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Are you guilty of letting your paid time off go unused? According to the Washington Post, 55 percent of Americans did not use all their paid vacation time last year. You may be busy with work, and you feel that you can’t leave the office for a full week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embark on a partial-week beach vacationDon’t let life get in the way of living and soaking up the sun on Alabama’s whitesand beaches. We’ve got the best ideas on how to spend a three-day vacation in Gulf Shores. 

Don’t forget to book your Gulf Shores vacation home with Harris Vacation Rentals. We’ve got the best properties around!

Your Three-Day Vacation in Gulf Shores 

Day 1 of Your Gulf Shores Vacation 

Morning 

gulf shores beach

You’ve arrived in Gulf Shores! Most Gulf Shores vacation rentals have afternoon check-in times, but don’t let that stop you from getting a jump start on your vacation. Call ahead and make arrangements to use your rental home’s amenities like pools and beaches. Nothing will melt away stress like taking a refreshing dip or listening to the waves roll in. 

Afternoon 

If you’re still looking to kill some time, take a trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Visitors young and old will have a blast getting up close and personal with an array of fascinating animals. Their family of fascinating species includes kangaroos, tigers, lions, monkeys, amphibians, and more! 

Evening 

After you’ve settled into your home away from home and worked up an appetite, head out for dinner at Luna’s Eat & Drink. You don’t want to miss out on the appetizers at this cherished Orange Beach restaurant. Wet your whistle with one of more than 30 local and regional craft beers and pair it with an order of Luna’s Beer Cheese Dip served with soft pretzel bites. This is the perfect start to your three-day vacation in Gulf Shores.   

Walk off that cheesy delight with a stroll on the beach near your vacation home. Bring your flashlights and watch tiny sand crabs scurry through the sand. When you’re done, enjoy the nighttime sights and sounds from your Gulf Shores vacation rental balcony or deck. 

Day 2 of Your Gulf Shores Vacation 

Morning 

Kickstart your first full day in Gulf Shores by making a homemade breakfast and enjoying it outside while the salty sea breezes flow through your hair. Take in the view and relax. This is YOUR time! (Until the kids get up, that is!) 

Afternoon 

kayaking

Explore the backwaters of the Alabama Gulf Coast with Coastal Kayak Excursions, a tour company unlike any other around. Choose their Paddle and Play Tour to be transported from Caribe Marina to Walker Island via pontoon boat and spend the morning paddling around Robinson and Bird Islands at your leisure. You can also take an Eco-Kayak Tour. The captain will motor you to the backwaters of Wolf Bay, where you will be guided through the area. This private kayak tour is perfect for families and provides memories that will last a lifetime.  

After your day exploring the water, you’ll be hungry for a delicious lunch. No Gulf Shores vacation is complete without a visit to LuLu’sThe restaurant owner, Lucy Buffett, is famous in her own right as a creative culinary master and author of several top-selling cookbooksLucy is sister to legendary singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who has been known to drop in and perform an impromptu concert for Lucy’s restaurant guest! Both the young and young-at-heart enjoy a stop at LuLu’s. There’s a large sand area for the kidsa sand volleyball courtand an exciting ropes course. Ask for a table by the water and watch the boats float by on the Intracoastal Waterway. 

Evening 

Tonight is the night to get your seafood fix at one of the area’s longestrunning restaurants in Gulf ShoresOriginal Oyster House. Order up one of the restaurant’s signature dishes like the Shrimper’s Delight, which features fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, stuffed shrimp, fried flounder, and a delicious crab cake! Don’t forget to save room for a mouthwatering dessert like their Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie! This decadent dessert has a hint of Kahlua and is big enough to share (or not). If you just can’t get enough, you can buy a whole pie to go! 

The night doesn’t have to end after dinner. Chase the sunset and set sail on an evening dolphin cruiseWild Hearts offers a dolphin cruise through Orange Beach, where you’ll sail through the Gulf of Mexico in search of resident bottlenose dolphin pods and, of course, a magnificent sunset. 

