Regional Travel

Alabama's Seaside Treasures

Nothing says summer like a trip to the beach and that timeless ritual of packing up the beach blankets, the coolers and sunscreen.  Nothing feels quite like the sand under your feet on the very first excursion of the season, or that first glimpse of ocean waters over the sand dunes.  Whether it’s a family vacation, a romantic getaway or a weekend road trip, there’s always a sense of fun and adventure.  Louisianans are in the lucky position of having so many great Gulf beach destinations to choose from within easy driving distance.  Alabama, for one, is a great choice for its close proximity, its sparkling clean waters and its rich abundance of options and offerings.
   
Sitting amid 32 miles of beautiful beaches that are stretched across a 30,000-acre island on the northernmost Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area is an ideal location for your next family vacation or weekend getaway.  Sea oats blow on top of sand dunes while gulf waters go on as far as the eye can see, and just inland, live oaks and pine forests grow along protected freshwater lakes, rivers, bayous and coves.
    
Aside from the beauty and fun of the Alabama beaches, the area offers scores of options for fun and entertainment with new businesses, shops and restaurants opening every month.  Families will love adventures such as dolphin and nature cruises, mini golf and water and amusement parks.  Couples on a romantic weekend will swoon over beachfront scenery, cozy restaurants and Ferris wheel rides at The Wharf, where they soar over the landscape.  Outdoors enthusiasts have near-endless options for golf, hiking, kayaking, fishing and water sports.  Day spas, fitness and wellness centers offer more serious rest and relaxation.  For the shoppers, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer everything from rows of charming boutiques to the Tanger Outlet Center in nearby Foley.
   
This spring and summer, Gulf Shores offers something for everyone with a lineup of concerts, sporting events, festivals and beachfront activities, including the 12th Annual Wooden Boat Festival (May 2-3); the Spring Wine and Food Festival at Distinctive Kitchens (May 9); the 2nd Annual EVP Gulf Shores Pro Am Beach Festival (May 16-17); the LuLu Palooza Music Festival 2009 (May 24); and the Pepsi Star Series and The Wharf present an entire season of top-notch musical events.
    
For more information on great deals and fun events, visit www.gulfshores.com.
   
Looking for an affordable luxury vacation in a beautiful Gulf beach location?  Look no further than Spectrum Vacations.  Spectrum offers affordable luxury vacation destinations for family and weekend getaways, including the Turquoise Place and Caribe Resort, both in Orange Beach, Ala.  In the luxury towers or on the private beach, visitors are sure to enjoy the amenities and the breathtaking sunsets.
   
Turquoise Place rises to a majestic 370 feet with 400 luxurious condominiums housed within two towers, each encased in shimmering “turquoise” glass. The 13.75 acres of property provide a solitary, relaxing atmosphere in the beauty of the extending sugar white sand. Each unit, ranging from approximately 2,300 to 5,900 square feet, has a magnificent view of the turquoise blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Turquoise Place is truly taking expectations to the next level by providing Jacuzzi brand hot tubs and outdoor kitchens on each balcony, a high-definition digital television mounted above a gas fireplace and Wolf and Sub-Zero stainless steel appliances in the kitchen.  Spring promotional deals include $290 per night for a 3-bedroom/3.5-bath luxury unit at Turquoise Place. This offer is valid through May 21. 
   
Meanwhile, Caribe offers one of the most amenity-packed condominium rentals that Gulf Shores or Orange Beach has to offer. With three 14-story towers loaded with fun, the resort boasts five pools, one and a half miles of shoreline, private beach cart service, lazy river pool, tennis courts, restaurants and much more. Caribe Resort is a great location for meetings and reunions, but most of all for families.
   
For more information visit www.spectrumvacations.com.

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