No visit to the Gulf Coast of Alabama is complete without a trip to one of our state’s truly spectacular natural wonders, the Gulf State Park. With 6500 acres to explore, enjoy sugar-sand beaches, nature trails, three lakes, golfing, kayaking, parasailing, educational classes and programs and so much more!
Gulf State Park Beaches
There are more than 3.5 miles of unspoiled, white sand beaches to explore in Gulf State Park. They are generally quiet and uncrowded as well as family friendly. The perfect spot to check out fishing, sea-kayaking, or simply just enjoying the soft sand between your toes as you page through your latest beach read.
New Gulf State Pier
Gulf State Park is home to some of the most scenic fishing areas in all of Alabama. Fishing off the Gulf State Pier is no exception. There is pier was just re-built in 2014 after the destructive Hurricane Ivan took most of it down. The new pier boasts over 2,000 feet of fishing space along it’s sturdy new rails. The pier even offers wheelchair accessible areas for rail fishing. There is an indoor concession stand where you can grab a snack. You can even take a fishing class and a guided nature walk of the pier.
Lake Shelby, with its 900-acre of freshwater offers excellent fishing for redfish, bass, speckled trout and catfish among many other types of fish. Lake Shelby is also great for water skiing and boating. There are numerous picnic areas and pavilions to enjoy dining and playing in the great Alabama sunshine.
Take Fido to the Dog Pond
Four-legged family members can play and cavort at the Dog Pond at Lake Shelby. There is a separate area for the smaller set. Dogs can access the lake and have fun playing in the water and along the grassy areas.
Refuge Golf Club
The 18-hole, Earl Stone designed Gulf State Park Refuge Golf Course is open all year round and offers duffers beautifully landscaped courses within the stunning natural setting of the State Park. The course also features a putting green, driving range pro shop and the Refuge Grill.
Gulf State Park Nature Center
The Gulf State Park Nature Center is a living museum for all ages. It features native plants and wildlife and offers guided nature, pier, and beach walks to educate visitors on the Alabama Coast’s unique ecosystems and wildlife. The Nature Center works with the Share the Beach organization, which works to protect native Alabama’s Sea Turtles through volunteer and education programs.
Sneak a Snack
The Refuge Grill is located at the Refuge Golf Club. It opens early for breakfast and is has a nice lunch menu as well. You can grab a quick bite to eat on the Pier at the Concession Stand or grab some dee-lish Southern BBQ at Butts on the Beach. Enjoy a burger at Blues Burgers, yummy gelato at Repicci’s or refreshing shaved ice at the Kona Ice truck.
Have Fun Outdoors
Gulf State Park also offers visitors other unique outdoor opportunities to get out and explore. Ever been on Segway? You can enjoy a tour hour Segway tour along the seven trails that make up the Hugh S. Branyon Back Country Trail system. Rent a kayak or paddle-board or try parasailing. Rent a trail bike and explore the Parks miles of trails on your own.
Be sure to check the Gulf State Park Activities Schedule. Every week, there are activities, classes and classes for all ages. Enjoy early morning fitness classes and beach yoga, star-gazing, art and crafts classes, guided nature and bird walks, horse shoes, travel and nature lectures and videos and even yappy hour at the Dog Pond.
Gulf State Park also offers venues for special events, summer camps for the kiddos, camping and RV parking, fishing classes, and so much more. Literally, there is something for everyone to love at our amazing state park. When you visit us in Gulf Shores, be sure to put a trip to this natural gem on your not-to-be-missed list.