Beach Princess: A Martinique Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores, Alabama

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Gulf Shores, Alabama

November, 2015

I don’t mind telling you, as much as I love a Disney vacation, sometimes it’s really hard to psyche myself up for a big vacation week,  knowing we face a nine-hour drive to Orlando and huge crowd levels once we arrive. My husband and I are both public school teachers. Taking time off of school for travel during a time when many people are still in school and at work, say the week before or after Thanksgiving, can be next to impossible. Between football games and upcoming final exams, this is not a great time for a teacher to miss classes. So that leaves us having time off of work when many, many other people travel to Disney World.

This year we just didn’t want to drive to Orlando over the Thanksgiving holidays, so we opted to drive 45 minutes down the road from where we live in Foley, Alabama, to stay in a resort community called Martinique. We stayed here during Spring Break of this year but in a different rental home. You can read about that adventure here:

Beach Princess: Spring Breakin’ It at Martinique in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Did I mention the crowds are just nuts during big holiday weeks at Disney? The screen shots below show wait times for Monday, Nov 23, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. Many schools throughout the country are not even out yet, but hoards of people take their children out for the full week and head to Orlando. Our school system is out for the full week, certainly contributing to the crowds.

Wait times at Disney World during Thanksgiving

various Wait times at Disney World during Thanksgiving

various Wait times at Disney World during Thanksgiving




avoiding Wait times at Disney World during Thanksgivingmany Wait times at Disney World during Thanksgivinglots of Wait times at Disney World during Thanksgiving


 Gulf Shores, Alabama
Martinique is located in Gulf Shores, Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico, down a stretch called Fort Morgan Road.
Our rental unit was a three-story house with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. It was also pet friendly, with a $300 refundable pet deposit, which was exactly why we chose this particular unit.
Martinique Gulf Shores, Alabama
The living room was a large, comfortable area connected to the dining room.
rent a house on the beach in Gulf Shores Alabama
rental home in Gulf Shores Alabama
The dining room was connected to a large kitchen with an island. Our kids loved to eat breakfast and snacks here.
best rental homes in costal Alabama Martinique Gulf Shores, Alabama
The back door leads to a screened-in back porch. The home came with a gas grill, which we used to prepare multiple meals. This far down Fort Morgan Road, we did not drive to a restaurant even once. We chose to eat at home.
save money on beach rentals in Alabama
Bedroom number one was located off the kitchen, connected to a full bath, with a door opening to the aforementioned back porch.
beach rentals in Alabama
great beach rentals Gulf Shores Alabama
The master bedroom was on the second floor, with a large walk in closet and a full bath containing a shower and garden tub (no jets.) This bedroom had a large balcony, facing the front of the house.
where to rent at the beach in Alabama
nice beach rental in Guld Shores Alabama
Martinique Gulf Shores, Alabama
The 2nd bedroom, located on the second floor, contained two beds and had a screened-in balcony.
Martinique Gulf Shores, Alabama
Martinique Gulf Shores, Alabama
vacation in Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico
The entire third floor is what I refer to as the 4th bedroom, which was a pull out couch with several chairs and a television. It also had a cute, smallish full bathroom with a low ceiling.
Martinique Gulf Shores, Alabama
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Martinique is made up of neighborhood and condo complexes. I walk myself and my dogs through the streets for relaxation, just listening to the sound of insects and wildlife. Look at this – not a person in sight for most parts of the day, very few cars, and sidewalks galore.
save money on a beach vacation
Martinique Golf Shores vacation rentals
You can see our rental house through the trees.
The Beach Princessjpg

Let’s not forget the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, which are huge draws for thousands of people every summer.

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Why go to the beach in November when it’s too cold to swim? Because you can save a substantial amount of money on your accommodations. Our rental home would cost us $1,000 more just 4 months from now during Spring Break, and you can triple that for a summer stay.

That’s what I’m talking about…no crowds, beautiful surroundings and accommodations, plus the beach.  Life is indeed good for a Cheapskate Beach Princess.

Like to read about our other favorite place to stay at the beach in Alabama? This one is not pet friendly, but it is truly unbelievable in terms of furnishings and amenities.

The Beach Princess: Orange Beach’s Caribe Resort Truly Is Like No Other

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you taking a walk on the beach…

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


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Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of 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.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at