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Your getaway doesn’t have to be all about the children. On your next Gulf Shores vacation, treat yourself to some much deserved time away from the kids. We know how you can make the most of your “me-time.” So remember, just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have some fun during your beach vacation! However you wish to unwind, you won’t regret a mom’s getaway to Gulf Shores.

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We Know the Secrets to an Unforgettable Mom’s Getaway to Gulf Shores!

Lounge on the Beach 

Gulf Shores is home to the best beaches on the Alabama Gulf Coast. These white-sand beaches and sparkling blue waters have so much to offer. If you want an undisturbed beach day away from the crowds, you’ve come to the perfect place! Gulf Shores beaches are ideal for curling up on the sand with your favorite book and taking in the serene shoreline for as long as you’d like. Oh, and the best part? While you unwind by the shore, your kids will be safe and very entertained at any of the local summer camps or  youth programs. 

Shop ‘til You Drop! 

No vacation is complete without a shopping trip! Whether you’re looking to add a new special piece to your closet, or need something cute for a night out, you’re going to find it here! Gulf Shores has shopping for all tastes. If you’re on the hunt for a one-of-a-kind item, we recommend popping into a local boutique. If you prefer getting a deal on the trendiest looks, stop by any of the local shopping districts or the popular Tanger Outlets in Foley, Alabama.

Treat Yourself to a Spa Day

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are home to some of the most relaxing spas on the Gulf Coast. So, if you’re looking for the best place to pamper yourself, check out these spots: 

Try Specialty Wines 

Dress up and go on an exciting date with your sweetheart to Beyond the Grape Winery. This popular tasting room offers a fun paint and sip class that will delight artists of all experience levels. After you’ve unleashed your creative side, pick a local restaurant for a romantic dinner with your darling.

For the Best Accommodations, Stay in a Harris Vacation Rental 

The best way to plan a mom’s getaway to the Gulf is by finding a fantastic rental home that will make the whole family happy. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended beach vacation, our properties have everything you need. Our vacation rentals come with fantastic amenities like private pools, oceanfront views, hot tubs, and game rooms. When you stay at a Harris vacation home, your kids can play pool or foosball while you relax to the soothing sounds of the Gulf.  

Browse our full selection of vacation rentals and book your home away from home today! We look forward to having you.

If you’re looking for the perfect place to celebrate the summertime with your family, Alabama’s Gulf Shores has everything you need! The Gulf Shores’ outdoor recreation is extraordinary! You can take in the spectacular wildlife or search for dolphins in the Gulf. The magic of Gulf Shores will leave you and your crew with lasting memories! For more vacation inspo and other Gulf Shores adventures, check out OnceThere. When you book a Harris Properties family vacation rental, you’ll even receive up to $100 off local tours and activities through OnceThere. Planning the ultimate vacation has never been easier!

We Highly Recommend Taking Advantage of Gulf Shores Endless Outdoor Recreation Opportunities!

Spend an Afternoon at Alabama Gulf State Park

The Alabama Gulf State Park provides a Gulf Shores outdoor recreation experience like no other. This park boasts tons of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy. You can start by strolling along the country’s largest paved trail network, then splash around on Lake Shelby and finally, snap a few family photos on the Gulf State Pier. A relaxing afternoon at Alabama Gulf State Park will leave you wanting more Gulf Shores adventures.  

Discover Wildlife at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

You have to see the stunning landscape of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge! This nature reserve extends along the Gulf Shores for nearly 7,000 acres, and it’s home to many species of flora and fauna. The Wildlife Refuge is open to the public year-round, and it offers a variety of outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, hiking, and bird watching. With so many unique creatures to see and beautiful vistas to capture, the whole family will be entertained for hours. 

Explore the Bay on a Guided Dolphin Tour 

Hop aboard a dolphin watching cruise for a remarkable outdoor adventure. Several local businesses offer guided tours of varying lengths. One of our family-friendly favorites is the Dolphin eco-tour. On this two-hour nature cruise, you’ll get to see the Gulf Shores from a different vantage point, explore hidden estuaries and, of course, spot the local dolphin pod! Trust us; the kids will thank you! 

Take Your Family to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is widely known as the “Little Zoo” for its starring role in The Little Zoo That Could on Animal Planet. However, despite its nickname, this “little zoo” houses 600 animals, 199 sub-species, and 22 endangered species. When you visit this tropical urban oasis, you’ll find yourself surrounded by curious sounds and a diverse array of animals. The zoo is adjacent to a nature preserve, spreads over 25 acres, and provides up-close sights of the animal exhibits to visitors of all ages.

