Located in the far southwest corner of Alabama, Dauphin Island is one of the most underrated vacation destinations on the upper Gulf coast. With beautiful uncrowded beaches and a laid back style, this island is a perfect relaxation getaway. The prices for both accomodations and restaurants on Dauphin Island are cheaper than most of the more tourist focused areas of the upper Gulf coast. There are many opportunities for outdoor activities around the island, from kayaking the calm waters of the backside of the island to world class fishing. If chilling on a beach chair to taking in the sunshine is more your style, there’s plenty of sand for that as well.
The island is a quick 45 minute drive south from the rental car lot at Mobile Regional Airport (airport code MOB). While Mobile is the quickest way to fly into Dauphin Island, Pensacola Airport (airport code PNS) is a close by option as well. Whether you fly or drive to Dauphin Island, you will need a vehicle. The island is so long and spread out walking isn’t really an option. Without further ado, let’s get started on our list of the best hidden gem Dauphin Island vacation rentals!
5. Sea Y’all, a 4BR Oceanfront Dauphin Island Beach House Rental
The Dauphin Island beach house called “Sea Y’all” starts off our list at #5. This newly renovated house is located directly on the beach, with incredible ocean views from pretty much every room. The huge deck overlooking the beach has plenty of seating and rockers for taking in the gorgeous Alabama coastline. With 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, this vacation rental is rated to sleep 10 comfortably. The kitchen is equipped with everything you need to prepare meals for bigger groups, with plenty of seating.
Not that we recommend it, but the included high speed wifi allows you to get work done while on vacation. There is also a huge 4k TV in the living room and additional TVs in each of the bedrooms. This rental gets great reviews from guests, with many of those being repeat guests. This is a really good affordable 4BR option for Dauphin Island. Average VRBO Review Score: 4.9/5.0 (100+ reviews) Check Availability and Rates: “Sea Y’all” Dauphin Island VRBO Listing
4. Isla Dauphine, a Beautiful 1BR Dauphin Island Condo Rental
On the complete opposite side of the size spectrum, “Isla Dauphine” is a beautiful 1 bedroom Dauphin Island condo rental. This fully renovated condo overlooks the ocean, and is on a floor high enough to have incredible views. The only thing between this condo complex and the beach is the awesome beachfront pool. Condo guests have full access to the pool and other amenities like the beachfront BBQ grills.
This condo is perfectly set up for a small family. There is also a twin over full size bunk bed setup that works great for kids. Even though the condo is technically only 1 bedroom, it is still rated to sleep 5 people. You can often get a great value staying in rentals like these versus a true 2 bedroom option. This is one of those hidden gems that people often overlook. Average VRBO Review Score: 4.9/5.0 (100+ reviews) Check Availability and Rates: “Isla Dauphine” Condo Dauphin Island VRBO Listing
3. The Bay House, a Timeless 3BR Dauphin Island Beachfront House Rental
“The Bay House” is a quintessential old world beach house located on the calm bay side of the island. This 3 bed, 5 bath house rental is beautifully decorated. There are multiple levels of decks overlooking the ocean, as well as a boardwalk off the deck that leads to the water. If fishing, boating, or kayaking are important to your group, this house is located in a perfect location. Being on the shallow back side of the island means trout and redfish are mere steps off the deck.
Although this house is listed as a 3 bedroom rental, there are 2 bonus bedrooms that are also included. The 3rd floor crows nest has the best views in the house, and is equipped with a twin and a full bed. The ground floor bonus room is equipped with a twin bed. This brings up the total sleeping capacity to 12. Just like the last rental, these hidden gem rentals with extra bedrooms are a tremendous value. You can’t go wrong with this unit, whether or not you utilize the bonus rooms. Average VRBO Review Score: 4.9/5.0 (100+ reviews) Check Availability and Rates: “The Bay House” Rental Dauphin Island VRBO Listing
2. The Sea Turtle, a Newly Built 5BR Gulf Front Dauphin Island House
This beautiful Dauphin Island rental house is just a few years old. With 2 oceanfront master suites, this house is perfectly set up for bigger groups or multiple families. The open concept living room and kitchen provide plenty of space for groups to spread out and not feel overly cramped. The full length covered deck overlooking the ocean is a great place to come back to and get some shade for a break from the beach.
We love the location of this house on the island. You are just far enough west on the island to avoid any crowds, but just a few minute drive away from the restaurants and shops on the east end. Speaking of those restaurants, we have to mention Skinner’s Seafood. Skinner’s is one of the best places in the Upper Gulf to get seafood, check them out: Skinner’s Seafood Tripadvisor Reviews But back to the house, you will see from the nearly perfect reviews that this house is really special. Average VRBO Review Score: 4.9/5.0 (100+ reviews) Check Availability and Rates: “The Sea Turtle” House Rental Dauphin Island VRBO Listing
1. Island Time VI, a Beautiful 5BR House on the Beach with a Private Pool
“Island Time VI” brings us to the end of our list with the #1 spot. This is one of the few Dauphin Island beach houses that has a pool. The deck on this house is absolutely massive, with tons of seating around the pool. The views overlooking the beach from your floaty in the pool are some of the best on Dauphin Island.
From the game room to the pool, there are a ton of amenities included in this rental. This is our overall favorite rental on Dauphin Island, and you can’t go wrong with this house. Average VRBO Review Score: 4.9/5.0 (100+ reviews) Check Availability and Rates: “Island Time VI” House Rental Dauphin Island VRBO Listing