Stretching 60 miles, the Gulf of Mexico hugs the coastline of Alabama, with another 100 miles of shoreline found on the calmer inland waters of Mobile Bay. This is America’s Riviera and a secret hotspot to Southerners within easy driving distance of the coast due to the Gulf’s emerald green waters and soft, expansive beaches. Its beauty is also deserving of visits from across the country, as these beaches are unquestionably family friendly and less crowded than those in popular tourist destinations in Florida and California. Consider a visit to one of Alabama’s five best beaches on your next family vacay.
The Gulf Shores’ largest park is getting larger following a multimillion dollar enhancement project. ($85 million, to be exact!) Featuring two miles of white-sand beaches covered in sea shells, the park is developing a pedestrian walkway over a bisecting road to connect beachgoers to the hiking trails of the state park and its soon-to-open interpretive and education center.
Don’t let the name fool you, this is Alabama’s beauty. Florida Point Beach has 6,000 feet of sand dunes, wide stretches of beach, and boardwalks to enjoy. Also called Perdido Pass, your family will definitely enjoy the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
French for “safe harbor,” Bon Secour is 700 acres of protected land along the Fort Morgan peninsula. It features trails to explore the wildlife, as well as beaches. Don’t be frightened if you spot a mouse on the beach – the Alabama Beach Mouse is an endangered species and can only be found on the Alabama coast!
One of the most popular Alabama beaches is Orange Beach, where off the sand you’ll find a plethora of seafood restaurants, gift shops, and accommodations. The white sand here is so fine it squeaks when you walk, and at times looks as white as snow. Families will love boogie boarding on the small Gulf waves.
This island opposite the Gulf Shores and an entrance into Mobile Bay is home to the Dauphin Island Park & Beach. Open year round, the beach here is dog-friendly and less crowded than other Gulf Shores, providing plenty of space for your littles ones to run, explore, and build sandcastles. The island is also home to the 164-acre Audubon Bird Sanctuary that you can visit when the sand gets too hot and you need a break from the beautiful sea.