Courtesy of Shutterstock/ Cheryl Casey Hammock Beach at the Hangout Music Fest 2012
Gulf Shores Public Beach, June 9, 2011Gulf Shores Public Beach, June 9, 2011Gulf State Park Beach, June 27, 2011Gulf Shores Public Beach, June 27, 2011Fishing on Gulf State Park Pier, June 27, 2011Fishing on Gulf State Park Pier, June 27, 2011Gulf Shores Plantation October 27, 2011

Families will love:

  • Kid-friendly dolphin, fishing and pirate cruises
  • 32 miles of sugar-white sandy beaches
  • Welcoming Southern hospitality

Boasting 32 miles of wide, unspoiled sugar-white sandy beaches along with a delightful abundance of water sports, kid-friendly entertainment, and a friendly climate of genuine Southern hospitality, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Ala. are a natural fit for vacationing families.

Situated between Mobile, Ala. and Pensacola, Fla., and bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the ... more
Boasting 32 miles of wide, unspoiled sugar-white sandy beaches along with a delightful abundance of water sports, kid-friendly entertainment, and a friendly climate of genuine Southern hospitality, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Ala. are a natural fit for vacationing families.

Situated between Mobile, Ala. and Pensacola, Fla., and bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the south, Mobile Bay to the west, and Perdido Bay to the east -- a legendary site of Pirates and hidden treasure, the area has a rich history of sport-fishing, wildlife conservation and superlatives.

From the tallest Ferris wheel in the Southeast to the second-longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico to the largest artificial reef system in the nation, an impressive array of super-sized attractions beckon visitors. But a number of smaller venues offer major family appeal as well, like the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and the intimate and superbly run Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, known as "The Little Zoo that Could" in the inspirational Animal Planet television series.

Along with a national wildlife refuge, a historic fort, and a combination water and amusement park featuring plenty of slip-and-slide rides along with a wild roller coaster, the area offers a good number of family entertainment centers as well as kid-friendly themed cruises, from dolphin-sighting trips to a swashbuckling pirate-ship adventure.

On an excursion to the Gulf State Park Pier or on a family-friendly fishing charter, kids can experience the thrill of reeling in a big one for the first time, while spending quality time with the family. For a small fee, your captain will filet your catch for you, while back on dry land, a number of dining venues are ready to cook it up so you can enjoy a labor-free family feast.

Also known as "Pleasure Island" and "Alabama's Beautiful Beaches," the destination offers a wide range of family-friendly lodgings with options to suit a variety of tastes and vacation schedules. Choose from an array of beachfront hotels and high-rise vacation rentals.

Spring and summer months, when schools are out, are the most popular times to visit Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, bringing family-centered events along with plenty of beachfront company. May to October is prime-time for nesting sea turtles. Warm summer nights are an ideal time for hosting a nocturnal sand-crab hunt. Along with lazy days on the beach and the chance to sample Royal Red Shrimp, a regional specialty, the local tradition of searching for ghost crabs, which emerge from their nests at night, is a simple pleasure not to be missed by families.

Written by Jackie Perrin less

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Best time of our lives
by Scrumpler
We actually stayed in orange beach Alabama just a few miles toward the Florida line from gulf shores. It was amazing. It had a small town feel to it ... read more
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