Experience the stunning beauty of sugar-sand beaches, turquoise waters, sea breezes and warm Southern hospitality in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Bordered by four bodies of water, Gulf Shores is the perfect destination for exploring six distinct ecosystems by bike, air or on foot. Trails through freshwater marshes and swamps invite explorers to meet wildlife up-close and personal, like “Lefty” the sunbathing alligator. He loves attention, so be sure to say hi. Whether your idea of a perfect vacation is playing golf, boating, snorkeling, sipping margaritas on a deck at sunset or exploring historic sites, Gulf Shores has it all and more.


01Things to Know Before You Go

Visit the Gulf Shores early in June, before or after the Fourth of July weekend and anytime in August. These times are also the most economical. Gulf Shores has a laid-back and casual character, even in restaurants and bars. Activewear such as shorts, jeans, casual tops, and comfortable shoes are acceptable, but bring shoes appropriate for hiking or running. An umbrella is helpful in the occasional downpour. When things cool down, layered clothing or a zip-up jacket keep you cozy. Equipment like kayaks, boats, and bikes are easy to rent. “Leave Only Footprints” is more than a motto: it’s your responsibility to help maintain the area’s beauty.

Best time to visit welcome-to-carol-world / Getty Images