Sun-Kissed Bliss: 5 Tips for a Perfect Day at the Beach in Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, or Pensacola

A trip to the Gulf Coast will most certainly involve miles and miles of pristine beaches boasting crystal-clear waters and powdery white sands with stunning views over the Gulf of Mexico. The sound of waves and the gentle sea breeze are all you need to have a wonderful time, right?

Well, we beg to differ. We think that doing a little planning for your beach day can make a real difference in how you enjoy it. There are a lot of details involved in a day at the beach and, with so much to do along the shores of Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, or Pensacola, how can you make the most of it?

With this blog, we will bring you 10 amazing tips for a perfect day on the beach in Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, or Pensacola.

Ready for some sun-kissed bliss by the shore?

1. Kick off your morning with a hearty breakfast to fuel a day of beach excitement.

Swimming, playing beach sports, and exploring the shores demand a lot of energy. In other words, having fun demands energy. That’s why before you head to the shores, we recommend you and your family start your day with a hearty breakfast — to have everyone well-fed for the day ahead. The question is: where to head for the best breakfast on the Gulf Coast?

Luckily, there are many great breakfast spots in cities like Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, and Pensacola. Let’s go over some of the best ones.

Best Breakfast Spots in Fort Morgan, AL

In Fort Morgan, Sassy Bass Island Grill boasts a tranquil setting and superb views of the beach to get you in the mood. Their breakfast options include crab cake and eggs, Eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, hash browns, omelets, and a lot more. Everything is fresh and cooked to perfection.

Tacky Jacks is another amazing waterfront spot. Tacky Jacks offers tasty and inviting options for breakfast. Kids, in particular, love drawing on the chalkboard tables and sticking art to the wall. Dining outside is also a highlight, so try to find that sweet spot with a view.

Best Breakfast Spots in Gulf Shores, AL

What about a retro-style breakfast in Gulf Shores? You can go back to the 1950s at the Sunliner Diner while indulging in classic diner cuisine, omelets, Eggs Benedict, and waffles. They also offer some light and healthy items like avocado toast.

Another great option in the heart of town is Foam Coffee Shop. This one boasts a hipster ambiance inside, and its outdoor area features a swing that’s a hit on Instagram. You can expect some amazing fresh juice and healthy options on the menu.

Best Breakfast spot in Orange Beach, AL

A local favorite in Orange Beach, Oso at Bear Point Marina offers a fantastic breakfast space with views of the marina. The menu options are very varied, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Duck’s Diner is another staple in the local scene. For locals and visitors alike, it has become a daily ritual to drop by for their signature breakfast offerings.

Best Breakfast Spots in Perdido Key, FL

The Perdido Key branch of Hub Stacey‘s is surrounded by expansive oaks and magnolias in a decked building that radiates that quintessential Southern charm and a relaxed atmosphere. They offer an amazing breakfast at a very affordable price.

Also, as the name suggests, Perdido Key Breakfast Club focuses on delivering amazing breakfasts to everyone who crosses their doors. Options include great pancakes, waffles, omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and much more. You’ll be wishing to go back the next day.

Best Breakfast Spots in Pensacola, FL

Native Cafe is one of the best breakfast destinations in Pensacola, offering a Good American breakfast with a Florida twist. The local community voted this place the best breakfast restaurant in Pensacola. Need we say more?

Scenic 90 Cafe is another throwback-style breakfast parlor. The retro-inspired decor is worth the trip alone. But then you taste the food: steak & eggs, hash browns, sausage & biscuits, Stack of Jacks, French toast, and fresh fruits — all made to perfection.

Need more deets on breakfast spots on the Gulf Coast? Head here for a full list of the places to visit. 

2. Pack the essentials and some cool extras to enhance your beach fun.

For both protection and convenience, before hitting the shores, it’s a good idea to give some thought to the essentials and nice-to-haves that will make a difference in your experience.

Let’s start with the essentials. At the beach, sun protection is key, so make sure to have at least sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. No one likes a sunburn! Also, bring some water for extra hydration, especially if you’re planning to spend the whole day out.

