Located on more than 30 acres of a peninsula overlooking Perdido Pass, Caribe Resort in Orange Beach is the perfect spot to call home base for your weekend along the shore. After getting settled in your condo, take some time to explore the surroundings. With more than 40, 000 square feet of pools, a lazy river, tennis courts, saunas and steam rooms, a game room, beach access, and a five-star restaurant on the property, Caribe offers plenty of activities to choose from. Take your pick, and start your day of relaxation.
After a late-afternoon swim, head down the street and enjoy dinner at Bill’s by the Beach. A menu full of farm-to-table fare includes favorites such as Coconut Shrimp, Seafood Pot Pie, and Bill’s Beach Burger. Don’t leave without trying Bill’s signature Donut Hole Bread Pudding. For after-dinner drinks, walk a few steps into the restaurant’s bar, The Turtle Bar. You’ll find specialty drinks such as Bill’s Bermuda Water and the Dirty Turtle, as well as a wide selection of fine wines and craft beers.
Caribe Resort • 888.607.7020 or caribe-resort.net
Bill’s by the Beach • 251.948.5227 or billsbythebeach.com
Start your morning with a visit to Magnolia Springs, Alabama, hometown of author Fanny Flagg. Located on the Magnolia River, this quiet village offers visitors a glimpse of rural Southern charm. If you’d like to stay in the immediate area, book a room at the Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast, a beautifully restored home with original wood-paneled walls and clawfoot bathtubs. Take a walking tour down streets lined with Spanish Moss with David Worthington, the caretaker of the Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast. He will happily share the community’s history and tell how it developed along the headwaters of the Magnolia River in the early 1800s. This small town is the only community with year-round mail service by boat.
When lunchtime rolls around, stop in at Jesse’s restaurant. Start with the Gulf Coast Crab Cake, and follow up with scrumptious Shrimp ‘N Grits.
Enjoy an afternoon on the rolling waters of the bay by booking a Dolphin Tour with Cetacean Cruises. Be sure to come prepared with your sunscreen and camera. The friendly dolphins will swim right up to the boat and look you in the eye. The pontoon-boat tour holds about 40 people and takes approximately two hours—plenty of time to chat with both the captain and the tour guide about all of your marine-life questions.
Continue your water adventure by renting a kayak from Go Go Kayaks. You can get up close and personal with nature as you explore Little Lagoon. Go Go Kayaks offers pickup or delivery of kayaks between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Visit The Wharf for unforgettable shopping (and a whirl on the ferris wheel). Try dinner at Villaggio Grille. Mediterranean and Italian flavors come together in dishes prepared over a wood-fired grill. Don’t miss the Devils on Horseback appetizer, featuring fried Gulf oysters wrapped in bacon. For your entrée, try the Pan-Seared Scallops or the Brown Butter Grouper.
Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast • magnoliasprings.com
Jesse’s • jessesrestaurant.com
Cetacean Cruises • cetaceancruises.com
Go Go Kayaks • gogokayaks.com
Villaggio Grille • villaggiogrille.com
The Beach Club
Pamper yourself on your last day of vacation by booking an appointment at The Spa at The Beach Club. Choose from treatments such as a Swedish massage, a pedicure, or a scalp massage. Then take time to unwind in the sauna, steam room, or whirlpool. Or enjoy a leisurely lunch at the Gulfside Grill right beside the resort pool. The Spa is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. You do not have to stay at The Beach Club to enjoy this experience. Simply call ahead and book an appointment.
Experience the grand finale of your coastal getaway by taking a sunset cruise with Wild Native Tours. This cruise is all about relaxation as you enjoy a stunning sunset over the water. Take in the beautiful views along the Intracoastal Waterway, Bon Secour River, and Oyster Bay. The Sunset Cruise departs daily and lasts about two hours. Drinks are not included with the cruise, but feel free to bring your own sunset beverages for the ride. Be sure to call ahead and book your reservation.
The Spa at The Beach Club • thebeachclub.spectrumresorts.com. To book your spa appointment, call 866.775.7917.
Wild Native Tours • wildnativetours.com. To book your sunset cruise, call 251.272.4088.
Text by ragan wesson