When you book your Gulf Shores vacation rental, be sure to leave room in your itinerary to pay a visit to places associated with interesting local figures. You'll still have plenty of time for the beach and golf.

Mobile: Home of Hank Aaron

Meet Alabama's hometown heroes in the Gulf CoastHenry "Hank" Aaron grew up in the fine city of Mobile, Alabama, where you can take your family to his old neighborhood. In fact, the Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum are part of the Hank Aaron Stadium where the Mobile BayBears minor league team plays. This seven-room home has hundreds of artifacts that curators have collected over the years, representing various aspects of his decorated career as a baseball player.

Aaron was born in 1934 and quickly became one of the best players in the Negro Leagues, only to push through racial boundaries and make his presence known in the major leagues in the '50s, '60s and '70s. To this day, he's still considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

After touring Aaron's childhood home, stop at the History Museum of Mobile, where you can get an even more comprehensive look into Gulf Coast history. Also, don't miss the Admiral Raphael Semmes' house, who served as the captain of the CSS Alabama during the Civil War.

Alabama's Gulf Coast from Jimmy Buffet's point of view

Along with Hank Aaron, famous singer songwriter Jimmy Buffet still calls Mobile his home. Because of his unique upbringing in this part of the state, Buffet was ingrained with philosophies true to the area, never taking himself too seriously and always showing a bit of Southern hospitality with each of his songs. Even though he moved to Key West, Florida, in his later years, he still returns to Gulf Shores for a seat at LuLu's, his sister's restaurant.

A major musical influence since the 1970s, "Come Monday" was his first hit (1974) and Changes in Latitude his first platinum album (1977), and his amazing career is still going strong, - including consistently sold-out concerts. Buffett's talents also include those of author, movie producer, and actor. He's also a licensed pilot and is active in environmental groups. The laid-back, beachy lifestyle he personifies through his music has been filled with hard work, yet every part of it laced with pure enjoyment.