Every year, thousands of snowbirds flock to Alabama's Gulf Coast to escape the long and dreary winter months. Coastal cities like Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer residents and visitors a sun-soaked oasis with mild, welcoming temperatures that average in the 50s and 60s from November to March.
With luxurious white sand beaches and stunning turquoise waters, the Gulf Coast offers an ideal respite for those looking to avoid the winter blues.
Things to Do in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach
The Gulf Coast has everything you need to keep your days as busy or relaxed as you like. In addition to the famed beaches, you'll find tennis courts, golf courses, day spas, fine dining, shopping, nature trails, rec centers, campsites, a vibrant nightlife, and a variety of social clubs and community events.
When you arrive, your first stop should be at one of the area's many beautiful beaches. There are numerous public access points with boardwalks, restrooms, picnic tables, and outdoor showers. There are also waterfront parks like Orange Beach Waterfront Park, which features barbecue facilities, pathways, a fishing pier, and children's playground. Gulf State Park Pavilion is a quiet beach area with sand dunes, showers, a snack bar, and two large fireplaces perfect for enjoying the beach on cooler evenings.
There are three public fishing lakes in Gulf State Park, and of course there are the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Some species in the area include blue marlin, catfish, speckled trout, red snapper, yellow fin tuna, cobia, largemouth bass, and blue crab. There are several marinas in the area, as well as companies offering fishing charters.
If you enjoy spending your time on the fairways, the Gulf Coast is home to many of the state's best golf courses. In Gulf Shores, Arnold Palmer designed the Cotton Creek and Cypress Bend courses at Craft Farms, the latter of which was given a 4 1/2 star rating by Golf Digest. Other notable courses in the region include the resort course, Gulf Shores Golf Club; the highly-rated Kiva Dunes Golf Club; the Earl Stone-designed Gulf State Park - Refuge Golf Club; the Palmer-designed Lost Key Golf Club; and the Perdido Bay Golf Club, which hosted the Pensacola Open for a decade.
Whether you're looking to stay for just a month or for a longer stint, you'll find excellent accommodations in the area. While there are an assortment of hotels and bed and breakfasts to choose from, condos are the most popular option among snowbirds and vacationers. Condos in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer a private and comfortable home base, and often feature upscale amenities like fitness facilities, heated swimming pools, saunas, and in many cases, incredible views of the water. There are also many condominiums located right on the Gulf, giving residents incredible access to both the beach and to nearby amenities.