Now let’s cover the nice-to-haves. A waterproof phone pouch can bring that sensation of safety for you to carry your phone around. And a clear window even allows for touchscreen use and great pictures of your day.

Is there anything better than the sound of waves crashing? Yes! Awesome music. For that, there are many waterproof speakers now on the market. These great little gadgets are designed with Bluetooth capabilities nowadays, so you can wirelessly stream music from your phone or other devices. Just be sure not to have it too loud; you don’t want to bother your beach neighbors!

Want to be comfortable as you soak in the ocean? An undisputed champion of seaside lounging is the Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair. It’s easy to transport and carry around, plus it comes in many cool designs.

Some extra nice things to have are a cool beach wagon for all the essentials mentioned and a cooler — the ultimate vacation enhancer. Once you have most of these, it’s all about relaxing and enjoying the day.

3.  Choose the perfect stretch of sand for sunbathing and your fav activities.

Sand, water, waves, and seashells — all beaches are the same, right? Err, not really. Even though the basics might seem the same, with some beaches (but not all), each stretch of sand on the Gulf Coast is unique and boasts distinctive characteristics, attracting different crowds.

A big part of making your day enjoyable is picking the right spot to hit. Let’s go over the specificities of each of our favorite beaches in the Gulf Coast region.

Fort Morgan Beach, AL

Fort Morgan Beach offers a sugary expanse perfect for sunbathing, all against a stunning backdrop. The crystal blue waters, powdery white sands, and lively atmosphere of the beach will please your entire family. Some sections of Fort Morgan Beach are dog-friendly, so you don’t need to worry about Fido feeling left behind on this trip.

Are you a history or architecture buff? So, this beach is for you. You can save some time on your beach day to explore the historic Fort Morgan. Beyond its architectural grandeur, the fort offers amazing views of the sea.

Gulf Shores Beach, AL

Gulf Shores boasts miles of soft, white sands that are a picturesque backdrop for sunbathing, beach games, and great strolls. 

If you want to complement your beach day in Gulf Shores, Waterville USA Waterpark & Amusement Park, or simply Waterville USA, is a must-visit destination for families seeking more water fun.

Orange Beach, AL

Smaller and often less crowded, Orange Beach is equally stunning, with soft sands and crystal-clear waters. This one is ideal for relaxation and lounging in the sand for most of your day. Gulf State Park near Orange Beach, AL, is dog-friendly, offering a vast public park with tons of recreational activities and dazzling beaches. It provides a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking and biking trails, fishing, and kayaking.

Perdido Key, FL

Perdido Key Beach captivates with its fine white quartz sand, audibly squeaking beneath your feet, and a boundless blue horizon framing pristine waters. Its untouched allure transports visitors to a serene escape, feeling worlds away from everyday hustle.

Still, Perdido Key isn’t just for beach lounging. Adventurers can explore its waters by renting pontoon boats or jet skis, adding an exhilarating twist to a weekend at this Gulf gem.

Pensacola, FL

On Santa Rosa Island and nationally known for its soft white sand and emerald-hued waters, Pensacola Beach is a favorite in the region. Although popular with both locals and visitors, it maintains its characteristic laid-back atmosphere and family-friendly vibe.

Pensacola Beach provides the ideal backdrop for water activities, sunbathing, relaxation, and enjoying some of Florida’s finest scenery. Whether you’re looking to rent a paddleboard, take a surf lesson, or simply lounge on a beach chair feeling the ocean breeze, a memorable time awaits.

4. Find the right gear rental service to boost your experience with extra comfort and thrills.

As we mentioned above, to make the most of your beach day, you’ll probably need some essentials and some non-essential equipment. Sometimes, these items are not the types you can bring on your own. Luckily, the Gulf Coast is filled with amazing rental services that can provide you with the gear for some extra beach fun—and thrills! Let’s go over some options:

Ike’s Beach Service

With locations including Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan, and Perdido Key, Ike’s Beach Service specializes in a wide variety of beach equipment rentals, including beach chair and umbrella rentals, parasailing adventures, paddleboard, and kayak rentals, and beach wheelchair rentals. The staff is efficient, helpful, and always checking on you to make sure you are comfortable and have what you need.

