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Do you ever feel like you could use a vacation after the holiday craziness is over? We can relate. Start your year off on a high note with a trip to Gulf Shores in January! The offseason offers ample opportunity for rest and relaxation, and when you stay with Harris Vacation Rentals, you‘ll experience the best of the Alabama Coast during this special time of year. 

Keep reading to learn more about our top January activities and travel tips. Then, browse our vacation rentals to find your ideal home away from home! 

Things to Do in Gulf Shores in January 

Please note that some of the experiences listed below may have COVID-19 restrictions. Be sure to check each website prior to your visit.

Outdoor Activities

If you’re traveling from the frigid northeast, you’ll be happy with the weather in Gulf Shores, AL. Our area experiences mild winters with an average high of 60 degrees and low of 39 degrees. Snow is also a rare occurrence, which means you can spend plenty of time outdoors throughout the month of January. Some of our favorite recreational activities include: 

Indoor Fun

Of course, there’s always a chance that the weather might be less than perfect during your Gulf Shores getaway. That’s why it’s important to be prepared with a list of indoor attractions to entertain your group. Enjoy quality time with the ones you love while discovering the unique history of our area. A few places you won’t want to miss: 

Local Events & Happenings

There’s always something going on in Gulf Shores, even during the offseason. Visit a nearby restaurant/bar to chat with the locals and listen to live music. Or, head to the wharf for some festive winter fun. Either way, you’ll get a taste of what life is like here in January. 

Start Planning Your Stay 

Easy Day Vacation Rental

With mild weather, fewer crowds, and lots to do and see, January is one of the best times to visit Gulf Shores. Get the ball rolling on your next vacation by booking one of our luxury rental properties today! We have beautiful selection of homes in Fort MorganGulf Shores, and Orange Beach. Plus, our long-term rentals are perfect for an extended winter stay. Simply select your preferred travel dates and amenities, and we’ll take care of the rest! 

There’s nothing better than a memorable vacation to start the year off with a bang. Check our availability and begin planning your trip to Gulf Shores in January. We look forward to hosting you soon!

When you vacation in Gulf Shores, AL, you will be surrounded by a plethora of fun-filled activities. If you’re looking for the perfect way to shake things up from going to the beach every day, try your hand at Gulf Shores mini-golf. Miniature golf is a beloved pastime by people of all ages and is the perfect way to have family fun or a romantic date night.

If you’re searching for additional exciting things to do during your Alabama Gulf Coast vacation, look no further than our TripShock program. The benefits of using TripShock include a user-friendly booking engine, secure payment, and instant confirmation. You can explore dozens of activity options and make all of your bookings in one transaction. It’s that easy!

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The Best Places to Enjoy Gulf Shores Mini-Golf

To learn more about the best places to try for a hole in one throughout Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, keep reading! 

Tiki’s Mini-Golf and Bike Shack

Location: 1204 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Head to Tiki’s Mini Golf and Bike Shack to get the most bang for your buck. This family-friendly adventure center offers all-you-can-play miniature golf for $5. This 18-hole golf course is ideal for people of all skill levels and features majestic oak and cypress trees. You’ll fall in love with their iconic orange-colored “greens” and zany holes adorned with spooky ramshackle cabins, menacing polar bear sculpture, and faux-junkyard accessories. 

Tiki’s is also your headquarters for bike rentals in Gulf Shores. Enjoy an eco-friendly activity, and enjoy the gorgeous scenery of the coast. They offer free delivery, and you can rent bikes by the hour, the 1/2 day, or the full day. The bike shop is perfectly situated close to the beach and the best biking trails in the area.

Shrimpy’s Mini Golf & Ice Cream

Location: 204 E 2nd Ave, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

miniature golf

A day on the Alabama Gulf Coast doesn’t get much better than mini-golf, arcade games, fresh seafood, and ice cream. That’s exactly what you’ll find when you visit Shrimpy’s Mini Golf and Ice Cream! The crisp, emerald greens of this fishing village-themed course will draw you in, and the punny, seafood-inspired names of the holes will keep you entertained. After a round of putt-putt, head over to the ice cream parlor and cool down with a scoop of their mouthwatering ice cream, such as their Cookie Brownie Sundae. Or, feed your appetite next door at Mikee’s Seafood

Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf

Location: 3201 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

You’re in for a fantastic adventure at Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf. This thrilling course includes pirate ships, waterfalls, and mesmerizing tropical props and flora and fauna. You’ll follow in the footsteps of notorious pirates like Blackbeard and Captain Kidd and continue through the caves where pirates buried their booty. If you have a large group or are celebrating a birthday, Pirate’s Island will be more than happy to accommodate you. If you have children with you under the age of three years, they’ll play for free!

