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Things To Do in Gulf Shores

by Amber Garrett on September 14th, 2020

With more than 32 miles of sugar-white beaches and rolling sand dunes, it’s no wonder Gulf Shores is one of the South’s best vacation spots. The main attraction is the beach, but many more family-friendly options await.

  • Spend the day at Gulf State Park, where you can visit the largest pier on the Gulf of Mexico. More than 1,540 feet long and 42,000 square feet, the pier offers plenty of room for fishing, sightseeing, and leisurely walking. (The pier is temporarily closed for renovations, but should be open again by the end of September 2020.)
  • Grab your binoculars and do a little birdwatching at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge, whose name means “safe harbor” in French, offers more than 7,000 acres of protected wildlife habitats for migrating birds, nesting sea turtles, and the endangered Alabama beach mouse.
  • Explore the waters of the Gulf by boat. Charter a fishing boat for a day of deep-sea fishing. See dolphins in their natural habitat on a dolphin cruise. Certified diver? Gotcha covered. Check out the LuLu, a sunken freighter. At a maximum depth of 115 feet, it’s a perfect site for divers of all skill levels.
West Indies Salad at Lucy Buffet's Lucy B Goode Cafe

A popular menu item at most local restaurants is the West Indies salad.

  • Find some good eatin’ at one of the area’s many seafood restaurants. You can go where the locals go — the Original Oyster House and King Neptune’s are long-time favorites. Or try a popular franchise like Tacky Jacks in Gulf Shores, which also has   locations in Fort Morgan, Orange Beach, and Mobile. Be sure to try some of those crab claws!
  • Take a drive up to Foley and shop till you drop at the Tanger Outlets. More than 120 brand-name stores await you.
  • Channel your inner child — and give the kids some thrills and chills — at The Track Family Recreation Center, which offers Go-Karts, bumper cars, and other rides as well as miniature golf.
Teen surfing on the Flow Rider at Waterville in Gulf Shores

Riders can stand-up surf or body board on the Flow Rider, a popular attraction at Waterville.

  • Cool off in a lazy river, then play a round of mini-golf, at Waterville USA. Set on 20 acres about 1/4 mile from the beach, Waterville is both a water park and an amusement park. It’s open seasonally, so make sure you check out the hours before you go.
  • Go crabbing at night. Grab some flashlights, a net, and a bucket (kids optional) and look for crabs. Expect endless giggles and lasting memories! Be sure to practice catch and release.
  • Spend a day at historic Fort Morgan. This star-shaped fort was built to control the main shipping channel into Mobile Bay. Its original purpose was simple – to prevent enemy forces from entering the bay. Be sure to bring your camera. Historic arches and natural light will ignite your creative juices.
  • Take a walk on the wild side at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. Known as “The Little Zoo That Could,” it features more than 500 animals, including tigers, lions, bears, birds, and reptiles, plus a petting zoo. Interactive animal shows are offered during the spring and summer months.
  • Jam out to a live performance for a smorgasbord of night-time entertainment. Sipping ice-cold drinks and listening to some good music is a great way to end the perfect day at the beach. Lulu’s offers live entertainment every day. So does the Flora-Bama, a short drive down the highway at the Florida state line.
  • Relax. The most important thing to do. Whether it’s just lying on the beach listening to the waves crash or a day at the spa. Just say ahhh!

Find Gulf Shores vacation rentals and more fun things to do in Gulf Shores on our website.

beach and sand dunes at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, AL

Miles of white-sand beaches at Gulf State Park

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