Whether you’re looking for a laid-back vacation or something a little more adventurous, the Gulf Coast beach communities of Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan and Orange Beach, Ala., and Perdido Key, Fla., make an ideal destination.

It’s Time To Relax!

Those who prefer to simply chill on vacation will find plenty of options, not the least of which is hitting the beach with a good book or a enjoying a leisurely walk along the abundant, white-sand shoreline.

Another way to relax during your beach vacation to the Gulf Coast is to visit one of the numerous spas along the Gulf Coast, where the staff is trained to help you unwind with a variety of stress-relieving services.

A luxurious favorite of locals and vacationers is the Beach Club Spa and Salon in the Fort Morgan area. Situated at the Beach Club resort, the facility seeks to refresh mind and body with spa treatments, premium salon services and holistic approaches to massage therapy.

Visitors can upgrade their experience with customized packages or even make a full day of relaxation at the spa. Bridal parties especially love to spend the day relaxing at the spa and are given special treatment, but it is also welcoming to the gentlemen in the group, with plenty of services available.

Another option, situated just north of the Intracoastal Canal Waterway Bridge in the golf course resort-style neighborhood of Craft Farms, is McCollough Medical Spa. Capitalizing on a cosmetic surgery vacation trend, this spa’s services can be used as a complement to services provided by the McCollough Plastic Surgery Clinic.

Services range from injection therapies, advanced skin care therapies, therapeutic facials, relaxation and therapeutic massages, and professional makeup and camouflage counseling to physical-directed services such as cancer screening, laser therapies, chemical peels, acne therapy, nutritional health management, and more. McCollough focuses on prevention and early detection of conditions that create the appearance of aging.

There are numerous other spas in and around Gulf Shores.

Another fun laid-back and relaxing activity is a visit to the Wharf in Orange Beach for a ride on the Ferris wheel. Grab a few friends and see all the beautiful scenery from high in the sky.

After your leisurely experience, meander over to Villaggio or Ginny Lane restaurants, where you can enjoy gourmet dishes complemented by your favorite drink outdoors.

Later, browse the fun coastal boutiques and shops at The Wharf at your own pace.

You can even depart from the Wharf for a nature cruise or a dolphin-watching cruise. The possibilities are endless.

Indulge Your Adventurous Side

If it’s adventure you crave, there’s plenty of that to enjoy in this area, too.

Start at The Wharf and visit Hummingbird Zip Lines for a bird’s eye view of the natural scenery.

At more than 6,000 feet, this is Alabama’s longest zipline course. The two-hour guided tour soars up to 110 feet above ground, starting and ending at the Wharf.

If it’s thrills and chills you seek, check out the giant waterslides at Waterville USA. The waterpark is open during the summer months. Other on-site attractions include an arcade, an amusement park and the Escape House.

Other amusements include the brand new Park at OWA, which is just north of Gulf Shores beaches in nearby Foley and features 22 rides; the Track Family Recreation Center, with an arcade, kiddie rides, go-karts and thrill rides; and several arcades and miniature golf courses.

To incorporate the beautiful bays or Gulf into your adventure, consider a kayaking trip, starting out with kayaking or kayak fishing classes at the Wind and Water Learning Center in Orange Beach.

American Canoe Association Certified instructors offer various levels of education, ranging from an introductory “quick start your kayak” class to instructor development workshops and certification exams. U.S. Sailing-certified, small boat sailing instructors also guide youth on weeklong courses on Optimist Prams and Sunfish Sailboats to learn sailing the right way.

There are plenty of spots to rent a kayak or canoe in the area, and even guided kayak tours of local waterways.

Another option is to actually get under the water by scuba diving out to some of the artificial reefs that are just offshore. Or, enjoy a charterboat fishing trip for a half day, full day or longer.

These are just a few examples of the ways vacationers can spend time relaxing or indulging their adventurous side on the Gulf Coast.

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