When most people head to the beach, they usually make plans to lie on the beach and stick their toes in the ocean. That’s fine, but why not make it unforgettable? Here is a sample itinerary that includes activities and restaurants to try that will make your next Gulf Shores and Orange Beach vacation memorable.
Head to Gulf Shores. Be aware that if you take the Beach Express, it is a toll road. (For two axels, the cost is $3.50.) Unload your belongings at your house/condo/hotel and spend a little time breathing in the fresh ocean air. After all, you are at the beach.
For dinner, head to The Wharf at Orange Beach. Before eating do a little shopping, watch a movie, or ride the Ferris wheel. There are several restaurants from which to choose. For upscale dining, you can’t go wrong with Villaggio Grille.
Blackened Black Drum at Villaggio Grille
After dinner, enjoy the SPECTRA light show. The free shows take place on Main Street every night at 7:30, 8:00 and 8:30 pm.
Experience the Gulf of Mexico from the deck of a double catamaran via Wild Hearts. The day begins early as you hop on board and enjoy a light breakfast, followed by a trip along the coast as you sail to Pensacola to watch the famed Blue Angels practice. Lunch is included, as well as soda and water. (Click here to read more about trip on the Wild Hearts.) On your return trip, be sure to be on the look out for dolphins.
Blue Angels practicing in the Gulf of Mexico
For dinner, head to the ultra hip restaurant, The Gulf. Constructed of shipping containers, The Gulf serves delicious fare made from seasonal and local ingredients. It’s a great place to chill out with a drink and to enjoy the sun setting over the beach.
The Gulf is a popular place to eat, so be prepared to wait in line to order your food. Take note that the music you are hearing is from a curated vinyl collection. (That’s right – from records.)
Fried Fish Sandwich with a side of French Fries
For today, you will need to fuel up with a hearty breakfast to keep you going. On today’s agenda is The Ruby Slipper in Orange Beach where it is certain you won’t leave hungry. The Ruby Slipper serves southern breakfasts that have a dash of New Orleans flair.
The Southern Breakfast at The Ruby Slipper
To burn off some of those delicious calories you had at the Ruby Slipper, head over to Beach Bike Rentals on Perdido Beach Boulevard.
On your way pick up some bottles of water to keep you hydrated as you cruise along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail where you might see some native wildlife.
After your mid-morning workout, satisfy your well-earned appetite with lunch at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores. Crowd favorites include L.A. (Lower Alabama) Caviar for starters and fried shrimp baskets. Enjoy your favorite beverage and watch boats coast along the Intercoastal Waterway.
Fried Shrimp Basket at LuLu’s
Next up is the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Yes, there’s a zoo in Gulf Shores – it’s the “little zoo that could.” It’s home to over 500 exotic animals. Ever want to pet a kangaroo or play with a lemur? The Alabama Gulf Coast offers encounters with some of their residents for an additional charge.
Return back to your room and get cleaned up because tonight’s dinner at Voyager’s will be spectacular. Voyager’s is located in the Perdido Beach Resort and serves sophisticated meals in an upscale environment. What really sets Voyager’s apart is chef Brody Olive, founder of the NUISANCE Group, an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to foods that are overlooked but nonetheless delicious.
Enjoy one last hurrah at the beach at Brick & Spoon in Orange Beach. Travel & Leisure listed them as serving one of the Top 10 Breakfasts in the US. Enjoy a custom made-to-order Bloody Mary like the one pictured above (if you are 21 years old or older) and take some time to reflect on what a wonderful time you had in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
Have more time? Be sure to visit the official website for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach at www.GulfShores.com where you will find listings of events, delicious places to eat, and fun things to do. Also, don’t forget to book your accommodations before you head to the beach. Meyer Vacation Rentals can help you find a home or condominium that’s right for you.