One of the most exciting aspect of planning your Alabama coastal getaway is narrowing down your list of fun activities. You want to do it all, but how do you fit everything in? The best way to map out a perfect itinerary is by weighing your options and letting your travel companions give their own input on which festivities are at the top of their lists. Here's a breakdown of what to expect during Gulf Coast summers in Alabama, one of the best places to be when the temperatures start to soar.

Shark Adventure Run

What's happening on Alabama's Gulf CoastDon't have July 4 plans yet? Don't fret, your Gulf Shores vacation rental will have you covered. The Shark Adventure Run is one of the annual fun runs that takes place in the summer, half on the road and half across the beach. On the beach, runners encounter the telltale shark people, who try to take the flags, or "bait," off your belt as you run past. Time to bring back those capture-the-flag skills in full force, because you'll need them for this race. 

DI Sea Lab

The festivities don't have to end after Independence Day is over. Dauphin Island, just a short ferry ride from Fort Morgan, hosts Summer Excursions, seasonal field trips where guests get to explore two different ecosystems on the island: the Salt Marsh Excursion and the Beach, Dune and Forest Excursion. Those who attend get to hear the inside scoop from wildlife experts and enjoy hands-on activities in the coastal environment of the Gulf island. Whether you're vacationing in a four-bedroom Gulf Shores house with the kids or just want to satisfy your passion for science, you can head on one of these "field trips" on select days throughout June, July and August.

Culinary Camp

Even if nature isn't completely your thing, there's plenty to see and do if you rent one of the cozy Gulf Shores condos along the Alabama coastline. If you bring your kids along, you can even treat them to a special vacation activity like Culinary Camp. This five-day experience can kickstart their days with the basics of Italian bread-making, cookie baking or cupcake decorating. Kids can flaunt their kitchen talents and learn some table manners, all while sampling the tasty eats they make. On the final day, parents can even come in to see the great results of the course, with a full breakfast spread for all to enjoy.

The beach, obviously

One thing remains constant about Gulf Shores - the beaches are always sparkling white. Whether you're in an gulf-front one-bedroom Gulf Shores condo or just a few minutes stroll from the shoreline, the beach will certainly be a frequent activity on your trip itinerary. At many condo buildings you'll find beach services where you can rent beach chairs and umbrellas to help you make the most of your fun in the sun, but don't forget to bring a durable beach bag with all your essentials: sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, some reading material and your music player. Now you're ready for the ultimate beach nap!