Who Wants To Try a DIS-Meet At Gulf State Park In May-June 2016?

bama_ed

It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
Joined
Sep 23, 2004
Folks,

Earlier this year we had a thread on the DIS Camping Board about tiggerdad and I camping at Gulf State Park on the Alabama Gulf Coast. http://www.disboards.com/threads/a-small-dis-camping-meet-occurred-tonight.3414791/ He fed me and my family and we had fun putting names with faces from the DIS Camping Board.

In the thread we discussed, based on the thread feedback, opening up a future visit to Gulf to include any DIS'ser that wanted to come and hang out down at the beach. My favorite time, given the demands of school, work, and family, have been the time of Memorial Day weekend through the following weekend. For many school systems in the South, school is out by Memorial Day and although summer on the Gulf can be hot, humid, and wet, the week of Memorial Day is the still "late spring" weather and the heat is not (yet) oppressive. With about 6 months notice, hopefully the work/family side can be planned far enough in advance.

Just to set expectations: Gulf State Park is in Gulf Shores, AL east of Mobile Bay (between Mobile and Pensacola). It does NOT have campsites ON THE BEACH. The Park has a 2 mile beach with a highway behind it and the campground is back behind the highway. Gulf Shores bills itself as a "Big Beach, Small Town". The Park has 2 miles of beach and a long fishing pier but obviously the beach fronts the town for miles in each direction. Orange Beach is the next town over with its walls of tall condo towers on the beach. It's a place to go and relax. Outlet shopping is 10 miles away, there is a small waterpark, zoo, and seafood restaurants galore, but it is not Panama City or Destin (with lots of nighttime entertainment). It is what it is.

Gulf State Park does NOT, as of today, have any WIFI. Various hurricanes have cleared out the once abundant trees and undergrowth so now it's pretty wide open (Google Maps satellite view is your friend). Cell phone coverage is good but the campground is far enough from civilization that the business case can't be built for fiber to serve the campground.

Gulf does have a pool for those not wanting to go to the beach. It's a pretty nice pool as campgrounds go. We waited years for it after it was announced and then the contractor went bankrupt and we waited years for a second contractor to be signed and finish the job.

Here is the Gulf website: http://www.alapark.com/Gulf-State-Park-Camping Note cost depends on location. There is a weekend upcharge like the Fort. All 500 sites have water, 50/30/20 power, and sewer hooks. There are cabins (small woodlands cabins) and cottages (on stilts very nice on a lake in the park) for those who don't have a trailer. You can currently RESERVE A SPECIFIC CAMPSITE when you call to make a campsite reservation. ("Hello, Disney.....is this thing on?")

This is my traditional time to come and tiggerdad made it last year as the thread above shows and we would love to have more DISsers show up. Memorial Day is Monday May 30 and the weekend prior is jammed full at the campground and in Gulf Shores (condos full, etc). Some of us have already booked in and we are on Sumac Road and Live Oak Road (refer to the map so select a site to reserve)http://www.alapark.com/sites/alapark.com/files/Campground-Map-1_3.jpg

I like to come in the day after Memorial Day (Tuesday May 31 in this case) after the holiday weekend crowds go home. But some are coming in before the Memorial Day weekend. I'm leaving out Sunday June 5. So we're talking somewhere in the range of May 27 (Friday) to June 5 (Sunday).

If you want to come, say so in this thread and if you have a question, there are several of us who can answer questions about Gulf and the area so PM us (me, tiggerdad, or southalabama5er). The three of us are booked. Come if you want to and can - we will have fun no matter what. It's a time to relax at the beach and engage in some fellowship.

Bama Ed

PS - EDIT: Participant List

GSP DIS Meet 2015.png
 
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Flametamr

<font color=red>I never thought about doing any ot
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Hey Bama_ed, Tiggerdad messaged me earlier. He and SouthAlabama5ver have already made reservations for May 26th through June 6th. I am going to plan a day to go hang out with them if I can't camp that week. Maybe we can get this thing together. My daughter will still be in school until June 1st.
 

Flametamr

<font color=red>I never thought about doing any ot
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
I will definitely pitch in for some shrimp to boil. I was able to meet Steve aka JETS70 at the Fort this past week. It was brief but very enjoyable. We chatted for a while and shared some craft beer to toast our recent retirements. I strongly encourage anyone within the Southern hemisphere to try Gulf State Park and if possible attend the meet and greet.
 
