Tuesday, May 14, 2024

How Hot is Gulf Shores?

hot on the beach
According to official weather data providers, the average annual temperature in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach is 68.6° and ranges from 50.5° in the winter to 82.8° in the summer. Sounds great, right? Well, all that is true – BUT, by definition, those averages leave out the extremes and have little to do with when you are actually planning to visit Gulf Shores. Most people visit Gulf Shores between Memorial Day and Labor Day, which is the time when Gulf Shores experiences its hottest temperatures.

Here is the real story: In late May to late June you can expect it to be getting hot, but still pretty pleasant. You can count on having afternoon temperatures in the mid-80s to mid-90s on the warmer days, with some humidity that makes it feel a bit warmer than that. In July and August, you can expect it to be MUCH hotter. Temps are generally in the high 90s and into triple digits - with a level of humidity that makes it downright unbearable, even for locals who are used to it.

Here is some advice on how locals deal with it. First, we go to the beach in the mornings, before it gets super-hot, or in the evenings, after it begins to cool down. It is tourists who sleep in, go out to breakfast, and lollygag around until afternoon to hit the beach. They’ll roast out there for a few hours, wondering how in the HELL anybody can stand it, and leave the beach for a shower and a nap around 4pm. Locals will start arriving around 6:00 or 7:00pm to enjoy the last few hours of the day as the temperature drops a couple of degrees every 30 minutes and the Gulf breezes begin to feel refreshing.

So, if you want to live more like a local while you are here, go to the beach in the morning around 8 or 9 am. Have some beach time for a couple of hours and then head back to get ready for lunch somewhere airconditioned and enjoy some live music and some drinks. Then go shopping or something – explore some airconditioned shops, scope out some new bars and restaurants you might like to go back to later, get a massage, or enjoy a dolphin cruise out on the water, and have an early dinner. Then, around 6:00 -7:00pm, when EVERYBODY else is fighting traffic and waiting in long lines to be seated at restaurants, you can enjoy some more beach time on a much more comfortable and far less crowded beach!

Check out these helpful links to plan your stay:

Where locals like to eat and drink

Things locals like to do

Places to shop

Great fishing charters

Local favorite golf courses

Take a moment also to review local advice about what to do, and NOT do, at Gulf Shores' public beaches.

Monday, May 6, 2024

What are Gulf Shores' Beach Rules?

Gulf Shores beach rules
As tourist season approaches, it's important to familiarize yourself with the beach guidelines set forth by the City of Gulf Shores. These regulations may be subject to updates or revisions by the City Council or relevant departments. It's advisable to keep a reference guide handy for potential visitors seeking information on social media or other platforms.

Here's a summary of pertinent information provided directly by the City of Gulf Shores:

The Beach Safety Division of Gulf Shores endeavors to ensure a safe and enjoyable beach experience for all residents and visitors throughout the year. Seasonal lifeguard services operate from March to October, and swimming in designated public areas with lifeguards present is encouraged.

Gulf Shores boasts eight public beach access points, including Lagoon Pass and various streets such as West 13th, 12th, 10th, 6th, 5th, and 4th, along with Gulf Place West and East Beach.

Residents within the city limits of Gulf Shores, possessing valid Hurricane Re-Entry / Beach Parking Decals, enjoy free parking at all paid city public parking lots. For non-residents, paid parking options are available at designated locations from March 1 to November 30 each year.

Free parking is offered in specific on-street areas such as East 1st Avenue, East 1st Street, East 2nd Street, West 1st Avenue, West 2nd Avenue, West 1st Street, West 2nd Street, and West 5th Street north of Beach Boulevard.

Pets are prohibited on all sand beaches and public beach areas in Gulf Shores, including Gulf Place. However, the Gulf Shores Dog Park provides an alternative for outdoor enjoyment with pets.

Weddings are generally not permitted on public beaches but may be allowed on private properties with the owner's consent. Gulf State Park offers pavilion rentals suitable for various events, including weddings (permit required).

Tent and shelter regulations dictate specific size and placement criteria, with certain restrictions and recommendations to ensure safety and preservation of the beach environment.

Various items and actions are strictly prohibited on Gulf Shores public beaches, including glass containers, alcoholic beverages*, oversized tents/canopies, fishing at Gulf Place, tobacco/e-cigarettes, motorized vehicles, digging deep holes, fires/grills, fireworks, drone operation, solicitation, and walking/standing on sand dunes. Additionally, leaving structures or equipment unattended on the beach after sunset is not permitted and may result in removal by beach patrol.

By adhering to these guidelines, visitors can contribute to a safe and enjoyable beach experience for all. For further inquiries, individuals can contact the City Clerk's office for additional information from the City of Gulf Shores.

*LOCAL TIPS: Regarding alcohol, technically it isn't allowed on the beach, but if you are discrete and don't behave like you're at a frat party, you'll be left alone by the beach police. DON'T smoke weed. It isn't legal here, and it won't be ignored by the beach police. It happens nearly every day - someone comes on vacation and leaves on probation. Don't let it be you :)