Okay, carole. Here's an update from my brother. First of all, since you are going when you are going, he says to be prepared to wait an hour or more for dinner at your chosen restaurant. This does not include "chains."
But, on your way down to Gulf Shores, he says you should be sure to stop at Loxley, AL at their farmers' market. He says it's about the best he's ever seen. Get your fruits and veggies there. Or, at least, the ones you can't resist.
Next stop should be Foley, AL, which has an outstanding outlet mall. All the biggies with prices that are wonderful. While there, treat your children to a fun lunch at Lambert's, where yeast rolls are "throwed" to the diners. It's great food with fun interaction.
He also tells me that Mobile, AL is about 1 hour away from Gulf Shores and, if you have children of an older age, you should go there to tour the USS Alabama, which is a battleship that is docked there.
In Gulf Shores, there are go-carts, bungy jumping and an old-time amusement park. Hope you don't want to sleep.
When you order shrimp, he tells me you should ask for "royal reds," which are incredibly rich shrimp that taste like lobster.
Now, do you have space in your suitcase for me?