Poised to accept vacationers as they become ready to travel again, Alabama’s beach communities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have many social distancing things to do. Additionally, most accommodations have extra protocol in place to assure high-quality cleaning before and after your stay. In other words, they’re ready when you are!
I have a feeling about travel this year following a world-wide pandemic. I predict as folks start venturing out for vacations and getaways, they’re going to visit what’s closeby and what’s comfortable. Road trips will be highly-valued, as well as the most common means of arriving to a given destination. Many Alabamians (and those from nearby towns in other southern states) have a fondness for the 32 miles of sugar-white sandy beaches that make up the Gulf of Mexico shoreline across the lower portion of the state. And, that makes this particular destination a gem of a “nearcation” in the eyes of those who already hold it so dear.
What To Expect
It makes sense to wonder what things will look like on a Gulf Shores and Orange Beach trip this season. Below are some things you can expect that will hopefully help in the planning and preparation for travel. And, again, this is encouragement only for people to travel when they are ready; not to defy stay-at-home orders or travel restrictions in your own state.
- Face masks are encouraged in public places where you can’t safely social distance from one another.
- Lodging and accommodation properties have accelerated their cleaning protocols with rigorous additions to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. Most have these new procedures listed on their sites.
- Restaurants are serving at tables spaced six feet apart or, in some cases, every other table to help encourage social distancing at this time. Outdoor dining is available at many restaurants. Also, many offer delivery services and takeout options. Picnic anyone?
- Most attractions are now open, but practicing social distancing and limited admissions.
- There are some local options for grocery pickup/delivery to help vacationers avoid grocery store crowds. Walmart, Rouses and Publix all participate in these services. Also, feel free to bring groceries from home as local stores could be running low on some items.
Social Distancing Things To Do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
While sun seekers will still be able to soak up rays (six feet apart) on their favorite beach, there are many things to do that offer perfect social distancing experiences.
- Hit the trails by hiking, biking or even Segway. You’ll find lots of options at Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails and the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge.
- Get out on the water with standup paddleboards, canoes, kayaks or jet skis.
- Book a private glass blowing lesson at The Hot Shop.
- Fishing from the Orange Beach Waterfront Park Pier is always fun for families.
- Check out Sand Castle University for a private class to learn premium sand castle building techniques. She comes to you as long as you are near sand and water.
- Visit Historic Fort Morgan and sneak a little education into your beach trip. Want to up the ante a little? Hop on the Mobile Bay Ferry and ride over to explore Fort Gaines Historic Site.
- Pay a visit to The Wharf in Orange Beach for the evening SPECTRA Light and Sound Show or play a round of mini golf.
- Enjoy a terrific, relaxing dolphin cruise to catch a stunning evening sunset.
No matter if you want to order takeout and have a picnic at Gulf State Park’s Lake Shelby or try something new like a motorized tiki bar (accommodating six guests) from Cruisin’ Tikis, you’ll have an ideal vacation with a little planning that puts your family right in its sweet spot.
This post is a collaboration with Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism. Opinions and suggestions are uniquely my own.