This will be my first visit to Gulf Shores so I'm not quite sure what to expect. I've been to Panama City Beach in the past and I love the clear water, and beaches that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. What's the beach like in Gulf Shores? Are the waves mild enough that one can swim? Is there plenty of shells? Is the water clear? The condos I've seen on VRBO talk about fishing and boat slips - are there lots of swimmers at the beach?