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Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

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Effingham, Illinois
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54 posts
67 reviews
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Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

We are considering Gulf Shores for a family vacation this summer. We have 2 girls (ages 7 and almost 2 y/o) and I was looking for some help on trip planning. A few questions to follow...

1) Our vacation dates are the last week of July. How hot does it usually get at that time? I've heard someone say the sand gets too hot to spend time on the beach? Is this true?

2) Are there areas that are quieter than others? I'd prefer to avoid staying near the busiest areas of the beach. I'd prefer something away from the strip malls, yet close enough we could hop in the car to eat or shop.

3) Any suggestions for lodging? I think we would be most interested in having a place with a kitchen and a pool, so it sounds like a condo may be our best bet. A small vacation rental home would be great, but it's likely more difficult to find something near the beach that is not too expensive. Also a rental home isn't likely to have a pool.

4) What else should I be asking? Beach vacations aren't usually my thing. I can usually do better planning trips to the mountains.

Thanks in advance for any insight!

Gulf Shores, AL
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for Gulf Shores, Orange Beach
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2,714 posts
21 reviews
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1. Re: Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

Most of your questions can be answered at this site:

http://www.gulfshores.com/

It has a weather tab that will tell you average temps, a lodging tab where you can search for lodging based on what amenities you want, restaurants, things to do, entertainment, etc.

I guess the sand can get hot, but the Gulf is right there to cool your feet.

Use the "search" function on this forum to find lots of info on just about any subject. If you have questions about specific properties or attractions, just post them here! Good luck with your planning!

Mississippi
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7 reviews
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2. Re: Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

San Carlos is a great condo close to the T or Highway 59 and there are lots of places to visit close by. It will be hot in July but that's what you go to the beach for. When you get hot jump in the water. There's pure white sand and clear blue water for you.

San Carlos Condo's @ 365 East Beach Boulevard, Gulf Shores, AL 251 - 967 - 9838.

http://www.san-carlos-alabama.com/

Tyler, Texas
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6,998 posts
115 reviews
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3. Re: Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

I have Grandchildren 8 and 4. I would not even consider taking them to the beach in July or Aug.. It's too hot ,too much sun. If you go--You should not take them out there between 10 and 4--go in the morning or evening, wear tons of sunscreen, and use an umbrella. PLEASE do not let anyone in your party get a bad sunburn--it just ruins a vacation.. Have them wear shirt suits

Dave

St. Louis, MO
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887 posts
15 reviews
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4. Re: Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

Check out Gulf Shores Surf and Racquet Club condos on VRBO.com.

Gulf Shores, Alabama
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for Gulf Shores
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1,009 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

Fort Morgan is quiet, you could probably get a beach house there, and it's roughly 15 miles from Gulf Shores (eating/shopping/etc)

Memphis, Tennessee
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6. Re: Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

We go many times a year, and take my 84 year old mom and young grandchildren, and everyone in between. I guess we like the heat, because it's never been too hot for us. We like either a condo or house with a pool. We usually book through Meyer .... their web site seems easier to navigate than others.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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302 posts
41 reviews
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7. Re: Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

We have been that exact week and are going again the week before this year. There are 4 adults and 6 children in our group. We would walk down to the water, with an ice chest, and plop some chairs down. After some fun in the waves we would go up and play in the pool. Put sun screen on the kiddos, play in the water, and you will have a great time. There are a million condos to choose from. I would start looking now because the longer you wait the harder it will be to find one that you like. I used vrbo.com and e mailed around 50 people that have condos that fit what we wanted. About 20 e mailed me back and we selected one from there. I could not imagine the crowds being too big to bother your family. The beach is huge! Have a great trip.

Foley, Alabama
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304 posts
30 reviews
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8. Re: Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

Hello EffinILL --- No doubt the last week of July is hot. The sand does get hot --- but unless it is my imagination it doesn't seem to get as hot as other beaches I've been on.

I recommend paying the extra money and taking the fam to the Gulf State Park Pavilion to enjoy the beach. Why? Because the pavilion has a huge shady canopy w/picnic tables, a concession stand and nice, clean air-conditioned bathrooms. When you get enough of the heat you can picnic and get respite from the sun there.

It is a little way away from the main beach so it doesn't get as crowded (I say that but in all honesty our beaches don't get as crowded as I've experienced on other beaches).

Lodging is a such a personal choice I can't make any recommendations. Like many people --- once my family has a good experience we tend to stay w/the same agency/homeowner etc. so I can't speak w/authority about which may be best for you and your family. Maybe you can narrow down a selection then ask for people's personal experience w/your selected condo or home?

From your profile and forum posts it seems like you enjoy nature, wildlife and good food! You won't be disappointed choosing Gulf Shores for your vacation --- and should find many great activities you and your family will enjoy.

Once in Gulf Shores you'll find several free publications that highlight weekly events. The local cable tv station also features several attractions.

A best bet? Make a point to stop by the Gulf Shores Visitor Center. Not only is the staff knowledgeable they are extremely friendly. They can direct you to several fun activities that may be enjoyable for the family.

I just know you and your family will enjoy your beach vacation in the Gulf Shores area!

Effingham, Illinois
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54 posts
67 reviews
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9. Re: Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

Thanks everyone for the replies. Hopefully this week I can further investigate some of the links and lodging suggestions. Also have our Gulf Shores visitors guide I can thumb through.

I may come up with some more specific questions after additional research.

Thanks again.

10. Re: Very unfamiliar with the Gulf Shores area and have questions

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