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Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

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Starkville...
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340 posts
46 reviews
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Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

Hi! I just wanted some opinions about the differences b/n the GS/OB area and Pensacola Beach. The PB forum is not real active and I just can't seem to get a good "feel" of the area. We used to go to PB when I was growing up and I have great memories of it except for a fairly small beach. They've said that this was "fixed" now. I thought we might try PB this year for something different. Nothing against GS/OB at all. We love it, it's just hubby has never been to PB before.

I was wondering if PB is more laid back then GS/OB? Clean? Safe? We don't mind laid back at all. All we want is a nice condo, great beach, and some places to eat. I'd appreciate any ideas on this. I tell you the GS/OB forum rocks!

Searcy, Arkansas
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for Little Rock
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1. Re: Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

I think PB, is a bit dirty, The town seems more ran down.

The good points are there is that wonderful museum near by ,The blue angels.

Maybe a bit more to do..

The traffic is worse, and there are more teens that have partys.

I really don't believe PB to more laid back,

It is busier , more people overall...

Beach more crowded...

Iagree, Gulf shores/orange beach forum rocks as well as the area rocks,,,

Starkville...
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2. Re: Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

Thanks for your thoughts on this. We're going in Sept so at least the kids will be in school so it might be a bit quieter. I think I'm starting to lean towards just sticking w/ GS/OB and taking a daytrip over to PB to check it out maybe for the next years trip. I'll do a little more research as well. We are big on clean areas, I mean really clean! One of our favorite things to do when we go to GS is to go to the Wharf and just drink some Starbucks and walk around. That's about the extent of "things to do" that we are interested in. We're not activity people. LOL Thanks again!

Gulf Shores, AL
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for Gulf Shores, Orange Beach
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3. Re: Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

"I was wondering if PB is more laid back then GS/OB?"

If it got any more laid back in GS/OB we'd all be comatose. I'm biased, but I like it here a lot better than PB. I do think it's cleaner here and I don't think traffic is as bad as it is in PB. Hwy 98 in the summer is a nightmare.

Little Rock, AR
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1,112 posts
115 reviews
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4. Re: Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

If you end up going with PB, would you post back to us about that? My family went to PB for years when I was a kid but later switched to GS. My husband, son, and I are now going to GS and staying on Ft. Morgan, along with other family members. We've all talked about checking out PB again but aren't really sure what it's like anymore. My limited searching on the internet has made me think it's more expensive for rentals than is GS. I wonder if that's due to all the re-building after the hurricane? Anyway, I'm just curious as to what the rental situation is like there these days, and what it's like in general to stay out there. We love being on Ft. Morgan, so we certainly have no complaints or reasons to switch--other than just trying something different. Thanks!

Starkville...
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5. Re: Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

If we decide to go to PB I'll definetly write a review of our trip. I'm hesitant for the same reasons you are. I just can't seem to find much info about PB and the rentals and stuff and I'm scared to tie us down somewhere for our one big vacation and then have it turn out to not be as nice as GS/OB.

As for being laid back, what I mean is not crowded, not a lot of traffic, a place where you can be out on the beach and not have people surrounding you. When we went last time in Sept it was great but we had a problem w/ setting up our stuff for the day and then having smokers move in next to us and having to breathe in their smoke. Since we are both allergic we would have to get up and move all of our stuff to another area. Or people set up right next to us in huge groups, drinking all day and becoming louder and more obnoxious as the day went on. Also we don't care about bars and nightclubs or stuff that like. We went the PB way one time, I guess near the fort?, and there was no one around at all. It felt like you had the beach to yourself. That is what I mean by laid back.

Starkville...
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6. Re: Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

BTW..I don't want to give the impression that GS/OB is a party area or too crowded or anything because it's not. It's great! It's just that hubby and I are quiet and if we could have a whole beach to ourselves with no one else around we be as happy as clams! Again, GS/OB is wonderful!

Little Rock, AR
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7. Re: Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

I totally understand about wanting to set your stuff up and have a quiet space for your family, without loud noise, smoking, etc. Those kinds of things would drive me nuts too! We stayed at a condo in Orange Beach one year and it seemed like the family next to us kept getting closer and closer to our space, throughout the day. It got really crowded since it was a large condo unit.

Last year on Ft. Morgan, we had tons of space to ourselves and left our beach stuff out the entire week--no one bothered it. We had no problems with loud noise, smoking, drinking, etc. I'm not saying it couldn't happen there b/c you never know who might end up in the house next to you. I do think we have a better chance for privacy and space, however, being on Ft. Morgan and renting a house.

Good luck in your decision making!

Starkville...
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8. Re: Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

Thanks Lee! You know I think Fort Morgan would be great for us for all of the reasons we both just listed. However, it's just the two of us so we don't need a house. And from what I've seen of the condos there they are either too far away from the beach or don't have direct, unobstructed views, or are kinda old and not that nice. Having a clean and updated building and condo is very important to us. We don't have kids so multiple pools and adventure parks don't matter. But it does look like Fort Morgan would have a nice beach to spend your days on. That's why I was considering PB. I thought maybe in Sept. it might kind of be the same way as Fort Morgan. But then again, maybe not! LOL

Little Rock, AR
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9. Re: Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

Hello again greeneyes,

I must admit that I don't know anything about the condo situation on Ft. Morgan. When it was just the two of us, my husband and I stayed at Harbour House in Orange Beach. It's only a 5 story condo complex with a hotel on one side of it and a rental house on the other, so that helped with the beach not becoming really crowded (but it is more crowded than Ft. Morgan).

Here is one other idea to consider for Ft. Morgan. I know there are a few (very few!) small houses along Ft. Morgan that rent on VRBO. When my husband and I were looking for a place to stay a few months ago, we weren't sure if we'd have my parents going along again this year or if it would just us and our son. I recall finding some beach houses that were small and priced pretty good if it were just going to be the three of us. I think there may have also been a few of these in the GS and OB areas too.

So, it might be worth checking on VRBO just to see if anything out on Ft. Morgan might meet your size requirements and price range. If you're going in Sept. you will likely find that prices drop and you could possibly even afford a larger house on Ft. Morgan that would give you that direct beach access and privacy and space that you're looking for.

Gulf Shores, AL
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for Gulf Shores, Orange Beach
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10. Re: Gulf Shores/Pensacola?

Lee4 makes a good point. Some of the second and third tier houses on FM rent fairly cheaply. Walk to the beach is less than three or four minutes. Quiet area. Might be worth checking out.