So your summer’s almost over and you are taking the kiddos to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan one last time before you have to get back to PTA, homework and, of course, football. But what do you do? When you guys came down to the Alabama Gulf Coast and stayed with Sunset Properties earlier this year, you did it all, right? You hit all the great spots: Waterville, The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and Adventure Island. So what’s left?
Here are ten great family outings that you must do before everyone goes back to school:
- Dine with pirates and princesses
“Arrgh, Matey! Pass me them there eggs,” might be what you hear when you having breakfast at The Hangout with pirates and princesses. These unusual characters can be found most mornings at this local spot. Have you ever dined with pirates before? Most folks haven’t. But, trust me on this, you’re in for a treat! This summer at The Hangout, you can have breakfast with these infamous folks from the High Seas. Come dressed in your best costume, enjoy some great food and stay for the treasure hunt. This is a really cool way to start off any late summer day in Gulf Shores. Contact the groovy staff at The Hangout for exact times and dates of this unique breakfast experience.
- Enjoy a live play
Remember The Lion King? Everyone loves The Lion King! Bring the whole family to see a live production of this timeless classic at the South Baldwin Community Theatre. With several show times in August, there is sure to be one to fit your vacation schedule. This production features bright costumes, great music and, of course, your favorites from the jungle including Simba and Rafiki. If you enjoyed the animated version (and who didn’t, right?!) this live version is sure to take it to the next level. Tickets are limited, so you will need to grab those as soon as you decide to put this fun outing on your “must do list”!
- Dance in the streets
The Wharf hosts the biggest street party on the island. Enjoy island life outside in the evening summer breeze when DJ Matt and mascot Starla the Starfish get the party started around 7 PM on Saturday nights. There are contests and prizes at this summertime event. With all kinds of retail shops and restaurants right in front of you, once you get to The Wharf, you won’t want to leave before you see and do it all! So throw on your boogie shoes or your favorite flip flops and head on over to Main Street at the Wharf and dance the night away with your whole crew.
- Take a segway tour
Coastal Segway Adventures offers 2-hour guided Segway® Personal Transporter tours through the beautiful Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. The Trail features seven pathways through six different ecosystems totalling a 15 mile outing. For two hours, your guide from Coastal Segway Adventures will lead you through the trail and talk about what you’re seeing all around. We can’t think of a better way to enjoy nature in Gulf Shores than to explore your way through Gulf State Park. Make sure you bring your insect repellent and sunscreen. Oh, and don’t forget your camera. You’ll probably see plants and animals not found in your own backyard!
- Visit a Nature Center
Speaking of Gulf State Park, have you ever been to the nature center at the campground on Lake Shelby? The nature center is a living museum of plants and animals that are native to our Alabama Gulf Coast region. The good folks at the nature center want to create awareness about the plant and animal life in our area. As much as this is educational, it is entertaining. It’s a fun hands-on learning experience unlike any other around. Through this kind of personal connection with nature, the staff there hopes to encourage others to share the same love for our environment that they have. Don’t just visit Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, then leave without seeing this. Stop by our little nature center and become a nature-loving part of our extended family!
- Have a family date night
Who says “date night” can only be for couples? We think Family Date Nights are amazing, too! But what do you do for a Family Date Night? Gather up your whole crew and head on over to the Gulf State Park Pier. It is great for way more than just fishing from. Did you know that you can walk out on the pier even if you’re not fishing? Yep! It’s a great little walk, too! The pier is 1540 feet long and 20 feet wide and features indoor seating as well as rail seating. Here’s a fun fact: they have Blue Bell ice cream in the concession store. This outing may not be as flashy and sparkly as some of the others you and your family go on, but how great would it be to just get some ice cream, find a nice peaceful spot, sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of The Gulf of Mexico as the waves roll around underneath you? Sometimes the simplest things make the best memories.
- Check out some cool fireworks
There is always something cool going on at The Wharf. In addition to being your Saturday night boogie spot, come to The Wharf on Monday nights all summer to catch some great fireworks! Sparks after Dark Fireworks has become a summer tradition at The Wharf. Find your spot on Main Street before 8:45 PM and get ready to watch the skies light up in all kinds of fabulous colors. Be sure to follow this link for more details on this weekly fireworks show. We definitely don’t want you to miss this!
- Be a groupie
All summer long, Pelican Place at Craft Farms is hosting their annual Sounds of Summer Event. Every Saturday night from 6:00-8:30 PM bring your lawn chair and see a free concert. What better way is there to start your own groupie “career” than at a free outdoor concert at the beach? This is a family friendly event, so the kiddos can officially become concert groupies, too! There will be food and other vendors on site, so all you really need to bring is a lawn chair or a blanket. Expect to see some of the best entertainment around and we are pretty sure you won’t be disappointed!
- Walk on water
Ever thought about walking on water? Wouldn’t it be great if you could just strike out across a body of water and not sink? Well, now you can! Lucy Buffett’s Lulus now hasl Water Walkers. A water walker is an inflatable sphere that you can get inside of and actually walk across the water without getting wet. You can run, roll, flip and flop inside your Water Walker and enjoy seeing down through the water with a whole new perspective. While you’re at Lulus, you’re probably going to want to stay for a while and enjoy some of the best seafood on the island, so set aside a couple of hours for this adventure.
- Marvel at the Blue Angels
Oh my goodness! Have you ever seen the Blue Angels in action? This is thrill like none other. Grown ups and kids alike love watching from the ground as the Blues fly overhead, barely missing each other in the air. You will find yourself saying the word “wow” out loud before you even know it. The Blue Angels practice at the museum at NAS Pensacola on just a select few days each year. But you’re in luck, they should be in the air at least one of the days while you’re down this way. Practices last almost an hour and admission is free. With some careful planning, you can schedule your outing to include meeting these amazingly skilled Navy pilots and maybe even getting their autographs. Who wouldn’t want to get a Blue Angel’s autograph? They truly are the heros and stars of the American skies.
Using this list as a guide, we know you’re sure to enjoy your late summer stay in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. But what if you’re not quite ready to make this your last beach trip for the year? Well, here are two more reasons you need to come back to the Alabama Gulf Coast before the holidays: The Annual National Shrimp Festival and The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.
Don’t forget to contact us at Sunset Properties and make all your reservations early! We still have a few rentals available in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan during these festival times, but keep in mind, our island tends to be pretty full of out-of-town folks who attend both of these and we don’t want you to miss out! Book early and ensure you get the perfect vacation home for your family’s needs. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you get on your way to having a perfect later summer vacation!