How to Have the Best Trip From Birmingham, AL to Gulf Shores

How to Have the Best Trip From Birmingham, AL to Gulf Shores

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Are you ready for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life? Have you been daydreaming about sugar-white sand and sparkling blue water? If so, it’s time for a relaxing getaway to Gulf Shores, Alabama! With beautiful beaches, fabulous restaurants, and exciting activities, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect paradise along the Gulf of Mexico. The best part? It’s just a short drive or plane ride from Birmingham, AL to Gulf Shores. So, what are you waiting for? Explore our coastal vacation rentals and start planning your next trip to paradise!

Getting There:

Via Car:

Most visitors choose to drive from Birmingham, AL to Gulf Shores. It’s a short 5-hour journey by car via I-65 South. This is the fastest and most direct route, and you’ll pass several charming towns along the way.

If you’re looking for a great halfway point to break for lunch, there are several great eateries in Montgomery. Some of our favorites are Mrs. B’s Home Cooking, Cahawba House, and Alloz Grill. Or, continue further down the road and take the exit for Priester’s Pecans in Fort Deposit. This eclectic gift shop carries a variety of sweet treats, including candied pecans, fudge, and sixteen flavors of ice cream! And if you’d like to wait until Greenville, Bates House of Turkey is another fabulous option. After you grab a bite to eat, it’s a smooth and easy ride to Gulf Shores! 

Via Plane:

If you prefer to travel by plane, there are also several quick Birmingham to Gulf Shores flights. Pensacola National Airport (PNS) is the closest airport to Gulf Shores, Alabama. The average flight time is approximately 1 hour, and then it’s just a 1-hour drive from Pensacola to Gulf Shores. 

Things to Do in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Now that you’ve reached your final destination, it’s time to enjoy paradise! Gulf Shores is known for its pristine beaches, excellent shops and restaurants, upscale spas, and exciting nightlife. By day, relax at the beach and sink your toes into the powder-soft sand. The sound of gentle waves will carry you to pure bliss! By night, check out the hip beach bars, listen to live music, or catch the latest show at the theatre. The possibilities are endless! 

Gulf Shores also boasts a plethora of activities and attractions. From kayaking and stand up paddleboarding to snorkeling, diving, and fishing, there are endless ways to have fun on the Gulf. Explore the waterways on a boating excursion, take a dolphin sunset tour, or fly high on a parasailing adventure. If you prefer to stay on land, get out and explore miles of scenic hiking trails. And if adventure is what you seek, you’re in luck! Visit one of the amusement parks, race go-karts at The Track, play a round of mini-golf, or tee off on one of the championship golf courses. Whether your idea of the perfect vacation includes relaxing by the shoreline or exploring all the sights, there is something for everyone! 

Book Your Gulf Shores Getaway With Harris Vacation Rentals

50 shades of blue

When it comes to lodging in Gulf Shores, no place compares to Harris Vacation Rentals! Our luxurious Gulf Shores vacation rentals are near all of these amazing attractions. From intimate condos and cottages to upscale retreats, we offer a wide range of accommodations options. We also offer pet-friendly rentals for guests who are traveling with their four-legged friends! And our premium concierge services will ensure you have everything you could ever want or need while on vacation. 

After your trip from Birmingham, AL to Gulf Shores, you’ll want to kick back and relax in your comfortable vacation rental. With cozy furnishings and top-notch amenities, 50 Shades of Blue is sure to sweep you off your feet! This 3 bedroom/ 2 bath home features coastal decor, a fully-equipped kitchen, and 2 spacious decks. It’s the perfect choice for beach-lovers! 

Make sure to take advantage of our last-minute deals and book your Gulf Shores getaway today. We can’t wait to welcome you! 

