You can choose from a variety of Orange Beach house rentals along the coasts of Gulf Shores and neighboring city of Fort Morgan. The coastal city of Orange Beach is part of Alabama's Pleasure Island, and millions of tourists visit every year. There are a lot of things to do near Orange Beach rentals: swimming in turquoise waters, dolphin watching, deep sea fishing and learning Civil War history. Numerous museums, historic forts, monuments and battlefield sites are available for visitors who wish to explore Alabama's role in the Civil War.
Fort Conde Museum and Welcome Center
The museum was built in 1976 with the aim of preserving Mobile City's rich history and Civil War memorabilia. The fort was constructed by the French in 1723 as part of their defense tactics against the British, and to prevent excessive flooding from the nearby Mobile River.
The modern Fort Conde is now accessible from one of Mobile's interstate highways through an underground tunnel. The Visitor Center arranges guided tours for curious tourists and offers an interactive film historical events and information about the city. Be prepared for guides in full costume and mini-cannons that are fired out of nowhere. You can buy souvenirs in the museum's gift shop.
Fort Mims Historic Site
Fort Mims in nearby Tensaw was built in 1813 and was named after Samuel Mims, an immigrant in Baldwin County. More than 300 people - men, women and children - were massacred within the fort by the Red Stick Warriors. Daniel Beasley, the fort's commander, was among the casualties. The massacre gave birth to the Battle of Horshoe Bend; this happened the year following the massacre when the Red Stick Army was put to an end.
A monument in honor of the massacre victims is now in place and provides details about the fort. On a nearby park is William Weatherford's grave, the Red Stick commander who led the attack. Fort Mims is now recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as one of the most important Civil War history sites in Alabama.
Blakely State Park
As the site of Civil War's last major battle, efforts to preserve Blakely State Park started in 1981. The Battle of Blakely happened on April 9, 1865, a few hours after General Robert E. Lee surrendered. The park is now part of the country's Civil War Discovery Trail alongside other attractions nationwide.
Families and group travelers can camp at the park's 2 campgrounds: Apalachee and Harper. Rates start at $15 per night with complete camping facilities and parking area. Vacationers can also enjoy 15 miles of bike and hiking trails near the Tensaw River.
Fort Morgan Historic Site
Fort Morgan was built to protect Mobile Bay and its star-shaped design was specifically made for the purpose of sending heavy fire at invading forces. Admiral Farragut of the Union Forces gave the famous order "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" when they invaded Fort Morgan. Today, Civil War reenactments are available within the site. Admission discounts are provided for group travelers.