 Day 3 of Your Gulf Shores Vacation 

Morning 

It may be the last day of your Gulf Shores getaway, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop just yet. Have a leisurely morning, and take your time getting packed before checking out of your Gulf Shores rental. If you don’t want to worry about cleaning up dishes in your kitchen, grab your daily cup of Joe at The Southern Grind Coffee House in Orange Beach.  

Afternoon 

biking

After you’re all packed up, rent some bicycles and go on an expedition through the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. There are 27 miles of paved trails and lakeside boardwalks that are ideal for getting a glimpse of beach nature. The kids will also enjoy climbing the rocks at Boulder Park along the trails, as well as the Butterfly Garden. 

Evening 

Before you drive back to your hometown, you’ll want to leave with a full stomach. Feast on deepfried oysters cooked to perfection at Bahama Bob’s, a seafood shack that’s a favorite among locals. Take in the views from this beachside eatery and know that you’ve had three days well spent on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Hopefully, it’ll hold you over until your next weekend getaway. 

Pick Your Perfect Vacation Rental 

Gulf Shores vacation rentals beachfront

When it comes to picking the perfect vacation home for your group, look no further than Harris Vacation Rentals. We’re happy to offer many homes varying in sizes throughout Gulf ShoresOrange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Whether you’re looking for pet-friendly rentals or beachfront properties, we’ve got you covered.  

Browse our properties and book your dream vacation home today. We can’t wait to welcome you! 

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When you’re visiting 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 that so many of these Gulf Shores restaurants let kids eat for free. If you’re planning a budget-friendly vacation, a free meal is certainly a nice perk!

Don’t forget to book your Gulf Shores vacation home with Harris Vacation Rentals. We’ve got the best properties around!

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Gulf Shores Restaurants Where Kids Eat for Free

Los Tacos

Head to Los Tacos and enjoy a fantastic Mexican meal. Each Thursday, when you purchase an adult entree, you can receive one kid’s meal for free! Their kids’ menu includes favorites such as chicken tenders, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Plus, on Saturdays, you can enjoy their refreshing Traditional Aguas Frescas for free all day. You can try unique flavors such as Horchata, Jamaica, Tamarindo, and Limonada. 

Original Oyster House

Gulf Shores Restaurant

At the Original Oyster House in Gulf Shores, you can 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, you’ll be able to top off dinner with a slice of peanut butter pie!

O’Charley’s

Take a quick drive with the family up to Foley, AL, and enjoy a scrumptious, wallet-friendly meal. When you dine in, kids under 10 years old eat for free all day, every day! You can’t beat that. You can get one free kids’ meal for every adult entree purchased. Their kids’ menu features pasta dishes, pizza, corn dogs, and more! 

Other Places to Eat in Gulf Shores That Are Kid-Friendly

Tacky Jacks

playground

Your kids will have a blast at Tacky Jacks as they romp around the sandpit and children’s playground. Their kids’ menu has tasty treats, such as grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, popcorn shrimp, cheeseburgers, and more. Then, satisfy their sweet tooth with the Chocolate Brownie Explosion and a scoop of vanilla icecream

The Hangout

Your children will thank you when you take them to the Pirates and Princess Breakfast Feast at The Hangout. Throughout the summer, this hands-on event features treasure hunts, sing-alongs, magic tricks, and more! The feast is offered daily three times throughout the day, so there’s always something to accommodate your family’s busy schedule. 

For more budget-friendly restaurants, stop by the Gulf Shores or Orange Beach Welcome Centers to pick up coupons and learn about exclusive discounts.

The Perfect Family Vacation Home Awaits

yellow beach house

When you rent with Harris Vacation Rentals, you’ll have no problem finding a vacation rental that will fit all of your needs and budget. We have an impressive collection of homes located throughout Gulf Shores available in various sizes. Some properties are even pet-friendly! Browse our properties and find the perfect one for you and your family today! 

 

More Gulf Shores Restaurants

Didn’t find what you were looking for here? Browse these blogs for the beach eats info you’re seeking…

7 of the Best New Gulf Shores Restaurants

6 Must-Try Restaurants for Orange Beach, Gulf Shores Breakfast

The Best Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach