Gulf Shores Alabama

Gulf Shores Information

Is it the water or the sand that makes Alabama Gulf Coast beaches so spectacular? Everyone seems to have their own opinion. But with miles of sparkling Gulf waters and stunningly white sand that's so soft it squeaks under your feet, you don't have to choose.

Wondering where to spread your beach blanket ? In addition to all our rental condo's and hotel's beaches you'll find a variety of public beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama - each special in its own way and each offering a different experience. Come for a relaxing beach vacation, for a game of golf, or some deep sea fishing.

The National Museum of Naval Aviation

This is a great place to visit in the Gulf Shores / Orange Beach / Pensacola area for a day outing. In addition to the free admission MUSEUM, there is IMAX with multiple shows and the BLUE ANGELS can often be seen practicing adjacent to the MUSEUM as well as official scheduled air shows.
Open 9 AM to 5 PM Daily-Free Admission
See Blue Angel Schedule &  Photos Below

Call for IMAX show times, reservations, etc at (850) 453-2025, or visit the museum's website for further information
Call the Blue Angels Public Affairs Office at (850) 452-3955, or visit their website for further information

Driving directions from Gulf Shores / Orange Beach

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2012 Blue Angel Practice Schedule
The Blue Angels practice over Naval Air Station Pensacola at
8:30 AM during the show season. The Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola has a viewing area for visitors to watch the team practice. The team visits the museum to answer questions and sign autographs after Wednesday practices. Wednesday practices are highlighted red below.
March -27, 28
April -3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25
May -1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16
June -5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
July -17, 18
August -8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 21, 22
September -5, 11, 12, 18, 19
October -17, 23, 24, 30
November 2nd and 3rd attend the Blue's Homecomming at the 2012 NAS Pensacola Air Show


Off Season:
The Blue Angels can be seen practicing from an area adjacent to the Museum. Signs are posted to direct visitors to viewing and parking locations, including special spaces for handicapped visitors. Bleachers are available for seating about 800 people or feel free to bring your own lawn chairs... we suggest that visitors bring hats and water, also.

Practices are held most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, unless otherwise noted, at 8:30 a.m. (weather permitting) during the season. It is recommended you plan on arriving earlier than the start time; you won't want to miss anything while parking and getting seated!

Photo copyright Lundy Wilder 2004
See photos from a Pensacola Blue Angel Air Show

navy naval avaiation airplane jet plane fun stuff to do family fun attractions

The Aviation Museum has multiple IMAX shows,
one is always their flagship movie:

The Magic of Flight The Magic of Flight captures the thrill of flying! Experience a take-off in an F/A-18 fighter jet. Land on an aircraft carrier at over 150 miles per hour. Cruise the skies at Mach speed.

Photos from inside the National Museum of Aviation

Official Museum Website

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The National Museum of Naval Aviation is chock full of jets, airplanes & helicopters. Free guided tours happen several times a day and are led by retired pilots. Many exhibits are hands-on like this jet cockpit where you can take your buddy's photo as a pilot.

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There is a classroom area where you can even operate actual aviation related equipment like this airplane scale model in this wind tunnel.

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The museum has scale models of ships that are associated with aviation like this aircraft carrier.

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The NC-4 flying boat is one of the tangible symbols of aviation's historic development. Her epic transoceanic journey was during the period 8-27 May 1919. On 8 May, the three NC (Navy/Curtiss) series flying boats took off from Long Island, New York to attempt that first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by air. Two of the three aircraft (NC-1 and NC-3) were forced to land in heavy seas to take a navigation fix during the long Newfoundland-Azores Islands leg of the journey. So heavily damaged in the landings, they were unable to proceed, leaving NC-4 to continue alone.

After nearly 15 hours in the air, NC-4 touched down in the Azores and continued on to Portugal, arriving on 27 May, completing the 2,150 mile transit in 26 hours of flight time at an average speed of 80 mph.
Commander A. C. Read and his crew of five have the honor of being the first to fly the Atlantic. The actual aircraft they used is proudly on display in the center of the South Wing of the museum.

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The Naval Air Museum is home to the Apollo Command Module flown in Skylab 2, the first manned mission to Skylab.

Easy Driving Directions from Gulf Shores / Orange Beach:
Go East on Beach Blvd. (AL Hwy 182/ FL Hwy 282) towards Pensacola, continue on across Perdido Key . The road is called various names: Sorrento Rd./Perdido Dr. and just after you come across a bridge (Look for Food World & a Water Tower), turn right (East) on Gulf Beach Hwy/ County Road 292A.  Travel on until you see Blue Angel Parkway where you will turn right (South). You will go straight to the National Naval Aviation Museum.

Official Museum Website

See a Blue Angel Airshow

TIP: Order the Video Tour of the Museum before you leave home, and make your Museum visit much more meaningful.   Any of these videos will bring greater insight for your visit to our area.
Amazon gets it to you F-A-S-T

Museum Tour Video

From the first plane to cross
the Atlantic to the first man
on the moon, Naval Aviators
have led the quest to expand
our horizons. The National
Museum of Naval Aviation
offers a proud tribute to the
men and machines in this quest.
This video tour of the Museum
is combined with footage from
WWI, WWII, the USS Yorktown,
and the Blue Angels.

Format: VHS

The Magic of Flight

Originally filmed using IMAX® cameras,
The Magic Of Flight, produced for the
Naval Aviation Museum Foundation,
takes you on a technological thrill
ride faster, higher, and wilder than
modern science or even your
imagination! Narrated by Tom Selleck,
the movie takes you from the
Wright Brothers first flight to gravity
defying maneuvers with the
world-famous Blue Angels.
Includes 'making of' the movie footage.

Format: VHS
Run time: 82 minutes


The Blue Angels, In Pursuit of Excellence (2000)

Fly with the U.S. Navy's elite Blue Angels demonstration squadron in the breathtaking video The Magic of Flight, which explains the basic principles of what enables airplanes (and birds) to fly, what creates lift, how planes maneuver, how planes land again. Going back to the Wright Brothers'

                The Living Sea

Narrated by Meryl Streep, enter the "world ocean," traveling to Palau, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Alaska, Nova Scotia and the Red Sea. Explore the mysterious depths and come face to face with humpback whales, swim with thousands of golden jellyfish and witness the bizarre spawning behavior of giant clams. The Living Sea celebrates the world ocean - its beauty, diversity and its importance to all life on earth. Features songs and music by Sting.

Format: VHS
Run time: 77 minutes

If you plan on taking a Dolphin watching cruise (great fun) while here be sure to let your family see these videos first so they will have a more in depth appreciation of these wonderful creatures. Bring the videos and order a pizza one night !


Believe it or not, an IMAX film can make the transition to video perfectly well. It might not be three stories tall, but Dolphins is still a lovely, larger-than-life exploration of these strangely intelligent creatures. Visit the Bahamas, Argentina, and beyond to see different varieties (like the graceful duskies) play and hunt. Pierce Brosnan's narration and Sting's music fill the water with sound and add counterpoint to the dolphin's shrill cries; the film is an overwhelming experience even in the living room.

National Geographic's Dolphins: The Wild Side (1999)

I found this video very knowledgeable and entertaining. I used it to teach a crash course on cetacean behavior to children grades 8-12 and they found it very enjoyable. It is filled with many interesting facts and great photography. It emphasizes the fact that although some cetacean species are "playful" they are wild animals and will react in ways necessary to their society. I would recommend it to anyone--brilliant underwater camerawork

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Thursday June 18, 2020

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