STE3 Hop 6: Orange Beach AL to Port Saint Joe FL

STE3 Hop 6

STE3 Hop 6

176 miles via AL 161, AL 182, FL 292 and US 98. Cumulative tow miles: 1083. Truck miles: 281. Cumulative truck miles: 1501.

Shrimp and grits at The Diner

Shrimp and grits at The Diner

Jett hated this route. I chose it because it was mostly on US 98 which I liked a lot, based on my experience on more southerly sections. It also cut about 40 miles off the route initially suggested by Google. So range was not an issue, but time was – this route was about 4.5 hours long, approximately 15 minutes longer than the suggested route. I decided to take it, knowing that it would have a lot of traffic lights. It certainly did. Jett was just about jumping out of her skin after about 100 red lights.

But I still liked the route. Major portions of it were very scenic as it hugged the coastline. And even the cities were interesting. I had never been to Pensacola or Panama City Beach. It was a long trip, but an interesting one.

I enjoyed our two nights in Orange Beach, too. I was drawn to the area because it is where my mother came the only times she went south in the winter. She seemed to like it very much, so I wanted to see it.

My impression? Both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are beautiful beach towns. The beaches are white and wide – and, in November, virtually deserted. Gulf Shores seems like more of a community, a real town. It has some nice restaurants and shops, including The Diner where we had a very fine dinner on the second night. My shrimp and grits was delicious. Recommended.

I took a day trip along the shore east of Gulf Shores. I didn’t learn a lot other than the area had a lot of RV parks, mostly very small (which we wouldn’t consider for a winter stay as it would just be too cold), a lot of beautiful white sand beaches and some very nice beach houses that would be a fine place to spend a week or two in the summer.

Our home in Orange Beach was the Pandion Ridge RV Resort, a new RV park conveniently located between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. The facilities were among the finest we have seen – wide concrete pads on very long pull-though sites, a beautiful office and pool and very nice bath houses and laundry rooms. The staff was very professional and the landscaping was beautiful. We would stay here again, no question.

Beach near Ft Morgan

Beach near Ft Morgan

Beach houses

Beach houses

Our site at Pandion Ridge

Our site at Pandion Ridge

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