Stay in a Harris Vacation Rentals Vacation Rental

beach front rental

After a rousing game of Gulf Shores mini-golf, retreat to your home away from home—a Harris Vacation Rentals Vacation Rental. We’re proud to offer vacation homes of all sizes throughout Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Choose from pet-friendly properties, and homes with private pools, hot tubs, and convenient beach access. There’s no time like the present to start planning your next getaway. Check our availability and start getting exciting for your Gulf Coast vacation! 

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 TripShock. When you book a Harris Vacation Rentals family vacation rental, you’ll even receive up to $100 off local tours and activities through TripShock. 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 Vacation Rentals 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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As people around the world begin to tally up their list of New Year’s resolutions, you may find yourself searching for a resolution that will provide you with the change of pace that you need to make life more exciting and enjoyable. This year, instead of focusing on just losing weight and living healthier physically, why not resolve to treat yourself to something fun and good for the soul as well?

Weight-loss, exercise, and living healthier are fine and all, but nothing beats the experience of sharing fun-filled vacation memories with your loved ones in a beautiful tropical locale like Gulf Shores, Alabama. Now more than ever, Gulf Shores is the perfect place to plan the vacation of a lifetime. Continue on to learn more about why 2020 will be the best year to visit Gulf Shores!

5 Reasons Why 2020 Will Be the Best Time to Plan Your Gulf Shores Vacation

Below, we’ve put together a list of just a handful of the many reasons why this year will be an exciting time to visit Gulf Shores. If you’ve been waiting for the right time, consider these reasons as a motivation to plan your vacation here now instead of later and experience some of these fun things to do near Gulf Shores!

Festivals, Events, and Things To Do Near Gulf Shores Year-Round

No matter what time of year you decide to come visit, 2020 has plenty to offer in terms of Gulf Shores entertainment. Watch college football at the 2020 Reese’s Senior Bowl, live it up at the Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade, or angle your biggest catch yet at the Blue Marlin Grand Championship. The options are endless!

Great Weather in Every Season

All year long, Gulf Shores experiences fantastic weather, complete with sunshine-filled days and clear, breezy nights. Never too hot or too cold, it’s the ideal place to make your tropical getaway. Book your stay in September or October and see why the locals call this the best time to be at the beaches. The fall season features weather in the mid 80’s, low humidity, and lower prices!

Outdoor Activities Galore

In such a warm and sunny place, you’ll find that there are all sorts of things to do near Gulf Shores outdoors. Boating, fishing, kayaking, and lounging in the sand are some of the best ways to take advantage of the wonderful weather.

Incredible Music Heading Your Way

You don’t have to drive all the way to Coachella to encounter good times and great tunes! With world-renowned musicians coming into town, Gulf Shores is a concert hotspot. The annual Hangout Music Festival held each May is always a hit. This year’s lineup will feature artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone, Lana del Ray, Cage the Elephant, Kane Brown, Billie Eilish, T-Pain, Marsh Mello, and more.

Awesome Vacation Rentals for You to Enjoy

Gulf Shores is home to a multitude of incredible vacation rentals, such as those offered by Harris Vacation Rentals. In a vacation rental, you can have more space and privacy than a single hotel room could possibly offer, all situated in the tropical beauty of Gulf Shores.

Harris Vacation Rentals – Your Guide to Gulf Shores

Contact our reservations team to find out more information about what you can expect during your time in Gulf Shores when you book your stay in one of the fabulous vacation rentals available through Harris Vacation Rentals today!

If you’re planning a trip to Gulf Shores, you’ve probably already know about popular attractions like Waterville, USA , The Hangout, and the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. But what about the area’s best-kept-secrets? If you’re looking to explore Gulf Shores off the beaten path, we’ve got you covered! Pack your bags, book your vacation rental, leave the itinerary to us. Here are three of our favorite lesser-known activities and attractions in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. 

Here are the best things to do in Gulf Shores off the beaten path.

Experience Gulf Shores Off the Beaten Path

1. Alabama Fishing Charters

Have you ever wanted to explore the hidden backwaters and beaches along the Alabama Coast? Now is your chance! There are several fishing charters to choose from in Gulf Shores. However, if you’re looking for a more unique experience, we recommend taking a tour with Nelson Fishing Charters. Tours are captained by Gator Nelson and Matt White, who will navigate you to all of the best fishing holes and hidden gems along the Alabama Coast. From pontoon reef trips and dolphin cruises to nature tours and fishing trips, they offer a little bit of everything. Their local knowledge and experience makes for a fun and interesting tour every time!

2. Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Trade the Gulf waters for a day on scenic Wolf Bay. Orange Beach Waterfront Park is an ideal spot where families with small children can relax and enjoy some quality time together. The water is shallow and calm, and there is a small beach area. Watch the kids build sandcastles, or bring a kayak or stand up paddleboard and paddle away in smooth bay waters. A 400-foot fishing pier offers covered pavilions with seating. Bring your fishing pole and cast a line right from the pier. 

The park is open year-round and is rarely crowded, even on a typical summer day. Picnic tables and grills make it easy to spend the entire day at the park. Restroom facilities are nearby, and an outdoor shower is available to rinse the saltwater away before heading back to your Orange Beach vacation rental

Are you traveling with dogs? It’s also important to note that Orange Beach Waterfront Park is dog-friendly, which is just another reason that we love it so much. Bring your pooch and enjoy a day splashing in the water! 

3. Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

You may have hiked or biked the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, but did you know that there are more scenic trails to explore? Just a short drive from Gulf Shores, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge offers 7,000 acres of protected trails and beaches just waiting to be explored. A great destination for birdwatchers, the refuge is a stopover for more than 300 species of migratory birds. 

If you’re looking to reconnect with nature, you will definitely want to plan a visit to the refuge. Away from all the crowds, there’s a large secluded beach area that feels like a private oasis. Numerous trails offer miles of opportunities to see native wildlife. Relax by the beach and then get out and explore miles of scenic trails. Or, take a short hike along the one-mile-long Jeff Friend Trail and launch your canoe or kayak into Little Lagoon. The possibilities are endless! 

Book Your Stay With Harris Vacation Rentals

Experience Gulf Shores off the beaten path when you book your stay with Harris Vacation Rentals. We offer a wide range of vacation rentals in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, and Orange Beach. Whether you prefer an intimate condo, a luxury home, or a beachfront property, we are sure to have the ideal vacation rental for your getaway. We also offer pet-friendly properties for guests who are traveling with their four-legged friends. 

If the quiet and tranquility of Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge appeals to you, consider spending your vacation on the Fort Morgan Peninsula. We offer a variety of Fort Morgan rentals near the refuge, including beautiful beach houses and condos. If you prefer to stay near Orange Beach or Gulf Shores, consider booking your stay in Adagio. This great 3-bedroom cottage is ideal for a memorable Orange Beach vacation (and it’s pet-friendly!). Enjoy being just minutes from the waterfront park. 

Are you ready to start planning your family beach vacation? Browse our properties and contact us to book your stay. We can’t wait to welcome you!

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It can be difficult to choose the perfect location for your family beach trip, especially when there are so many amazing options along the Alabama Coast. Where are the best beaches? Are there plenty of activities, dining options, and shops near your vacation rental? What is the nightlife like? Many of our guests ask these types of questions when trying to decide between Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach for their family vacation. To help make planning easier, we have highlighted a few differences between these two great locations. Read on to learn more and choose the destination that’s right for your family!

Book your Gulf Shores getaway today!

Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach: What’s the Difference?

The Gulf Coast is home to the best beaches in the country – it’s no secret. Whether you choose to stay in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, Alabama, you’ll experience equally beautiful beaches in both locations. Sugar-white sand, sparkling aquamarine waters, and plenty of sunshine await at either destination. Both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach also offer extremely fresh seafood, access to scenic hiking and biking trails, watersport rentals, great shopping and dining. So, what is the major difference? While either of these amazing destinations would be a great choice for your beach getaway, it depends on your family’s personal preference.

Enjoy Exciting Activities in Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores offers more activities and attractions such as Zooland Mini-Golf, Waterville USA, the Gulf Coast Zoo, The Track Family Fun Park, South Baldwin Community Theatre, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and much, much more. From amusement parks and family-friendly fun to exciting nightlife and entertainment, the list of things to do in Gulf Shores is endless. If you’re searching for a vacation rental located in the heart of it all, this would be a great option for your stay. Whether you seek adventure or total relaxation, the possibilities are endless in Gulf Shores! 

Relax and Unwind in Orange Beach

On the other hand, Orange Beach offers a quieter and more laid-back beach vibe. If you’re more interested in lounging by the shoreline during your getaway, this may be more your speed. Cast a line into the Gulf, play a round of golf at Orange Beach golf course, or enjoy spending time with family in your Harris Property. Orange Beach also has its fair share of attractions and activities as well. The Wharf at Orange Beach is your ultimate destination for family fun. Here, you’ll discover fabulous shops and restaurants, Alabama’s longest zipline course, breakout games, arcades, charter boat cruises, mini-golf, a Ferris wheel and more. 

Have the Best Family Beach Vacation With Harris Vacation Rentals!

When it comes to choosing between Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach, you really can’t go wrong. Either destination would be an excellent option for your family beach getaway, especially when you’re staying in a Harris Property! Unlike Orange Beach hotels or Gulf Shores hotels, our spacious vacation rentals offer a unique lodging experience that you won’t find elsewhere. Choose the exact home you want, whether it’s a pet-friendly accommodation, a rental with a private pool, a beachfront property, or a luxury home. The whole family will have plenty of room to unwind and socialize after a fabulous day of adventure!

Harris Vacation Rentals offers vacation rentals in three amazing locations: Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Choose the location that’s right for your family and get ready for your next unforgettable trip to paradise. Browse our properties and contact us to book your stay. We can’t wait to welcome you!

The Gulf of Mexico is home to the most beautiful beaches in the world — it’s no secret. Spanning more than 150 miles, the Gulf Islands National Seashore is known for its dazzling aquamarine waters and sugar-white sand. From swimming and paddling to hiking and waterfront dining, the list of things to do at the Gulf Shores National Seashore is endless! Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy a day in paradise.

For more ideas about things to see and do by the Gulf Shores National Seashore, check out our Activities page. It’s full of tips about the best local activities, excursions, tours, and more. And, when you book a Harris Vacation Rentals family vacation rental, you’ll even receive up to $100 0ff local tours and activities through TripShock. Vacation planning has never been easier! 

Book Your Gulf Shores Activities Now!

Gulf Shores National Seashore: Top 5 Things to Do

1. Dive into the Gulf

With pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear water, it’s no wonder so many are drawn to the natural paradise that is Gulf Shores, Alabama. There are endless water activities to enjoy here, including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, swimming, boating, diving, snorkeling, and more.  Fly high amongst the clouds on a parasailing adventure, dive to colorful underwater reefs, or cast a line into the sparkling Gulf waters. Do you prefer to stay on land? Lounge by the shoreline and soak up the sun, beach comb for shells and other treasures, or simply sink your toes into the sand and relax. The possibilities are endless! 

2. Indulge in Waterfront Dining and Shopping

When you’re ready to take a break from the sun and surf, head indoors for a delicious meal overlooking the Gulf. Some of our favorite waterfront dining spots on the Gulf Shores include Lulu’s, The Hangout Gulf Shores, and the iconic Flora-Bama. The Wharf at Orange Beach also features a wide array of fabulous dining and shopping options. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual meal or a gourmet four-course dinner, there is something for everyone here!

3. Enjoy Exciting Tours and Attractions

Are you searching for the best dolphin excursions? Perhaps you’re interested in taking everyone on a sunset cruise. No matter what your family decides to do, you’ll have a blast exploring the many attractions in Gulf Shores. Play a round of mini-golf, race go-karts at the Track, or take the kids to the Gulf Coast Zoo, or make a splash at Waterville USA. After a fun-filled day of adventure, come rest your head in your comfortable Gulf Shores vacation rental and relax.

4. Take a Step Back in Time

Discover Gulf Shores’ rich and fascinating past! History-buffs will love exploring the local museums, historic forts, and other sites along the Gulf Shores National Seashore. Discover what life was like for this region’s earliest inhabitants at the Gulf Shores Museum or catch a live reenactment at Fort Morgan historic site. And if you’ve never taken a tour of the Swift-Coles Historic Home, you’re in for a very special treat. With incredible architecture and a unique story, it’s easy to envision what life was like during the Gilded Age in the South.

5. Explore the Great Outdoors

Calling all nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts! Beautiful beaches are not all that the Gulf Shores National Seashore has to offer. In fact, this region is home to miles of scenic hiking trails, state parks, and wildlife refuges. Gulf State Park is one of the most beloved landmarks in Alabama filled with great spots for hiking, fishing, or lounging by the shoreline. Are you interested in wildlife-viewing or birding? Make sure to Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge to see Alabama wildlife in their natural habitat! Keep an eye out for common and rare animals including bobcats, red foxes, armadillos, alligators, and six-lined race runners. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Book Your Stay in a Harris Property

After an amazing day by the Gulf Shores National Seashore, come kick back and relax in a Harris Property. We offer a wide range of vacation rentals in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Whether you prefer a home with a private pool, a beachfront condo, a pet-friendly accommodation, or a luxury property, we are sure to have the ideal accommodation for your family beach getaway. Plus, you’ll enjoy being just minutes from all of these amazing activities and attractions. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us to start planning your beach vacation today! We can’t wait to welcome you.

