Gulf State Park Alabama Things To Do Inside And Why You Should Visit
While most travelers go to Gulf Shores, AL, for their white-sand beaches, which they should because it’s one of the best beaches in the USA, however, in Gulf Shores, there’s a whole other side to outdoor fun –and part of it is Gulf State Park Alabama Adventure. We took a quick tour of the facilities and grounds before the workshop started, and now I want to return to bring my grandson so we can stay in a cabin and play! It was amazing. I was hosted at the park, lunch, and all by Visit Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Gulf State Park Alabama Adventure
While attending a Writer’s Workshop in Gulf Shores, we participated in the workshop inside the screened-in porch in the park called Sweetbay Porch. While I was there to learn more about traveling writing, I caught myself daydreaming about going back to the park someday. You might say my focus was a little off.
I do love traveling by myself, but often when I’m somewhere or experiencing something I know my grandson would love, I can’t help but think of him and wishing he had come with me. This is one of those times. Alabama’s Gulf State Park is a family gathering place with so much nature to share.
Gulf State Park Restaurant
Start your day or end your day at the park at Woodside Restaurant with a full menu of Southern cuisine and healthy options using locally sourced ingredients. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and seating is available inside, outside, and inside a screened-in porch. It’s kid-friendly, fun and they play live music on weekends. It’s located steps away from the Learning Center.
I started my day with a healthy breakfast that included an eggwhite omelet, half an avocado, and fruit. Doesn’t it look amazing?
Gulf State Park Learning Campus
Our tour was brief, but our guide covered enough information in that short time that made us want to come back and hear the full version of her tour. The Learning Campus is an educational area of the park that teaches school kids, teachers, researchers, scouts, etc through hands-on programs to help connect with nature and the environment.
This right here caught my attention and it’s times like this when I wished my son was with me. Alabama’s state park is heavily into composting and teaching local kids about it and the environment.
Public schools and homeschools and any other school for that matter come out to the park for lessons on composting and even science projects in the Loblolly Classroom and Lab. Totally something I wished my son could experience. Texas doesn’t have anything like this that I know of.
The next photo below is a chicken wire bin that says “5th Grade.” My son is in the 5th grade, so I took a photo of the bin to show him that this is where scraps for the compost go. Each grade has its own bin.
Gulf State Park Lodging
For large groups (think Scouts, reunions, parties, etc.), renting the Bunkhouse is the way to go. The bunkhouse will accommodate 64 people (32 in each cabin). It gets better!
With the rental of the bunkhouse, four bathrooms, four showers, laundry facilities, and bedsheets and towels are provided. Because of the pandemic, shades were added to each bunk bed for more social distancing and privacy.
Cabins and Cottages at Gulf State Park
Of course, there are plenty of hotels to stay in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, like the gorgeous Turquoise Place by Spectrum Resorts we stayed in during our writer’s workshop, but if you’re looking to get the most of your visit in nature at Gulf State Park, I suggest renting a cabin or cottage. However, this is your friendly warning, cabins go fast and are reserved way ahead of time, so don’t delay! There are also pet-friendly cabins available.
Biking Trails in the Park
Bicycling is an option for your family. You can rent a bike at a local place like Beach Bike Rental and guide your way into the state park.
During our workshop, we took breaks to experience Gulf Shores/Orange Beach. A few of us chose to go on a bike ride through the Gulf State Park. I hadn’t been on a bike in years, and it showed. I’m the only one wearing a helmet, but now I’m ready to go again. Our fearless leader led us astray (it’s a joke we won’t let her ever forget!), took the wrong turn, and ended up bicycling over 12 miles before getting back to where we started. It was such a fun ride, and what was more fun was joking about how far we went. Another unforgettable memory I have of Gulf Shores, AL.
The next time you go to Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, AL, consider nature and consider Gulf State Park lodging.