One of the best parts of a vacation in Gulf Shores is spending time in the beautiful and fascinating environment that is found in the area. While hiking nearby trails or exploring the shores that sit steps from your Gulf Shores condos are great ways to get closer to nature, a few local experiences can provide you with unique interactions with marine life that you won't soon forget. 

Adult travelers and families alike will appreciate the natural wonders found around Gulf Shores. Those vacationers who are eager to get up close and personal with creatures can head to a local spot where animals are at the forefront. Some of these locales, such as the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, are can't-miss attractions for visitors to the area, and when you make the trek to Dauphin Island, you should be sure to stop by The Estuarium.

The Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is a marine laboratory that aims to educate and influence policy. While much of the institution is dedicated to learning more about the world blossoming underwater, a few sections of the facility cater specifically to the general public. 

Popular sites on the grounds of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab include a coastal waters resource center, a real-time Weather Station, a gift shop and bookstore, and an interactive boat exhibit. No matter what you're drawn to, you are sure to find something that piques your interest on the property. 

What to look for

This aquarium has been designed to depict four habitats found around the Gulf Coast: the Mobile Tensaw River Delta, Mobile Bay, the Barrier Islands and the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Each of these areas is home to a unique array of sea creatures and plants, and the facility has packed them into its 10,000-square-foot space. 

The Estuarium is filled with fascinating areas like the Exhibit Hall feature marine animals in their natural habitats, while the Living Marsh Boardwalk provides a place for visitors to stroll through and experience the scenery for themselves. After this hands-on experience, you'll have an increased appreciation for the environment found around Gulf Shores, and you may even learn a few new things about your favorite animals in the area. 

Make a day of it

There are enough activities on Dauphin Island to fill several hours, so it's not uncommon for vacationers staying at nearby Gulf Shores rentals to take a day trip to the locale. Set on a barrier island about 3 miles south of Mobile Bay, the destination is easily reached by a ferry from Fort Morgan. The entirety of Dauphin Island has been designated as a bird sanctuary, so there's a good chance you'll get to spot some majestic birds take flight as you travel to and from the Estuarium. 

With a goal of imparting knowledge on visitors and inspiring curiosity, The Estuarium is the perfect place to travel to when in the Gulf Shores area.