Fall in Gulf Shores Is One of the Best Times to Visit

Blue skies, gorgeous scenery, and the glittering waters of the Gulf of Mexico as far as the eye can see. Gulf Shores is truly a year-round destination. If you want to plan a beach vacation without facing the crowds and searing heat, opt to experience fall in Gulf Shores. A little slice of paradise awaits! Read on to discover why autumn is one of our favorite seasons here. Then, browse our coastal vacation rentals and start planning your trip today!

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Why You Need to Experience Fall in Gulf Shores

Whether you’re in town to have fun with family or for a romantic fall getaway, autumn is the perfect time of the year to vacation in Gulf Shores.

Warm Temperatures

Unlike most other places in the United States, the weather in Gulf Shores stays relatively mild all year long. There’s much less humidity, more cooling breezes, and the water is still warm from the summer. It’s hard to beat the fall weather here! Here are the average temperatures for fall in Gulf Shores:

September – High of 87° / Low of 70°

October – High of 80° / Low of 59°

November – High of 71° / Low of 48°

Fewer Crowds

Rather than trying to find a spot on a beach packed with tourists, experience greater freedom when you visit after summer vacation ends. Fall is the beginning of off-season in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, so you and your loved ones will be able to eat at the area’s best restaurants and enjoy little to no wait at top attractions.

Fun Attractions & Events

There are countless ways to spend a fall day in Gulf Shores. Wake up to a view of the gulf, run on the beach, swim in the picture-perfect water, and golf on one of the area’s pristine courses.

Autumn is also a great time to attend some of Gulf Shores’s most anticipated events. The annual Shrimp Festival in October features delicious shrimp recipes, live music, and hundreds of arts and crafts vendors. Another fantastic festival is the Oyster Cook-off & Craft Beer Weekend at The Hangout. You don’t want to miss this seafood celebration that occurs every November.

Check out some more of our favorite things to do in the fall and get ready to make lasting memories!

Plan the Perfect Autumn Getaway With Harris Vacation Rentals

barefoot rental pool and beach view

Are you ready to spend the fall in Gulf Shores? Another perk of planning a beach trip in the offseason is that our best vacation rentals have more availability. Barefoot, one of our luxury beachfront homes, features everything you need for a tranquil Gulf Shores vacation. This gorgeous home sleeps 28 people, so it’s perfect for a trip with extended family. Relax by the private heated pool or soak up the sun on the white sand beach — the choice is yours! Other exquisite features of the rental home include a double fridge and oven, bedrooms with gulf views, an outdoor shower, and an elevator.

It’s time to book the getaway of a lifetime. Browse all of our rental options and start planning your trip today!

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Where Is the Best Spot for Gulf Shores Brunch?

Picture this: You’re on vacation in sunny Gulf Shores, AL. You sleep in and wake up to a view of the ocean. There’s no better way to start each day of your trip than with a Southern, home-cooked meal by the beach. These six spots for Gulf Shores brunch are guaranteed to make your mouth water! After you’ve planned where you’ll eat, browse our outstanding Gulf Shores home rentals and get ready to book your beach vacation today!

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The Top 6 Places for Gulf Shores Brunch

Brunch is always a good idea, no matter what time of year you visit Gulf Shores! Be sure to enjoy a delicious meal at one of these six restaurants on your next vacation.

1. Brick & Spoon

Brick & Spoon, voted one of the top 10 breakfasts in the United States by Travel + Leisure, offers a variety of flavorful brunch selections. There are only three Brick & Spoon locations, and we’re so grateful that one of them is here in Orange Beach. Their extensive menu includes delicious dishes such as Bananas Foster French Toast, Breakfast Tacos, and Eggs Benedict. If you’re looking to add an extra punch to your brunch, try their create-your-own Bloody Mary! It’s the perfect addition to a Gulf Shores girls getaway brunch.

2. The Ruby Slipper Cafe

Another Southern chain, the award-winning Ruby Slipper Cafe specializes in New Orleans-inspired brunch fare. The Chicken St. Charles Egg Benedict and Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes are just a couple of their fan favorite items. Check out their full brunch menu to see more cocktails, sweet selections, and specialty dishes. The Ruby Slipper opens at 7 a.m. every morning, so it’s the perfect option for early birds!

