Winter in Gulf Shores: Escape to Alabama With These Tips

Alabama’s beaches cater to more than 10,000 part-time residents during fall and winter. With spacious beaches, mild temperatures and exciting activities, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan welcome Northerners to escape cold weather and snow. To get the full scoop, read about winter in Gulf Shores and what to expect.

Winter in Gulf Shores: Tips, Temps and Things to Do

winter gulf shores beach

Mild Temperatures

Want to escape freezing temperatures? Gulf Shores has an average winter high in the 60s, lows in the 40s, with little rain and seldom below freezing. This means visitors enjoy outdoor recreation year-round and not worry about snow. Or just sit on a porch and admire the view.

Wintertime residents should bring indoor and outdoor-appropriate clothing, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and comfortable walking shoes. Plan ahead and pack swimsuits for indoor hot tubs and heated indoor pools, if applicable. The Gulf may be chilly, but some resorts have indoor pools perfect for swimming and floating all day.

gulf shores vacation rental winter

Photo: iTrip Vacations® Alabama Beaches

Vacation Rental Discounts

Winter in Gulf Shores brings big discounts on hotels and vacation homes in Alabama’s beaches. Most times, travelers receive special rates for long-term stays and reduced nightly rates for shorter trips. No matter what time of accommodation, saving money is a sure thing.

Those who prefer rentals find homes in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. In Gulf Shores, condos range from one-bedroom retreats to four-plus dream homes in complexes with tennis courts, pools and beach access. Orange Beach welcomes visitors to stay near The Wharf while enjoying home-like amenities and easy access to the beach. For more options, stay near Fort Morgan — one of Alabama’s top historic attractions. View vacation rentals on Alabama’s beaches.

alabama beaches activities

Join Snowbird Clubs

Snowbirds are visitors from cold-weather states who live in the south during the winter season. Who can blame them? Snowbirds trade snow shovels for sand dunes.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer state-specific snowbird clubs. Examples include New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota, to name a few. These clubs meet a couple of times per month and help visitors access fun events, new restaurants and popular activities. In addition, most snowbird clubs in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach collect items for charity and volunteer to help nonprofits in the area. View all Snowbird Clubs.

Play Golf in Gulf Shores

Another big draw is the number of golf courses in the area. Those who spend winter in Gulf Shores have proximity to more than 12 golf courses, including public, private and semi-private options. One popular spot is Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club, which has a 27-hole award-winning public course. In addition, the club has a fitness center, eight tennis courts, indoor swimming pools and dining.

Other top-rated golf courses in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach include Gulf Shores Golf Club, Craft Farms, Orange Beach Golf Center, Kiva Dunes Resort, and Gulf Links Golf Center.

winter in gulf shores senior living

Quiet, Spaces Beaches

Home to the best Alabama beaches, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer miles of Gulf coastline and stunning waterfront views. In addition, wintertime guests have several public beach access points. As an added bonus, most are uncrowded and perfect for soaking up the sun or reading book of the month.

Other areas with beaches include Gulf State Park and Lake Shelby. Both welcome visitors to enjoy boating, fishing, birding and wildlife watching.

Spend Time With Locals

During busy seasons, it may be difficult to get a true local feel. Visitors who spend winter in Gulf Shores get the full experience as they socialize with people who live and work in the area. During this time, residents have time to chat and share expert tips. While out and about, ask locals for the best things to do and places to eat.

Another way to meet locals in Gulf Shores is attending an event. November brings an oyster cook-off and craft fair, Blue Angels, marathons, seafood festivals, car shows, and art shows. In addition, the holiday season provides additional flair with tree-lighting ceremonies, lighted home tours and New Year’s festivities.

Local Dining and Fresh Food

Ever visited a top-rated restaurant and waited an hour for a table? Then felt rushed to order, eat and pay? This is common during tourist-heavy seasons, but not during winter in Gulf Shores. It’s the off-season, so guests are welcome to relax and relish every bite. Plus, there’s fresh seafood.

To kick off a dining tour in Gulf Shores, eat at Lulu’s Gulf Shores, Gulf Shores Seafood, Bahama Bob’s Beachside Cafe, The Diner, Original Oyster House, and Sea and Suds. If looking for nightlife spots, visit The Hangout Gulf Shores, Tacky Jacks and Sassy Bass.

Spend winter in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan. Book an Alabama beach vacation rental.