Get out a fishing line and catch a tan at Gulf Shores
Miles of white sandy beaches, sunshine-flooded skies and inspiring vistas await visitors in Gulf Shores, Alabama. If you're bringing the kids, you can take them to the zoo, introduce them to fishing, or combine learning with leisure by visiting a few historical sites, like the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, where decommissioned American ships are laid to rest.
What to see
While vacationing in the Gulf Shores, you'll definitely want to spend time on the beach. You can also try to reserve a time slot with a charter boat captain to experience the thrill of reeling in a fresh catch. If you like to keep active, you can rent a kayak for a solid workout as you explore the Gulf by water. For dry-land activities, lace up your hiking boots to see nature firsthand, or stroll around a historical site like Fort Morgan.
On the beach and in the water
With miles and miles of coastline, it's easy to claim a sand section for yourself, so don't forget your book and lounge chair. Kayaking, parasailing and surfing are just a few of the Gulf Shores' water activities available to take part in. Several water sports rental shops in the area lease ocean kayaks, and as you paddle around the coast, you'll discover the tranquility of Alabama's waterways. For a thrill, book a parasailing tour; the experience will have you soaring over beaches and ocean water.
There are many experienced boating captains in the region who will take you out to well-known fishing areas in the back bay areas, or in the Gulf. They'll make sure you're fishing in a spot most likely to have you landing a big catch. To participate in an even more relaxed fishing experience, you can rent equipment, toss in a line from the pier and sit back waiting for a bite.
If you prefer vacation adventures for land-lovers, take a trek down the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. During the hike, you'll stroll among lush, fresh-smelling greenery on your way to the Gulf State Park Beach. The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail is another nature-filled hike, where you can spot some incredible feathered friends. Look for squabbling hummingbirds and the majestic Great Blue Heron.
More than 500 different animals are on display at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, and the location even offers hands-on encounters to enhance a visitor's experience.
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
You'll journey back about seven decades when you stop by the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. Curators allow you to tour the Alabama herself and more than 25 antique military aircraft.
Places to stay
Gulf Shores hotels range from luxurious resorts on the beach to affordable motels a short walk from the coastline. Booking a waterfront room in advance is recommended if you desire stirring views of sunrises and sunsets over the beach. This is enhanced by balconies that come with many rooms, so be sure to check when booking. San Carlos is a newer option in the area that offers a beach service and accommodates for dream weddings.
Best time to visit
To skip the crowds, avoid vacationing during the summer. Winter and fall are the area's off-season, so you'll get the best travel deals then.
Whether you're in the mood for a relaxing weekend on Alabama's sandy beaches or have a more high-adventure trip in mind, the Gulf Shores offer a sunny place to get away and enjoy nature.
* Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. All rates are displayed in USD unless otherwise noted. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency.