Alabama is home to an incredible range of state parks that have something to offer adventurers year-round. Early fall is one of the best times to experience the state’s parks in their most beautiful state. As leaves change and temperatures grow cooler, we are introducing our Alabama State Parks Passport series to highlight all of the stunning outdoor spaces throughout the state that make for the perfect fall getaway. The second in our series is the beautiful Gulf State Park.


According to Alabama State Parks, “There is something for everyone inside Gulf State Park. The beach pavilion provides picnic tables as an escape from the beach, the nature center is a great place for the kids to learn, the swimming pool provides refreshment for our guests and the Lake Shelby day use area offers kayaking and canoeing. For a change of pace while visiting check out the fishing and education pier, miles of biking on the Backcountry trail, beautiful flowers in the butterfly garden, and additional education at the  learning campus, interpretive center in the near future.

Gulf State Park offers a number of activities for visitors to enjoy: biking, hiking, fishing, paddling, and more. The park also offers vendors for kayaking and parasailing.

Click here for the Gulf State Park map.


Gulf State Park offers a number of accommodations from hotels to cottages.

“Reconstruction of The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel, is complete, and new hostel-style accommodations are available nearby as well. The Lakeside Cabins and Eagle Cottages are also available for overnight stays. Longleaf pines and the local palmetto forest surround our four “woods cabins”. Remaining “lakeside cabins” along Lake Shelby offer swimming, fishing, and sunrise walks right outside your front door. And with recent trail enhancements, waking up to jog or bike ride is easier than ever.

“The park’s 20 cabins provide guests with beautiful views of Lake Shelby or the beautiful longleaf pines and the palmetto forest of coastal Alabama. Guests choose to stay at Eagle Cottages because of all the fishing, swimming, boating, and other activities found along the shores of Lake Shelby. This 900-acre freshwater lake is one of the closest to saltwater along the Gulf of Mexico.

“From canvas tents to full hook-up RV sites, camping comes naturally to our guests. We offer a 496-site improved campground including 11 modern bathhouses, pull-thru sites, back-in sites, waterfront campsites, and ADA accessible sites. Our paved camping pads fit large RV’s and provide full hookups with water, sewer, electricity, a picnic table, and pedestal grill. The park even has 3 new ‘glamping’ sites and 11 primitive camping sites that include stone campfire rings, grill tops, and picnic tables nestled among the trees and along the creek.”

Area Offerings

Another amazing thing about Gulf State Park is its location. Gulf State Park is near Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and is a short drive from Fairhope and Mobile. The close proximity to these locations allows visitors to enjoy a great selection of shopping and dining experiences. Gulf State Park notes that “the Five Rivers Delta Resource Center, Weeks Bay Reserve, The USS Alabama and Meaher State Park are all within driving distance.”

Find out more about Gulf State Park here.