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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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Is a hassle-free holiday calling your name? Sit back and relax and spend Thanksgiving in Gulf ShoresAmazing fall weather and even better fall rates on your favorite Gulf Shores condos are just two of the perks of a holiday at the beach. What else do you need to know about spending Turkey Day on Alabama’s beaches? We have the details! 

Are you looking to spend Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores, but don’t want to miss out on quality time with family and friends? No problem! We offer an impressive selection of large group vacation rentals throughout Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. 

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How To Spend Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores 

Wide-Open Beaches and Fantastic Fall Weather 

One of the perks of the fall season is our mild weather. The humidity is reduced, and temperatures range from the low-70s to mid-80s. Plus, you’ll benefit from fewer crowds on the beach during this season. You’ll have more than enough room on the sand for a game of football, volleyball, or horseshoes before you settle in for your Thanksgiving meal 

Cook a Mouthwatering Thanksgiving Feast 

THANKSGIVING FEAST

If you love to prepare a big, traditional Thanksgiving dinner for your family, we’ve got you covered. You’ll find plenty that we offer many beach houses throughout the Gulf Coast that feature fully-equipped kitchens fit for a chef. When you stay in a Harris Vacation Rental, you’ll have everything you need for the perfect holiday with spacious living areas, accommodating dining rooms, and pristine kitchens. 

Let Someone Else Do the Cooking 

If you’d prefer someone else to take care of the cooking, you’ve got options. Plan ahead and pre-order your Thanksgiving meal at Rouses Market or Publix in Gulf Shores. Both locations are open on Thanksgiving Day and offer traditional delectable meals prepared and ready to go. Simply heat them up, and you’ve got a feast fit for the family.  

If you want to get out of the house, load the family up and head to Flora-Bama for their Annual Thanksgiving Potluck. Bring your favorite covered dish and indulge in all the turkey and ham your appetite can handle. The event is free, all ages are invited, and you’ll feel like family the moment you walk through the door. 

Shop ‘Til You Drop 

Is the day after the holiday your favorite part of Thanksgiving? You’re in luck! You can have the ultimate Black Friday shopping adventure at Tanger Outlets in nearby Foley. You’ll find more than 120 stores, including Banana Republic, Columbia, Express, and more!  

Get Active 

After eating lots of delicious food, you might be craving an active day. Rent kayaks and paddle your way around the back bays of Orange Beach, or get your adrenaline pumping on the Hummingbird Zipline at The Wharf. Many of the activities and attractions you love during the summertime are still open for business during the fall months. However, days and hours of operation may be more limited. Be sure to call ahead. 

Where To Stay During the Holiday 

kitchen and dining table

As you plan your vacation to the Alabama Gulf Coast, many questions might immediately pop into your head: 

Harris Vacation Rentals is here for you to take all of your stress away. With our large selection of Gulf Coast rentals, we’ve got all of those bullet points covered! Our large group vacation rentals have everything you need to enjoy the holiday and will be the ultimate home away from home. When you end Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores, a hassle-free holiday at the beach is sure to become your family’s new favorite tradition.  

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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!

Book Your Kayak Tour Today!

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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