Barbara Killmeyer - Freelance WriterJournalist, Travel Writer, Ghostwriter
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A Place for Everyone
         Barbara A. Killmeyer

Are you looking for a vacation spot where you can totally relax? Would you like to sit on your balcony each morning and eat your breakfast while you watch waves break on a sugar-white beach? If your answer is yes, then I have the perfect place for you; Gulf Shores, Alabama.

You can choose to drive, or as I did, fly on US Airways into Pensacola, Florida where you will need to rent a car for the remainder of your trip. Relaxation began as soon as I reached The Beach Club and entered the accommodations.

The Beach Club is a complex of four high-rise structures with a clubhouse in the center. The buildings have rental units that sleep anywhere from six to twelve people and are fully furnished. My unit consisted of a master bedroom and a smaller bedroom, two full baths and a powder room, laundry, kitchen, dining area, living room with a sofa that transformed into another bed, and of course, the wonderful balcony with table, chairs, and chaise lounge. The bath off the master bedroom was roomy and contained a whirlpool tub.

I couldn't wait to get started with the relaxation so the first afternoon I made an appointment at the full service Spa located in the Clubhouse. My only problem was to decide exactly how I wanted to be pampered. From the many options, I chose the Swedish massage and it was an excellent choice. After some peaceful time in the hot tub I was escorted to a therapy room where gentle hands massaged away my tension to soft music and the soothing sounds of a serenity fountain.

We found that the area offers a wide variety of activities; something to appeal to any taste. For the history lover there is Fort Morgan, an important site since 1834 and the place where defense events took place in the War of 1812, The Civil War, Spanish American War, and World Wars I and II. Shoppers will delight in visiting the antique shops in nearby Foley or searching for bargains in the Riviera Centre Factory Stores. Golfers will be thrilled with the first class courses available. Nature lovers, be sure to take your camera to Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail. One of the greatest activities, and fun for anyone, young or old, is a trip on the excursion boat, Miss Janet. This trip begins at the private dock of Captain Skip and Janet. It cruises the Longs Bayou and Wolf Bay while you learn about oystering, check crab traps, and put out the shrimp net to see many different varieties of fish that are released back into the water after discussion on each. You may see dolphin along with brown pelicans, laughing seagulls, cormorants, terns and great blue herons while you sit back and enjoy the trip.

And, of course, there is the fantastic food! Although there are other choices, seafood is the specialty of most restaurants, and I loved it. I feasted on oysters on the half shell, shrimp, crab, and more.

A trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama should be on everyone's list of places to vacation. The area has accommodations that are sure to appeal to everyone's likes and fit into their budget. There are, in addition to condominiums, bed and breakfast inns, beach houses, and small houses to rent. To discover more about the region contact the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau by phone at 800-745-SAND, or visit their website at www.gulfshores.com. The Beach Club can be reached by phone at 888-260-SAND or at www.beachclubal.com.

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