vacation planning

How To Have the Best First Day of Vacation in Gulf Shores, AL

Nothing compares to the feeling of your first day of vacation in Gulf Shores. You’ve been counting down the days, and it’s all finally happening! Dip your toes in the warm sand of our Alabama sugar-white sand beaches, gaze at stunning turquoise waters, and get ready to have an experience you’ll never forget. We’ll tell you how you can make the most out of your first day of a fun-filled vacation! 

After reading this blog, you’ll be ready to kickstart your Gulf Shores vacation. Now you need to start figuring out the rest of the exciting details! Check out our accommodations to find the perfect vacation rental for your stay, and to book activities let our team do the searching for you so you can focus on what matters most: making unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

The Best First Day of Vacation in Gulf Shores Looks Like This: 

Whether you’re on a friends’ reunion, romantic getaway, or family-friendly beach vacation, the Alabama Gulf Coast has everything you need for the ultimate vacation! 

1. Check Into Your Beautiful Vacation Home 

When it comes to five-star vacation rentals along the coast, it doesn’t get better than Harris Vacation Rentals. When you rent one of our Fort MorganGulf Shores, and Orange Beach rentals, your check-in location will vary based on the property you select. Some units have keypads, allowing you to go directly to your rental (a code will be emailed to you prior to your check-in day). Some rentals may have a lockbox with your keys inside. Like the units with keypads, a code will be emailed before your arrival. For properties with traditional locks, you’ll pick up your keys at the Harris Vacation Rentals Management rental office. Your welcome email will contain all these details and put you in the know. 


2. Get Some Fuel in Your Stomach 

Did you have a long car ride driving to the coast? You must be hungry! Kick vacation off on the right foot with a delicious meal. If you want to go out and let someone else do the cooking for you, our area is filled with charming beach bars and restaurants. You should be sure to try some local seafood and treat yourself to a cocktail at happy hour! 

Would you prefer to get your kitchen stocked so you’re ready for the rest of the week? Head to the store and get that pantry and refrigerator filled. Harris Vacation Rentals is happy to offer concierge services and assist you with grocery shopping. 

Fried calamari at the Islander Food Shack Florida

3. Make Your Gulf Shores Bucket List 

How will you fill your days by the ocean? This area has so much to see and do, so it’s easy to create the ultimate Gulf Shores bucket list. Day one of vacation is the best time to start mapping out your week. Plus, if you have time, you can even start knocking a few things off!  

All our vacation rentals are conveniently located in the heart of the Alabama Gulf Coast, so you’re always close to the best attractions. Some of the most popular local things to do include: 

sailing in sunset

Let’s Get Ready to Vacation! 

Are you itching more than ever to take a vacation now? We don’t blame you! Browse our collection of vacation rentals and pick the perfect one for you! We can’t wait to host you during your Gulf Coast getaway. 

Everything You Need to Know About Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach

It can be difficult to choose the perfect location for your family beach trip, especially when there are so many amazing options along the Alabama Coast. Where are the best beaches? Are there plenty of activities, dining options, and shops near your vacation rental? What is the nightlife like? Many of our guests ask these types of questions when trying to decide between Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach for their family vacation. To help make planning easier, we have highlighted a few differences between these two great locations. Read on to learn more and choose the destination that’s right for your family!

Book your Gulf Shores getaway today!

Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach: What’s the Difference?

The Gulf Coast is home to the best beaches in the country – it’s no secret. Whether you choose to stay in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, Alabama, you’ll experience equally beautiful beaches in both locations. Sugar-white sand, sparkling aquamarine waters, and plenty of sunshine await at either destination. Both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach also offer extremely fresh seafood, access to scenic hiking and biking trails, watersport rentals, great shopping and dining. So, what is the major difference? While either of these amazing destinations would be a great choice for your beach getaway, it depends on your family’s personal preference.

Enjoy Exciting Activities in Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores offers more activities and attractions such as Zooland Mini-Golf, Waterville USA, the Gulf Coast Zoo, The Track Family Fun Park, South Baldwin Community Theatre, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and much, much more. From amusement parks and family-friendly fun to exciting nightlife and entertainment, the list of things to do in Gulf Shores is endless. If you’re searching for a vacation rental located in the heart of it all, this would be a great option for your stay. Whether you seek adventure or total relaxation, the possibilities are endless in Gulf Shores! 

