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A vacation to the Alabama Gulf Coast has something fun for everyone in the family, including your four-legged family members! Here at Harris Vacation Rentals, we offer a wide array of pet-friendly vacation rentals in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort MorganIf you want to get out and about during your trip, you don’t have to leave your dog at home. There’s plenty of activities throughout the area where you can bring Fido. Keep reading to learn how you can have the best pet-friendly vacation in Gulf Shores 

As you get excited about your Gulf Shores getaway, you’ll want to start booking fun-filled activities to enjoy during your vacation. You can book all your excursions in one convenient place with OnceThere 

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Your PetFriendly Vacation in Gulf Shores 

Whether you want to spend the day on the beach sunbathing and swimming, explore the great outdoors, or sit down for a delicious bite to eat, there’s plenty of ways that your dog can get in on the fun with you during a pet-friendly vacation in Gulf Shores 

Dog-Friendly Beaches and Parks Along the Alabama Gulf Coast 

dog on beach

Other Dog-Friendly Attractions 

Dog-Friendly Restaurants Near Gulf Shores 

dog at restaurant

Pick Your Gulf Shores Pet-Friendly Rental 


When it comes to pet-friendly vacation rentals, we’ve got you covered. We know that pet-sitters and kennels can be expensive, so why not bring man’s best friend along with you? Harris Vacation Rentals offers pet-friendly house rentals throughout Gulf ShoresOrange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Many of these homes feature Gulf viewsprivate pools, hot tubs, game rooms, and more!  

Check our availability and start planning your Alabama Gulf Coast vacation. We can’t wait to host you!

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The Alabama Gulf Coast is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the summer. Fort MorganGulf Shores, and Orange Beach are all top-notch cities with a plethora of things to do. We don’t think you should overlook this area if you’re looking to get away in the fall, though. We’ll tell you about some of the best things to do in Gulf Shores in November and other surrounding areas.  

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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The Best Things To Do in Gulf Shores in November 

Dine at Outstanding Restaurants 

It isn’t out of the norm in July and August to wait an hour for a table at local restaurants. Although we think it’s worth the wait, you can also avoid the crowds and visit in the off-season. In November, you won’t have to wait for your name to be called while your stomach is growling. Some of our favorite mouthwatering eateries are:  

Taste Delicious Oysters 

Fresh oysters on tray with ice and lemon pieces. Delicious seafood

If you’re a fan of oysters, you know that you’re not supposed to eat oysters unless it’s during a month that ends in the letter “r.” That means November is the perfect time to slurp down this seafood delicacy. Some fantastic spots to get your hands on fresh oysters from the Gulf of Mexico are: 

Visit Alabama Gulf State Park 

Temperatures in Gulf Shores in November usually sit between 60 and 70 degrees. Although that means it’s too chilly to swim, it’s still an ideal climate to enjoy outdoor activities. At Alabama Gulf State Park, you’ll find a plethora of things to do, including 

Participate in the Vacasa Coastal Half Marathon & 5k Run 

There’s no better way to burn off those turkey and mashed potato calories than with a fun-filled race during Thanksgiving weekend. You’ll run through the scenic Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail system and be surrounded by breathtaking scenery. With three different courses/distances, there really is something for everyone! 

Finish Your Christmas Shopping 


If you visit Gulf Shores in November, Christmas is right around the corner. Make a dent in your Christmas shopping list and head to the outlet mall in Foley, AL. You’ll head north and drive for about 20 minutes, and then you’ll arrive at Tanger Outlets. Shop until you drop and receive significant savings on many name brands, including: 

Don’t forget to check out these stores on Black Friday for even bigger discounts! 

