Alabama

Gulf Shores, Alabama

A- Overview:
Warm water, salt air, sparkling white sand stretching to the horizon line, fabulous sunrises and sunsets: these are just a few guaranteed ingredients of the exceptional vacation that awaits visitors to aptly named Pleasure Island.

Gulf Shores, located on Pleasure Island, has grown since the bridge connecting the island to the mainland was constructed in 1933. Residents and visitors have been drawn to the area’s beautiful sandy beaches, mild climate and numerous business opportunities. Traditionally regarded as a tourist resort community, Gulf Shores is now home to 5000 year round residents. Tourists raise the population during the busy summer months to over 40,000, yet it retains a delightful, small town atmosphere.

The warmth of the Gulf waters makes water sports possible year round. Other popular activities are deep sea fishing, bird watching and hiking. Off the beach, families enjoy the water slides, bungee towers, miniature golf, the zoo, and the go-cart tracks. The area also boasts some of the most attractive and most challenging golf courses in the country.

This is an ideal spot for family vacation fun on the Gulf Coast. Waterfront activities occupy the Spring and Summer months. Fireworks light up the beaches on summer evenings as the City of Gulf Shores sponsors 4th of July celebrations. The Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is also held in July at nearby Dauphin Island. The Gulf Shores Shrimp Festival in the fall is always well attended.

Historic Fort Morgan and the battleship USS. Alabama are in nearby Mobile, and Ft. Morgan hosts Civil War day camps and reenactments in the summer. There are also plays, concerts, sporting events, historic home tours, and of course, Mardi Gras. Restaurants in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach & Perdido Key serve the freshest and finest of seafood in every season.

For those seeking nature-based travel opportunities, Gulf Shores has the adventure you’re looking for! Hiking, biking, canoeing and sailing are all there within local parks and recreational facilities. Comprised mostly of quartz, Alabama’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. It is easy to lose track of time in any season exploring these shores.

The Alabama coast has mild temperatures throughout the seasons. Not surprisingly, the first and foremost activity available at all times is pure relaxation in a fabulous setting. Indoors or out, from music to history, sports to festivals, parades to plays, there are activities for the entire family in Gulf Shores at any time of the year.

B- City Information:
C- Attractions/Things To Do:

Adventure Island

24559 Perdido Beach Boulevard

Orange Beach, AL 36561

(251) 974-1500

Mini-golf, laser tag, paddle and bumper boats, simulators (NASCAR/ roller coaster) super and kiddie go-kart tracks, 100 arcade games. The Volcano erupts nightly.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

1204 Gulf Shores Parkway

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

(251) 968-5731

Explore the natural habitats of more than 250 animals. Elevated viewing decks offer close-up viewing of everything from alligators to giraffes, plus Reptile House, Aviary, Petting Zoo, Gift Shop, Concessions, shaded picnic area.

American Dream Cycle

328 East Beach Boulevard

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

(251) 948-8688

Toll Free: (877) DRM-RIDE

Located at 328 East Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores is dedicated to helping visitors realize their dream of riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Audubon Sanctuary on Dauphin Island

109 Bienville Boulevard

Dauphin Island, AL 36528

(251) 861-2120

The sanctuary consists of 164 acres of maritime forest. Multiple walking trails provide miles of habitat for neotropical migrants.

Baldwin County Heritage Museum

25521 Highway 98

Elberta, AL 36530

(251) 986-8375

Preserving the county’s rural heritage in a rambling building that resembles a turn-of-the-century barn. Includes a working windmill and several outdoor agricultural exhibits.

Bellingrath Gardens and Home

12401 Bellingrath Rd

Theodore, AL 36582

(251) 973-2217

Toll Free: (800) 247-8420

A 65 acre lushly landscaped garden and museum home displays the charm and beauty of the Old South. Located on tranquil Fowl River.

Bon Secour Nat’l Wildlife Refuge

12295 State Hwy. 180

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Office hours: 7:30am-4:00pm Monday-Friday.

