So I spent last week with the fam on Dauphin Island, just off the coast of Alabama. If you like white beaches with lots of people and tons of touristy restaurants and bars, I would recommend you NOT go there. Dauphin Island, we discovered, is much funkier and quieter. The water isn't blue; it's brownish green — you know, like the ocean. The sand is nice and the beaches are amazingly uncrowded. There are several nature and bird sanctuaries, a wonderful estuarium/aquarium, and a national wildlife refuge full of gators and herons and pelicans and redfish.
We rented a house on the bay side, bikes and a kayak, and parked the car for most of the week. There is one grocery store and about six restaurants — three of which suck mightily (Oar House, I'm looking at you). But there is a fresh seafood store, which offers just-off-the-boat shrimp, snapper, etc. and a wonderful bakery that has great bread and pastries and sandwiches. We cooked at "home" often.
And now, yes, vacation pictures. Don't say you weren't warned.