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I feel like this summer flew by in the blink of an eye. I guess they all do, but this past summer feels like the fastest one yet. We honestly didn’t plan much for the summer, other than staying local and keeping things low key. My plan was to focus on my writing, assuming the kids were old enough to mostly entertain themselves while they were out of school. Who was I kidding?!?!? Clearly, that didn’t happen!
About halfway through the summer, I realized that not only was I NOT going to be incredibly productive but that our family was burned out! We were exhausted from the school year, from the constant hustle, from school & activities, and from the stress of trying to figure out what in the world I wanted to do with my life. All four of us were to a point where we were functioning on autopilot and really at each other’s throats. We needed to hit the reset button before I went full swing back into my projects, and Landry started middle school.
That’s when I got a promotional email from a resort in Gulf Shores advertising great, end of summer rates. We had stayed at the Beach Club twice before, really enjoyed it, and I immediately knew what our family needed! We needed a vacation! Time for a road trip!
Deciding to go back to the same place was, honestly, not something that I thought I would do. We liked the Beach Club but there are hundreds of miles of beach on the Gulf alone to explore and we really wanted to check a new place out. However, this was a last-minute decision, planned less than 30 days before arrival, and we just needed to go with what was easy. I knew it was the right decision when I punched in my dates and saw that the original condo that we loved so much was available. Each property at the Beach Club is individually owned, so they’re all a bit different. C109 sits on the first floor, opens right up to a huge grassy area, and has really comfortable furnishings.
Rooms at The Beach Club in Gulf Shores can be rented directly through the property or on individual listings through VRBO. Not all amenities are available with every listing but can be added at the front desk.
I’ve shared before that we are definitely suites people over sharing a standard hotel room. The one-bedroom suites at the Beach Club are exactly what we need for a vacation. They offer a master bedroom, 1.5 baths, kitchen, living space, washer & dryer, and bunk beds that are tucked away in a closet for the kids. Staying on the first floor, which walks straight out to the beach, allowed us to easily come in for lunch, or have a drink & run a load of laundry while the kids played in the grass.
The Beach Club is one of the few resorts we have found along that Gulf Coast that is not only affordable but also includes a lot of amenities. If they are budget-friendly, they usually seem to be lacking in dining or activities. Options with a lot of add-ons tend to have the same nightly rate as a deluxe villa in Walt Disney World… and for that price, you know what I would choose!
The Beach Club in Gulf Shores has three pools, a fitness center, activities at the pool and in the Villiage Lawn, three restaurants plus food trucks, an ice cream parlor, gift shop, and the ability to book water activities like a banana boat or parasail.
To keep our vacation as simple as possible, we ordered groceries for the room for breakfast, lunch, and one dinner. We’ve found that it is so much easier to have the groceries delivered once we arrive than try to road trip for 12 hours with all of it in the car with us. I usually order cinnamon rolls to make for a morning or two, then cereal & bread for toast for the other mornings. We get a small thing of peanut butter & jelly, lunch meat, cheese and chips for our lunches. Then for the dinner, we cooked in the room, we ordered ground beef and taco fixings for taco night.
We rented two chairs and an umbrella from the resort. They aren’t very costly, and it is so much easier just to have them already set up for you when you go down every morning. It’s also one less thing to have to remember to lug back up to the room at the end of the day.
The other really nice thing about renting the chairs is that you get the closest spot to the water! On our first trip, we brought our own chairs but had to sit behind the rows of rentals, making it very difficult to see the kids playing in the water. When you have your seats right on the water, you don’t feel like you have to be on top of them in the water all the time.
We spent each morning at the beach, would head up for lunch, and usually ended up back at the beach! The water was perfect in August! The last couple times we had been to the Gulf, the jellyfish were so bad in the afternoon that we had to go to the pool every day, but this time the water was calm and clear with no jellyfish in sight.
Landry spent 99% of his time in the water on the boogie boards, which was a huge step up from our last couple trips. The last two times we had been to the ocean, the poor kid was stung by jellyfish and would not go past his knees, standing with a net ready to catch the beasts. He took to the water with 1000x more confidence this summer and really enjoyed himself. We were so excited!
We really had some of the best adventures just steps from our room this year! Every afternoon we were treated to some dolphin visitors, the Blue Angels flew over us multiple times, there were tons of cute little fish to look at through our googles, the sand provided hours of entertainment, and of course, we had a shark named Shark Lord!
The beach club pool is really nice, and what was great about the week we went was that so many areas had already gone back to school, so it wasn’t super crowded. Every day they have a craft by the pool, there is a pool bar, and there were snow cones for sale. This summer they even started offering mermaid lessons where you could swim with a real mermaid tail but I could not get the boys to do it! LOL!
One of the biggest draws to the beach club is the village lawn. This is at the front of the property and is where all the action happens in the evening. The food trucks are open every night and serve a variety of meals and drinks, there is always some kind of live entertainment and something extra fun for the kids. The boys especially enjoyed the laser tag, rock climbing, and foam party!
We took one day off in the middle of the week to go into town, however, we very poorly executed the day! We planned to have lunch at The Hangout, and dinner at LuLu’s, and I had really wanted to go check out Dauphin Island in between but failed to check out the times for the fairy across the water. We ended up wandering a couple of gift shops and then spent the entire rest of the afternoon at the arcade at LuLu’s. Whoops!
The Hangout is a great restaurant that sits right across the street from the water. We have been both at lunch and at dinner and found that lunch was really more our speed. There is something on the menu for everyone (Luke HIGHLY recommends the mac & cheese) and it has a funky fun gift shop with all kinds of weird little toys, pranks, and silly things the kids can pick out.
By the time we got to dinner at LuLu’s we were all kind of over the day. The boys had fun in the arcade and then we were seated next to the sandy area so Luke went and made a friend while we waited on our food. Landry was SHOT! I had fully planned to take pictures of what we ordered, but my husband ended up spilling all of our drinks in my lap right before the food came so I completely forgot! Nothing like walking out of a full restaurant with a wet crotch!
Our absolute favorite place when we are in Gulf Shores is by far Gulf Shores Sea Food. We picked it up for dinner twice! It’s so easy after a long day on the beach to call in and order your seafood boil, then send someone to grab it. It is hands down the best shrimp we had on the trip. They also have a key lime pie that is to die for, and a beer cheese with french bread that the kids went to town on.
No trip to the beach is complete without enjoying a cocktail on the patio while you watch the sunset, listen to the waves, and feel the nice breeze off the water! Honestly, I was meant to live on the ocean! It was the middle of August, just as hot as it is in Texas but so much more bearable because of that ocean breeze. After the sunset, we would go down to the beach to see if we could spot some crabs, and took our fun Star Gazer app to see what stars we could find!
We had such a blast on our little trip, and it was exactly what we needed to get our minds set to start another school year. It’s hard to believe that Landry has started middle school and my baby is already in 2nd grade! The time flies so fast. It’s true what they say… life is short, take the trip! You’ll never regret taking the time with your family to enjoy life and just unplug.
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