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.