Disclosure: While my accommodations, food, and activities were covered, my opinion is my own!credit
Have you been to the beautiful gulf beaches of Alabama? I’m a Florida girl and thought I had seen and done everything beach related. I’ve surfed, fished, swam, boogie boarded, parasailed, and more. Little did I know I was in for a treat when I arrived to Gulf Shores, Alabama.
First, the beaches are gorgeous. Beautiful WHITE SAND beaches that I don’t get to see here on the east coast of Florida. It was picturesque. Although there were much cooler temperatures during our visit, we were able to take a walk along the beach and admire it’s beauty. There were many, many surfers out in the water. The waves were perfect for surfing. And apparently the surfers didn’t mind the 60’s air temps. The water was much warmer.
This trip was a wellness trip. What do you think of when you think of wellness? There are many things that relate to your wellness. Yoga, nature, relaxation, good friends, food that is good and good for you, and so much more. It’s not JUST about exercise. The gulf shores of Alabama is a perfect place for a wellness trip. Not only were the beaches a perfect place to relax, the areas we visited were not busy at all. Overcrowded beaches do not equal relaxation!
Take a scenic bike ride
I have to tell you, this bike ride is nothing like I imagined. I was not really looking forward to it because I’m not in tip top fitness. In fact I’m nowhere near in shape. I was excited for my 15 year old daughter that came along for the ride and I made it clear to her that we may be stopping quite often to rest.
We were headed to Beach Bike Rentals in Orange Beach after a very light breakfast. There we met the staff and we chose our favorite bike. I chose the Electra Cruiser. The bikes were “fitted” for us. Meaning, the seat was moved to the correct height and adjusted properly. We were given an explanation of the trail we’d be on and how to ride our bikes. Then we were sent on our way with map in hand for our 2 hour ride. Again, I was hesitant that we would be out on the trail for even half an hour. I was happily proven very, very wrong.
An entrance to the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail was located right next door to Beach Bike Rentals. The Trail is named for long-time Gulf State Park Superintendent Hugh Branyon, who managed the park from 1970 until retirement in 2009. The Trail was recently designated a National Recreation Trail in 2010 and is a part of the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail and the Coastal Connection National Scenic Byway. There are miles and miles of beautiful scenery to take in on the trail.
We stopped quite a few times during the trail. Not because I was tired, but because we wanted to take in the beautiful scenery.
And we even met this lil lady. Mike told us about her back at the Bike Rental store:
Let’s just say that 2 hours FLEW by and I was not out of breath or exhausted like I imagined. In fact, if we didn’t have a lunch date, we would have stayed even longer. I will be writing more about the Beach Rentals in another post.
RELAX by the water
Relaxing by the water was one of our favorite activities during the trip. This area is full of breathtaking views. Almost every restaurant we visited was on the ocean or the bay. We were rarely away from the water. Our accommodations were on the bay with a picturesque view. Ever morning we drank our coffee with this gorgeous view:
An uninterrupted coffee with a view is part of my wellness plan for sure. Our days were spent sleeping in, drinking coffee with this spectacular view, visiting gorgeous beaches, eating delicious food, and relaxing!
Another stop we had on our agenda, was camping at Lake Shelby at Gulf State Park. Sadly, the weather didn’t cooperate and it was just too windy to take out a kayak. Next time for sure. The park looks gorgeous and there are so many things to do. Camp (tent or cabin), hike, kayak, bike, or just take in the views.
Want to plan a visit to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, Alabama? Check out their website full of great information and their social sites below:
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism
Mobile App (Gulf Beaches App): http://www.gulfshores.com/travel-tools/apps-mobile/