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Imagine yourself soaring above the glittering Gulf of Mexico, the wind in your hair, as you take in the jaw-droppingly gorgeous landscapes below. Your heart is racing in your chest, but you laugh out loud, because this is the most fun you’ve had in years. This is just the beginning of what it’s like to embark on a Gulf Shores, Alabama, parasailing adventure. Words simply don’t do it justice; you’ll just have to experience it for yourself!

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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Book your Gulf Shores getaway today!

Your Guide to the Best Gulf Shores, Alabama, Parasailing

1. Ike’s Beach Service

Have the best sky-high adventure with Ike’s Parasail in Gulf Shores, AL! This company boasts the highest and longest parasail flights on the entire Gulf Coast. Guests are flown from a whopping 800 feet of line, which is the maximum allowed by the FAA. Excursions last 8 – 10 minutes and offer unparalleled vistas of the beaches and sparkling Gulf. Enjoy the views while you soar through the clouds! In addition to parasailing, Ike’s offers an array of other water sports in Gulf Shores. From kayak and paddleboard rentals to banana boat rides, they do it all! 

2. Pleasure Island Parasail

Calling all thrill-seekers! Would you like to experience a simulated parachute drop? Sign up for an excursion with Pleasure Island Parasail. With several different locations throughout the area, this company will take you as high up as you’d like to go! Whether you’re a beginner or a parasailing pro, they will accommodate all ages and levels of experience. Enjoy a gentle and relaxing glide over the Gulf of Mexico. Or, get your heart racing with a simulated free-fall landing. The possibilities are endless! Pleasure Island Parasail also offers tandem parasails, jet ski rentals, pontoon rentals, and more. No matter what you decide to do, you’re sure to have a blast!

3. Blue Sky Parasail

Another one of our top recommendations is Blue Sky Parasail. This experienced team of certified US Coast Guard captains ensures a safe and fun experience every time! Blue Sky Parasail only uses state-of-the-art equipment and they can accommodate a wide range of group sizes. Custom packages are also available if you’d like to enjoy multiple activities with your adventure, such as jet ski rentals or banana boat rides. 

Book Your Gulf Shores Getaway With Harris Vacation Rentals

Now that you know about the best Gulf Shores, Alabama, parasailing, it’s time to plan your getaway! When it comes to accommodations in the area, no place can compare to Harris Vacation Rentals. Our vacation rentals are conveniently located near all of the best things to do in Gulf Shores, Alabama, including dolphin tours, kayaking, diving, fishing, boating, and more.

Whether you’re searching for a pet-friendly rental, a home with a private pool, or a beachfront rental, we are sure to have the ideal property for your stay. We can accommodate groups of any size, for any occasion. Browse our properties and contact us to book your Gulf Shores getaway today! We can’t wait to welcome you!

Book your family vacation today!

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! 

Book Your Family Vacation With Harris Vacation Rentals Today!

When you picture your ideal beach vacation, what do you see? Are you lounging on white sand beaches, parasailing over bright blue waters, or dining at waterfront restaurants? Gulf Shores is the perfect destination for experiencing all of these activities and more. Fishing along the Gulf is an excellent way to spend a day during your trip. Savor the sunshine, hang out by the water, and have fun seeing who can reel in the biggest catch. If you’ve never fished before, or this is your first time fishing in Gulf Shores, don’t worry! We created the ultimate Gulf Shores in Alabama fishing guides. Read on to find out the best spots for fishing and some tips and tricks for fishing along the Gulf. Then, check out all of our family-friendly vacation rentals and get ready to book your vacation!

Look No Further for Your Gulf Shores in Alabama Fishing Guides

Where to Fish

Gulf State Park

The Alabama Gulf Coast is a great spot for avid anglers. The Gulf State Park Fishing Pier, in the heart of Gulf State Park, is perhaps the best place for fishing in the state. Hurricane Ivan destroyed the old pier in 2004, but the rebuilt and revamped pier is better than ever before. The new pier is wheelchair accessible and features comfort stations, a shop for tackle and souvenirs, and indoor seating at the concessions area.

