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Map of florida vacation destinations
Alabama and Florida’s Gulf Coast Vacation Destination
Click HERE for a list, prices, discounts, availability and tickets for more attractions, tours and things to do on the Alabama Gulf Coast!
From pristine beaches to playful family entertainment options and from festivals to fresh seafood, the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast has all of this and more.
Perfect for a weeklong vacation, a quick weekend getaway or even a month-long (or longer) stay in the wintertime, the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast is made up of 30-plus miles of white sand and turquoise waters. It’s a beautiful destination to stay, play and create lifelong memories, regardless of the time of year.
Consider Meyer Vacation Rentals your gateway to a vacation in a relaxed, small-town atmosphere that’s been so inviting since 1967!
Meyer Vacation Rentals, which celebrated its 50th year in operation in 2017 and hosts 36,000 vacationing families each year, offers you a wide variety of coastal condominiums and beach houses on the Gulf Coast. Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan and Perdido Key provide something for everyone. It’s easy to decide where to spend your time on Alabama and Florida’s Gulf Coast.
With its earliest beginnings as a sleepy, quiet beach town, today, Gulf Shores is a friendly, bustling beach community known for its welcoming local residents, variety of on- and off-beach boutiques for shopping, bike trails, Gulf State Park’s opportunities for exploration, and so much more.
In Gulf Shores, you’ll find golf courses, fun attractions to keep the kids busy, nature trails, and plenty of beaches to explore.
Just west of Gulf Shores is the Fort Morgan area of Pleasure Island, a little quieter side of paradise.
The vacation accommodations in Fort Morgan include both beach houses as well as resort-styled condominiums.
At the end of Fort Morgan Road is the historic Civil War fort, inviting visitors to walk where soldiers lived and worked during multiple wars. Go at the right time, and you might even get to hear the cannon fired! It’s an “explosive” experience, for sure!
The Fort Morgan area is also home to several laid-back seafood restaurants, beach accesses, charter fishing operations, and the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, which is known for its superior bird-watching opportunities. In addition, there are plenty of places that allow you to explore the bountiful natural beauty of this particular area.
Its roots are in fishing, and fishing is still one of the most thrilling activities to enjoy in Orange Beach. 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.
It’s as exciting to catch fish in Orange Beach as it is to eat it. There are plenty of restaurant options to tempt any palate, ranging from quaint seafood shacks to fine dining experiences.
Orange Beach features plenty of condos and houses, amusements, beach shops, The Wharf entertainment complex and more to enjoy. The city is also known for its miles of sugar-white sand beaches, thousands of acres of preserved park lands, dolphin and nature cruises, and musical performances around town and at The Wharf amphitheater.
Perdido Key, just east of Orange Beach and across the Florida state line, is known for abundant federal and state park lands marked by wetlands, estuaries and wildlife. The barrier island is peaceful and was ranked among the nation’s top 20 beaches by “Dr. Beach.”
A little busier part of the Key is the spot where you’ll find the famous Flora-Bama Lounge, Package & Oyster Bar, which is home to the Annual Interstate Mullet Toss, an event unlike any other.
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.
Other places to explore the bountiful natural beauty of Perdido Key is to play a round of golf at Lost Key Golf Club, a designated Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary golf course, and Gulf Islands National Seashore, where you will find Fort Pickens and Fort McRee, which defended Pensacola Bay during the Civil War.
A unique community on the Gulf Coast favored by artists and intellectuals is Fairhope. This once-sleepy farming town located on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay is now known for its thriving arts scene, unique Main Street shops and restaurants.
The quaint city is also home to the annual Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival and a lively Mardi Gras season. Many beach vacationers opt to take an afternoon to make the short drive to Fairhope to explore the Municipal Pier and surrounding park, trails and marina; shop the downtown boutiques; and enjoy a taste of wine and cheese or a hearty home cooked meal.
Those who want to take in Fairhope’s unique atmosphere from a local’s perspective find staying at Serenity on the Bay is a great vacation rental option.
Stay on top of local area news by visiting our Area News page, where you will find articles about everything from road improvements to entertainment updates.
