“If you want a non-commercial, family oriented, reasonably priced, everything you need in one location getaway, The Beach Club at Gulf Shores, Alabama is for you.” ~Greta Perry~

After 4 years of living in the Greater New Orleans area, it was time to try out the Gulf Shores instead of our usual Florida vacation. A 3 plus hour ride from Mandeville, LA made this vacation destination enticing. After Googling “family resorts” in Louisiana, The Beach Club kept popping up. A couple of tweets to traveling guru Shannon Lane @cajun_mama and The Beach Clubs looked like a winner.
We decided to head there over Thanksgiving for a quick getaway and they had a Thanksgiving buffet that was very reasonably priced – woot woot.

Nestled amongst the dunes and plush surrounding off in contrast to the busy and commercial Highway 59 just 10 miles away, is the entrance to the Beach Club. We checked into the Rental Office, by the most helpful staff. Adjacent to the office was the Village Market and Grill where we enjoyed some reasonably priced buffet breakfasts (also has grocery, coffee and ice cream) and the Village Mercantile store with a wonderful selection of gifts and clothes to keep everyone busy for several visits. After this complex, we were greeted by the 24 hour security guard which makes you feel extra safe for your stay.

We pulled up to our building and there were oversized shopping carts to help us unload our stuff as well as luggage carts. Our room was immaculately and tastefully decorated 11th floor space included: 3 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath, a living room, a kitchen with every utensil needed and a granite counter top, dining area, =washer and drier, spacious balconies on the water with plenty of patio chairs and a balcony facing the back of the resort. Throw in wireless, Direct TV, a TV in each bedroom and all the kids could have lived there forever! All units face the beach and the view is just gorgeous. We could even view all 5 pools and 5 hot tubs from our balcony.

The beautiful thing about this resort, is everything is close and it feels so safe and isolated. The kids wanted to run around and check everything right away: the 5 outdoor pools (each has a hot tub & kiddie pool too), the giant outdoor chess, checkers, sand volleyball court, adults only gym, the complimentary DVD rental machine, tether ball, the game room and the tennis courts, ping pong, the restaurant called Southbeach and the adjoining bar (kid friendly) and finally the beach. Phew – they cracked me up as they just loved exploring and being somewhat independent (ages 10, 12 & 14).

We enjoyed some quality family time and took a quick ride to a Mexican restaurant a few miles down the road our first night. Thanksgiving day, my oldest son and husband enjoyed the golf course less than a mile a way (there were several to choose from). After walking to the Village to get breakfast, the younger 2 kids and I hit the beach – spectacular! We all cleaned up and headed to the feast put on by Chef Greg Buschmole. Everything was just delicious and had a cajun flair. The kids chilled out for the evening watching movies while my husband and I escaped for a bit for a romantic walk on the beach.

The next day I woke up and had a wonderful run along the dunes and scenic backdrop of 180. Followed by that I was treated to a pumpkin spice pedicure at the spa right next door while hubby took the kids to breakfast at the Market. This was fantabulous me time!!!!!! The weather did not cooperate that day at all, fortunately we had the indoor pool and the game room for an option. Foosball time! We had lunch at Southbeach which was very reasonably priced and delish. Then we decided to drive the 20 minutes to the outlet mall nearby to brave Black Friday (really was not busy). While the kids settled in at the room, hubby and I head to the bar to watch a little football and enjoy some time alone.

The next day the checkout process was very easy at the front office (must vacate property by 10). We used the credit card on the room key for our expenses at The Beach Club – so easy peasy! The whole family agreed they would love to go back in the Summer. Looks like there are more kid activities and probably more kids around during that time as well.

Driving times: about 1 hour from Pensacola, 1 hour 15 minutes from Mobile, 7 1/2 hours from Shreveport, 3 hours plus from Camp Shelby, 9 1/2 hours from Houston and 3 1/2 hours from New Orleans.

Pictures: our living room, view of the beach from our room, the indoor pool, outdoor chess (they have checkers too), one of the 5 outdoor pools

Disclaimer: Spectrum Resorts hosted our room accommodations for our Thanksgiving stay and treated me to a pedicure. No money was exchanged for this review nor was it implied what I should write.