Written by: Cindy Lane Ross
Have you ever wondered how this town ever come about? The completion of the Intracoastal Waterway in 1937 and the opening of the Gulf State Park in 1939 were both two key factors for attracting people to this unknown area with beautiful white beaches. Development started with restaurants, motels, and grocery stores, mostly attracting a summer crowd at first. The National Shrimp Festival made its debut in 1971 and alongside a few fishing rodeos throughout the year, this town got its start.
Hurricane Fredric made a direct hit in 1979, in the aftermath, development flourished with the vast array of construction of condominiums, restaurants, and shopping centers. This is the time in which the small town became the City of Gulf Shores.
Present day, you will find adventure, fun, & relaxation. This is a true slice of paradise, now attracting vacationers from around the world. The beach is 32 miles of soft sand and clear waters that stretch along the southern border of the Gulf of Mexico. The sand is mostly made by quartz grains which were washed down from the Appalachian Mountains thousands of years ago and now is known as one of the best beaches in the world. The feeling you get when your bare foot hits the sand, dipping your toes in sugar. Gulf Shores, Alabama has it all; golf, nature trails, watersports, and a plethora of adventure parks for the kids and young at heart.
Every time we drive down Hwy 59 or Hwy 182, we discover something new. This small beach town has many public beach pavilions with bathrooms & showers on site. Whether you are seeking adventure or relaxation, Gulf Shores has you covered. From deep sea fishing, art & music festivals, wedding destinations, honeymoons, beach goers, hiking, and shopping, we promise you won’t get bored.
Is one of the coolest venues on the beach for a music festival.
Coming up May 19-21, 2017
This year’s top acts:
Shaggy, Gryffin, Twenty One Pilots, Frank Ocean, Mumford & Sons, and many more!
The Shrimp Festival
This festival has been going strong since 1971 and today it is still breaking records with the huge crowds it attracts.
The Coastal Alabama Chamber has a huge impact on why this festival continues to succeed each year. Great food and some of the best artists you will find.
October 12-15, 2017
Where to play?
Alabama Gulf State Park
Located 1.5 miles from the white sand beaches, Gulf State Park Campground offers 496 improved full- hookup campsites with paved pads and 11 primitive sites. Tents are welcome on all sites. All full hookup camping pads are large enough for RVs with pullouts. Campground features 11 modern air conditioned bathhouses, campstore, laundry facilities, swimming pool with splash pad, tennis/pickle ball courts, horseshoes, volleyball, Nature Center and weekly activities.
Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail– 25 miles of paved trails for walking or biking. Rent a bike from the campstore.
Nature Center– stop by and get up close and personal with some of our local wildlife. Join us for one of our weekly nature programs.
Park Adventures- They have so much to do at Gulf State Park hat you never really need to leave the park. Kayak and paddleboard rentals, Segway tours and bike rentals to explore on the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, parasailing trips, beach service, Geocaching, Kid Cam Summer Camp and our weekly activities schedule has something for everyone.
Where to sleep?
Island Time Getaways
Located in the heart of Gulf Shores, Alabama. These condo rentals have it all; beautiful decor to make you feel at home, beach & lagoon views, pools, barbecue areas, laundry room, covered parking and centrally located at affordable rates for the perfect weekend getaway or family vacation.
Where to eat?
De Soto’s Seafood Kitchen
Voted as one of Gulf Shores Favorite Family Dining Establishments since 2000
We often eat here and all I can say is “WOW”. Fresh seafood, with a lot of flavors, and at an affordable price.
If you love sweet potatoes, “OMG”, these are the best. They are known for having the most reasonably priced family menu in town.
Full-Service Bar- Great Wine List
138 West 1st Ave Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Video courtesy of VisitALBeaches- Gulf Shores & Orange Beach “It’s a Whole Different State”
Let us know when you are ready to venture down to this beautiful area that we now call home. Stash Your Bag Travel Agency is based in Orange Beach, Alabama, which is the neighboring beach to Gulf Shores, Alabama. As a child living with my godmother on and off during the summers in Gulf Shores, I fell in love with this area at a young age. There is no place quite like it; melting pot of people, endless sidewalks, events throughout the year, never ending vacations. Come play and stay awhile.