Alabama’s Beaches: Pristine, Playful, Refreshing & Relaxing

We hear it all the time. “Alabama has beaches?” Why, yes, as a matter of fact. Alabama DOES have beaches—and they are some of the most stunning white-sand beaches in the world.

Our little slice of pure paradise, recognized as one of the best Gulf Coast beaches according to the Travel Channel, stretches east nearly 40 miles from Fort Morgan to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, and to Perdido Key, Florida.

Each beach community has its own distinct personality and is uniquely appealing to vacationers, making the area perfect for a quick weekend getaway, a weeklong vacation or even a month-long (or longer) stay in the wintertime.

Gulf Shores (Search Available Properties)
Gulf Shores, AlabamaWith its earliest beginnings as a sleepy beach town that was home to local fishermen, Gulf Shores today is a friendly, bustling beach community known for its welcoming locals; family-oriented amusements; variety of on- and off-beach boutiques for shopping; hiking and biking trails; Gulf State Park; and other opportunities for exploration.

One of the most popular areas is the main Gulf Shores Public Beach area, located at the intersection of Ala. Hwy. 59 and Ala. Hwy. 182, also known as the Beach Road.

Nearby, you will find the iconic Hangout Restaurant and entertainment venue, numerous large surf and beach shops, the always fun Pink Pony Pub, and several restaurants.

This main public beach entrance is also where the annual Hangout Music Fest, the National Annual Shrimp Festival, and sporting events, such as NCAA Beach Volleyball Championships, are held. With a pedestrian-friendly boardwalk, plenty of parking and green spaces, visitors are drawn to this area all year long.

Gulf Shores is also home to restaurants to suit every palate and budget, golf courses, Gulf State Park, and fun attractions like Waterville USA and The Track Family Recreation Center, to keep kids of all ages busy.

Fort Morgan (Search Available Properties)

Fort Morgan, AlabamaJust west of Gulf Shores is Fort Morgan, an area some like to call “the quiet side of paradise.”

At the end of the Fort Morgan peninsula, where Mobile Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico, is a historic Civil War fort, inviting visitors to walk where soldiers lived and worked. Go at the right time, and you might even get to hear the cannon fired and see living history actors perform the duties of soldiers and those who supported their efforts. It’s a must-see when you visit this area for sure.

Fort Morgan is also home to several laid-back seafood restaurants, beach accesses, charter fishing operations and the 6,000-acre Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, a great spot to experience nature and see coastal wildlife up close and personal.

Orange Beach (Search Available Properties)
Orange Beach, AlabamaWith its roots in fishing, Orange Beach is a fisherman’s paradise. The city is home to one of the region’s largest fleets of charter fishing boats, so it’s a breeze to book a fishing trip either on the Gulf of Mexico or in the area’s beautiful back bays.

There are also numerous dolphin, nature and even dinner cruise excursions to enjoy.

A favorite activity of locals and visitors is a boating trip out to the “islands” of Robinson Island and Boat Island. Purchased by the city of Orange Beach to protect them and the wildlife that nests there from being developed, the islands are sanctuaries for nesting birds and have sensitive grass beds. While people must avoid certain sensitive areas, there are beach areas where boaters are welcomed to dock, grill and play. On busy days, it is not uncommon to see a line of boats anchored just off the islands.

Restaurants in Orange Beach range from camp-styled seafood shacks like Doc’s to fine dining restaurants like Cobalt or Cosmo’s.

Orange Beach also features numerous amusements and beach shops for boutique browsers. Perhaps the pinnacle of entertainment is The Wharf, where restaurants, a movie theater, shops and restaurants may be explored. Also on site at The Wharf is a 10,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, where entertainers ranging from Jimmy Buffett to Alabama perform. See concert schedule here.