Fishing is a fantastic family activity when vacationing in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach or Perdido Key.
Learn everything you need to know about charter boat fishing, inshore fishing on the back bays, renting and/or docking your own boat, visiting artificial reefs either by boat or diving excursion, and the types of fish you’re likely to hook in the area.
Golfers will find a wealth of opportunities on the Gulf Coast. Nine signature golf courses are within a short drive of the beach, making a stay at a Meyer Vacation Rentals beach house or condo a no-brainer for a golf outing.
History comes alive on the Gulf Coast. From Fort Morgan to Perdido Key to nearby Mobile, Alabama, or Pensacola, Florida, and all points in between, there are many opportunities to explore the unique, international culture and history of the area.
It’s easy to shop till you drop on the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast. There are dozens of unique beach boutiques to peruse, as well as major shopping complexes.
Two very popular shopping destinations on the Gulf Coast are the shops of the Tanger Outlets, located a few miles north in Foley, as well as The Wharf in Orange Beach. You can even reserve a condo at The Wharf to enjoy all there is to do at this entertainment destination.
Spas & Relaxation
A high-energy vacation is lots of fun, for sure. But sometimes a vacation calls for an escape, especially if your visit is a girlfriends’ getaway or couple’s retreat.
Numerous day spas throughout the Gulf Coast are ready to help you relieve stress and relax with massages, facials and a variety of other pampering services that are sure to make your vacation feel even more lavish.
Sports & Fitness
So, you’re taking a few days off to spend at the beach. An escape from the day-to-day rigor of your daily routine is in the works. But if your fitness regimen is something you don’t want to leave behind, there are many places to get in your workout.
In fact, there are numerous recreational centers or parks, where a few dollars (or even less sometimes) will get you a day pass to the weight room, racquetball courts, tennis courts, pool and more. There are also plenty of privately owned fitness centers stocked with exercise equipment on site.
Or, if you’d rather get your workout in a more natural environment, you might want to walk, jog or run the backcountry trails, go kayaking or canoeing, or try a yoga or Zumba class on the beach.
Nature & Trails
Speaking of trails, did you know the Gulf Coast has some of the most beautiful nature trails in the United States?
Hike, jog or bike on paths that take you through the Gulf State Park, wildlife sanctuaries, toward serene Fort Morgan or even national parkland in Perdido Key.
These trails offer some of the best spots to see indigenous birds and wildlife, explore pristine beaches, see the beautiful scenery of the area’s wetlands.
Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
Another great spot to see wildlife is the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Not your typical animal sanctuary, this zoo has taken advantage of the natural beauty of the area by carving out spots in the indigenous flora and fauna for the animals to feel right at home.
With more than 300 animals, including lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, reptiles, birds and amphibians, this zoo is one of the area’s most beloved attractions. You can even get up-close-and-personal with some of the animals through the zoo’s encounter program or animal shows.
Want a fun off-the-beach activity for the kids? Try Waterville USA. Its arcade, roller coaster and trampoline attractions are open throughout much of the year, and the amazing water slides welcome all from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
Enjoy slides like the Screamin’ Demon, Triple Dog Dare, Jet Stream, Hurricane, Black Widow, Great White and Gold Rush if you’re seeking a big thrill. For those who want a more laid-back experience, there’s a giant lazy river. A wave pool, a roller coaster, the Flow Rider, a mini golf course and go carts are other exciting activities at Waterville USA.
A family fun recreation center, The Track is home to go carts, high-flying attractions, the Wild Woody roller coaster and so much more.
Located just north of the Gulf Shores Public Beach area, The Track is a kid favorite, thanks to bumper boats, age-appropriate go carts, kiddie rides at Kid Country, a huge indoor family fun arcade and a snack bar.
Even adventurous big kids can find something they like, with the Skycoaster, which simulates the thrill of skydiving as you free fall from 110 feet at speeds of up to 70 mph.
Ahoy, matey! Feel like playing a little mini golf? Pirate’s Island can fill the bill. Located just across the highway from The Track, Pirate’s Island in Gulf Shores offers two pirate-themed courses surrounding a giant pirate ship.