(251) 540-7720

Refuge has 4-5 miles of hiking trails and beach access. Open from sunrise to sunset.

CJ Watersports, Inc.

328 East Beach Boulevard

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

(251) 948-3599

Ride the waves on a Kawasaki Jet Ski, parasail or paddle the surf in an ocean kayak.

Claude Peteet Mariculture Center/Marine Resources Division

21055 Mildred Casey Drive

Gulf Shores, AL 36547

(251) 968-7576

By appointment only. The center conducts studies that enhance understanding of the life history of red snapper and oysters.

The Estuarium at The Dauphin Island Sea Lab

101 Bienville Boulevard

Dauphin Island, AL 36528

(251) 861-7500

Open daily. Admission charged and group rates available. Handicapped accessible. Visual displays and interactive exhibits highlight Mobile’s estuary system.

Fort Gaines Historic Site

51 Bienville Boulevard

Dauphin Island, AL 36528

(251) 861-6992

Open seven days a week.

Fort Morgan

51 State Highway 180 West

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

(251) 540-7125

Living history demonstrations and self-guided tours.

Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center

65 Government Street

Mobile, AL 36633

(251) 208-6883

Toll Free: (877) 625-4FUN

Hands-on, interactive science adventure for all ages! With permanent exhibits, traveling exhibits from major science centers and the IMAX Dome experience.

Gulf Shores Amusement Park

104 West Beach Boulevard

Gulf Shores, AL 36547

(251) 948-6511

Rides, go-carts, and arcade games.

Gulf Shores Museum

244 West 19th Avenue

Gulf Shores, AL 36547

(251) 967-4733

See different Gulf Coast objects used to shrimp and fish. Learn how hurricanes form, and the devastation they cause. Special exhibits are Fishing the Lagoon & Pilot Town and the Hurricane of 1906.

Gulf State Park

20115 State Hwy 135

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

(251) 948-7275

Toll Free: (800) ALA-PARK

This Gulf Coast gem boasts 6,000 acres of land with 2.5 miles of beach, fresh water lake, nature trails, and beach pavilion.

Historic Blakeley State Park

33707 State Hwy. 225

Spanish Fort, AL 36577-7279

(251) 626-0798

Visit the site of the last major battle of the Civil War. Enjoy 10 1/2 miles of hiking and bike trails, camping and a serene boardwalk next to the Tensaw River.

LA Watersports

Gulf Shores, AL 36547

(251) 948-7433

Pontoon boats, waverunners, kayaks, parasail, aqua trampolines and Dolphin tours.

Meaher State Park

5200 Battleship Parkway US 98

Spanish Fort, AL 36577

(251) 626-5529

Situated in the wetlands of Mobile Bay, this 1,327-acre park features two self-guided nature trails that highlight the flora & fauna of this unique area.

Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum

25850 John Snook Avenue

Orange Beach, AL 36561

(251) 981-8545

Showcasing early exploration and settlement of the area.

Pirates Island Adventure Golf

3201 Gulf Shores Parkway

Gulf Shores, AL 36547

(251) 968-4653

Two 18-hole courses among waterfalls, caves, tropical plants, a pirate ship and sea fog.

Sky High Parasail

19180 B County Road 10

Bear Pont Marina, Orange Beach

Foley, AL 36535

(251) 946-9000

Website: www.skyhighparasail.com

Safe! Smooth ride! Scenic inland waters.

Tiki Isle Mini-Golf and Batting Cages

East Beach Boulevard

Gulf Shores, AL 36547

(251) 948-8454

18 holes of Mini-golf and batting cages.

The Track Recreation Center

3200 Gulf Shores Parkway

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

(251) 968-8111

Go-karts, bumper boats, Kids Kountry, arcade, mini-golf, skycoaster, bungee jumping and refreshment center.

Waterville, USA

906 Gulf Shores Parkway

Gulf Shores, AL 36547

(251) 948-2106

The ultimate in family fun, is a 20 acre Water Park and Amusement Park.

