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5 Reasons Why This Surprising Beach Destination Is Growing In Popularity


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Is there any feeling better than setting your responsibilities aside and escaping to the beach after a long winter?

While classic destinations like Miami And Hawaii are always trending, it may surprise you to hear that this southern beach town is attracting an increasing number of tourists.

When you think of Alabama, your mind may not immediately conjure images of a dreamy travel destination, but that’s why this state’s picturesque beaches are its best-kept secret.

aerial view of the coastline of gulf shores alabamaaerial view of the coastline of gulf shores alabama

Everyone’s heard of Myrtle Beach or Malibu,  but have you ever considered vacationing in Gulf Shores in Alabama?

This gorgeous spot on the Gulf Of Mexico has seen a steady increase in visitors since tourism began its pandemic recovery in 2021.

According to Gulf Shore’s CEO of Tourism, last year’s tourism numbers grew 7% the previous year and an impressive  48% from two years prior.

If you’re curious as to what’s putting this charming southern beach on the map, read on to discover why Gulf Shores should be your next oceanside getaway.

aerial view of Gulf Shores Alabama State Parkaerial view of Gulf Shores Alabama State Park

It’s An Affordable Escape

It’s safe to say that we’ve all been feeling the pressure of increasing costs on everything from bananas to flights.

Gulf Shores is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a classic beach vacation at an affordable cost.

In fact, Gulf Shores earned a spot on Home2Go’s 2024 best underrated beach destinations index, which factored affordability into its selection.

According to the index, accommodation averages at $117 a night in these beach towns, Gulf Shores included.


Stunning Natural Beauty

You don’t necessarily need to fly to Mexico or Thailand to find white sand beaches and jaw-dropping sunsets–Gulf Shores has views that rival those of more exotic tourist destinations.

This beach town nestled on the Gulf Of Mexico offers miles of sugary white coastline and warm waves to play in. 

And while you could easily spend your entire trip just relaxing in the sun and enjoying the turquoise waters, the area’s natural beauty extends beyond its most iconic beach.

It’s worth spending a day or two exploring Gulf Shores State Park, which boasts 28 miles of hiking and biking trails, with abundant opportunities to find respite in unspoiled nature.

Whether you want to spot wildlife in the marshlands or take a kayak out on Lake Shelby, you’ll find your pick of outdoor activities in this underrated state park.

Fort Morgan Beach, Gulf Shores, AlabamaFort Morgan Beach, Gulf Shores, Alabama

Year-Round Beautiful Weather

Weather is a major factor when choosing a destination; many of us take trips to fulfill our need for sunny skies and pleasant weather.

One of the factors that makes Gulf Shores so magnetic is its beautiful weather.

Late spring through fall is the best time for swimming, with daytime highs averaging in the 70s and summer temperatures climbing to the 90s.

Even better yet is the fact that Gulf Shores enjoys, on average, 223 sunny days per year.

Heron at sunrise in Orange Beach, AlabamaHeron at sunrise in Orange Beach, Alabama

It’s Less Crowded Than Its Competition

One key tourism trend emerging for 2024 is that travelers desire to trade in mega-popular destinations for lesser-known gems.

And while Gulf Shores isn’t exactly off-path, you’ll find less development and crowds here than you would in popular beach alternatives.

If you’re looking for a quieter, more laid-back vibe for your beach trip, Gulf Shores may be just what you need.

Spring and fall are the best times to visit Gulf Shores to score the best deals on hotels and enjoy quieter beaches.

gulf shores alabamagulf shores alabama

There’s Something Here For Every Type Of Traveler

One of the great things about Gulf Shores is that there is something here to interest any kind of traveler. 

Traveling with the whole family? There’s plenty to keep kids entertained, from outdoor activities to the local zoo.

If you’re the adventurous type, the area has parasailing, hiking, kayaking, and camping opportunities.

Gulf Shores also plays host to a number of popular events and festivals each year, including Hangout Music Festival every May.

This iconic festival attracts thousands to the gulf and has brought some of the biggest names in music, helping to put this underrated destination on the map.


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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


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