Orange Beach, Alabama – Part 3

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Before you start, be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2.

We had a friend tell us about an Alligator zoo we needed to take the little one to. It was about a 20-minute drive outside out of Orange Beach, but totally worth the drive. I know I keep saying that, but it truly is.

Alligator Alley

19950 Co Rd 71
Summerdale, AL

We woke up early and drove out to Summerdale to go to Alligator Alley. We almost missed the driveway. Our directions said, turn left here and we passed the entrance because it blended in with the trees. When you bought tickets to get in, they had different size cups of feed you could buy to feed the alligators. Truthfully, it looked like horse poop. I’m just saying it like it is. haha.

Once we got to this point, there were bleachers to sit on and there was a show. This was Daisy (I think was her name) and she was waiting for the show because she knew she’d get fed. He told us that she was the only female that would come up right now. But it was because she wanted to get fed. She just waited patiently.

2 workers told us multiple things about alligators. Most of these alligators were from outside this area where they weren’t welcome. One was brought in because he took over a swimming pool. Another played hide and seek with a neighbor dog, etc.

Could you imagine?

The alligator teeth pole.

There was a place here where you could hold snakes. I was totally out there. Nope, no way, no how, not happening, we didn’t even go in. But hold a 6-month-old alligator (I think that’s the right age… I can’t quite remember), sure, why not. Gosh, their hide was interesting, especially the belly. I didn’t hold it, but I touched it :).

Mexico Lindo Mexican Restaurant

25405 Perdido Beach Blvd #25
Orange Beach, AL

When we went Parasailing, the captain of the boat was talking about how he was from South Carolina. He said that when he moved here not long back, he didn’t know how to get anywhere but work and this Mexican restaurant that had the best cheese dip. He gave hubby his cell number and said if we needed anything to let him know. We decided we like Mexican food and the cheese dip was the best, we surely needed to try it out, right?

The queso was good. It truly reminded us of what we get at home though. But the little loves a good cheese dip so it wasn’t a bad choice for lunch.

My MIL got Shrimp Enchiladas.

I don’t remember the name of this but wow. It was chicken and poblano peppers, and mushrooms, onions, and queso with a side of rice. Oh wow! It was excellent. While the food was very good, the service was lackluster. There weren’t many people in the restaurant. If this is how their service always is, that doesn’t surprise me.

We were hot and tired, so we decided to go back to the hotel to rest in the room. We had plans to go on a Dolphin Sunset Cruise. 

Dolphin Cruises Aboard the Cold Mil Fleet

Bear Point Harbor
5749 Bay La Launch Ave
Orange Beach, AL

We were almost afraid we weren’t going to get to go on our Sunset Dolphin Cruise. A horrible rainstorm blew up and actually canceled the cruise before ours. There are 2 ships per cruise time. They split the group before ours between the two boats. We wound up on the boat with the owner of the cruises.

We did a sunset, so that was going to push our dinner time back later. Of course, that means getting the little ice cream to kind of hold over her appetite. Do you see a pattern with vacations for us? Ice cream everywhere. Of course, we need to try it everywhere.

I didn’t even get a sunset photo because the silly clouds ate our sunset. Grrrrr.

Because I had my Nikon D610 with me, the Deckhand put me in a spot where the best pictures are taken. So of course, that took me away from my family, but I was cool with getting great photos. They got videos where they were. I loved that they would put the kids in the back of the boat in front of the adults so they were able to see the dolphins best. Adults were able to see over the kids and hint: the best view is at the back of the ship. Or up next to the Captain where I was standing.

So, the deckhand gave us a bunch of information about dolphins. Some of it sounded a little farfetched, but really how would I know. He said that dolphins love to ride the wake. It is like us taking a shower. They run 2 boats side by side to create a wake. They do this on the busiest of times as well as the slowest of times. It helps create a wake enough to bring the dolphins around. 

They said that because of the rain, it actually sent the shrimp fishermen away and so the dolphins were more at play. Said that we had more on this cruise than most cruises. Their bellies are pink underneath because of all the shrimp they eat. 

Coming back in the harbor, they have to toot their horn to let boats in harbor know they are coming. The boat captain allowed Abug to toot the horn. He picked her out, introduced himself to her, and showed her what to push.

Shrimp Basket

26651 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL

After dinner, we were going to find somewhere to eat. The suggested the restaurant right there in the harbor area, but it was crowded. We decided we were tired and didn’t want to wait forever. Shrimp Basket was right across the road to our hotel. We decided if we went there, we wouldn’t have such a long trip back to the hotel. We were sold. Plus the gal at the front desk of the hotel suggested eating here.

We started with Corn Fritters. Fried golden brown filled with sweet creamed corn. Yum!

While I’m not a huge fan of seafood, I love Shrimp and Grits! Grilled shrimp over cheese grits served with our signature shrimp slaw and toasted bread. It’s the grits that get me every time.

steamed Shrimp Platter. Peel n’ eat steamed shrimp with our signature seasoning, served with new potatoes, corn, and our signature shrimp slaw.

Chicken Fingers and French Fries.

Catfish Basket. Hand-battered and lightly fried, served with our signature shrimp slaw, two hushpuppies, one corn fritter, and french fries. 

When we got back to the hotel, it was time to go down and enjoy the pool. A Bushwacker or two, and a virgin Strawberry Daiquiri for the little. 

