We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Marisol Beach House - gulf side - west end

Frisco, Texas
Level Contributor
6 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
Marisol Beach House - gulf side - west end

We have reservations through Boardwalk Realty to stay the week of Aug 22-29 in the gulf-side beach house called "Marisol" on the west end near Bienville & Slidell. It will be my husband & myself (we are in our late 40's) & my 83-year-old mother. We chose Dauphin Island for the peace & quiet & someplace that's not a tourist trap. We've never stayed in a house on the beach before so we have some questions.

1) Parking appears to be under or next to the house. Since the house is quite close to the water, do we have any reason to be concerned that the water would ever come up high enough to flood our car (other than during a tropical storm or a hurricane which I'm assuming we'd have advance warning)? A lady I spoke with at Boardwalk Realty implied that the water can rise & potentially flood out any car nearby during a routine thunderstorm. She said someone would call us in advance so we could move the car up to their office. This seemed very strange to me. What if a thunderstorm comes up in the middle of the night, as they often do? And if I park my car at their office, how do I get back to the house & vice versa?

2) The house is advertised with "free wi-fi internet" access. It is very important that we have internet access due to my husband's job & him potentially needing to access his company's computer system while we're at DI. I've seen other posts that recommend making arrangements in advance with a local company for an internet connection. Should I trust that the house will truly have reliable free wi-fi or is this just an advertising lure?

3) Are we allowed to have tiki torches on the beach at night?

4) We are driving from the Dallas area & plan to arrive at DI mid-to-late afternoon on Saturday, Aug 22nd. Our intention was to unload & then drive back to Mobile to a Walmart to buy groceries. I saw a post that said this is a 40-mile trip each way. Is that true? We don't want to spend a fortune for groceries but not sure that we'll have enough room to bring everything with us.

5) Is there someplace on the internet where the hours of the restaurants on DI are posted?

6) How late in the day does the last ferry return from Fort Morgan?

7) Are sharks a problem at DI? I generally don't venture too far out when I swim in the ocean but don't want to do anything foolish.

Thanks in advance for any responses!

Houma, Louisiana
Level Contributor
192 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Marisol Beach House - gulf side - west end

Though I'm no expert, I did spend a week in a beachhouse not far from Slidell Court in July. I'll try to answer what I can.

1. We parked under our house all week. We had a couple of thunderstorms and high winds too, enough to blow our canopy off the deck we had put up. But even at high tide, the water never came up far. If your house is on the edge as a couple of houses are, I'd park on the far side the house from the beach for insurance, but I don't see this as a problem.

2. I bought the internet and had it disconnected on Fri night before I left. I wanted to check in again and was able to connect to a house with wifi nearby for a brief moment. I think if they say you have wifi you will. If not if you call the Skyynett service they will come right away and set you up.

3. I read there are no fires of any kind on the beach, so I think not. You could call the rental office and ask.

4. We also looked for the Walmart from the interstate and didn't see it. I was told it's set back from the road. It is about a 40 minute drive back. BUT there is a GOOD grocery called Greer's about 15 miles north of the island. It's at an intersection. I think it would have anything you want. Ship and Shore probably has what you need in necessities but I'd buy elsewhere if you can as the prices are really high.

5. Don't know anything about restaurants. We fixed all meals at the beachhouse, grilled, whatever... When we cooked we fixed enough for another meal with leftovers.

6. Don't know about the ferry at all. There is an online ferry schedule though.

7. I never heard of problems with sharks while there but when I got home and saw a picture I took of dolphin feeding, there was a shark out the water in the image too.

If you email me on the side I'd be glad to share any of my experiences that would help you make your trip easiest. kathyrho@bellsouth.net

Houma, Louisiana
Level Contributor
192 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Marisol Beach House - gulf side - west end

In addition to my last post, we had my 87 year old mother with us. We are in our 50's and 60's. My mother had dementia and barely walks but once we got her up the stairs she was fine. We never took her down again until we left. Having the view of the water will be great to watch the trawling boats pass, seagulls and porpoises. There are plenty of all. Make sure to bring binnoculars or even a spotting scope if you have one. When the sky is clear, the stars are awesome. The sunsets and sunrises are beautiful most each and everyday but on the bay side.

I had looked to rent Marisol but it was already booked for the dates I wanted. We're going back next year too. Please post a trip report and please let us know what you think of the beach house and everything.

Have a wonderful vacation!!!!!

Louisiana
Level Contributor
1,125 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Marisol Beach House - gulf side - west end

I've seen (one time in fourteen yrs) a small baby shark a couple of yards out and several years have seen small to medium stingrays swimming close to the surf-but have never had any problems.

I believe there is a Walmart in a town called Tillman Corners-closer than Mobile. I bet the real estate agent can give you that info as well as name/number of the restuarants (there is a seafood shop on the main drag to buy very fresh shrimp, crab fish, etc; they even will steam it for you).

There are not many dining options-typically just have steaks, boiled/steamed shrimp and such at the house. Have fun.

Houma, Louisiana
Level Contributor
192 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Marisol Beach House - gulf side - west end

How about posting a trip report on your vacation at Dauphin Island and the Marisol Beach house? I for one would love to read it. Thanks

Frisco, Texas
Level Contributor
6 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Marisol Beach House - gulf side - west end

I absolutely plan a detailed post about our Dauphin Island vacation that we just returned from 3 days ago, as soon as I catch my breath from trying to get caught up here at home from being gone a week. I really enjoyed the detailed posts made by others, as it helped a lot in preparation for our trip. In summary, I will just say it was one of the best vacations we've EVER had! More details to come soon... Thanks for asking!

