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Gulf Breeze RV Resort
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Norman W. Hildrum

Gulf beach at Bon Scour Wildlife Refuge, Alabama - Photo by Norm HildrumThe most southernly portion of Alabama has become a haven for "Yankees" seeking to escape the frigid weather of winter. We were not surprised to see numerous camping rigs from Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario Canada. Gulf Shores, Alabama is ideal for such winter getaways. It has miles of eye straining white sand beaches, numerous golf courses, a variety of excellent restaurants, and a good selection of campgrounds. It is also nicely situated for day trips to Pensacola, Florida or Mobile Alabama.

Gulf Breeze RV Resort is located just off highway 59 in Gulf Shores, Alabama. There are 200 mostly open sites with concrete patios. All have full hookups and cable television. The Bellingrath Gardens near Mobile, Alabama - Photo by Norm Hildrumfacility is well maintained and reasonably well designed. The facility has a laundry, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tub, shuffleboard, basketball court, horseshoes, and an activity pavilion. We stayed a week and our cost was $120 plus tax (02-00). We enjoyed the pool and hot tub and even shot some baskets on the basketball court. The staff was friendly and helpful and there were multiple locations where I could plug my computer in and send and receive email. Based on location, price, and overall quality, we would recommend Gulf Breeze RV Resort as a SavvyCamper destination.

From Fort Morgan, take the ferry across Mobile Bay and visit Bellingrath Gardens. The 30 minute ferry ride is quite enjoyable and scenic. The ferry lands on Dauphin Island just a short drive from the gardens. Wealthy Coca Cola bottler, Walter Bellingrath purchased the site in 1918 as a fishing camp. Later on, he and his wife Bessie built the gardens in the European style. Today, there a hundreds of acres of gardens, fountains, and quiet pathways. More than 250,000 azaleas bloom in mid-March. The Bellingrath home, also on the grounds, is worth checking out. While we were a bit too early (mid-February) for major blooms, we still enjoyed the nicely designed area and peaceful walkways.

National Museum of Naval Aviation, Pensacola, Florida - Photo by Norm HildrumThe National Museum of Naval Aviation in nearby Pensacola, Florida is another great attraction. There are numerous hands-on displays and you can even sit in cutaway sections of various airplanes. Sharon sat in a fighter used by the Navy's Blue Angels and we both sat in the cockpit of a DC something. The IMAX film on the history of flight and the Blue Angels is excellent.

Bon Scour Wildlife Refuge Beach is a short drive and it provided the opportunity to walk our dog. We can't stress enough the need to be thoughtful pet owners and clean up after your dog. More and more areas prohibit dogs because of the unwillingness of many pet owners to clean up after their furry family members. The public beaches of Gulf Shores are closer but more crowded. We probably would have used Bon Scour even if we didn't have a pet. On this particular visit, we got soaked, but had a great time.

For anyone looking for a place to escape the fury of winter, the Gulf Shores area of southern Alabama is well worth considering.

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