In March of 2020, the zoo opened in a new park and welcomed record crowds. The new park features more innovative spaces, encourages public education programs, and emphasizes animal conservation. You’ve never seen a zoo quite like this one, so next time you’re in town, be sure to check it out.

Admire Art at Museums Near Gulf Shores, Alabama

The city of Gulf Shores has a rich history, filled with colorful characters, delicate architecture, and region-specific experiences. Throughout many of the museums found in the area, you’ll find exhibits and explanations for events of the past, and when you leave, it will be with a deeper appreciation for life on the Gulf. 

These fascinating museums will take you through time, art, and history by way of their captivating charm and historical significance:

Go for a Helicopter Ride With a Skilled Pilot

For a special experience over the cool blue water, take a helicopter tour in Gulf Shores. Picture yourself buzzing through the clouds, taking in all the views of the picturesque coast. Lost Bay Helicopter Tours offers a vast array of tours. Pick anything from an Island View Tour to a Sunset Tour and you’ll get to see the Gulf Coast like never before. If you think that’s  fun, take on another challenge and book a flying lesson! You’ll be guided by an experienced pilot with incredible knowledge of the skies!

Feel the Sand Between Your Toes

We know you’ve been dreaming of the Gulf Coast’s sugar-white sand and sparkling blue waters! What better way to spend your vacation than relaxing on these pristine and undiscovered beaches? Lucky for you, the Gulf Coast is home to gorgeous beaches in several locations, so you can relax on a different beach every day.

Take some time to explore the beaches in these three areas:  Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Each area has its own special charm and offers endless fun for the entire family. While you are in Gulf Shores, hit the water on a jet ski, kayak, or  stand-up paddleboard. Then, head to Orange Beach or Fort Morgan for a serene beach day away from the crowds. Here, you’ll have plenty of beach fun building sandcastles, playing beach volleyball, or reading a book in the sand. However you choose to spend your day, make sure it’s on the Gulf Coast.

There’s No Place Like a Harris Home

Once you’ve discovered what Gulf Shores has to offer, retreat to a perfect island-style vacation rental. Unwinding in a Harris Properties home is ideal for you, your kids, and even our furry friend! Our private properties span from Orange Beach to Gulf Shores and offer plenty of space for everyone in your party. Make your home away from home on that’s just minutes away from the beach and give your family the getaway they deserve. Spend your spring break, summer, or any other vacation with us. We can’t wait to meet you! Browse our properties and contact us to book an unforgettable beach getaway today! 

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There’s just something special about that first visit to the beautiful beaches in Gulf Shores, 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. If it’s your first time visiting Gulf Shores, welcome! Read on to learn about some of the best things to see and do along our sugar-white shores.

Visiting Gulf Shores for the first time? Enjoy your beach getaway to the fullest when you book a Harris Properties vacation rental! When you book one of our vacation homes, you’ll receive up to $100 off local tours and activities through OnceThere. Planning the perfect vacation has never been easier!

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6 Must-Do Activities for Your First Gulf Shores Vacation

1. Visit the Welcome Center

 After settling into your Gulf Shores condo, the first thing you should do is visit the Gulf Shores Welcome Center. Get a coupon book for goodies like free desserts or appetizers at restaurants, as well as discounts on local 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.

2. Take Your Photo at The Shark’s Mouth

Next, head to Souvenir City and get your picture taken in the shark’s mouth! It’s a longstanding tradition for families. After you walk through the attraction, browse the store, packed full of great T-shirts, glassware and other gifts to take home. Everyone enjoys the fudge!

3. Have a Blast at The Wharf

You could easily spend the entire day browsing the many shops, restaurants, and family-friendly attractions at The Wharf at Orange Beach. You’ll definitely want to check out the mini-golf courses, arcades, movie theatres, and Alabama’s longest zipline course. And if there’s one thing you absolutely must do, it’s ride the Ferris Wheel! This iconic landmark gives you tree-top views of the coast and costs just $5 per person (kids aged 3 and under ride free).  When night falls, make sure to stay for one of the SPECTRA shows. The popular sound and light spectacular happens nightly and is an experience like no other! Admission is free.

4. Listen to Live Music at Lulu’s

LuLu’s is a family-friendly destination restaurant located just over the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge. A favorite hangout for locals and visitors alike, LuLu’s takes the coastal theme to the extreme with great outdoor seating, children’s activities, and entertainment on stage every night of the week. It’s a must-see if you’re visiting Gulf Shores for the first time! 

 5. Visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Take a walk on the wild side at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. The zoo, which opened in 1989, is now home to about 500 animals. See alligators, monkeys, lemurs, tigers and more. Get an up-close look at animals in their natural habitat! Play with lemurs, baby kangaroos and sloths. Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, you’ll love every second of your visit to this world-class zoo.

