On the Beach
Obviously, family beach vacations mean a lot of time on the beach. But many families make time for those activities they just can’t miss. For instance, some visitors rise with the sun and set out to find a treasure trove of seashells left behind by the tide. Perhaps they even look for that one special item: sand dollars, pink shells only or lightning whelks. Whatever the shell, the goal remains the same: enjoying the thrill of the hunt as a family.
Many visitors to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach love to seek out the sand crabs as they scurry across the beach. Watching these little creatures as they dart about, hiding behind rocks before racing to the next hiding spot, provides great entertainment for kids. Even more fun is watching their reaction when mom or dad catches a sand crab for closer observation. Even as they grow older, kids – and their parents – still love to take part in this family activity each year.
Of course, many families look forward to documenting their annual vacation with a family photo on the beach. Every family member knows the drill: Mom picks out matching outfits – usually blue jeans and white shirts – for the entire family. Everyone files down to the beach, and strikes a pose according to the photographer’s instructions, leaving you with a fabulous memento of your beach trip.
Although the beach is the primary draw for family vacations, the Alabama Gulf Coast provides lots of opportunities for family fun, and most families take part in their favorites each year. In fact, a hot spot remains Historic Fort Morgan, the masonry fort that played a key role in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. Kids love to roam the Fort’s inner sanctums while parents love delving into the site’s history. And, after exploring the Fort, some families complete their outing with a picnic at one of the two onsite picnic areas.
Every year, active families can’t wait to visit the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. They grab their bikes to explore more than 15 miles that make up the seven trails that comprise the trail system. Along the way, they stop to enjoy the views, search for alligators and spend quality time with the family away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It’s a great way to reconnect in the great outdoors.
For some, no annual Gulf Shores and Orange Beach vacation is complete without a kitschy photo, which is why families flock to Souvenir City. Here they crowd inside the giant shark’s mouth and strike their favorite poses. It’s a fun way to commemorate a family vacation, and certainly sparks memories when reminiscing about vacations long ago.