The last place we visited in the first “phase” of our travel was Gulf State Park in Orange Beach, AL. We stayed for 6 nights, several of which dipped below freezing – which was a first for us.
Gulf State Park boasts the largest campground that we’ve seen so far – it has nearly 500 full hookup campsites! It also has over 25 miles of paved trails, over 3 miles of white sandy beaches and its own pier! Gulf State Park meets just about any requirement you can think of.
We absolutely loved the trail system at Gulf State Park. There’s access to the trails right from the campground and many of the trails intersect. Some of the trails also have long segments of boardwalk that take you over marshy/scrubby areas, over water, and even over the highway! The trails are great fir bikes and on the warmer days we put many miles on ours. Calla actually seemed to enjoy most of it, too.
There were lots of signs warning trail-goers of alligators. Sure enough, there were alligators right off the trail.
Gulf State Park also has an interesting primitive area in addition to the huge developed campground. It was empty so Hannah scoped it out one day while on a run. It looks like an interesting place to stay when it’s warm!
The park has a great nature center with many live reptiles and lots of exhibits. Calla loved seeing the snakes, turtles, and especially the owls that live underneath. Note that these owls were injured and would not survive in the wild – they’re not kept there only for our enjoyment.
We dealt with some cold weather at Gulf State Park but the furnace did its job and we survived. The worst part was being stuck inside when was cold outside. The Christmas season was upon us, but that doesn’t mean it had to be cold!
Speaking of Christmas, every year there’s a Christmas-themed boat parade in Gulf Shores. We made an evening out of it and got some fresh seafood for dinner afterwards.
We also explored the pier and the beach but it was too cold and windy to spend much time there. It was almost as pretty as the beach at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Florida.
Gulf State Park also had a huge pool that looked great – too bad it was cold! It even had a kid pool and a splash pad.
Date visited: December 2017