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Airbnb Gulf Shores: Where To Stay In Alabama


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Donetta Coulter



Welcome to Gulf Shores, Alabama! This charming coastal town offers pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back atmosphere that makes it an ideal vacation destination. Whether you’re planning a family trip, a romantic getaway, or simply looking to relax by the beach, Gulf Shores has something to offer everyone.


Located on the southern coast of Alabama, Gulf Shores boasts a rich history, vibrant culture, and a wide range of activities and attractions. From exploring the vast stretches of beach and embarking on thrilling water sports adventures to indulging in delicious seafood and enjoying lively nightlife, Gulf Shores has it all.


One of the best ways to experience all that Gulf Shores has to offer is by staying in an Airbnb rental. With a variety of options to choose from, including beachfront properties, budget-friendly accommodations, and luxury vacation rentals, Airbnb in Gulf Shores provides a personalized and comfortable experience for every traveler.


In this guide, we will explore the best areas to stay in Gulf Shores, highlight popular attractions in the area, and provide recommendations for different types of Airbnb accommodations. So, let’s dive in and discover the hidden gems of Gulf Shores!


Gulf Shores Overview

Gulf Shores is a coastal town located in Baldwin County, Alabama, and is known for its breathtaking beaches and warm Southern hospitality. Situated in the heart of the Gulf Coast, Gulf Shores offers visitors a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.


The main attraction of Gulf Shores is its beautiful beaches, which stretch for miles along the Gulf of Mexico. The pristine white sands and turquoise waters create a picturesque setting, ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles with the family. The beach is also a popular spot for fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area.


Aside from the beach, Gulf Shores offers a range of outdoor activities and attractions. Nature lovers can explore the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, home to diverse ecosystems and rare wildlife species. Golf enthusiasts can tee off at one of the local championship golf courses, while thrill-seekers can indulge in adrenaline-pumping water sports such as jet skiing and parasailing.


Gulf Shores also embraces its cultural heritage with various festivals and events throughout the year. The annual Hangout Music Festival brings together renowned musicians and local artists for a weekend of music and entertainment. The Shrimp Festival celebrates the region’s famous seafood, with live music, arts and crafts, and, of course, delicious Gulf shrimp.


When it comes to dining, Gulf Shores offers a wide range of options to satisfy every palate. From freshly caught seafood and Southern cuisine to international flavors and beachfront dining experiences, you’re sure to find something to tantalize your taste buds.


With its warm climate, friendly locals, and an abundance of outdoor activities and attractions, Gulf Shores is the perfect destination for a beach getaway or a family vacation. Whether you prefer relaxation or adventure, Gulf Shores has it all.


Next, let’s delve into the best areas to stay in Gulf Shores to help you find the perfect Airbnb accommodation for your visit.


Popular Attractions in Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores is a treasure trove of exciting attractions and activities that will keep visitors entertained throughout their stay. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or a thrill-seeker, there’s something for everyone in Gulf Shores. Let’s explore some of the popular attractions in the area.


1. Gulf State Park: Spanning over 6,000 acres, Gulf State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities for all ages. Explore the pristine sandy beaches, hike or bike through the scenic trails, or take a boat tour to discover the diverse wildlife of the park. Don’t miss the chance to fish from the pier or enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature’s beauty.


2. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo: Known as “The Little Zoo That Could,” the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is home to a wide range of animal species from around the world. Visitors can get up close to various animals, including lions, giraffes, kangaroos, and lemurs. Don’t forget to check out the reptile house and catch one of the daily animal encounters and shows.


3. The Wharf: For a mix of entertainment, shopping, and dining, head to The Wharf. This vibrant waterfront district features an amphitheater that hosts concerts and events throughout the year. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, browse the boutiques, and indulge in delicious meals at the waterfront restaurants.


