Children at the Gulf State Park Nature Center

Exciting Edutainment at Gulf State Park’s Nature Center

Whoever said learning isn’t fun has obviously never been to the Nature Center at Gulf State Park.

Gulf State Park Nature Center in Gulf Shores, AL

At the Nature Center, you’ll learn everything you have ever wanted to know (and more) about the wildlife found on the Alabama Gulf Coast. 

The Nature Center is a living museum, meaning they aim to create an experiential interpretation of the flora and fauna that inhabit our destination. Within the four walls of the building, you’ll find live animals such as snakes, turtles, owls and starfish, as well as displays of animals such as bobcats, sea turtles and native fish.  

Established in March 2014, the Nature Center’s goal is to educate people about our coastal environment and to cultivate inspiration and appreciation for the environment. One of the ways they accomplish this goal is by hosting weekly programs led by park naturalists. Some of them are lecture-based, while others are more interactive. These programs include nature, beach and pier walks; constellation and star education; art activities such as pine needle weaving and more. Larger groups can also choose to book a private program with one of the park’s knowledgeable naturalists. These can be held inside or outside at the Nature Center’s amphitheater and picnic area. Each of these spaces, including the inside of the building, are wheelchair accessible.

Outside amphitheater at the Gulf State Park Nature Center in Gulf Shores, AL

Please note, in order to keep guests and staff safe, the Nature Center is practicing social distancing for all programs and will be operating at a limited capacity. Admission to these free programs will be granted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Nature Center is conveniently located near the Gulf State Park Campground and Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. If you’re lodging at the campground, all it takes is a quick walk or bike ride to get to the center. You can even bring your pets! With the Backcountry Trail nearby, the center is easily accessible for those biking and hiking throughout the park. The amphitheater and picnic areas also make for great places to rest during your day out on the trail. 

Along with the Nature Center, guests can find plenty of other educational experiences at the park’s Interpretive Center and Learning Campus. To learn more about the park and all of its amenities, visit our Gulf State Park page

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