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After a day spent having a blast in Gulf Shores, hitting the shops, playing with the kids on the beach or playing a round of golf, it's important to cap the evening with a quality meal. You need something to delight your palate that also reflects the region's reputation for tasty seafood. Lucky for you, there are plenty of great places to get shrimp, scallops, crab claws, tuna, triggerfish, amberjack, soft-shell crabs and grouper on Alabama and Florida's Gulf Coast. Whether you're anticipating a memorable dinner with that special someone or taking the kids out for a fun meal, there is a world of possibilities for vacationing guests.

A taste of the gulf 

If there's one thing the Gulf Coast is known for, it's the gorgeous coastline that defines the area – but if there are two things it's known for, the second is obviously the delicious seafood caught just off that coastline! The Gulf Shores region will not disappoint visitors interested in sampling some of the tastiest fish around, including red snapper, amberjack, grouper and more. Many of the local restaurants serve fish caught that day, so you never need to worry about finding the restaurants with the freshest catch – they're all around you. Some restaurants, such as Mikee's and Shipp's Harbour Grill, will even cook any fish you caught yourself!

Finding a great seafood restaurant in Gulf Shores is no problem at all. Try a platter of golden goodness at the Shrimp Basket, enjoy some seafood gumbo at Sea-N-Suds Restaurant & Oyster Bar overlooking the sand and surf, or try to spot the resident alligator in the lagoon while dining at the Original Oyster House. Of course, you don't have to go out to sample some of the region's best foods - after all, your condo or beach house rental comes equipped with a full kitchen! One of the best spots to pick up the freshest fish and other delicacies from the gulf and bay waters is Blalock Seafood, which boasts two locations that can provide you with everything from shrimp to crawfish to mullet that were still swimming that morning.

Excellent cuisine

For that special evening with your significant other or a large family gathering, Alabama and Florida's Gulf Coast offers many options. Sample gourmet fish and seafood specialties along with grass-fed beef and veal dishes at Voyagers in Orange Beach, a continental restaurant helmed by a celebrated chef.

If you'd like to pair your meal with a fine wine, head to Gulf Shores' Sunset Cork Room or one of several restaurants that specialize in pairing wine with your meal. Utilizing only the freshest ingredients of the Gulf Coast, this restaurant offers a wide selection of inspired American dishes and an extensive wine list that is sure to pair splendidly with your entrée. Other places that are perfect for an excellent evening of eating include Cobalt, Louisiana Lagniappe and Villaggio located along the waterfront areas of Orange Beach.

Of course, this is only a fraction of the great dining opportunities found along our 38-plus miles of beautiful coastline. Guests exploring the region are encouraged to get out and discover all of the wonderful restaurants throughout the area.