Perdido Key (Search Available Properties)
Perdido Key, AlabamaJust east of Orange Beach and across the Florida state line is an area known for its abundant federal and state parklands. The barrier island of Perdido Key is peaceful and consistently ranks among the nation’s top 20 beaches as named by “Dr. Beach.”

A little busier part of the Key is the spot where you’ll find the famous Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Bar, home of the annual Interstate Mullet Toss, an event that is truly unlike any other! Always held in April, this event draws thousands to the beach in front of the iconic gathering spot to toss a mullet (dead, of course) across the state line. Throw it the farthest in your category, and you win!

Other unique must-do events in Perdido Key include the Frank Brown International Songwriter’s Festival, the New Year’s Polar Bear Dip and the Perdido Key Wine Festival.

Places to explore the bountiful natural beauty of Perdido Key include Lost Key Golf Club, a designated Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary golf course, and Gulf Islands National Seashore, where you’ll find Fort Pickens and Fort McRee, which defended Pensacola Bay during the Civil War.

Whatever type of beach experience you are looking for—quiet, busy, fun-filled, focused on nature—the beaches of the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast will fill the bill.

Read more about Alabama’s Beaches.

Browse properties in Gulf Shores.

Browse properties in Fort Morgan.

Browse properties in Orange Beach.

Browse properties in Perdido Key.

Have Fun & Stay Healthy Playing Tennis At Gulf Shores Condos With Tennis Courts

A beach vacation is a perfect time for the whole family to relax, have fun, eat well and, yes, even stay fit.

One way to both have fun and stay fit is to play tennis while on vacation. A sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime because it can be played at any age regardless of ability, tennis offers many physical, social and mental benefits.

And a beach vacation is the perfect place to enjoy the sport of tennis thanks to the variety of tennis facilities available.

Physical Benefits Of Playing Tennis
When you play tennis for just one hour, men are likely to burn up to 600 calories and women up to 420. That’s because tennis provides a full-body, aerobic workout.

One of the sport’s newest trends is “cardio tennis,” a high-energy fitness activity that conditions your heart and lungs. A fun game played in a group headed up by someone who feeds players a special cardio tennis ball, cardio tennis sessions feature drills to give players of all abilities an ultimate, high-energy workout.

A typical cardio tennis program includes a short dynamic warm-up, a cardio workout and a cool-down phase. The majority of the program is the workout phases, which lasts anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes. Most of this portion includes fast-paced drills designed to feed balls to players based on ability and fitness levels.

If traditional tennis play is your preferred cardiovascular workout, traditional doubles or singles are good choices and are considered as effective as jogging or participating in an indoor cycling class.

In addition to the cardiovascular benefits of playing tennis, the game also works to strengthen legs, arms, and upper body.

Social & Mental Benefits
A recent study performed at Southern Connecticut State University tested the psychological benefits of several sports and among non-athletes. Tennis players scored higher in self-esteem, vigor, and optimism as well as lower for factors like confusion, tension, anxiety and depression.

It’s easy to motivate friends and family to play a friendly match or two during vacation since there are so many sunny days to enjoy at the beach.

More than 300 Meyer Vacation Rentals properties feature access to community tennis courts.

For properties that do not have tennis courts on site or nearby, there are public tennis courts.

The Orange Beach Tennis Center, located at 4851 Wilson Blvd., is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and features eight lighted medium speed hard courts. The on-site Pro Shop offers Wilson rackets, tennis shoes, apparel, and accessories.

The George C. Meyer Tennis Center in Gulf Shores is located at Johnnie Sims Park and is composed of six soft courts, 12 hard courts, an indoor clubhouse and a pro shop. Lighted outdoor courts are available daily until 10 p.m.

Reservations may be made 48 hours in advance.

The Perdido Key Tennis Center, located at 16880 Perdido Key Dr., is a public facility featuring 10 lighted outdoor courts.

Tennis lessons are available at these public facilities.

Click here to browse Meyer’s inventory of vacation rental properties with on-site or community tennis courts.

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