On Monday of our spring break, we headed to our primary destination – Gulf Shores, Alabama. In route to Gulf Shores, we stopped at Mississippi’s Petrified Forest. 1 I had no idea there was a petrified forest here, but it was a great roadside attraction and place to stretch our legs. The man working in the gift shop was friendly, and it made a more enjoyable break in the day than stopping at a fast food place.
This was a very impromptu trip, and my first campground choice would have been Gulf State Park. When I called the Friday before, she said they only had a few nights here and there open between now and the end of summer, and that they typically fill up three to six months in advance.
Instead, we read through many online reviews and found Gulf Breeze RV Resort in Gulf Shores. This is a campground with over 250 sites, and is almost entirely seasonal camping retirees (think extensive lawn ornamentation, elaborate lighting, and potted plants). I believe we saw only one other family with children during our several days there, and we took the only open space in the resort. Fortunately, it was a back in along an edge of trees, giving us some space and privacy. While maybe not geared toward the young family / smaller camper crowd, the facility was very well kept. The indoor pool was too cold for me, but my son loved it. The playground was nice, and I’m guessing the outdoor pool will be once it warms up a little more. The putt putt was not in good shape, but the grounds were clean, and the laundry and restroom / shower facilities were immaculate.
The employees were friendly. We said hi to some of the other campers, but we didn’t really spend much time at the campground with so much to see and do in the area. We’ve been to this area several times before, and had to visit our favorite places to eat – the Oyster House and Wentzill’s. There were some young spring breaker’s around town, but our time on the beach was fantastic and not crowded at all.
We did some hiking at the state park and the Branyon Backcountry Trail. I must say, the name “backcountry” might be a bit deceiving in the name, though. It was a beautiful trail, but was entirely paved and ideal for bikes (which we didn’t bring), and maybe not full gear hiking, for which we were prepared.
We visited Fort Morgan, which my seven year old found far more interesting than his visit here when he was four or five. The beach in this part is fantastic for finding shells because it has dramatic tides where the gulf and bay meet. Many people are fishing in this area, but as we kept walking down the peninsula, we found a perfect quiet patch of beach to occupy. We also stopped at a Sassy Bass for a fantastic brunch buffet featuring bread pudding french toast and biscuits and gravy that were both phenomenal.
Having been here many times before, we found our four night stay to be just enough to get a good taste of the beach before we headed back north.