Why Gulf Shores Continues To Win Top Ratings

Gulf Shores Wins High Ratings Again – No Surprise!. You may have notice that Gulf Shores was rated as the number 2 vacation destination in the country in a recent Good Morning America Poll but this is not the first time that the Gulf Shores Beaches have won a top rating as a vacation destination.

The Beach

Here are a few other sources that have rated Gulf Shores as a top family destination.The Travel Channel rated Gulf Shores as one of the top 5 gulf coast beaches. The National Resources Defense Council gave Gulf Shore’s beaches “Super Star” quality water rating. Southern Living gave Gulf Shores the number one slot as the best family destination for under $200/night. Parents Magazine rated Gulf Shores as one of the top ten beach towns for Families. So you might be curious as to Why Gulf Shores Continues To Win Top Ratings as one of the top vacation destinations in the country.  As grandfather of nine and a frequent visitor to Gulf Shores, none of this comes as any surprise to me. Let me tell you why.


#1 – The White Sand

Gulf Shores has snow white sand. Not only is it beautiful and clean but just as important white sand does not retain heat from the sun like darker colored beaches do. If you have ever walked across a hot beach without your shoes you know what I am talking about. The Gulf Shores beaches are clean, white and world class.

#2 – The Town

The town of Gulf Shores is located on a small island. In fact, Gulf Shores was actually called Paradise Island years ago. The good news is that just about all the beach front property has been built on. Gulf Shores will never become the size of Panama City or Myrtle beach simply because there is very little room left to build. Gulf Shores will always be that “Small Town with a Big Beach”. The bad news is that accomodations are limited. Many people are now starting to book their reservations a year in advance which is not a bad idea if you can.

#3 – It’s Closer to People Who Live in the Midwest

My parents retired to Naples, Florida in the 70’s while my wife and I and three kids stayed back in Ohio. It was a 21 hour drive to visit them. Today we only drive 16 to Gulf Shores and it makes a huge difference. If you live in the Midwest including Texas and Arkansas its takes less time and less gas to get to Gulf Shores than to get to Florida or the east coast.

US Map Showing Gulf Shores

#4 – It’s Less Expensive

Alabama is just plain less expensive than Florida or the east coast. Gas is less expensive, you can get great meals for a reasonable price and the cost of renting a place on the beach can be 20% than if you rented on the Florida coast.

#5 – It Has Great Small Town Restaurants

Gulf Island Grill


One thing Gulf Shores has that is disappearing across this country is it’s small town atmosphere and a large part of that atmosphere comes from the locally owned restaurants that are within walking distance of where you stay. These simple restaurants have survived hurricanes and floods. Many date back to the 70’s. You won’t find a McDonald’s or a Burger King on the beach road.




#6 – Finally, It’s a Safe Place to Take Your Kids

Life Guards on the Beach

Gulf Shores has defined itself as a family vacation destination. The beaches are patrolled. There are restaurants like the Hang Out and LuLu’s that are secure and have supervised activities for the kids while the parents relax for a minute. One of my favorite signs at the Hang Out is “Be Nice or Go Home” and that is what Gulf Shores is all about. Gulf Shores is a place for families to enjoy that one week a year they get to be together.

So now you know Why Gulf Shores Continues To Win Top Ratings. While everyone else is fighting the crowds and traffic, families visiting Gulf Shores are walking down the beach road, eating great food at locally owned restaurants and enjoying an uncrowded beach. It is truly one of the best places you can take your family for a vacation.

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