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Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva' is a professional travel, food, and wine writer based out of Southern California. Through her persona as The Wine Chix and her Web site , she specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits.
The Game Changer
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama
By Linda Kissam 'Food, Wine & Shopping Diva'
You know this Wine Diva loves her wine trips, but on occasion I step out of the purely
wine tourist mode and expand my horizons to just going with the flow of a traditional
vacation sans wineries. Shocking? Well maybe, but then again, variety is the spice
of life, and I definitely buy into that philosophy. In fact, so much so that I am
launching a new lifestyle section to my writing known as AlInGoodTaste.info. This
title was “gifted” to me by Lisa and Nancy on a Big Blend Radio interview some time
I now have the vision and passion for its development. Same funky, sassy, me, just a bit less wine-
I had 5 wonderful days to visit some of Alabama’s best restaurants and signature dishes along the Coastal Cuisine Trail. Many of my dining experiences included dishes that are listed on the “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” list. Along the way I was also wowed with some unique attractions to visit.
Here are my top 10 assorted recommendations for a getaway filled with the best coastal Alabama has to offer. Hope to see you there soon. I’ll be the one with the Bushwacker cocktail sitting on the beach with a great big smile and no Smart Phone.
My accommodations were provided by Kiva Dunes Resort, an elite golfing resort located in Gulf Shores. Both Golf Digest and Golf Week magazines have declared Kiva Dunes as one of the top beach and golf resorts in the country. I can see why. I fell in love with its 3,000 feet of pristine white sand private beaches and 30-
1. Dinner at the Compleat Angler Seafood Grille & Bar -
2. Breakfast at Tacky Jack’s in Orange Beach -
3. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail – Hop in a golf cart to enjoy this 2 hour wildlife trail tour consisting of 11 miles of nature trails winding through six distinct ecosystems in Orange Beach and the Gulf State Park. The Trail was established in 2002. The Trail was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2010 and is a part of the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail and the Coastal Connection National Scenic Byway. Expect to see butterfly gardens, gorgeous marshes, “Lefty” the alligator and much much more. $15 a person (by reservation only) is the deal of the century.
4. Zen Restaurant -
6. Bon Secour Fisheries – This was definitely one of my favorite stops. You’ll have
to ask the local CVB to arrange a tour for you. It may or may not happen, but it’s
worth the effort. Talk about picturesque and educational! It’s been a leading seafood
processor and wholesale distributor for over 100 years. This family-
7. Sweet Home Farm is a working family dairy established in Baldwin County, Alabama
in 1985. Their herd of Guernsey cows has access to fresh pasture grasses nearly year-
8. San Rock Cay is an Orange Beach entertainment district featuring shopping, dining,
a spa, dolphin cruises, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, diving, parasailing and jet
skiing The shopping area – my favorite in the area -
9. Dolphin Cruise at Flipper’s Seafood and Oyster Bar. What I thought was going to
be a pedestrian adventure, turned out to be a moment of a lifetime. Guests riding
on the Cold Mil Fleet Dolphin Cruises are guaranteed to see dolphins jump and swim
up close and personal. The dolphin cruise company employs a “doublesurf” method where
both of their boats cruise side-
10. Dinner & the services of local Chef Chris Sherrill at the exquisite Fort Morgan beach condo vacation rental. Like something from a movie, the condo features 6 bedrooms and 7 baths. It is a direct Gulf-
Enjoy this local and authentic Bushwacker recipe.
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Mix equal parts light rum, coconut rum and kahlua. For each drink, take 2 oz. of that mixture and blend it with the ice cream. Put into a glass and top with a generous splash of the Bacardi 151. Swirl the 151 into the drink very lightly, and top with a cherry (or a dusting of cocoa powder, or cinnamon or nutmeg).