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Testimonials

Pam Grout, AAA Southern Travler, July/August 2011
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in Alabama is more than a geographic destination. It's a state of mind, a Zen-like approach to life that lowers blood pressure, strengthens family bonds, promotes peace of mind and elevates joy. But to fully enter beach consciousness takes practice.

Karen Cicero, Parents Magazine, June 2011
Gulf State Park Beach received an honorable mention to the publication's 10 Best Beaches for Families. "Among sand dunes and sea oats, this pretty, uncrowded stretch of sand has a modern beach pavilion with air-conditioned restrooms, plenty of shady spots for a picnic, and even a fireplace for chilly days." Please note that the area was ranked alongside Aliso Beach Park (South Laguna Beach, Calif.), Cape May Point Beach (Cape May, N.J.), Hapuna Beach Park (Big Island, Hawaii) and Misquamicut State Beach (Westerly, R.I.) to name a few.

Top 5 Favorite Beaches, Weather Channel Online Poll, May 2011
Gulf Shores took home the prize in our online poll with about 40 percent of the votes. This region desperately needed a jolt of good news, given that its economy was severely hurt during last year's oil spill. We're happy to say, the beaches of Gulf Shores are gorgeous as always and ready for Memorial Day tourists. [Please note that the area was ranked alongside Coronado Beach (San Diego, Calif.), Nags Head Beach (Nags Head, N.C.), Panama City Beach (Panama City Beach, Fla.) and Mackinac Island (Mackinac Island, Mich.).]

Runner Up: Orange Beach, Ala.
Orange Beach lies just 15 minutes east of Gulf Shores. Check out The Wharf, a massive dining and entertainment complex. It has concerts, a wave pool, and a lot of restaurants and cocktail options. [Please note that the area was ranked alongside Monterey Beach (Monterey, Calif.), Hilton Head Beach (Hilton Head, S.C.), Daytona Beach (Daytona, Fla.) and Oak Street Beach (Chicago, Ill.).]

Top 200 Towns for Sportsmen, Outdoor Life, May 2011
#87 - Gulf Shores, Alabama The entirety of the Gulf of Mexico's fishing opportunities is at your disposal in this fast-growing coastal town. The city has experienced a 22.2 percent growth in population since 2000, a sign of great civic health. Gulf Shores is an excellent place to raise kids, too: Its public schools score an 8 out of 10 rating on the website greatschools.org.

Top 10 Most-Popular Summer Travel Destinations, HomeAway.com, May 2011
1. Provincetown, Mass.
2. Ocean City, Md.
3. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
4. Miami, Fla.
5. Gulf Shores, Ala.
6. Las Vegas, Nev.
7. Bethany Beach, Del.
8. New York City
9. Destin, Fla.
10. Folly Beach, S.C.
Based on traveler inquiries about stays between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2011

Linda Kissam, VacationStationMagazine.com, January 2011
It's not often I get the opportunity to right a wrong or set the record straight while thoroughly immersing myself in sugar white beaches, clear blue ocean waves, and warm tropical breezes. Pair that with total engagement in culinary nirvana, a high-end waterfront condo stay, art, music and eco-friendly golf cart tours and I can truly say I've lived the life of an oil-free Diva in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. A few weeks back the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism Bureau invited me to visit this oil-spill impacted area to see for myself what the clean-up efforts have accomplished and to experience a Gulf Shores and Orange Beach stay. I am here to tell you quite simply it all looks, feels, and tastes good to me.

10 Best Weekend Getaways, Southern Living, December 2010
Sugar-white sands, Gulf breezes, and a bustling coastal village. From amusement park rides, water parks, and lazy rivers to championship golf, world-class fishing, and big-name concerts, this spot blends action with a laid-back style. (Please note that the area was ranked alongside the Great Smoky Mountains, Charleston, Shenandoah National Park, Nashville, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and New Orleans to name a few.)

America's 10 Best Winter Beach Retreats, Yahoo Travel, December 2010
Most people don't automatically associate the phrase "beach retreat" with Alabama - but don't tell a local that. Alabamians are adamant that their Gulf Coast beaches are among the most beautiful in the country. The sand is 95 percent quartz, meaning that it's snow-white and sparkles in the sun, and the waters are as blue as any you'll find in Florida. (Please note that the area was ranked alongside Hawaii, Long Key, Laguna Beach, San Diego, and St. Simons Island to name a few.)

2011 Honeymoon Hot List, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, December 2010
If it's beaches you crave, the 1,000-plus-mile coastline that stretches from Texas to the Florida Panhandle is still home to some of the country's prettiest white-sand strands....With more than 100 charter captains at your disposal, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, are tailor-made for dolphin spotting, bird-watching and deep-sea casting. (Please note that the area was ranked alongside England, Hawaii, Estonia, Thailand, and Mexico to name a few.)

Michelle Winner, Tripatini.com, December 5, 2010
Brown pelicans splash in the turquoise ocean looking for dinner. The sugar beach bumps up against the soft evening waves. You sip a smart cocktail lingering on the expansive lanai for the last glowing moment of a deep orange sunset. This is Alabama.

