Alabama Gulf Coast is one of the best-kept secrets of the south. If you are looking for a fun, relaxing, and unforgettable family trip, romantic getaway with the hubby or a weekend with your best girlfriends head down to Alabama!
I know you are saying did I read that right! She wants me to go to Alabama for beaches, shopping, and fun in the sun. Gulf Shores is one of those destinations that once you visit it definitely will not be your last and you will most likely want to come back time and time again!
Adventure, Fun, and Relaxation
There are so many things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL from blue-green waters, soft white-sand beaches, an amazing culinary scene, and water recreation just to name a few of things that will have your family wanting to return to Gulf Shores every summer.
Even though I live in Tennessee which is in close proximity to Alabama; I had never visited the Alabama Gulf Coast. I wasn’t expecting much because I had preconceived notions in my head about the beach being dirty or there wouldn’t be much to do in Alabama, but boy was I was completely wrong!
I had the opportunity to work with Gulf Shores and the World Food Championship by attending the World Food Championship Blogger Summit which takes place every October in the beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama.
32 miles of Soft Sand Beaches!
To say the Alabama Gulf Coast surprised me is an understatement! The beach is about as perfect as you can get, from the soft sand and clear waters; to adventure and fun all within a few hours of my doorstep. That includes Gulf State Park, where you camp if staying in a hotel is not your thing.
The park includes a golf course but keep in mind there are alligators and you might just end up on the lunch menu if you are careful. There are also opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, and even surfing abound. The waves here are fairly small so it’s a great place for beginners like myself.
One of the most epic things to do in Gulf Shores is seeing the baby turtles migrate at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. The kiddos will be in awe watching thousands of sea turtles hatch and make their way into the water.
Life Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This
What better way to unwind and relax than laying out on the beach listening to the waves crashing, reading a good book, or just playing with your children. The weather is always perfect and I swear you will never fell sand this soft anywhere else in the world.
Even though the beaches are not private there is enough space to build sand castles, lounge, or just listen to music without bothering your neighbor. Relaxing is the best of the things to do in Gulf Shores!
Enjoy a relaxing massage
It doesn’t really matter if you’re staying at Turquoise Place, an Airbnb, or at the RV park — hotels like the Marriott and Beach Club will be more than happy to help you relax as long as your credit card works. Splurge on a deep tissue massage and then sip on a cocktail by a pool.
Ultimate Gulf Coast Vacation Guide
This ultimate beach vacation guide will make sure see everything Gulf Shores has to offer including what to eat, what to do and where to stay so you will not miss a beat trying to find things to do in Gulf Shores.
Are you dreaming of warm days and mild nights? The warm blue Gulf waters off of Alabama’s coast will make you forget all of your worries and relax. The water is always so warm that it literally feels like a sauna!
Must-See Attractions on Alabama Gulf Coast
There are so many things to do in Gulf Shores I don’t even know where to start. The possibilities are really endless! I am going to suggest the very first activity you should try are the dolphin cruises.
If you are traveling with the kiddos you will become the mom of the year when they go home and tell all of their friends they got to see dolphins up close and personal on their vacation to Gulf Shores.
Are you up for a little adventure? Try the Segway tours at the Gulf State Park then head over to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and get a first-hand look at more than 500 animals including sloths, kangaroos, and lemurs.
The Wharf should be next on your list if shopping and eating are what you have in mind. The Wharf offers everything from shopping, live music, dining, and a marina. The Wharf in Gulf Shores is literally a town of its own.
Don’t forget to take a ride on the Ferris Wheel!
Whether you want to rent a pole and Fish right from the beach or charter a boat there are plenty of great options that’ll let you catch grouper, snapper, mackerel, and even a shark or two if you are lucky.
The World Food Championship
The Wharf is also where the World Food Championships are held each year. The World Food Championships is the largest competition in Food Sport, where Chefs and home cooks of previous events convene for a chance at winning the ultimate food crown and a share of hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money.
If you have not been to Gulf Shores this is a great time to go so loosen your belt and grab a fork because lawd, the food is AMAAZZZING!
At the end of the day, there’s still time for a walk along the beach at sunset to walk off all of the pounds you gained. Of course, you can always plan a day for just relaxing on the beach and digging your toes in the sand.
Where To Eat in Gulf Shores
I am the biggest seafood lover ever and you will not run of seafood places to eat in Gulf Shores. If I could eat seafood every day I would, and Gulf Shores offered a variety of restaurants for every palate.
Two of my favorites are Acme and LuLu’s. Both offer more than just great seafood, which is important because even though I love seafood my husband does not; so I have to make sure wherever we decide to dine the menu offers a variety of dishes.
If you are on a family vacation to Gulf Shores I suggest LuLu’s as it is the ultimate family-friendly restaurant. Lulu’s is located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Gulf Shores, families can enjoy scenic views, sandy beach and a little birdy told me they have the best Cheeseburger in Gulf Shores! For the kiddos there is an arcade, 3-story climbing ropes course the Mountain of Youth, and a smaller Munchkin Mountain for the little ones.
The setting is perfect for letting kids burn their energy while you wait for your food and a great place to hang out once dinner is done so Mom and Dad can hang out and get a drink while the kids play in the sand, do hula hoops, and just have fun running around.
Acme Oyster House
I have frequented Acme Oyster House in New Orleans, but this was my first visit to the restaurant in Orange Beach, AL. and I was not disappointed. The southern style building is full of Louisiana charm and has ample seating inside and out. Acme is definitely a seafood lover’s paradise with the most emphasis on fresh oysters, seafood, and Cajun spices, however, they do have non-seafood items offered on the menu.
Where to Stay In Gulf Shores
Turquoise Place, a gorgeous luxury resort right on the beach. Y’all know I love luxury, right? You’ll be able to spot Turquoise place from miles away with its turquoise glass towers rising up more than 20 stories in the air. The condos are within walking distance to restaurants, shopping, and attractions.
Turquoise Place offers spacious three-, four- and five-bedroom units with fully-appointed kitchens and modern décor. Each individual unit has a balcony with a gulf view, a gourmet grilling station, and a hot tub.
After a long day of sightseeing, all you need is a bottle of wine, a hot tub and listen to the waves crash against the shoreline. Turquoise Place is perfect for families because the kids can enjoy the lazy river, indoor and outdoor pools while mom and dad chill.
Each Condo comes with assigned parking so you are not fighting over parking spaces and everyone receives a wristband similar to those you might have seen at Disneyland or Six Flags that gives you full access to all of the amenities the resort has to offer.
The wristband also substitutes for your room key so you don’t have to worry about losing your key or digging in the bottom of your bag under all of your junk!
The Master bedroom is huge and opened up to an outside patio with a grill, hot tub, and outdoor dining table. Each unit is also equipped with stainless steel appliances and utensils so all you need to bring are groceries if you don’t want to spend a ton of money eating out each night.
The living room was just as spacious and the bathrooms are massive!! I plan on going back this summer so stay tuned for my next visit to Gulf Shores.
Get religious while you drink
Flora-Bama bar sits on the Florida-Alabama state line. Jimmy Buffett has sung about Flora- Bama, and Flora- Bama is probably the bar/church where you can grab a drink and listen to honky tonk music.
A vacation to the Alabama Gulf Coast offers the same sandy beaches, outdoor adventures and great dining you’d find in other far away places, but Gulf Shores is a short drive from Tennessee, Arkansas, or Louisiana
When you’re in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you can spend all day lounging on the soft, white sands breathing in the Gulf air.
Have you visited the Alabama Gulf Coast? What did you think about my list of things to do in Gulf Shores? I would love to hear your feedback so drop a comment below or head on over to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!