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19 Awesome Things To Do In Gulf Shores, Alabama, Including Free

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Are you planning a trip to the Gulf Shores, Alabama area?  If you aren’t you should be.  Here’s 19 awesome things to do in Gulf Shores, Alabama to help you plan your trip. This list of activities on the Gulf Shore includes many that are free to do as well! You don’t have to spend a ton of money on activities and adventures all the time. What you’ll find is that the list of things to do on the Gulf Shore can vary widely in cost and fun! 

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Make sure to check out my Best Restaurants in Gulf Shores For All To Enjoy as well so you can plan some great eateries on your trip. 


19 Awesome Things To Do In Gulf Shores, Alabama, Including Free

Make sure that when you’re planning your trip that you look outside the area a bit, too. Most of these are within a 30-minute drive from the Gulf Shores area but could depend on your hotel or condo location as well. If you’re able to drive a bit, you can experience even more. 

No matter what, always check the website, FaceBook page, or call for current hours and admission policies. These tend to change quite often during this time, and the last thing you want is to be surprised that something is closed or closing earlier than you thought. Make sure to click through the links below for more information. Since hours can change frequently, they’re not included below. 

Also, if you time your trip right, you can catch one of the Blue Angels shows or practices that happen all year long in nearby Pensacola. It’s super cool and a really great focal point to add to any trip. 

Click on each Red Title For More Information


Gulf Shores Alabama Main Visitor Site

If you’re ready to find great options and the latest and greatest information, start by checking out the visitor site. This will be your best bet for current activities in the area. Always ask for any freebies or maps.

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Visitor Center


Cruise and See the Dolphins

When in the area, you have to try and see the dolphins! Although it’s not a guarantee, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to see at least one or two! 

Go Shelling

Shelling on the beaches is the perfect free activity and a great way to get some awesome beach souvenirs. The view is stunning, and if you’re taking the kids, this might be one of their favorite activities to do. Be on the lookout for anything unusual.

Visit the Beaches

Beautiful Beaches in Gulf Shores

There are a ton of great beaches to visit in the area. Some of the top beaches include:

  • Lagoon Pass Beach
  • Cotton Bayou
  • Romar Beach

There are many beach options, but you can view some of the top ones here. Most are free to enter, but some of them will encounter parking costs. 

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Love animals? Planning a trip to the zoo is the best! You’ll see plenty of animals and get to see many of them up close as well. It also has the best restaurant I’ve seen at a Zoo.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

With over 300 animals, there is fun for all. Take a stroll through the reptile house or even stop at the petting zoo as well.  Different encounters are available – like the Kangaroos.

Kangaroo Encounter – Petting A Baby

Alligator Ally

You have to see a gator or two while you’re in the area! This location alone has over 200 gators ready to show you their teeth! If you’re feeling brave, you can even hold them and feed them, too. 

Gulf Shores Museum

Not only does this museum have a lot of history about Gulf Shores, but admission is free! This is a great way to educate the kids on the trip and see some unique things, too. 

Gulf State Park Pier


Looking for a great place to fish? This Pier will have you catching them left and right! There is a fee for parking, but veterans do park for free. 

Fishing at Gulf State Park Pier

A fishing permit is required as well. 

Historic Fort Morgan

This fort is quite a sight! Used for many different wars throughout US history, it’s still standing and able to be toured today. 

Fort Morgan

The Wharf – Restaurants, Arcade, Movie Theater

You can easily spend an afternoon walking around and eating, playing, and catching a flick. This is a great place to spend some hours and see what you can do. There is a ton of family fun for all. 

SPECTRA Sound & Light Show at The Wharf      

This light show is FREE, and it happens every night. The main street area truly turns into something unique and magical that you’re not going to want to miss out on. 

SPECTRA Sound & Light Show gulf shores to do
SPECTRA Sound & Light Show At The Wharf

The Wharf Express Trains            

Although it is closed for maintenance at the present time, have it on your radar to book when it’s open. 

It’s a super fun train ride that you can hop on and see all the sights at The Wharf. 

Ferris Wheel at The Wharf  

Talk about a view! Ride one of the tallest Ferris wheels that you’re going to find in the south and see how far you can see! 

Ferris Wheel at The Wharf  gulf shores awesome to do
Ferris Wheel at The Wharf

Foley Railroad Museum

Perfect for train lovers and those who love history. Take your time looking through all the exhibits and how the railways have changed over the years. 

Gulf State Park Nature Center

Taking a tour of the Nature Center is FREE and a great way to see animals and plants that are native to the area. There is also a campground there for overnight stays. 

Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum

Another great FREE museum to visit! What used to be an old schoolhouse now hosts a museum full of Native American history and artifacts from the area. 

Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail – Rosemary Dunes Trailhead

Looking for a way to get out into nature? This trailhead will give you views that are stunning and have you wanting more. 

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Trails

This is near Ft Morgan and is the perfect place to bird-watch and take in the sights. Bring your binoculars! 

Edward H Carroll Sr Kids Park

The kids will love this park! It has an awesome playground and is a simple way to get them outside, burn off some energy, and get ready for more exploring! 

As you can see, there is a lot of free fun just waiting to explore! Make a plan and map out your route and have a blast exploring Gulf Shores, Alabama! 

For a few more ideas on things to do and where to eat, check out my trip last year – RELAXING IN GULF SHORES



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When you are planning your trip and want some local help, contact THE BEACH MOMS.  They can help in many ways:

  • Have the refrigerator in your condo stocked on arrival
  • Order and deliver a birthday cake to celebrate (They did a great job for Don’s Birthday)
  • Make reservations for attractions
  • Arrange transportations
  • Plan special or private events

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I’ve included affiliate links to Amazon for you to find some products easier.  I may receive a small commission, but the price is the same for you.  It just helps my blog out.

Happy Travels, 


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  1. Oh my goodness, if I’m ever lucky enough to go to the Gulf Shores, this is going to come in so handy. It definitely looks like you have to spend at least a week and a bit there to take in all those sites and still have time to chill on those gorgeous beaches.

  2. A side trip to Fairhope and the beautiful roses is mandatory. Small, unique shops, friendly locals, great lunch. amazing flowers everywhere! Perfect little spot for a day of shopping and enjoying southern hospitality at its best

  3. It looks like there are some great things to do in Gulf Shores! A dolphin spotting cruise sounds amazing! Plus, I would love to visit Fort Morgan, it looks like such an interesting place! Thanks for the great guide!

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