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Have you been dreaming about white-sand beaches and sparkling turquoise water? It may be time for your next tropical getaway! The Gulf of Mexico is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, so how do you decide which one to visit first? We’ve outlined some comparisons between Dauphin Island vs. Gulf Shores to help you plan the vacation of your dreams. Read on to learn more and get ready for your next trip to paradise!

There's no comparison between Dauphin Island vs. Gulf Shores. Book your Gulf Shores getaway today!

Dauphin Island vs. Gulf Shores, Alabama?

Dauphin Island and Gulf Shores both have beautiful beaches, but there are a few differences between the two destinations. Are you looking for the best nightlife? Where are the best restaurants? Which area has more activities for your next family gathering? Here’s what you need to know!

Dauphin Island

Dauphin Island is a quiet and peaceful town, known for its natural beauty and abundant wildlife. If you’re looking to retreat away from it all, this may be the destination for you! There is a scenic bike path that winds through the island, and nature-lovers will enjoy visiting the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. However, because the island is remote, there aren’t as many activities or attractions. There are a few restaurants here, but you’ll find many more dining options in Gulf Shores. It’s also important to note that there is no bridge from Dauphin Island to Gulf Shores. To get back to the mainland, you’d have to wait for a ferry or drive around the bay.

Gulf Shores

Where Dauphin Island is remote, Gulf Shores can be as busy or laid-back as you want it to be! Whether you prefer to be relaxing on the beach or enjoying activities with the whole family, there is something for everyone here. Spend your days kayaking, parasailing, diving, boating, fishing or lounging by the shoreline. Or, get lost in nature and explore miles of scenic hiking trails. Art enthusiasts and history buffs will enjoy browsing the local galleries and museums. And if you have kids, they will love visiting the Gulf Coast Zoo, playing mini-golf, or racing go-karts! The list of things to do in Gulf Shores is endless, which makes it easy to plan your ideal getaway.

Another thing that sets Gulf Shores apart from Dauphin Island is that there is a greater selection of shops and restaurants. Dig into the fresh catch of the day at one of the seafood restaurants, enjoy the best of fine dining, or grab a quick bite to eat at one of the cafes or bistros. And when the sun sets, enjoy the vibrant nightlife or spend the evening relaxing with family in your Harris Property. 

Book Your Gulf Shores Getaway With Harris Properties!

Now that you know some of the differences between Dauphin Island vs. Gulf Shores, it’s time to plan your ultimate getaway! When it comes to lodging options in the area, no place can compare to Harris Properties. We offer a wide array of properties in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Whether you’re searching for a pet-friendly option, a home with a private pool, or a beachfront rental, we are sure to have the perfect accommodations for your stay. Plus, when you book a Harris Properties vacation rental, you’ll even receive up to $100 off local tours and activities through OnceThere! Browse all properties and contact us to start planning your getaway today. We can’t wait to welcome you!

 

Book Your Family Vacation With Harris Properties Today!

When you imagine Gulf Shores, what do you see? Is it the white sand beaches, the delectable seafood, or the breathtaking sunsets?

The Gulf State Park Pier is one of the Gulf Coast’s most iconic landmarks. It’s a great spot for fishing and enjoying the area’s lovely scenery. Read on to discover everything you need to know about the Pier, then get ready to plan your trip to the Alabama Coast! There’s no better place to stay in Gulf Shores than a Harris Properties vacation rental. Browse our full selection of homes today!

 

The Gulf State Park Pier Is the Perfect Place to Cast Your Line

Are you ready for some family fun in Gulf Shores? Bring your kids to the Gulf Shores State Park Pier for an unforgettable fishing lesson!

About the Pier

The Gulf State Park Pier is the second longest pier on the Gulf Coast. It’s 1,540 feet long and offers 2,500 feet of fishing space to the public. From the dock, you’ll experience marvelous views of the Gulf of Mexico, so don’t forget to pack your camera! There are comfort stations, a concession area, and a retail shop along the pier as well.

What You’ll Need

Fishing Tips

Now that you have all your gear, you’re ready to fish! The pier is an excellent spot for avid anglers to set up for the day against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Gulf Shores. Seasoned fishermen recommend going in the early morning or late afternoon for the best results. Some fish you may catch include flounder, sheepshead, pompano, Spanish mackerel, and speckled trout. There are also shark fishing events held on Sundays and Tuesdays throughout the season.

Check out our complete Gulf Shores fishing guide for more tips, tricks, and places to fish!

More Fun in Gulf State Park

There’s more to Gulf State Park than the iconic pier! Stake out your spot on the two miles of white sand beaches, swim in the Gulf of Mexico, and enjoy a snack from the concessions stand. Or, check out the Backcountry Trail, a 25-mile paved trail system perfect for hiking and biking. There’s also a Nature Center in the park for observing local wildlife. Where will your Gulf State Park adventure begin?

Make a Splash at a Harris Properties Rental

coastal zen pool and back deck

The Gulf State Park Pier is one of many fantastic attractions in Gulf Shores. During your family vacation, spend a day at The Track racing go-karts or get a meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants. There’s something that everyone will love!

Make your Gulf Shores vacation the best it can be by staying at our gorgeous Coastal Zen home. This peaceful retreat is located in the luxury gated community of Laguna Key and sleeps 12 in four bedrooms. Enjoy a view of Little Lagoon from the back balcony and relax by the stunning private pool. You’ll also have access to the community’s fishing dock, tennis court, and kayaks. Is it feeling like a beach day? Coastal Zen is only a three-minute walk from the beach.

Are you ready for the ultimate family vacation? Browse our rentals and book today!

