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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 vacation 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 Vacation Rentals!

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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 dog friendly 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 Vacation Rentals, 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 Vacation Rentals? Browse all of our vacation rentals and book your Gulf Shores getaway today!

 Fort Morgan Vacation A once, well-kept secret, more and more visitors are flocking to the Alabama Gulf Coast for its pristine beaches and turquoise waters. But, did you know there are three sides to this beach destination? Alabama’s beaches are comprised of the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, as well as the Fort Morgan community. All share the same, beautiful white-sand beaches, but each area is distinctly different. Which one is right for your vacation style? Read on to learn more about a Fort Morgan vacation. Then, stay tuned for a three-part series on Gulf Shores and Orange Beach vacation styles.

Why a Fort Morgan Vacation is Special

The sleepy community of Fort Morgan is located on a peninsula. The areas of Fort Morgan are bordered by different waterways, including Little Lagoon, the Gulf of Mexico and the back bays. The area is known for its quiet, secluded beaches and laidback lifestyle. On a Fort Morgan vacation, you’re just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown Gulf Shores where you’ll find a wide array of restaurants and attractions.
Fort Morgan Restaurant

Fort Morgan Restaurants

While you won’t find a huge selection of restaurants on the Fort Morgan peninsula, you do have options! Tacky Jacks, located at Fort Morgan Marina, serves up a great bushwacker and is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Stop in and order a plate of Garbage Nachos. Fair warning! This appetizer could be a full meal for several people! Just down the road is Sassy Bass Amazin’ Grill, a must-stop for breakfast. Sassy Bass offers a breakfast buffet, as well as menu service for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sassy Bass is a fun stop filled with friendly people and good food.

A not-to-be-missed spot for a fun, family dinner is the Village Lawn at The Beach Club. During the summer months, you’ll find four Airstream food trucks, live music, games and more. If the family can’t decide what to eat, let them take their pick between the three food trucks and an ice cream truck! There are pressed sandwiches, barbecue and Mexico cuisine…something to please everyone! What’s more is there’s plenty of lawn games, including Knockerball, laser tag, cornhole and more. The festive string lights add a touch of ambiance to your fun and funky dining experience during your Fort Morgan vacation.
 Historic Fort Morgan

Fort Morgan Attractions

While you’re vacationing on the peninsula, plan to spend a morning or afternoon at Fort Morgan State Historic Site. This 19th century military fort was built between 1819 and 1833 and stands guard where Mobile Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico. The Fort played a significant role in the Battle of Mobile Bay and was also used during the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. During a June or July Fort Morgan vacation, evening tours are offered every Tuesday. Guided daily tours are also given by guides dressed in period clothing.

While you’re enjoying your quiet Fort Morgan vacation, add some adrenaline-pumping fun to the mix and book a charter fishing trip with one of the experienced captains at the Fort Morgan Marina. Depending on the season, battle the line for red snapper, Spanish mackerel, redfish and grouper. Four- and eight-hour charter fishing trips are available. If this is your first time out or you’re taking young children, try out your sea legs with a four-hour charter.

The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge will get your inner explorer going. Hike the trail and bring your binoculars to spot migratory birds and wildlife. Rent a kayak and launch at the Jeff Friend Trail to explore the waterways or even go kayak fishing.

Of course, we can’t forget the beach! It’s the main attraction on a Fort Morgan vacation. If you’re a dog-loving family, Fido can join you on a pet-friendly vacation, too.

Fort Morgan Shopping

You won’t find malls or big box stores on the Fort Morgan peninsula, however there are spots where you can pick up grocery items and beach necessities. The Fort Morgan Dollar General carries a large selection of canned and dry goods, as well as frozen foods, lunch meats, milk and more. For fun beachwear and resort-casual boutique clothes, stop by the Village Mercantile at The Beach Club. You’ll even find Costa sunglasses, Very Volatile Shoes, Hobo and Sbecca brands.

If you forgot the wine or bourbon, there’s no need to drive to Gulf Shores. The Pines offers a selection of groceries, fresh seafood and even a liquor store.
 Fort Morgan Vacation Rental

Fort Morgan Accommodations

Your accommodations style is unique to every vacation you plan. If you’re traveling with kids, you may want a resort experience with plenty activities. If you’re vacationing with only your significant other, a quaint Fort Morgan cottage may fit the bill.

For those who enjoy a mix of fun, family activities and resort living, Fort Morgan vacation rentals at The Beach Club, Gulf Shores Plantation and Martinique are ideal. At The Beach Club, enjoy onsite restaurants, a full-service spa, kids arcade and daily kids club activities during the summer. At Gulf Shores Plantation, there are six outdoor pools to cool off in, as well as a coffee shop, eight tennis courts, basketball court and even a putting green. Martinique boasts beautifully landscaped grounds, two clubhouses, tennis courts and bike paths.

Beach houses offer a great way to enjoy the privacy and seclusion of a Fort Morgan vacation. Whether you need to search rentals by bedrooms, find one with an elevator, or a pet-friendly bayside cottage, there are plenty of choices for your Fort Morgan vacation in our selection of Fort Morgan Gulf Front rentals.

Tell us, does a Fort Morgan vacation fit your travel style? Stay tuned to find out how it compares to a Gulf Shores or Orange Beach vacation. No matter if you’re in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan, you’re just a short drive from great attractions and restaurants. Read 16 Things to Do in Gulf Shores this Summer to learn more.