There’s nothing better than finding fun vacation activities that don’t break the bank. These free things to do in Gulf Shores will entertain everyone in the family. From spending days at the beach to exploring local museums, there’s something everyone will love that won’t hurt your wallet. Read on to discover the best budget-friendly activities along the Gulf Coast. Then, browse our extensive vacation rental homes and start planning your trip today!
Our 5 Favorite Free Things to Do in Gulf Shores
1. Visit Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
Are you ready to take a walk on the wild side? The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is a can’t-miss attraction for nature lovers. The area, whose name means “safe haven” in French, is an oasis for flora and fauna. Visitors can enjoy bird watching, fishing, and boating inside. There are four different trails on the premises that span six miles total. Each offers the opportunity to catch a glimpse of wildlife such as bobcats, red foxes, and armadillos.
2. Blow Off Steam at the Gulf Shores Kids Park
Who doesn’t love a day at the playground? Take a break from sizzling under the sun and sit back in the shade while the kids play. Over 1,500 volunteers built Kids Park in less than six days, and it has quickly become a popular community attraction. Spend a few hours at this wooden playground and let the kids entertain themselves!
3. Hike the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail
Explore the heart of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach alongside the Backcountry Trail. This trail system traverses 15 miles and six distinct ecosystems with ample opportunity for wildlife viewing. The Backcountry Trail also features kid-friendly Boulder Park, geocaching adventures, and a Butterfly Garden. Run, bike, or hike these trails during your next trip.
4. Plan a Trip to the National Naval Aviation Museum
Just over the border in Pensacola, FL, the National Naval Aviation Museum features over 150 restored aircraft that history buffs will love. Stroll through the indoor exhibits, experience a flight simulation in the giant screen theater, or watch a world-famous Blue Angels practice. The choice is yours!
The museum is open every day from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
5. Have a Beach Day
Miles of pristine, sugar-white sand await at Gulf State Park! Grab your boogie board and ride some waves, build castles in the sand, or lay out your towel and sunbathe. Gulf State Park is also a fantastic spot for a waterfront picnic or fishing off the landmark pier.
Find Your Spot in the Sand
After you’ve spent a day discovering the best free things to do in Gulf Shores, return to your Harris Properties vacation rental for a cozy evening with family or friends. Foxie Moxie’s Salty Sea Shanty, a cheerful beach cottage, is perfect for families or a girls getaway. This funky home sleeps eight, is dog-friendly, and is less than a five-minute walk to the beach. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee on the spacious front porch and snuggle in at night for a movie on the living room’s flat-screen TV.
What are you waiting for? Start planning your beach retreat today!