Read This Before You Book Your Gulf Coast Beach Vacation Rentals


Beach vacations are for relaxation and rejuvenation. Unfortunately, visitors may arrive unprepared due to hectic schedules and work demand, which can add unnecessary strain to their vacation experience. 

There are numerous ways to plan ahead and prepare in advance to ensure a seamless and carefree experience with Gulf Coast vacation rentals. However, in the event of forgetting any essentials, The Emerald Coast by Owner is available to provide assistance, making your getaway enjoyable and relaxing.

1. Make a List 

Creating a packing list does not take as long as you might anticipate, and it proves to be incredibly useful. Save it on your computer or phone for repeated use. 

Be sure to include essential clothing items like:

    • Flip-flops
    • Swimsuits
  • Other necessary garments
  • Cover-ups

2. Pack Beach Essentials First 

Thoughtful planning can significantly simplify the packing process rather than throwing together a suitcase the night before. 

For Gulf Shores beachgoers, essentials for a beach bag include:

  • Towels
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Recreational items like a football or Frisbee
  • A hat or visor
  • Baggies for collecting seashells and other mementos
  • Pain relievers 
  • Lip balm. 

Packing this bag in advance reduces the likelihood of leaving necessities behind. 

3. Pre-order Groceries 

When staying at any Resorts property, you have the option to pre-order groceries, which will be conveniently delivered to your room before your arrival.

This eliminates the need for a last-minute grocery store trip upon arrival, allowing you to head straight to the pool or the beach and begin your vacation without any delays.

4. Pack Toiletries 

It is important for vacationers to remember that the toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, and dish detergent provided in your unit upon arrival are only a starter supply. 

You will likely need more, so consider packing these items or including them in your grocery list for your beach vacation at the Gulf Shores to ensure a comfortable and convenient stay.

5. Reserve Beach Chairs 

For Resorts guests, a valuable tip is to call ahead and reserve beach chairs. This proactive approach alleviates the need to arrange this after arrival and offers the opportunity to request chairs with the best, unobstructed view. 

Additionally, it eliminates concerns about them being sold out during peak season, ensuring a stress-free beach experience.

6. Shop in Advance 

A trip to your local dollar store can yield fantastic, bargain beach treasures. Items such as water guns, noodles, sand buckets, molds, kites, a laundry bag (ideal for toting beach toys to and from the room as sand sifts right through the small holes), sunglasses, and snacks are all great additions to enhance your Gulf Shores vacation experience.

7. Have a Rainy-Day Plan 

When preparing for your Gulf Shores trip, think about bringing DVDs from home, playing cards, your favorite board game, microwave popcorn, and other entertainment.

Bowling alleys and movie theaters offer excellent options for indoor activities during inclement weather, and spa treatments are a great way to unwind. 

Guests of Resorts can also take advantage of free DVD rentals at the Clubhouse, and the Clubhouse Game room provides a fun space for children to burn off some energy. 

8. Schedule Car Maintenance 

An upcoming beach vacation offers a timely opportunity to make sure your vehicle is in top condition by having its oil changed, tires rotated, and completing a quick checkup. 

This proactive step may help prevent any unforeseen issues during your trip, enhancing your overall vacation experience.

9. Indulge in Fresh Coastal Cuisine

When hunger strikes, consider indulging in the freshest Gulf seafood at one of the area’s excellent local restaurants. Experience a delightful combination of a show and dinner as you relish your meal outdoors at Tacky Jacks, while enjoying 

  • Live music
  • Delectable food
  • Drinks with friends. 

Alternatively, relish the coastal ambiance and savor delectable seafood while enjoying a beach-goer favorite, the bushwhacker, at the world-famous Flora-Bama Lounge.

Beside fresh catches, the restaurants along the beach offer an array of tempting options, including finger-licking barbecue, mouthwatering burgers, and delectable desserts.

To minimize wait times during dinner, consider arriving at restaurants before 5 pm or after 8 pm, especially during the spring and summer season.

10. Getting Around

During your stay, consider bringing a bike or renting one from the many rental shops. Additionally, if you are exploring Gulf State Park, you can take advantage of the free bike share program, an innovative initiative that enables visitors aged 16 and older to borrow a bike for up to three hours. 

With everything you need in close proximity, traveling via two wheels is a delightful way to get around. While cycling through Gulf State Park, consider making a stop at Woodside Restaurant. Here, you can savor a fresh meal in the dining room, on the outdoor deck under a shade tree or screened porch. 

In addition to delectable Southern cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients, you can partake in a variety of backyard games. Woodside offers dining options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also provides take-out services for your convenience.

11. Beating the Traffic

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are undeniably becoming increasingly popular destinations. Visitors typically access these towns via two main roads: the Expressway Baldwin/Foley Beach and Alabama Highway 59. 

The expressway, featuring a toll bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, is often the quicker route and provides access to I-10 as well. It can be conveniently accessed at Exit 49.

Final word

Gulf Shores rentals provide an array of adventures on both land and water. Discover picturesque waterways perfect for kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, complete with sightings of majestic birds like ospreys and eagles. 

For a thrilling experience, rent a Jet Ski and explore the Gulf’s expanse. Uncover the natural beauty of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge on maritime trails and pristine beaches, or enjoy hiking and biking at Graham Creek Nature Preserve, Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, and Fort Morgan Road Trail. 

Gulf State Park offers wildlife spotting, kayaking, paddleboarding, and Segway tours, while adrenaline seekers can opt for parasailing. Conclude your day with a stunning sunset aboard an evening cruise, making for a memorable and enriching experience.


Lucy Miller

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