Are We There Yet?: The Beach Club, Gulf Shores Alabama
By Linda Holloway
Photography by www.larryhollowayphotography.com
It is that time of year when winter daydreams transfer to reality. Even as I am writing, my mind wanders from the keyboard to days where the warm Gulf breeze flows over my face and the surf forces sand between my toes. A place where babies coo, children squeal with joy, teens trade phones for activities, and parents are content. This magical place has a name, it is simply tagged…The Beach Club.
Located along the Fort Morgan Peninsula, The Beach Club is a Spectrum Resort, and is known as Gulf Shores’ premier full-service resort. Everything we needed was at our fingertips: a secluded stretch of sugar-white sand along the Gulf of Mexico, a clubhouse pool with private cabanas, on-site dining, spa services, nature trails, kids’ activities, and more. Little wonder The Beach Club was named, “Top 10 Family Beach Resorts in America” by Family Vacation Critic.
The popular resort is situated on 86 acres of natural beauty with private beaches spanning the length of nearly five football fields. Pools? There are six—enough for everyone to splash freely. Guests don’t have to worry about carrying a wallet around. A wristband is distributed for charging back to your room and access to the Clubhouse. Guests can choose from 4 Gulf-front condo towers and 30 cottages featuring 1-5 bedrooms—all well-appointed. With so many lodging options, the resort is perfect for multi-generational vacations.
The Beach Club has some of the best amenities and perks that I have experienced. To qualify for all of them, book your stay through the official owner and operator of all amenities, Spectrum Resorts. The “first impression rose” goes to my two “musts” for any vacation rental: The “Clean Bed Guarantee” provides a clean white duvet for every arrival, and the “Rest Assured” program is now being implemented to ensure a high-quality mattress in every vacation rental. Just think--no more back aches on vacation. Can you relate?
There is a bounty of activities to engage children and teens including: Turtle Tot Spray Bottle Painting, Family Trivia, Poolside Craft and Aqua Fun Tail Mermaid Classes. Kids are competitive by nature. I learned this while watching a Hermit Crab Race activity. All ages seem to enjoy the Hula Hoop Contest and poolside S’mores are a hit. Kids get their groove on at the Toby Dance Party, and Family Movie Night is held in the Club Event Room. Be sure to ask about Toby’s Kids’ Club for 12 and under that comes with a tote bag full of goodies when you sign up.
The activities change daily and there is never a moment of boredom. Check the schedule on the website. Teens will appreciate the Activity Court with basketball and shuffleboard courts adjacent to the resort’s amazing Racquet Club. The Clubhouse Arcade is where all games are complimentary for Spectrum Resorts guests. There is also a playground near the tennis courts.
The resort’s Sand Island is where you will find oversized chess/checkers, volleyball and family grilling/picnic areas. Looking for a more exciting adventure? Try Flyboarding and swim like a dolphin or fly like a seagull. Jet ski rentals are available along with paddle boards, jet skis and parasailing (fee based). Of course, the little ones are usually happy with a bucket and shovel to create masterpieces in the sand. For parents looking to relax in the sun, the Spectrum Experience offers guests advanced beach chair reservations that guarantee first row; now that is my happy place-perfect for watching the sun melt into the Gulf.
The Village Lawn is the new hub of food, family and fun that includes food along with complimentary live music nightly (seasonal) with activities/games for the entire family. Teens especially like the Lip Sync Battle and Glow in the Dark Volleyball. There are three Airstream food trailers available to delight anyone’s pallet—The Press, The Smoke and The Spice.
Parents can enjoy The Beach Club’s spa and golfing opportunities are nearby at Kiva Dunes—Alabama’s only beachfront golf resort. Beach activities are sure to make you hungry. On-property dining options include Coast Restaurant with outside veranda dining options overlooking the Gulf. The Gulfside Bar & Grill is the seasonal poolside eatery, and The Village Hideaway is a great casual dining venue. Here you can watch your favorite sports teams on one of nine flat screen televisions. Ask about priority reservations at the restaurants. If you choose to eat in your condo, Spectrum Resorts will save time on your vacation by grocery shopping for you. When you arrive your selected items will be waiting in the fridge and cabinets.
At dusk, I watched children wading in The Beach Club’s private slice of beach dressed in fancy white attire. Parents, with cameras in hand, were snapping memories that will last a lifetime. The Beach Club was so impressive that I started planning the next visit before we left.
The Beach Club by Spectrum Resorts: For reservations call (888) 260-7263 or visit www.spectrumresorts.com.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Attractions
Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo: Home of the Animal Planet show, “The Little Zoo That Could,” visitors to the zoo are invited to get up close and personal with more than 500 animals including lions, tigers, bears, wolves, primates and more. There is also a picnic area. The zoo is building a new 25-acre facility which is more than five times the size of the current location, north of the Intercostal Waterway. The estimated completion date is spring of 2018. Visit www.AlabamaGulfCoastZoo.org.
Fishing Charters: Home to one of the largest charter fleets on the Gulf Coast, Alabama’s beach communities offer many inshore and offshore fishing charter options out of local marinas. Additionally, many captains offer dolphin and nature cruises on which guests are able to spot and learn about beloved dolphins as well as other coastal creatures and their native habitats. Visit www.OrangeBeach.com/Fishing and www.GulfShores.com/things-to-do/beach-water.aspx for more details.
Fort Morgan State Historic Site: This is a Civil War-era fort known for Admiral David Farragut commanding “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead!” as he led his troops in the Battle of Mobile Bay. This historical treasure is fit for all age to explore. The site offers twilight tours in June and July which are especially fun for families. The fort is located a short drive from the Beach Club. Visit www.Fort-Morgan.org.
For Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourist information, call 251-974-1510 or visit www.gulfshores.com.