Explore The Beach & Other Natural Wonders Of Gulf State Park

gulf state park gulf shores

Beaches, a lake, a fishing pier, a golf course interwoven into the natural landscape are a few of the things you’ll find at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

While vacationing in your gulf-front condo in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach or Perdido Key, make time to explore the beautiful beaches and the other wonders of Gulf State Park.

And, while the park is known for its two miles of white-sand beaches fronting the Gulf of Mexico, it also boasts a new dog pond, a championship golf course, a covered beach pavilion, tennis courts, hiking trails, and a fishing pier that is 20-feet wide and extends 1,512 feet into the Gulf.

Beach & Fish

The beaches of Gulf State Park are some of the most beautiful ones in the world, boasting sugar-white sand and emerald-green waters. Park at the pavilion for only $5 and enjoy the convenience of restrooms, showers and a covered picnic area.

Nearby, the Gulf State Park Pier is a fishing hotspot for vacationers and local residents. Bring the family and fish from the 20-foot-wide, 1,512-foot long pier. The only thing you need to remember is to make sure that you have your fishing license, which can be purchased at the pier or online before you arrive.

Cotton Bayou Beach is another public beach nearby Gulf State Park. It is 5.1 miles east of Alabama Hwy. 59 and offers a limited amount of free parking. The restrooms, outdoor showers and parking area are conveniently close to the beach, so no need to lug all that heavy beach equipment too far!

Another state park beach option is Alabama/Florida Point, where parking is free, and there are miles of beaches to enjoy the sun and surf. A picnic area, outside showers, and restrooms are located on site.


Combining the natural scenery of Gulf State Park and the design of Earl Stone, Gulf State Park’s 18-hole championship golf course offers an exceptional experience and the natural beauty found only on the Alabama Gulf Coast.Opened in 1974, the Refuge Golf Course, part of the Refuge Golf Club & Grill, boasts 6,593 yards of landscaped courses, a driving range, a putting green, a pro shop, and the convenient Refuge Grill.

Opened in 1974, the Refuge Golf Course, part of the Refuge Golf Club & Grill, boasts 6,593 yards of landscaped courses, a driving range, a putting green, a pro shop, and the convenient Refuge Grill.

Bring The Pup

While most Gulf Coast beaches do not permit dogs, the new Dog Pond at Lake Shelby is a great place for your puppy to stretch his legs.

Enjoy the Dog Pond from 8 a.m. to sunset. If you want to bring your dog along as you explore the nature trails, the park welcomes you to do so as long as he’s on a leash.

Find dog-friendly vacation rentals.

Nature Center & Trails

Snakes, opossum and turtles are just a few of the animals you might see at the Gulf State Park’s Nature Center and also on a hike through the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail system.

The Nature Center is a living museum with animals and plants that call the Gulf Coast home and was built to inspire visitors to care about the Gulf Coast environment and its animal residents. The Nature Center also offers fun and interactive programs like guided nature walks.

Kristal from Indiana commented after her stay at Royal Palms that her family enjoyed the location near the state park, condo had everything they were looking for and it wasn’t crowded.

Parker J. of Ashland, Mo., said they visited for a month last February not only to escape the cold but also to “bike the trails at the Gulf State Park.”

Gulf State Park I Do’s

The Gulf Coast is an amazing place to stage weddings, receptions and honeymoons. Gulf State Parkoffers a number of locations suitable for wedding ceremonies and receptions, including the Gulf State Park Pavilion. Suitable for 50 or 200 guests, the pavilion is located directly on the beach and provides a covered venue with tables and plenty of room for celebration.

Meyer Vacation Rentals is a terrific resource for those planning a Gulf Coast wedding. Find a list of wedding-friendly houses, photographers, event planning services, caterers, rental companies and more service providers whose goal is to make your day even more special.

Visit Gulf State Park from your a four-bedroom beach house or a three-bedroom vacation rental condo.


Best Pools In Gulf Shores

Ask anyone why they like swimming pools, and you’ll get a variety of answers. It’s refreshing. You can exercise without putting stress on your joints and muscles. It’s a great way to relax. It’s fun.

Meyer Vacation Rentals offers more than 1,000 beach condos with pool access in the coastal communities of Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach and Perdido Key, giving guests the opportunity to take full advantage of the benefits of swimming.

