Gulf State Park

Stretch out on long white-sand beaches at this oceanfront state park. Drive up your heart rate with extreme activities, such as zip lining and parasailing.

Gulf State Park is a popular vacation spot with spacious, sandy beaches and diverse activities. Trips here can be as active or as relaxing as you like. Try exhilarating water sports, go fishing, learn about coastal creatures at the nature center or simply sprawl out on the sands.

Bring the family along to the beach and splash about in the water. The park has over 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) of white sands, so it won’t be hard to find a spot to lay your towel. For a little more adventure, sign up for one of the thrilling ocean experiences. Speed behind a motorboat on an inflatable dinghy or parasail through the skies. Rent canoes and volleyball nets for family fun at the beach.

Continue your extreme activities at the adventure center. Swoop over the landscape on a zip-line network, which stretches over fields and even a portion of the ocean. If you have any energy left, rent a bike and pedal around the surrounding area.

When you want to slow things down, find lots of less strenuous activities. Drive and putt at the Refuge, a golf course hidden amid green woods. Drop a fishing line into the ocean from the long pier or into the fresh waters of Lake Shelby. Read the information points along the pier to find out what underwater species you may reel in and look for herons and pelicans also attempting to snare a catch.

Get close to wild animals at the nature center. Here, displays document local plants and animals. Visitors have the opportunity to see and sometimes even touch some of the creatures, including snakes, owls and turtles. Sign up for one of the center’s educational expeditions to discover more about the surrounding habitats.

Gulf State Park is in southern Alabama, just over an hour from Mobile by car. The nearest commercial airport is in Pensacola, also about an hour’s drive away.

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