Vacay Tips from a Long-Time Beach Visitor
Families, couples and even solo travelers who choose beach trips for their vacation usually have a few things in common: they love the sun, the sand and the water.
As someone who has visited Gulf Shores and Orange Beach often, I can assure you, those are all fantastic reasons to visit the area. Even more valuable, this long-time beach visitor can offer some great tips to help you plan and enjoy your next trip to Alabama’s coastal paradise.
Rainy Day Plan
Sometimes Mother Nature throws us a curve ball when visiting the beach. Truth be told, those often become my favorite days. Rainy days create an awesome opportunity to relax and do special things you may not have time to indulge in while back at home. Here are some of my favorites.
- Head over to The Wharf in Orange Beach for lots of rainy-day activities such as shopping in unique boutiques, a fantastic coffee shop, tasty restaurants, a theater (movies and rainy days are made for each other) and so much more! If there are breaks in the rain, enjoy a walk around the marina, mini golf or a Ferris wheel ride.
- Make it a spa day! Pamper yourself with salon services, massages and the like at area spas. Fusion Spa and Salon is located at The Wharf, and The Spa and Salon at the Beach Club is in the Fort Morgan area. Both are excellent and guaranteed to soothe your soul, rain or shine.
- Bring some DVDs and microwave popcorn from home or find a local Red Box for a lazy day inside. It’s also a great idea to bring along a deck of playing cards and some favorite board games in case of a weather day.
If your family loves camping, be sure to check out the Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores where there are myriad activities awaiting. There’s a golf course, tennis courts, a pool, fishing, beaches, hiking and biking. Save a little money on accommodations and enjoy the natural beauty and cool things to do at Gulf State Park.
Sometimes in a week-long stay, kids need more than the beach and the pool. Here are a couple of little extras that your family may enjoy.
- Waterville USA is a waterpark and amusement park with lots of rides and attractions. Take a relaxing lazy river ride, test your skills on the Flowrider, enjoy the wave pool or dare to plunge down a waterslide! There’s something for everyone, and even cabanas to rent.
- Families love time spent at The Track where Go-Karts, mini golf and kiddie rides are the happening things. Two tips for saving money at The Track: sign up online for email specials and purchase your rides online for BIG savings – up to 33% off regular prices.
Families love the beach during summer, but if you can sneak away during one of the shoulder seasons (bookends to summer), you can often save a lot of money! Late September and all of October prove to be incredible times to visit because the crowds have thinned out, the water is still warm, the weather is slightly cooler and the lines at favorite restaurants are gone. Also, accommodations cost less during the off season and many area attractions run specials as well.
Enjoy your beach trip even more by remembering this tip: Never pass up the opportunity to be still and watch the sunset over the water. It’s totally magical.