Some of the resort-style pools Meyer guests can enjoy on vacation feature lazy rivers, slides, concession areas and more. In addition, they are often located adjacent to other on-site amenities such as indoor pools, children’s pools, hot tubs, fitness rooms and more.

Here are just a few Meyer beach properties with super fun pools:

Phoenix On The Bay

Phoenix on the BayWith a giant Phoenix mosaic embellishing the bottom, one of Phoenix on the Bay’spools not only offers a refreshing respite, but it is also eye-catching.
This bright, clear pool is surrounded by a slow-moving lazy river that inspires visitors to grab a float and hop in for a relaxing spin around the courtyard.

A twisty yet inviting slide adds a little excitement for kids of all ages. A children’s pool rounds out the options.

Pools are located near amenities such as grilling stations, picnic tables and green spaces.

An indoor pool flanked by floor-to-ceiling glass windows means guests can swim regardless of weather or time of year.

Check availability at Phoenix on the Bay.

Caribe, The Resort

Caribe ResortBeautiful blue water surrounds you atCaribe, The Resort in Orange Beach. The front of the resort-styled property faces the Perdido Pass area, while the back overlooks Old River and the Intracoastal Canal Waterway.

Caribe offers more than 40,000 square feet of pool options: a lazy river, zero entry pools, kids’ pools, layered pools and lots of slides, all of which are surrounded by large comfortable decks and numerous hot tubs.

Check availability at Caribe, The Resort.

Turquoise Place

Turquoise PlaceWith five swimming pools and three indoor hot tubs, there is never a shortage of places at Turquoise Place to enjoy the water.

The complex, located in Orange Beach, features two heated indoor pools, a children’s pool, an outdoor pool and a zero-entry, seasonally heated outdoor pool. In addition, a 450-foot lazy river invites guests to kick back and go with the flow!

A poolside bar and grill offers the convenience of a frosty beverage and a bite to eat at any time.

The lazy river is surrounded by nearly a half an acre of sun deck and is located adjacent to a children’s playground.

Check availability at Turquoise Place.

Phoenix West II

Phoenix West IIWhen you vacation at Phoenix West II in Orange Beach, swimming at one of the pools is a must.

There is a large outdoor pool, an expansive and winding lazy river with a water slide, a children’s pool and a hot tub. An indoor pool provides a perfect break from the sunshine.

Gail F. of Chattanooga, Tennessee, said the pools at Phoenix West II were a big hit with her family. “We needed a large, spacious and comfortable property to accommodate three families. The space was amazing with plenty of room for kids and family. We especially enjoyed the two living areas and dining room. The pools and lazy river were a hit every family member. The beach and weather could not have been more beautiful. Thanks for a lovely respite away from reality. We are definitely coming back!”

Check availability at Phoenix West II.

Oasis At The Wharf

Oasis at the WharfThe Oasis Pool at The Wharf is a tropical paradise in the middle of a main street atmosphere.

There are three pools, including a zero-entry wave pool, a lagoon pool, a children’s area, a lazy river, waterfalls, a whirlpool spa, sandy beaches, a hammock island with rustling palms, and a grill to purchase snacks, meals and cold beverages.

If you’re staying at The Wharf, the Oasis is the perfect way to enjoy a tropical island atmosphere.

Check availability at The Wharf.

Beach Club

Beach ClubA coastal retreat, Beach Club, located in the quiet and scenic Fort Morgan area, spans more than 86 acres of private beaches and natural surroundings. Tucked into those natural surroundings are numerous pools, ranging from those located at your specific complex to those at the Clubhouse.

The Clubhouse pools include a heated indoor pool, where you might pick up a morning fitness class; an outdoor pool heated seasonally during March and April; a children’s pool; and a hot tub.

The Clubhouse is also where you’ll find the spa, the Coast Restaurant, a fitness center, a game room, and more amenities. A daily resort fee provides access to the Clubhouse.

In all, there are four outdoor pools, four hot tubs, and a poolside bar and grill at Beach Club.

Check availability at Beach Club.

50 Years Of Fun In The Sun

Meyer Vacation Rentals has been helping families create forever memories at cool pools across the Gulf Coast since 1967.

Check availability at vacation properties with pool access.

Celebrate Memorial Day at the Beach

boy holding flag on beach

Spend Memorial Day weekend on the Gulf Coast with Meyer Vacation Rentals!

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff of summer. Have you found yourself planning family trips and outdoor events? If a long weekend on the beach appeals to your sentiments, then you are not alone. Thousands of sun-hungry visitors and locals alike will flock to the shoreline of area beaches and their corresponding deep waters. Where will your plans take you? If you’re heading to Alabama or the NW Florida Gulf Coast, then we have a few suggestions to add to your itinerary.

Fort Morgan Memorial Day Tribute

We can’t think of a more creative way to spend your Memorial Day holiday than the Memorial Day Tribute at historic Fort Morgan. Go back in time, Monday, May 26, with historical interpreters and live demonstrations throughout the day. You can even participate if you’d like! Historical interpreters, dressed in period uniforms of the United States Army from different eras of the fort’s occupation, will conduct special guided tours of the fortification throughout the day. Also, artillery, small arms, and other demonstrations will show the complexities that have faced the military garrisons at Fort Morgan.

Fort Morgan was built after the War of 1812 but is best known for its part in protecting, or attempting to protect, the Mobile Bay ship channel during the Civil War. On August 5, 1864, when Union Admiral D. G. Farragut led his fleet past the guns of the fort and into the bay with the loss of only one ship, we recall his famous quote of “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” The Memorial Day Tribute is from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the fort, located at 51 State Highway 180 West, Gulf Shores, Ala. 36542 (very end of Fort Morgan Road, past the ferry). Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children 6-12. Fort Morgan’s phone number is 251-540-7127 and you can also find more information at their website.

Celebrations at the Wharf

Saturday, May 24 starts the 100 Days of Summer Kick-Off at The Wharf. Celebrated country artist Dylan Scott will perform, starting at 6:30 at Main Street at The Wharf. The Pepsi Beach Ball Drop at 8 p.m. will feature 2,000 inflated beach balls bouncing around throughout the crowd. After the ball drop, the 2014 premier of SPECTRA, The Wharf’s Sound and Light Spectacular will continue the entertainment. And that’s not all! Sunday, May 25 at 7 p.m., classic rock legends Foreigner, Styx and former Eagles member Don Felder will be serenading Orange Beach with their Soundtrack of Summer tour. Bring your family and enjoy the open air amphitheater located waterfront near the Wharf Marina.

The 10th Annual LuluPalooza

Another fun, family-friendly event happening Memorial Day weekend is LuluPalooza. Located right on the Intracoastal Waterway at Lucy Buffet’s famous Lulu’s restaurant, LuluPalooza is always fun and friendly. Details on this event have not been announced, but it will be taking place all-day Saturday, May 24. Lulu brings the best regional funk, blues, soul and rock and roll, so this is a party you won’t want to miss!

Gulf State Park Luau

It’s the 75th anniversary of the Alabama State Park system and the Year of Alabama State Parks, so expect lots of fun activities at Gulf State Park this year. They started off with a beach bonfire and fireworks celebration on New Year’s Eve, and for Memorial Day, they are hosting a traditional Hawaiian luau! Fire dancers, hula dancers and delicious food will entertain and delight anyone lucky enough to be at this celebration.

Beach and Waterfront Accommodations

If you’d like to spend Memorial Day weekend somewhere on the Alabama or Florida Gulf Coast, then check out our large selection of vacation rentals including both gulf-front and waterfront condos and beach houses throughout Perdido Key, Fla., Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, and Fairhope, Ala. We are filling up very fast, so book now for the best selection! We can be reached 24/7 with any questions or concerns at 888-463-8016.

Back-to-School Beach Bash

You may not know it by the weather, but summer is coming to an end. At least it is for students and their families. Rather than bidding the season a sad farewell, come celebrate it with free live music and s’mores at the beach!

smores, s'mores, beach bash, back to school, gulf shores, alabama

Free s’mores and live music on the beach! Bring your family to celebrate the end of summer at Gulf Shores Public Beach on Friday, August 10, 2012.

