Courtesy of Alabama Gulf Coast CVB Miles of white sand beaches make Gulf Shores an ideal spot for families.

The fine, white sand on the beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama, must have inspired the phrase "white sugar sand." There are 32 miles of white sand beaches, and the temperate water is swimmable eight months of the year. The towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have plenty of accommodations lining the shore and are filled with family fun such as miniature golf, water parks, marinas, and ice cream parlors. Gulf State Park has 2.5 miles of uncrowded dunes dotted by sea oats.

In spring and fall, this area is filled with migrating birds, especially around historic Fort Morgan, which is the first and last landfall for migrating songbirds. Every April and October, skilled bird banders arrive and stay for two weeks, gently catching and banding birds such as indigo buntings, warblers, and scarlet tanagers as they fly through.

Children can watch the banders go about their work and can "adopt" a bird and watch as it is released. They learn its name and habitat. Banders show how to hold a bird gently, and then demonstrate how to release it.

Gulf Shores Information

Address: Gulf Shores Welcome Center at 3150 Gulf Shores Pkwy., Gulf Shores, AL

Telephone: 251/968-7511 or 800/745-SAND

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Alabama State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Alabama, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.