Gulf Shores, Alabama-A Perfect Summer Escape
Warm Gulf waters, white sandy beaches and wonderful experiences await you in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, making for a wonderful summertime escape.
Big and small, rooms with a view and then some:
There are many accommodation choices in the area, from hotels and condos to bed & breakfast spots. Condominium rentals can be a good choice for larger groups with many units offering enough bedrooms and bathrooms for everyone in your party. Turquoise Place in Orange Beach offers up luxury with finely detailed beachfront condos complete with the amenities we all appreciate, such as spa tubs, wet bar with wine refrigerator, a fully loaded kitchen, fireplace, outdoor grill and hot tub and comfy beds that you‘ll resist wanting to get out of, but do it, for the view of sunrise from your private balcony is priceless! This resort has a spa, multiple swimming pools (including a lazy river) and an exercise room.
Along a tree-lined street in nearby Magnolia Springs is where you will find classic Southern hospitality at the Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast. Featuring five guest rooms with private baths and tons of charm, the innkeeper takes pride in the service you’ll receive and you won’t start your day hungry after the three course breakfast. Twice a year, the inn participates in a Culinary Class Weekend where you’ll get your chance at preparing those fabulous meals the Gulf Coast is famous for. Other packages are available including a 45 minute flight for two on The Bird of Paradise over the Alabama Gulf Coast.
Shop til you drop:
Art lovers revel in all things unique at the Orange Beach Art Center. From one of a kind pieces of jewelry and scarves, to wonderful works of art for your home (at equally wonderful prices), this destination and its lovely setting are a great way to spend part of your day. Also on these grounds is the Art Center’s Hot Shop glass blowing studio. This is the first and only glass blowing studio in Alabama for public use and (when planned in advance) your group can work with their artist to create your own one-of-a-kind piece. What a great keepsake!
More treasures can be found at SanRoc Cay Marina. Located in Orange Beach, the marina has dining, shopping, a gallery and nightlife. Shops like Private Gallery have a large collection of trendy and classic clothing as well as accessories and shoes. So many shoes! Ocean Eddies, Too Hot Mamas and Blue Lagoon Swimwear Boutique join in the fun. Restaurants located within the Marina include Gulf Shore Steamers where you can indulge in a local favorite-Royal Red Shrimp or dive into a tasty crab cake sandwich, or maybe you are craving a gourmet pizza? Then step into Café Grazie and try the popular Grazie Pizza featuring grilled chicken, sautéed spinach and roasted red peppers.
Other shopping opportunities nearby include the Tanger Outlet in nearby Foley with popular stores including Coach Factory, LOFT Outlet and Michael Kors. The Wharf in Orange Beach which features a spa, unique boutiques, a cinema and even a Ferris Wheel!
All that shopping must have made you hungry:
Seafood is king in the Gulf and there are many independently owned restaurants to choose from laid-back casual to fine dining, it’s here and it’s delicious! Cobalt in Orange Beach has tasty food and terrific views of Perdido Pass and the sunset, the food here is unique with offerings including pistachio-wasabi encrusted tuna, Spanish paella and lobster rigatoni.
A Gulf Shores beachside favorite is the casual dining at The Hangout. Harkening back to their humble beginnings in the 1950s, The Hangout is just that, a hangout. With a diverse menu and large bar area, you’ll feel like you’re in a movie because it’s just too much fun to be real. Concerts, roaming magicians and many activities for young and not-so-young alike, it’s a great break with a great view.
Sweetie Pies will be the place to head to when you’ve finally given in to your sweet tooth! This award-winning bakery has a retro theme that makes you feel right at home and favorites like White Chocolate Pecan Pie and Peach Pie are available by the slice or grab a whole pie for later. This Gulf Shores bakery also has a deli and other tempting goodies.
Craving fun, food, and tunes all in the same place? Check out LuLu’s. Jimmy Buffett’s younger sister, Lucy, has created a restaurant that any parrot head (or even a non-parrot head) will enjoy. With great regional cuisine and live music, you’ll want to grab a margarita at the Bama Beach bar and let their cooking take your cares away. Located at the Homeport Marina.
Golfing in the Alabama Gulf Coast is a major draw for many and there are 189 holes of championship caliber golf at nine courses. Leading golf course designers-including Arnold Palmer and Bruce Devlin-have left that mark with these stunning and challenging courses.
Kiva Dunes which Golf Digest rated among the top 100 American Public Courses is located in Gulf Shores. Lessons, practice facility, pro shop and the Kiva Grill with their “half pounder” burger await you.
For a weekend, a week, or if your lucky, a bit longer, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama is a wonderful destination with crystal blue water, fabulous parks, historic sites, white sandy beaches, golfing, boating, shopping and dining choices galore. The number one attraction: relaxation! Just what I ordered!
For more information, visit www.gulfshores.com
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