The best Mother’s Day gift I’ve received was our recent trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama. Some of you may think that sounds crazy or selfish, but look, moms get tired. And sometimes, moms want to spend some time away with dad.
When my husband asked if we could get away for that particular week, the only answer was a definite yes.
We desperately needed some time away from the hustle and bustle of being a moving and grooving kind of family.
Psalm 95:5-6 The sea that he made belongs to him, along with the dry land that his hands formed. Come! Let us worship and bow down; let us kneel in the presence of the Lord, who made us.
There is no doubt that standing by the ocean will put you in awe of our Lord and savior, and our Creator. The masterpiece that is this Earth is so wondrous that it can steal your breath away. Visiting the ocean is a recharge for me.
I’m excited this is our first travel review. When we arrived at our condo I was pleasantly surprised and excited. Our check in and directions were easy to follow. I appreciate the security of the facility.
It is a perfect size for a week’s stay. It’s not too overwhelmingly large and not too tiny. We had fresh linens and a bottle of red wine waiting for us. The condo smelled amazing and there was light music to fill the empty space when we stepped in.
It was clean and comfortable. But most importantly, the view is spectacular from this particular unit. Every window has an ocean view.
You cannot ask for a better spot in Gulf Shores to watch the sun sink down into the horizon. Every single evening was a cotton candy sky that faded into a burnt array of color. The temperature was perfect in the evening to sit and listen to the families still playing in the pool.
We were able to visit Alligator Alley which is a short drive north and I was so blown away by their commitment to conservation and to their guest experience. This wasn’t a novelty stop and that is always important to me when we visit places on vacation that support wildlife conservation.
Our mornings were spent on the deck watching our fellow beach goers as they lugged their gear down for a day at the shoreline. The newly installed deck makes it an easy and safe trek across the dunes, which are restricted entry as to not disturb the summer turtles. It is perfect for that first cup of coffee. There is a Keurig and a regular pot. We shopped for all of our breakfast essentials and beverages at a local Wal-Mart. But there are also 2 tiny beach convenience stores not too far. We had no problem finding the little things we needed like pickles or extra sunscreen because they are a short drive either way.
We drove to the end of the peninsula to visit Fort Morgan and it did not disappoint. If you are a history buff I highly recommend this experience. It was incredible to see the rich history connected to our nation preserved so beautifully at the Fort.
There is so much to do at The Wharf and they have awesome shopping!
Top 10 Things To Do:
10. Visit the USS Alabama We stopped on our way to our condo. The admission fee was reasonable. Wear comfy shoes because there are climbing nooks and crannies and your feet will thank you. Also, sunscreen those babies!
9. Eat at Picnic Beach– they offer fresh ingredients and a great selection of games for families. This was my favorite meal while on vacation. They have turf flooring so you can rest your toes too.
8. Ride the Big Wheel at The Wharf– $5! You can’t beat that price! The ride was lengthy and the view was incredible. *price at the time of our visit, this may change with the season*
7. Go to The Hangout-tons of souvenir shops and places to eat. You might even catch a great music festival! You can walk the beach here and you can shop. It was quiet when we went because they were preparing for the huge music festival! There is pizza, ice cream, drinks, and much more all within walking distance.
6. Have air brushed personalized hats or tee-shirts made at a local Christian business called Fric & Frac. Our kids loved the unique souvenir that is so different from the normal stuff you find on vacay. There are so many designs and things to choose from, and it’s ready…super fast! We orderd 5 hats and 1 tee shirt and it was done within an hour. These are high quality air brushed products. We walked away with a volleyball, Pokemon, Zelda, and 2 Star Wars caps that our kids loved! If you are looking to buy one high quality souvenir, this is it for the $$.
5. Visit Fort Morgan. Bring your own snacks and water and plan on spending at least 2 hours there. There is SO much to see from the Fort itself to watching the endangered nesting Osprey on the tower. As well as water fowl and little sunbathing lizards. Wear secure shoes. I would not suggest flip flops of slide on sandals. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
3. Enjoy night swim’s in the condo pools. Or enjoy a dip in the hot tub. The hot tub doesn’t allow for children under the age of 14. That is nice if you are visiting without your kiddos.
2. Visit Alligator Alley. You should plan to spend about 2 or 3 hours here. You wouldn’t want to miss a show or the boardwalk into their amazing swamp. You can purchase buckets of nutritional pellets for the gators to munch on and we truly enjoyed the hands on experience. The educators are kind and patient and amazing with children. If you have small children be sure to pack a stroller in case their little legs get tired of walking. They have really cool souvenirs in their gift shop too.
- ENJOY THE BEAUTIFUL BEACHES. We are beach bums at heart. My husband and I have traveled all over the world. We’ve been to some of the most amazing beaches you can make it to. We truly enjoyed our experience at the condo and our gracious host has become someone we will now turn to for our future trips down to the Gulf. Soak up the sunshine, enjoy the marine life, and make memories that last. Vacations are essential for the health of a family and we will be returning with children, *cough*, teenagers in tow. While walking the beach we encountered sting rays, dolphins, crabs and many types of sea bird. Drop me a message on Facebook or Instagram and let me know how you enjoyed your stay. Things to pack for the beach: cooler, sand toys, be sure and purchase an umbrella at a local store to save yourself money, bottled water, floaties, flashlights for crabbing at night, and sunscreen! If you can find a cheap sand cart and have the room-pack it! Don’t forget to take your flip flops down with you because the boardwalk can be hot on tiny toes.
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