With 32 miles of soft white sand beaches and warm turquoise water, Gulf Shores is undoubtedly the most idyllic beach getaway on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Beach activities abound, including wildlife kayak tours, swimming, and snorkeling. But go beyond the beach on your next family vacation and you’ll find so much more. Go fishing off Gulf State Park Pier, explore the remnants of the historic Fort Morgan, or spend hours shopping, dining, and going to open-air concerts at the Wharf in nearby Orange Beach. Relax after a day of sun-kissed fun at a beachfront condo rental with a lazy river or a colorful pet-friendly beach house rental where you’ll wake up to stunning Gulf views. It’s easy to see why so many fall in love with this seaside town. Find your perfect Gulf Shores escape today to make the most of your next beach vacation.

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Gulf Shores travel guide

Let us help you plan your perfect Gulf Shores vacation. Our travel guide highlights things to do, places to see, favorite vacation rental amenities in Gulf Shores, and more.

Nearby attractions

Frequently asked questions

Is Gulf Shores or Orange Beach better?

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach—only a 15-minute drive apart—are equally beautiful destinations on the Alabama Gulf Coast but tend to attract different travelers. Families are drawn to Gulf Shores for its pedestrian-friendly, small-town vibe and kid-friendly activities like the Gulf Coast Zoo and Waterville USA. Orange Beach offers a more modern and upscale experience, with high-rise condo rentals and shopping, golf, and entertainment that require some driving.

Are dogs allowed on the beach in Gulf Shores?

Dogs are not allowed on any beaches in Gulf Shores or any Gulf Shores Public Beach areas. However, pet owners can take their four-legged friends to the Gulf Shores Dog Park to enjoy the outdoors.

When is the best time to visit Gulf Shores, Alabama?

The best time to visit Gulf Shores is in the spring between March to May and fall from October to November. By traveling during these months, you’ll avoid the summer crowds, while still getting to enjoy the warm Gulf waters and temperatures. You’ll also avoid peak hurricane season, which typically runs from August to September.

What are some can't-miss attractions when vacationing in Gulf Shores?

  • - Gulf State Park: Hike or cycle along the trails to spot wildlife including alligators. Fish from the pier or relax on the beach. Play golf at the championship course or get hands-on at the nature center with telescope viewing and animal demonstrations.
  • - Fort Morgan: Step back into Alabama's past at this historic site. Take a self-guided or guided tour to see the fort's remnants and explore its nooks and crannies. Visit the museum and access the dog-friendly beach nearby.
  • - Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo: Marvel at the diverse animal species in this small zoo, including lions, leopards, bears, and primates. Enjoy up-close animal encounters and educational experiences.

How many rentals are available in Gulf Shores?

There are 6,021 vacation rentals available in Gulf Shores across several booking partners.

What is the price range for rentals in Gulf Shores?

Vacation rentals in Gulf Shores have a price range between $43-$9,999. The average price for rentals in Gulf Shores is $168 per night.

What are the most popular vacation rental amenities in Gulf Shores?

  • Air Conditioner
  • Kitchen / Kitchenette
  • TV

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