Alabama vs. Florida Beaches

Old Jul 30th, 2015, 04:39 PM
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Alabama vs. Florida Beaches

We are taking our first family vacation and are trying to decide if the beaches in Alabama (Orange Beach) are just as good as the beaches in Florida. We live in the Houston area and it will be approximately 8 hours from here to Orange Beach but Destin and Panama City don't look too much further away if it would be worth it. We have been to Galveston but the beaches are not pretty at all and the water is brown. We want relaxing but fun...not overly crazy crowded but we do like to interact with people. Our girls are 12, 10, and almost 8. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 06:07 PM
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I'm not a fan of the busy-ness of Destin and Panama City but LOVE the quieter beaches nearby = Mexico Beach, Surfside, Rosemary, etc. Gorgeous, sugar sand beaches with beautiful water.
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Old Jul 31st, 2015, 03:04 AM
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I prefer Florida beaches more, but if you want a more laid-back vibe, then Alabama may be the ideal one for you all.
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Old Jul 31st, 2015, 09:27 AM
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Going to Pensacola Beach will take you no longer than going to Orange Beach, and in my opinion, PB is much nicer. No need to go down to the Destin area. Try to arrive during the week as traffic going to PB from Pensacola on the weekends is really bad in the summer. Once you are on the island there is no need to leave until it's time to go home.

With kids, I recommend using VRBO and renting a condo or house right on the Gulf.
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Old Sep 10th, 2015, 10:03 AM
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I have lived along the Northwest Florida Coast since 1977, and vacationed regularly since 1962, so I am pretty familiar with the beaches. I have lived in Pensacola Beach, Panama City Beach, and have family in Perdido Key and Fort Walton Beach. Here are my observations: The sand is fine, soft and white from the Alabama beaches to Panama City Beach. It is less fine and not as white the further east one travels. Still, all the sand is lovely from Fort Morgan, Alabama, to St George Island.

As for the water clarity, there is a fairly big difference, but perhaps only noticeable to those of us who have lived here for years. The clearest water, by far, is Destin. Next in clearness would be, in order, the beaches of South Walton, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City Beach, Navarre, Pensacola Beach, Alabama beaches, Mexico Beach, Cape San Blas, St George island.
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