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Gulf Shores Beach Sunset

Do you struggle with the winter blues? Then this destination is just for you! Escape the chilly, wet snow and head down south for a Gulf Shores beach trip.

While you’re there, you can even find time to explore what it’s like to experience a Mississippi Gulf Coast Christmas. With the cool sand beneath your toes and a refreshing drink in hand, you’ll discover the joy of a winter beach vacation.

BONUS: Read until the end to find out about new flights coming to Gulfport, MS. Visiting the Gulf Shores just got easier!

biloxi beach

The Steps to Planning a Gulf Shores Beach Trip in Winter

Would you like to experience an unforgettable coastal adventure this winter? This guide will help to provide some insight into what to expect as you plan your Gulf Shores beach trip.

And, by implementing a few easy vacation planning tips for an effortless itinerary, you can feel good about the pacing of your trip, knowing that you’ll have enough time to enjoy every moment (and every dollar that you spend).

  1. Discover the best place to stay.
  2. Optimize your travel time by flying into a nearby airport.
  3. See the Sights and Plan a Mini Road Trip.

From exploring pristine shores to indulging in local delicacies, this guide navigates you through the nuances of Gulf Shores beach trip travel.

Here’s how we curate the best itinerary for a Gulf Shores beach trip in the winter.

sunset in Gulf Shores, AL

1. Book the Best Condo In Gulf Shores

Head south on Hwy 59, come to an end and be greeted by the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Take a right to head toward West Beach, where you’ll find Gulf Shores Surf & Racquet. 

It is a delightful beachfront resort nestled on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

This resort offers a range of vacation rentals, making it a fantastic choice for travelers seeking a mix of relaxation and adventure. This condo is our favorite!

The management team and condo owners are friendly and helpful. They work extremely hard to keep the property clean and safe for all guests to enjoy.

A welcoming atmosphere is a great option if you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful vibe while still being able to enjoy your cocktails by the pool.

This place is an ideal escape for a Gulf Shores beach trip. It’s also family-friendly and much less crowded than other condos we’ve stayed.

VRBO Gulf Shores Surf & Racquet Homepage

A Luxury Condo Experience

One of the only premier condo resorts in the area, Gulf Shores Surf and Racquet offers a large tropical poolside oasis (not a small pool in a parking lot like many overcrowded condos).

It overlooks the Little Lagoon (which is more like a bay), where you’ll be able to view the most beautiful sunsets.

GSSR stands out as the ultimate destination for a Gulf Shores getaway. With direct deeded access to the beach, you can enjoy peaceful morning walks collecting shells or kick back to take in the sunset.

Sunset View- Gulf Shores
Sunset View from Gulf Shores Surf & Racquet Condo 703B

Amenities: Gulf Shores Surf & Racquet Club

The resort features lush tropical landscaping and boasts a range of amenities such as a large outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, tennis & pickleball courts, boat slips, fishing piers, and shuffleboard.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy on this Gulf Shores beach trip!

The serene atmosphere and direct beach access make it an ideal spot for beach lovers. Plus, its proximity to local attractions ensures there’s always something exciting to do.

In essence, it offers the perfect peaceful retreat by the sea. Also, it’s an excellent choice for an active vacationer who wants to take a vacation filled with water sports and coastal exploration. 

Gulf Shores Surf & Racquet Club is the perfect home base for a memorable and amazing Gulf Shores beach trip in fall and winter.

Gulf Shores Surf & Racquet Pool View
Gulf Shores Surf & Racquet Pool View

Travel Tip! Tired of lugging the entire family’s gear all the way down to the beach? Want to experience true beach relaxation? Hire someone to do it for you! Check out our friends at Gulf Shores Beach Rentals!

This team of professionals took the stress out of our day by setting up a tent and chairs for our beach birthday party. It’s pretty affordable, considering the convenience of it. The Gulf Shores Beach Rentals team was easy to communicate with and answered all of our questions.

We will definitely be using them again next time we’re in Gulf Shores!

2. Cheap Flights: Gulf Shores Beach Trip In Winter

Planning your Gulf Shores beach trip in the winter doesn’t have to be stressful and draining. Why fly into a major airport like New Orleans when you can get a cheap flight into the Gulfport Regional Airport?

The Gulfport Regional Airport is located about 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Gulf Shores. A small airport that frequents major airlines such as American, Delta, and United. Recently, the budget airline Breeze Airways added flights to their program. Super exciting!

Breeze Airways now offers non-stop flights from Las Vegas and Tampa to Gulfport Regional Airport. Pack your bags. It’s time to plan a fantastic Gulf Shores beach trip!

Plan a Gulf Shores beach trip escape and visit the beautiful southern shores where the water is still warm, and the drinks are always ice cold. With Breeze Airways, getting there has never been easier.

Flying into the quaint Gulfport Regional Airport is easy.

Skip the Bag Fees

The best way to avoid pesky bag fees is to travel like a pro and pack like a minimalist.

