At Petswelcome, winter is our favorite time to travel. Why? Because it offers the widest variety of experiences. You can head to a ski resort, hit the slopes and enjoy the crowds, energy and excitement, turning an otherwise dull season into a memorable high. Or, on the other hand, in a completely different approach, you can use it as an opportunity to chill out and relax, to find some peace and quiet with your whole family in an uncrowded environment. A place where you can contemplate the scenery and natural beauty and recharge your batteries after the hectic holiday season. And, if that’s more your cup of tea (it is ours!) we can think of no better destination than the pet friendly Fort Morgan-Gulf Shores area of Alabama.
Pet Friendly Beaches and More
The Fort Morgan-Gulf Shores area of Alabama is located on the Gulf of Mexico between Florida and Mississippi. It is essentially a peninsula that juts out into the mouth of Mobile Bay and offers plenty of activity for you and your dog(s) to romp the beaches and take in the beautiful sites of the Gulf coastline. And though most Alabama beaches do not allow dogs, the Fort Morgan-Gulf Shores area has two that do, Fort Morgan Beach and Dauphin Island Beach.
Fort Morgan Historic Site and Beach
Fort Morgan is named after the fort (now called the Fort Morgan Historic Site) at the western-most tip of the peninsula. It allows leashed pets on the historic site (except for the museum), as well as on the bay side beach from the Fort Morgan Pier to the Old Fisherman’s Wharf.
Dauphin Island Beach
Dauphin Island is just off the tip of the peninsula and it can be reached by bridge on the west side of Mobile Bay or by the pet-friendly Mobile Bay Ferry. The beaches of Dauphin Island offer a lot of romping space for you and your best buddy, including many pet-friendly trails that will take you off the beach and into the woods. The only beach on the island that is not pet-friendly is the West End Beach Park because it’s a sanctioned bird nesting area.
Dog Parks offer another great opportunity to hit the sand and surf in the area Fort Morgan-Gulf Shores area. The Perdido Key Dog Park, located about seventeen miles east of Gulf Shores, is an enclosed park along Old River that allows for water access and off-leash play for dogs, as well as a pavilion for their owners to get out of the sun. You can also visit the Gulf Shores Dog Park. It has two separate areas for small and large dogs and is a great place to meet other pet owners, too. Finally, the Orange Beach Waterfront Dog Park also provides your favorite animal access to other canines and, of course, to the water.
Treks and Trails
Looking for some romps with your dog that have less of a beachy feel? Then head to Gulf State Park and set out on the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Not only is it dog friendly, this 12.2 mile paved loop is also wheel-chair friendly and stroller-friendly. Or you can go to the Graham Creek Nature Preserve in nearby Foley, AL, and access almost 500 acres of natural habitat including pine savannas, forests, and tidal marshes.
Where to Stay in Pet Friendly Fort Morgan-Gulf Shores
The Fort Morgan-Gulf Shores area has tons of pet friendly options for you to explore. We suggest looking into a vacation rental as it allows for the most freedom for you and your pet and gives you the chance to relax without having to worry about encounters with non-pet-friendly people. Two companies that cover the Fort Morgan and Gulf Shores region are Reed Real Estate, who offers more than 60 pet friendly properties and Relax on the Beach, who also offers a large variety of options for your pet.
And, of course, there are also plenty of pet friendly Airbnbs to choose from.
If you’d rather the convenience of staying at a hotel, the most choices are available in Mobile, AL which is about an hour and half north of Fort Morgan. There are also options in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Foley and Daphne to name a few other nearby towns.
Between December and February of last year, the temperatures in Gulf Shores averaged a high between 63 and 66 degrees and a low of 42 to 47 degrees so, chances are, you’ll have some pretty decent weather. Given that likelihood—as well as the lack of crowds and the beautiful natural scenery—we think heading to pet friendly Fort Morgan-Gulf Shores area this winter is one easy (and inspired!) decision.