So, don your eye patch and head on over to Pirate’s Island for an afternoon or evening of fun with the family.
Looking for information on some cool festivals or events to make your vacation even more exciting? Tune into Meyer Vacation Rentals’ list of upcoming events for details about the when, where and how much.
Held annually during the second full weekend of October, the Annual National Shrimp Festival is the area’s signature fall event.
Consistently ranked among the top annual events in the nation, the festival usually attracts more than 250,000 visitors to the area to experience the succulent Gulf delicacy served in every way imaginable.
There’s also live music on multiple stages day and night, a kids’ zone, arts and crafts galore, fine arts performances and displays, a kids’ zone and sand sculpting contests. The Shrimp Festival is a feast for all senses!
It’s never too early to reserve your favorite vacation rental for the Shrimp Festival, as this is a huge event for the entire area. Accommodations, especially those near the main Gulf Shores Public Beach area, will fill quickly.
Not to be overlooked is the delicious Gulf oyster. The annual Oyster Cook-off, presented by Alabama Gulf Seafood at The Hangout and held annually in November, this event is a fantastic way to try inventive and trusty favorite recipes for oysters.
You can sample selections from more than 40 restaurants and chefs and vote for your favorites. Celebrity judges are on hand to sample and select the top three oysters in categories like Rockefeller, Gulf Coast Cajun or Create Your Own Raw Oysters.
Did we mention how beautiful the weather tends to be in November (and every month, really)? Sunny, warm and inviting is the weather we’re serving up in November.
Concerts & Musical Calendar
There’s no doubt the sound of the surf and seagulls overhead are music to your ears, but there’s another kind of music to hear on the Gulf Coast. Live musical performances of every genre can be found on just about any night of the week here.
Our concerts and musical calendar pages break it all down for you by venue, date, performer and more.
Hangout Music Festival
The Hangout Music Festival is an unbelievable sight to behold. With about 40,000 people converging on the Gulf Coast for a long weekend in May, this event draws the big names in music to the main public beach area each year.
The sounds of performers like Lenny Kravitz, Panic! at the Disco, the Weeknd, Florence and the Machine, and many more (see a lineup here) bring the entire area to life.
The Hangout Music Fest started in 2010, and has been met with such enthusiasm from festival-goers that it was recognized as the top Music Festival of the Year by the 23rd Annual Pollstar Industry Awards. Paste Magazine also named it among the top three festivals of the year. And it keeps getting better.
Make your reservations as soon as possible so you can select a vacation property within walking distance of the festival and share the cost of your accommodations with friends! A vacation rental gets you a lot more space than a hotel room for the money, and gives you tons of amenities, including private bedrooms and bathrooms. The value is unbeatable.
Concerts At The Wharf
The Amphitheater at the Wharf is the site of numerous high-profile concerts during the year. Think Jimmy Buffett, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Heart and so many more.
Concerts are held in the 10,000-seat amphitheater located at The Wharf Entertainment Complex. Our Wharf Concert page offers all the important specifics to help you order tickets to see your favorite performers live!
The complex offers plenty of restaurants, shops and fun attractions to explore. And, you can even stay on site! Learn more here.
Restaurants To Visit
So many restaurants, so little time! You might find yourself saying this during your vacation because there are so many restaurants to tempt your palate.
Enjoy the Gulf’s freshest shrimp, scallops, crab, tuna, triggerfish, amberjack, grouper and more. Or, if you’re looking for something besides seafood, there are numerous options to consider.
There’s everything from fine dining to beachside grills in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach and Perdido Key.
After a succulent seafood dinner, explore the area’s busy nightlife. The Hangout is a popular spot for after-hours fun, with dance music and fun activities outside (bubble party or magic tricks, anyone?).
A must-do while you’re on the Gulf Coast is to visit the Flora-Bama, where the bushwackers are some of the creamiest around and the sounds of live music are soulful.
To experience all that the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast has to offer for your vacation, consider Meyer Vacation Rentals’ wide variety of coastal condominiums and beach houses. Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan and Perdido Key are home to vacation properties and experiences to appeal to everyone in your group.
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