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BrendaKay Aug 26th, 2005 04:56 PM

Late October Beach vacation in Florida or Alabama?
We have spent time in the Gulf Shores area one year in October and hope to have a beach vacation again this year. I was wondering how the Pensacola/Destin area would compare to Gulf Shores? We are thinking late in October and hope to get very good rates on a gulf front room with a balcony. Could you tell us how the two areas vary and also specific ideas on hotels, etc. Mostly we want to relax and my hubby wants to walk the beach, but we (I) also want SOME sightseeing! Also, would Pensecola be where we would fly in to? Thank you to all who have responded to my posts and for being patient with me as we decide WHERE along the coast we want to go!

Wayne Aug 27th, 2005 08:13 AM

For Gulf Shores, you'd best fly into Mobile. For the Florida destinations, depending on which one you might pick, you could fly into Pensacola or Fort Walton Beach. Also depends, of course, on what airlines you choose and what schedule you want to follow.

As for comparisons, I think all areas have about the same advantages and disadvantages. If you are right on the beach, you would find the beach is about the same anywhere along that portion of the Gulf coast. The Pensacola area might have a few more amenities nearby, but you'll find satisfactory restaurants not far from each area.

Sightseeing might be best around the Gulfport beaches in Mississippi, but you haven't mentioned that area. Lots of historic and beautiful old homes along the Gulf there. Pensacola's old town is a nice place to visit if you want to leave the beach area for a bit.

The only thing I worry about in October is the weather. It can be miserable sometimes, but it won't stay bad for very long unless you just happen to be there during a hurricane--which can certainly happen in October. Good luck.

Gretchen Aug 27th, 2005 10:58 AM

So you've given up on SC, MD, GA and everywhere else on the east coast. why do we bother to post for you.

BrendaKay Aug 28th, 2005 12:12 PM

No, Gretchen, I have not given up on all those other states! I am the type of person who has to "check everything out" before making up my mind. I do appreciate yours and everyone's help on here! My biggest conflict right now is should we go where we've been before (Alabama coast) and are familiar with, or try something new so we can see new sights, but still hope to get a great ocean view room where my husband can walk a lot along the beach and get a great price, too! Thank you again for your help!

BabetteH Oct 25th, 2005 03:50 AM

Actually, Brenda, if you're still planning a trip to gulf shores, it's better to fly into Pensacola. The beach is better there, even after the hurricanes. If you decide to go to Gulf Shores after pensacola, just follow the beach road west, it will take you all the say to Orange beach (right past Gulf Shores beach). I know this because I live on the Gulf coast in between both beaches. If you fly into Mobile, you have about an hour and a half drive to the beach, either of them. Better to fly into Pensacola, you'll be right there and can actually drive to all the beaches in a 45 min time period and make the decision yourself as to which one you like best!

OldSouthernBelle Oct 25th, 2005 03:44 PM

Babette H:
I'm alittle confused by your directions.

We take Hwy 292 from Pensacola frequently and you go through Perdido, Orange Beach and THEN Gulf Shores coming from Pensacola. Is this the road you are speaking of? I can't imagine how you can go from Pensacola ,through GS to get to OB?

BabetteH Oct 26th, 2005 04:43 PM

Sorry, I'm really not good at giving directions. We go hwy 98 to 59 which takes us to gulf shores from where I live and we travel the "beach Road" which does go in one direction to orange beach and the other direction to perdido, pensacola... I would have to go to map quest to give specific directions. My husband always tells me I have no sense of direction. But we can also take I-10 all the way to pensacola, so maybe mapquest can help you. However, it would still be closer to fly into pensacola instead of Mobile, that is, if you want to be closer to the beaches.

Tandoori_Girl Oct 26th, 2005 07:30 PM

I'm joining in a little late but I wanted to point out that Panama City Beach has an airport. I think Delta flies there.

BabetteH Oct 26th, 2005 07:47 PM

Panama City is about 4-6 hours from gulf shores/pensacola, and frankley, it's not a very clean beach(my opinion and my husbands)but the teenagers have a ball there!!!!

BabetteH Oct 27th, 2005 02:00 PM

Hey Brenda, I think it would be wise to wait until after hurricane season before traveling to the coast! Quite a bit going on right now. Oh, and for the post from I think august, forget Biloxi, it's totally gone!!

