August is Family Fun Month | Go Wild in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores

Did you know that August is Family Fun Month? It makes perfect sense to us- with all the sunshine, time off school, and warm weather, August is a perfect month for family fun. This month let’s take a look at ways you can join along in the fun at some activities near Festiva’s family of resorts.

Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama

  1. Gulf State Park
    Gulf State Park’s two miles of beaches, directly west of Palm Beach Resort, greet you with plenty of white sun-kissed sand, surging surf, seagulls and sea shells, but there is more than sand and surf to sink your toes into. Weekly programs and activities at the Gulf State Park Nature Center include guided kayaking, guided nature and pier walks, Geocaching 101, Pier Fishing 101, stargazing, a touch tank experience, animal encounters and much more. The Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier is the second largest pier on the Gulf of Mexico, with great fishing and sightseeing, and the sunsets are amazing. The Park also connects to the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails- 27 miles of boardwalk and paved trails for walking or biking.
  2. Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
    This wild area encompasses some of Alabama’s last remaining undisturbed coastal barrier habitat. The name Bon Secour comes from the French meaning “safe harbor,” very appropriate considering the sanctuary for native flora and fauna the refuge provides. Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge was established by Congress in 1980 for the protection of neotropical migratory songbird habitat and threatened and endangered species. The area represents an important stopover and staging habitat for neotropical migratory songbirds during the fall and spring migration along the Alabama coastline. Migratory birds utilize this area for resting and building fat reserves critical to successful migration. The refuge also provides crucial habitat for the endangered Alabama beach mouse that inhabits the beach dune and scrub/shrub habitats found along the Fort Morgan Peninsula. Visitor activities include wildlife viewing, bird watching, photography, fishing and hiking. Boaters can also access the waters of Gator Lake with canoes, kayaks, and boats with electric trolling motors. Though small, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center offers a variety of displays and brochures to provide information about the native flora and fauna found along the Gulf Coast. The refuge offers self-guided walks, and ranger led programs on a seasonal basis.
  3. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
    Go wild with the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo encounters: the kangaroo encounter, lemur encounter, sloth encounter, tamandua encounter, or reptile garden. Animal Planet’s “The Little Zoo That Could,” the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo opened in June 1989 as Zooland Animal Park. Wide pathways throughout the park offer close views of over 500 exotic animals including: lions, tigers, bears, primates, leopards, wolves, and more! Visit the reptile house, petting zoo, and aviary. There is a shaded picnic area, gift shop and seasonal concessions. The zoo is open year-round with seasonal animal encounters, animal shows and keeper talks.

Pat Barcas

Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for Festiva, based in Asheville, NC. In his spare time he enjoys photography, astronomy, hiking, hanging out with his family, and of course, traveling!

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