10 Things to Do in Gulf Shores That You Shouldn't Miss

February 10, 2018 Nicolette Lion

This resort community is known for its bright white beaches and soothing warm water. Daytime activities include scenic cruises, dolphin-watching and hiking. A great place for families, Gulf Shores has The Track, a family recreation center with bumper boats, and also the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.
Restaurants in Gulf Shores

1. Gulf Shores Welcome Center

3459 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542-2717 +1 800-745-7263
Excellent
82%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 383 reviews

Gulf Shores Welcome Center

Both welcome centers are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the summer season (mid-May through mid-August), the center hours are extended to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and the weekend hours change to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The centers are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Reviewed By goseedo - South Dakota

Need a condo? Restaurant recommendation? Event details? Parking solution? Directions to shopping? Beach rules? Rainy day ideas? If you've got the question, the Welcome Center staff have the answer. Stop on your way into town, pick up brochures and coupons, use the very clean restrooms,...MoreThank you for your kind words. We try to assist in any way that we can. Be sure to stop again the next time you visit.

2. Billy's Seafood

County Road 10 West, Bon Secour, AL 36511 +1 251-949-6288
Excellent
81%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 81 reviews

Billy's Seafood

Reviewed By Kevin W - Clinton, Mississippi

When visiting the Gulf Shore area we always buy from Billy's. Great pricing and great seafood. The employees are very helpful and know what they are talking about. We don not shop anywhere else for our fresh seafood.

3. Gulf State Park

20115 State Highway 135, Gulf Shores, AL 36542-4501
Excellent
72%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Gulf State Park

Gulf State Park's two miles of beaches greet you with plenty of white sun-kissed sand, surging surf, seagulls and sea shells, but there is more than sand and surf to sink your toes into. Inside Gulf State Park there is a championship golf course, new beach pavilion, rental cottages, tennis courts, camp sites, hiking trails, Zip Line, and a fishing pier that is 20-feet wide and extends 1,512 feet into the Gulf. This and much more make Gulf State Park the perfect in-state vacation or out-of-state adventure.

Reviewed By GANixonfamily

Our family likes to visit state and federal parks and this park is by far one of the best that we have ever been to! The beach area is clean and patrolled routinely. There is no party crowd and it is only families on the...MoreLove our soft white sand! Thanks so much for visiting and now that we are your favorite, come back and see us soon!

4. Orange Beach Welcome Center

23685 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561-6405 +1 800-745-7263
Excellent
82%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 217 reviews

Orange Beach Welcome Center

Both welcome centers are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the summer season (mid-May through mid-August), the center hours are extended to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and the weekend hours change to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The centers are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Reviewed By Diane S - Halifax, Canada

Wanted to see an NCAA men's basketball game, the staff were very helpful in making this possible. A lot of interesting brochures and maps which were helpful. A must stop if visiting this area.We are glad we could help,& good luck to your team. Please be sure to stop back by if you need anything else as we are here seven days a week.

5. Gulf Shores Public Beach

W Gulf PL, Gulf Shores, AL 36542 +1 251-968-2040
Excellent
75%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 255 reviews

Gulf Shores Public Beach

Reviewed By Mike O - Roanoke, Virginia

This was our first trip to the Gulf and we were highly impressed by how clean and well maintained the beach was. During our stay in one of the ocean front condos we routinely looked from our balcony to and saw vehicles patrolling the beach, workers screening the sand, workers picking up litter and driftwood, and life guards on duty. During our daily beach walks we repeatedly covered the same 10 miles of shoreline, and we never saw any litter. Well done.

6. Gulf State Park Fishing Pier

20115 State Highway 135, Gulf Shores, AL 36542-4501 +1 251-948-7275
Excellent
64%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 883 reviews

Gulf State Park Fishing Pier

Reviewed By Holly R

The longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s worth a visit. They offer fishing passes, or a small admission enables you to walk the pier for a short time, or all day. I could just sit and people watch, and of course keep an...MoreThank you for the review. We are glad you enjoyed your visit. Hope to see you again!

7. Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Orange Beach, AL 36561 981-1063
Excellent
79%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 374 reviews

Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Reviewed By Chrissy K

Gorgeous place to walk! Several trails so make sure you get a map to find the one that fits your time frame. Lots of areas with shade at the beginning of the trail. Great for biking, jogging and walking. Very safe.

8. Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

12295 State Highway 180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542-8203 +1 251-540-7720
Excellent
59%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 215 reviews

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

A 6,000-acre nature preserve with a number of endangered species.

Reviewed By Mike O - Roanoke, Virginia

I visited specifically to watch birds, and found virtually none during my 7-11AM walk on March 17. Although disappointing, I did enjoy solitude while walking. I parked at the Noble Street trailhead; their was room for 3-4 cars. I then made a loop by following the Gator Lake Trail east and the Pine Branch trail south to the Gulf, by walking west along the shoreline, and by walking north along Noble Street back to my car. Note that the trails traverse through soft sand.

9. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

1204 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542-5908 +1 251-968-5731
Excellent
57%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is home to more than 500 exotic animals including lions, tigers, bears, macaws, reptiles and more. It also features a seasonal petting zoo, animal encounters and interactive animal shows during the spring and summer months.

Reviewed By TravelerG8 - Appleton, Wisconsin

Went during busy spring break time, with the key tip to arrive as close to opening as possible since the parking lot is small. Many other families visiting due to cool conditions, so arriving an hour after opening resulted in lines due to capacity. Youngest liked the additional baby kangaroo encounter, which was limited but not something you get to do at other zoos.

10. The Wharf

23101 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561-5829 +1 251-224-1000
Excellent
43%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

The Wharf

Reviewed By James C

We stumbled across the wharf while out for my wife's birthday. She wanted a new pair of yellow box sandals and found a store here that sold them. We were very impressed. Some really cool boutiques and resturants, a dessert shop and a coffee house however they closed early (6pm on a Wednesday night) that is the only reason I gave it 4 stars. While inside one of the only stores still open I heard a loud comotion outside...after a few moments of trying to figure out what was goin on the clerk told me it was the light show......awesome!!! We will be back with the kids to check out the arcade and Ferris wheel.

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