Relax and Unwind in Orange Beach

On the other hand, Orange Beach offers a quieter and more laid-back beach vibe. If you’re more interested in lounging by the shoreline during your getaway, this may be more your speed. Cast a line into the Gulf, play a round of golf at Orange Beach golf course, or enjoy spending time with family in your Harris Property. Orange Beach also has its fair share of attractions and activities as well. The Wharf at Orange Beach is your ultimate destination for family fun. Here, you’ll discover fabulous shops and restaurants, Alabama’s longest zipline course, breakout games, arcades, charter boat cruises, mini-golf, a Ferris wheel and more. 

Have the Best Family Beach Vacation With Harris Vacation Rentals!

When it comes to choosing between Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach, you really can’t go wrong. Either destination would be an excellent option for your family beach getaway, especially when you’re staying in a Harris Property! Unlike Orange Beach hotels or Gulf Shores hotels, our spacious vacation rentals offer a unique lodging experience that you won’t find elsewhere. Choose the exact home you want, whether it’s a pet-friendly accommodation, a rental with a private pool, a beachfront property, or a luxury home. The whole family will have plenty of room to unwind and socialize after a fabulous day of adventure!

Harris Vacation Rentals offers vacation rentals in three amazing locations: Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Choose the location that’s right for your family and get ready for your next unforgettable trip to paradise. Browse our properties and contact us to book your stay. We can’t wait to welcome you!

Hotel vs. Vacation Rental: What’s the Difference?

With so many available options, choosing a place to stay for your next vacation can seem overwhelming. Some travelers end up spending way too much on a mediocre hotel, while others book the cheapest room they can find and then regret it. If you’d like to avoid these common travel mistakes, consider a vacation rental instead. Offering fabulous amenities, plenty of space, and privacy, you’re guaranteed a stress-free and memorable getaway. When trying to decide between hotel vs. vacation rental, the answer is clear. Vacation rentals are the best option for visitors! 

If you’re planning a Gulf Shores getaway and are having trouble deciding between hotel vs. vacation rental, Harris Vacation Rentals can help! Head over to our website to see what sets our accommodations apart from all the rest. Or, feel free to contact us to inquire about your next Gulf Shores getaway. We’d love to assist you!

Book your Gulf Shores getaway today!

The Difference Between Hotel Vs. Vacation Rental

When it comes to choosing a place to stay on vacation, you want to find an accommodation that’s affordable, clean, comfortable, in a great location, and comes with top-notch amenities. 10 times out of 10, a vacation rental will offer all of these things PLUS beautiful views, dog-friendly options, and a unique travel experience. Sometimes the vacation rental company will even offer extra incentives such as special offers or discounted activities to enjoy during your vacation. 

These are just some reasons why you should consider a vacation home vs. a hotel room. Think of it like this: why stay in a small, generic hotel room when you could escape to a spacious retreat with all the comforts of home? Rather than getting a room that is randomly assigned to you at the hotel, you’ll be able to select the condo or home you want. In fact, vacation rentals are often more affordable than hotel rooms. This is especially true if you book directly on the company’s website and not on sites that charge hidden fees like Airbnb and Vrbo.

Choose Your Location

When you book a vacation rental from Harris Vacation Rentals, you’ll be able to select the exact location you desire. We offer an extensive selection of rentals in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan. Would you like to stay at a beachfront rental? This is a wonderful option for visitors who plan to spend most of their days soaking up the sun and surf. Perhaps you prefer a luxury rental, a pet-friendly option, or a home with a private pool? No matter what you decide, you’ll be glad you chose to stay in a Harris Property. All of our accommodations are just minutes from the best local attractions, dining, beaches, and more!

Select Your Activities

Vacation rentals often offer extra incentives for travelers, which you can use to your advantage. For example, when you book a Harris Vacation Rentals family vacation rental, you’ll receive up to $100 off local tours and activities through TripShock. This makes planning your vacation easy, fun,  and more affordable. Save that extra cash, or use it for more activities or dining out with the family. The possibilities are endless! 

Book Your Stay With Harris Vacation Rentals

When it comes to choosing between rental homes vs. hotels, the answer is obvious. Vacation rentals offer much better value and an experience you simply won’t find at other lodging options. So, what are you waiting for? Experience your Gulf Shores getaway to the fullest when you book your stay with Harris Vacation Rentals! Browse all of our accommodations and contact us to book your stay today. We can’t wait to welcome you!

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