There’s one very good reason to plan a vacation to Gulf Shores this winter – the weather! If you’re ready to forget about cold, freezing temperatures, and tramping through cold, wet slush, then it’s time to think about the beach. A vacation during winter in Gulf Shores Alabama is just what you need! Enjoy balmy day temps in the ’60s and the soothing sound of the surf. So, toss those heavy coats aside and come on down to the balmy, beautiful coast!
Enjoy Warm Winter Weather
Enjoy all the beach activities you usually do, except maybe swimming. Although, if you’re planning on participating in the Flora-Bama’s Polar Bear Plunge at New Year’s, you may want to practice a bit. Otherwise, just grab a sweater in case the breeze kicks up and get beachcombing for a few shell souvenirs, fish from in the surf in front of your rental or build sandcastles. It’s all good. And best of all, the summer crowds are gone!
You can still get out on the water, even if it’s a little too cold to get into it. Book a dolphin-watching cruise or a cruise past area lighthouses, or rent a kayak and explore on your own through the bayous and backwater without the sun beating mercilessly down on your head. Fishing is great here all year round, and winter is no exception. Fish for redfish, pompano, sheepshead, speckled trout, and more. Make sure your vacation rental has a BBQ grill so you can enjoy your catch of the day out on your deck overlooking the waves. And it’s never too late in the season to enjoy a low country boil!
Cooler winter weather means it’s the perfect time for hiking and biking. There are plenty of great trails here to enjoy in the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Trails in both parks wind through a variety of natural, coastal habitats, including pristine freshwater lakes, coastal swamps, wetlands, and longleaf sand ridges. Keep an eye out for osprey, bald eagles, whitetail deer, coyote, otters, alligators, and the occasional bobcat.
Enjoy Smaller Crowds
Take advantage of the fact that the crowds are thinner now and plan activities to those places you love but are usually too crowded!
Golfers can enjoy the ease of booking tee times at one of the many great courses here in the Gulf area. From the course at Craft Farms Golf Club designed by legendary Arnold Palmer to the public course at Kiva Dunes in Fort Morgan, you’ll be able to hit the links at your leisure without fighting the crowds. And the weather is perfect for golf now too.
Grab the kids and head to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo! Home to many endangered animals, you can get up close and personal with a sloth or camel, play with giant snakes, kooky baby kangaroos, loony lemurs, and more. The reptile house has plenty of snakes, huge spiders, and iguanas, not to mention a few native alligators lazing around. Some of the endangered and vulnerable species calling the zoo home include gorgeous Bengal tigers, and Katrina, a lovely black leopard.
Need to tire the kids out a bit? Head to the Track Family Recreation Center for go-karts on their famous elevated wooden track, bumper cars, mini-golf, and more! And The Wharf in Orange Beach has ice skating, last-minute gift buying, and Santa Claus; not to mention an arcade, mini-golf, a movie theater, zip line, restaurants, shops and bars, and a Ferris Wheel!
Enjoy Holiday Events Too
There are plenty of fun holiday festivals and events to enjoy while you’re here, like LuLu’s Annual Christmas Lighted Boat Parade. Of course, family-friendly, beach-front LuLu’s is great all year-round. And the city of Gulf Shores’ annual Lighted Christmas Parade & Lighting of the Beach has lighted floats, marching bands, holiday treats, pictures with Santa, and a coastal style snowball drop (with 4,000+ ping pong balls)! Ask our friendly staff about vacation homes near the parade routes!
And any trip to the Gulf Coast, at any time of year, must include at least one trip to the world-famous Flora-Bama! There’s always something going on at this beach-front honky-tonk, and winter is no exception. Annual winter events include their Thanksgiving pot luck, the holiday Santa Drop, Christmas Pot Luck, their New Year’s Eve Bash, and a Polar Bear Dip on New Year’s Day. Plus, there’s always live music on five stages, several oyster bars, and plenty of bushwhackers year-round!
Visit Gulf Shores This Winter
Rent one of our Gulf Shores winter rentals facing the quiet bay or the beach, or a high-rise modern condo overlooking it all. All of our rentals have amazing views, free Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens, and plenty of natural light. And many have elevators, hot tubs, and private fishing piers too. Give us a call today to get your winter vacation started!