Bring Fido on a family vacation to Gulf Shores.

Taking a family vacation is exciting, but also heartbreaking when you have to leave the canine member of your family behind. Fortunately, if you are planning a stay at a Gulf Shores or Fort Morgan beach house rental, you can bring your furry friend with you and enjoy several attractions together.

Bring Fido on a family vacation to Gulf Shores

Want to plan a vacation to Alabama's stunning tropical shore, but don't want to leave Fido behind? Fortunately, there are several Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan vacation rental houses (no condos) that are dog-friendly with certain restrictions and fees, and there are even a few Gulf Shores area businesses that welcome canine companions as well.

Although the municipalities of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Perdido Key prohibit dogs on the beach, just to the west the Fort Morgan beaches accommodate walking your dog along the shore - of course, with the proper courtesies involved. Check out a few dog-friendly locales on the Gulf Coast:

1. Bruster's Real Ice Cream

Bring Fido on a family vacation to Gulf Shores.Treat Fido to a free ice cream sundae made just for him. The parlor offers this special treat with dog biscuits crumbled on top so your furry friend can enjoy an ice cream date along with the rest of the family.

2. Sunset Grille

For visitors who want the adventure of bringing along their pet while they head out to dinner, Sunset Grille in Perdido Key, Florida, is a wonderful option. Dogs are allowed to enjoy the stunning sunsets at this waterside restaurant, where staff will provide a leash if you forgot to bring one. This family-friendly establishment is famous for its juicy grouper bites - tasty for humans and canines!

3. Gulf State Park

The beach might be the main draw to Gulf Shores for you and your family, but it's the woods that will please your pooch. Head to Gulf State Park and set out on one of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails, which wind through the depths of the park and allow you to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature while your pup gets a good workout. (It's not a good idea to let him go swimming, though - many of the waterways and swamps are home to American alligators.) Leashes are recommended on these trails.

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Take the road less traveled at the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Take the road less traveled at the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

From the butterfly gardens to the coastal hardwood swamps, the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is just waiting to be explored by families staying at Orange Beach area vacation rentals. With more than 10 miles of trails to choose from, you can easily spend a few hours discovering nature.

Mingle with nature in Fort Morgan

Mingle with nature in Fort Morgan

Along with its spectacular beaches, Fort Morgan is also a tropical oasis for numerous species of migratory bird. If you're planning on staying at a beach vacation rental property in the area, you'll certainly want to check out the nature reserves and get up close and personal with the gulf-area wildlife.

3 perks to staying at beach house rentals

Benefits of condo and beach house rentals

When first you start looking for accommodations in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan or Perdido Key, your first instinct might be to book a few nights at a hotel or bed and breakfast. While these lodgings have their perks, there's nothing quite like staying in your own condo or house by the beach.

Why rent a beach property?

Why rent a beach property?

With a blend of Southern hospitality and some of the most stunning scenery anywhere in the nation, memories of your Gulf Shores area vacation package could last a lifetime. Renting an affordable condo along the beach gives you the chance to spend time with your family.

Things to do in Fort Morgan

Things to do in Fort Morgan

Whether you're staying at Gulf Shores beach house rentals or charming accommodations anywhere else in Alabama's illustrious coastline, you should make it a point to stop in Fort Morgan, which boasts a number of museums and activities fit for the whole family.

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