You’re a Nature Lover
Many are surprised to learn that off-the-beach, our destination is teeming with a variety of outdoor adventures that immerse visitors in our coastal environment. Two of the most popular spots to explore the natural wonders of the Alabama Gulf Coast are found in Gulf Shores.
Located directly in the middle of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is Gulf State Park. With its 6,150 acres, there is much to see and do here. The park is home to 28+ miles of paved trails called the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. These trails take visitors all throughout the park, exploring the nine unique ecosystems within it. You can travel these trails by foot, bike or Segway. For the water warriors out there, the park is home to three freshwater lakes. The largest lake, Lake Shelby, is perfect for fishing, swimming, kayaking and paddleboarding. Then, of course, we can’t forget the 2,448 ft. Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier. The longest pier and Alabama’s only public pier in the Gulf of Mexico, this is an in-demand fishing spot on the Gulf Coast. Lastly, the park boasts three miles of public beach access. Guests can access this beach by parking at the recently renovated Beach Pavilion.
Note: Several of the attractions at Gulf State Park are currently under renovation due to damage from Hurricane Sally. Be sure to visit their listings on our website for more information.
Nature enthusiasts will also love the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, also located in Gulf Shores. The refuge houses some of Alabama’s last remaining undisturbed coastal habitats. Guests can traverse across the property via three trails of varying lengths and terrains. One of the refuge’s most traveled trails is the Jeff Friend Trail, a paved one-mile loop with views of Little Lagoon and a variety of wildlife. Throughout the year Bon Secour serves as a refuge for more than 300 migratory birds. It’s also the home of various endangered species such as the Alabama beach mouse.
You’re a Craft Beer Snob
Gulf Shores is home to the southernmost brewery in Alabama, and the only along Alabama’s beaches – Big Beach Brewing Co. So, if you’re a craft beer connoisseur, you’ll definitely want to be on this part of the island. At any time, you’ll find 12 beers on tap ranging from IPAs and sours to stouts and porters, depending on the season. Big Beach prides itself on having a “tap to tank” system which means that their beers run directly from 300-gallon vessels right into their taps ensuring they offer patrons the freshest brews around. A local watering hole, the brewery also hosts live music, game day gatherings and food trucks nearly every weekend.