Author: Mike Murray
Tags : Alabama, Baby, Beach, Cheap Vacation, North America, USA
Take a close look at Alabama's beautiful Gulf Shores, a bargain getaway and you'll know that Florida isn't the only southern state with great beaches.
Alabama's Gulf Shores region is one of the American South's most popular tourist destinations. Although this fully developed beach boasts reasonable prices for waterfront accommodations in the summer high season -- at least, compared to many resort areas -- there are even better bargains for beach lovers year-round. Families may want to skip the hurricane season, most active between August and October. Then, between November and March, the climate is pleasantly cool, and you might even get lucky and hit one of their 70°F days.
Gulf Shores Offers Year-Round Fun
In winter, when air temperatures typically run in the 60's and 70's F (the gorgeous 80°F weather comes May to September), most of the major condo complexes and hotels have a heated indoor pool and lots of fun stuff to do. In the fall, winter, and spring low seasons, families will typically find tennis, volleyball, Jacuzzis and usually a fitness center, well priced restaurants, and local sights to keep them busy.
Deep sea fishing, dolphin watching, Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo animal park, the 16th-century Fort Morgan, and the semi-tropical rain forest at Bellingrath Gardens (a 905-acre preserve) are some other nearby attractions for days away from the beach.
The Weeks Bay Estuary Reserve, one of 25 national wildlife reserves in the region, is where you might see some alligators. The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail attracts bird and wildlife fans and is particularly fun for younger children because the well marked trail follows the Mobile Bay shoreline and Gulf of Mexico beaches. To get out on the water, head to Orange Beach and join a fishing charter.
We love Dauphin Island a Safe Beach for Toddlers
Dauphin Island is a barrier island three miles south of the mouth of Mobile Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. This is the kind of beach where families, even those with toddlers, can enjoy a peaceful beach getaway.
Nearly 14 miles long and 1 ¾ miles wide at the widest point, the eastern 6 miles are inhabited while the western 8 miles are privately owned. The island has been designated as a bird sanctuary and families enjoy nature walks along a scenic lake. Dauphin Island Pier offers facilities and there are miles of undeveloped , secluded beaches with sugar white sand, four group pavilions, bathrooms, outdoor showers, a playground and connecting boardwalks.
High Season Gulf Shore Summer Events & More
During summer, be sure to check out The Wharf, Alabama's first entertainment district featuring retail shops, lodging, and of course, outdoor entertainment.
With their on-going 100 Days of Summer event featuring everything from live music, to the exclusive Spectra light-shows made just for The Wharf, as well as a dedicated Family Fun Zone featuring a collection of thrilling rides and games ensures a spectacular visit to the Gulf Coast. For more information on the events and monthly deals, as well as to possibly book a condo rental, visit The Wharf's official website here.
Also be sure to take advantage of Gulf Shore's nine signature golf courses--all within driving distance of each other, too! Make the most of this summer weather when the courses are in optimal condition and visit the Gulf Shores Golf Association to plan a family golf-getaway with helpful information and deals on where to stay and play. And, when you tire of putting on the green, there's still plenty of coastal activities, dining spots, and exciting entertainment to explore.
Great Spring & Fall Deals for Families
For families looking to explore more of the Gulf Coast, one useful resource for lodging and attraction offers is the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau. Check out their online deals or call them at 800/745-SAND, they can fill you in on the latest specials for family-friendly lodging near the 35 miles of white sand beach.
For example, for the area's popular free Shrimp Festival, the Gulf Shores Plantation offers their special Free Night Special; enjoy the non-stop fun of the Annual National Shrimp Festival and escape each night to your cozy Plantation room.
For more information on lodging in the area and seasonal specials, visit the Gulf Shores Plantation link above or check out Wyndham Vacation Rentals which handles bookings for many wonderful family-friendly condominiums in the area.