Six Traditions to Add to Your Beach Vacation Bucket List

Family vacation traditions live on from generation to generation. For many families, visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is a tradition in itself. If you don’t already have your beach vacation traditions in place, here are a few to put at the top of your to-do list...


baby lynx at Gulf Shores Zoo

1- Take a family photo with a little extra personality by visiting an iconic location like the giant shark’s mouth at Souvenir City in the heart of downtown Gulf Shores. The souvenir shop is a short walk from the main public beach. While there, commemorate your vacation by dropping a coin into the penny press machine located just inside the shark’s mouth.

2- Go sand-crabbing at night. You’re not going to eat these crabs – this is more of a catch and release venture, if you can catch them. Sand crabs, also known as ghost crabs, are around during the day, usually burrowing into the sand. At night, they skitter over the sand, and maybe even your feet, as they race to the water. (Although many people take flashlights to watch and catch the crabs, please be aware of nesting sea turtles that can get confused by artificial light.) Sand crabs are usually found in areas of the beach less traveled and less groomed. Some visitors suggest the beach near Gulf State Park as a good sand-crabbing venue.

3- Take a trip to the; Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. See the zoo made famous on the Animal Planet show “The Little Zoo That Could.” The zoo gets high marks for its animal encounters and engaging staff. During animal encounters, visitors have the opportunity to hold and interact with animals including lemurs, baby kangaroos, and reptiles.

Dolphins Orange Beach Al

4- Eat fresh gulf seafood. You are on the Alabama Gulf Coast and, as some restaurants boast, our seafood slept in the gulf last night. Get it fresh and taste the difference. Find a seafood restaurant that fits your group’s palate and budget in the Orange Beach and Gulf Shores restaurant directory.

5- Watch the sunrise. At least one morning during your beach vacation, rouse the family to watch a sunrise together. Bed head and pajamas are acceptable attire, and good memories will be made.

6- Take a dolphin cruise. Watch the younger generation delight in this beach family tradition. Mix up your Orange Beach dolphin cruise excursions by alternating each year between cruises on the gulf side of the beach and those on the back bays.

There’s so much to do and so much to see on an Alabama beach vacation. At the end of the day, however, and at the end of a successful getaway, make sure you spent some time on the beach. Relax, recharge and breathe deeply. The water’s fine, the sand is warm and it’s past time for you to build a sandcastle – just one more tried-and-true beach tradition.

What are some of your favorite beach traditions?  


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