3. Cobalt the Restaurant

Cobalt isn’t your typical brunch place, but its fresh seafood dishes and other culinary creations have put it on the map. Every Sunday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cobalt opens its doors for a single-ticket buffet brunch. Enjoy classics like casseroles, salads, omelets, desserts, a carving station, and more!

Browse their menu and get ready to join them for brunch on Perdido Beach Boulevard this weekend!

4. Hazel’s Nook

This retro, hole-in-the-wall restaurant serves great food every morning at their breakfast buffet. Join the buffet line, which includes an omelet bar and fruit station, or order off of the breakfast menu, which features Country Smoked Ham, pancakes, and sandwiches. Hazel’s Nook is centrally located along Gulf Shores Parkway, making it a fantastic starting point for your day.

5. Kitty’s Kafe

Locals and visitors alike love the warm, friendly atmosphere at Kitty’s Kafe. Experience genuine Southern hospitality and indulge in delicious breakfast fare at this cozy diner. Sample comfort food like biscuits and gravy or dig into a plate of fluffy pancakes. Want to know the best part? Breakfast is served all day at Kitty’s!

Plan the Perfect Getaway With Harris Vacation Rentals

bees knees master bedroom

Start every day with a delicious Gulf Shores brunch before heading off on a coastal adventure! A Harris Vacation Rentals vacation rental is the perfect home base for your trip to the Gulf Coast. Book The Bee’s Knees for your next family reunion, friends getaway, or summer vacation. This four bedroom, four bathroom home in the heart of peaceful Fort Morgan has everything you need to feel at home. Watch the waves crash over the sand from your living room and enjoy easy access to the beach and community pool. This rental unit also comes with incredible amenities such as complimentary kayak rentals, beach chairs, and bikes.

Start planning your unforgettable getaway at a Harris Vacation Rentals rental today!

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What You Need to Know About Gulf Shores Kayaking

There’s nothing quite like spending a day on the water enjoying the ocean breeze and jaw-dropping views. Get some exercise and experience the natural beauty of the Gulf coast by going on a Gulf Shores kayaking excursion during your next trip! When you book a Harris Vacation Rentals family vacation rental, you’ll receive up to $100 off local tours and activities through TripShock. Planning the perfect vacation has never been easier!

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Your Ultimate Guide to Gulf Shores Kayaking

Kayaking is perfect for all ages, making it a fantastic option for family fun in Gulf Shores. Kids and adults alike will love exploring the area from this new perspective.

Can’t-Miss Kayaking Tours

Guided kayaking tours in Gulf Shores are a great way to discover the coastal ecosystem! Here are two of our favorite nearby kayaking tours.

Tour the National Wildlife Refuge

The National Wildlife Refuge contains over 7,000 acres of uninterrupted, protected wildlife. A deep sense of calm and seclusion characterizes the area, and visitors love escaping the crowds here. If you want to get even closer to nature, book your spot on the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Kayak Tour. This tour takes you to the refuge’s quiet areas so you can see unique birds in their native environment.

See Dolphins at Sunset

Do you want to get up close to dolphins in their natural habitat? Book yourself on a Dolphins at Sunset Kayak Tour through the Wild Native Tours company. Kayak your way through Southern waterways and learn about the ecology, diet, life cycles, and behaviors of the bottlenose dolphin. Wid Native Tours is environmentally conscious and follows a strict “Leave No Trace” policy. It’s just another reason to explore the area with them!

Top Kayak Rentals in the Area

Another fantastic way to enjoy Gulf Shores kayaking is by renting a kayak. Get out on the water and explore the surrounding area at your own pace. Gulf Shores Boat and Paddlesports Rental offers kayak rentals starting at $50 for four hours. You can even opt to extend your rental for multiple days. When the kayak is delivered to you, you’ll receive a quick lesson on how to make the most of your experience. Paddled By You in Orange Beach is another awesome kayak rental option. Choose from a single, double, or triple kayak for either two, four, or eight hours. Rates start at $25 for two hours of fun!