There is something so magical about waking up and sitting to the ocean roll up on the beach. It’s absolutely beautiful. That’s one thing I miss being in a landlocked state. For some reason, hubby and I couldn’t sleep in any of the mornings on vacation. I just enjoyed going and sitting out on the balcony. Once we were both semi-awake, we got dressed quickly and ran across the road to get some donuts for breakfast. Who doesn’t like donuts for breakfast? I figured the little would love them. She was just so-so…

City Donut

26651 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL

So many choices!

They had a City Mocha Blast (Frozen Frappe). It was just okay.

But the Maple Bacon Donut, sitting on the balcony, listening to the ocean, Perfect!

A friend of ours suggested that we take Abug to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. She absolutely loves zoos so it was perfect. This was over in the Gulf Shores township. But they are both right there (as I have said many times) so it wasn’t a big deal. However, this was our first venture in that direction.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

20499 Oak Rd E
Gulf Shores, AL

So when you get there, they have many different things. There are different size buckets that you could buy food to feed to the animals. Also, there are different places where you can buy to pet animals. Sloths, Lemur, Kangaroo, and possibly others but we did the three mentioned. While my MIL and little were in playing with the sloths, I was chasing around this dragonfly trying to get a picture. haha.

Now, this was quite the sight. The duck started out asleep by the tree. Then it appeared that the peacock woke the duck up and the duck was upset. That duck was letting the peacock know too.

The lemur’s loved Abug’s tulle on her dress. They were infatuated with it.

We were told we weren’t allowed to touch the Lemur’s paws or face. This lemur apparently didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to touch him like that… They were all climbing all over the top of me. We also weren’t allowed to pick them up, so I wasn’t sure what to do. 

Then he decided he was mad at me, so he peed on me. The zoo helper said that they pee every 10 minutes. I got covered in pee. So I went to the bathroom to try and clean up. I had soap and water everywhere.

When I came from the bathroom, I found the family watching this show. That’s the closest I’ve ever been to a skunk. We learned about snakes (I might have run out of the area), skunks, and opossums. It was extremely interesting. The skit was hilarious. It was a really good time.

Then we took off to go play with the kangaroo.

As we were exiting, there was this sign noting that they were moving. If you ever find yourself in the area, it’s a lot of fun whether you are 2, 8, or 80. No, I’m not one of those ages, but I sure did have fun!


Sunliner Diner

100 E 2nd Ave
Gulf Shores, AL

After the zoo, it was hot and we were tired. We needed food. On the blogpost that Stephanie at Plain Chicken wrote about Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, she mentioned Sunliner Diner. I thought we should try it out. It’s a cute little Classic 1950’s diner. Their menus were even set up like newspapers from the ’50s, the servers were dressed that way, and the decor of the place screamed that. Super cute.

There was a group of ladies sitting behind us that were one some huge trip. Our waitress paid way more attention to that group than ours. Those ladies had something on their shirt about the ’60s. Reunion (like high school friends) or they were 60, I’m not sure. 

Classic BLT. Bacon, lettuce, and tomato on butter-griddled Texas toast.

The Barnyard Burger. A stack of two griddled burger patties, bacon, fried onion ring, a fried egg, cheddar cheese, and creole hollandaise on a butter-griddled brioche bun.

Classic Club. Roasted turkey breast, ham, candied bacon, cheddar cheese, fresh ripe tomato, and lettuce piled high on butter-griddled Texas toast.

Chicken Strips. She had to be in the picture with her food.

After lunch, we weren’t really wanting to go back to the hotel. So we started searching for something to do. Mini Golf, why not?

Shrimpy’s Mini Golf & Ice Cream

204 E 2nd Ave
Gulf Shores, AL

We took baby girl mini-golfing one-day last summer and she had a ball. We really wanted to take her again and finally, we had the opportunity.

Hubby took my picture but I never got a copy of it. Oh well…

My MIL said she hadn’t been mini-golfing in more years than she could count.

And after a hot afternoon of mini-golf, cool off with ice cream!

We went back to the hotel and chilled in the ocean and then the pool. Finally, it was time to start looking for dinner.

Flora-Bama Ole River Grill

17400 Perdido Key Dr
Pensacola, FL

Stephanie’s post suggested Flora-Bama Yacht Club. That’s where we intended on eating when we wound up where we were. While I might have been a bit sad, I was pretty happy with where we wound up. We did have to wait about 30-45 minutes to get in, but the wait wasn’t anything unusual for us.

One thing that frustrates me about being in the south (it happened in Pensacola Beach too) is the cold hotel rooms versus the outside humidity and how LONG it takes for my camera lens to come up to temperature and quit fogging over. UGH!

Abug LOVES Fried Mozzarella sticks. So, of course, we had to get those to start with.

She got Mac and cheese. Being a self-proclaimed connoisseur of mac and cheese, this was good stuff.

Big Earl’s Shrimp and Grits. Stoneground smoked Gouda grits and lightly blackened Gulf shrimp smothered in creole cream sauce.

Four Cheese Mac and Cheese. Cavatappi pasta tossed in Alfredo sauce with Parmesan, Monterey Jack, cheddar, and smoked Gouda. Add chicken

Ole River Surf and Turf. 10oz sirloin and tender Gulf shrimp with baby baked potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

This was one of the closest sunset pictures I got the whole week. Very frustrating. The clouds ate my sunset every night if a building didn’t.

This was in the parking lot. I’m telling you, we were on the Florida/Alabama state line.

One thought on “Orange Beach, Alabama – Part 3

  1. Wow! It looks like you guys had a lot of really amazing adventures filled with tons of animals and delicious foods. That is crazy about the alligator named Captain Crunch, although now his name makes a little bit more sense. How fun that you saw so many dolphins.

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