4. Fort Morgan State Historic Site: Immerse yourself in history at Fort Morgan State Historic Site. Located at the mouth of Mobile Bay, this fort played a significant role in various military conflicts, including the Civil War and World War II. Explore the fort’s museum, take a guided tour, or simply soak in the stunning views of the bay.


5. Waterville USA: Beat the heat and have a blast at Waterville USA. This water and amusement park offers thrilling water slides, a lazy river, wave pool, miniature golf, go-karts, and much more. It’s the perfect place to spend a fun-filled day with family and friends.


6. The Hangout: A trip to Gulf Shores wouldn’t be complete without visiting The Hangout. This iconic beachfront restaurant and entertainment complex is known for its live music, delicious seafood, and festive atmosphere. Enjoy mouthwatering Gulf cuisine and join in on the daily festivities and events.


These are just a few of the many attractions that await visitors in Gulf Shores. Whether you seek outdoor adventures, family-friendly entertainment, or a taste of history, Gulf Shores has it all. Now, let’s explore the best areas to stay in Gulf Shores for a memorable vacation experience.


Best Areas to Stay in Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores offers a variety of neighborhoods and areas, each with its own unique charm and attractions. Depending on your preferences and interests, you can choose to stay in different areas to get the most out of your Gulf Shores experience. Here are some of the best areas to stay in Gulf Shores:


1. Gulf Shores Beach: This is the heart of Gulf Shores and the perfect area to stay if you want to be close to the beach and all the action. The beach area is dotted with condos, hotels, and vacation rentals, providing easy access to the stunning shoreline, popular restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.


2. Fort Morgan: For a more secluded and serene experience, consider staying in Fort Morgan. Located at the western tip of Gulf Shores, this area offers a peaceful environment, away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas. Fort Morgan is known for its historic sites, nature trails, and beautiful stretches of uncrowded beach.


3. Orange Beach: Just a short drive from Gulf Shores, Orange Beach is another popular area to stay along the Gulf Coast. This area boasts pristine beaches, world-class fishing opportunities, and a range of outdoor activities. Orange Beach also offers a great selection of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.


4. West Beach: Located slightly west of the main Gulf Shores Beach area, West Beach is a quieter and more residential neighborhood. It’s a great choice if you prefer a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere while still being within easy reach of the beach and local amenities.


5. Craft Farms: If you’re a golf enthusiast, Craft Farms is the perfect area for you. Located inland from the beach, Craft Farms is home to two world-class golf courses. Staying in this area will allow you to enjoy top-notch golfing facilities while still being just a short drive away from the beach.


These are just a few of the best areas to stay in Gulf Shores. Each neighborhood offers its own unique vibe and attractions, so choose the one that suits your preferences and enjoy a memorable stay in this beautiful coastal town.


Beachfront Accommodations in Gulf Shores

If you’re looking to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Gulf Shores’ pristine beaches, beachfront accommodations are the perfect choice. Imagine waking up to the sound of crashing waves and stepping right onto the soft sand just a few steps away from your doorstep. Here are some fantastic beachfront accommodations in Gulf Shores:


1. Condos: Gulf Shores is renowned for its wide array of beachfront condos offering stunning views and convenient amenities. These condos often feature multiple bedrooms, full kitchens, and spacious balconies overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Many complexes also offer on-site pools, grilling areas, and direct beach access, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.


2. Beach Houses: For larger groups or families, beach houses provide a spacious and private retreat. These beachfront homes are equipped with all the comforts of home, including multiple bedrooms, full kitchens, and private yards or decks. Beach houses often offer direct beach access and may have additional amenities such as private pools, game rooms, and outdoor dining areas.


3. Resorts: Gulf Shores is home to several beachfront resorts, offering a mix of hotel rooms and vacation rentals. These resorts provide a range of amenities, including pools, restaurants, on-site activities, and direct beach access. Choose from resort-style accommodations with hotel amenities or opt for a vacation rental within a resort complex for added space and privacy.