Enjoy a Memorable Thanksgiving 

What’s the best part about November? Thanksgiving, of course! When you stay in one of our Alabama Gulf Coast vacation rentals, you’ll have everything you need for a magical holiday. Our homes offer cozy living rooms where you can watch the parade, fully-equipped kitchens for preparing a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, and spacious dining areas where you can gather to enjoy your meal together. If you want to get out of the house and let someone else do the cooking, there are plenty of things going on in the area during Thanksgiving, such as: 

We Offer the Best Vacation Rentals Around 

Now that you know about the best things to do in Gulf Shores in November, it’s time to book your vacation home. Harris Vacation Rentals offers outstanding rental properties throughout coastal AlabamaMany of our rentals are pet-friendly and offer an array of amenities, such as private pools, hot tubs, game rooms, and more! 

Check our availability and start planning your fall trip today. We can’t wait to have you!  

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There’s no shortage of ways to spend your day in Gulf Shores. Relax on the beach, go kayaking, or enjoy a waterfront meal — the choice is yours! No matter what you do during the day, you won’t want to miss the sunrise in the morning and the sunset in the evening. Check out the best places to watch the sunrise and sunset in Gulf Shores and spend every day of your beach vacation with a magnificent view. Read on to discover the Alabama Gulf Coast’s best sunrise and sunset views, and once you’ve had the chance to see one, share your story with us!

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Spend Your Day at the Best Places to Watch the Sunrise and Sunset in Gulf Shores

Witness a Sunrise Like You’ve Never Seen Before on Orange Beach

Nothing beats, waking up to the sight of a spectacular sunrise! Get up, grab a cup of coffee, and head to the Cotton Bayou beach access point. Here, you’ll be in the perfect spot to watch a glorious sunrise on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Spread out your blanket and sip on your coffee while you wait for nature’s show to begin. Be sure to bring along your camera because chances are this sunrise is one you’ll want to show everyone you meet! 

The 3 Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Gulf Shores

There are plenty of free things to do in Gulf Shores, but enjoying a spectacular sunset after a day of exploring is one of our favorites. Read on to discover the top spots for sunset viewing!

1. Fort Morgan

Are you looking for one of the area’s hidden gems? Travel 22 miles west of central Gulf Shores to the tip of Fort Morgan. This secluded, charming beach town is one of the most peaceful places to watch the sunset. Park past the Mobile Bay Ferry terminal and walk down to the beach in the evening. You’ll be able to see Mobile Bay to the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. Sink your toes in the sand, watch the boats passing by, and enjoy a front-row seat as the sun dips into the water.

Interested in spending more time in this historic town? Check out our guide on the top things to do in Fort Morgan!

2. The Gulf Restaurant

There’s nothing better than dinner with a view! When you dine at The Gulf Restaurant, you’ll be treated to great views of the Gulf of Mexico, especially at sunset. The unique outdoor venue, constructed out of repurposed shipping containers, is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Dig into delicious seafood and handcrafted cocktails while enjoying the company of family and friends.

3. Gulf State Park

Gulf State Park, a 6,500-acre public recreation area in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, contains plenty of great places to watch the sunset. The park features two miles of beaches, a 1,540-foot-long fishing pier, and multiple launch points for boats and kayaks. Pick your spot on land or on the water, and settle in to watch the sun’s nightly show. As the sun sets, don’t forget to snap a photo to remember the moment!

End Your Days at Harris Vacation Rentals

alabama dreamin view

After spending the day chasing the best sunrise and sunset views in Gulf Shores, retreat to your Harris Vacation Rentals vacation rental for the night. Guests of our Alabama Dreamin’ home love its coastal decor, spacious entertainment areas, outdoor shower, and beachfront location. Every morning, wake up just steps from the ocean. Listen to the waves crash against the shore and watch the sunrise from your own front porch. This 15-person vacation rental unit has everything you need to make your family feel at home, including beach gear, a coffee maker, and a fully equipped kitchen. Don’t wait to book the family vacation of your dreams!

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There’s nothing better than finding fun vacation activities that don’t break the bank. These free things to do in Gulf Shores will entertain everyone in the family. From spending days at the beach to exploring local museums, there’s something everyone will love that won’t hurt your wallet. Read on to discover the best budget-friendly activities along the Gulf Coast. Then, browse our extensive vacation rental homes and start planning your trip today!