Travel Tip! Breeze Airways is a budget airline, which means you pay extra for your seat and bags. But you don’t have to. Skip through those sections when booking and avoid the extra fees. Travel with only a personal-size bag like this one.

Fit everything you need so you can avoid those hefty baggage fees. After all, the condos at Gulf Shores Surf & Racquet have washers and dryers, so there is no need to pack your whole closet when you can just wash clothes there.

Rent a Car

Once you land at the Gulfport Regional Airport, it’s time to embark on a memorable Gulf Shores beach trip adventure.

Rent a car and hit the road to explore the stunning Gulf of Mexico coastline. Just a short 2-hour drive away, you’ll find yourself in Gulf Shores, one of the most visited beaches in the US.

3. Visit Nearby Towns

What else is there to do besides going to the beach on a Gulf Shores beach trip? There’s lots to see in the immediate area!

Don’t limit yourself to staying in and around the coastline. There are so many nearby places to spend the day.

You are planning a mini road trip while on your Gulf Shores beach trip because it’s so centrally located.

Gulf Shores, Alabama, is approximately 130 miles southeast of the Gulfport Regional Airport.

The drive typically takes 1 to 1.5 hours from the airport, depending on traffic and your specific route.

It’s a relatively short drive if you take I-10 and a scenic drive if you decide to take Hwy 90 instead and drive along the coast.

Plan a Mini Road Trip

  1. Mobile, Alabama: Approximately an hour and 20 minutes away from Gulf Shores is Mobile. It boasts a charming downtown area, historic districts, and beautiful gardens.
  2. Fairhope, Alabama: Located about 1 hour away is the charming town of Fairhope. It’s known for its scenic bayfront, art galleries, and a relaxed coastal atmosphere.
  3. Pensacola, Florida: About 1 hour away is Pensacola, and it has great beaches, a historic downtown area, and the National Naval Aviation Museum. We love watching the Blue Angels!
  4. Gulfport, MS: Located about 2 hours away in Gulfport. Take a ferry from Gulfport to Ship Island, a pristine barrier island with beautiful beaches and historic Fort Massachusetts. It’s a short, enjoyable boat ride away.

Beach Trip Alternatives

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana: About a 3 hours and 20 minutes drive (depending on traffic) is New Orleans. Of course, everyone knows it’s famous for a variety of cultural experiences, including the famous French Quarter, live jazz music, delicious cuisine, and historic architecture.
  2. Biloxi, Mississippi: Located about 2 hours away from Gulf Shores (but only 15 minutes from Gulfport) is Biloxi. It’s known for casinos, Hurricane Katrina, and attractions like the Biloxi Lighthouse and the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art.
  3. Ocean Springs, Mississippi: From Biloxi is a quick 20-minute drive to Ocean Springs, a quaint coastal town known for its art galleries, live music, boutiques, and delicious dining.

These short road trips from Gulf Shores provide a variety of experiences, from vibrant city life to coastal relaxation, making it easy to explore the Gulf Coast and its neighboring regions while on your Gulf Shores beach trip.

What are the Top 5 Reasons to Plan a Gulf Shores Beach Trip in the Winter?

  • Mild Weather: Gulf Shores has pleasant, mild weather during the fall, with cooler temperatures than the scorching summer months. It’s the perfect time for outdoor activities without the intense heat.
  • Beach Tranquility: Planning a Gulf Shores beach trip during the fall and winter seasons means fewer crowds. This makes it an ideal time to enjoy the pristine beaches without the hustle and bustle of summer tourists. You can relax in a quieter and more serene coastal setting.
  • Lower Rates: Fall and winter seasons often bring reduced accommodation and activity rates. As a matter of fact, you can enjoy the same beautiful beaches and attractions but at a more budget-friendly price.
  • Festivals and Events: Gulf Shores hosts various fall festivals and events, such as the National Shrimp Festival and the Hangout Oyster Cook-Off. These events offer a taste of local culture and cuisine.
  • Outdoor Activities: The fall season is excellent for outdoor adventures like hiking, kayaking, bike riding, and wildlife viewing. Gulf Shores boasts a range of natural parks and trails to explore, providing a different perspective of the area.

In all honesty, planning a Gulf Shores beach trip in the fall or winter is an ideal time to visit the “third coast”, combining pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and budget-friendly opportunities to experience the beauty and culture of this Gulf Coast gem.

Travel Tip! Bring your bike or rent one to explore some of the best trails we’ve ever experienced. We always have a blast at the Gulf State Park and can spend the whole day on these trails, especially during the cooler off-season months. With 28 miles of trails and 9 different ecosystems, what’s not to love about Alabama’s Gulf State Park?!

Final Thoughts: How To Plan A Gulf Shores Beach Trip

Consider making Gulf Shores your home for the fall and winter seasons. We hope to have helped spark ideas to blow off those winter blues and inspired you to embark on a Gulf Shores beach trip adventure.

The Gulf Coast’s charm knows no season, and the cooler months provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and exploration.

So, pack your bags, book your trip, and let the Gulf Coast work its magic on you. Your unforgettable winter beach escape awaits, and we can’t wait for you to experience it.

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