If you are looking for a perfect vacation spot for the kids, look no further than Gulf Shores rentals on Alabama's Gulf coast. Not only are these houses and condos located right on the sparkling Gulf of Mexico with squeaking white sand right outside your doorstep, they're conveniently located near a handful of family-friendly attractions. Whether your kids want to see some local wildlife or experience a speed-fueled thrill at the amusement park, this beach-side city has activities to fill up your whole vacation. 

Animal lovers 

See the alligators or play a round of mini-golf at the many family-friendly attractions near Gulf Shores rentals.If your kids are dying to see some loveable animals, head to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, where lions, tigers, monkeys, macaws and more await. Kids will love the chance to touch a few of the friendly creatures at the petting zoo, or seeing the birds fly at the aviary.

For those less interested in the warm and cuddly and more into the slithery and scaled creatures, there's Alligator Alley. This attraction is located a bit further away from Gulf Shores beach houses and condos, but it's worth the 35-minute drive to Summerdale if you're looking to see nearly 450 alligators in their natural environment. When the weather is nice, you may even get to witness a feeding or hold a gator!

Thrill seekers

Got some adrenaline junkies in your family? Head to The Track Family Recreation Center for some fast-paced fun the whole gang will enjoy. Mom and Dad can go head to head with the kids in a go-kart race, or everyone can relax for a round of mini golf. The arcade, laser tag room and other activities are perfect for an evening after a long day spent on the beach.

Fitness families

Whether you all love to run or Mom and Dad want to take the kids out for a morning jog, beach houses in Gulf Shores are ideal, since early morning or late-afternoon runs on the beach are just a matter of walking out the door of your beach house or condominium building. However, if you're looking for a different route for one day, head to the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails. Technically part of the Gulf State Park, these trails are accessible from several different points in Orange Beach, and are just a short drive from Gulf Shores condos and other rentals.

Perhaps best of all, the paths are paved, which means it's easy for parents to jog with strollers or tow the kids in bike trailers. Or, the whole family could head out on the path on bikes and scooters.

Putting pirates

Maybe you has a passion for golfing, or perhaps the kids love pretending to play pirates. Either way, Pirates Island in Gulf Shores is the perfect place to come together. Family members of all ages and abilities can participate in a round of mini golf at the Jean LaFitte or Blackbeard 18-hole courses at this facility.

The kids might love it so much they're inspired to head to the real links with their parents another day during the trip - there are plenty of golf courses nearby that offer lessons for kids and adults.