My mom and I try to get away once a year even if it’s just a few hours away. If you are looking for a great getaway with your mom or someone special, there are a plethora of amazing destinations to choose from but in my opinion, only one place springs to mind! Heading to the Gulf Coast of Alabama to enjoy all the amazing attractions, restaurants, and of course, pristine beaches, is undoubtedly the perfect getaway for a mother/daughter trip.
How to Pick the Perfect Destination
When you think about taking a trip with someone, you discuss attractions, where to stay, where to eat right? The first part is discussing where to go, and of course, picking a location can be difficult. When you have a destination that is relaxing, comforting and really feels like home that decision is made so much easier. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is that place for us and our family, and I hope after reading this post, you will be ready to book a long weekend getaway to experience everything this stretch of coastline has to offer.
My mom and I had been talking about taking a trip and honestly, it was easy to pick the destination…the months of planning is certainly the biggest challenge. We were able to head down for a few days and were able to participate in the 50th anniversary of the National Shrimp Festival. This was a first time attending and we were so excited. Regardless of whether you are planning a trip in the Fall, or perhaps looking at organizing a long weekend getaway for Spring Break, you can be assured that Gulf Shores and Orange Beach will have something all year round.
Where to Stay on the Gulf Coast
Have you ever stayed on the beach and felt like you were in a futuristic city hotel? That is exactly what we felt like booking through Young’s Suncoast at Sea Glass 210, as a trusted management property for nearly 50 years in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach gives us piece of mind knowing the accommodation will be top notch. As you step into a modern chic room where you can watch the sunset on the patio, watch the fireplace while you sip your favorite cocktail then lay your head on the most relaxing bed.
This premier beachfront condominium community directly on the wide white sands of the Gulf Coast is perfectly located to give you quick access to experience all the amazing attractions in Gulf Shores, and nearby Orange Beach.
The Gulf Coast – Retail Therapy for Everyone
Our visit was packed full of experiences, sampling delicious local seafood (and more), and most importantly, experiencing once in a lifetime type of moments together.
When I say that I just wanted to take a trip with my mom and relax that was exactly what I thought we were in for. Instead, it turned into mom fulfilling dreams, watching her get excited, taking a break and showing her how thankful I am to have her as my mom – this is exactly what the Gulf Coast can create for you and your loved one(s).
Shopping in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach has it all. A mother/daughter trip wouldn’t be the same without finding time for a little retail therapy. From outlet malls to novelty shops, we shopped them all. The beach theme was evident throughout, and we experienced several of my favorites like Southern Grind, The Salty Palm, and The Wharf (to mention just a few). It’s safe to say our retail therapy was very successful.
Coastal Arts Center – Glass Blowing Experience
Experiences are pouring out from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Whether you want to play some crazy golf, conquer a coffee or food trail, or try your hand at making art there are so many things to do. My mom has always wanted to try glass blowing, and The Coastal Arts Center has an experience that allows you to make an item of your choice. It was the perfect bucket list item for us to do together.
We arrived a little earlier just for me to show mom around and shop a little inside. The masterpieces that are on showcases inside are exquisite and it’s inevitable that you won’t be able to resist taking something home with you. In addition to shopping, there is pottery, yoga, a pier that goes into the bay, and of course the glass blowing experience.
We started with a quick but detailed run down of everything we would need to do. I think mom was actually surprised that we would be the ones making it. She chose a flower and I opted for a starfish. We picked our colors and to the fire we went. It was amazing to see her in action loving every minute of the experience and doing things that you visibly saw make her heart happy. A few weeks later a package arrived that we were so happy to see with our handcrafted creations ready to display.
Annual Shrimp Festival
Have you been to the Annual National Shrimp Festival before? It’s safe to say that we are going to be annual visitors now. We had a blast with all the vendors and listening to some amazing music right by the water.
With the waves crashing against the shoreline from the Gulf of Mexico, music playing, shopping and a myriad of food options, we loved every minute. We visited two separate days that we were there and experienced amazing food, relaxing listening to music, enjoying some amazing tea, and a whole lot of shopping from local and regional vendors.
Some notable vendors that we loved getting to know both days was East Hill Honey Co., for delicious locally crafted honey, and Persimmon Creek Originals for one of a kind cutting boards. With so many vendors to experience, I am sure we missed some places, but it was such a great event and we cannot wait to return in the future.
Best Local Places to Eat on the Gulf Coast
As if we didn’t get enough food at the Shrimp Festival, we somehow found space to explore a few of my favorites and even added new ones.
Soulbowlz for brunch is the perfect, healthy, get your day going kind of meal. There are so many choices and options, and while we have tried making them at home it’s never quite the same.
Southern Grind (either at The Wharf or Indigo Hotel) is a great option for any meal or just to grab your favorite espresso. With plenty of great decor and specialty gifts available for purchase, this is a must-visit on your trip to the Gulf Coast. We had breakfast there and it was a hearty way to start our day for shopping and festival fun.
We also tried The Original Oyster House for dinner which is actually my first time here. Why has it taken me so long to try this? Needless to say, there are a plethora of diverse menu options that mom and I couldn’t wait to sample. We had a mini buffet of our own – a definite pro tip is to try the Huckleberry Lemonade… thank me later!!
A visit to High Tide Daiquiris & Mimosas, where the daiquiri flights and food are definitely top notch, is certainly a memorable experience you should add to your itinerary. We tried to be as healthy as possible but with so many delectable options, you cannot help but splurge when key lime daiquiris are on the menu.
A Little Surprise by The Beach Moms
Everything about this trip was so perfect, but I had one final surprise waiting for my mom. While we talked about options for where to eat dinner that evening, I had been working on an experience with The Beach Moms that I hoped my mom would love. While I love giving surprises, my mom hates them. I can’t keep secrets and she always ends up spoiling it because she gets it out of me.
For this last night surprise, I never told her anything until shortly before we headed down to the beach for this amazing experience. I told her what to wear, I told her what to bring and while she hated being out of the loop, she thankfully trusted me.
I told her let’s go down to the beach before dinner. We walked out and I stalled a little bit making her even more suspicious about what was happening, and I told her let’s go for a walk. We walked over to a gorgeous picnic on the beach where one of The Beach Moms and I had been cooking up a special treat for her.
They had asked me if it was for anything special and I said just because she’s amazing and I wanted to show her how amazing she is. They didn’t disappoint. I expected a surprise…I expected “oh my gosh”…I expected relaxation and hanging out on the beach with mom on our final night. However, I didn’t expect my mom to cry, and for it to be so overwhelming that she didn’t think she would ever be treated as special as she is.
My mom does everything for everyone and her self care is last or rarely taken care of at all. This trip was all about showing her how amazing she has been to me, and how lucky I am to have her as my mom and to guide me to be who I am.
For that, I am forever thankful and grateful that we got to spend these moments at what I consider to be the perfect destination for this and much more. Being together watching the sunset, listening to 80s music and having an assortment of snacks just being in the moment without distractions was blissful.
A Perfect Mother/Daughter Weekend Getaway
This was literally a memorable mother/daughter weekend trip that we both will enjoy and be thankful we have each other for the rest of our lives. With another mother/daughter weekend getaway in the books, I have no idea how I am going to top this but I’m up for the challenge. Stay tuned until the next trip.
Please share your favorite Mother/Daughter moments in the comments below. We would love to hear from you all, bonus points if you share tips from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach!