Welcome to your mid-summer vacation to vacation on the Alabama Gulf Coast. You have chosen a perfect time to come down, right before school starts back, when the Gulf Coast is in full swing! There is so much to do around our island paradise, but we know it can get pretty warm in the middle of the day in July and August. The Gulf is usually a wonderful 82 or 83 degrees and the pools are always just right. But with average high temps hovering around 83 degrees during July and August, coupled with our usual humidity, the mid-day summer heat can maybe make you a little cranky. You love hanging out on the beach, I mean, who doesn’t, right? But what do you do in the middle of those rare days when it seems like it’s just too hot to hang out? Here is a list of ten ways to cool off while you’re vacationing with Sunset Properties in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan in July and August:
1 RIDE A PERSONAL WATERCRAFT
Did you forget and leave your personal watercraft at home? No worries! You can rent a jet ski and a go pro from Alabama Extreme Watersports right here on the island. How much fun would that be? Jet skis are the perfect way to beat the heat by riding on the water. Maybe striking out on your own in unfamiliar waters doesn’t feel comfortable to you. Then how about trying a waverunner dolphin tour with about 4 of your friends? The good folks at Alabama Extreme Watersports will take you on a guided tour of the waters of Orange Beach. Seeing dolphins is always a great thing, but seeing them from a waverunner is sure to be a thrilling outing everyone!
2 VISIT A MUSEUM
Did you know our island is home to three unique local museums? If the weather feels too hot outside, stop by and cool off inside the Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum, originally built at a school house in the early 1900s, now houses a wonderful collection of artifacts relating to Orange Beach’s fishing heritage and Native American roots. The Gulf Shores Museum , another local favorite, hosts permanent collection of items relating to island life and our island’s history, as well as a rotating exhibit that changes often. Maybe you’ve stopped by before? Stop in again! Chances are you won’t see the same thing you saw last time. Our third museum is the Museum at Fort Morgan and has artifacts dating back to when the fort was built on display. This museum also has a wonderful little gift shop, so plan some extra time stay and shop for a bit! There are so many cool things to see at the these three venues. You’ll enjoy the family outing and, as a bonus, you guys will probably learn something you didn’t already know about your vacation home.
3 CHECK OUT THE REC CENTER
The David L Bodenhamer Recreation Center in Gulf Shores has racquetball courts, indoor pools, and a full service fitness room. This state of the art facility welcomes island guests and locals alike. Day passes are available. Reservations are not required. There is a complimentary fitness towel service and a game area that kiddos just love. The Bodenhamer Center is ADA accessible and open every day. This is a great place to go any time of the year! The climate is always perfect inside the rec center! It is conveniently located at 319 West 19th Avenue, about two minutes from the Gulf Shores Museum.
4 PLAY LASER TAG
Have you ever played laser tag? Arena The Next Level takes laser tag to “a whole nother level” (as we say down here) . Located at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Arena The Next Level, is a perfect place to take the whole family. Everyone can play laser tag in this 4000 square foot indoor arena showcasing a super cool sci-fi laser tag arena with lights, sounds and lasers.
And while you’re at Arena The Next Level, you must give Bazooka Ball a try, too. This electronic glow-in-the-dark combat game features two inch round foam balls that can be shot out of low impact toy guns and travel up to 100 feet. Come inside to get away from the midday heat and stay for the afternoon!
5 SPEND A DAY AT WATERVILLE
No matter where you’re staying in Gulf Shores, you’re only about ten minutes away from Waterville USA, the island’s only water park. Enjoy the day outside minus the feel of the heat while you play your way through Waterville’s 12 water attractions including The Flowrider, Jet Scream and Screamin’ Demon. In addition to water rides and slides, you’re going to want ride the Cannonball Run roller coaster, play in a fabulous arcade, and bungee jump on the trampoline called The Trampoline Thing. Waterville is also home to some of the fastest go-karts around. Waterville also hosts an Escape House mystery game. This is an inside game that your whole family can play together! Plan on spending a whole day at Waterville and enjoy the summer without scorching in the heat. Once you get there, you won’t want to leave.