4. Beachfront Hotels: If you prefer the convenience of a hotel, Gulf Shores has a number of beachfront properties that offer comfortable accommodations with direct access to the beach. These hotels often provide amenities such as pools, fitness centers, on-site dining, and beach service. Wake up to stunning ocean views and enjoy the convenience of being just steps from the sand.


5. Mobile Home Parks: For a budget-friendly option without compromising the beachfront experience, consider staying in one of Gulf Shores’ mobile home parks. These parks feature RV spaces and mobile homes available for rent, many of which are located directly on the beach. Enjoy the convenience of having your own living space while still being able to indulge in the beauty of the Gulf Coast.


Whether you choose a luxurious beachfront condo or a cozy beach house, staying in beachfront accommodations in Gulf Shores guarantees a memorable vacation experience. Relax on your balcony as you watch the sunset over the Gulf or take a leisurely stroll along the shore whenever you please. The beach is right at your doorstep, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Gulf Shores.


Budget-Friendly Options in Gulf Shores

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort or miss out on the beauty of Gulf Shores. This charming coastal town offers a range of budget-friendly accommodation options that will allow you to enjoy all that Gulf Shores has to offer without breaking the bank. Here are some excellent budget-friendly options in Gulf Shores:


1. Motels and Inns: Gulf Shores has a variety of motels and inns that provide affordable accommodations for budget-conscious travelers. These establishments offer comfortable rooms, often with convenient amenities such as free Wi-Fi and in-room facilities. While they may not offer the same level of luxury as higher-end options, motels and inns are a great choice for those looking to save money on accommodation.


2. Vacation Rentals: Gulf Shores is a hotspot for vacation rentals, and many properties offer affordable rates, especially during the off-season or weekdays. Look for smaller, studio-style vacation rentals or properties located slightly farther from the beach to find the best deals. You can still enjoy the comfort and convenience of a private space while staying within your budget.


3. Campgrounds and RV Parks: If you enjoy camping or have an RV, Gulf Shores has several campgrounds and RV parks that offer budget-friendly options. These facilities provide affordable campsites or RV hookups, allowing you to enjoy the natural surroundings and amenities such as communal kitchens, showers, and laundry facilities. Camping is a great way to immerse yourself in nature and save money on accommodation.


4. Off-Season Deals: Consider visiting Gulf Shores during the off-season to take advantage of discounted rates. From late fall to early spring, the shoulder seasons offer lower prices for accommodations, while still providing pleasant weather and fewer crowds. You can often find great deals on vacation rentals and hotels during this time, allowing you to save money without compromising on the Gulf Shores experience.


5. Shared Accommodations: Another budget-friendly option is to look for shared accommodations, such as renting a room in a private home or booking a shared Airbnb. These options offer a more affordable alternative while still providing a comfortable and welcoming environment. You can also benefit from the local knowledge and recommendations of your hosts, enhancing your overall Gulf Shores experience.


With these budget-friendly options, you can enjoy a memorable stay in Gulf Shores without straining your wallet. Explore the beautiful beaches, indulge in fresh seafood, and immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of this coastal town, all while sticking to your budget.


Family-Friendly Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores is a wonderful destination for a family vacation, offering a wide range of activities and attractions that are perfect for all ages. When it comes to accommodation, there are plenty of family-friendly vacation rentals in Gulf Shores that provide the space, amenities, and convenience needed to ensure a memorable and enjoyable stay. Here are some excellent options for family-friendly vacation rentals:


1. Beachfront Condos: Opting for a beachfront condo gives your family direct access to the stunning Gulf Coast beaches. Many condos in Gulf Shores offer multiple bedrooms and spacious living areas, allowing everyone to have their own space. Look for condos with amenities like pools, children’s play areas, and on-site activities such as mini-golf or game rooms to keep the kids entertained.


2. Vacation Homes: Renting a vacation home can provide your family with the comfort and convenience of a home away from home. Look for homes that offer multiple bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and a backyard or deck for outdoor activities. Some vacation homes even come with extras like game consoles, board games, and beach equipment to enhance your family’s experience.


