Zoo Gulf Shores AL

The Basics for a Back-to-School Beach Trip

In just a few short weeks, the lazy days of summer will turn into long days of school. That leaves just enough time to plan a late-summer beach bash to say hello to the fall semester. Because we know you have enough on your plate, we’ve put together a list of the basic must-do activities for a blissful back-to-school beach trip. Check them out below to show your student how far a little planning can go in creating a brighter (beachfront) future. 

4 Fun Activities That Boost Your Brain!

If your student spent most of the summer in front of a screen, get them back in the saddle with an activity that’s exciting and educational.

Fort Morgan
Fort Morgan

Tour Fort Morgan. Take a blast to the past with a guided tour of Fort Morgan, a third-system masonry fort that played a significant role in World War I, World War II, and the Spanish-American War. As you explore, you’ll learn about the evolution of seacoast defense and how the U.S. Army formed its coastal fortifications to protect the area (and the country). 

Explore The Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The fourth-largest estuary in the United States offers parents and pupils the chance to learn about more than 100 local plant and animal species as you stroll along a scenic marsh boardwalk. When you’re finished, venture inside to enjoy the educational exhibits and the stingray touch-pool! 

Try an escape room. An escape room isn’t only a test of your wits but teaches teamwork and critical thinking skills (while being a whole lotta’ fun). Gulf Coast Escape Room offers four themed adventures that put your family to the test as you find clues and solve puzzles to escape in under 60 minutes. 

Gets some hands-on animal education at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Your family can wander among the enclosures, getting live looks at everything from tigers and giraffes to mischievous monkeys and regal reptiles. When you’re done, be sure to book a special animal encounter for the chance to snuggle a sloth or kiss a kangaroo. 


School Shopping

The Wharf Orange Beach AL
The Wharf

If you still need to purchase your school supplies, take a break from the beach and hit up the great stores in and near Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Send your student back to school in style.

Wander The Wharf. If your student likes to make a statement, head to The Wharf to browse boutique shops full of unique accessories. You might even get ahead on your gifts for teacher appreciation week! While away the afternoon as you make fantastic finds in jewelry, handbags, clothing, and more.

Take a trip to Tanger Outlets in nearby Foley to shop everything you need to send your students back in style. With more than 120 brand-name and designer stores in one central place, you’ll have no problem finding shoes, clothing, and accessories to suit even your pickiest pupil.

Get your bag at Geez Louise. This sweet southern store is one of the only Gulf Shores’ boutiques that carry bags and backpacks from the iconic Vera Bradley.

Find The Perfect Family Meal

The Hangout Gulf Shores AL

Let’s face it - your students won’t get many gourmet choices in the school cafeteria. Send off the summer with a few days of delicious meals from one of these kid-approved restaurants.

The Hangout. Head to the hangout for delicious food and tons of family fun. This 2.5-acre restaurant features a full menu of fan favorites, a courtyard full of kid-friendly games and activities, live music, beach access, and so much more. 

Sunliner Diner. Treat your kids to a taste of American culture at this fun 1950s diner. Crank up classic tunes on the jukebox, connect over cheeseburgers and cherry pie, and finish it off with a shake.

Lucy Buffet’s LuLu’s. You can’t say goodbye to summer without a last hoorah at LuLu’s. This iconic restaurant serves up spectacular meals and fun family memories in a wonderful waterfront venue that includes an arcade, a three-story climbing course, multiple live music stages, and more.

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