The Naylor family on the beach in Gulf Shores during their family vacation.

A Family Vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama in the Summertime

We are back from our family vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama and back to reality. Is it just me or do vacations seem to fly by quicker than the work weeks? We always love visiting Gulf Shores, Alabama and this was the first time Eleanor was able to experience it too!

My maternal grandparents so graciously rent a beach house for everyone every few years. If you’re going to take a beach vacation, a house on the beach is certainly the way to go! This was the first rental we had that not only had its own pool, but also a larger community pool that was only steps away from the house. If you have kids, I highly suggest finding a rental with pool access!

We may have lived at the beach for two years, but we never spent more than 20 minutes there since Eleanor was a baby. So, this was her first true experience at the beach. She absolutely loved playing in the sand. She probably would’ve built sandcastles all day. Here’s a quick recap of our week…

One Week Family Vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama

brittney naylor and daughter on the beach in gulf shores alabama, family vacation

Day One: Beach Day

Our first full day of our family vacation in Gulf Shore was spent at the beach. After a full day of travel, we were ready to relax by the ocean. There were red flags flying due to rip currents, so we didn’t spend much time in the ocean.

A recent hurricane also helped create a little pool of water. This was great because Eleanor could go back and forth getting water without dealing with waves.

Tip: If you’re staying at a beach rental property, there likely won’t be a lifeguard in the area. So be mindful on the flags posted and keep your eyes on the little ones.

little girl playing with sand toys on beach in gulf shores alabama

Day Two: Enjoy Time with Family

This was the only full day that everyone in the family was in town, so we spent most of our time hanging around the house. We also checked out some local souvenir shops.

It’s always good to have really easy days during your family vacation in Gulf Shores, as you’ll likely be in the sun a lot. You’ll want to ensure you keep hydrated and well rested.

family photo at beach house in gulf shores alabama, family vacation

Day Three: Pool Day

I’d like to call day three of our family vacation in Gulf Shores–pool day! This was Labor Day, so we spent a majority of the day at the larger community pool. Eleanor even made herself a little friend named Jacob. John spent at least an hour pulling the two of them on a float around the pool.

Tip: During your beach vacation in Gulf Shores, you’ll want to make sure to capture family photos on the beach.

We woke up before the sun to capture sunrise family photos. Let me tell you, the beach weather did not want to cooperate with my hair that morning. That may be the last time I wake up at 5:00 am to curl my hair at the beach. We still managed to get some great photos though. I used a tripod and self timer that took 10 photos at a time for the photos of everyone together, but there are many talented photographers in the area.

little girl in flower swimsuit at pool
family photos of the naylors on gulf shores alabama
family photos during family vacation in gulf shores, alabama

Day Four: Gulf Coast Zoo

On day four, we spent the morning at Alabama’s Gulf Coast Zoo! This is just one of the many great attractions in Gulf Shores. We spent about an hour and half at the zoo and Eleanor even got to feed the giraffe, Benjamin. The giraffe feeding is an additional fee, but such a fun experience.

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is home to over 199 species, 31 sub-species, and haven to 8 endangered species. It’s such a great attraction for kids and a great escape from the beach. After the zoo, we headed to Foley for some shopping at the outlets.

brittney naylor with stroller and daughter sitting in strolled in front of alabama gulf coast zoo sign, family vacation in gulf shores, alabama
little girl and dad petting and feeding giraffe at gulf coast zoo in gulf shores alabama, family vacation
little girl and dad laughing while feeding giraffe at gulf coast zoo in gulf shores alabama
little girl and dad laughing feeding the giraffes at gulf shores zoo, family vacation in gulf shores

Day Five & Six: Repeat

As any beach vacation would go, we spent the rest of our family vacation at none other than the beach and pool. We had to soak up all the fun before heading back home.

Day 5 was actually our only rainy day, so we did spend the day indoors. As the day cleared, we showed Eleanor how to fly a kite. We also looked for sea shells and just enjoyed our time with family.

Tip: Bring crafts and games if you have several children to give them something to do on rainy days or down time.

Having a private pool was such a plus, too because Eleanor could nap in the room and we could enjoy the pool while the monitor was still in range.

little girl laughing on the beach in gulf shores wearing white dress and hat
little girl in white dress and hat standing on the sand in gulf shores alabama, family vacation
little girl in sand dollar long sleeve swimsuit at pool at beach rental in gulf shores, alabama, family vacation in gulf shores

Family Vacation in Gulf Shores: Conclusion

A family vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama is the perfect summer spot! Enjoy endless days at the beach by taking advantage of the many beachfront rental properties. The fun doesn’t end there because you can also enjoy a trip to the zoo, outlets, and enjoy the many dining options!

Gulf Shores is sure to create lasting memories for your family and it may even become an annual vacation spot!

Do you have a favorite family beach destination? Tell me in the comments below!

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Family vacation in gulf shores, Alabama

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