2016 Beach Princess: San Carlos Condos in Gulf Shores

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Beach Princess San Carlos Alabama

March 2016!

So it’s not exactly my Spring Break, but there are plenty of college kids at the beach on Spring Break down along the Alabama coast by mid-March. One of the hot spots for Spring Breaks this year?

In the heart of Gulf Shores, Alabama, you’ll find a relatively new resort condo complex called San Carlos, Alabama. A seventeen story high rise sitting directly on 370 feet of sandy beach of the Gulf of Mexico, the San Carlos offers a large beach side pool and a sauna. A fully equipped fitness center overlooks the beach. You can rent wave runners, beach chairs and umbrellas using a service provided directly in front of the condo. Floor plans include spacious two-bedroom/two-bath and three-bedroom/three-bath condominiums.

San Carlos condo location

San Carlos, Alabama also has 1800 square foot of meeting space with a fully equipped kitchen overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, which would be a perfect place for a beach wedding or family reunion. 

The Beach Princess snagged a great deal on a short weekend stay, so we had to check it out for ourselves.

Resort Amenities

  • outdoor pool
  • outdoor showers
  • sauna
  • fitness center
  • covered parking
  • covered entry
  • on-site rental and management to accomodate owners and guests
  • boardwalk to the beach
  • within walking distance to a number of great restaurants and shops
  • smoke-free property

San Carlos condo pool

San Carlos condo beach

best beach condos in Alabama

To use the property amenities, we were given bands to wear. This is pretty standard procedure at beach condos during many busy times of the year. It keeps people from sneaking in (trespassing) from the beach to use the amenities, which is illegal actually and carries a stiff fine plus possible jail time.

activity bands San Carlos condo

The property has a roundtrip airport shuttle, which is complimentary. Guest parking is complimentary. Additional property amenities include barbecue grills and laundry facilities.

Condo Amenities

  • tastefully decorated
  • flat screen tv’s
  • wireless high speed Internet access
  • master baths with garden tubs and step-in showers
  • private balconies

The kitchen was large and well equipped, situated next to the dining room area and living room

San Carlos condo

San Carlos condo kitchen

San Carlos condo dining room

San Carlos condo wet bar

San Carlos condo living room

Our unit was a two-bedroom with a large master bedroom and master bath.

San Carlos master bedroom

San Carlos condo master bathroom

San Carlos condo master bathroom jet tub

Our private balcony had lots of outdoor furniture and a great view of the beach.

San Carlos condo 1

San Carlos condo 2

San Carlos condo 3

San Carlos condo 4

San Carlos condo 5

San Carlos requires a 3-night stay minimum.

San Carlos Condominiums is located in Gulf Shores, close to Gulf Shores Beach, Waterville USA, and Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Nearby points of interest also include Gulf State Park. The physical address is 365 East Beach Blvd. Gulf Shores, AL 36542 

Use this link for more information about the San Carlos condo. 

The Beach

Gulf Shores, Alabama, is famous for the beach. Our days here were mostly rainy, but that doesn’t stop you from walking down the sandy shores. 

Gulf Shores beach

rain at the Gulf Shores beach

Gulf Shores beach

Golf of Mexico feet in the water

The beach is prettier when the sun is out, no doubt. And while the water is cold, there were people swimming. 

Gulf Shores Alabama

swim in Gulf Shores Alabama

Let’s Talk About Spring Break

In 2016, Panama City Beach, Florida, a huge spring break destination for college kids, banned alcohol on the beaches. So this year, there were tons more college kids traveling to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for spring break. In the first 18 days of March, over 600 arrests so were made during the early spring break season, and that’s before the really big crowds came into town. 

spring break beach shirt

“It’s almost like we are having to be the pseudo-mom and dad down here on the beach to make them behave and not do something to hurt themselves,” says Orange Beach mayor Tony Kennon.

Would I suggest you head to the San Carlos during the month of March? Take a look at this picture, taken of a condo next door to the San Carlos on March 15th, 2016. 

San Carlos Alabama Spring Break 2016

Crowds like this were disbursed by police and arrests were made. Alcohol is banned on public beaches but is allowable, at the moment, on private resorts and condominium complexes.  

This picture was taken in front of the San Carlos 2 days after our weekend visit. I want to point out that on our rainy weekend, it was quiet and the beaches were mostly empty.

San carslo Alabama Spring Break

My suggestion would not be the San Carlos for a stay during Spring Break,  but I would suggest a rental at Caribe in Gulf Shores.

Orange Beach’s Caribe Resort Truly Is Like No Other

 Or I would suggest the Wharf in Orange Beach.

Condo Rental at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama

You will not be directly on the beach, but unless you plan to bring a lot of beer to party with college kids, this isn’t your Spring Break scene anyway.  I’d save my San Carlos money for summer or fall when it’s little more quiet.

To see all our Beach Princess recommendations, use this link. 

We dined at one of our favorite restaurants at the beach, Cobalt. 

Cobalt the Restaurant

Cobalt appetizer

Cobalt restaurant

oysters on the half shell

The Alabama beaches can be crazy busy during certain times of year, but there are plenty of lodging options to fit every budget.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you at the beach…

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Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

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