When you fur child is just as much a part of the family as the two-legged members, it’s tough to leave them behind on vacation. Luckily, when you book a Gulf Shores or Orange Beach vacation, you’ve got options. From pet-friendly attractions to beach houses and even dog-friendly restaurants, you can plan an entire vacation with your pup in mind.
One of our favorite places to start our planning is food! Alabama beaches are packed with great restaurants, and the fact that many are pet friendly is a big plus when you’re a dog-loving family. These top spots will have you licking your chops for more when your pup tags along on vacation in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Make plans to visit some of our favorite dog-friendly restaurants on Alabama beaches.
The Gulf in Orange Beach takes the coastal chic factor up a notch. This open-air restaurant is coastal living at its best, especially when you can bring your fur child along. All seating is outdoors and all music is played on vinyl records.
Relax on comfortable lounge furniture with waterfront views of Alabama Point. Watch the charter fishing boats come and go. If you’re lucky, you may even see the Navy’s precision flight team, the Blue Angels, fly overhead on Sunday afternoons during the summer! A visit to The Gulf is a unique experience, not only for you, but for Fido, as well. The Gulf is also THE place to get a burger at the beach! All natural beef smothered in house-made garlic aioli and topped with cheese and crispy bacon might just make you visit The Gulf more than once during your vacation!
What makes The Gulf a great stop on your dog-friendly vacation agenda? With all seating outdoors, your pooch can go anywhere you go. Dogs also love laying in the cool sand on The Gulf’s beach area.
Just a short drive from The Gulf is United We Sand at the Cottages at Romeo Beach. This two-bedroom beach cottage welcomes you and your pup. You’ll feel like you’re in a tropical oasis with plenty of room to spread out.
Looks can be deceiving. At first appearances, you may not even notice The Royal Oyster. It sits in an unassuming little blue building just off of Highway 59 on a lagoon inlet in Gulf Shores. This small restaurant is known for its melt-in-your-mouth oysters, Shell Bank Selects. These oysters are harvested a few miles down the road in Fort Morgan, and owner, Marissa, routinely goes out to tend the oysters with her friends at the oyster farm. In fact, Marissa is growing the restaurant’s own variety of oysters with the help of the purveyors at Shell Bank Selects. It’s a whole new take on farm-to-table dining!
You can order up your oysters raw and on the half shell or one of several preparations. Can’t decide? Order a flight and try them all! If you’re not an oyster fan, don’t let the name of this dog-friendly restaurant confuse you. There are plenty of other selections, including pastas, burgers and fresh seafood. You can’t visit The Royal Oyster without sipping on one of the bartender’s signature craft cocktails. They’re always mixing up something new and refreshing!
What makes The Royal Oyster a perfect stop for you and your pooch and one of the top dog-friendly restaurants in Gulf Shores? The uber-casual outdoor dining area is a good place to start. Pull up a stool to an outdoor high top and enjoy waterfront views. These dog-loving restaurateurs will even give Fido a bowl of water on those hot days. The Royal Oyster’s laidback vibe is a great spot for talking with the locals and enjoying a casual lunch or dinner with your fur child.
Park your paws at the Blue Parrot # 3 or Blue Parrot #7 in Gulf Shores. These dog-friendly beach houses have everything you and your pooch need, including a pool and direct Gulf-front views! At the Blue Parrot, you’re just a short drive from The Royal Oyster and other pet-friendly Gulf Shores restaurants. Both beach houses offer five bedrooms with rooms to accommodate 16 guests.
These sister restaurants make more than just pups feel welcomed. Located across the road from the legendary roadhouse, the Flora-Bama Lounge, these two restaurants are not only pet friendly, but boat friendly, as well! Have boat, will travel? You’re in luck! Cruise down Ole River with Fido at the bow and dock your boat at the Flora-Bama Marina or beach it on the sand.
If laid back is what you’re looking for, you may not find a more ideal spot than the Flora-Bama Yacht Club. These dog-loving folks know how to relax! With a bushwacker in hand, find a spot at a picnic table and listen to beach tunes flow from the speakers or from a live band. Don’t let the name fool you. The Flora-Bama Yacht Club welcomes you as you are – flip flops, swimsuit cover up, sandy dog and all. Your must-order item? Feast on a platter of Bacon & BBQ Fire-Roasted Oysters. Trust us, you’ll be happy you did. You also won’t find a better rib-eye on the island. Order up a medium hand-cut certified Angus Beef Ribeye, and we won’t tell if you pass Fido a few bites.