The pier is also an incredibly scenic spot for fishing! You can choose saltwater fishing off the dock for flounder, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, and more. Or, you can venture farther into the park for freshwater fishing in Lake Shelby. There, you’ll find redfish, bass, catfish, and more. A complete list of fees can be found on the park’s website. There are additional charges for fishing licenses and rod rentals.

Inshore and Offshore Fishing Charters

Fishing charters are another awesome way to get the most out of your Gulf Shores fishing experience. When you select a fishing charter, the captain provides everything you’ll need. This includes the boat, fishing licenses, equipment, and top-notch knowledge of the local waters. Here are a few of our favorite fishing charters in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach:

  1. Orange Beach Fishing Charters ‒ This capable crew has over 35 years of fishing experience. They offer a variety of options to fit every group’s size and preferred timeframe. Their most-booked tour is the six-hour-long charter for six people. Check out their website for pricing details. We highly suggest bringing your catch to the on-site restaurant at Zeke’s Landing Marina after your charter. They will happily serve you your freshly caught seafood!
  2. Fish-Kabob Bowfishing  ‒ Fish-Kabob charters offer a variety of services to their guests. You can choose from fresh- or saltwater, night or day, bow or rod, inshore or offshore fishing when you book a charter with them. Their most popular adventure package is the Night Saltwater Inshore Bowfishing and Gigging excursion. You’ll have the chance to see stingrays, sheepshead, butterfly rays, and more.
  3. Red Eye Charters  ‒ This half- or full-day charter service specializes in Bottom Fishing, Trolling, Tuna Fishing, and Deep Dropping for up to six guests. Red Eye charters is happy to accommodate groups looking for either a relaxing day on the water or a challenging afternoon excursion. The boat itself features a high cruise speed and comfortable amenities.

Check out the Gulf Shores Tourism website for even more fishing charter options!

When to Fish

two men surf fishing along the water

There’s no doubt about it: fishing is a year-round sport along the Alabama Gulf Coast. During the summer, surf fishing along the beach is a favorite activity for both kids and adults.  Pompano, whiting, and flounder are the most common catches for this fishing method. When the spring weather turns into summer heat within a matter of weeks, it’s important to head into deeper waters to find bigger fish.

Summertime is arguably the best time of year for fishing in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. However, winter offers some promising fishing opportunities as well. Redfish, pompano, and sheepshead are the top three winter catches in Gulf Shores. Braving the winter cold could have a big payoff!

Check out this chart for a complete list of what’s biting during the different seasons. Please note that, while fishing is permitted at all times of the year, gray triggerfish season doesn’t begin until midnight on March 1st. Federal waters also open on this day.

How to Fish

Fishing rods off the back of a boat

There are so many different fishing methods to use in Gulf Shores. So, what exactly is the difference between inshore and offshore fishing? According to our Gulf Shores in Alabama fishing guides, inshore fishing usually takes place within nine miles of the shoreline. Popular spots include Fort Morgan and Perdido Pass. In Gulf Shores, you can expect to spend four to six hours reeling in speckled trout, white trout, tripletail, flounder and redfish. Offshore, or deep sea fishing, is done more than nine miles from land (typically 20-30 miles). Delve into the Gulf of Mexico’s rich, blue waters to find artificial reefs, natural sand bottoms, and a variety of fish.

Other fishing methods along the Gulf include fly fishing, bow fishing, and canoe or kayak fishing. These unique adventures can add an extra element of excitement to your fishing journey. No matter which method you choose, Gulf Shores is the ideal place for appreciating breathtaking scenery and catching staggering fish.

Reel in a Great Vacation Deal at Harris Vacation Rentals

beach babe porch overlooking private beach and pier

Now that you’ve read our Gulf Shores in Alabama fishing guides, you’re ready to get out on the water! Whether you’re traveling to Gulf Shores for a guys getaway, family reunion, or vacation with the kids, fishing is a wonderful way to get out and enjoy the Alabama sunshine.

A vacation rental home with Harris Vacation Rentals is the perfect place to unwind and spend quality time with family and friends. Our Beach Babe home features a private beach and fishing pier for your enjoyment. Soak up the sun on the sand or test out your fishing skills on the dock. The home’s side porch overlooks Little Lagoon, making it a peaceful spot to relax with a book or a cup of coffee. This 3-bedroom oasis has comfortable furnishings, spacious entertainment areas, and covered parking as well.

Why wait to take the vacation of your dreams? Check our availability and start planning your Gulf Shores vacation today! Check out our condo rentals and deals now.