Summer Getaway to Gulf Shores

From coastal cuisine to beach side bedrooms, Alabama's gulf coasts offers a variety of restaurants, places to shop, and dolphin tours.

Fun in the Sun

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Amber Autumn on July 27, 2007

I loved the Blue Dolphin Island Cruise and saw two dolphins off of Ono Island. There was an old pizza legend, Godfather's Pizza, that I haven't eaten in years. Calypso Joe's Fish Grille and Market was the best place because it was on the marina, held hermit crab races for the kids, and had great food. Also, in Adventure Island, I got to drive a go-kart where I satisfied my need for speed. I even got to build a volcano island on the beach with a moat surrounding the volcano (with thousands of seashells on it). ${QuickSuggestions} By staying at the Phoenix III, you get a coupon book that comes with many discounts on family attractions, including Adventure Island, Waterville USA, and Blue Dolphin Island Tours. There is also a shelf full of brochures inside the lobby, and near the check-in/ check-out desk. ${BestWay} If you're on Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach, then walking or driving is the best way. You're only a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Phoenix III

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Amber Autumn on July 27, 2007

"A passport, as I'm sure you know, is a document that one shows to government officials whenever one reaches a border between countries, so the officials can learn who you are, where you were born, and how you look when photographed unflatteringly."~Lemony Snicket, author of A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Phoenix III is a condo building that has about fourteen floors and a charming view of the beach. The Phoenix III had an indoor and outdoor pool, a hot tub, tennis courts, and even a grill to barbecue! There are about four other condo buildings, but this one was the best.

The room included a small kitchen, a spacious living room, a master bedroom, and a bathroom that combined the bedroom and the living room. The colors were beige and green with many plants, and Hawaiian print furniture. As well as a balcony of the alluring beach with strong gulf breezes.

Phoenix III
24230 Perdido Beach Boulevard
Gulf Shores, Alabama, 36561
(800) 211-7892

Calypso Joe's Fish Grille & Market

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Amber Autumn on July 27, 2007

"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities."-Dr. Seuss

Calypso Joe's Fish Grille and Market is not a fish market. It is on a marina overlooking the boat launch with an outdoor bar, a live band, hermit crab races for the kids at about 6pm, and offers a Caribbean/Jamaican atmosphere. There is an intertube with human legs in flippers on the ceiling, as well as other intertubes and Nemo fish. It even has Barbie getting eaten by a shark!

Finding Marina Road may be complicated since it is hidden. On Perdido Beach Boulevard, you turn by the Rite Aid and go on that back highway until you find a sign where it says Marina Road as well as many other places. You turn right and go down the road until you pass up the dolphin mailbox, and across the street from Tacky Jack's. Go into the parking lot that looks like the Marina and loading docks where a sign will say "Calypso Joe's this way, Mon!". Near it would be Mango's, another restaurant on the Marina.

The food is excellent. They have crab cakes, salsa and queso dip with chips, and have prime ribs. Even shrimp with cocktail sauce and coleslaw. The food is quite filling, as well as very good.

Calypso Joe's Fish Grille & Market
27075 Marina Road
Gulf Shores, Alabama
(251) 981-1415

Waterville USA, Water & Amusement Park

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Amber Autumn on July 28, 2007

"A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature."~Henry David Thoreau

Waterville USA is not too hard to miss on Highway 59. The towering water slides, and roller coaster are easily seen as you first drive in. Thrill-seekers can relax on an intertube in the lazy river, soar down the Black Widow, or the Hurricane, and even play in a water playground shaped like a shrimp boat that has a large pot on top and spills water on everyone surrounding it every five to ten minutes. There is also a wave pool and a Flowrider, a new exhibit to surf a wave. There is also mini golf and go-carts around the front.

There is food offered here, such as pizza, popcorn, hamburgers/cheeseburgers, french fries, and your choice of Pepsi products. The food is very pricey, so I would actually recommend eating before you came. The entrance price is also very pricey, too.

Waterville USA
906 Gulf Shores Pkwy.
Gulf Shores, Alabama, 36542
(251) 948-2106

Shopping at The Wharf

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Amber Autumn on July 28, 2007

"To be a fashionable woman is to know yourself, know what you represent, and know what works for you."-Author Unknown.

The Wharf is the Gulf Coast's newest shopping center with posh boutiques and restaurants. There is a variety of stores that have doggy treats for your puppy, baby items for moms with their bundles of joy, and even a twelve foot ferris wheel. The restaurants include a '50s diner, Johnny Rockets, Ginny Lanes, and a Mexican restaurant, Frontera.

Finding Canal Road is also very challenging. If you're on Perdido Beach Boulevard, you need to turn by the Rite Aid and keep on going straight until you come to a fork in the road. You take the left side and go down until you see a huge ferris wheel. You will have to pass up a gas station, and look at the street signs on the traffic light wire. When you see the Wharf on one, you turn at the next light.

4550 Main Street
Orange Beach, Alabama, 36561
(877) 942-7325

Blue Dolphin Cruises, LLC

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Amber Autumn on July 28, 2007

"It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars, and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons." ~Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Blue Dolphin Tours are scheduled for 2pm and 5:30pm. They last about two hours. The tour is not only dedicated to spotting dolphins, but is a historical tour of a small island that is not too far from Perdido Beach Blvd. Ono Island is a small island home to Britney Spears and a house that she rarely used, a certain famous Nascar star's house (hint: drives a car with number 24), and then a former Miami Dolphin quarterback.

Orange Beach got its name from the large abundance of orange trees. The Spanish brought with them lime and lemon trees. Pirates had often liked to hide behind Ono Island to hide their treasure and scrape off barnacles so their boats could easily move through the water. It also came in handy when they started getting scurvy, which is a lack of Vitamin C, and the oranges helped them out. Then, in 1928, a winter came and froze all the orange trees, making people question where Orange Beach got its name from.

The dolphins were playful and a thrilling sight. Their fin pops out of the water, and they come very close to the boat. There were two shrimping boats near our boat. The dolphins and sea gulls followed the boat, knowing they could eat the fish and shrimp. They are intelligent creatures! There is also a chance to buy stuffed animal dolphins and T-shirts. Remember, if you stay at the Phoenix, check your coupon book because you can get a free T-shirt if you show when you purchase the tickets.

To find the boat, you need to look for a truck with a jet-ski that will have a blue flag from Perdido Beach Blvd. You turn into the parking lot, and will find a small trailer where you'll buy your tickets, walk onto the dock, and load into a fun adventure!

Blue Dolphin Cruises
29603 Perdido Beach Blvd.
Orange Beach, Alabama, 36561
(251) 981-2774

Helpful Hints: Beach Flag Warning System

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Amber Autumn on July 31, 2007

"May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun And find your shoulder to light on, To bring you luck, happiness and riches Today, tomorrow and beyond."~Irish Blessing

Beach Flags are essential to having a good as well as safe time. A green flag means low hazard. It is the best conditions to go swimming, or build sandcastles right next to the water. A yellow flag is moderate surf and/or currents.

A single red flag has strong waves and a high surf and/or currents. A double rag flag means that the beach is closed to the public. Don't swim alone when these flags are up.

A purple flag means dangerous marine life such as sharks, jellyfish, and many others.

Also, in case of a jellyfish sting, avoid putting fresh water on the injured area; pour vinegar and use a credit card to scrape the tentacle fragment from the skin.

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