  • PaHunter

    Photographer in need of training...
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2014
    Sounds like a great time and would love to, unfortunately for the DW and I that starts our working season. Working for state parks is tough, everyone else is camping and you are working. :( Maybe someday we will both retire and move south.
     

    ToddyLu

    Welcome aboard explorers- I love Mr. Ray
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2008
    Hi folks. My parents bought I new camper ( Jayco) today. They traded in the one they had. We live ont he MS Gulf Coast and have stayed at the State Park before. I would love to join you and think I could talk them in to bringing me over to spend a couple of days. I am very active on the DIS so please include me in planning. Daddy makes a good potato salad to go with the shrimp. Mama makes a good White Russian. She has been with me on a DIS meet in Hattiesburg before and understands the concept. Plus we will have just completed our 5/4-5/13 trip to WDW. Hoping to hear more about it and subing to the thread. I (47) am a nurse, married to DH (51) with no children. Parents are a hoot (77and 72).
     

    ToddyLu

    Welcome aboard explorers- I love Mr. Ray
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2008
    Actually even if they don't want to come I can still drive over and say hello...it is only about 1 1/2 hours away.
     

    Flametamr

    <font color=red>I never thought about doing any ot
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2007
    Your Moma sounds like fun already. I like Grey Goose in my White Russian. But normally stick with my favorite Tennessee Whiskey.
     
  • Teamubr

    Formerly racing around the country.
    Joined
    Nov 7, 2010
    You guys are killing me. I'm going to Anaheim for a conference in early April. (Literally right next to DL) I was trying to get my DW and DS to come out for a few days so we could go to DL. (Never been). I was planning on a beach trip to the Sarasota area mid summer and NOW you tease me with this!

    We've been to Gulf Shores several times. Nice area. A meet and greet is always fun.

    So... I can't afford to do DL, Gulf Shores and Sarasota in the same year. Gulf Shores is also 12 hours from St Louis. (I know... I've driven as far for a 3 day race weekend) My DS is supposed to be out of school on May 20th unless they use all their snow/cold/it might do something days. Then he isn't out until June 1st. If they really do have school after Memorial Day, they won't do anything relevant anyway.

    Looks like I could pull the camper down for a week and only spend about $600 on fuel and camping. That's cheaper than tickets to DL and 2 air fares.

    Wow, the possibilities. I also bet I will have to make reservations at GSP pretty quick to get something over a holiday weekend too.

    You really aren't making this easy.

    j
     

    Westbeach Bum

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 6, 2011
    Every summer we put our camper on a site at Gulf Breeze campground in Gulf Shores from early May until Labor Day weekend. We're at the camper every weekend so will will already be in the area and would love to meet up. We met Tiggerdad last year at the fort.
     
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    SouthAlabama5er

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 9, 2014
    Yessum, we're booked at Gulf State Park (GSP) May 27th to June 5th. We're coming in a day later than Tiggerdad. I'm looking forward to it, GSP is a great place. Next to our trip to the Fort in February, I'm looking forward to this trip.
     

    tiggerdad

    I don't always get distracted but whe...SQUIRREL!
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2009
    Well, well...
    Maybe this will shape up nicely for some of us. We booked site 71, I believe Southalabama5er got site 73. Gulf State Park is our 2nd favorite place to go like Ed has said in the past. It really is a nice place. The campground has zip lines, fishing, beaches. The campsites are level and paved. Like Ed has already said, there is plenty of seafood restaurants. Waterville USA is a local water park. If you are like me and like history, The Battleship Alabama and USS Drum are located in Mobile and Pre-Cival War Fort Morgan is about 20-30 minutes to the west.

    Hope that this works out to be something big for all us.
     
  • SouthAlabama5er

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 9, 2014
    . If you are like me and like history, The Battleship Alabama and USS Drum are located in Mobile and Pre-Cival War Fort Morgan is about 20-30 minutes to the west.
    I'm with you there Tiggerdad, also if you go 20-30 minutes east to Pensacola, Fl. there is the Pensacola Naval Air Station Museum,
    www.navalaviationmuseum.org .