Located next door is the Flora-Bama Ole River Grill. Find a spot on the deck to perch your pup and enjoy views of boats idling by. Chef Jon Gibson is known for his unique creations, including Fried Mac & Cheese and Big Earl’s Shrimp & Grits that you’ll want to write home about. There’s a story behind the Fried Mac & Cheese, and if you have the pleasure of visiting with Chef Jon he may just tell it to you. We don’t give spoilers though!
What makes the Flora-Bama Yacht Club and Flora-Bama Ole River Grill pup worthy? One word – beach! You’re located right on the banks of Ole River and there’s plenty of white sand and clear water for cooling off at these two dog-friendly restaurants.
Dock of the Bay located on Wolf Bay in Orange Beach may just be a doggie paradise. There’s plenty of outdoor space for your pooch to run and play at this four-bedroom beach house. This house offers a fishing pier, so bring your boat and motor over to Flora-Bama Yacht Club or Flora-Bama Ole River Grill. You’re just a short ride away by boat.
There are plenty more dog-friendly restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, but these are our tried and true favorites. Now that you’re ready to feast with your fur child, book your pet-friendly vacation rental. Harris Properties Management offers more than 40 pet-friendly rentals on Alabama beaches. We’re paws-itive you’ll find a Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan vacation rental that’s perfect for every member of your family.
For more pet-friendly vacation planning tips, read The Greatest Pet-Friendly Activities in Gulf Shores.
It’s easy to sleep in here. The coolness of the ceiling fans and the soothing sound of the waves is enough to make any bed five times more comfortable. So, when you finally get up, ready for some protein and orange juice, where do you go if it’s already 11? Don’t worry—there are plenty of fine spots in the area! And don’t feel bad; southern food is plenty hearty, so two meals per day should be just fine!
There are only about three Brick and Spoon restaurants—we’re grateful one of them is in Orange Beach! Brick and Spoon offers nice, large portions that’ll help you recuperate from the hardest of nights. Try their create-your-own bloody Mary to add a unique punch to your brunch! And of course, service is superb with friendly faces that’ll make you happy to take your seat. It’s on the northwest corner of Highway 180 and Gulf Bay Road.
Another Southern chain, this one specialized in brunch options, and is open earlier than most of the other options here. They offer tasty breakfast staples such as pancakes and bacon, delivered by friendly people. For consistent, reliable, quality eating, find The Ruby Slipper on Perdido Beach Boulevard, east of the Orange Beach Welcome Center.
Cobalt isn’t usually a brunch place, but when a place with favorites like shrimp fra diavolo opens its doors early, people take notice! Enjoy Cobalt’s Sunday brunch from 11 to 2. The single-ticket meal (beverages not included) nets you access to casseroles, salads, omelets, desserts, and more! Cobalt is on the north side of Perdido Beach Boulevard, touching the east side of Perdido Pass.
Here’s a retro spot that gives holes-in-the-wall a good name. The breakfast gets great reviews from locals, who love the buffet options, from fresh fruit to cheesy hash browns to an omelet station. Service here is typically pretty quick, so don’t be intimidated if it looks busy. One bonus to Hazel’s Nook is its central location; just go east at the Fort Morgan Road/Gulf Shores Parkway intersection and turn north into the parking lot.
You don’t need to be fancy to be quality. The food here at Kitty’s is delicious and filling—exactly what you want in a brunch! From nice, large pancakes to delicious hash browns to Bloody Marys, this diner delivers on its reputation, and quickly becomes a go-to for many visitors. And don’t ever feel like you’re in a hurry: breakfast here is served all day! Kitty’s Kafe is near Gulf Shores Parkway; take the road and head east on Cypress Bend Drive to find it.
To really satisfy a craving for a good southern breakfast, vacation here and live off them for a week! Call 1-877-446-4853 to set up a stay with Harris Properties.
It’s smart to look around and compare prices when you’re looking for restaurants. After all, even though we offer very affordable rentals, it’s good to make a practice of being thrifty elsewhere—especially when you don’t need to sacrifice quality!
