Gulf State Park


If you're looking for a more natural beach experience in Gulf Shores, consider Gulf State Park. There are 2 miles of beach here, as well as a nature center (9am to 4pm Monday to Friday), a dog park and roughly 25 miles of hiking and cycling trails – keep an eye peeled for gators.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Alabama attractions

1. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

1.45 MILES

There are over 500 animals at this zoo, including tigers, lions, bears and wolves. The exhibits are well kept and attempt to copy animals' natural…

2. Gulf Shores Main Public Beach

1.47 MILES

This is the most commercial beach-y bar in greater Gulf Shores. You'll find open-air pavilions, picnic areas, volleyball nets, and during the summer, a…

3. Alabama Point Beach

6.77 MILES

Part of Gulf State Park, this beach, located just west of the Florida border, is usually a little more quiet than other local stretches of sand. It's…

4. Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

8.99 MILES

Centuries ago, salt-lashed oak forest, inundated coastal prairie and great quilts of sawgrass covered the Gulf Coast. Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge…

5. Perdido Key State Park

12.39 MILES

This alluring coastal state park protects the 247-acre barrier island of the same name, a windblown, sand-strewn landscape of rolling dunes, tufts of…

7. Big Lagoon State Park

16.34 MILES

Get a taste of the wilds on the Panhandle at Big Lagoon, a quilt of salt marshes, pine forest, bays, ponds and beaches, all interconnected by boardwalks…

8. Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park

17.74 MILES

This fascinating park preserves ecosystems that run from wet prairie to sandy shoreline to the eponymous Tarkiln Bayou, an eerie, alluring spill of dark…