Spring has definitely sprung here in the southern US and that means…Beach Time! Great deals can be had for family travelers this spring break due to last year’s BP oil spill. I said it last year and I’ll repeat it for those who didn’t catch it last go ’round – there’s more to do than just lay on the beach in the Gulf States. There are many top-knotch golf courses along the Gulf Coast, day spas, restaurants, shopping, and many families attractions.
Here are some of my personal favorite gulf coast beaches for a family spring break vacation:
Galveston Beach – This Texas beach town is more than just sun and sand. Galveston is home to Moody Gardens, a fun family attraction, and also the exciting Schlitterbahn Waterpark.
Gulfport and Biloxi Beach – I remember visiting Biloxi Beach as a pre-schooler and my has this place grown up. Katrina leveled the Gulfport and Biloxi Beach areas, but they made a partial recovery and offer hotels and casinos with fun outdoor pool areas for the entire family. Starting April 2, 2011 the Ship Island ferry will start running again, offering fun day trips for families.
Dauphin Island – This Alabama barrier island located near the mouth of Mobile Bay. The island is 14 miles long, with the western eight of those miles being uninhabited, making a beautiful beach destination. The west end beaches will reopen April 1, 2011 on this family friendly island destination in Alabama.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach – This Alabama beach area offers more than just sun and sand. Gulf Shores is home to a wide array of attractions and activities for the entire family. There are water parks, entertainment centers, outdoor activities, and historic sites. TravelingMamas.com checked out Turquoise Place, a luxury beach condo in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Pensacola Beach – This Florida beach area is the gateway to the Gulf Islands National Seashore. There are miles and miles of sandy shores, fishing spots, attractions, and tons of adventure for family travelers.
Navarre Beach – This beach is located east of Pensacola on Santa Rosa Island and is a good choice or families looking for a quiet home base. There are beach homes and condo resorts located on the gulf side and the sound side of the island. Near the end of the public access areas is a public beach and campground.
Destin and the Beaches of South Walton – The Destin and Beaches of South Walton areas offer small beach communities dotted along the northwest coast of Florida. This area is also popular with celebrities searching for a laid-back beach getaway where no one bothers them. In addition to the residential beach communities, there are resorts and vacation homes available for families seeking a fun and relaxing gulf coast beach vacation.
These are just a few of the many gulf coast beach destinations that are fun for a family spring break getaway. No matter where you choose to spend your family spring break, be sure to check ahead with local tourism and convention and visitors bureaus to find out which area colleges and universities may be spending their own spring break.
Tip: Avoid Panama City Beach, Florida during spring break. This is a very family friendly destination for a summer family vacation, but during spring break travel times it becomes a college hot spot. SanDestin in the Destin area is a good choice for families during spring break as the property is gated and access onto the property is controlled.