal. All ages are invited, and you’ll feel like family the moment you walk through the door.
Of course, there’s a great selection of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach restaurants that’ll be open to serve your Turkey Day meal, as well. There’s really no reason to tote a turkey with you to cook at the beach. Unless, you want to!
After the leftover turkey has been put away and you’ve had your Turkey Day nap, there’s plenty to keep the family as busy as they’d like. If your group loves a great football game, browse Gulf Shores AL rentals offering oversized televisions and plenty of seating. Or, visit The Hangout to watch your favorite teams go head-to-head.
Black Friday shopping? You’ve come to the right place! Take a short drive north to the Tanger Outlets in nearby Foley. You’ll find more than 120 famous-brand stores, including Banana Republic, Columbia, Charlotte Russe, Express, Fanatic Fanz, TJ Max and more. Keep the shopping going with a stop at The Wharf in Orange Beach. It’s the perfect place to find unique gifts from specialty boutiques. Refuel with a specialty coffee from The Southern Grind Coffee House or relax with a daiquiri from Island Time Daiquiris.
After a big Thanksgiving feast, spend the next day doing something active. 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 and make reservations.
There are a few things to think about when selecting your Gulf Shores AL rental for a Thanksgiving holiday.
A vacation specialist at Harris Properties Management can help you with these questions and find the vacation rental that best meets your needs.
You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy a great tale of time’s past. The Alabama Gulf Coast is steeped in history and lore. Gulf Shores History boasts wartime forts, antebellum homes, trains, historic hospitals and so much more.
The beachside cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach were not always a haven for vacationers. In fact, just a few hundred years ago, you could hear the thundering sound of cannon fire as soldiers defended Mobile Bay at Fort Morgan. Located on the Fort Morgan Peninsula, just outside of Gulf Shores, AL, historic Fort Morgan is a masonry fort built between 1819 and 1834. The fort and its soldiers guarded the mouth of Mobile Bay. The fort saw the majority of its action during the Civil War and the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864. It’s also the site of Admiral David Farragut’s historic declaration, “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead!”
Fort Morgan routinely hosts guided tours, some with guides dressed in period clothing. An onsite museum displays the evolution of the U.S. Army through various time periods, as well. The fort is a great place to spend the day, and if you love to snap great photos, you won’t be disappointed! When you want to explore Gulf Shores History, Fort Morgan may very well be the most popular spot to do so!
110 Alabama 180, Gulf Shores, AL
Open daily, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after, Dec. 25 and 26)
Admission: $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children ages 6-12
Take the Mobile Bay Ferry from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island where you’ll find Fort Gaines. This historic military installation also played a role in the Battle of Mobile Bay. The fort has guarded the eastern tip of Dauphin Island for more than 150 years. Spend an afternoon exploring the grounds, including cannons, blacksmith shop and kitchens. The blacksmith shop is open for demonstrations on various days of the week. Be sure to call ahead for the most current dates and times.
51 Beinville Blvd., Dauphin Island, AL
Open daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Close Thanksgiving, Dec. 25 and 26)
Admission: $8 (ages 13 and older), $4 (ages 5-12)
Just a short drive from Gulf Shores is the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Recognized as America’s Most Unique Military Attraction, it’s a great spot to stop and stretch your legs on your way to your Gulf Shores vacation rental. The USS Alabama played an important part in WWII, serving the Pacific fleet in 1943 and fighting in major battles, including the one at Okinawa. Also at the park is the USS Submarine Drum. This historic submarine sank 15 Japanese ships during WWII.
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
2703 Battleship Pkwy, Mobile, AL
April to September, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
October to March, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: $15 (ages 12 and older), $6 (ages 6-11)
Just outside of Gulf Shores in nearby Bon Secour, you’ll find the Swift-Coles Historic Home. The circa 1882 home is 6,000 square feet and located on the beautiful Bon Secour River under 120-year-old live oak trees. The home originally housed Charles and Susan Swift and their 11 children. In 2009, the home was opened to the public and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Guided tours are available on Tuesdays and Fridays, and you never know if a spirit or two may decide to be a part of your tour!
17424 Swift-Coles Lane, Bon Secour, AL
Open Tuesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Admission: $10 (cash only)
Take a drive to nearby Foley, AL for a step back in time like no other. If you’re interested in medical history, you can’t miss a stop at the Holmes Medical Museum. The site is actually Baldwin County’s first hospital which was open from 1936 to 1958. The museum remains much the same as it was when it treated its last patient in 1958. In fact, the majority of the medical equipment on display are the actual artifacts from the hospital. The museum includes an operating room, patient rooms, X-ray and pharmacy. Self-guided tours are available, but some visitors say a patient or two from yesteryear may join you on your tour!
Holmes Medical Museum
111 W. Laurel Ave., Foley, AL
Open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
At one time, Foley was a bustling railroad town. Train enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Foley Railroad Museum and Model Train Exhibit. The museum is located in the former Louisville and Nashville railroad station, built in 1909. The railroad played a major role in the prosperity of the entire area, including Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Model trains are in operation on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Foley Railroad Museum and Model Train Exhibit
125 E. Laurel Ave., Foley, AL
Archives open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Model train exhibit open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Whether you want to include a little or a lot of Gulf Shores history in your vacation, with so many unique historical sites in and around Gulf Shores, you’ll have plenty of options. Cooler temperatures in the fall make it the ideal time to explore the Alabama Gulf Coast. Make reservations at your favorite Gulf Shores condo or Fort Morgan beach house and let the journey back in time begin!
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Fall ranks high as one of our favorite seasons to spend on the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. We’ll start with the obvious reasons: