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The Best Beaches on the Gulf of Mexico Are in…. Alabama?

The Best Beaches on the Gulf of Mexico Are in…. Alabama?

You know how you look at a brochure of a place, and then you get there and wonder where they REALLY took the photos?  That’s happen more than a few times to me and because of that I usually arrive at a new destination with low expectations.  This was my first time in Alabama, and I expected to find the beaches to be nice but not exceptional.

Whoa.  I was so wrong.

The Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area in Alabama truly has sugar sand beaches.  The sand is gorgeous!  It has the best quality beaches I’ve seen on the Gulf of Mexico, including Florida. Even their less used beaches were clean and full of soft white sand.

There is a lot to this area beyond the beaches (like the Gulf Coast Zoo where I got to hug a kangaroo and a lemur tried to eat my camera).  I still have a lot to tell you about it, including about the food.  THE GLORIOUS SEAFOOD!

But first, I wanted you to see these beaches.

Palm trees on Alabama Beach

Bird tracks on Alabama Beach Sand

Children playing on an Alabama Beach

Alabama Beach Sunset in Gulf Shores

Girl dancing in the sand on a beach at sunset in Alabama

After sunset driftwood on Alabama beach

Harvest Moon over Alabama Beach

Sunrise over beach castle sand

Visit Alabama’s Beaches Website

Disclosure : During our visit, we were guests of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. All the opinions, excitement and sand dancing are ours alone!

  1. Cherith Fluker 20 October, 2013

    Beautiful pictures!

    • Amy Moore 20 October, 2013

      Thank you! It is a beautiful place.

  2. ann 20 October, 2013

    What lovely photos of my SWEET HOME ALABAMA – it’s wonderful to read “good” things about my home state & especially our beaches. There truly is a lot to enjoy when you visit ~~~ glad you came & hope you return soon.

    • Amy Moore 21 October, 2013

      I didn’t even get into the rest of the state, Ann. I would love to visit Mobile, and then go further north into the heart of Alabama and explore!

  3. beachnriver 22 October, 2013

    I love to read such candid reactions from travel writers visiting Gulf Shores/the Alabama Gulf Coast for the first time.

    That you said, ” I usually arrive at a new destination with low expectations” … ” I expected to find the beaches to be nice but not exceptional” is a pretty common reaction of many folks who visit for the first time.

    Your photos are SPECTACULAR and speak volumes of the beauty of the beach, sand and sunsets.

    I encourage you and other folks who visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL to also take a look at some fun activities “off the beach.”

    I realize you were a guest of the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Tourism, but maybe you’ll return to discover other spectacular sights and sounds like: paddling so close to water you can hear the dolphins blow when they calmly swim by; or experience your heart skip a beat as a mullet leaps from the river and pelican or osprey dive bomb for food directly in front of you .

    Can you imagine the glee in children’s faces when they realize they can almost reach out and touch a turtle the size of a boat as it crawls beneath them in crystal clear water with a white sandy beach below?

    Judging by your beach reaction I’m sure you’d be awed.

    I am daily in awe — and I live here!

    I feel what makes the Gulf Shores, Alabama area so unique is because of the proximity to such wonderful cities like Mobile — the birthplace of Mardi Gras celebrations — and Pensacola, Fl the oldest city in the U.S.

    Daytrips and other experiences can be reached in minutes as opposed to hours — like the beautiful kayak trails offered in Foley — and other spectacular walking/biking trails and parks available in Ft. Morgan, Fairhope, Daphne and Spanish Fort .

    The more folks can discover treasures “off the beach,” I feel, will further cement in one’s mind that a “Gulf Shores/Orange Beach” vacation choice is one of the best “vacation” options around.

    • Amy Moore 23 October, 2013

      Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, there was a lot to do beyond the beaches, and I’d really like to go back to explore even more. The experiences you mention only make me sure of that!

  4. Muza-chan 24 October, 2013

    Great photos 🙂

  5. Marcia 24 October, 2013

    It’s the one thing I’ve heard about Alabama that absolutely knocked me back. I’m really surprised they don’t market their beaches more. I’ve never seen an ad in print or TV about their spectacular beaches.

  6. Leigh 24 October, 2013

    Alabama is one of the few states I haven’t visited buy after seeing those photos I think I’d take Alabama beaches over those of Florida. They didn’t look crowded either.

  7. Marisol@TravelingSolemates 24 October, 2013


  8. Marisol@TravelingSolemates 24 October, 2013

    Whoa…this is Alabama? It looks breathtaking. I haven’t been to AL and it wasn’t on my top list, but I’m now more curious about it. Your photos are stunning, specially the sunset shots.

  9. Michele {Malaysian Meanders} 30 October, 2013

    I have some friends who rave about Alabama, but I didn’t understand what was the appeal of driving all the way there instead of Galveston. Now that I’ve seen your photos, I can see why they love it. Those pictures with the sunbursts are especially beautiful.

    • Amy Moore 30 October, 2013

      We flew, but I think a roadtrip there would be fun. Take some time to get there, some time to get back and beautiful beaches in the middle. I actually like Galveston, but it was in a totally different ballpark…

  10. Rosey 6 November, 2013

    Surprises like that are always welcome and I love the shot when it’s getting dark!!

  11. Roxanne Farris 8 April, 2014

    I grew up right next door on the Gulf Coast of MS….another great area to visit! The Alabama beaches of Dauphin Island and Gulf Shores are where I spent many days……The Gulf Coast is a wonderful place although few people know how great it is! Thank you for highlighting some of what it has to offer!