You’ve checked out the beach, now what? If you’re not sure where to take the kids during your family vacation, we have plenty of ideas. Perdido Key and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer for families looking to let loose and have some fun. From amusement parks, to museums and parks, here are some hot spots on the Gulf Coast.
Soar into Naval Aviation History: The National Naval Aviation Museum is one of the area’s most famous and visited attractions, and for good reason too. The museum houses more than 150 aircrafts and 4,000 artifacts and is conveniently located aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola. Check out the IMAX movie theater to experience breathtaking features about naval aviation. Then immerse yourselves in the action with a realistic flight simulator that moves in six directions, allowing you to experience horizontal rolls, longitudinal pitches and vertical climbs. Once you’ve mastered the skies, it’s time to bring it back to ground level with a visit to the Kiddie Hawk Play Area, The Flight Deck Store and a quick bite at the Cubi Bar Café.
Play time for the family: A local favorite of children and parents, Perdido Key Kids Park off Gulf Beach Highway offers a chance for the little ones to have some good old-fashioned fun. The park features a wooden labyrinth of towers, forts and fun. Kids can slide, swing and play in miniature wooden Blue Angels planes. The park also offers a shaded pavilion, tables and on-site restroom facilities.
Be a Junior Ranger: Learning about the wonders of nature just got a whole lot more fun. With just a little bit of work, children, ages 6-11, can earn their Gulf Islands National Seashore Junior Ranger badge! All you have to do is pick up a handbook at a park visitor center, contact station or entrance station. Families can then explore the park together, while checking off the requirements. Once complete, all that hard work is rewarded when kids are given their very own badge. It’s a great way for children to learn about nature, animals and the historic stories of the national seashore.
Swim with the Dolphins: Have your kids ever wanted to see a dolphin up close? Well here’s your chance to make their dreams come true! Local dolphin cruise companies have experienced guides who will take your family on a trip of a lifetime. Dolphins Down Under in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offers glass bottom boat tours, dolphin cruises and snorkeling trips. These cruises make great photo ops and will help you create lasting memories with your family.
Become a Thrillseeker: OWA Amusement Park is quickly becoming a popular family destination. OWA, which means Big Water in the Muscogee Creek language, is now open in the coastal Alabama city of Foley. You can check out the Gulf of Mexico from a bird's eye view on the tallest rides at the park. There are more than 20 rides to choose from, along with a splash pad and live concerts and shows at the Amphitheater. If you prefer to skip the lines and have a more relaxing day, Downtown OWA is free and has a great range of shops and restaurants.
Rides, shops, music and more: Looking for a place that has something fun for everyone in the family? You can choose your own adventure at the Wharf at Orange Beach, by hitting some balls on the mini-golf course, sailing through the sky on a zipline, catching a flick at the movie theater, visiting the arcade or taking a spin on one the tallest Ferris Wheels on the Gulf Coast. There is also a variety of shops and more than a dozen restaurants and eateries. Be sure to check out the impressive concert line-up at the Amphitheater at the Wharf.
There's so much to do on and around our 16-miles-long island paradise, there's no way you can experience it all in just one stay. To help you make the most of your Eden vacation, we've picked a few of our favorite experiences that we hope will become precious memories for you too. If you have a question, or don't see what you're looking for, please let us know. We want to make sure that each memory of your Eden vacation is truly magical.