Goin' to Florabama with a banjo on my knee
August 23, 2010 6:33 AM   Subscribe

Going to Gulf Shores, Alabama, the week after Labor Day weekend. We'll have a car. The beach is fun, but we are both fair-skinned sun wimps and will need interesting hikes/historical things to amuse us when it's time for shade. What should we see and do? What should we skip? We are in our 30's, amenable to visiting and enjoying a few signature Redneck Riviera highlights but mostly want to spend time together and get reacquainted.
posted by thinkingwoman to Travel & Transportation around Gulf Shores, AL (5 answers total)
Go to the FloraBama Club one night. It's a landmark and some good musicians play there.
posted by Jenna Brown at 7:42 AM on August 23, 2010

I don't know a lot about Gulf Shores. But---you're near fort Pickens which is pretty awesome, although possibly still closed to cars.

If you can, pop over to Pensacola and take a drive down 399. It is literally a 2 lane road running for like 20 miles on the barrier island that separates the gulf from the ICW. It's gorgeous. Just do NOT pull off the road except in parking areas, you'll sink to your axles in the soft sand.

The Gulf Islands National Seashore is awesome too---and really the beaches just a little west of GS are a little nicer (in my humble opinion), I used to live about 3/4 of a mile from Navarre Beach and just love that place w/ all my heart. Navarre has also recently constructed the longest Gulf pier, it's kinda crazy. IDK if you like to fish, but gulf piers are pretty awesome even to just walk out on. Major runs are on while you're there, you could see anything from Kingfish to sharks and dolphins to potentially even some Marlin, although the marlin are rare. The post-summer Spanish Mackerel run will be heavy, good food, fun to catch.

There's a lot of shark fishing down off Perdido key too, I would suspect that wandering along through there one evening would have you stumble onto some friendly locals.

Almost all my knowledge is fishing based, so I'll reign it in---but it's awesome down there, have a blast.
posted by TomMelee at 8:12 AM on August 23, 2010

Bellingrath Gardens if you like extensive fancy gardens and large old houses.
posted by JanetLand at 8:25 AM on August 23, 2010

The aviation museum in Pensacola is neat...
posted by HuronBob at 9:34 AM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Consider taking a day trip to tour the two forts that protect(ed) Mobile Bay.
From Gulf Shores, go west on Fort Morgan Rd. to get to (you guessed it) Fort Morgan. From there you can take a ferry to Dauphin Island which has public beaches, Fort Gaines and bird sanctuaries.

If you don't mind driving an hour, you can take Highway 59 to I-10 W to get to Mobile. Lots of stuff to do there including a science museum (IMAX!) and the battleship USS Alabama.
posted by Acton at 10:09 AM on August 23, 2010

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