Alabama's Beaches Through the Lens

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. When it comes to travel, I’d say it’s worth even more.

A photograph can say what I cannot. It can be difficult translating memories and experiences into words for someone who wasn’t there to experience them first hand. I’d like to take you on a journey through Alabama’s beaches in photographs. These are some of my favorites from our recent family vacation to the Alabama Gulf Coast. I hope you look at these photos and can see and feel what I do — one amazing Gulf Shores and Orange Beach adventure.

The Beach of Gulf Shores, AL

The Beach

No trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach would be complete without a visit to the beach. Pull up a chair, bury your toes in the soft white sand, and spend the day jumping over waves in the picturesque Gulf waters. Then when you’re tired of being in one place, take a walk on the beach and explore the other 32 miles of white sand calling your name. We explored about 30 of them!

Holding a Lemur in Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

With a nickname like “The Little Zoo That Could,” you know the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is going to be something special. It’s unlike the big zoos we’ve visited where you walk around and look at animals behind bars and cages. Instead, it’s a place where you fall in love with animals all over again. We held cuddly lemurs, fed animals by hand, and got more up close and personal with these amazing creatures than we would ever have been able to in a larger zoo. Given the choice between looking at animals from afar and seeing them up close, I choose the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo every time.

The Wharf in Orange Beach, AL

The Wharf

Head to The Wharf in Orange Beach near sundown and ride the Ferris wheel for one of the best views of the sunset. Then stand on the sidewalk nearby and watch the trees dance in light to popular songs during the nightly SPECTRA Light Show. Finish your visit with a delicious meal at one of Orange Beach’s best restaurants or a souvenir from one of the unique stores that line the area. Our souvenir of choice? A bag of specialty candies from The Sugar Shack.

Adventure Island Golf in Orange Beach, AL

Adventure Island Golf

There’s more to this photo than meets the eye. Adventure Island Golf isn’t just your standard miniature golf course. There’s a volcano that erupts! And, there are plastic clubs for the little guys. It’s the site of my son’s first-ever game of miniature golf. I use the term “game” loosely because it mostly included hitting the ball once, then finishing off the hole with a slam dunk. Even so, this is the place that started my son’s love for miniature golf.

Alligator Alley

Alligator Alley

Just a few minutes north of Gulf Shores is Alligator Alley. Alligator Alley is an alligator refuge, a home to hundreds of alligators of all ages, and a dream for reptile-loving children like my own. We tossed alligator food to the babies, held a 1-year-old alligator, and watched mature alligators wrestle for a large hunk of meat. Then, we took a loop around the swamp area to look for their most famous alligator, Captain Crunch. While I still don’t want to meet one of these creatures in the wild, seeing them in this habitat was an experience I won’t soon forget.

A taste of the Alabama Gulf Coast

The Food

One of the things I’ll remember most about our trip was the taste of the Alabama Gulf Coast. From fresh oysters at the Original Oyster House to stuffed French toast at Brick and Spoon, the Gulf Coast has its own flavor, and it’s a delicious one. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach restaurants aren’t just famous for their food. They’re also famous for their fun. Try out Lulu’s or The Hangout if you’re looking for family-friendly restaurants where kids can play while the adults eat and watch.

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