Bruce Leonard, Highways, December 2010
The white-sand beach spread out below me in both directions as far as I could see. Hotels and condos and campgrounds dappled the sand, and watercraft of various kinds motored, glided, or were paddled through the wind-blown water of the Gulf of Mexico. My silent perch 800 feet above the surface of the sea provided the perfect vantage point from which to assess Alabama's Gulf Shores and Orange Beach region.

Top 10 Spring Break Escapes, Southern Living, March 2010
The emerald waters and white-sand beaches of Alabama's coastline make it a prime location to park a beach chair during Spring Break....The beach is the star of Gulf Shores, so aim to stay only a few steps away from the warm sand.

Renuka Christoph, Tennessee Tribune, January 7-13, 2010
Paradise is often thought of as some faraway place on the other side of the world. But this theory can be disproven upon the shores of Alabama. Experience uninterrupted stretches of sandy white beach and sparkling blue water in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Carolanne Griffith Roberts, Southern Living, December 2009
This place rocks with parasailing, waterslides, dining, shopping, a zoo, go-carts, mini-golf (and grown-up golf), seeing friends, and making friends. Vibrant by day - and by night. You can stay up late, but be ready for a bright new day.

Jill Gleeson, 717 - It's Where We Live, December 2009
A small slice of a big, beautiful shoreline, Alabama's Gulf Coast has not traditionally garnered the attention from tourists that its seaside neighbors to the east and west receive. But with fabulous new restaurants and ultra-luxurious accommodations opening their doors, Alabama resort towns Orange Beach and Gulf Shores have stepped into the big time. By adding first-class amenities to its 32 miles of gorgeous white sand beaches and long list of unique activities, the area is now clearly competing for visitors with this country's finest destinations.

Jeff Lampe, Journal Star, October 18, 2009
One visit to Orange Beach, Ala., was all it took to go from question mark to exclamation point. From, Alabama has beaches? To, Alabama has beaches!

Dan Vukelich, Chicago Sun-Times, October 11, 2009
Bill Kurtz can't go more than a few months without wriggling his toes into white sugar-sand beaches.

Long before the first frost, he'll map out the 15-hour drive from west suburban Oak Park to Gulf Shores, Ala.

"We've been going down there for 40 years and I can tell you the beaches of L.A. and Hawaii don't hold a candle to the beaches down there," Kurtz says.

Atlantic beaches are closer; the Carolinas are two-thirds of the driving distance. But for Kurtz, there's only one place that can guarantee warm water and white sand: the Gulf Coast.

Tamara Best, Parenting.com, October 2009
An under-the-radar gem, Gulf Shores has sparkling turquoise waters reminiscent of the Caribbean.

Wanda McKinney, Southern Living, September 2009
The Alabama Gulf Coast still reigns as one of the best beaches in the South.

Beverly Burmeier, Examiner.com, July 2009
White sand, sparkling water, and sunny skies make a perfect vacation at the beach. But if your dream of an adult retreat to the French Riviera is decades away, take the family to Gulf Shores, Alabama, an alternative that is both kid and parent friendly.

Today's Black Woman, June 2009
Alabama was never on my radar as a vacation spot. I certainly didn't think of it as a destination for sun, sand and surf, but to my surprise, there are beautiful white sandy beaches and plenty of fun things to do, plus great dining options.

Tom Austin, Travel + Leisure, June 2009
Gulf Shores was named as one of America's Best Little Beach Towns, ranking alongside other destinations such as Boca Grande, Fla., Santa Cruz, Calif., and Sunset Beach, Hawaii.

Marilyn and Glenn Pribus, Trailer Life (an RV magazine), May 2009
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach can claim only 32 miles along the Gulf of Mexico, but sure make the most of those miles. We've found nothing in the world more satisfying to the soul than walking at the edge of the ocean, so sunrises and sunsets found us hand-in-hand along a beach.

James Griffin, AskMen.com: Top 10 All-Time Beach Vacation Deals, March 2009
Orange Beach is basically set up for resort-style vacationing -- only at cheaper prices. Cross an imaginary line between two states and start saving right away. It's hard to go to a beach community in the South and not have a good time -- having the best happy hour in town is serious business. The Wharf is a one-stop shop for Gulf Coast fun, and it's home to Rafter's, a spectacular sports bar where $2.50 gets you a beer and a seat in front of one of 18 TVs. Happy hour (which lasts 10 hours every day by the way) takes a dollar off that outrageous starting price and brings it down to something a little more manageable. Orange Beach practically pays you to have a good time.

Jane Ammeson, Press News Service, February 22, 2009
When my children were young, winter vacations were simple. All we needed was a hotel with a pool located someplace sunny and warm. But now that they're older, everyone has different interests, making negotiating a compromise a challenge. That's what makes Alabama's Gulf Coast perfect. There's biking for my husband, the beach for my 15-year-old daughter, tee times for my college-aged son and hiking, kayaking and a historic Southern town for me. Plus -- since family vacation should mean family time -- there's a list of activities we can enjoy together, and all at very little cost.