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Our 5 Favorite Free Things to Do in Gulf Shores

1. Visit Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

Are you ready to take a walk on the wild side? The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is a can’t-miss attraction for nature lovers. The area, whose name means “safe haven” in French, is an oasis for flora and fauna. Visitors can enjoy bird watching, fishing, and boating inside. There are four different trails on the premises that span six miles total. Each offers the opportunity to catch a glimpse of wildlife such as bobcats, red foxes, and armadillos.

2. Blow Off Steam at the Gulf Shores Kids Park

Who doesn’t love a day at the playground? Take a break from sizzling under the sun and sit back in the shade while the kids play. Over 1,500 volunteers built Kids Park in less than six days, and it has quickly become a popular community attraction. Spend a few hours at this wooden playground and let the kids entertain themselves!

3. Hike the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Explore the heart of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach alongside the Backcountry Trail. This trail system traverses 15 miles and six distinct ecosystems with ample opportunity for wildlife viewing. The Backcountry Trail also features kid-friendly Boulder Park, geocaching adventures, and a Butterfly Garden. Run, bike, or hike these trails during your next trip.

4. Plan a Trip to the National Naval Aviation Museum

Just over the border in Pensacola, FL, the National Naval Aviation Museum features over 150 restored aircraft that history buffs will love. Stroll through the indoor exhibits, experience a flight simulation in the giant screen theater, or watch a world-famous Blue Angels practice. The choice is yours!

The museum is open every day from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

5. Have a Beach Day

Miles of pristine, sugar-white sand await at Gulf State Park! Grab your boogie board and ride some waves, build castles in the sand, or lay out your towel and sunbathe. Gulf State Park is also a fantastic spot for a waterfront picnic or fishing off the landmark pier.

Find Your Spot in the Sand

After you’ve spent a day discovering the best free things to do in Gulf Shores, return to your Harris Vacation Rentals vacation rental for a cozy evening with family or friends. Foxie Moxie’s Salty Sea Shanty, a cheerful beach cottage, is perfect for families or a girls getaway. This funky home sleeps eight, is dog-friendly, and is less than a five-minute walk to the beach. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee on the spacious front porch and snuggle in at night for a movie on the living room’s flat-screen TV.

What are you waiting for? Start planning your beach retreat today!

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Book Your Family Vacation With Harris Vacation Rentals 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 Vacation Rentals 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 Vacation Rentals 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 condo rentals and deals and book today!

Gulf Shores is a superb place for a family vacation. Beautiful white sand beaches, fun outdoor activities, and lively waterfront restaurants abound on the Gulf Coast. From mini golf to indoor arcades to ferry rides, the whole family is guaranteed to be entertained! Read on to discover our favorite attractions for family fun in Gulf Shores! Then, browse our wide array of vacation rentals and start planning your trip with Harris Vacation Rentals today!

Book Your Family Vacation at Harris Vacation Rentals Today!

These Are the Best Places for Family Fun in Gulf Shores

It’s no secret that there are limitless options for family-friendly Gulf Shores attractions! Here are some of our favorites.

Explore Gulf State Park

Look no further than Gulf State Park for a day’s worth of fun family activities! Soak up the sun on three miles of pristine beaches, and enjoy a seaside picnic at the beach pavilion. The on-site Nature Center, a living museum of native Gulf Shores plants and animals, is a great place to learn about the area’s natural habitat. They offer a weekly program that includes a guided nature and beach walk.

A trip to Gulf State Park would be incomplete without a stop at the Gulf State Park Pier. This is the largest pier on the Gulf of Mexico, and the sunsets can’t be beaten. Take your kids for a scenic fishing trip atop the pier. Don’t have equipment of your own? You can rent some from the bait and tackle shop! This is one of our favorite things to do for the best family fun in Gulf Shores.

