Why Families Love Alabama’s Beaches








Alabama’s beaches are consistently named among the top in the country for families with children and for budget-conscious travelers.

Alabama Beaches Are Entertaining For The Kids

TravelingMoms.com named Gulf Shores and Orange Beach among the “Best Beaches for Kids Love Alabama BeachesFamilies in the U.S.,” citing the beautiful white sand and suggesting a visit to Gulf State Park.

TravelingMom.com also named Alabama’s beaches among the top “Spring Break Vacations for Families,” citing the appeal of less crowded beaches (which make it easier to keep an eye on the kids).

Keeping kids entertained is a top priority for Meyer Vacation Rentals, with more than 270 vacation rentals offering access to a children’s pool (Here are some of our favorites). There are also several condos or attractions nearby that offer a lazy river (see videos). And, if you don’t want to leave your “furry” kids behind, there are plenty of options for dog-friendly rentalsIndoor pools are another family favorite if afternoon rain showers come into play.

Families will especially enjoy the endless activities in the area, including the new OWA amusement parkWaterville USA and the Track Family Recreation Center, among other activities.

Alabama Beaches Are Affordable

According to Time.com’s “MONEY” magazine, Alabama’s beaches are in the top most affordable vacation destinations in the United States—and the world.

“Warm green waters and soft, white-sand beaches greet you in this destination, situated at the top of the Gulf of Mexico, and a MONEY overall pick for Best in Travel 2017,” MONEY stated.

Beach volleyballSome inexpensive activities suggested by MONEY include hitting the Gulf Shores Public Beach area for a pickup game of sand volleyball or visiting Gulf State Park Pavilion for fun in the sun, scuba diving out to sunken freighter The LuLu or taking a dolphin-sighting excursion.

For vacationers watching their budget, staying in one of the following might be appropriate: a low-density complex, which is more of a low-rise type of complex and is spread out in a spacious layout; “Gulf oriented,” a property near the beach but not on the beach side of the street; or “Gulf side,” indicating a location on the beach side of the street but without a Gulf view. Waterfront properties provide the opportunity to experience a different aspect of the area, with their location on bays, lagoons or bayous.

One- and two-bedroom condos, which sleep up to 10, are another affordable option and offer a variety of views and locations along the beaches.

Plan your trip to Alabama’s family-friendly and affordable beaches by browsing Meyer’s extensive variety of vacation rentals condos and houses situated throughout a 30+-mile stretch of white-sand beach.

Fabulous Fall Festivals & Fun This October On The Gulf Coast

Visit the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast in the fall and you may find so many fun adventures you could end up staying for the whole month.

The month of October, especially, is full of opportunities to explore festivals like the Alabama Coastal Birdfest, the Festival of Flavor, the Annual National Shrimp Festival and fun fall activities like corn mazes, hayrides and pumpkin patches.

Alabama Coastal BirdFest

Alabama Coastal BirdFestBird lovers rejoice in the annual John L. Borom Alabama Coastal Birdfest, which is held every October.

In 2016, the festival will be held Wednesday, October 5, through Saturday, October 8.

On Wednesday will be a Hummingbirds Workshop, where Fred Bassett, certified master bird bander, will present an overview of hummingbirds’ habitat, food and migration and discuss how to attract hummers to your yard.

A second workshop will provide an overview of the basics of birding for those who want to enhance their experience during BirdFest and beyond.

Festival events the following days take bird lovers on a variety of excursions and visits:

Wednesday, October 5
o  Hummingbirds Workshop
o  Basics of Birding Workshop
o  Orientation, Presentation & Welcome Reception

Thursday, October 6
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
o  Bayou La Batre, Forever Wild Grand Bay Savanna, Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Point aux Pins
o  Mobile Bay, DISL Research Vessel Alabama Discovery Cruise
o  Blakeley Island Mud Ponds & Battleship Park
Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve/Weeks Bay Explorer Cruise
o  Lagan Park & Environmental Study Center
o  Eagle’s Nest Kayak Tour
o  Weeks Bay Paddle
Bon Secour River EcoCruise
o  Alligator Alley Adventure
o  Weeks Bay Sunset Cruise

Friday, October 7
Dauphin Island/Trans Gulf Migration Flyaway
o  Mobile Bay, DISL Research Vessel Alabama Discovery Cruise
o  Splinter Hill Bog
o  Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Weeks Bay Explorer Cruise
Gulf State Park & Perdido Pass
o  Middle Bay Lighthouse Boat Tour
o  Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Kayak Tour
o  Delta Discovery Cruise
o  Bird & Nature Photography Workshop
o  BirdFest Social with Speaker & Silent Auction

Saturday, October 8
o  Dauphin Island Shorebirds
o  Blakeley Island Mud Ponds & Battleship Park
o  Fort Morgan Peninsula/Trans Gulf Migration Flyway
o  Bayou La Batre, Forever Wild Grand Bay Savanna, Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Point aux Pins
o  Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve/Weeks Bay Explorer Cruise
o  Delta Discovery Tour
o  Alligator Alley Adventure
o  Wolf Bay Dolphin Cruise
o  Bon Secour River Paddle
o  Fairhope Fly Creek Exploration Paddle
o  Delta Sunset Wine Tasting Cruise

Annual Festival Of Flavor

Festival of FlavorThe Festival of Flavor, scheduled for Oct. 8 in downtown Foley, celebrates local and regional foods and this year is a qualifying event for a Golden ticket to the World Food Championships – The Ultimate Food Fight Experience.

The World Food Championship will be held Nov. 9-13 and highlight some of the most iconic cuisines around the world in categories like barbecue, chili, sandwich, burger, dessert, bacon, seafood, steak and recipe. The recipe category is based on a theme of food, which, this year, is “breakfast.”

