There is more to Gulf Shores than picturesque beaches and pretty sunsets. While some travelers may appreciate only the aesthetic aspects of this area, you and your family may be hoping for a more profound experience.

Fortunately for you, there really is much more to Gulf Shores than meets the eye. With a rich historic background, this coastal town and its surrounding areas offer the perfect chance to expand your cultural horizons.

Numerous significant events happened along the Gulf of Mexico in the development of the United States as we know it today.

In fact, a noteworthy Civil War battle, the Battle of Mobile Bay, took place only a short distance from your Gulf Shores rentals. Staying on the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast is a great way to immerse yourself in local history around you during your vacation.

Have a blast from the past
One of the most intriguing historic areas in Alabama is the Battle of Mobile Bay Civil War Trail. Extending for more than 90 miles, this route is dotted with sites that invite you and your children to peer back in time and learn about significant events that happened during the Civil War. No matter what kind of topics may pique your interest - whether it be tales of commanding officers or accounts of cadets - there is likely to be a locale to suit your family's preference.

Before you venture out the front door of your Gulf Shores vacation rental, you should take a little bit of time to sit down with your children and read about this battle. This way, you will have some context as you hop from one historical site to another.

How about some context?

Take a bite out of Southern history by visiting Civil War sitesThe Battle of Mobile Bay started on Aug. 2, 1864, when Confederate troops blockaded Mobile Bay, preventing ships from entering. In opposition, Rear Admiral David Farragut and his Union naval fleet disregarded this restriction and proceeded to enter the area on Aug. 5. Upon doing so, Confederate forces stationed in Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines fired at the 18 ships.

This did not stop the Union fleet, which eventually encountered Admiral Franklin Buchanan's Confederate ship, the CSS Tennessee. After a lengthy battle, the Confederates waved the white flag, and the Union captured both forts. This gave these troops a valuable foothold in one of the South's key ports.

Today, Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan visitors can see the locations that were home to the Mobile Bay Battle. ExploreSouthernHistory.com explained that Fort Gaines, though more than 150 years old, is still in pristine condition, making it an ideal attraction for travelers to visit.