Gulf Shores, Alabama
Destination: Gulf Shores
A mix of sun, sand, and sea isn’t the only thing that makes Gulf Shores, Alabama, a fun beach destination. Packed with family-friendly attractions, delicious restaurants, and fun events all year, Gulf Shores offers lively entertainment for all ages.
With quick and easy access to over 30 miles of pristine coastline, our waterways are filled with activity every season. Whether paddleboarding in Gulf State Park, kayaking in Little Lagoon Pass or biking along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, every day is a new adventure. Just one visit to this charming beachside town, and you’ll quickly see why Gulf Shores is the perfect place for your next family vacation, reunion with old friends, or relaxing getaway along the Alabama Gulf Coast!
Where is Gulf Shores?
Gulf Shores is located between Fort Morgan and Orange Beach on the southernmost tip of Alabama. West of Pensacola, Florida, and south of Mobile, Alabama, this beautiful resort community rests along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. A popular drive destination from neighboring states via the I-65 and I-10 corridors, visitors often pop in for weekends, week-long trips, and extended vacations. With the Pensacola International Airport and Mobile Regional Airport just an hour away, you’ll be in your beach vacation home before you know it!
Things to do in Gulf Shores
A trip to Gulf Shores is so much more than lazy days at the beach, but that’s definitely an excellent place to start! You’ll find a variety of activities beyond the beach that will keep the whole family engaged. From exploring nature to learning about local marine life and countless renowned golf courses, there’s always something new to discover, no matter the age of those in your group or the number in your party.
Water Activities in Gulf Shores
With eight public beach access points, visitors can quickly access our warm Gulf waters and enjoy various water activities. Spend lazy days swimming and sunbathing or venture out on paddle boards and kayaks. Book a sunset or dolphin-watching cruise, or take in the sights from above while parasailing. There’s no limit to the fun you can have along our beautiful coastline!
Family-Friendly Activities in Gulf Shores
Although the beach gets all the attention, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly activities in Gulf Shores. With over a dozen golf courses nearby, you can easily take your pick, all offering gorgeous greens and challenging play. If your crew is new to the game, Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf is another fun way to enjoy time with family. Whether riding the Ferris wheel at The Wharf or learning how to build unique creations at Sand Castle University, fun is never far away, and we’ve got a few favorites:
Gulf Coast Zoo
Learn about fascinating animals like lions, tigers, giraffes, and kangaroos at the Gulf Coast Zoo. Animal encounters offer unique opportunities to hold and feed some amazing creatures, and with over 100 different species and 50 primates, you can easily spend a few hours here.
On the occasional day away from the beach, you can still find ways to cool off at Waterville USA, a 20-acre water and amusement park. Water slides, wave pools, and a lazy river are just the beginning. With Top Golf, bowling, mini golf, and more, this theme park takes family fun to another level!
Alabama Gulf State Park Pier
The longest fishing pier in the Gulf of Mexico, the Alabama Gulf State Park Pier, sees novice fishers and experienced anglers daily. It’s an excellent opportunity to see local fishermen reeling in their catch, local marine and bird life, and catch a gorgeous Alabama Gulf Coast sunset!
Where to Eat in Gulf Shores
If you’ve never had a Southern meal, you’re in for a whole new experience. A mix of locally-sourced ingredients and down-home traditions makes for delicious Southern cuisine, best enjoyed at one of our local waterfront eateries. Here are just a few of our local favorites:
- Bahama Bob’s – for fried pickles, seafood, sandwiches, and a menu catering to the littles in your group.
- DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen – serving up tuna dip and gumbo for starters, with seafood platters, sandwiches, and burgers rounding out the menu.
- COASTAL Orange Beach – for signature cocktails, a beachy atmosphere, and seafood baskets, tacos, and sandwiches sure to delight.
- The Hangout – known for holiday parties, cook-offs, festivals, and game nights, this beach-front family restaurant is one of the most popular dining spots in the area.
- The Tintop Restaurant & Oyster Bar – for upscale dining with fried green tomatoes, oysters Rockefeller, and pan-seared tuna as just a few notable menu items.
- Lulu’s – for great food, tasty cocktails, live music, and a ropes course the kids will talk about for years.
- Tacky Jacks – a local staple for waterfront seafood in Gulf Shores. Start with the fried crawfish tails, then the crab cake dinner, and top it off with peanut butter pie.
- The Yard Milkshake Bar – because no vacation is complete without dessert!
Gulf Shores Events
Southerners know how to throw a party, and Gulf Shores Event Calendar is packed with festivals, events, and concerts all year. Plan your trip around one of our signature events, and you’re guaranteed good food, live music, and a whole lot of family fun!
The name says it all, and the Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party is a one-of-a-kind event sure to entertain. Held annually at the renowned Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar, it’s a three-day weekend packed with fun activities for the whole family.
Not to be outdone, The Hangout Music Festival kicks it up a notch every May when headliners appear on several stages right on the beach. Delicious eats, beach volleyball, and more make this three-day beach party an event to remember. Those visiting in May should also check out the Gulf Coast Hot Air Ballon Festival. With hot air balloons flying at dawn and dusk each day, balloon rides, and children’s activities, it’s a multi-day event you won’t want to miss. For more ideas, check out our spring and summer event guide.
October brings the Annual National Shrimp Festival, a tradition for nearly 50 years in these parts. This four-day event never disappoints with music, art, a children’s activity village, and everything shrimp. Join the fun and sample delicious eats from local restaurants as they engage in a friendly shrimp-based cooking competition. Check out our round up of fall and winter events on the Alabama Gulf Coast.
You can always find live music along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, and the Amphitheater at The Wharf is a great place to hear the latest sounds. A popular concert venue with an impressive list of headliners; check out The Wharf Amphitheater events calendar for upcoming performances.
Gulf Shores Weather
With average temperatures ranging from 50° in the winter to 82° in the summer, outdoor recreation never ends in Gulf Shores. Spring sees an influx of visitors, with summer the most popular season. Fall brings cooler temps and some of the prettiest sunsets, while winter offers a brief departure from warmer days.
Gulf Shores Vacation Rentals
Where you stay makes all the difference, and a luxury beach home is the only way to go. Kaiser Vacation Rentals takes pride in offering a wide selection of beautiful beach retreats featuring sophisticated interiors, stunning views, and thoughtful amenities. Each vacation home is hand selected to meet the highest standards with every available comfort to make your stay more enjoyable.
Cottages at Lagoon Pass
Select from our assortment of waterfront homes at Cottages at Lagoon Pass, a peaceful community showcasing the natural beauty of the Alabama Gulf Coast. Aside from upscale interiors and gorgeous views, a community pool, fishing pier, and proximity to local restaurants and attractions make these quaint cottages the perfect choice for your next Gulf Shores vacation.
If you’re looking for stunning Gulf views, the cottage-style homes at Ocean Edge are an excellent choice. Featuring a private beach, community pool, and proximity to all things fun in Gulf Shores, these gorgeous homes feature every modern appointment and then some. Artfully designed with custom details, the interiors are roomy and luxurious. Plus, with EV stations at every property, everyone can get a good night’s rest while charging.
No matter when you come or what brings you to our beautiful community, you’re in good company in Gulf Shores, and we’re happy to have you. Book your Gulf Shores vacation today for the trip of a lifetime!