Readers' Choice Awards, Southern Living, January 2009
Southern Living's readers voted the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area as one the best beaches and best family destinations in the Southeast while the National Shrimp Festival ranked as a top festival and fair in the publication's annual awards for 2008.

Diane Blair and Pamela Wright, Miami Herald, December 28, 2008
If you want to experience the South in all its drawl-y, deep-fried glory, go north to Alabama. Proudly honky-tonk but increasingly sleek thanks to posh new condo developments, Alabama's Gulf Coast is the place to go for a hit of Southern Exposure. Order a mess of fried crab claws, go to a dive bar and watch the sun set, and enjoy white-sand beaches without a smidgen of attitude.

Joe Starnes, New York Times, December 23, 2008
Mrs. Hattox often takes her grandkids for a day on the beach, even in the tourist-heavy summer. "There's so much beach that everyone spreads out," she said. The region has wider and more open beach than most coastal communities. The 6,150-acre Gulf State Park sits between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, providing two miles of uninhabited public beach, wavy with sand dunes and wild sea oats. On the western edge of Gulf Shores is Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, a 7,000-acre preserve.

Paul Flemming, Endless Vacations, November/December 2008
Bird lovers who visit this beautiful area tend to flock to the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, a 7,000-acre preserve that's home to loggerhead sea turtles and more than 370 species of birds... You'll find plenty of uncrowded spots perfect for a sunset stroll.(Please note that in this article the Alabama Gulf Coast was ranked alongside Bermuda and Newport, Rhode Island.)

GolfStyles Philadelphia, September 2008
The word is out about Gulf Shores, Alabama. With miles of beaches, a hospitable community oozing Southern charm and a growing list of fine and challenging courses, Gulf Shores is an ideal golf vacation virtually any time of the year.

Trish and Jim Koetting, Columbia Tribune, June 25, 2008
We were pleasantly surprised to find that this place is one of the most idyllic vacation spots in the states. The beaches are fine, white sand and very wide, and the Gulf of Mexico is a classic sea green. Although the area isn't nearly as commercialized as a Daytona Beach, Fla., there are all of the necessary amenities, including go-karts, putt-putt golf and a water park, which was heaven on Earth for the seven boys in our house.

Pierce Hoover, Boating Life, June 2008
Unless you live near the Gulf Shores region of Alabama, the thought of boating in the state probably includes mental images of sticky summers and bass boats. It might be surprising to find that families who can't decide between a beach vacation and time on a the boat often wind up in a nautical Alabama haven called Orange Beach.

Marie Elizabeth Oliver, Better Homes and Gardens, May 2008
BHG.com associate editor Marie Elizabeth Oliver ranked Gulf Shores and Orange Beach as one of the magazine's Favorite Family-Friendly Beaches. She "has fond memories of childhood vacations at this low-key Gulf Coast escape... Crystal blue water and soft white sand are the main draws to this affordable family destination... Alabama's Gulf Coast is delightful to visit any time of year". (Please note that in this article the Alabama Gulf Coast was ranked alongside Ocean City, Maryland; Parksville, British Columbia; Long Beach, Washington; Maui, Hawaii; Destin, Florida; Chicago Beach, Illinois; St. John, US Virgin Islands; San Diego, California; and York Harbor Beach, Maine.)

Karon Warren, Atlanta Journal Constitution, April 6, 2008
Want to try something new for your vacation? Then pack your bags, and make your way to the Alabama Gulf Coast. With more than 1.3 million visitors each year, the secret is out that this is a great destination for relaxing. This stretch of white-sand beaches is the perfect place to relax with family, get away with the girls or enjoy a romantic rendezvous for two. The area features two primary destinations: Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Both feature all the activities, dining and accommodations you could need.

Cynthia Campbell, The Advocate (in Baton Rouge), March 16, 2008
Like crusty Gulf oysters, the people and places of Alabama's Gulf Coast stick together through both rough waters and calm, sunny days. Among them you find pearls worth treasuring. Situated at the mouth of Mobile Bay, the area attracts spring breakers, snowbirds, RVers and year-round residents who would live nowhere else. Somehow, there seems to be room for everyone.

Linda Holloway, Kid's Life Magazine, March/April 2008
I need to feel the warm, gulf breeze flowing over my face and the surf shoving sand between my toes. Notice, I said "I need" instead of "I want" because simply observing the place where the ocean meets the horizon allows serenity and contentment to wash over me like sunshine.

Molly Feltner, USA Today, May 23, 2007 Note: In this article, Gulf Shores, AL, was named as one of the "five hidden, affordable beach destinations" and was ranked alongside Anna Maria Island, Florida; San Mateo County, California; Points East Coast Drive, Prince Edward Island; and East Hawaii.

Readers' Choice Awards, Southern Living, January 2007
Southern Living's readers voted us as one of their three favorite "beach towns/resorts" of 2006 in the magazine's "Best of the South" Readers' Choice Awards.