a VirtualTourist member from Iowa City
We're on our way to Gulf Shores for spring break with our two gradeschool boys. What's the weather like in mid-March? Will it be warm enough to swim? (I'm up in Iowa shivering in the snow and it's hard to imagine being on a beach right now.) Also, what's going on there in the next few weeks? What should we be sure to do, where should we be sure to eat? We're very interested in good local food. How's the zoo? Any other travel advice would be appreciated--we want to be sure to get the most out of our visit (which will of course include plenty of beach time).
I've been there in December and January, and at that time at was really too cold to swim, and also pretty windy. Obviously it will be warmer in March although you may be better able to sit on the beach than to swim. You can sit on the beach even if there are red flags out.
As for places to eat - DeSoto's Seafood Kitchen was good
I don't know about the zoo, but it might be interesting to go down to Fort Morgan (has a Discovery Cove area in the Visitor's Center for children plus there are guns and the kids can run around in the fort).
While you are there you could take the ferry over to the other side to go to the Estuarium or Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island. Fort Gaines is a private park and museum. Among other things you can visit the Bakery and the Latrine (a ten seater flushed twice a day by the tide) the Bastion Magazine and then go to the Blacksmith Shop where there was a actual blacksmith making things our of iron and explaining the process as he went along. The things he produced were for sale.
Gulf Shores is close enough to take a day trip to Pensacola which has a MARVELOUS Naval Air Museum which I think the boys would enjoy - they also have IMAX and Simulator rides. On the Naval Base there is a lighthouse, and also Fort Barrancas which is a National Park and has a ranger tour at 2 pm every day.
Or you could go to Mobile. There's a free fort in Mobile, and a free shuttle around downtown.
Wow, that sounds great. I think the kids would be very interested in running around Fort Morgan. Guns? Cannons? Wide open spaces? Boy heaven! thanks for these tips.
Don't forget the 10 seat latrine at Fort Gaines (which also has the cannons etc).
Oh yeah, they'll be all about the 10-seat latrine!
If you want to swim you need to know that 6000.00 gallons of raw sewage were released into Mobile bay today 3/15/12 and they continue to find oil on the beaches. Maybe you should consider Florida east coast.
A lot of places in Gulf Shores had pools, and you could swim in the pool and just run around on the beach.