Monkey Around at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is famous for its starring role in the Animal Planet series “The Little Zoo That Could.” After being battered by three major hurricanes in the mid-2000s, the show was focused on the zoo’s reopening. Now, the zoo is back in business and will become “The Little Zoo That Grew” after its major expansion project in the fall of 2019.

For now, you can visit the zoo’s 290 animals from 9-4 every day. There is a petting zoo, reptile house, and daily animal shows in the summer. Our favorite part of the zoo is the animal encounters. Get up close to a kangaroo, stroke an alligator’s spine, and let a lemur climb on your shoulder. This is a unique experience that your kids are sure to remember. The Gulf Coast Zoo is one of the best family-friendly activities in town!

Play at The Track Gulf Shores

Amusement park, anyone? The Track is one of Gulf Shore’s most exciting attractions. This fun park has it all ‒ go-kart rides, mini golf, arcade games, and bumper boats! Our favorite activity at The Track is their famous Wild Woody go-kart course. This elevated, three-story course offers thrill seekers a drop at the bottom. You can’t miss The Track’s signature attraction! The Track is open year-round, making it one of the best off-season activities in Gulf Shores for families.

Take the Ferry to Dauphin Island

All aboard! Hop on the Mobile Bay Ferry for an action-packed day on Dauphin Island. The 40-minute ferry ride from Fort Morgan to Fort Gaines provides lovely views of the bay and saves hours in driving time.

When you arrive on Dauphin Island, take a tour of the historic Fort Gaines. This Civil War fort has original cannons, a blacksmith shop, and a museum for you to explore. We also suggest a visit to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Explore the marine education and research center, then take a closer look. The sea lab’s Estuarium offers a hands-on experience, which includes a boardwalk tour and stingray touch pool.

Make the Most of a Rainy Day

Even in a beautiful beach town like Gulf Shores, the sun won’t always be shining. Don’t worry; we know the best things to do in Gulf Shores on a rainy day. What better way to bond with your family than taking on a life-sized adventure game with them? Breakout Games in Orange Beach offers guests the chance to solve real-time puzzles and decipher clues as a team. You have 60 minutes to “escape” these themed rooms!

If you’re feeling inspired, we recommend spending the day at The Hot Shop in Orange Beach. This hot glass blowing facility gives visitors the chance to watch local artisans at work. Like what you see? You can try it out yourself! The Hot Spot offers hands-on classes by reservation. Bring home your own piece of blown glass as the ultimate vacation souvenir.

No one wants the fun to stop because it’s raining. When you plan your Gulf Shores vacation, be sure to book the ideal accommodations for rain or shine. Our Sunset Paradise condo has an indoor pool and game room to keep the kids entertained no matter the weather!

Hit the Beach

What’s the one thing you absolutely must do in Gulf Shores? Spend a day at the beach! Get in touch with your zen side, grab a book and a beach chair, and pick your spot on the sand. There’s nothing better than relaxing oceanside. There’s plenty for kids to love, too. Building sandcastles, swimming, and riding on boogie boards are just a few of our recommendations. Don’t forget to snap a picture of the stunning scenery before you pack up!

Book Your Gulf Shores Family Vacation With Harris Vacation Rentals

Faxo's retreat living room

The most important part of planning a vacation is ensuring you have the perfect place to stay. At Harris Vacation Rentals, we’re a family-owned and -operated business. When you book a vacation rental direct with us, we want you to have wonderful memories to look back on. Want the perfect vacation souvenir? Just ask! We’re happy to frame and mail your favorite family photo from your trip!

After a day of family fun in Gulf Shores, you’ll want a place to relax. Faxo’s Retreat is a three bedroom, two bath home with a fully equipped kitchen and spacious entertaining areas. This lagoon-front house has a private pier for boating, fishing, and kayaking adventures. The private pool is ideal for relaxing, and the attached kiddie pool is excellent for younger swimmers. Each morning, enjoy a cup of coffee on the deck overlooking the lagoon. Bring the whole family (including your furry friends) to this pet-friendly retreat!