This Saturday, August 18, the City of Gulf Shores will host the second annual Beach Bash. Starting at 5 p.m., it won’t be hard to find the activity at the west end of the public beach. You’ll see campfires surrounded by folks of all ages creating and savoring (or gobbling) toasty, melty, oh-so-good s’mores. And others will be enjoying shaved ice.

With all that extra energy from the treats, you and the kids will have a blast dancing to the music played by DJ Shawn Weaver.

Send the season out with a simply yummy event. Round up your beach blankets and chairs, a cooler of cold beverages, and your family and friends, then relish the final evenings of relaxation before school activities kick into gear.

How about celebrating even bigger with a last-minute back-to-school beach getaway? When you stay by August 25 and pay for 4 nights, you’ll get two more nights FREE! Check out the details, then start packing for some fabulous end-of-season bonding with your family.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Vacation Rentals on TwitterFacebook and MySpace.

Big Game at the Beach

Think ahead to February 5, 2012. It’s the height of the winter season. You need to escape to the beach for a bit of warmth, a change of pace, relaxation . . . and football.

Turquoise Place 706C, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Alabama, beach

Imagine watching the biggest football game of the year while looking out over the beach. Meyer Vacation Rentals can help make that happen for you!

That combination may not be top of mind, but why not? On Super Bowl Sunday, wouldn’t you love to chuckle at the idea of parkas, hats and gloves to get to and from the stadium as you admire the beach view from your condo?

Let us help you make the decision by sweetening the pot with FREE nights. Pay for 2, 3 or 4 nights in a condo and get an extra night free, or book a house for 3 or 4 nights to get another night free. Better yet, come enjoy the beach life for a week—pay for 5 nights in either a house or condo, and we’ll give you TWO more free nights! (Even if you can’t stay the extra nights, you can use those as a late check in or check out.) You’ll find the details at our Lazy Winter Special page.

If you’d like to watch the big game among a cheering crowd AND play some games (how about a grand prize of $5000?), join the folks at The Hangout for their Super Bowl Sunday party. The first 200 people in the door an hour before kickoff will receive free tailgating food, and the regular menu also will be available.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on TwitterFacebook and MySpace.

Ben Sollee at The Hangout

Which of these things doesn’t belong?

Ben Sollee, cello, music, The Hangout, Gulf Shores, Alabama

Ben Sollee's "Ditch the Van" tour rides through The Hangout in Gulf Shores at 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, 2011.

A) cello
B) bicycle
C) smile
D) ticket money

Let’s explore the list.

The cello is the instrument of choice for musical artist Ben Sollee. Influenced by his classical training, his grandfather’s bluegrass music, his father’s R&B guitar style and today’s pop/folk/alternative/world music, Ben has crafted what feels like an entirely new genre of music that requires the cello to mimic other instruments. His effortless vocal tones and impassioned lyrics are grounded by his bow as his fingers dance on the strings. Beautifully balanced percussion completes the minimalist ensemble sound.

The bicycle is the mode of transportation for Ben Sollee’s “Ditch the Van” tour. Ben— along with percussionist Jordan Ellis, the tour manager and a crew member—created this rather unusual caravan to feel more connected to the people and places where they play. It requires them to slow down and appreciate the communities, to connect to the world in a more personal manner than is possible in the typical van, bus or truck that speeds touring performers along the interstate highways from one venue to the next.

A smile is, by generally accepted definition, “a facial expression characterized by an upward curving of the corners of the mouth, indicating pleasure.” You’ll find one on the face of Ben Sollee, a natural response to the pure joy he feels when creating and sharing his music. You’ll also find a smile on the face of each person who has chosen to be present for the concert. It will be seen as an expression of interest, appreciation, encouragement and bliss as the music transports each listener to another realm.

It must be obvious by now that the ticket money is the one thing from our list that doesn’t belong. That’s right—this is a free performance hosted by The Hangout in Gulf Shores. You could pay to experience Ben Sollee’s artistry at any number of other tour stops, but it’s an extra bonus to use that money to feed your earthly body while Ben and company feed your musical soul.

On Wednesday, November 2, at 7 p.m., you’ll fully understand the combination of a cello, a bicycle and a smile. Oh, it won’t require any effort—the moment Ben Sollee takes the stage, you’ll know it was meant to be.

Stay informed of Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Vacation Rentals on Facebook and Twitter.

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