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

Off State Highway 180 at the 13-mile marker; 251-540-7720.

Open year-round from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.

This 6200-acre refuge with beach access protects and preserves the unique plants and animals of the Gulf Coast. Hike the scenic, four-mile Pine Beach Trail or the one-mile-loop Jeff Friend Trail. Catch bass, bluegill and bream in the 40-acre freshwater Gator Lake (canoes and electric trolling motors only). On the nearby lagoon, cast for trout and flounder or scoop up crabs. See a large migratory bird stopover in April, May, September and October.

Gulf State Park

Headquarters: 20115 State Highway 135, Gulf Shores; 251-948-7275.

Free to enter park; individual attractions may charge a small admission or parking fee.

This Gulf Coast park offers 6000 acres of land with 2.5 miles of beaches on four preserved stretches of sand. Inland, 900-acre Lake Shelby hosts freshwater fishermen, boaters, skiers and swimmers; nearby nature trails wind through the wooded land. Scheduled educational nature activities include beach walks, hikes, slide presentations and nature films. Wildlife exhibits at the Nature Center are open year-round.

Gulf-side facilities include a public pavilion, 825-ft. fishing pier and boat ramps.

Biophilia Nature Center & Native Nursery

On County Road 95, three miles east of Elberta and 1/4 mile south of U.S. Highway 98 251-987-1200 for Nature Center hours and cost of admission.

Butterflies courting and laying eggs, sparkling sundews catching bugs, and blue-tailed skinks streaking about are potential sights at the 20-acre Biophilia Nature Center and Native Nursery in Elberta. This ongoing ecological restoration project includes young forests, wildflower meadows, a carnivorous plant bog, a swamp, an 11-foot alligator, turtles, a butterfly garden, a screened butterfly room and caterpillar nursery, and a bookstore/library.

Minamac Wildflower Bog

Located five miles east of Fairhope

251-945-6157

From early April through September

Open for tours by appointment only. Admission is charged, and group rates are available

more than 300 varieties of native Southern wildflowers bloom in this five-acre preserve..

Shopping

The area offers many shops ranging from casual apparel and beachwear to upscale fashion and specialty boutiques. If you are a bargain hunter, you can find 120 factory outlet stores located in Foley.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Parks And Recreation

The nearest state park is Gulf State Park

(334-948-7275).

The 6,000 acre park area offers campsites, picnic areas, 18-hole golf course, 825-foot fishing pier, and convention center.

Other parks in the area include

Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge

334-540-7720

Meyer Park

334-968-4420

Johnnie Sims Park

canal park & kids park

334-968-4420

Wade Ward Nature Park

334-968-4420

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

January

Alabama Mysteries and Legends

Location: Adult Activity Center, Gulf Shores

Free Admission

251-968-1465

Mad Hatters Ball

Location: Holiday Inn White Sands Resorts, Gulf Shores.

251-967-4737

Dress is casual, and food will be provided. Cash bar will be available. Music, dancing and a hat competition in several different categories. All proceeds go towards buying school clothes for the children in need of assistance in Pleasure Island.

Pine Needle Basket Weaving Session 2

Location: Biophilia Nature Center 12695 County Road 95, Elberta

251 987-1200

February

Historic Sites of Alabama

Location: Adult Activity Center, Gulf Shores

Free Admission

251-968-1465

Gulf Shores Womens Club Annual Tour of Homes

251-948-6333

House tour hours: 10 am – 4 pm.

Tickets available at Jubilee Gifts, Gulf Shores

Red Snapper Seafood Festival

251-974-5790

Grilled and fried fish plates, fried shrimp plates and grilled chicken plates will be for sale. Plates include coleslaw, corn fritters, grits, tea or coffee. Soft drinks and water will also be available at an additional charge. Don’t miss the Hogs and Hotrods Exhibition! In addition to food, there will be arts and crafts, onsite music, a silent auction and souvenir t-shirts for sale. The Orange Beach Sportsplex located on Public Works Road, just south of Canal Road (AL Hwy. 180), approximately 3 miles west of Orange Beach Blvd. (AL Hwy. 161). From 10 AM to 5 PM.