Find Your Home Away From Home With Harris Vacation Rentals

sunset place

After an exciting day of Gulf Shores kayaking, head back to your Harris Vacation Rentals vacation rental for a relaxing evening with family. Our Sunset Place home features gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico from the patio and spacious entertainment areas throughout the house. Spend the day at the beach, rinse off in the outdoor shower, and prepare dinner for the entire family in the fully equipped kitchen. This charming beachfront home sleeps 15, making it the ideal spot for a family reunion or summer vacation.

Don’t wait to book your dream family retreat! Browse our rentals and start planning your Gulf Shores vacation today. Click here to browse our condo rentals and deals.

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Why You Need to Visit Adventure Island Orange Beach

There’s no shortage of entertainment in Orange Beach, Alabama. If you’re looking for a family fun hotspot along the Gulf Coast, look no further than Adventure Island Orange Beach. Here, you’ll discover arcade games, bumper boats, and more.

When it comes to planning the perfect family trip, you want nothing but the best. Browse the top vacation rentals in Gulf Shores and prepare to have an unforgettable beach vacation!

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The Top 5 Things to Do at Adventure Island Orange Beach

Adventure Island is one of the top Orange Beach attractions. You won’t want to miss out on a visit to this fantastic amusement park!

1. Play a Round of Mini Golf

A day at Adventure Island would be incomplete without a game of mini golf. The park has two 18-hole courses that the whole family will love. The island’s Giant Volcano is in the center of the course. Be on the lookout for the five-story volcano’s explosions that shake the ground!

Adventure Island is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., so you can play a round of putt putt during the day or at night.

2. Take a Spin on the Bumper Boats

The bumper boats are one of our favorite rides and attractions at Adventure Island. Each boat has its own water gun to shoot at your friends and family. If you’d prefer a more calming activity, take one of the paddle boats out on the park’s lost lagoon lake.

3. Ride Go Karts

Take a turn on the go-kart course and satisfy your need for speed! The five-minute ride features bumps, curves, and spins. Kids ages five to nine can enjoy the Grand Prix Go Karts, one of Adventure Island’s kiddie rides offered to younger thrill seekers.

4. Play Laser Tag

Are you ready to get your game on? Play a round of laser tag with your family and friends! Enjoy cool laser effects as you adventure through our laser tag room. You’ll love all of the amazing visuals, and it’s also a super fun way to get your blood pumping!

5. Explore the Arcade

Spending a couple of hours in the Alligator Alley Arcade is the perfect rainy day activity for adults and kids alike. The arcade features over 100 video games, including classics like virtual hunting games and indoor basketball games. We highly recommend using your tickets on the Max Flight Roller Coaster Simulator. It’s a thrill you won’t soon forget!

Do you want more recommendations for family-friendly activities in the area? Check out our guide to family fun in Gulf Shores!

Relax in a Harris Vacation Rentals Vacation Rental

almost heaven living area

After a day of exploring Adventure Island Orange Beach, you’ll want to relax at your home away from home. During your next trip to Gulf Shores, consider booking a vacation rental with Harris Vacation Rentals. Our Almost Heaven home has everything you need for a memorable family getaway. This remodeled six bedroom, six-and-a-half bath beachfront property is perfect for a relaxing stay. The home features a huge deck with views of the Gulf of Mexico, a game room on the ground floor, and an outdoor shower. Guests enjoy two entertainment areas, a fully equipped kitchen with two of every major appliance, and a dual washer and dryer. This spacious home sleeps 21, making it the ideal spot for a family reunion.

Don’t wait to make your coastal getaway dreams come true; start planning your beach retreat today!

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WES25 promo code – 25% your stay
Searches valid for any day 30 days or more on during these dates:
Jan-March 8, 2025
Jan – March 7, 2026
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