3. Resorts with Family-Friendly Facilities: Several resorts in Gulf Shores cater specifically to families and offer a range of family-friendly facilities. Look for resorts with pools, water parks, kids’ clubs, and organized activities that will keep your little ones entertained. Some resorts also provide extras like on-site dining options, laundry facilities, and easy access to nearby family-friendly attractions.


4. RV Parks and Campgrounds: If your family enjoys camping or RVing, consider staying at one of Gulf Shores’ family-friendly RV parks or campgrounds. These facilities often have amenities like playgrounds, pool areas, and organized activities for children. Camping is a great way to bond as a family and experience the natural beauty of Gulf Shores.


5. Gated Communities: For added security and peace of mind, consider staying in a gated community that offers family-friendly amenities. These communities often have private pools, tennis courts, and walking trails. Renting a vacation home within a gated community ensures a safe and comfortable environment for your family during your stay in Gulf Shores.


When booking your family-friendly vacation rental in Gulf Shores, consider your family’s specific needs and preferences. Opt for properties that provide a range of amenities and are located near family-friendly attractions, restaurants, and shops. With the right vacation rental, you’ll create cherished memories and enjoy a fantastic family vacation in Gulf Shores.


Luxury Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores

If you’re looking to indulge in a luxurious vacation experience, Gulf Shores offers a range of high-end and upscale vacation rentals that will exceed your expectations. From stunning beachfront properties to lavish condos with upscale amenities, these luxury vacation rentals in Gulf Shores provide the perfect setting for a truly indulgent getaway. Here are some exceptional options for luxury vacation rentals:


1. Beachfront Mansions: Gulf Shores is home to some exquisite beachfront mansions that offer unparalleled luxury and opulence. These expansive properties often feature multiple bedrooms, private pools, gourmet kitchens, upscale furnishings, and breathtaking views of the Gulf Coast. With direct beach access and high-end amenities, beachfront mansions provide a truly lavish and memorable vacation experience.


2. Penthouse Condos: For those seeking a luxurious condo experience, penthouse units offer the epitome of upscale living in Gulf Shores. These top-floor units often boast expansive living spaces, private balconies, high-end finishes, and panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. Many penthouse condos also come with luxurious amenities such as rooftop pools, private hot tubs, and state-of-the-art entertainment systems.


3. Exclusive Resorts: Gulf Shores is home to several exclusive resorts that cater to discerning travelers seeking luxury and privacy. These resorts offer a range of upscale accommodations, including spacious villas and private cottages. Guests can enjoy amenities like private pools, spa services, fine dining restaurants, and personalized concierge services to ensure a truly memorable and luxurious stay.


4. Designer-Decorated Homes: If you appreciate fine design and upscale furnishings, look for luxury vacation rentals that have been designer-decorated. These homes are often meticulously curated with high-end furniture, stylish decor, and top-of-the-line appliances. Indulge in the comfort and sophistication of these beautifully appointed vacation homes, creating the perfect ambiance for an upscale retreat in Gulf Shores.


5. Golf Resort Villas: For golf enthusiasts looking for a luxurious experience, Gulf Shores offers a range of golf resort villas. These upscale accommodations often feature views of the golf course, private balconies, access to resort amenities, and preferred tee times. Enjoy the perfect combination of luxury and leisure as you indulge in rounds of golf and unwind in your stylish villa.


When booking your luxury vacation rental in Gulf Shores, be sure to consider the specific features and amenities that are important to you. Whether you choose a beachfront mansion, a penthouse condo, or an exclusive resort, these luxury vacation rentals in Gulf Shores guarantee a lavish and unforgettable experience.


