Woman relaxing on the beach in Orang Beach, AL

Winter at the Beach? Yes, It Is A Thing

When you think about the beach during winter, do you picture a giant “closed” sign and a snowy, deserted coastline? That’s not the picture of an Alabama Gulf Coast beach during the winter.

Our beaches never close, and it only snows here about once a decade. That means the beaches are spectacular year-round! In fact, winter is one of the best times for an Alabama beach vacation. Instead of doubling up on clothing and slogging through a wintry mix, why not relax on the beach in cool, sandy bliss? 

If you’re thinking about taking a winter vacation, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. It’s the perfect time to spend time with your partner, your family, or even your best vacation buddies. Don’t believe us? Here’s the scoop!

Why Should I Visit the Beach During Winter?

Girlfriends walking on the beach in Orange Beach, ALWe know - winter is not the first season that comes to mind when you think of a beach vacation. But this time of year provides an excellent time for any group to enjoy all that Alabama’s beaches have to offer at a slow and comfortable pace. The weather is mild during these months, with average temperatures in the mid-50’s and cool, bright skies overhead. If you’ve never seen the shore underneath a bright winter sky, you’re truly missing out! Crowds are low, meaning the beach chairs are yours for the taking and finding the perfect beachfront rental is easy. Speaking of rentals, many vacation rentals offer special off-season rates that will keep more money in your pocket for dining, cocktails and fun beach activities.

So, the winter months are great. But what can you actually do during a winter beach vacation? We’re glad you asked!


Winter is a great time for a romantic beach getaway. The cooler temperatures encourage snuggling on the beach, cozy indoor activities, and intimate conversations. It’s the perfect time to rejuvenate yourselves (and your relationship) with a luxurious Couple biking on the Backcountry Trail along Alabama's beachescouple's massage. Then take a sunset sailing cruise to end the day with a dose of romantic ambiance (and some great scenery, too). Or, enjoy one of our many scenic nature trails. They provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic kiss or a sweet proposal. (Hint! Hint!)

Animal encounters at the Alabama Gulf Coast ZooFamilies

Winter is a great time for a family beach vacation! There are so many Gulf Shores and Orange Beach activities that are fun for every member of your family. Many hotels and resorts offer amenities including indoor pools and play areas to keep the kids busy during those quiet afternoons. If your family is the adventurous type, you can visit a theme attraction; The Park at OWA and The Track are fan-favorites that offer fun family activities including go-karts, thrill rides, arcades and more. Don’t miss a tour of Fort Morgan, an original masonry fort and historical war site. An animal encounter at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is also a fun way to spend an afternoon. Get up close and personal with lemurs, sloths and more. No matter what your family’s interests and vacation style, you’re sure to find plenty to do on your winter beach vacation.


Forget suntanning on the sand - Gulf Shores and Orange Beach boasts opportunities for a thrilling winter beach mancation. The cool, bright winter Guys golfing at Craft Farms in Gulf Shores, ALweather is perfect for any type of outdoor activity. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, try taking turns flying a gyrocopter over the beach with the help of your certified flight instructor. Stop by the Gulf State Park Pier to reel in the day’s catch, or you can fight your own Moby Dick on a deep-sea fishing charter. If you enjoy golf, challenge your group to a competitive game at one of the beach’s award-winning courses. When you’re ready for a pint, head over to the Big Beach Brewing Company to check out their 10-barrel brew system and sample some of their in-house craft beers. 


They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but it’s actually the beach. During the winter, girlfriend getaways benefit from the low crowds, making beach-going an easy affair. Schedule a girls’ spa sesh, and you already have the perfect getaway! You can also get your Zen on with yoga on the beach. During February round up the gals and head to LuLu’s for Lucy Buffett’s famous Mardi Gras Anniversary Celebration for delish cocktails, live music and a fun boat parade - just watch out for flying beads!

Ready to start planning your winter beach-wonderland vacation? Download our vacation guide and browse places to stay for everything you need to know to get started!