Gulf Shores Things To Do
Gulf Shores Things to Do: The Beaches
But first let’s talk about the beach. The snow white beaches are among the world’s best. Dr. Beach, environmental scientist Stephen Leatherman, has consistently rated neighboring Perdido Key, Florida, among the top 20 beaches in the nation. That world class beach doesn't stop at the Alabama line. The beaches are as snowy white on the Alabama side of the state line.
It’s easy to enjoy the best of our beaches. There are many lodging options where the beach would be just a few steps from your patio. At the public beaches the parking lots are just a few steps from the beach.
Boats can be chartered for deep sea fishing or guides can be used for back bays. The Gulf of Mexico, bays, lagoons, and the Intracoastal Canal offer first-rate fishing. Orange Beach is the red snapper capital of the world, but that’s just one of the species that you can easily catch here.
Some visitors to the coast have no interest in fishing, but they enjoy seeing what others have caught. Call some of the marinas and ask when the charter fishing boats are scheduled to arrive after a day of fishing. The size, quantity and variety of fish that are caught in the Gulf of Mexico are amazing. Bring your camera.
Surf fishing is easy – all you need is the right rig and bait and you will probably catch fish.
You should make sure you visit the Gulf State Park Pier. Fishing is great on the pier, and you should vist it even if you don’t plan on fishing.
If you enjoy freshwater fishing, you might like to spend some time in Gulf State Park at Lake Shelby. The park is also a good place to cookout and picnic. A nice change of pace from the beach, the Lake Shelby section is very easy to access from the beach highway.
Gulf Shores Things to Do: Boating
If fishing isn’t for you, you might like a boat ride. There are many boating options. If you want to relax on the water, you could rent a pontoon boat. Pontoon boats open the door to many opportunities for enjoying the water. You could anchor the boat near one of the islands in Perdido Pass and wade to the shore to swim, sunbathe, cookout, or just enjoy the scenery and activity (on pretty summer days, there is plenty of the latter). Fishing might not be your thing but if others in your party enjoys it, a pontoon boat is roomy enough for them to fish and the rest of your party to do something else.
If you want to get close to nature and possibly a little wet, rent a kayak. On the back bays, you can go just about anywhere with a kayak, and see things that would be next to impossible to see any other way. You can sometimes get your kayak up close to dolphins and big wading birds building their nests.
If you like your watercraft more fast and furious rent a jet ski. They are easy to rent and easy to operate. This is something that most everyone would enjoy, albeit at varying speeds. At high speeds or in the wrong places, jet skis can be dangerous, so be careful.
If you are more adventuresome you can paddle your kayak into the freshwater streams that feed into the bays, where you can see snakes and even alligators. If you want to get to these areas faster, rent your kayaks upstream and paddle towards the coast. This option will allow you to tour a part of the Gulf Coast that very few see while on vacation.
If small watercraft frightens you, but you still like getting on the water, consider a dolphin cruise. Most dolphin cruise services offer money back guarantees if you don’t see dolphins. You will always see dolphins though. Another “big boat” option is a dinner cruise. If you want to view dolphins while enjoy your dinner ask about the tour operator about their Sunset Dolphin/Dinner Cruise.
Gulf Shores Things to Do: Attractions and Amusements
The most popular “attraction” in the Gulf Shores area is probably the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, star of Animal Planet’s "The Little Zoo That Could." In 2012, the zoo is scheduled to move to a more spacious area farther inshore, where the animals will be safer when the next big hurricane comes ashore.
There are several amusement parks in the area that offer everything from water slides to bungee jumping. Smaller parks are good for spending as little as an hour or two, and larger ones could keep your family busy for an entire afternoon or even all day.
The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is located on Fort Morgan Road. There are 8 miles of walking trails at the refuge. Encompassing 7,000 acres and 8 miles of walking trails, you can visit Gator Lake and walk on the beaches of both Little Lagoon and the Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf Shores Things to Do: Golfing
Golfing is a major tourist draw on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Gulf Shore’s Kiva Dunes was named to Golf Digest’s list of 100 Greatest Public Courses. Golfing vacations are growing in popularity. Some serious golfers plan their vacation around their favorite sport, rather than the beach.
Gulf Shores Things to Do: The Wharf
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