6 SPLASH AROUND AT OWA
Owa, the Alabama Gulf Coast’s newest entertainment venue is located in Foley. In addition to Owa’s 21 thrill rides, super cool arcade and great places to eat, they recently added a splash pad for the kiddos! Wacky Waters is a 9500 square foot splash pad that features everything from a super tall water dump bucket, a water dome and 15 other splashy and cool attractions. Wacky Waters was most likely built with kids in mind, but adults love it, too.
7 ENJOY SOME RETAIL THERAPY
One of the best ways to avoid the midday heat, is to go inside a great store and shop. We know you’re going to be looking for that perfect souvenir to take back home for yourself or someone special. Stop inside one of the many boutiques scattered around our little island paradise. With great venues to shop like SanRoc Cay in Orange Beach and Pelican Place at Craft Farms, the midday heat will be the last thing on your mind. Shopping at The Wharf at Orange Beach or taking a thrilling ride on the Ferris Wheel will make the whole family happy. Don’t forget about The Shops at The Boardwalk in Gulf Shores next to The Original Oyster House where your whole family can take a break and enjoy some fresh seafood and a tall, cold beverage. You may even see an alligator or two just below the boardwalk. Have your camera ready. While our local wildlife doesn’t mind pictures, feeding or provoking them is not ever advised.
8 CATCH A MOVIE
Have you ever noticed how good movie theatre popcorn tastes? And those little boxes of chocolate covered raisins? And nacho chips with all that gooey, yummy cheese? Why not cool off with a great snack and a current movie release? Cobb Pinnacle 14 , located at Pelican Place, is one of our favorite places to go when it’s just a little too warm outside to hang out on the beach. Watching a movie is always a special memory. Often we think things like, “I saw that movie at this place” or “I was fourteen the first time I saw that movie.” Why not make a special memory your whole family will hold onto? With so many great summer releases to check out, stopping by Cobb Pinnacle 14 is a perfect way to pass an afternoon. With closed caption, assisted listening, and descriptive narration available on most films during most showtimes, everyone can enjoy a popular film. You’ll be in a nice cool movie theatre, making a great memory, and enjoying some of the best popcorn around. We say “that’s the ticket!”
9 CHILL OUT WITH SOME ICE CREAM
Scoops ice cream shop is one of the coolest places around. Literally! Located on in the heart of Gulf Shores, Scoops should be on your “to-do” list whether it’s hot outside or not. Scoops has been serving locals and guests alike in Gulf Shores since 1980. The truly have some of the best ice cream around and some of the best service, too. Scoops ice cream is real treat! From banana splits, to malts, to milkshakes, to just a scoop of your favorite flavor, this little ice cream shop is sure to put smiles on everyone’s face. So when you’re headed south on Gulf Shores Parkway, don’t just drive by. Stop in Scoop’s and cool off the old fashioned way…with some delicious vanilla ice cream and the perfect toppings!
10 SCORE HIGH ON YOUR FAVORITE VIDEO GAME
We can’t say enough about how much fun you’ll have at Adventure Island, located on Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach This is seriously one of the best arcades around. This inviting is also home to a rock wall and a roller coaster simulator If you’re not wanting to spend too much time inside, Adventure Island has you covered on that, too. Outside, you’ll find mini golf, go-carts, bumper boats and paddle boats. Everyone loves bumper boats! Adventure Island is not too hard to find, either. Just look for the only volcano in Orange Beach. Once you see the volcano, you’ll know you’re only minutes away for hours of fun.
So we’ve given you a short list of fun and cool things to do while you’re on vacation in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan. We know sometimes the heat can be a bit overwhelming, but your vacation can still be a boat load of fun! If you’d rather not venture out away from your condo, remember the pristine pools at The Dunes in Fort Morgan and The Grand Caribbean in Gulf Shores are always perfect. The lazy river that atop the Caribe in Orange Beach and the saltwater pool at The Indies in Fort Morgan are easily accessible family favorites! If you’re looking for a beach house, contact us at Sunset Properties. We have several of those, too, and we can help you find exactly what you’re looking in exactly the right spot.
We hope this is your “coolest” trip ever!