A weekend in Gulf Shores, Alabama means sun, sand and fun! Gulf Shores, Alabama is the perfect place for a family vacation or weekend escape. Read about my favorite things to do and see on Alabama’s white sand beaches!
A few weekends ago, I visited Gulf Shores, Alabama for the weekend. I honestly didn’t know what to expect because I never visited Gulf Shores in the past. I always have high expectations about the places that I visit so when a destination exceeds my expectations, I know that I need to share it with you. I did many things while I was in Gulf Shores and today I am sharing with you a few of my favorite things.
I love Gulf Shores, Alabama because of the endless outdoor activities and fresh Gulf seafood. Are you visiting Gulf Shores this summer or are you considering a visit to the area? Read on for my favorite things to see, do and eat.
(1) Hop on a bike and ride the Backcountry Trail through Gulf State Park
I love starting my day with a little exercise. Seven trails provide over 15 miles of trails to explore marshlands and ride among canopy trees. Gulf State Park is a beautiful park with great facilities, camping and more. You can rent a bike or bring your own. Keep your eyes open for any wildlife that you spot along the trail. I saw a few baby alligators and numerous birds. A bike ride is a great way to start the day and burn a few extra calories to make room for all of the delicious Gulf seafood.
(2) Enjoy lunch at The Beach House Kitchen and Cocktails
I always love to find the best local restaurants with the freshest ingredients. The Beach House Kitchen and Cocktails is my favorite place to eat in Gulf Shores. It is relatively new, casual and unassuming, but the food is fresh and flavorful. I can barely talk about this place without drooling. I would drive all the way to Gulf Shores just for their Blackened Fish Tacos. With other dishes such as Crawfish Mac & Cheese, Coconut Shrimp and locally made Banana Pudding Ice Cream, you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. This restaurant is definitely a must-do on a trip to Gulf Shores.
(3) Relax on the beach
Gulf Shores is a beach destination so you need to dip your toes in the water at least once. Long, wide sugar-white beaches line the coast for 32 miles. I’ll be honest, I was really surprised to see that the beaches in Gulf Shores were more beautiful than I expected. As a Florida girl, I have been to my fair share of beaches and few compete with the beautiful beaches in Florida. But let me tell you, the beaches in Gulf Shores are beautiful, soft and white. Spending at least an afternoon on the beach is a must-do for any trip to Gulf Shores.
(4) Nature Cruise on Wolf Bay
In Gulf Shores you can spend all day outside. Wildlife is everywhere. From boating in the ocean to exploring the areas back bays, there is never a shortage of places to see and explore. I highly recommend taking a nature cruise through the waterways. I learned all about the Gulf coast fishing industry, including oysters, blue crab and shrimp. Have you ever caught your own shrimp to eat? Not only is the cruise a fun way to spend the day, it is also a great educational experience for both kids and adults.
(5) Hang out at The Hangout Restaurant
Little did I know beforehand, but The Hangout is the place to be in Gulf Shores. Not only do they host the Hangout Music Fest in May, but the restaurant has great food and beautiful ocean views. With a stage, fire pit, games and huge sandpit, kids and adults are entertained year round. Order some peel-and-eat shrimp or bite into a huge burger.
(6) Enjoy a boat ride or rent a paddle board on the Bayou
The weather was absolutely gorgeous the weekend that I was in Gulf Shores. And because I couldn’t get enough of the water, I spent some time exploring the areas bayous, bays and intercostal waters. Take a ride on a powerboat or rent a paddle board and look for dolphins as you enjoy the beautiful emerald green water.
(7) Taste local gulf seafood
Be adventurous. Try new things. Everywhere I travel, I always try to sample the areas best creations. Lionfish was on the menu in Gulf Shores so I tried lionfish ceviche. Lionfish is a responsible and sustainable option because they are invasive to the Atlantic and Caribbean waters. Coast Restaurant at The Beach Club and Voyagers at Perdido Beach Resort are two other restaurants that I really enjoy in Gulf Shores.
Top 3 reasons to visit Gulf Shores, Alabama:
- Endless outdoor activities – from bike riding and fishing to ziplining and boating, Gulf Shores has endless outdoor activities that the entire family will love.
- Fresh Gulf Seafood – in my opinion, few places are worth visiting unless they have good food. There is no shortage of good food in Gulf Shores.
- Family friendly – Gulf Shores, Alabama has something for everyone. Explore a few of my favorite things to do, see and eat!
Thanks to the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism for inviting me to explore the area. As always, all opinions are my own.