Gulf Shores Beaches: The Whitest Sand
Watch out for the pranksters (usually fully grown men) who spend their vacation dragging fake rubber snakes and huge plastic crabs under the feet of unsuspecting beach walkers.
While walking the Gulf Shores beaches, you'll pass a lot of fishermen, and most of them will be relaxing in their fishing chairs, lost in their thoughts. It's sort of an unwritten rule that beach walkers don't have to detour around all of that fishing tackle - at the last second, fishermen will just raise their rods a little, unless of course they've fallen asleep, which is not unusual.
If you've ever wanted to catch a fish while on vacation, bring your rods. The Gulf Shores beaches are great places to fish, and you can never predict what might take your bait; it could be anything from pinfish to sharks.
My favorites of the "usually less crowded beaches" are Lagoon Park at Little Lagoon Pass at West Beach in Gulf Shores and Florida Point at Perdido Pass in Orange Beach. Both of these parks have restroom facilities and free parking. Both spots are very popular with fishermen.
During the busiest times of the year, it might be a problem finding a parking place at Lagoon Park at Little Lagoon Pass if you arrive late in the morning. It's worth it to get there early - this is one of the best play areas on the Alabama Gulf Coast for both children and adults. There is more parking at Perdido Pass at Florida Point, but be prepared for some walking across the boardwalk to get to the beach. It's worth the effort. This is a beautiful area, and you will be happy that you found it.
Cotton Bayou, a Gulf State Park Beach Area, located at the intersection of Highway 182 and Highway 161, is a popular beach area, but I don't even try to park there during the busiest times of the year. During less busy times it's a very good choice. Fishing is good there. Parking is free and you can park your car very close to the beach. It also has very nice restroom and shower facilities.
Romar Beach is also a good place to escape the crowds, but one reason for that is it has limited parking. In the summer get there early to claim a parking spot. Another reason that it is less crowded is it very easy to drive past it, even if you know it is there. Romar Beach is located in Orange Beach 6.8 miles east of Highway 59 in Gulf Shores.
The Pavilion Area at Gulf State Park is another good beach that is usually less crowded. It is easy to find a place to park, partly because there is a $6 parking fee. This park is popular because of its air-conditioned restrooms, private showers, snack bar and large, shady picnic area. It is located six miles east of Highway 59.
Though it is not designated as a public beach, I like the beach at the Gulf State Park Pier. The beach rarely get crowded, there is plenty of parking, and there is shade under the pier. Fishing is very good at the pier, both from the beach and the pier.
Gulf Shores Public Beach is what you want if you are looking for a a more typical beach area. It is located at the end of Highway 59 - you can't miss it. It is within walking distance of restaurants, snack bars, and souvenir stores. There is a parking fee, but still the parking lot can still fill up early. You can park your car just a few steps from the sand.
Located just two blocks from the Gulf Shores Public Beach is a beach park at 2nd Street in Gulf Shores. Parking is free and there are restrooms, an outdoor shower and a covered pavilion with picnic tables. This is a good place to spread a towel and if the beach isn't too crowded it's a good place to fish.
Another public beach area is at 5th & 6th Street in Gulf Shores, located to the west of Highway 59. Parking is free and there is a short boardwalk leading to the beach.
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