• Dawn Sabato

Ready To Explore - Gulf Shores, AL

The Gulf Shores area of Alabama is located at the southern tip of the state, situated between Mobile to the northwest and Pensacola, Florida to the east. The destination is home to 32 miles of sugar-white beaches, turquoise waters, freshwater lakes, rivers, bayous, and coves spanning a 27,000-acre island on the Gulf of Mexico, easily accessible from Interstates 65 and 10. With average temperatures in the high 50s in the winter and mid-90s in the summer, the region is welcoming year-round for both indoor and outdoor adventures and fun. It's an easy getaway from Florida, as well as a smart stop on an east-to-west bound southern road trip.

Original family-friendly events take place throughout the year in Gulf Shores. Any time is a great time to make plans to indulge in southern coastal culture and fun. Top festivals and events include the Waterway Village Zydeco and Crawfish Festival and Flora-Bama Interstate Mullet Toss in the spring, summer's Hangout Music Festival and Independence Day celebrations, The Wharf Uncorked Food & Wine Festival, National Shrimp Festival, and Hangout Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Beer Weekend in the fall, and Coastal Christmas and Bellingrath’s Annual Magic Christmas in Lights during the wintertime holidays.

Fun Facts from our friends at Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism:

  • Pirates once hid in Perdido Pass and Perdido Bay to raid ships, and they may have buried some of their treasure in Baldwin County.

  • Alabama boasts the largest artificial reef program in the U.S. The state currently has more than 17,000 artificial reefs off its coast.

  • Lake Shelby in Gulf State Park is believed to be one of the closest bodies of freshwater next to a body of saltwater in the world.

  • Native American mounds in Baldwin County are said by some archaeologists to be older than the pyramids of Egypt.

  • The Ferris wheel at The Wharf is the second tallest in the Southeast. This Italian-made structure stands at an impressive 112 feet.

The Alabama Gulf Coast is home to a thriving arts community - with opportunities for the appreciator as well as those looking to be inspired themselves. The area's storied history provides inspiration of another kind, through displays of artifacts and prominent sites of significance in Civil War and maritime events that visitors can still visit today. And with such an extensive system of diverse waterways, the region lends itself perfectly to adventurous exploration and sightseeing.

Take a look at some of the notable stops and things to do that we've uncovered in Gulf Shores, Alabama (including the Orange Beach and Fort Morgan areas):

  • Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo - The 25-acre zoo is the first ZAA-accredited U.S. zoo to be built from the ground up in more than 20 years. Also featuring theme-park family entertainment, unique fun-filled animal encounters, interactive animal shows, and giraffe feeding station.

  • Gulf State Park Nature Center - A living museum of plants and animals that are native to the Gulf Coast region. Offering guided nature walks, beach walks, pier walks, and more.

  • The Wharf at Orange Beach - Family entertainment district with hundreds of fun activities and events throughout the year, including the nightly Spectra light show. Enjoy shopping, dining, live music, mini-golf, a zipline, and the iconic Ferris Wheel.

  • Fort Morgan State Historic Site - Standing guard where the bay meets the Gulf of Mexico, the fort played a significant role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864. Used intermittently through the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II, the site showcases the evolution of seacoast fortifications and adaptations. The site also has nature areas, gift shop, and a boat launch.

  • Take a dive into Poseidon's Playground for a once-in-a-lifetime underwater experience!

  • Get out on the water with a dolphin cruise, dinner cruise, or fishing charter - or paddle the Back Bay Blueway.

  • Find an original piece of Gulf Shores art to take home, or create your own at locations like The Clay Studio, The Hot Shop, Harmony Creek, and Blue Girl Beading.

  • Fishing has year-round potential along the shores of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Find out what's biting and when.

Make sure to check out these fun food trails from Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism.

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