We had a wonderful family vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama a few weeks ago. Oh, how I miss the beach!!! Even the kids say they want to go back! I wanted to share our trip with you and highly recommend the area for your next family vacation. If you follow on Instagram you saw me post daily how awesome it was.
Pre-planning was stressful for me but here are some tips to cut down on the stress:
1. Order the guide for the area. It’s full of ads basically for all the rental agencies, local attractions, restaurants and such.
2. Make a list of your needs and wants. Beach front, beach view, lagoon? Condo or house? Pool on site? Kitchen? Washer and Dryer? Location to area attractions? Things like that. I decided we needed a beach front condo with a full kitchen and washer and dryer, a pool or kiddie pool would be nice. I found all of that!!!
3. Frequent all of the rental sites and get familiar with all of the amenities each complex offers. I was able to narrow it down to a few complexes that would affordably meet our needs. I suggest using each website search tool with your travel dates. That gave me a great idea on price ranges.
4. Once you’ve narrowed down what units are available and will accommodate your family- CALL!!! I was able to save a few hundred dollars by calling to book because I asked what units were available at the best rates.
We loved our little home away from home. We rented through Gulf Blue Vacations, they are on site in the complex which made check in and out very convenient.
We went with the intentions of spending all day everyday at the pool or the beach. For the most part we did exactly that but we did venture out and had fun without overspending. Here are our recommended must sees:
#1 This place was just plain awesome. It wasn’t too far of a drive from the beach. They have alligators of all ages and sizes. You can pay a little extra for a cup of food to feed the alligators, which I recommend for the kiddos. I tried to share a variety of photos from our visit that would show how nice this place is. Be sure to check either online or call to find out when feeding time is, you have to see these big monsters crawl out of the water and watch the crazy guy throw food in a gators mouth from very close distance. It’s CRAZY!!! The best part to me was all of those monster gators were rescued from neighborhoods or places they were causing a problems for people. I think they are living the good life there at Alligator Alley.
2.The Hangout is a great place to, well, hangout. We stopped here a few times, but never ate a meal here together. Our first stop there was to just check it out and of course take pics and post on IG. They have bands playing almost every night, the night we planned to check it out a storm rolled in. Bummer! The sign out front says they have a dog show every day, so we decided to check that out on Wednesday, well Wednesday is zoo day at The Hangout so we got to see a few animals from the local zoo. We never made it back to the dog show but would have liked to. The Hangout also had a breakfast event for kiddos, er I mean for your pirates and princesses. Go hungry!!! It’s all you can eat breakfast foods with lots of action while you eat and a treasure hunt with goodies around the property.
3. The Gulf Shores State Park Pier
I don’t advise walking to the pier!!! At least not from where were staying, pushing a stroller and walking with a 3 year old. Never again!!! I believe admission just to walk out on the pier was $2 per person, a small fee for all there was to see and do. My husband and oldest son spent a few hours at the pier one evening fishing. They had to buy fishing licenses and rent poles and purchase bait. They caught a few cat fish like fish called “Hard heads.” They both enjoyed it. When we all went to the pier just for sight seeing we took our time walking to the end watching all the fishermen and checking out their catches. We saw a few guys spend 20 minutes or more reeling in some pretty large fish.