Unique Airbnb Experiences in Gulf Shores

When visiting Gulf Shores, why settle for a typical vacation when you can embark on unique Airbnb experiences that will create lasting memories? Airbnb offers a plethora of distinctive and authentic activities in Gulf Shores that allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture and make your trip truly unforgettable. Here are some unique Airbnb experiences in Gulf Shores:


1. Shrimping and Oyster Harvesting: Join a local shrimper or oysterman on their boat and get hands-on experience in the art of shrimping or oyster harvesting. Learn about the techniques and the importance of sustainable fishing while enjoying the beauty of the Gulf Coast waters. After the excursion, enjoy a fresh seafood feast with your harvest.


2. Beach Yoga and Meditation: Start your day in a calming and rejuvenating way with a beach yoga and meditation session. Breathe in the fresh sea air, connect with nature, and practice gentle yoga poses as the waves crash in the background. This experience offers a perfect balance of exercise, relaxation, and mindfulness.


3. Fishing Charter Adventure: Join a local fishing charter for an exciting day of fishing in the abundant waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, expert captains will guide you to the best fishing spots and help you catch a variety of fish species. Enjoy the thrill of reeling in a big catch while enjoying the beautiful coastal views.


4. Southern Cooking Class: Learn the secrets of Southern cuisine by participating in a cooking class hosted by a local chef. Discover the flavors of Gulf Shores as you prepare classic Southern dishes like shrimp and grits, gumbo, or crispy fried chicken. Immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of the Deep South, and savor the delicious results of your cooking.


5. Dolphin Sightseeing Boat Tour: Hop on a guided boat tour and venture into the waters of Gulf Shores to spot playful dolphins in their natural habitat. A knowledgeable captain will provide interesting insights into these majestic creatures as you witness their graceful antics. This experience offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature and create magical memories with your family.


6. Coastal Photography Workshop: Capture the beauty of Gulf Shores through a coastal photography workshop. Join a professional photographer as they teach you the art and techniques of capturing stunning images of the shoreline, wildlife, and landscapes. Savor the serene moments as you explore the picturesque locations and improve your photography skills.


These unique Airbnb experiences in Gulf Shores offer opportunities to connect with the local community, learn new skills, and create cherished memories. Embark on these one-of-a-kind adventures to make your trip to Gulf Shores truly extraordinary.


Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Gulf Shores, Alabama, offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and a laid-back atmosphere that makes it an ideal vacation destination. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the beach, outdoor adventures, or exploring the local attractions, Gulf Shores has something for everyone.


As you plan your trip to Gulf Shores, here are some final thoughts and recommendations to make the most of your experience:


1. Pack appropriately: Gulf Shores has a warm climate, so be sure to pack sunscreen, hats, and lightweight, breathable clothing. Don’t forget beach essentials like towels, umbrellas, and beach toys.


2. Try local cuisine: Gulf Shores is renowned for its fresh seafood, so make sure to indulge in local delicacies like shrimp, oysters, and Gulf Coast fish. Don’t miss the opportunity to try famous Southern dishes like gumbo and fried green tomatoes.


3. Explore beyond the beach: While the beaches are the main attraction, be sure to explore the surrounding areas. Visit the nearby Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, take a ferry to Dauphin Island, or explore the historic Fort Morgan.


4. Plan outdoor activities: Take advantage of the outdoor activities in Gulf Shores, such as fishing, paddleboarding, kayaking, or hiking. The area offers plenty of opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy the stunning landscapes.


5. Attend local events and festivals: Check the event calendar for any festivals or events happening during your visit. From music festivals to seafood celebrations, Gulf Shores hosts a range of vibrant events throughout the year.


6. Book in advance: Gulf Shores is a popular vacation destination, especially during peak season. To secure the best accommodations and experiences, it’s advisable to book in advance.


Overall, Gulf Shores offers a charming coastal getaway with a variety of activities, attractions, and accommodations to suit every traveler’s preferences. Whether you choose to stay in a beachfront rental, explore the unique Airbnb experiences, or simply relax on the sandy shores, you’re sure to create lasting memories in Gulf Shores, Alabama.