Couples Beach Getaway in Gulf Shores

A Couple’s Itinerary for Three Days in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

By Rosemary Palmer, My Home and Travels

When my husband and I started thinking about a beach getaway, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach came to mind for several reasons.  It’s actually one of the best beaches less than eight hours from our home, we haven’t been in years, and so many friends kept raving about it we decided to head almost straight South for us. 

The Alabama Gulf Coast did not disappoint! We enjoyed an itinerary that let us get to know the area, and can’t wait to do it again. Read on to get the details on a fun-filled itinerary for two. 
 

Day 1

I’m a planner – maybe not every minute of the trip, but I like to check things out ahead of time, so I don’t feel like we missed out on any fun.

The Yard Milkshake Bar

As with many trips, a stop at the welcome center is a must.  I’m old school and love having the free brochures, local maps, and information on everything I would need in hand.  I also find the locals working there know a few secrets not advertised! Even with all the planning and scouring the internet, there’s always something I miss. 

The next stop was a place I was told was a must-try – The Yard Milkshake Bar.  It’s a locally owned ice cream shop that has expanded to several more locations after its appearance on Shark Tank.  We went mid-day, during the week, and it wasn’t crowded.  I’ve seen friend’s pictures where they have waited for an hour.  But trust me, it would be worth the wait. The massive milkshakes are the specialty and are quite a masterpiece, being topped with anything from full-size brownies, loads of whipped cream, and my husband’s favorite – a cupcake.   

Part of the reason for our trip was a celebration of my husband’s birthday.  With the help of The Beach Moms concierge service, I surprised my husband with a delicious cake and balloons.  They will even stock your refrigerator or make plans for you. It’s a great service and time saver.

With a brief rest and getting over those milkshakes, we headed to The Wharf in Orange Beach, a large entertainment district where you'll enjoy activities like shopping, dining, and even a Ferris wheel. Be sure to stick around for the nightly SPECTRA Laser Light Experience. It’s a free event, so that makes it great on any budget.

We chose Mile Marker 158 for dinner, which included a juicy burger and house-made chips.  Along with the meal, you can enjoy watching boats come in from a day on the water, live music on the deck, or even catch a glimpse of the Ferris wheel in the distance.  

Day 2

Safari Club at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Knowing day two was full of activities, and since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we headed back to The Wharf for a stop at The Southern Grind Coffee House. When I see quiche on the menu, it’s always calling my name. Pairing it with fresh fruit makes it healthy, right? My husband went for a Belgian waffle and bacon, and gave a huge thumbs up for his choice.

An extra attraction I didn’t plan on was a classic car show going on that weekend.  Who doesn’t love to walk around and dream of owning one of these beauties?  I could see myself driving down the highway along the Gulf Coast in a convertible!  

The next stop was the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo to see some amazing wildlife. I was able to sign up for the kangaroo encounter. The encounter couldn’t have been more fun and rewarding. One of the smallest kangaroos was more awake than the others and loved the attention I could give her, especially rubbing under her chin. 

After seeing more of our favorite animals such as lemurs, lions, tigers, and bears, oh my, it was off to see the giraffes. They are such beautiful and graceful animals.  We even met “Kevin Bacon,” a resident pig who became famous during the pandemic on YouTube.

My husband is a huge key lime pie fan, and we had been told the best in town was at the Safari Club, which happens to be at the Zoo. It was hard to choose off the extensive menu at the first Green-certified Restaurant in Alabama, but finally we ordered a Margherita wood grilled pizza and a few drinks.  It was a perfect day for sitting on the patio and enjoying our lunch with a view of the zoo.  This was one of the best pizza’s I’ve had, and to think we ate lunch at the zoo!  Oh, and the Key Lime Pie passed the test for being tasty.

We had a reservation for the Orange Beach Cat Boat Tours. Unlike other tours, you get to drive your own two-person boat along in the back bays of Orange Beach.  Sitting lower to the water gives you the best view of spotting dolphins if you keep an eye out for them.  Watch for others pointing, and you will know there’s something to see.   

Next, we had a little rest and beach time before heading out to Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina. A little more upscale than a typical beachside place, I loved the white tablecloths and candles for a nice night out. I had to try the shrimp and okra gumbo. It was made with Andouille Sausage from Main Street Meats, right here in Chattanooga.  It was a great choice, and not too spicy for me. After the pork chop and brussels sprouts, we topped off dinner with a chocolate dome with warm raspberry sauce.   
 

Day 3

Sunliner Diner Breakfast

We started the day with a hearty breakfast at Sunliner Diner. Here, the food is as classic as the atmosphere. All your favorite breakfast items are served up along with a healthy portion of nostalgia. They also offer delicious diner favorites for lunch and dinner, as well. It can be busy so prepare for a wait, but ours wasn’t too long, even on the weekend.  

It was time for a drive over to Historic Fort Morgan, about 30 minutes from Gulf Shores proper, but well worth the drive.  Not being a big history person, I still enjoyed the Fort and how so much history was made here. Fort Morgan played a part in the Civil War and in both World Wars. It’s a great place to walk around, let the kids run free, and pretend to shoot a cannon.

After a full morning, lunch was the topic of conversation. We picked up a plate of seafood from Doc’s Seafood and had a little picnic on the balcony. 

We are a bit more low key in our favorite things, such as walking and people watching.  No better spot to do this than the pier at The Gulf State Park. Walking out over the water’s edge and seeing the larger waves is relaxing.  Fishing is a popular pastime at the pier, so it was fun to watch.

For our last dinner in Orange Beach , a little more seafood was in order. Bubba’s Seafood House was just a few miles from our condo and it looked cute. Isn’t that how you choose a place to eat? After checking the menu online and seeing their wide selection, off we went.  As you are waiting for your table, take advantage of the oversized Adirondack chairs for that perfect Instagram moment. The steamed and grilled platter was enough to share after having an order of onion rings with their house-made ranch dressing, which is also sold there. 

After a moonlit stroll on the beach, it was time for the least favorite part of any trip – packing up to go home. But also leaving with lots of great memories and planning “the next time” we come.

START PLANNING YOUR GULF SHORES & ORANGE BEACH VACATION

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