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Road trips are a perfect opportunity for family bonding and sightseeing. During your next trip to Gulf Shores, why not choose to take the scenic route? You’ll save money on airfare, and who knows what adventures you’ll stumble upon on your way there. There’s plenty of attractions along your Dallas to Gulf Shores drive that the whole family will love. Want to know the best part? At the end of your drive, you’ll be rewarded with an awesome Gulf Shores family getaway! Are you ready to start planning your Gulf Shores vacation? Browse our deluxe selection of vacation rentals and book your trip today!

book your family vacation today with harris properties!

3 Must-See Cities on Your Dallas to Gulf Shores Drive

Ten-hour drives can be long, especially with a car full of kids. Add some fun to your road trip by stopping to stretch your legs and explore as you make your way to your destination. Here are our favorite places to stop between Dallas and Gulf Shores.

1. Shreveport, LA

About three hours into your journey, you’ll need a break. Why not stop in Shreveport? Get some air at the Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park, a 160-acre conservation park. There are hiking and nature trails to explore, as well as restrooms and a pavilion. Shreveport is also home to the American Rose Society gardens, the nation’s largest park dedicated to roses. With 20,000 rosebushes, sculptures, and fountains scattered through the park, it’s the ultimate scenic stopping place on your road trip.

2. Jackson, MS

Jackson, Mississippi has plenty of fun activities that kids will love. It only takes an hour or two to stop at The Jackson Zoo, home to over 200 animal species. A spin on the zoo’s train or carousel is just what your family will need after spending hours in the car.

Another popular attraction in Jackson is the Mississippi Children’s Museum. The museum has plenty of interactive exhibits and unique programs that kids will love. Give them an hour to play, and then load the car for the last few hours of the drive.

3. Mobile, AL

After you drive through the De Soto National Forest, you’ll arrive in Mobile, AL. If you have time for one more stop, it’s worth taking a self-guided tour on the USS Alabama in Battleship Memorial Park. Then, you’ll make your way to your final destination, Gulf Shores. Please note that even though your GPS may route you to the ferry, it’s usually better not to rely on the ferry’s irregular schedule.

Congratulations – you’ve made it to Gulf Shores! Now it’s time to relax and enjoy some of our favorite Gulf Shores activities. Is it your first time vacationing here? We’ve created a first timers guide to Gulf Shores to make your planning even easier.

End Your Road Trip at Harris Properties

lightly salted kitchen

With so many exciting things to see on your Dallas to Gulf Shores drive, we know you’ll need a place to relax when you arrive. Lightly Salted, a vacation home in the heart of Gulf Shores, sleeps ten with four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. The home’s two balconies are perfect for relaxation, and the modern, fully equipped kitchen is every chef’s dream.

There’s nothing better than spending time with family by the beach. Check our availability and start planning your Gulf Shores vacation today!

There’s one thing we can all agree on: Vacation is awesome. If you’re like us, you mark off the days on your calendar and prepare to make memories that will last a lifetime. The only downside is leaving your adored family dog at home. We hate to see our furry friends left behind. So, we’ve compiled a guide on the best of dog-friendly Orange Beach so that you can bring everyone’s favorite family member on your next beach vacation! There’s so much to explore on the Gulf Coast. Read on to discover some of our favorite dog-friendly spots, then start planning your Gulf Shores family vacation with Harris Properties!

Book Your Family Vacation Today!


Your Guide to a Dog-Friendly Orange Beach Vacation

The Dog Pond

Your pup will love a visit to the Dog Pond. This dog park is located on Lake Shelby in Gulf State Park, and it is open from 8 a.m. until sunset. Though dogs must be leashed when they enter the park, they are free to roam on this doggy playground once they’ve entered. The dog park has stunning water views and plenty of entertainment for dogs. They’ll go crazy over the agility courses, play equipment, and swimming area. What more could man’s best friend need?

Tip: Leashed dogs are allowed on the trails in Gulf State Park, as well as the picnic and campground sections. However, there are no pets allowed in the swimming pool, nature center, or beaches in the park.

Beware: Lake Shelby is home to many types of wildlife, including alligators. Please be vigilant at all times.

Orange Beach Dog Park

This dog park is one of the greatest pet-friendly activities in Gulf Shores. There is a ¾ acre shaded area with separate fencing for large and small dogs. There’s plenty of water for tired dogs to lap up and benches for owners to take a seat. Gulf Shores Dog Park is another large green space for dogs to roam in unleashed.

The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

This network of seven trails spans more than fifteen miles and traverses six different ecosystems. The trails weave through Gulf State Park, Orange Beach, and Gulf Shores. To find the most convenient path for you, check out their comprehensive trail map. There are plenty of restrooms, water stations, parking, and access spots along the trails.

The Backcountry Trail is home to years and years of history. The story Catman Road, for example, dates back to the Native Americans. The legendary Catman was a young, fanatic warrior who ran away from his village with a pack of wildcats. It is rumored that when you hear leaves rustling or whispers in the wind on the Backcountry Trail, you may be about to catch a glimpse of Catman.

Today, the trails have plenty of amenities, like a picnic pavilion, geocaching activity, and butterfly garden. During your hike, you’ll walk through beautiful marshes and swamps. Don’t forget your camera, because you may even see a bobcat or alligator along the way!

Bring your dog along for the ultimate Orange Beach adventure. While your pet must remain on a leash at all times on the trails, there are miles of space for your pup to run, play, and explore.

Explore Fort Morgan Historic Site

Fort Morgan is just a 40-minute drive from Orange Beach. Enjoy the scenic drive out to Gulf Shore’s most secluded neighborhood. When you arrive, dive into the fort’s rich military history. Fort Morgan played a role in the Civil and Spanish-American Wars as well as both World Wars and the Battle of Mobile. Step back in time with a trip to the Fort Morgan Historic Site!

Tip: Dogs are allowed anywhere in the fort or inside the seawall. They must be leashed and under their owner’s control. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed on the adjoining beach or Sutter Wildlife Refuge.

Head to the Beach

A Gulf Shores vacation would be incomplete without a day at the beach. Unlike the more commercial areas in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan allows dogs on leashes to most of its public beaches! The dog-friendly region of the beach are between the engineer’s wharf and the fishing pier. Walk the dog, build a sandcastle with the kids, and catch some waves. End your day with a golden sunset over the ocean.


Plan a Barking Good Gulf Shores Vacation

sea's the day

After you’ve spent the day with your pup, you’ll need a place that the whole family can call home! At Harris Properties, we value our furry friends just as much as you do, which is why we offer a variety of pet-friendly beach rentals.

One of our favorite dog-friendly Orange Beach homes is Dock of the Bay. This spacious four bedroom, two and one half bathroom bungalow overlooks the serene blue waters of Wolf Bay. The screened porch is ideal for watching magnificent Gulf Shores sunsets while keeping away the bugs. This fisherman’s paradise has a private dock for reeling in the perfect catch of the day!

Another great dog-friendly vacation rental near Gulf Shores is Sea’s the Day in Fort Morgan. The tropical paradise property offers sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico. Your pup will love hanging out on the outdoor patio as you grill on the barbecue. The home features an airy, white, updated kitchen as well as an open floor plan living area. The property is ideal for family reunions, as it sleeps up to 12 guests.

We have more than 30 pet-friendly rentals for your family. Never leave your furry friend at home again!

Are you ready to make your vacation plans with Harris Properties? Browse all of our vacation rentals and book your Gulf Shores getaway today!