1. The beaches ARE family-friendly...yes, really
If you have troublesome visions of wild college kids and party-central spring break at the beach, you can put those worries away. The Gulf Shores and Orange Beach community caters to laid-back family vacationers and not large groups of college students looking to kick up their heels. They welcome all visitors who respect the beaches and their fellow beach-loving guests looking to put their toes in the sand.
With their easy beach access and amenities, Condos and vacation rental houses are two of the most popular lodging options for families. In addition, during March and select days in April, alcoholic beverages are banned from the beach.
And that’s just fine.
2. Easy to Get To
Alabama’s beaches are popular vacation spots for people all across the Southeast. When I visited in August 2019, I met people from across Alabama, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. What I loved about visiting with the tourists in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is that the same family groups come here year after year.
If you’re coming from another part of the country like I am - I live in Texas, and it’s about a 10-hour drive - it’s easy to fly in. Mobile Regional Airport is about an hour away, and Pensacola International Airport is a little less than an hour. Various shuttles and car rental options are available from the airports.
3.Breathtakingly Beautiful Beaches
I grew up thinking our Texas Gulf Coast beaches were what the beach looked like. I don’t mean to knock Texas, and I enjoy living here...but our beaches aren’t the most attractive.
They’ll get you your beach fix if that’s what you’re looking for, but in my opinion, the sugar-white sands and turquoise waters of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are worth the extra distance. When my kids and I were on a dolphin cruise with Cetacean Cruises, we met a couple from our hometown. True story! When I asked if they ever went to Port Aransas or South Padre Island destinations (our nearby beaches), they shook their heads and said, “The beaches here in Alabama are just better.”
It’s true. Sorry, Texas. Don’t kick me out.
If you’ve ever been to the Caribbean or looked at a vacation brochure or website, you know what I mean when I talk about those stunning turquoise waters. This beautiful scenery is super easy to access, and you don’t need a passport or an international flight to enjoy them.