A highlight of the Festival of Flavor is the farm-to-table dinner, which is held by the Chicago Street Supper Club. This ticketed event is the first of the festival, happening about two weeks before the actual weekend, and it features a special arrangement of expertly prepared foods for guests who purchase tickets to the meal.

In addition to the food displays and dinners, there are also a number of street vendors on hand to show off crafts and other works of art. Jazz performers and similar live entertainment provide the perfect background music for a relaxing day at the festival. Face painting and other kid-friendly displays are planned as part of the festival.

The Festival of Flavor will be held on October 8 and is open to the public. The festival will have sample tastes not only from competing chefs but also from local breweries, wineries, restaurants, mom-and-pop shops and much more.

45th Annual National Shrimp Festival

National Shrimp FestivalSlated for the second full weekend in October, the Annual National Shrimp Festival is always held Thursday through Sunday.

Free to attend, the festival was started in 1971 and today draws more than 250,000 people to the main Gulf Shores Public Beach area to browse exhibits, arts and crafts vendors, enjoy live music, enjoy kids’ interactive games and, best of all, indulge in the astounding variety of shrimp dishes. Those who don’t like shrimp will be able to enjoy foods like chicken, burgers, pizza, hot dogs, pasta, salads, nachos and even the now famous Cajun Pistol!

Kids are given the royal treatment at the Children’s Activity Village. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., this area features a sand sculpture contest on Saturday, interactive games, make-and-take arts and crafts, face painting, kids’ musical and dance performances, and more.

Locals weigh in on how to make the most of the Shrimp Festival experience.

Bring your best friends down to the beach for the weekend and reserve a three-bedroom condo in Orange Beach.

There are shuttle stops along the way making it easy to catch a ride to the festival site at your convenience.

Or, if the whole family would like to enjoy the festival, which is consistently rated among the top festivals in the country, consider a five-bedroom house in Gulf Shores.

There are plenty of conveniently located beach vacation rental options to suit every taste and size of group in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach and Perdido Key.

See our Shrimp Festival deals and specials here.

The Original German Sausage Festival

Elberta German Sausage FestivalAnnually attracting an estimated 30,000 visitors, the Original German Sausage Festival is always held the last Saturday in October and March in nearby Elberta.

The festival is a town fundraiser spearheaded by the Elberta Volunteer Fire Department. Proceeds are used for improving the operations of the fire department as well as the quaint German heritage town located a few miles north of the beach.

Festival organizers sell about 7,000 pounds of German Sausage (with or without sauerkraut – your choice!) at each festival as well as German-inspired and American foods such as cabbage, potato salad, goulash, red beans and rice, hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue, ice cream, popcorn and peanuts.

Vendors at the festival feature everything from homemade crafts and jewelry to art and even clothing. Music is a big part of the festival, with polka, country, contemporary and German music entertaining festivalgoers. Don’t be surprised if you are invited to join in the dancing fun during for a Waltz or the Schuhplattler!

More October Delights

Magnolia Springs Corn Maze and Pumpkin PatchIn the weeks leading up to Halloween, the Gulf Coast area comes alive with opportunities to celebrate fall.

For example, the Magnolia Corn Maze this year will celebrate its eighth year as a fun local attraction.

Open from Oct. 1 through Nov. 5, the Magnolia Corn Maze is located at Magnolia Farms, a few miles north of the Gulf Shores beaches.

Families can enjoy

o  2 challenging corn mazes
o  Pumpkins
o  A hayride and cow train
o  A petting zoo, pig race and pony rides
o  Knocker ball
o  Jump pad
o  Bazooka ball
o  Corn cannons and duck races
o  Parties and campfires
o  Playground areas for all ages
o  Zombie paintball and the Field of Terror

All Aboard The Pumpkin Patch Express

Pumpkin Patch ExpressOpen from Sept. 30 through Oct. 31, the Wales West Light Railway invites visitors to board the authentic steam train to the kid-friendly pumpkin patch or the haunted barn maze.

Kids will enjoy Wales West’s mini train ride, hayride, refreshments, bounce house, pumpkin cannon, petting zoo and pony rides, café and gift shop.

Kids can also select their own pumpkin at other local pumpkin patches, including Hillcrest Farm, Magnolia Farms and Sanders Pumpkin Patch, for example.

If you’re going to be at the beach over Halloween, there are numerous neighborhoods that love opening their doors to trick-or-treating kids.

FREE Kids Movies in Gulf Shores

Cobb Theatres Pinnacle 14 in Gulf Shores, Alabama welcomes children (and their families) to enjoy FREE movies this summer.

Each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning through July 30, step out of the sun and into a cool theater to enjoy family-friendly entertainment. Stadium seating with high-back rockers in rows a full four feet apart assure that everyone can see the large screens without obstruction.

And since Pinnacle 14 was voted the Best Movie Theater in Baldwin County four years in a row, you know you can relax in a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere.

You are invited to attend as many of the scheduled movies as you like. Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. for the 10:00 a.m. movies.

June 30–July 2

Shrek the Third (PG)

July 7-9

Bee Movie (PG)

July 14-16

Nim’s Island (PG)

July 21-23

Surf’s Up (PG)

July 28-30

Flushed Away (PG)

You’ll find the Cobb Theatres Pinnacle 14 on Hwy. 59, north of the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge, south of Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond. For further information, visit their website or call 251-923-0100.

While you are online, don’t miss out on the terrific specials and hot deals offered by Meyer Real Estate. Any time of year is right for a beach vacation!

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