The best spots to eat on vacation are local mom n’ pop shops—what’s the point of going to explore a new place if you’re just going to eat at the same place you always do? Instead, you should be looking for places where you can experience the local cuisine—and in a southern gulf town, it’s cooking you can’t get anywhere else! Here are a few ideas to get your mouth watering:
This is a great spot to visit while you’re on the beach. It’s not hard to understand why Sea-N-Suds has been around so long. You can get a delicious sandwich and a side here for $9 and enjoy it right by the Gulf! Their seafood is reasonably priced too, and fresh from the source. It’s the perfect place to grab “beach food!” You’ll find it by E. 3rd Street and E. Beach Boulevard in Gulf Shores.
Despite the name, this restaurant is anything but a flop! The prices are quite the bargain given this restaurant’s combination of location, portion size, and service. They have a whole smorgasbord of different options— and each one is spectacularly delicious! Their offerings all make a great beach-outing bite: they offer pizza, snow cones, sandwiches, ice cream, and coffee! You’ll always get your money’s worth here. It’s on Beach Boulevard, west of 4th Street.
If you crave the bar scene but are worried about food prices, check out this spot! This casual spot is great for a good meal, with classic bar food like mozzarella sticks as well as southern staples like fried green tomatoes. For main courses, they feature sandwiches, salads, and wraps, with almost all offerings under $10—enjoy a meal while playing some billiards! It’s on (quite fittingly) Cove Avenue between Gulf Shores Parkway and W 2nd Street.
Ranging from $6 lunch specials to the $12 chef specials and assortments of appetizers to add in for just $4 or less each, China King gives quite a lot of value! There’s an immense menu, too, so even people not fond of Chinese food are likely to find something that sounds delicious. Chinese restaurants may be hard to find in Baldwin County, but China King delivers! China King is in a strip mall on the north side of Alabama’s Coastal Connection in Orange Beach, but if you’re nearby you can even order online—perfect if you can’t stand leaving your vacation rental!
And if you’re interested in more nooks and crannies in Gulf Shores, book a vacation rental with Harris Properties! Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you discover our delightful town. Call us at 1-877-446-4853 to book today!
We all know the over-indulgences of sweets that happens each Halloween and Christmas, but the Fourth of July is just as bad for throwing some of us off our diets. You may be tired of fried shrimp and deep-fried food. If you want to go somewhere with some more wholesome options, then check out these restaurants. Keep in mind though, we love our food hearty in Gulf Shores, so you’ll have to keep your eyes off certain areas of the menus!
Are you tired of seafood places that think everything is made better with gravy or heavy cream sauces? Try DeSoto’s then—they really emphasize the natural flavor of the food, with dishes like steamed snow crab legs and flounder almodine keeping things simple and wholesome. Keep in mind that a meal here will cost $20 or more—even so, the reviewers keep coming back to this gem. It’s a little off the beaten path near the southern end of Gulf Shores Parkway.
Right nearby DeSoto’s is another great option: The Steamer! Their website proudly boasts that there isn’t a crumb of fried food in their restaurant. If you’re looking to get away from the trans and saturated fats that clog your arteries, then have a hearty yet healthy meal at the Steamer!
Okay, we may be stretching what counts as “healthy,” but red wine is supposed to be good for your heart right? Really, we couldn’t fail to mention this gem. Their starters are easy on the palette, from the cheese plate to the salads. This is an upscale restaurant a little higher on the price, but everything they make is packed with flavor from skill and spice, not from fats and sugars. This great spot is tucked away on 16th Ave just east of Gulf Shores Parkway.
If you’re new to the region and haven’t tried this Southern breakfast/lunch chain before, you’re in for a treat! Their portions are huge, but the prices reasonable for the quality and fantastic service. If you’re trying to eat light, go for the grilled veggie sandwich and farmer’s market benedict. But make room for their signature bloody mary. It has veggies so its healthy right? It’s on Canal Rd just a few blocks east of The Wharf on the way to Orange Beach.
Okay, so this is a little bit of a drive up into Foley, but its worth it. Portabella’s is a lovely Italian restaurant that features the staples: pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and most importantly, salads! A good salad can be hard to find in Gulf Shores, so if you want a plate of leafy greens that’ll still leave you full, you should try Portabella’s. It’s located in Foley on N. Mackenzie Street.
And if none of these options are up to your standards, then use your rental home’s kitchen to make your own healthy dishes! Call us at 1-877-446-4853 to book a fabulous Gulf Shores rental today!