White Sands 5K Sweetheart Run/Walk

Location: Starting at Ribs & Reds Restaurant. Post race party at Ribs & Reds Restaurant, Gulf Shores.

251-962-4066

Here is your chance to have a super fun-filled weekend at our beautiful beach and contribute to a worthy cause. L.A. Fleet Feet Run Club and Ribs & Reds Restaurant present the 2003 White Sands 5K Sweetheart Run and Walk for the kids of Baldwin County. Race starts at 8:00 a.m. T-shirts to all registrants. Variety of age groups.

Paragon Ragtime Orchestra

Location: Erie Meyer Civic Center, Gulf Shores

251-968-1172

March

Annual “Taste of the Colony”

251-861-6992

Explore life on Isle Dauphine in the 1700-1800’s. authentic camping in the fort, candle-dipping, open-hearth cooking and tasting, blacksmith demonstrations and more.

Annual Foley Mardi Gras Parade .

251-943-5630

Other Mardi Gras Parades:

Krewe de Spaniards Parade

Location: Spanish Fort

Shadow Barons Parade

Location: Daphne

Floral Parade

Location: Mobile

Knights of Mobile Parade

Location: Mobile

Mystics of Time Parade

Location: Mobile

Arrival of King Elexis

Location: Foot of Government Street, Mobile

Mardi Gras Parades, Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

251-968-6904

Call for route.

Pleasure Island Festival of Art

Location: Lake Shelby, Gulf Shores

Free to public.

251-981-1852

More than 50 artists will exhibit their works on the banks of Gulf State Park’s Lake Shelby.

Soldiers of Fort Morgan-1834-1944

Location: Fort Morgan

251-540-7127

Annual Historic Mobile Homes Tours

Admission

Representing Mobile’s rich & diverse architectural past. Experience Creole cottages, Federal-style townhouses, Greek Revival mansions and turn-of-the-century Victorian & Neo-Classical residences.

Annual Outdoor Art Show

251-928-2228

Over 150 exhibitors from all over the country will be exhibiting works in over 20 different mediums!

Azalea Trail Run 10K / 1 & 2-Miler

(251) 473-7223

April

A Civil War Living History Weekend

251-861-6992

Hosted by the 45th Alabama Regiment, you will experience a weekend of the soldiers lives during the Civil War. There will be Roll Call, Mail & Pay Calls, Company Drills, Camp Life Impressions, Displays and Camp cooking.

Annual Alabama State Chili Cook Off

Location: Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

251-968-5731

May

Annual Art in the Park

Location: John B. Foley Park (Corner of Al Hwy 59 and U.S. Hwy 98)

251-943-4381

Artists and craft persons from the tri-state area present their art for show and sale. Entertainment and food booths are also available.

June

Fort Morgan Candlelight Tour

Location: Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores

Price of admission.

251-540-7202

Costumed interpreters tell the story of Fort Morgan’s early Civil War service through historic vignettes that are based on actual events. Candlelight tour starts at 7:00 p.m

Annual Low Country Boil

Location: Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Gulf Shores

251-968-5731

This is an “all you can eat” Cajun picnic, served on tables, buffet style. Drinks are sold separately. Money from this fund raiser goes toward Zoo improvements

Fort Morgan Civil War Day Camp for Kids

Location: Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores

Fee.

251-540-7202

For a day, young soldiers from ages 9-12 experience the life of an Artilleryman from 1861-1864.

July

A Fort Morgan Big Bang Celebration!

July 4 Annually

Location: Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores

Price of admission.

251-540-7202

Experience Fort Morgan’s own brand of celebrating Independence Day! Cannons will be fired celebrating the Nation’s Independence.

