Family, Foley, Gulf Shores, restaurant, vacation

How crowded is Gulf Shores? Just visit Chick-fil-A for breakfast to find out

Living in Foley the neighboring city to the north of Gulf Shores and 14 miles from the beautiful white sand beaches has taught me some things over the last year. Being a “local” and learning to gauge the tourists and visitor activity is one of those senses you learn to develop. As well as learning other “local” tips for managing day-to-day life in an area that attracts millions of visitors each year.

  1. Learn the “back roads and shortcuts”. Highway 59 can become a bog of cars with all the influx on the busy days and weeks of the year. The Beach Expressway also can be quite congested depending on the time and day of the week. We quickly learned about the two lane road’s that run parallel to Highway 59. One will even bypass all of Foley and drop you at the beginning of Gulf Shores.
  2. Stay away from the center and south end of Foley on tourist days. Fortunately we bought a new home on the North end of Foley and both of us work about 2 miles from home. So we can avoid the overcrowded and congested areas of Foley to get to work and lunch.

So the question is….”How crowded is Gulf Shores and the surrounding area?”

What barometer can we use to know what the tourist climate is like each day? See with Sports Tournaments, vacations, spring breaks, and the other countless reasons we all flock to the Lower Alabama hot spots, each day is different. One day can be slow and laid back and the next BOOM chaos and back-ups!

The answer is surprisingly CHICK-FIL-A. Chick-fil-A is the gauge we use to monitor the tourist activity in Foley and Gulf Shores. Ranae and I eat breakfast together almost everyday and choose Chick-fil-A as our spot. Apparently most people who travel choose to “Eat Mor Chikin” as well. However busy the restaurant and particularly the drive-thru is helps us to plan and determine what routes to use and areas to avoid for the coming day.

  • Monday and people are rolling into the Chick-fil-A then they are leaving and things should be clearing up throughout the week.
  • Thursday or Friday and things are hopping at the Chick-fil-A and look out for a packed weekend at those wide sandy beaches.

By the way Chick-fil-A in Foley is an absolute great place to stop and eat anytime of the day. Never can get enough Chicken and of course waffle fries. Great service and always exceeds our expectations!

So join the crowds or the “locals” and just visit a nearby Chick-fil-A to see how busy your town will be for the coming day or days.

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When you visit Gulf Shores stop by Foley Chick-fil-A for breakfast and be sure to say “HI”

 

Original EMC Billboard

Family, Orange Beach, restaurant

How good is GT’s On The Bay?

Honestly words cannot describe how good GT’s On The Bay is!​ They offer a diverse and one-of-a-kind menu filled with amazing combinations of flavors. I almost always get the daily Dinner creation. No matter how exotic or crazy it sounds you can always trust the chef to inspire your taste buds and thrill your stomach. That is to me the true test of a restaurant when they create things I would never think of. I can just let go of my pickiness and trust the genius artist and food craftsman the chef is. I always say someone with more food talent and understanding choose to combine these ingredients and so who am I to judge. Just ENJOY!! I have NEVER been disappointed in the food or service from GT’s On The Bay. They have a Pirate ship and sandbox for the kids to play in and be entertained, boat pier for water access, and one of our favorites….an oversized Adirondack chair for those selfies and family photos!

What to order…

  • Daily Dinner Special. Check their ​Facebook page for the picture and description of the #dinnerspecial​

  • Appetizer you have to try the Cajun Empanadas or the Totchos

  • Burgers Blend of ground chuck, short rib and brisket and they are huge

  • Pizza baked in a stone hearth pizza oven just right

When you go during the peak times they have two hostess stations one outside for the patio seating and one inside. Park on the side of the building and then walk directly to the gorgeous back patio area to be seated looking out to Wolf Bay. If you want inside seating then park out front and go in the main entrance.

Be sure to walk out onto the pier on Wolf Bay especially during sunset to see all of nature’s beauty.

Website

Breakfast and Brunch, Orange Beach, restaurant

The Ruby Slipper Cafe

Wow! What a great restaurant find in Orange Beach.

The Ruby Slipper is open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Brunch and offer some of the most unique and diverse menu items you will find. They offer monthly Specials that punch the creativity up even more than usual. For example this is September 2018 and they offer Mango and Coconut Stuffed French Toast or Bread Pudding Pancakes. They add their New Orleans flair to all their brunch and lunch dishes.

They have generous portion sizes (except on the potatoes, but I am a big meat and potatoes guy) and I usually order the 3 Little Pigs Omelet which includes Applewood smoked bacon, ham, and sausage with swiss cheese.

The service is always great and I enjoy sitting on the front relaxed patio.

Check out their menu and take a morning trip to Orange Beach.

Here is their website The Ruby Slipper

Family, Gulf Shores, History Educational

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Our family loves the “Little Zoo That Could” so much. I call it a grown up petting zoo because you are up close and personal with the animals. There are no hills to climb and the property takes you in one big loop around the Zoo.

“Hurricanes, tropical storms, the recession, the oil spill. We aren’t called The Little Zoo That Could for nothing. We are definitely survivors, but it’s time to move to higher ground and become The Little Zoo That Grew,” said Patti Hall, Zoo Director.

The Zoo is in the process of building a new location and you can see updates on their Facebook page.

Where else can you hold a baby kangaroo, sit with sloths, play with lemurs, or hold a baby alligator?

Plan for about 2 hours of time to walk the zoo and take your time. It is definitely worth the family visit and in 2017 others agreed. The Zoo was the highest ticketed attraction in Baldwin County and welcomed more than 175,000 visitors.

We are Annual Pass holders and go as often as we can.

See website for Admission Cost and Hours

Below is a video we caught of a Lion interacting with his Keeper.