National Geographic recently named Gulf Shores among the top five most accommodating beaches in the United States.
That’s because of the availability of manual and motorized beach wheelchairs available for rent from Beach Power Rentals.
Thanks to the beach wheelchairs, those with mobility issues can get out onto the sand without limiting movement or use and risking damage to their chairs. The chairs may be delivered to Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, Ala., or Perdido Key or Pensacola, Fla.
The company’s wheelchair rentals can be taken directly onto the sand with a guaranteed smooth ride.
Workers at Beach Power Rentals will customize the rental chair with the joystick mounted on either side of the chair. They will even remove it completely and give it to a caregiver to control. “We are also able to make independent adjustments throughout, including the length, height, width and rotation of the footrest,” according to company officials.
Chairs are available in three sizes, and there is no delivery charge in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.
Chairs can be rented for anywhere from one day to five or more days, with the per day rate going down with each additional day's rental.
Other items for rent include manual beach wheelchairs, transfer chairs, shower chairs, electric scooters, beach umbrellas and scooters.
Beach Power Rentals is a family-owned-and-operated business that has served the area for 13 years.
Adding to the accessibility of Gulf Shores beaches is a new accessibility mat that allows wheelchair users to get close to the water without needing a beach chair.
“The city of Gulf Shores considers accessibility a high priority, and it is our desire to make our beachfront more accessible,” said city officials. “We are making great strides to reach our goal of complete accessibility with the addition of the new 20-foot-wide concrete promenade combined with the access mats on the beach.”
The access mats are located at the west end of Gulf Place Public Beach parking area at West Second Street and at the east end of Gulf Place Public Beach near the Pink Pony Pub.
The access mats are placed to stop short of the water due to the slope that leads to the lower region of the beach. The incline is too steep for wheelchair users to easily return to the boardwalk.
In addition to the two access mats, the Beach Safety Office, located at Gulf Place Public Beach, has beach wheelchairs for the public to use on a first-come-first-served basis. Beach safety officers and lifeguards are happy to assist anyone needing help accessing the beachfront.