Cabin porch at Gulf State Park

How to Have a Successful Workation in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

“Leave the work at home because you’re on vacation!” It seems like a lifetime ago those words of wisdom were so very important.

But with an ever-increasing number of people working remotely, the idea of bringing work to the vacation is becoming more popular. It’s called a workation – and this is how to have a successful workation in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Tips for a Successful Workcation

Pool at Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, AL

The key to a successful workation is finding a balance between work and vacation. It doesn’t have to be a 50/50 split, but you should have specific work goals you want to accomplish before heading out on vacation. To establish that balance, you need to set a routine – determine your most productive time of day, block off that time for work, and then build a vacation around it. 

A successful workation starts with the right type of accommodations. Consider booking a condo or renting a beach house. You’ll have all the comforts of home and the ability to establish a dedicated workspace – the dining room table, a private bedroom, or the most comfortable seat in the living room. 

Booking a Gulf-front resort just might be the best type of workation accommodation. Resorts feature all the same comforts of home and the ability to establish a workspace, but you’ll also have easier access to vacation amenities. Swimming pools and lazy rivers, on-site restaurants, and beach chair rentals – if you’re not workationing alone, will give everyone else something fun to do while you’re pounding on the keyboard. 

Taking small breaks from work is essential to maintaining productivity. Step through the sliding glass door and plop onto the plush wicker furniture. A gentle breeze cools the air on the covered balcony. The motion of the turquoise Gulf water is almost hypnotizing. Okay, break time is overtime to finish your work! 

Eating out every meal can be costly. But, most especially for a workation, it can be time-consuming. Plan to utilize the fully equipped kitchen in rental units and prepare a few meals for yourself. Go one step further in saving time using The Beach Moms – a concierge service that will shop for your groceries, stock the kitchen in your rental unit, and even coordinate some of your vacation activities. 

The best destination for a successful workation has accommodations in a centrally located area surrounded by everything you want to enjoy.

Gulf State Park – the pinnacle of Alabama’s state park system – creates a natural boundary between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The park features a fishing and education pier, interpretive center, and public beach access. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is a series of paved paths and elevated boardwalks spanning 28+ miles throughout the park. Take advantage of the free bike share program to explore these trails or head out on foot for a leisure hike.ds

Couple dining at LuLu's in Gulf Shores, AL

Did you pack the golf clubs? Visit a Gulf Shores golf course and stretch your legs with a game. Did you pack the family instead? Try one of the miniature golf courses for an evening of family fun on quirky courses with dinosaurs, waterfalls, and ice cream! Even better, take everyone to The Track Family Fun Park for mini-golf, go-kart racing, and an arcade – or head over to Waterville USA for an afternoon of water slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools in the 20-acre park. 

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner – eventually, you’ll eat out. Seafood, of course, is the local staple and often made with fresh catch seafood directly from the Gulf. But you’ll also find an assortment of other foods like bakeries, coffee shops, dessert restaurants, and one excellent brewery. Time dinner just right, and you’re almost certain to catch live music filling the air with exuberance throughout the night.

Eager to get on that beautiful turquoise water? Boating, diving, kayaking – there are many ways to enjoy a water activity in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. If you’d rather take it easy and let someone else do all the work, consider a dolphin cruise

Shorter, less exhausting vacation activities are best for a workation. If you’re still tired or sore the next day, it will impact your productivity. But it’s interesting how the salt-tinged atmosphere, waving palm trees, and sunny skies always seem to restore energy levels – it’s like those beaches were meant for workations.

The subtropical climate of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach makes it a year-round destination. The best times to visit for a workation are the shoulder seasons of late spring and early fall. During those times, the local restaurants and attractions will be open, but you won’t have to wait long.

What is the best length of time for a workation? Weekend getaways are too short to establish a good routine, and weeks at a time lead to a dramatic shift in the balance. The Goldilocks Zone of workations is one or two weeks – just the right amount of time to set a routine, accomplish work goals, and enjoy a vacation. 

What would you do with a two-week workation in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach? 


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