Gulf Shores Plantation: The Jewel of the Alabama Gulf Coast
It’s affectionately referred to as “The Redneck Riviera”. If you can’t get to the Riviera, Gulf Shores, Alabama, is the next best thing for those of us who are Southern beach dwellers; and the folks are a lot friendlier in this area than you’ll find just about anywhere else! A common vacation destination for families from Alabama, Georgia and even Louisiana, Gulf Shores is about as far west as you can go in the South and still be able to sink your toes into white sandy beaches. Like most beach areas, there are condos galore for either renting or purchase, and Gulf Shores Plantation has an array of accommodations to choose from.
PLANT YOUR FEET IN THE PLANTATION
One of the most appealing aspects of Gulf Shores Plantation is that it is 13 miles from town, out on the Fort Morgan peninsula, so it’s a bit remote; but you’re also right on the beach. You can walk across one of many beach boardwalks, crossing the white sand dunes, and be right on the beach. Recently upgraded and renovated, Gulf Shores Plantation has the following properties to choose from: Plantation Palms, Plantation Dunes, Plantation East, Plantation West, and Plantation Beach Cottages. I’d recommend Plantation Palms, which offer 1-3 bedroom condos, all with beachfront access. The condos are all independently owned so each has its own distinct character. However, they are exactly what you’d expect from a beach condo: tile floors (because of all the sand tracked in), living room/dining area/kitchen all in one room, 2 bedrooms with carpet and 2 bathrooms.
Gulf Shores Plantation has a wide array of amenities to keep your little beach-goers busy as bees. When you tire from the beach, you can dive into one of six outdoor pools, which all look out on the ocean. The pools are spread throughout the property, and although they are no-frills, they are cool and some have accompanying hot tubs. Also, a nice addition to the area, which has a reputation for getting soaked in the summer, is an indoor pool and hot tub with an arcade attached (Adventure Zone). This is a great escape when thunderstorms chase you indoors. There are also several nice tennis courts and a café where you can purchase ice-cream, snacks and adult beverages.
EMERALD COAST EXCURSIONS
If you’d like to get off the plantation and check out the area, you have a variety of choices. Here are just a few highlights:
- Beach Bike Rentals, located in Gulf Shores. There’s a bike path that runs in front of Gulf Shores Plantation. 251-968-1770
- Mobile Bay Ferry, approximately 8 miles from the plantation, this ferry connects 2 of the Gulf Coast’s most beautiful and historic landmarks with a scenic experience. Autos/cars are charged $14 and adults are an additional $4.50 per person; children are free, www.mobilebayferry.com, 251-861-3000
- Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, in Gulf Shores, is just blocks from the beach and home to more than 290 animals. Open daily from 9am-4pm, adults $10, children 3-12, $7, www.alabamagulfcoastzoo.com
If You Go:
Gulf Shores Plantation