We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First Time Visitor to Gulf Shores

Ciincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
51 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
First Time Visitor to Gulf Shores

My husband and I will make our first trip to this area mid-July. We usually go to Destin, but thought we would check this area out. We enjoy being a short drive to restaurants and things to do, but enjoy a private beach if possible. What are the differences between the different parts of Gulf Shores (East, West or Central) and is one better than the other? We want to be a close walk to the beach or on the beach. Looking for suggestions as to area and any historical areas or museums to visit within a short drive. We also enjoy day trips. Any recommendations for accommodations are also welcome!

Houma, Louisiana
Destination Expert
for Houma, Orange Beach, Gulf Shores
Level Contributor
754 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First Time Visitor to Gulf Shores

west gulf shores is more secluded and further away from the center. east is a little closer to orange beach and further walks to the central, and central is the busiest area. and closest to walkable restaurants.

historical areas i'd recommend Mobile,AL's U.S.S Alabama. lots of history there. Pensacola has the National Aviation Museum. its free, and its ok.

if you are beachfront, the walk is super easy to the beach. If you are across the street from the beach, depending on the time of the day, it is pretty dang hectic to cross the 5 lane road.

Louisiana
Level Contributor
305 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First Time Visitor to Gulf Shores

Put a dolphin cruise on your list of things to do . We went on one in Orange Beach, down the road, called Cold Mil Fleet. There are also greyhound races right around mobile that you may get a kick out of. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have wonderful restaurants.

Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
2,476 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First Time Visitor to Gulf Shores

Unlike Destin, most condos in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are beachfront so be sure to take advantage of that. If you are a foodie the best restaurants are in Orange Beach, but it is also not a long drive from Gulf Shores. While separate towns, GS and OB are basically one contiguous beach community separated by a state park.

The largest and most luxurious beachfront condos are located at Turquoise Place in OB followed by Phoenix West and Phoenix West II. After that there are lots of other great places to choose from including Seachase, The Lighthouse, Island Tower, and many other Phoenix buildings.

If you are looking for a quieter, less crowded beach with more room to roam, the Fort Morgan area is a good option. Take a look at places like The Beach Club, Martinique, and the more budget-friendly Gulf Shores Plantation.

If you are interested in civil war history, it's hard to beat the well preserved forts of Fort Morgan (at the end of Fort Morgan road) and it's sister, Fort Gaines, on Dauphin Island, a short ride away. A great day trip would be to take the ferry over to Dauphin Island, visit the fort, and then drive over to Bellingrath Gardens. Another good day trip is to drive to the lovely bayfront town of Fairhope to do some shopping and good eating.

Edited: 02 March 2017, 01:11
Ciincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
51 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First Time Visitor to Gulf Shores

Thank you so much for the information!

Ciincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
51 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First Time Visitor to Gulf Shores

Thank you so much for the wonderful suggestions. I will add those to our itinerary!

Gulf Shores, Alabama
Destination Expert
for Gulf Shores
Level Contributor
1,083 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First Time Visitor to Gulf Shores

The Naval Museum in Pensacola is awesome (and free)

7. Re: First Time Visitor to Gulf Shores

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 13 March 2018, 05:16
Get answers to your questions about Gulf Shores