Independence Day Celebration

Location: Fort Morgan

251-540-7127

Fort Morgan Civil War Day Camp for Kids

Location: Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores

Fee.

251-540-7202

For a day, young soldiers from ages 9-12 experience the life of an Artilleryman from 1861-1864.

Annual Watermelon Seed Spittin’ Tournament

Location: Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Gulf Shores

251-968-5731

August

Civil War Living History

251-540-7127

Demonstrations commemorating the anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay

September

Annual Shrimp Festival Golf Scramble

251-968-6904

Annual Sandman Triathlon

Location: Lake Shelby, Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores

251-968-2000

Starts at 7:30am. Swim .6 miles, Bike 15.8 miles, Run 4 miles.

Annual Lost Bay Regatta

Location: Pirate’s Cove Marina, Josephine

251-987-1119

The race will begin at 1:00 pm on the main of Perdido Bay. All pre-race registration and celebration will be held at the Point Yacht Club facilities. The race is open to monohull sailboats 20 ft. or longer.

Greek Fest

Location: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church 50 South Ann Street, Mobile

251-438-9888

11am-10pm Thursday 11am-11pm Friday and Saturday.

Live, Laugh, Sing and Dance

October

Annual “Colonial Isle Dauphine:

251-861-6992

A living history weekend exploring life on the Gulf Coast before the Fort was built.

Annual Kids Fishing Rodeo

Location: Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Gulf Shores

251-968-5731

Honeybee Festival

Location: Robertsdale

251-947-8950

Robertsdale will start their annual Honeybee Festival with a parade at 10:00 am.

Annual National Shrimp Festival

Location: Gulf Shores Public Beach

Free to public.

251-968-6904

From Arts & Crafts, music, entertainment, and the Food, we guarantee this is one event you won’t want to miss!

The 50th Coast Artillery at Mobile Point in World War II

Location: Fort Morgan

540-7127

Uniformed interpreters depict the garrison of Fort Morgan during its last period of active military service.

Annual Shrimp Festival 10K Run

Lake Shelby, Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores

251-968-2000

World War II at Fort Morgan

Fort Morgan

251-540-7127

Annual “Boo at the Zoo” Kid’s Halloween & Costume Party

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Gulf Shores

251-968-5731

Annual Renaissance Festival “GATALOP 20”

Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island

251-861-6992

See Knights in armor as they storm the castle, view melee’s and sieges, watch The Lords and Ladies, and visit a Medieval merchant

November

Annual “Ladies Encampment”

251-861-6992

A Civil War Ladies workshop hosted by the 21st Alabama Ladies Aid Society. See the women go about their daily lives during the Civil War period.

Annual Veteran’s Day Ceremonies

Location: Fort Morgan

251-540-7127

Fort Morgan uniformed interpreters will honor all of our veterans, past and present.

Annual Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival

850-492-7664

Musicians from all over the world bring magical music to the Gulf Coast. Music of all genres wil be heard throughout the festival.

Annual TRIM-A-TREE Grand Opening

Foley Performing Arts Association, 119 W. Laurel Ave.in Foley

251-943-4381

Over 250 southeastern fine artists and craftsmen have created one of a kind ornaments and decorations to be sold on consignment. Grand Opening Nov. 14-15, 10am-5pm with lunch served on the 14th. The event continues through Dec. 23. Hours Dec. 17-23:10-4.

Zoolabration Fall Festival

Location: Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Gulf Shores

251-968-5731

Annual “Christmas at the Fort”

Admission

251-861-6992

Experience the 1861 Christmas with the Confederate garrison. A living history weekend for the whole family.

Sandy Claws

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Gulf Shores

251-968-5731

Nautical Night of Lights Boat Parade

Orange Beach

251-968-6904

Lighted boat parade featuring holiday decorations

Annual Symphony By The Sea

Location: Perdido Beach Resort, Orange Beach

251-981-9811 ext. 103

Christmas concert will feature the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in an elegant evening of traditional and classical holiday music.