South for the Winter: 5 Reasons to Visit the Gulf Coast during Winter Months

Leave behind the oversized coats and mittens and consider an escape down to the Gulf Coast for the winter months. With its beautiful (and less crowded) beaches, mild weather, and abundant wildlife, Gulf Shores, Alabama offers a unique and exciting winter experience. While winter may not be the first season you think of when you consider a trip to the beach, it’s our well-kept secret that we’re happy to share with you. (Oh, and don’t worry, sunglasses are always in season!) Here are 5 reasons you should book your vacation to the beautiful Gulf Coast ASAP!

The Weather

Once you arrive and get a taste for the coastal climate, you’ll quickly realize winter at the Gulf Coast may just be the perfect escape from cold weather. With mild temperatures, you won’t have to worry about snow or ice—unless you count the ice in your drink! With average highs in the mid-60s and lows that stay well above freezing, winter weather on the Gulf Coast is mild and enjoyable.  While it may be too cold to swim, the weather is still perfect for a beautiful sunset stroll along the Gulf Coast’s sugar-white sands or a bike ride and hike in Gulf State Park. Just be sure you plan a trip that’s long enough to experience all Gulf Shores has to offer!

Dining and Events

Gulf Shores is always alive with activity, even in the winter season! Whether it’s live music, golfing, volunteering, exploring nature, or an incredible dining experience, you will never find yourself without something to do. For those looking for something a bit more festive, the area always has plenty of activities, events, and attractions to keep you busy. Best of all, because it’s not peak tourist season, you won’t have to worry about large crowds or long lines at popular attractions and restaurants. If you’re looking for some amazing seafood, the Gulf Coast has you covered. The Lodge in Gulf State Park has some of the best dining options around, complete with a great selection of locally sourced dishes. Plus, the view of the Gulf from Perch and Foodcraft is nothing short of spectacular!

Wildlife and Fishing

During the winter months, you’re likely to spot some “cool” finds among the variety of local wildlife that calls Gulf Shores, Alabama home. While some birds may fly further south, many birds stop in the Gulf for the winter, so bring your binoculars and keep your eyes peeled for pelicans, buffleheads, black skimmers, and many more. Although the tide is down, the winter is still a great time to cast a line out in the Gulf of Mexico for some fishing with much less angler competition. Or visit the Learning Campus at Gulf State Park for year-round educational activities, tours, and events all catered to explore interactive exhibits on Alabama’s coastal ecology and environment. 

Gulf State Park

Visiting Gulf State Park in the winter is a great way to enjoy some of Alabama’s most stunning scenery in beautiful weather without large crowds. Gulf State Park offers 28.4 miles of hiking and biking trails, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities from fishing to kayaking. If a sandy beach isn’t your vibe, you can book a stay at Eagle Cottages at Gulf State Park for a blend of Southern hospitality with breathtaking natural beauty and a strong devotion to sustainability. You can dive even deeper and visit the Interpretive Center, which offers informative displays about the area’s history, wildlife, and sustainability efforts. Or simply take advantage of the Bike Share Program and rent bicycles for free, and explore the park at your own pace!


Perhaps our favorite reason to visit Gulf Shores is just how relaxing a winter trip can be. The Gulf Coast winter months mean much smaller crowds and shorter lines. You can enjoy the peacefulness of having the beach almost all to yourself, especially when checking into a comfortable room at The Lodge at Gulf State Park. Sleep well knowing you’ll wake up to a calm, cool, coastal atmosphere that’s perfect for recharging. Also, you won’t have to worry about the beach ever closing, so you can take advantage of the emerald-green water and sandy beaches day or night. 

If you want to experience a “white winter,” you don’t need to travel to a snow-covered destination—just walk along the Gulf Coast beaches and enjoy the white sands instead! There is so much to take advantage of in the winter season, like fewer crowds, festive events, and delicious food. So, what are you waiting for? Book that trip, and let’s head down south for the winter!



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