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, Alabama fishing guide. 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!
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.
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:
Check out the Gulf Shores Tourism website for even more fishing charter options!
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.
There are so many different fishing methods to use in Gulf Shores. So, what exactly is the difference between inshore and offshore fishing? 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.
Now that you’ve read our Gulf Shores, Alabama fishing guide, 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 Properties 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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 Properties today!
It’s no secret that there are limitless options for family-friendly Gulf Shores attractions! Here are some of our favorites.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
The most important part of planning a vacation is ensuring you have the perfect place to stay. At Harris Properties, 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!
It’s no secret that Gulf Shores is home to beautiful weather year-round. The next time you take a trip to the Gulf Coast, take advantage of the sunshine and blue skies with a visit to one of the top Gulf Shores AL golf courses! Whether you’re a lifelong golfer or have never set foot on the green before, Gulf Shores, AL is the perfect place to tee off. Enjoy expertly designed courses against the backdrop of a tropical paradise. Check out some of our favorite places to play, then get ready to book your Gulf Shores family vacation with Harris Properties!
Get ready to test out your swing! We’ve compiled a lost of the eight leading Gulf Shores AL golf courses for you and your family to visit.
Note: After the closure of the Gulf State Park Golf Course, many other courses in the area are offering discounted rates. Check individual websites for deal details.
Kiva Dunes is one of our favorite golf courses in Gulf Shores, and we’re not the only ones who think so! Golf Digest ranked this exquisite course as one of the Top 100 Public Courses in the country. With over 7,000 yards of play area and plenty of secluded, natural scenery, this links-style course is perfect for any avid golfer. If you’d like to improve your skills before playing a game of your own, Kiva Dunes offers private and group lessons.
Tip: Book your tee time online in advance. The earlier you book, the more money you can save!
The Peninsula is a beautiful, private, and unforgettable golf resort nestled between Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This 27-hole, 7,026-yard course is located next to the Bon Secour Wildlife Preserve and features lovely scenery and wildlife along the green. Enjoy views of Mobile Bay and access to the club restaurant and private beach.
Peninsula Golf is also a member of Honours Golf, a golf management company dedicated to providing exceptional golf experiences. As a member, you’ll receive preferred rates, onsite accommodations, and advance booking privileges at their courses.
Two Honours Golf courses, Cotton Creek and Cypress Bend, are both located at Craft Farms. Golf legend Arnold Palmer designed them to provide a challenging, yet inviting golf experience. As the only two courses designed by Palmer in the state, they are a must-visit for any avid golfer planning a trip to Alabama.
The greens are well-manicured, the staff is friendly, and the views (especially if you’re lucky enough to see a sunset) are stunning. Golf Digest rated the courses at 4.5/5 stars. But don’t take their word for it; come and test it out for yourself!
Head over to the small, adjoining city of Orange Beach for your next round of golf! The Orange Beach Golf Center is a 9-hole, par-3 course open every day of the week. The facility features a Pro Shop, golf clinic, and lighted driving range for you to practice your skills before stepping out on the green. The best part? You can revel in a spectacular Orange Beach sunset and keep playing golf! The driving range and Pro Shop are open until 9 p.m. daily.
Are you planning on taking a quick and fun day trip from Gulf Shores? Fairhope, AL is the perfect destination! Fairhope is just an hour from downtown Gulf Shores and is located along the Mobile Bay shoreline. Check out the pier, visit a history museum, and play a round of golf or two!
Another Honours Golf certified course, Rock Creek is an 18-hole, player-friendly golf green. Enjoy 6,900 yards of golf, perfect for long hitters eager to practice their swing. The green of the championship golf course exhibits a variety of shapes and putting surfaces with lovely views of the surrounding wetlands. You can even rent out the club to host your own on-site golf tournament!
Fun fact: Rock Creek may have been the first place on the continent where golf was played in 1170 by Prince Madoc. Come and rub the famous rock for luck before you start your game!
Quail Creek is an affordable, accessible course just minutes away from downtown Fairhope. This well-landscaped, challenging fairway has 18 holes, three lakes, and more than 40 sand traps ‒ be sure to bring your best swing! The fairway is open to walkers, so spectators and family members are welcome to explore the greenway as well. After a game, head to the Pro Shop for a golf-themed souvenir. You can ever grab a quick bite to eat at the Quail Creek snack shop and grill.
Are you ready to make your vacation a hole in one? There are so many reasons to tee off in Golf Shores, especially our world-class accommodations. After spending a day at one of the best Gulf Shores AL golf courses, come back and relax at a Harris Properties vacation rental.
Across the street from the Orange Beach Golf Center, our Pelican Condo is part of the Orange Beach villas. This quaint community features an onsite clubhouse, outdoor swimming pool, and a serene gazebo on the lake. The Pelican unit comfortably sleeps eight, and it is equipped with chic furnishings, a full-sized kitchen, and a covered patio. And, when you stay in the Orange Beach villas, you’ll be just a mile away from The Wharf at Orange Beach, one of our favorite entertainment and concert venues in Gulf Shores.
Don’t wait to start planning your ultimate family vacation! Browse our vacation rentals and book your Gulf Shores getaway today!
Nothing says “Welcome to Gulf Shores” like seeing a dolphin jump out of the water. During your next beach vacation, put one of the awesome dolphin cruises in Gulf Shores on your to-do list. It’s a unique way to get an up-close look at dolphins in their natural habitat! Read on to discover our top recommendations for dolphin cruises. Then, start planning your Gulf Shores vacation with Harris Properties!
Thanks to the mild Gulf climate, these breathtaking dolphin cruises are held year-round in Gulf Shores!
The Sunny Lady is one of our favorite cruises in Gulf Shores! Explore the scenic bays of Orange Beach on this hour and a half-long dolphin cruise. This is one of the most relaxing dolphin cruises in the area because the ship doesn’t leave the bay. Discover the marvelous shores of Orange Beach Bay throughout the day or at sunset with Sunny Lady dolphin cruises.
Tip: If you don’t want to buy snacks and drinks on the boat, each guest is allowed to bring their own six-pack cooler.
The Fun Boat is the perfect dolphin cruise for families with children. Their well-informed staff answers all dolphin, shark, and sea life questions your kids may have during the boat ride.
Not only will you spend two hours on the water observing Bottlenose dolphins, but you’ll also get to experience the Fun Boat water wars! Water cannons and squirt guns are the weapons of choice in this epic boat battle. At the end of the trip, families can examine the boat’s crab traps. Don’t forget to snap a picture of your child holding a crab’s claws in their hands!
Would you like to get even closer to dolphins than you would on a standard dolphin cruise? Then Wild Native Tours is for you! During this 3-hour kayak tour, see Bottlenose dolphins swim next to you and observe native birds of the area. You’ll also learn about the Bottlenose environment, behaviors, and history. The best part? You’ll have a front-row seat to a Gulf Shores sunset.
Bonus: Wild Native Tours has a “leave no trace” policy, and the company is very environmentally conscious. Rest assured that they care about the dolphins you paddle alongside!
After you’ve experienced the thrill of one of the many dolphin cruises Gulf Shores has to offer, enjoy a view of the ocean from your private balcony. Our luxury Dolphin View condominium has floor to ceiling windows with views of the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile Bay, Lake Shelby, Little Lagoon, and Oyster Bay. The stunning water views and sophisticated amenities, like whirlpool tubs and stainless steel appliances, make this the ideal beach rental.
When you stay at Dolphin View at the Mustique Condo, you’ll also have access to the building’s lagoon front pool, fitness center, and sauna. Simply walk across the street to the beautiful beaches of Gulf Shores. Don’t wait; check our availability and book your Gulf Shores vacation rental today!