6. Take a Sunset Stroll Along the Beach

It may be last on the list, but it’s the one thing you absolutely have to do while visiting our beautiful beaches on a first-time Gulf Shores vacation. There’s just something magical about watching the sun sink low into the horizon before disappearing into the aquamarine Gulf waters. Who are we kidding? It’s something you’ll want to do each and every visit.

What Is the Weather Like in Gulf Shores?

Many of our first-time guests ask us when is the best time to visit Gulf Shores. Long story short, the weather 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.

Where to Stay in Gulf Shores

When it comes to the best accommodations in Gulf Shores, AL, look no further than Harris Properties! Our gorgeous vacation homes and condos have everything you need for a memorable first time visiting Gulf Shores. Whether you’re dreaming of a beachfront home, a rental with a private pool, or a large family home, we are sure to have the ideal accommodation for your getaway. Are you ready to make memories to last a lifetime? Browse our properties and contact us to book your stay today. We can’t wait to welcome you to paradise!

 

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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. Plus, when you book a Harris Properties family vacation rental, you’ll even receive up to $100 0ff local tours and activities through OnceThere!

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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. We can’t wait to welcome you!

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Are you planning a Gulf Coast getaway? You don’t have to break the bank to have a great family beach vacation. In fact, we have plenty of great tips for vacation planning on a budget. Read on to learn about some of the best free things to do in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Then, start planning your trip!

Are you wondering what are some free things to do in Gulf Shores, Alabama? There are many fun activities and attractions to enjoy during your getaway. Plus, when you book a Harris Properties family vacation rental, you’ll receive up to $100 off local tours and activities through OnceThere. Planning the perfect vacation has never been easier!

Here are the best things to do in Gulf Shores in October!

Top 5 Free Things to Do in Gulf Shores, Alabama

1. Relax at the Beach

Gulf Shores is home to the world’s most beautiful beaches – it’s no secret. And when it comes to the best free things to do on the Gulf Coast, lounging by the shoreline should be at the top of your list! Soak up the sun, play in the Gulf, and sink your toes into the sugar-white sand. Many of the local beach accesses offer free public parking on a first-come, first-served basis.

2. Explore Hiking and Birding Trails

Nature enthusiasts will love visiting the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge! This 7,000-acre wildlife sanctuary is open year-round and offers activities for everyone. Get out and explore miles of scenic hiking trails, see native shorebirds in their natural habitat, or enjoy fishing from the beach. Some of our other favorite free hiking areas include the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail and the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail in Orange Beach.

3. Visit a Local Museum

Are there any history buffs traveling with you? There are several amazing museums near Gulf Shores, Alabama, and many offer free admission! First, visit the Gulf Shores Museum and learn about the earliest inhabitants along the Alabama coast. Formerly a beach house, this enchanting museum features an array of permanent and rotating exhibits and a Butterfly Garden. It’s a great experience for all ages, so bring the whole family!

If you’re looking for the best free things to do in Foley, AL, you must visit the Foley Model Railroad Museum. Take a step back in time as you explore real locomotives and engaging railroad exhibits. Afterward, stop by the Holmes Medical Museum and take a self-guided tour of Baldwin County’s first hospital. This spooky building features original medical devices and operating rooms dating back to the early 1900s!

Next, head over to The Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum. Discover the area’s Native American and fishing heritage through a variety of displays, artifacts, and other memorabilia. Finally, make sure to check out the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola. Serving as the world’s largest Naval Aviation Museum, it’s a must-see for any aviation-lover!

4. Attend a Free Festival or Event

No matter what time of year you visit, there is always something exciting happening in Gulf Shores, Alabama. From family-friendly events to concerts, art festivals, and more, the list of things to do here is endless. The best part? Many local events are free! Make sure to check out our website to see what upcoming events are scheduled during your Gulf Shores getaway.

5. Stroll The Wharf at Orange Beach

If you’re looking for things to do in Orange Beach, Alabama, you must visit The Wharf at Orange Beach. This lively entertainment district is filled with wonderful boutiques, restaurants, and family-friendly attractions. After sunset, make sure to stay and watch the SPECTRA show. This sound and light spectacular features choreographed music synced with a stunning light show. The shows are free and held multiple times each night!

Have the Best Family Vacation With Harris Properties!

Now that you know about some of the best free things to do in Gulf Shores, Alabama, it’s time to start planning your trip! Enjoy your vacation to the fullest when you book a stay with Harris Properties. We offer a wide array of vacation rentals throughout Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Whether you’re searching for a large family home or an intimate beachfront cottage, we offer options for a range of preferences and budgets. So, what are you waiting for? Browse all properties and contact us to start planning your next getaway to paradise. We can’t wait to welcome you!

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