This is this first in a series of Blog Posts from and article by Annette Thompson of Sweet Home Alabama site. She has some fantastic ideas for family friendly vacations across the Gulf Coast!
Some of the best family memories are made on a beach vacation. Ditching your regular routine and setting out for Alabama’s 32 miles of sandy seashore welcomes a bit of magic into your lives. The special times aren’t simply limited to the beaches though. The entire coastal region – the wetlands, rivers, and bays – is a rich playground full of a variety of adventures.
Youngsters will not only like to play in the surf, but they also will soak up the culture of the coast. So plan your trip with a healthy mix of downtime combined with several outings to explore the watery ecosystem and the region’s role in American history. And don’t leave out a few squeal-producing activities.
Until your teens or tots sink their toes in the sand, you haven’t really arrived at the beach. So make haste down AL Highway 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) to land’s edge where you can slather on the sunscreen and catch a wave. All of the major resorts in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach maintain beach services with lounge chairs and umbrellas (typically about $25 per day), and some even rent kayaks or catamarans (typically about $50 an hour).
Look beyond the high-rises to discover less-crowded strands, where you’ll feel as if the entire beach belongs to your family. At these tranquil spots, you’ll need to bring your own blankets, chairs and umbrellas for comfort (don’t forget a cooler with cold drinks, snacks and wet cloths to wash hands and faces). One of the best sites along AL Highway 182 is Gulf State Park (20115 AL Highway 135; 251–948–7275 map). The 3.5 miles of sugary sands separate Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The park features the second-longest fishing pier (1,540 feet) anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico. (Kids younger than 16 don’t need fishing licenses, but adults do. They can be purchased right on the pier.)
Start planning now for your next beach getaway! We hope to see you soon.