The Sugar White Sand of Gulf Shores
Yes, Alabama does have a coastline-- and thirty-two miles of some of the whitest beaches in the world. Of course if you live within easy driving distance of the Alabama Coast or made good grades in geography you probably already know that, but you might be surprised at the number of people who don’t believe it until they see it on a map. That really shouldn’t be surprising because until the early 1980s, the Gulf Shores area was mostly enjoyed by the area’s residents and fishermen who didn't mind roughing it. Indeed, most people in the rest of Alabama thought “Florida” when it was time to plan the summer vacation.
It’s Different Now. During the summer, many of the beaches in the Gulf Shores area are crowded and condos, motels, and beach houses are usually at peak capacity. Each winter, when it gets very cold “up north,” retirees begin their yearly trek to the Alabama Gulf Coast. Most of these "snowbirds" stay until the spring breaks begin across the country. As they are driving out, families and college students are driving in. If you don’t like crowds, don’t let this frighten you-- there are plenty of places to find peace, quiet, and even solitude.
Browse or search the site for the best beaches, both the most popular and the ones where you can escape the crowds.
Find out the best places to fish from the beach for just the price of a fishing license and some bait, or how to go after the really big ones on a deep sea fishing trip. Be sure to bookmark my fishing page so that you can identify those fish that you have never seen before. Some taste great and others need to be tossed back into the water. For the ones that are edible, I have even included a good recipe.
Speaking of food, I will tell you about my favorite restaurants, and you can read restaurant reviews from my readers (you can even write your own). There’s no shortage of restaurants in this area but some should certainly be on your short list. Going on a day trip? My readers have reviewed restaurants from Mobile to Pensacola.
I take lots of photos, so if you have ever wondered what some of those condos in the Gulf Shores area look look like behind the security gates, this is the place. Some of these condo complexes are really resorts where you can do a lot more than swim in the pool. Rent a condo unit close to one of your favorite restaurants and you might not move your car during your entire vacation.
Are you a history lover like me? I will tell you where the museums are. They are great places to escape the mid-day heat or spend part of a rainy afternoon. There is one world class museum not far from the Alabama-Florida state line, the National Museum of Naval Aviation, that even has an IMAX Theatre. I also have pages on my site covering the history of the human occupation of the Gulf Shores area, going all the way back to the arrival of the first Native Americans over ten thousand years ago. I have two pages of postcards and memorabilia that will take some back in time to the Alabama Gulf Coast that they once knew, and others can see what the area looked like when it was still a sleepy little fishing village.
Treasure washes up on our beaches. Not all of it comes from shipwrecked pirate ships, but all if it is interesting, even the easy to find seashells. Read about seashells, sand dollars, sea glass, and the things that prehistoric Indians left behind.
Most people are nature lovers, and I haven’t met a person yet who didn’t like dolphins and wasn’t fascinated by alligators. There are places where dolphins are likely to swim every day, and places where you can see alligators in their natural habitat. You can also identify those shorebirds that you see that dive into the water and walk on the beaches. You can get to those pages from Alabama coastal wildlife.
The Gulf Shores area is the location of several special events held annually. Events like the National Shrimp Festival started small and over time became huge. Others, like the Hangout Music Festival, were huge draws from the first year. My daughter, who grew up on the Alabama Gulf Coast but now lives in Colorado, wrote an article about her Gulf Shores vacation that she planned around the last Hangout Music Festival. I think it presents a nice overview of both an Alabama beach vacation and the Hangout Festival.
That is just a few of the more than 300 pages on this site, and I'm always adding more. If there is something I've missed (or more likely haven't gotten to yet) or something that you would like to see on this site, you can ask at "Questions," or contact me at "Contact Us" at the left side menu.
This website has not been developed by a corporate entity with hired employees. It has been developed by a real person, one who enjoys just about everything that the Alabama Gulf Coast has to offer, and it is supplemented with articles contributed by readers who share their honest opinions.
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