Free Things To Do in Gulf Shores
- #1View all PhotosfreeGulf State Park#1 in Gulf ShoresBeaches, Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sports, Swimming/Pools, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sports, Swimming/Pools, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
Outdoor adventurers flock to Gulf State Park, which sits just a mile east of the public beach. Along with opportunities for swimming, fishing and paddling at Lake Shelby, the park also boasts 28 miles of trails (15 of which make up the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail) that weave throughout. Visitors can also take advantage of the park's guided tours or stop by the nature center to learn about the local flora and fauna. Budget-minded vacationers should check out the park's rental cabins or its campgrounds, while those traveling with pets can make use of the on-site dog park. Those who don't want to rough it can book a room at one of the nearby hotels.
Travelers regularly call the park beautiful and praise the clean facilities. Hikers enjoyed the park's trails and appreciate the water fountains located along the paths. Meanwhile, RVers offer rave reviews of the size of the grounds and the on-site amenities.
- #2View all Photos#2 in Gulf ShoresBeaches, Natural Wonders, Swimming/Pools, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Natural Wonders, Swimming/Pools, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
No matter the season, a visit to the beach is an absolute must. Crisp white sand and turquoise waves invite beachgoers to spend the day lazing in a chair or swimming in the Gulf of Mexico's warm waters. For those traveling in the winter months, slip off your shoes and walk along the shore.
Recent visitors loved the Gulf Shores beaches and rave about the clean, soft sand. They also appreciated the wide expanse of the shore, saying it's easy to find your own space and the beach never feels crowded.
- #3View all PhotosfreeThe Wharf#3 in Gulf ShoresCafes, Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDCafes, Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Situated in nearby Orange Beach, Alabama, The Wharf offers a family-friendly nightlife option for locals and visitors alike. The complex features dining, boutique shopping and a variety of activities and events. In addition to attractions like a Ferris wheel, a movie theater and mini-golf, The Wharf has a marina where visitors can rent boats or catch a dolphin cruise. Travelers also have the option of docking their boats at the marina.
Tourists enjoy The Wharf's atmosphere and the fact that there always seems to be something happening. Others recommend taking a sunset cruise from the marina for gorgeous views and some wildlife spotting. Travelers also say that unless you enjoy shopping, you may not find enough to do at The Wharf to stay longer than a few hours.
- #6View all Photos#6 in Gulf ShoresBeaches, Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Taking its name from the French phrase meaning "safe harbor," Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is home to a variety of stunning wildlife. Each year, migratory songbirds stop on the refuge's land to rest and eat before continuing their migration along the Alabama coastline. In addition to the various birds, Bon Secour also preserves endangered species like sea turtles and the Alabama beach mouse. To take in the wildlife, visitors can hike one of the refuge's trails, kayak or canoe through its waters or try their luck at fishing.
Past visitors praised the refuge's well-kept trails and its gorgeous scenery. Other enjoyed spotting the variety of wildlife; some were lucky enough to see alligators. In addition to sturdy walking shoes, travelers should bring plenty of sunscreen and bug spray.
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