I wanted to put out a trip report for everyone with the hopes that some might find the information useful in their trip planning. This site was very helpful to me in planning the trip and I want to thank everyone for their advice and input.
My family (2 boys 7 and 4) and my brother's family (1boy 6, and 1 girl 1) stayed in a 3 br, 3 bath at the Lighthouse in Gulf Shores. The Lighthouse was perfect for our needs. Very nice condo and the pools were perfect for our young kids, especially the zero entry pool. The indoor pool came in handy the day we got there because of rain in the area. Access to the beach was only a short walk from the condo. The balcony was huge, had an overhang to protect from the sun, and the view was spectacular. The only negative about the Lighthouse was it was a bit crowded on the beach and the chairs that the condo rented were set up behind all of the tents that individuals set up right by the water. The tents block the views from the chairs so it is best to bring your own tent, or chairs to set up by the water.
When we weren't at the pool or beach we visited The Track twice and the Zoo once. The Track was perfect for our boys as they could drive smaller go carts by themselves. They also had an area with ride for very small children which was nice. If you go there between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm the tickets are half price. We were going to go to Adventure Island one day but when we looked around we realized that the rides weren't as good for our aged children so we went back to the Track. The zoo was nice but there isn't much shade and it was very hot the day we visited. I'm sure it would be a fantastic place to visit in the Spring/Fall but very hot the day we went. On the way out of town on our last day we visited the Aligator farm in Summerdale. Again, very hot but it was a pretty neat little place. If you go make sure you go when they are feeding the gators. The guy feeding the alligators put on a good show and was very informative. My older son got to hold a little alligator as we were leaving.
As far as restaurants go we only ate out about 3 times. We went to the Gulf Island Grill for lunch. It was good, not great. We ate dinner at the Sea and Suds twice which was walking distance from the Lighthouse. The atmosphere was great, the food was ok, but the staff was super friendly which made the experience much better. They also have a great deck that is right on the water where you can have a couple of cocktails while waiting on your table. Wait was 30 minutes for our first trip (we arrived at 5:30) and 1 hour the next time (we arrived at 7:30).
We bought fresh seafood and cooked it in our condo the other nights. With young kids this is a good way to go to avoid waiting for a table while still enjoying the fresh seafood from the area.
Finally, I think what makes Gulf Shores a great vacation destination is the people. All of the people were very friendly and hospitable. Not only the people working there but the other guests too. I am from the midwest and maybe I'm just not used to "Southern Hospitality". I have never enjoyed talking and interacting with people more than I did in Gulf Shores.
Hope this helps others considering/planning a trip to the Gulf Shores area.