Most of us take our furry children with us when we travel. They have become such an important part of our families, we just can’t bear leaving them behind. Our team at Sunset Properties is just like you! We take our furry kids with us on trips, too. Everyone needs a vacation break sometimes! Because we understand the need for this kind of companionship, we make sure we have dog friendly rentals available. We offer a variety of vacation homes that allow guests to bring their four legged babies with them. But once you get down to our beautiful beach paradise home, where can you take your fur baby? What can you guys do to hang out together? Dogs are not allowed on the public beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, so where can you go for a playdate with your adorable little rescue who rescued you? We suggest trying out the following local spots:
Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail
Established in 2003, the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is one of our favorite places to go when we want to visit all the ecosystems our island has to offer. It’s kind of a “one-stop-shop” for hikers, bikers and fur babies who want to see a variety of wildlife habitats right here along the Alabama Gulf Coast. You’ll be sharing the trail with other folks, so be sure to have pup properly leashed. This is as much for your safety as for the safety of others. With more than fifteen miles of trails to explore, this is one outing that’s sure to please everyone in your group. Be on the lookout for herons, gators, bobcats and turtles. You and your pretty pooch will travel through marshes, along old hunting trails, and through one of the last remaining maritime forests in South Alabama. There’s a lot to see and sniff! The trails are well maintained and great for travel on foot or bicycle. Because the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is a part of Alabama State Parks, there are also plenty of convenience stops for visitors, too. You’ll find restrooms and picnic areas spread throughout. So go ahead and pack a lunch for your and your buddy and make it a day outdoors! Don’t forget to clean up after your canine cutie. We expect you’ll find the trails clean and ask that you leave them that same way.
Lake Shelby Dog Park
Within the expanse that is Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is beautiful Lake Shelby. Located just north of the beach road within Gulf State Park, Lake Shelby has long been one of our favorite places to go for picnics, swimming and just watching nature. Dogs are welcome to enjoy Lake Shelby, too. Your furry friend must be leashed when entering and leaving the park and must be current on all vaccinations. While we recommend Lake Shelby as one of our favorite outing spots, we caution you to be watchful over your fur baby. Alligators live in and around this ancient lake and they can be aggressive towards dogs.
Orange Beach Waterfront Park
Located on Canal Road in Orange Beach, Orange Beach Waterfront Park is a perfect place to take the kiddos and the Fidos! The kids will find a wooden playground unlike any other on our island. Parents will notice this is a great spot to snap some fun vacation pics, too! The City of Orange Beach planned well when they added a 400 foot fishing pier to extend the park out into our beautiful back bay area. Take a walk out on the pier and you may just see a family of dolphins swimming by. Your hound will be happy with all the open space to stretch his legs. Restrooms are provided and a pavilion is available so bring your picnic supplies. Remember to keep your fur baby on a leash and clean up after if he goes potty in the park.
Unleashed Doggie Park
Are you and your cheerful canine will find plenty to wag your tails about at Unleashed Doggie Park! Plenty of open space, that is. Unleashed Doggie Park, located at 27920 Canal Road, opened in 2010 and it has become a favorite place of locals and visitors, alike! In addition to plenty of open space to play, you’ll find a nicely kept, fenced-in large play area. Watering stations are also available. For everyone’s safety, this park has a very specific list of guidelines for visitors and we encourage you to check them out here.
The Fort at Fort Morgan
Have you ever visited the actual fort located at the end of Fort Morgan Road? Turn off Alabama Highway 59 and head west about 22 miles and you’ll find Fort Morgan. Its just past The Dunes subdivision and condos. On the site of this historic landmark dating back to 1812 and formerly called Fort Bowyer, Fort Morgan historic site is a great place for a family outing! All members of your family, including your furry bestie kept safely on a leash, are welcome to tour the fort grounds during daylight hours. Historic Fort Morgan is located at the most western tip of Baldwin County where the Gulf of Mexico meets Mobile Bay making it’s beach area unique in several ways. First, because the salt and fresh waters that surround Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan meet here, you’re sure to see several forms of marine life. Dolphins tend to swim pretty close to the beaches that surround the fort. Coastal birds like seagulls, blue herons, and sandpipers are visible almost daily. Sand crabs love this largely untraveled beach and you may even see a gator somewhere nearby. Another thing you’ll most likely see off shore is the Mobile Bay Ferry. The ferry transports automobiles from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island in Mobile County. The ferry schedule may be altered a bit due to COVID-19 concerns, so we suggest you check their website for an up-to-date schedule listing. Lastly, you might find your furry friend sniffing something that was left at the old fort site for decades. Artifacts found on fort property are naturally the property of the fort. So, if you guys unearth something, be sure to take it to the gift shop located on the fort grounds. Speaking of artifacts, if you’d like to see something really cool, that has been unearthed by the Gulf’s might power during a hurricane, but is too big to put in your pocket, travel about 5 miles east of the fort along the beach. If the tide is just right, you may get a glimpse of The Rachel. A ship from long ago, her remains are beached in the Fort Morgan area for all to see.
Fort Morgan Community
Our fur babies are not allowed to traipse their toes across the sandy white public beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, but they are allowed on the sand in the Fort Morgan community. That’s right! You and your four-legged jogging buddy can stretch your legs in the warm sand in Fort Morgan. If you are a guest of Sunset Properties and your vacation home is located in this area, you will love the convenience of this. The beaches in Fort Morgan, Alabama have less restrictive guidelines than those in other places on our island. Consider reserving a vacation home in The Dunes Condominiums. Check out Dunes 602 if you and your canine companion enjoy watching sunsets from a private balcony facing the Gulf of Mexico. Dunes 202 may be more in line with what you’re looking for if you want to be poolside. Several other condos located within this complex are also dog friendly. Would you rather stay in a single-family beach house? Give Dunesberry a look. This spacious beach home is located in The Dunes subdivision and is literally just yards from the sandy white beaches of The Gulf of Mexico. You and your pupper will enjoy sipping your cold drinks on private balconies as you plan your daily outings. For a complete listing of our dog friendly rentals, follow this link. Remember there are some restrictions associated with bringing your furry family member and we will be happy to answer any questions you have!
When you’re ready to head down to our beautiful Alabama Coast, don’t leave your snuggle buddy at home. Bring him or her with you, too. There’s lots you can do together as a family and lots of great places to choose to stay. We are looking forward to your arrival!