BabetteH Oct 27th, 2005 02:03 PM

P.S. Biloxi and Gulfport are right there together in Mississippi, and it was a cool place. The beach is somewhat murky most of the time, but before the hurricane, it was definetly a great place to go!!!

BabetteH Oct 28th, 2005 05:12 AM

Hey, Brenda, did you decide where to go? It really is nice here on the gulf coast right now. Sunny, cool, with zero to no chance of rain for a while, but our forcast usually changes from day to day! Hope I might have helped, even with my misguided directions! I live in Baldwin county right across Mobile bay on the bay in Spanish Fort, so it could be raining in pns/gs and sunny here, never know!

OldSouthernBelle Oct 28th, 2005 10:10 AM

Babette, I'm from Mobile originally and GS/Perdido/OB are my 'stomping grounds'.

I would point out that, once you take a left at the light on Hwy 59 (where it T's at the beach, and coming into GS from I-10)), it leads you first to OB then to Perdido, then to FL. They are adjacent to one another, not in separate directions, as you state.


BabetteH Oct 28th, 2005 12:30 PM

Thank you "Belle", isn't it amazing how all these years I've always thought if you take a right at gulf park it takes you to OB, guess that shows how much I've been to OB, but now that you mention it I really don't know where a right takes you, is it Ft. Morgan?

OldSouthernBelle Oct 28th, 2005 12:42 PM

Once again, I'm not certain what you are speaking of? We were dicussing Gulf Shores, but in your last post, you said gulf park?

To get to Ft. Morgan, take a right at the intersection of HWY 59 S and Hwy 180.


BabetteH Oct 28th, 2005 05:36 PM

Gulf shores park, at the end of 59, where the pink pony used to be, am I that confusing? Wow, guess I need some ginko biloba!

OldSouthernBelle Oct 30th, 2005 01:36 PM

OK....Yeah the Pink Pony is a landmark that really helps! And it was still there when we were there on Memorial Day this year...have they torn it down since then??

In fact, I go SO far back that the A&W Rootbeer stand and across the street from that was 'The Hangout' were just past that light on the beach end of Hwy 59. Not much else, besides the PP was there then!
We never called it Gulf Shores Park, just Gulf Shores, but as it built up, I think some people did start referring to it as that (esp. after the boardwalk and pavilion were built).

Gulf Shores Park, to me is at Lake Shelby, which has some cabins and camper sites, is run by AL State Park Service. Maybe they have another name for it?

Now to answer your question. If you take a right at the (Pink Pony) light, the road eventually dead ends. There is a little inlet from the ocean to the lagoon that backs up behind the Original Oyster House and Hwy 59. They have always had trouble keeping it from getting filled up with sand,and dredge it periodically.
I have not driven down there in years. I'm not 100%, but they may have built a bridge there. I guess, if they were able to keep a road there, it would eventually lead to Ft. Morgan, but it doesn't.

Have you lived in the area long? How do you like the new Festival Center shopping mall and Rousseau's being closer to you? (Or, IS it?)


BabetteH Oct 30th, 2005 02:51 PM

Hi Belle. I haven't been here as long as you, only five years, but we were at the original oyster house in GS a few months ago, it was really rancid out back where they have the little walkway to feed the catfish, turtles and gators(although I've never seen any gators there). This was right before Dennis hit. We didn't go to Gulf Shores beach, but last november the pink pony was torn all up(me thinks it was Ivan).We had a condo on out Ft. Morgan Rd., you know, where you turn off 59 at Bruno's. And yes, we live about 7 min. from the new Eastern shore center, Rousso's is always packed! We live in Spanish Fort Estates, they even have a new Spanish Fort High School! Oh, did you know that most of the resturants on the causeway were destroyed with Katrina? The original Oyster House was moved to the new cock of the walk. Blue gill is also gone! Sorry, didn't mean to start rambling!

OldSouthernBelle Oct 30th, 2005 05:09 PM

Bluegill was where my parents took me for seafood as a child...haven't been there in years!

Well, they must have built the PP back because, we were there on Memorial Day weekend with our two sons and their wives.

We rented my ex-bosses new beach home (yellow two story on 4th st.) (One block off the beach). We walked down the beach one night to the PP and had some appetizers and drinks.

Da sis lives in Dominion Farms at present, but has lived in Daphne/Fairhope area for many years.


BabetteH Oct 31st, 2005 09:58 AM

I'm not familiar with Dominion farms, is it local?

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