    Alone with Seafood restaurants, Lambert Cafe is a few minutes drive to Foley. Great country cooking, home of the throwed rolls! Also there is a Camping World 20 minutes back up Hwy 59, I always have to stop and check it out.

    Within the last year or so they opened a new Beach Express that bypasses the 1,000 or so red lights on Hwy 59. I'm going to double check but I believe that it's exit 48 off I10, 4 lane all the way to Gulf Shores with only 6 red lights. Then a toll bridge, then a right at the light. Then follow the Intercoastal Waterway around the road runs into the west entrance to GSP beside a Wal-Mart.

    Last time we went I tried to take the Fort Morgan/ Dolphin Island ferry, they told me my camper was too big, I'd rather pay and take the Ferry compared to fighting the traffic on the I10 Bayway.
     

    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    Teamubr, yep the Memorial Day weekend will be full and crowded so for those wanting to come in then you need to get a reservation on the books soon. Me, I will pass on the crowds and come down Tuesday morning. And Disneyland is cool - smaller and more intimate (its MK) than ours. Sarasota is good but what about making it an early summer visit and stop at Gulf on the way down to Sarasota and hit both in one trip/pull?

    Randy is right about the naval air museum in P-cola. It's free admission (your tax dollars at work) and worth a visit. I used that Beach Express extension from I-10 to Gulf Shores last summer and you do by-pass a lot of lights - it's great. However, you miss the building excitement of going through the different towns knowing you were getting closer to the beach. (Off I-65, Bay Minette, Stapleton, under I-10, Robertsdale, Summerdale, Loxley, Foley, Gulf Shores-it was like beach bingo). Now it's big green fields, several mile high billboards, and a scattering of houses till you get down to the Orange Beach toll bridge.

    I booked site 4 for me and DW on Live Oak Road. Being on the lake (or across from the lake in my case) is a nice view in summer. It's just around the corner from the sites of Bandit and Snowman.

    Bum, that's a great idea you got going. Your summer weekend getaway. :beach: ToddyLu, it would be nice to meet you and DH if you can make it in any way. Flametamr, would sure love to shake your hand too.

    So far so good.

    Bama Ed
     
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    Flametamr

    <font color=red>I never thought about doing any ot
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2007
    A couple of things to add for people who have not camped there. They do have sites that front the lake and a canal between the two lakes. Some lake front sites are right on the water and some are not. The canal sites are good if you kayak. You may can launch launch from your site. Here is a sunrise picture I took the one time I was on the lake.
     
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    Teamubr

    Formerly racing around the country.
    Joined
    Nov 7, 2010
    Sarasota is good but what about making it an early summer visit and stop at Gulf on the way down to Sarasota and hit both in one trip/pull?
    OK. Count me in!

    Talked to the DW last night. A 12 hour tow for a week with friends we've never met is it. We'll do DL another time. I called the state park this morning, gave them my dates (Saturday May 28- Saturday June 4) and I'm waiting for the "campground reservations" people to call me back to get a site and pay. (Is that normal?) I'm going to try for a water front site on Live Oak. If nothing is available, I'll try for Live Oak across from the water.

    Now I have to hope for a mild winter and DS doesn't use all 7 snow days.

    Bottom line, 7 days at the beach vs 2 days at DL. 7 days (for half the money) wins. Plus we get to meet some other DIS friends.

    We are still going to get a condo in Sarasota, we'll just wait until July or August.

    j
     

    bama_ed

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible-Walt Disney
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2004
    No, I asked the lady for a spot on Sumac Rd. Told her that I was booking with friends and gave them Tiggerdad's info. Did you call the park direct number?
    According to the website, they are not taking any reservations (campsite, cabins, etc.) on Veteran's Day....must mean a day off for the state parks employees who handle the credit card deposits. The campground office volunteers may not be able to do that at Gulf. Dunno. BTW the phone number I called to make my reservation (just so others don't have to look it up) is 251-948-7275.
     
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    Teamubr

    Formerly racing around the country.
    Joined
    Nov 7, 2010
    Holiday DOH!

    Should have thought of that. And I called the same number Ed listed.

    j
     

    tiggerdad

    I don't always get distracted but whe...SQUIRREL!
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2009
    Oh, and SouthAlabama5er said he was going to provide entertainment by swimming out into the lake and wrestling an alligator for us.

    True, I heard him say it...
     

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