fbpx

Attention Beach Lovers: Alabama is Calling

Unless you live in the South, you’re probably unaware of the hidden gem that is the Alabama Gulf Coast. Chances are, if when you hear coast you think East or West, you are more likely to associate Alabama with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Reese Witherspoon or Civil Rights than gorgeous swaths of sugary white sand beaches rimmed with the clear aquamarine waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

If you haven’t heard of the Alabama Gulf Coast, it might be because locals want to keep this treasure secret so it remains as uncrowded and untouched as possible. But not all locals feel that way. In fact, the Gulf Coast of Alabama attracts 5.7 million visitors per year and has been recognized as one of the top family spring break destinations by Yahoo! Travel. With music, food, and fishing festivals galore, more and more people are discovering the Alabama Gulf Coast.

I was lucky to be one of them last month as Gulf Shores Orange Beach Tourism invited me and a fellow blogger to come experience all that the region had to offer. They allowed locals to be our tour guides, voting on what activities we should do each day and where we should eat each evening (p.s. they did a great job!) I fell in love with so much about Alabama (just wait until I tell you about the food!), but the main attraction is the beach.

As I passed the famous Florbama bar on the board of Florida and Alabama, I saw a shift in the landscape. Driving west from the Pensacola airport, I saw smallish hotels, some roadhouse bars, and plenty of fast food joints. But passing over the border was a bit like sneaking behind the curtain between business class and coach. As I entered Orange Beach the beach became more accessible; the resort towers taller and more elegant. The fast food restaurants and big box stores gave way to sparkling new surf shops and funky restaurants like The Gulf (made up of renovated shipping containers.) This was not what I expected.

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

Along the 32 miles that make up the Alabama Gulf Coast, in between high-rise condo resorts and hotels, you’ll find easy access to the beach. Unlike the hours long traffic jams I’m accustomed to on Cape Cod, or the honky tonk boardwalks I grew up with in New Jersey, getting to the beach here is easy. Being there at the very beginning of the season helped, but there was virtually no traffic on the four-lane highway that runs along the beach. And instead of paying an arm-and-a-leg to get onto the beach, in Alabama the beaches, and mostly the parking, is free.

Why you should visit Gulf Shores Orange Beach Alabama

There are small parking lots and entrances to the beach scattered along the main thoroughfare. Facilities are limited and lifeguards weren’t on duty when I was there (although someone must use these chairs,) but it is probably only a short walk or drive to where you are staying. Visitors should pay attention to the flags flying above the beach to recognize water conditions. The gulf water along the coast is clear, but unlike parts of the Florida gulf coast, it has enough swells to make body surfing fun. With those swells might also come riptides so swimmers should be aware.

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

The beaches themselves are simply gorgeous. I couldn’t get enough of the wide, long stretches of soft white sand, made from quartz grains washed down from the Appalachian Mountains. The contrast between the blue sky, the blindingly white sand and the bright green of the dune grass was mesmerizing. Perhaps my afternoon at the beach was influenced by the peace I felt to have solitude and relaxation on the beach — something I haven’t had in years — but I truly fell in love with this special place.

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

As much as I enjoyed my solitude, I was left with a longing to want to share this place with my family, and with you, my readers. While my words may be inadequate to describe the Alabama beaches, hopefully my pictures do the work of convincing you to give the Alabama Gulf Coast a try. But if the beach isn’t enough, there is lots more to come, so stay tuned.

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

Why you should visit the Alabama Beaches

 

PIN THIS FOR LATER

Why you should visit Gulf Shores Orange Beach Alabama

Where is your favorite beach?

Note: I was a guest of Gulf Shores Orange Beach Tourism and Laura’s Vacation Rentals, but all opinions are my own.

Comments are closed.

6 Comments on “Attention Beach Lovers: Alabama is Calling

  1. Looks so lovely! I’ve always wanted to do a road trip from California to Florida and hit these neat little unknown spots along the way!

    The sand does look incredibly white and inviting! I look forward to hearing the rest of your Alabama stories (I can sense the food is coming, too:)

      Coming soon! Thanks for following along.

    I have not been to this area at all, looks gorgeous. My favorite beach? North Carolina ones!

      I used to go to the Outer Banks every year and love that area too.

    Beautiful Ocean green:) I live in Naples and am about 20 minutes from the ocean. We don’t get there often eonguh. Nice to meet you via Linky WW! Your newest GFC. Have a fun week.

Get your free Family Vacation Planning Kit

Sign up for our newsletter and receive a Family Vacation Planning Kit!
We3Travel.com will use the information you provide on this form to send you newsletters. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting tamara@we3travel.com. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.