Pure Aloha Adventures

This woman-owned and -run business offers kayaking, paddleboarding tours, lessons, and rentals on beautiful Dauphin Island, Gulf Shores, and Orange Beach. As they say on their website, most of their tours are “Exciting enough for teens, cool enough for couples, easy enough for Grandma, peaceful enough for mom, and let’s face it, Dad would rather be fishing!”

Tiki’s Bikes, Boats & Beach Rentals

Tiki’s Bikes, Boats & Beach Rentals started offering just bikes to embrace Gulf Shores’ over 100 miles of trails, sidewalks, and quiet picturesque streets for biking enthusiasts. Their offer expanded and now includes beach bikes, e-bikes, paddleboards, pontoon boats, beach chairs, umbrellas, beach carts, coolers, and all kinds of accessories.

Daily Adventure Box

Rooted in Pensacola Beach, Daily Adventure Box specializes in paddleboard, skimboard, and bodyboard rentals—all made from top-notch materials and eco-friendly components. Renting is straightforward through their automated system, using QR codes and Bluetooth technology.

You can retrieve the equipment from convenient lockers, known as “boxes,” scattered throughout Pensacola Beach. They also developed an app that informs you about your remaining rental time.

Radical Rides

Are you feeling like taking a thrilling ride? As the name suggests, Radical Rides is your go-to service in Pensacola. This family-owned and operated firm offers a range of gear and exciting activities, along with more relaxed water fun options.
They provide parasailing, jet ski rides, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Whether you’re soaring high above the water on a parasail or enjoying the adrenaline rush of a jet ski, a memorable experience awaits.

For more details on rental services in the area, head here.

5. Seek the perfect post-beach fun and entertainment.

Your beach fun doesn’t have to end at sunset. The Gulf Coast region is a total vacationer’s paradise, and besides the pristine beaches of crystalline waters, it offers a lot of seaside enjoyment for the whole family after sunset.

Let’s go over some of the activities you can do to wrap up a day of beach excitement in the best way possible:

For something a little more city-like after you dip in the sea, The Wharf in Orange Beach is one of the most renowned entertainment spots on the Gulf Coast. It offers countless boutiques, excellent restaurants and bars, and a vibrant atmosphere. For families with kids, the standout attraction is the Wharf Ferris Wheel, an iconic landmark in Orange Beach that provides breathtaking views of Orange Beach.

In Pensacola, the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier is a must-go spot to see fishers trying their luck and admire the scenery around you. This is a classic thing to do while in the region, especially when the sun dips below the water. If the day is nice, the sunset will be nothing short of a total spectacle! Also, if you’re in the mood for dining or souvenir shopping, the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk is a must-visit, lined with boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Wherever you are on the Gulf Coast, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options. There’s plenty of al-fresco dining and beachfront dining on the Gulf Coast. And those restaurants with waterfront views offer a fantastic holiday vibe!

To discover which restaurants to visit in each city, check out this blog; we have a curated list of the best restaurants in Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, or Pensacola.

We’ve also written about nightlife in the region with some really hot tips on where to head for a fun night out in Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, or Pensacola. Whatever you need in tips and recs for a perfect vacation on the Gulf Coast, our blog has you covered!

Tips for a Perfect Day at the Beach in Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Perdido Key, or Pensacola

As you can see, there’s much more involved in a day of fun at the beach than flip-flops and sunscreen, although these are certainly good to carry! Whatever you need in tips and recs for a perfect vacation on the Gulf Coast, our blog has you covered.

Looking for an extra idea to make the most of your weekend on the Gulf Coast? Booking your stay with Luxury Coastal Vacations. We offer the finest selection of luxury rentals on the Gulf Coast, spanning Alabama and Florida.

When you choose to stay in one of our homes or condos, you can anticipate a 5-star experience that you’ll cherish forever. Browse through our options and discover what awaits you on the beautiful Gulf Coast.

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