Memorial Day! Kids think of this long three-day weekend as the start of summer, but adults, especially seniors, will be thinking of our veterans. Yes, it is a time for fun, for picnics, concerts and heading to the beach, but it’s more a time for remembering and honoring U.S. service members. Luckily, here in Gulf Shores, it’s easy to do it all when you book one of our places to stay in Gulf Shores.
Gulf Shores Memorial Day Weekend Ceremonies and Events
Combine your veteran tributes with a trip back in time by heading to the western tip of the peninsula and historic Fort Morgan. This masonry, pentagonal-shaped fort has been an important part of the nation’s coastal defenses, starting with the Spanish-American War and continuing through WWII. Most famously, this defense included a major role in the Battle of Mobile Bay, where the Union fleet, led by Rear Admiral Farragut of “Damn the torpedoes” fame, attacked a smaller Confederate fleet and the three forts guarding the entrance to Mobile Bay. The fort will have its annual wreath-laying ceremony, along with live reenactments, historic weapons demonstrations, and artillery firing. Plan to spend the day exploring the fort and the adjacent Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge trails.
If you’re lucky, the Blue Angels will be at their home base in nearby Pensacola and not on the road. You can watch them practice from any one of the public beaches along the Gulf. Pensacola is also home to the Naval Aviation Museum. If it’s open, it’s worth the short drive to get close to over 150 restored aircraft. And it’s free!
Depending on pandemic restrictions, Gulf Shores Park may host their annual fireworks on the beach. For wreath-laying and other military ceremonies, Mobile National Cemetery is just a short drive away.
Memorial Day Ceremonies on Your Own
Gulf State Park may or may not have fireworks, but they definitely have plenty of outdoor Gulf Shores Memorial Day weekend activities for the entire family. Fish from the pier or in one of the lakes. There are plenty of tables for picnics, and you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, or jet skis for fun on Lake Shelby. Work off that key lime pie from your picnic with a hike through the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. It’s easy to take a minute or two for quiet contemplation and appreciation of our veterans and our freedoms as you gaze past pristine freshwater lakes, coastal swamps, and wetlands.
You can’t vacation in Gulf Shores without heading to the beach! The kids can create elaborate sandcastles and splash in the surf, all while practicing social distancing. Just mark your spot and one for the kids with a 6-foot circle in the sand. (It’s a good teaching moment too – math at the beach!) Rent one of our beach-front cottages and you can literally be steps away from the bright, white sandy beach. And if the beach gets too crowded, gather everyone up and take a few steps back from it all to your rental. Stay safe and start a family movie night! Free Wi-Fi and large flat-screen TVs throughout your rental make it easy.
Dining and More
Eat your fill of seafood! Order online or call your favorite seafood establishment for curbside pickup. Haul it all back to your lovely vacation rental and spread everything out on the porch overlooking the ocean. Sit in the shade and eat all the fresh-caught local seafood you want. Or grill up your own catch-of-the-day! Many of our rentals come with grills and they all have fully equipped kitchens.
For take-out to-go orders of fresh seafood (prepared or not, your choice), and “pack and travel fresh seafood,” order online from Gulf Shores Seafood & Meat Market, then pick it up curbside. When the time comes to leave the Gulf, it’s easy to take your favorite seafood home with you!
For family-friendly fun and dining, try Tacky Jacks, the Fish River Grill, and Original Oyster House. And there’s always something happening at the Hangout, in addition to great seafood, plenty of adult beverages, live music, and a beach view. Another family-friendly dining option is LuLu’s. LuLu’s offers online ordering for take-out orders, or you can get on their waitlist for limited seating. And of course, LuLu’s has delicious seafood, live music, and a great beach view too. On Memorial Day weekend LuLu’s hosts LuLuPalooza, an annual musical celebration with free concerts all day long on Saturday.
For slightly more elegant dining, try Cobalt The Restaurant, The Flying Harpoon, or Voyagers Restaurant. And for adult fun, head to the rowdy, world-famous Flora-Bama where you can dance the day and night away while enjoying fresh oysters and refreshing Bushwackers.
Memorial Day Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores
For more Memorial Day remembrances and celebrations, give our friendly staff a call. We can help you find the perfect beachfront places to stay in Gulf Shores for your Memorial Day weekend too. What could be better than ending your day with a moonlit walk on the beach under the twinkling stars!