Frisco, Texas
Level Contributor
6 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Marisol Beach House - gulf side - west end

Our vacation at Dauphin Island during the week of August 22nd to August 29th was one of the best vacations we've ever had!

First of all, I can't say enough nice things about the ladies at Boardwalk Realty. They were quick to answer all of our questions & met all of our needs, plus they were just fun to visit with. We look forward to working with them in the future!

I can't imagine we could have chosen a better beach house than Marisol for the price range. It was comfortably furnished & decorated exactly the way I imagined a beach house would be. The 21 steps leading up to the deck of the house were pretty difficult for my 83-year-old mother so we didn't take her out very often. The house was about 100 feet from the edge of the Gulf. There were no other houses between us & the water. Whether sitting on the spacious deck or inside the house, the sounds of the waves washed away all of the stress & made for a very relaxing week.

We purposely chose the last full week in August for our vacation, hoping there would be fewer tourists on the island, considering that most schools would have started by then. Our wish came true in that the island was nearly deserted by Sunday evening & stayed that way until Friday, making for a very peaceful & quiet stay.

The weather was nearly perfect the entire week. The only time it rained was on Wednesday morning for about six hours. The first four days we were there, the wind was out of the north & the Gulf was nearly flat. Temperatures during the day were in the mid-80's & low 60's at night; almost sweater weather. Having come from the summer heat of Texas, it was welcome relief.

We bought the bulk of our groceries for the week at Greer's Old Bay Market, as recommended by other posters on this forum. We decided it was worth paying a little more there than having to drive all the way back to Mobile to go to WalMart. Greer's prices were pretty typical of a small independent grocer - not too bad. We made a few small purchases at the grocery & convenience stores on Dauphin Island, including liquor & beer. After being prepared for their prices to be sky-high, I was pleasantly surprised that they were pretty reasonable. We only paid a few dollars more for the liquor & beer than we would have paid here in the Dallas area. I guess it's a matter of what you're accustomed to.

We ate dinner at The Oar House on Dauphin Island twice. Their seafood was very fresh & delicious, albeit a little pricey. Service was good. My husband is a lover of anything BBQ so we stopped at Island BBQ for lunch one day & had a sandwich & some "burnt ends" of a brisket. The man who cooked the meat visited with us for awhile & was very nice. We purchased fresh shrimp, scallops, corn on the cob, & new potatoes at Skinner's Seafood store & had them steam it for us. It was incredibly delicious & very reasonably priced. We waited until the end of the week to go there & ended up wishing we'd gone there sooner. We had a nice visit with the owner/employees at Skinner's while we waited for our food to be steamed. In fact, everyone we encountered on Dauphin Island was very friendly... no one with an "attitude."

On Thursday, my husband & I took the ferry over to Fort Morgan & then drove to Gulf Shores. It resembled all of the other tourist-trap beach towns we've seen & made us even more thankful we'd chosen to stay at Dauphin Island. Being members of the ParrotHead faithful, we did stop at LuLu's for drinks, gumbo, & fish pate' before heading back across Mobile Bay.

We tried mid-week to make reservations on the tour boat that goes out to the lighthouse & does sunset cruises but they said they needed at least 12 people to make the trip & hadn't had enough paying customers interested in going. They did end up offering a combination lighthouse/ shrimping/ dolphin watch/ sunset cruise on Friday evening from 5-8pm which we took advantage of. It was a very enjoyable trip but probably something we'd only do once.

Another pleasant surprise was the color & clarity of the water in the Gulf. The water near the beach was clear to about two feet & various shades of blue & blue/green from a distance. In one of the pictures I took the water looks more like the Caribbean than the Gulf. However, sea creatures were in abundance so I didn't venture out above waist-deep, usually only knee-deep. The jellyfish were everywhere by mid-week. The reddish-brown jellies were present & the guy at Skinner's told me "their sting will set you on fire!" He also said that the jellies were so numerous that they were clogging up his shrimp nets. But, such is life by the ocean in August. We watched dolphins swim from east to west every morning & west to east every evening. The jumping fish near the beach provided hours of entertainment, especially for my mother.

The biting flies & mosquitos made pretty big pests of themselves so we used a lot of insect repellant anytime we were outside, particularly in the evenings.

The moon's reflection on the water & the incredible night sky full of stars after the moon set was something I'll never forget. The gas rigs out in the Gulf were even pretty at night when they were all lit up.

As we left Dauphin Island to return home at the end of the week, we stopped at Boardwalk Realty to turn in our keys. We made reservations for Marisol beach house the same week next year. Today my husband said, "just 49 more weeks until we can go back to Dauphin Island!" I'm not sure we can wait that long.

Houma, Louisiana
Level Contributor
192 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Marisol Beach House - gulf side - west end

Great trip report. I'm glad you had a nice time. It's already over 2 months since I'm home and I still think about it every day and can't wait to go back.

Sounds like Marisol was really nice. I'll have to consider it next time, but I already have another booked for next year. The location seems really awesome too so close to the water and I booked on the bayside next year. I may still check availability just in case....

We'll see. Dauphin Island is wonderful and I hope they never allow major development on the island as that's what keeps it so charming and magical for those who experience it.

8. Re: Marisol Beach House - gulf side - west end

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:17 am, March 13, 2010
Get answers to your questions about Dauphin Island
Recent Conversations