The Unbeach Day: The Gulf Coast’s Off Beach ActivitiesCrystal Brown - October 11, 2013
Yes. Most people come to the beach for the BEACH. But what if little Susie gets sunburned the first day or if the thought of building one more sand castle make you want to pave over the coastline? If you stay more than a few days, the question always comes up. What else is there to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach besides go to the beach?
Luckily, the answer is “PLENTY.”
The newest attraction to the Gulf State Park is the Hummingbird Ziplines. Consisting of seven towers and six ziplines as high as 90 feet off the ground, the mile-long course takes two hours to complete while offering spectacular views of the gator pond and Lake Shelby. The height provides a great vantage point for taking in spectacular views of the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. A zipline tour costs $79 for adults and $59 for children 12 and under Discounts may apply for groups larger than 12.
This 20-acre water and amusement park, Waterville USA, keeps raising the bar on family fun. The popular Flowrider, a simulated surfing, body boarding and snowboard attraction got some competition last year from a new six-lane mat racer slide. The park is open seasonally from mid-May through Labor Day. Admission is $32.95 for adults, $25.95 for military, $20.95 for seniors and children under 42 inches tall, $18.95 for observers and free to children 2 and under.
An afternoon out on the water in search of dolphins is the perfect way to experience the friendly creatures up close. Several dolphin charters offer you a chance to view these majestic mammals in their natural habit. Expect to pay $20 and up.
“The Little Zoo That Could” is Gulf Shores’ hidden treasure. With over 500 exotic animals and daily feeding schedules, this interactive zoo is just blocks from the beach. In spring and summer, you can even play with the babies—including tigers, kangaroos and lemurs. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for children ages 3-12 and free for children 2 and under.
The Refuge contains 7,000 acres of wildlife habitat for migratory birds, wildlife and nesting sea turtles. The different trails appeal to hikers of all fitness levels–from a short one-mile hike to a trail of more than four miles. Each trial is unique and gives you a chance to discover habitats of the refuge: dunes, swales, wetlands, maritime forests and scrub. Admission is free.
Since 1834, Fort Morgan has stood as the guardian of Mobile Bay. Fort Morgan was active during four wars: the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World Wars I and II. The fort is most famous for its role in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. Union Admiral David Farragut damned the torpedoes and went full speed ahead to win the battle. Featured exhibits include weapons, uniforms, letters, photographs and other personal items left behind by soldiers who served at the fort. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students and $4 for children. Children under six are admitted for free.
In our busy every-day lives, it’s sometimes hard to make time to see the latest blockbuster on the big screen. So, vacation is the perfect time to catch latest Chick Flick, action movie or animated feature you’ve been dying to see. See the latest first-run movies at Carmike Wharf 15 located at The Wharf or Cobb Pinnacle 14 In the Pelican Point Shopping Centre on Gulf Shores Parkway.
If you are a bargain hunter, there’s no place better than Tanger Outlets in Foley with more than 120 stores and designer outlets. Or if you a looking for unique gifts or beachwear, then check out the shops at The Wharf orSan Roc Cay.
We’d love to know what else you like to do on your off-the-beach days.