Still Time to Hit the Beach Before School Starts

By: April Boone

One of the beauties of having such easy access to the AlabamaGulfCoast is that a jaunt to find sand and surf generally does not require weeks of planning, reservations or lots of cash.

In fact, with a few clicks of your mouse, you can find that someone else has done the hard work for you.

At the local tourism site prospective visitors can check out a calendar of events, search for availability of accommodations and find fun places to eat, shop or explore.

One nifty feature of the site is the Travel Tools feature. Click on the drop-down menu and find maps, weather conditions and specialty rentals. Perhaps the best tool is the Cruising to the Coast Calculator, which allows you to enter your zip code and the average price per gallon of gas to calculate the cost of a trip to visit GulfShores and OrangeBeach.

Now that gas prices are beginning to ease downward, that number looks even more enticing.

Travel time is a great time to discuss the options for vacation time. The key to an end-of-summer trip to is to get in as much fun as possible while still finding time to relax, recharge and refresh yourself.

One way to do this is to sneak in a little pampering or indulgence, and the form that takes is highly individual. For some, the best relaxation is “retail therapy," and OrangeBeach and GulfShores are full of trendy shops and quirky stores. Of course, a visit to the Wharf at OrangeBeach is a way to find a variety of stores in one locale.

The Wharf, a resort, also has numerous other activities, such as a concert series featuring names such as Crosby, Stills & Nash; Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick; and Sugarland with LeAnn Rimes. The Wharf also features a 112-foot Ferris wheel, the tallest in the Southeast, and an indoor miniature golf course. Speaking of golf, GulfShores is a duffer's paradise, with nine golf courses within driving distance designed by some of the top names in the sport.

If an adventure is your way to recharge, the AlabamaGulfCoast also offers numerous options for fishing, biking, swimming and walking. Find out more at http://www.thebeachiscalling.org/.

You've packed your bagsArticle Search, and you've packed your days with ideas to suit the needs of everyone in the group. So what are you waiting for? The beach is calling!

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