When you want to relax somewhere you can smell and taste the sea, run away to Gulf Shores, Alabama. That’s exactly what I did, for three whole days. Guess what! I even left my laptop behind. Talk about miracles. (But no, I couldn’t quite give up WiFi. Or my phone. And yes I was very glad for cable TV.)
Where I Stayed
To get the full Gulf Shores experience, I rented a condo in Gulf Shores, right on the beach. I couldn’t be in that town without an irresistible urge to enter the water at any time of the day, so it was best to be on the beach itself.
First, it’s literally like being in a beach house, but with the benefit of an amazing view. Morning, noon, or night, I could either get in the water or enjoy sunrise, sunset, and strong, fresh air.
Where I Ate
When in Gulf Shores, Alabama, eat the best seafood you’ll ever taste. For a fun change from the normal supermarket-to-kitchen lifestyle, I visited Mikee’s Seafood Restaurant. Believe it or not, you can catch your own fish and they’ll cook it for you. I am not normally that up close and personal with my dinner, but I sure felt like I earned that grilled catfish. Yum!
Okay, I admit I got a craving for non-seafood. I hit Kitty’s Kafe at a run on my third day brunch and gorged on home-style pancakes and chicken fried steak. And strong black coffee. And basically let’s just say whatever diet I thought I’d keep because I was visiting a beach with a whole lot of seafood wasn’t kept.
Where I Went
To make myself hungry for all the food I saw on the beach, my first day trip was to Gulf State Park, for a short 3-hour hike. It’s mostly flat, with some parts along the beach and near lakes. A great place for relaxing and letting all the work stress disappear.
Day 2 saw me haunting Fort Morgan, along with the rest of the ghosts that actually live there. It was built after the War of 1812, completed by 1833. Just walking on the walls was enough–the sea made it hard to tell what time period I was in. I stood and let the place take me 200 years back, and walked along the beach.
Day 3 I wandered into the Gulf Shores Museum to get some more of the history into my bones before leaving. It was a pre-World War II house they turned into a museum. My favorite things in it are an old church steeple and a ship’s mast (mostly because those are the oddest things to find in a house!). But it was a great way to end a vacation.
Run Away to the Beach
Next time you go on vacation, hunt down a beach front condo and spend some time with the sea, the wind, and history. The memories will go back home with you, giving you a safe place to dream when you need to let go and renew your energy.