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Travel

Gulf Shores, Alabama: Beautiful beaches and plenty to do make this an ideal vacation destination

It’s the sugar-white sand beaches that are most captivating.

Or maybe it’s the mint-green water, so clear you can see the clean white sandy bottom. Or the wonderful seafood caught fresh in the Gulf of Mexico hours before your meal. Or the fact that it’s just a short distance to Mobile, Ala. Whatever your reason for choosing this fabulous vacation area, Gulf Shores, Ala.,  is a great choice.

There are plenty of places to stay in Gulf Shores, but I recommend the beautiful Perdido Beach Resort. Located right on Orange Beach, this resort has a variety of room sizes, most of which offer a view of the water so gorgeous you may never leave your balcony. You can’t go wrong with any of the views, but the corner rooms with a view of the Gulf and the Pass where boats head out to the bay were our favorite. The resort also has a lovely pool area and two restaurants, one casual and one for fine dining. Plan on indulging in the breakfast buffet every morning at the Café Palm Breeze. Visit the omelet bar or have a waffle fresh off the waffle maker.

You will want to spend plenty of time on the beautiful, private beach and lounge by the pool area in the glorious Alabama sun, but make time to shop at the Tanger Outlet Mall in nearby Foley. With hundreds of outlet stores, including Coach, Jones New York and Nike, it’s a great place to while away the afternoon.

After a day at the mall, head to Lucy Buffett’s restaurant (she’s Jimmy Buffett’s sister) in Gulf Shores. Allow plenty of time for Lulu’s because you may have a long wait, but it’s definitely worth it. You’ll find lots of activities to occupy the whole family while you wait. These include a three-story rope-climbing apparatus, sand volleyball, a gift shop, a live band and a sand area with pails and shovels for the kids, as well as face-painting and special events. But it’s the food that really makes Lulu’s special. Try the onion rings for an appetizer – make sure you share because it’s a huge portion – and a fried fish and shrimp basket for dinner.

Mobile, only a little more than an hour away from Gulf Shores, has a variety of activities for every member of the family. We enjoyed a historic tour of the city with Bay City Convention and Tours that included some lovely neighborhoods with famous live oaks, and we marveled at the gorgeous flowers in Bellingrath Gardens. You can also tour the U.S.S. Alabama battleship and visit one of the city’s many museums.

In the evening, head back to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for dinner at the Voyagers restaurant at the Perdido. Order a steak so tender you can cut it with your fork and enjoy that incredible view of white sand and pale green water. And feel yourself just completely relax. Isn’t that what a beach vacation is really all about?

By Jan Ross, Staff Writer
About the Author: Jan Ross is a freelance writer specializing in travel. You can contact Jan at kentuckygal53@gmail.com with comments or suggestions for article topics.

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