Book Your Family Vacation With Harris Properties Today!

Gulf Shores is known for its white sand beaches, deep blue waters, and amusing attractions. During the heat of the day, take a break from the high temperatures and treat yourself to an afternoon of shopping in Gulf Shores in Alabama. Leave some extra room when you’re packing your bags, because there are plenty of tempting trinkets to buy along the Gulf Coast! Read on to discover where to shop in Gulf Shores. Then, browse our family vacation rentals and start planning your vacation today!

Have the Most Fun Shopping in Gulf Shores in Alabama

There’s something to entertain every type of shopper in Gulf Shores. What will you discover during your trip?

Unique Shops

If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind stores, you’re in the right place! You won’t find a shop like Fran’s on 59 anywhere else. This specialty boutique, just a 15-minute drive from downtown Gulf Shores, sells a mix of antiques, garden sculptures, jewelry, and home goods. Fran’s on 59 is the ideal store for treasure hunters seeking their next great find!

Calling all candy lovers! The Chocolate Corner, voted Alabama’s #1 chocolate shop, specializes in all things sweet. Whether you’re searching for homemade fudge, beach-shaped treats, or ice cream, this is the place for you.

Malls

Do you want to shop ‘til you drop? The Foley Tanger Outlets has all of your favorite stores in one place. With over 100 stores to choose from, you’re bound to see something that catches your eye. Will you get a cute swimsuit at the Express Factory Outlet or a new set of clubs at Golf 4 Less? The choice is yours!

Our favorite mall in the area is The Wharf at Orange Beach. This all-in-one entertainment hub has it all. Spend the afternoon shopping, grab dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants, and see a movie or concert at night. Don’t miss a ride on The Wharf’s iconic Ferris wheel, either!

Need more recommendations? Check out our blog on the top five shopping malls in the area.

Souvenir Shops  

Of course, you can’t come back from vacation without a few souvenirs! Check out Souvenir City for everything from Gulf Shores koozies to shark tooth necklaces to T-shirts. We also recommend window shopping along Beach Boulevard, the city’s main street, for some great deals. You’ll find a plethora of souvenir stores just steps away from the ocean! Don’t forget to check these places out during your shopping in Gulf Shores in Alabama!

Soak up the Sun at Harris Properties

southern living condo beach

After you’ve explored the best shopping in Gulf Shores in Alabama, you’ll deserve some time to relax. Luckily for you, we know the perfect place! Southern Living at the Palms is a beautiful Orange Beach vacation rental with breathtaking views of the ocean.  The spacious three bedroom, two bathroom condo sleeps ten just steps away from the sea. Spend your days basking in the sun on the beach or at the pool, then cook a family meal in the fully equipped kitchen during the evenings. You and your family deserve a tropical vacation. Reserve your stay before this fantastic unit is all booked!

Salty air, ocean breeze, and blue skies for miles. This is what the perfect Gulf Shores day looks like. One of our favorite things to do in the area is to rent a boat and explore the Gulf Coast first-hand. During your next Orange Beach vacation, spend a day on the water, soaking up the sunshine. Read on to discover the best Orange Beach boat rentals. Then, get ready to book the ultimate family beach vacation with Harris Properties!

Book Your Family Vacation Today With Harris Properties!

The Top 3 Orange Beach Boat Rentals

1. Orange Beach Boat Rentals

This family-oriented boat rental company is a staple of the Gulf Shores boating community. Located at The Wharf Orange Beach, Orange Beach Boat Rentals provides you with a map of the area as well as a complete tour of the vessel before you head out on the bay.

All of their boats include safety equipment, life jackets, clean restrooms, two anchors, satellite radio, leather cushions, and more. Select from either a half, full, or multi-day boating trip. Be sure to make your reservation in advance, and get ready to explore the natural beauty of Orange Beach!

2. Wallace Boat Rentals

Another full-service boat rental company, Wallace Boat Rentals encourages its customers to be their own captain. No boating license is required, though ample instruction and maps are provided. All boats include life jackets, safety gear, and anchors.

Additionally, Wallace Rentals customers can choose to rent a traditional boat, a pontoon boat, or a jet ski. How will you decide to explore 20 miles of bays, rivers, and islands?

3. Flora-Bama Marina

Located across Perdido Pass, Flora-Bama Marina offers pontoon boat, kayak, paddleboard, and jet ski rentals by the hour. Additionally, the marina’s deep sea fishing charters give you the opportunity to catch your own fish under the guidance of an expert captain.

After a day on the water, head across the street from the marina to Flora-Bama. This all-in-one fun spot has restaurants, bars, and live music.

More Ways to Enjoy Gulf Shores

There are plenty of ways to experience the Gulf Coast! Jet ski rentals and other Gulf Shores watersports are popular for thrill-seekers and adventurers. If you’re looking for a quieter way to spend your vacation, Gulf Shores is also a great place for fishing and relaxing on the beach.

Dock Your Boat at a Harris Properties Home

Bay Dreamin' Pier

Now that you’ve selected from the best Orange Beach boat rentals, it’s time to get out on the water! There are so many things to see on the Gulf Coast, from beautiful beaches to stunning sunsets. After a day’s worth of boating, you’ll want to a relaxing night, and we know just the place.

What sounds better than a gorgeous, bay-front vacation home with a private boat slip? We can’t think of anything! Bay Dreamin in Fort Morgan features open entertainment areas, a game room, and accommodations for up to nine guests. Outside, enjoy the screened porch and outdoor shower. Bay Dreamin is the perfect place for your family to call home for a week!

At Harris Properties, we want your family vacation memories to last a lifetime. Browse our vacation rentals and get ready for your dream getaway!