The great thing about a beach vacation is that you can do as little or as much as you like. If you crave more action than watching the tide ebb and flow, you'll find plenty of it in Gulf Shores. Just about every kind of activity that involves water is available, from diving and snorkeling to sailing and parasailing.
Less effort but lots of fun is stepping aboard a glass-bottom boat for a dolphin-watching cruise. Some captains also offer drinks and snacks, plus a fascinating commentary on the abundant wildlife that populates Alabama's coastal waterways and bayous.
And the whole family's sure to enjoy a wet and wild adventure in one of the area's water parks. Food is available at park concession stands, so you can go early and spend the day.
For a break from water sports, you can go bird watching on Dauphin Island, admire the manicured beauty of Bellingrath Gardens, or tour the World War II battleship USS Alabama, anchored in nearby Mobile Bay.
Or, for a one-of-a-kind of adventure ¬- and a view of the area from a whole new vantage point - sign up for a hot-air balloon ride over the Gulf and coastal wetlands.
For more options, and for diving/snorkeling and boat charter information, check out our list of area businesses.