If you are a first time vacationer on the Alabama Gulf Coast… WELCOME! To get the most out of your vacation, we think there are a few things you must do. Besides the traditional sunbathing, sandcastles and swimming (which we FULLY support,) these are five of our Gulf “must-dos” for newcomers:
There are lots of great ways to enjoy the teeming waters of the Gulf. You can charter a fishing boat. On near-shore trips, you might find trout, flounder, redfish and black drum. Or, a deeper sea trip brings you close to snapper, amberjack, grouper, kingfish, and cobia. You can also cast off from shores, jetties and public piers for some near-shore fish. If you love seafood, but prefer for someone else to catch it, check out our seafood restaurant guide here!
Walk, bike, run, or rollerblade within the 15 miles of beautiful, mostly-shaded trails of Gulf State Park. There is so much to enjoy about this trail system. Get some exercise, view wildlife, or just enjoy the beauty of the park. There is a playground, several bodies of water, a butterfly garden, benches, lookout points, and even a restaurant on the trail.
These restaurants have a special aura around them and we think you need to visit at least one of them. They are deep rooted in the history of the Alabama Gulf Coast. The Flora-Bama is a famous beach-front bar and restaurant, with five live music stages and some pretty famous events, including the Mullet Toss. The Hangout was a staple to Gulf Shores culture in the 50’s and 60’s, and was rebuilt in the early 2000s. It is a restaurant better known for live music and the Hangout Music Festival. And then there is Lulu’s, owned by Gulf Coast native Lucy Buffett (sister of Jimmy Buffett.) You will enjoy an island feel at this restaurant, with live music, outdoor activities and a fun food menu.
The Shark at Souvenir City
While there are plenty of places to get a pet hermit crab, a neon t-shirt, or a pair of flip-flops, this one has a fantastic photo-op. Kids (and adults) will love walking through the shark’s mouth at Souvenir City in Gulf Shores and you will be happy you brought your camera.
Visit the Wharf
Enjoy family fun activities like a ferris wheel, frequent events and movies at The Wharf. Dine at one of the many delicious restaurants. We love coffee at The Southern Grind and dinner at Villaggio Grille. Attend a concert at the amphitheater. Or, shop at one of the many local stores in the complex.
There is so much to explore here on the Gulf Coast! We hope you enjoy this spring and discover your own favorites!
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