5 reasons Birmingham families are flocking to Gulf Shores now

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Pure fun only found at the beach. Photo via Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism

As the world reopens around us, summer vacations are eagerly being planned. The first place on my family’s travel list—Gulf Shores, Alabama. From sandy white beaches to a never-ending list of activities, it’s the ultimate place for young families to vacation. And we’re not alone. Find out why Birmingham families are flocking to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and why yours should, too.

1. It provides entertainment in one beautiful spot.

Fun + sun in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Photo via Patience Itson for Bham Now

As soon as my family pulls up to our beach rental, we drop off our bags and hit the sand. The No. 1 reason Birmingham families love the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is because they provide all-in-one entertainment.

Parents can lounge on the beach and relax with a drink, kids can build sand castles and splash in the water. As long as you have towels, sunscreen and a cooler for food and drinks, the fam can stay in one spot all day and always be entertained.

2. Your crew’s wild side can escape.

Adorable animals can be found at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Photo via Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism

A few days away from home with your better half can be amazing. But when you throw in kids, family and in laws, it’s easy to feel like you’re surrounded by wild animals. 

Need an idea to tame your crew of wildlings? I suggest a trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

If you love The Birmingham Zoo with its vibrant flamingos and hilarious sea lions, you’ll love the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. It features over 199 species and 31 subspecies; it’s also a haven for many endangered animals. My favorite is always the lions, but for your wild bunch, you may want to check out the monkeys. 

3. Dinner is FINALLY simple.

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism
What’s your go-to beach meal? Photo via Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism

As a parent, I’d say 90% of each day involves food. Buying it, making it, eating it… it takes an abundance of time. During your trip to the beach, use it as a vacation from the kitchen and check out the local Gulf Shores and Orange Beach food scene.

I know what you’re thinking, we Birminghamians are used to a glorious food scene with an abundance of restaurants and top chefs. Well, bring your appetite to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach because the area offers an amazing foodie scene, too. 

Whether you opt to go out or order in, local restaurants and eateries offer everything from pizza and tacos to that must-have beach meal—fresh seafood. 

4. You can get your nature fix.

Gulf State Park
From sea shells to sea creatures, you’ll always discover something interesting at the Gulf State Park. Photo via Gulf State Park’s Facebook

Birminghamians may love to eat, but there’s something else we love just as much, and that’s being outdoors. State parks are one of my family’s favorite outdoor spots when visiting the beach, and they should go on your fam’s vacation bucket list, too—especially one as cool as Gulf State Park.

Here are a few of the exciting things it offers:

  • Birding
  • Fishing
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking + Biking Trails
  • Wildlife

Gulf State Park even has a number of restaurants and concession stands on site. Remember when I mentioned that parenting is 90% food? You’re welcome!

5. Adventure is everywhere.

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism
From kayaks to paddle boards, adventure is a splash away at the beach. Photo via Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism

Let me fill you in on a not-so-secret secret: I’m a major homebody. If you’re wondering how major a homebody, let’s just say that hunkering down during the pandemic didn’t faze me.

But, when I go on vacation, my often-dormant adventurous side loves to break free. And wow does it feel good! If your family catches the adventure bug while vacationing, the beach is the ultimate place to score some thrills.

Before you read the activities available in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, I suggest you grab a cold drink because this list is fire:

  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle boarding
  • Parasailing
  • Snorkeling
  • Ziplining

FYI, these are just some of the activities Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer. Find more thrills here.

Ready to pack those bags?

To plan the ultimate family getaway this summer, check out Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism for all you need to know. You can also follow them on social via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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