Gulf Shores, Alabama: White Sand, Warm Water, and Music Galore

When someone utters the word “Alabama” most people think of the Crimson Tide—a juggernaut college football team that has won countless national championships. If you’re not a sports aficionado—never fear. The state of Alabama still has plenty to offer. The coast of Alabama is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. Gulf Shores, Alabama features miles of white sandy beaches, emerald green water that is as warm as a freshly drawn bath, and an annual music festival that attracts some of the most illustrious names in music.

If you have ever longed for a day at the beach only to be greeted by frigid water that is too cold to enjoy—a trip to Gulf Shores is an absolute must. Any beach bum will tell you that the warm waters of Gulf Shores are absolute perfection. Travelers are welcome to lounge under an umbrella at one of several public beaches. Visitors can spend the day diving for sand dollars, bobbing up and down in the surf, or sipping on an ice cold beer as the waves roll in and out.

Gulf Shores is home to countless restaurants that serve fresh seafood, several lively bars, and an annual music festival called Hangout Fest which has become increasingly popular in recent years. Hangout Fest attendees gather on a white sandy beach and listen to artists such as The Weekend, Foo Fighters, and Thundercat as the moon rises over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Hangout Fest even offers a shuttle to and from the festival so that revelers don’t have to worry about parking or potentially driving while intoxicated.

Sand dunes in Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA

Sand dunes in Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama, USA
Photo by

Music lovers can also head to nearby Flora-Bama—a legendary beach bar located on the border of Alabama and Florida—for a night of food, music, and hijinks that could only happen in Florida. Flora-Bama has been in operation since 1964, but expanded significantly after it was rebuilt in the wake of damage sustained from hurricane Ivan in 2004. Flora-Bama currently features 5 stages that host nightly live music, 3 restaurants, and a marina where visitors can rent small boats and jet skis. Flora-Bama visitors are welcome to boat, paddle board, or swim up to the bar’s entrance.

If you’re feeling the spirit after a weekend spent drinking and carousing, Flora-Bama is also home to a weekly church service where visitors can worship on the water. Every Sunday, beach bums in shorts and t-shirts shuffle into the tent section of Flora-Bama for Bible based teachings. If church isn’t your scene, feel free to visit the Flora-Bama marina so that you can rent a jet ski and zip around the Gulf of Mexico from 9 AM until noon on Sunday.

Gulf Shores, Alabama sunrise

Gulf Shores, Alabama sunrise
Photo by Jeff/Flickr

If you’re searching for a relaxing beach vacation that is equal parts lounging on a white sandy beach, frolicking in warm water, and enjoying memorable live music—Gulf Shores, Alabama is the ideal spot for you. Plush, affordable accommodations equipped with swimming pools. balconies, and sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico are plentiful.


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