Alabama Gulf Coast Beaches

Beach Usage Rules

List of common Beach rules for the Alabama Gulf Coast

Alabama Gulf Coast Usage Rules

While we may all have our own ideas of what should be banned from the beach, the key is remembering that Alabama’s white-sand beaches are here for all to enjoy: young to young-at-heart and sea turtles to beach mouse.

The Leave Only Footprints initiative adopted by both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach asks beach visitors to remove what they bring to the beach each day, including beach chairs, beach toys and trash.

Keeping these items off of the beach and abiding by beach usage rules will make your next visit more pleasurable for you and others who follow you. Here’s a list of common beach usage rules to keep in mind during your next vacation to Alabama’s beaches:

  • Glass containers – It is illegal to bring glass containers to the Alabama Gulf Coast beaches, but unfortunately, people still do it. It’s not just the fact that it takes glass 1 million years to biodegrade – before reaching that point in time, it will likely get broken and smashed into the sand. A walker’s bare feet and hands creating sand castles too often encounter the sharp edges of broken glass, causing a medical emergency. On the off chance that a glass bottle makes its way into your cooler, please dispose of it properly, either by taking it home or dropping it in a recycling can.
  • Playing in the Dunes – The dune system on Alabama’s beaches is fragile. It’s imperative we avoid walking on beach vegetation, as plant roots hold together the fragile dunes. This includes the temptation of taking portraits in the sea oats and dunes. An alternative is taking your photos with the sunset as your backdrop, or even from a beach boardwalk. The contrast of the weathered wood against the blue sky and white sand can be breathtaking.
  • Bonfires on the beach are prohibited in both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Not only do fires get messy, but shards of wood can be left behind for little (and big) feet to step on.
  • Structures or Equipment – Any left on the beach an hour after sunset will be removed and disposed of by beach patrol (except for permitted beach services). This includes tents, chairs and other beach gear.
  • Dispose of trash properly. Put recyclable items in the blue recycling cans located at the ends of public boardwalks.
    Avoid walking on vegetation, as plant roots hold the dune system together.

As a reminder, the following are not allowed on the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange beach:

  • Glass containers
  • Fireworks
  • Metal shovels or excessive digging
  • Loud music
  • Litter

  • Fires
  • Tents or structures larger than 10′ X 10′
  • Pets
  • Overnight camping
  • Vehicles