Where to Go for the Ultimate Gulf Coast Beach Vacation
Ask people about what coast they think of when talking about sand, sun, surf, and beaches, and they’ll likely answer the East or West. What they miss is that the U.S. has a third coast: the Gulf. Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida all make up the edge of the Gulf Coast and all have beaches that are just as exciting as the ones on the East and West coasts. What makes these states even better places to visit is that they’re less expensive due to their low visibility in terms of vacation spots. Following are some of the best beaches for the ultimate Gulf Coast vacation.
Biloxi Beach, Mississippi
Biloxi Beach offers some of the best stretches of sand in the area, and you can find all of the Biloxi hotels near the beach on a site like Hotel Planner. Not only can you hang out for sun and surf, you can also fish from a charter boat, ride the waves on a sailboat, watch them from a parasail, and finish off the night at a Vegas-style casino. There are 26 miles of white sand beaches along the shoreline that are kept in tip-top shape. Plenty of parking is available off Beach Boulevard with direct access to the shoreline. If you feel like doing some fishing from the shoreline, Lighthouse Pier is a great place to cast a line for a few hours.
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, which are right next to one another, are located on the very southern edge of the state. The beaches themselves stretch for 32 miles along the Gulf, which means there’s plenty of sand to stretch out on and relax. Also on the beach is Gulf State Park, which encompasses Shelby Lakes, a 900-acre freshwater lake that offers fishing and swimming along with other recreational activities. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is a short distance from the shoreline and a great place to take a break from sitting on the beach. Water temperatures start rising above 70 degrees in April and hold there until October. It’s perfect for a late-season trip in case you couldn’t make it during the summer.
West Ship Island, Mississippi
West Ship Island is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, located off the coast of Mississippi. It belongs to the National Park Service and is home to Fort Massachusetts, which was built after the War of 1812. It was decommissioned in 1903 and is now a tourist attraction. The island offers swimming from the beaches, picnic areas, and wildlife watching. It’s an incredible place to visit with its remote location and limitless horizon over the gulf. West Ship is only open from mid-March through October, so make your plans accordingly.
The Gulf Coast is a great alternative to either of the coasts for a beach vacation, and it has attractions that rival those found on many beaches across the United States. Plan your next beach vacation around the area and get the same surf and sand for less money.