Bring your family to the Alabama Gulf Coast

04/04/2014  | 

The transformation begins the moment your toes touch our sugar-white sand and you hear the sound of waves lapping the shore. Suddenly, you’re in a whole different state of connection. Life seems to slow down, senses are magnified and families are strengthened in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

The Alabama Gulf Coast’s 32 miles of pristine white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise water set the scene for memories that last a lifetime. There’s nothing more relaxing than playing in the sand and surf, but the fun doesn’t stop there. When you’re ready to venture off the beach, you’ll find a wide variety of activities and attractions for all interests and ages.

Adventurers will flock to the Hummingbird Ziplines’ mile-long zip course, or thrill in the plunge of a water slide at Waterville USA. Take a go-cart for a spin, play a round of mini golf or experience an animal encounter at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Take to the sky on one of the Southeast’s largest Ferris Wheels, parasail over the Gulf of Mexico, or take a helicopter tour. Explore the many trails for walking and biking, take a dolphin cruise, or observe the banding of migratory birds on their return from Central and South America.

Hit the links on one of the many great area golf courses, designed by some of the best names in golf; reel in the big one on a full- or half-day fishing charter; or dive below the surface and explore Alabama’s first whole-ship diving reef, the LuLu. Step back in time at historic Fort Morgan, celebrating this year with special events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the battle of Mobile Bay and Siege of Fort Morgan, highlighted in August with a re-enactment, demonstrations and fireworks display.

Party on the sand in May at the Hangout Music Festival; enjoy fresh local seafood, art, crafts and entertainment at the Annual National Shrimp Festival in October; or kick up your heels when nearly 200 songwriters perform at multiple venues during the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival in November.

Seafood is the centerpiece of dining in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and an abundance of restaurants from casual to upscale feature the fresh, local seafood the area is known for. Families will love the variety of restaurants from open-air to beach front, many with live entertainment and children’s play areas.

No trip to the beach would be complete without a souvenir or two and you’re sure to find that something special at one of the area’s many specialty shops and boutiques. Serious shoppers will delight in the bargains and selection of name brand retailers at the nearby Tanger Outlet center.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer a vast selection of accommodations from beach front condos and branded hotels to private beach houses and full service resorts, with accommodations to fit any budget. With so many choices, you’re sure to find the perfect place to make memories and reconnect.

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