Friday, February 7, 2014

The Orange Beach Alabama Dog Park - Unleashed

"Unleashed," the new Orange Beach dog park, opened for business on September 13, 2010, with an official ribbon cutting. There are very few places in the Gulf Shores - Orange Beach area where dogs can run wild. Tourists are often disappointed to find out that they can take their dog on the dog on the beaches, even on a leash, but "Unleashed" is probably the next best thing.

"Unleashed" is managed by the City of Orange Beach.

The park is very easy to find. It is located near the shore of Terry Cove and Sportsman's Marina, just short of a mile and a half from Highway 161, towards Bear Point. The park can be used at anytime from sunrise to sunset.

It is a great asset for the area because dogs love to run free and their owners like them to be happy. A dog needs a certain amount of vigorous playtime to remain healthy. At this park your dog will have 3/4 of an acre to run-- and you will have some nice benches to sit in the shade and watch him have fun.

If you have a small dog and worry about his safety around other dogs, there is a separate area for your pet.

For those who want to train their dog to jump, the park has an agility training station.

There are water stations throughout the park for your dog to cool off and for you to remove the sand and dirt from him before he gets in your car.

To use the park, dogs must have up-to-date vaccinations, be at least 4 months old and be accompanied by a human at least 14 years old. Each dog must have one person to take care of it. A complete set of rules are posted at the park.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Winter in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Many people who love Gulf Shores have never seen it in winter. Visit in winter, especially just after fall and before the snowbirds flood in after Christmas, and you will be practically alone on the beach. You will never have to wait in line at restaurants and your lodging will be cheaper than you are used to paying. The weather might be cool, and sometimes even cold, but it is possible than the weather could be very pleasant. High temperatures into the low 70s are common during the winter, and some years the Alabama Gulf Coast only gets a few days of truly cold weather.

All of the photos on this page were taken during the first few days in December.

This is the Gulf State Park area, just east of the pier. One lone walker has all of the shells to herself.

Fish do bite in the winter, but not many people fish on the Gulf State Park Pier when the weather turns cool.

Not a lot of footprints in the sand, but plenty of bird tracks.

If you enjoy taking photos, winter is a great time for it. The beach has a different look when it's uncrowded.

The east side of the pier and a solitary great blue heron.

East of the Gulf State Park Pier. Not one person on the beach.

As mentioned, fish bite in winter, but very few people fish compared to the numbers than do when the weather is warm. Speckled trout, redfish, white trout, whiting, and pompano are some fish that bite when the water is cool.

In the summer, the Islands of Perdido Pass are crowded with boats and people.

The tip of Bird Island is the most favored place to park a small boat on the islands, but on this day nobody was there.

If you like to shop, you will not have to look very hard to find a good place to park. This is the Wharf in Orange Beach.

You will not have to wait on a table at area restaurants.

The Cotton Bayou Public Beach Area of Gulf State Park is always a busy place during the summer. Visit during the a Gulf Shores winter and it is all yours.