Gulf State Park, Alabama Beaches

Gulf State Park Pavilion

Public Beach Access in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

This uncrowded, natural beach is located among the sand dunes and sea oats. There’s lots of room to spread out, making it a great place for families with lots of gear. Surf fishing is a popular activity here.

The The 100,000 square foot open-air beach pavilion features air-conditioned restrooms, private showers, a snack bar, plenty of shady spots to sit and eat, and even a huge fireplace for chilly days.

This is a paid parking lot in which the pay stations are not active after recent renovations. However, there is a portable building set up at the roadside with an attendant to collect your money.

Parking is $6 to park all day ($12 for large vans) and there is an abundant amount of parking for everyone, and lots of room for large vehicles and RVs.

You will find trash and recycle bins throughout the parking lot and the park itself. One of the great things about this park is Veterans enter for free thanks to your donations.

Currently, there is a dune restoration project occurring at the park and you will find signage throughout. Please respect this and stay off the dunes so the sea oats will continue to grow and the wildlife will flourish for years to come.

Having Fun at Gulf State Park Pavilion

To the west side of the parking lot, there is a wooden structure with 3 large, sturdy unusual porch swings. They sit high off the ground so at 5 foot 5 inches it’s even a bit of a hop up to the seat for me.

West past the porch swings is a ramp with handicap railing that leads to a beautiful wooden covered outdoor area that overlooks the dunes and has what looks like the site of a future event building.

The Beach Pavilion is the perfect venue for sunset weddings! Please call for complete details.

Between the boardwalk and the shoreline, you will see a Parasail office if you are up for the adventure. There is also an area to rent kayaks and surfboards here, which is seasonal of course.

Rental options are available seven days a week excluding major holiday weekends. Rates vary depending on season.

Gulf State Park Interpretive Center

The Gulf State Park Interpretive Center acts as a gateway to the park that welcomes all visitors to the natural beauty of the park. Divided into three major components, this building will reveal the breadth of experiences available inside the 6,150-acre state park. An open-air porch will contain a series of interactive exhibits describing the nine distinct ecologies from the Gulf to the inland forest.

A multi-use room is available for reservation by the community and individuals for use as a gathering space for meetings and other events. The at-grade play area includes shade, a water play exhibit, and sky viewing benches. All of these features are tied together by an elevated plaza that provides stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. The building also includes public restrooms, bike parking, and amphitheater seating.

The Gulf State Park Interpretive Center shows signs of an eco friendly self-sufficient structure with 3 rainwater systems on the 2nd floor and 1 at the beach level. There are several solar panels here, as well as, pvc pipe running through the dunes at this time.

At the front of the eco friendly building next to the road is an over the road concrete crosswalk with a wire enclosure on both sides, as well as, overhead.

The crosswalk allows you to safely cross to the north side of Perdido Beach Blvd. and to another wooden handicap ramp that takes you to the eastern Shelby lakes. In the distant northwest, you will see the bright blue Gulf Shores water tower from here.

Nearby Restaurants

This park has a couple of nice bonuses here that others do not. One is that Mojo’s Seafood and Chicken delivers food to this location. The other is The Beach Burro valet service provided. I personally haven’t tried either, but after a day in the sun and a refreshing ice cold daquiri, the last thing I want to do is lug all my beach gear back to car. What a great business idea and why didn’t I think of it?

The Tiki Bar on the southeast side of the building includes food, drinks, cold beer and even daiquiris. Across from there snack bar is a seating area with raised chairs along the railing which overlooks the dunes. West past the snack bar is a inlet to the right with picnic tables.

Headed east approximately 1/2 mile on 182 (Perdido Beach Blvd) is Big Wave Dave’s Beach Bar and Grill and the world famous Ron Jon Surf Shop. Due to the high traffic area and the open area of none other than rolling sand dunes between the pavilion and there, it is recommended to drive rather than walk.


Gulf State Park has several options for a perfect location for your wedding, special event, reunion or business conference. Our sugar white beaches also offer the ideal beach front sunset wedding location.

On Sunday mornings at 7:30, Galilean Church holds services here from Mother’s Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

In addition to Sunday church service, there is also a Farmer’s Market that is opened Saturdays, 8Am to 12Pm, Mid April – Oct.

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The building here is very spacious and includes two unique, convex roofs. One is over the Tiki Bar and one is over a covered picnic area. The entrance to these areas are located on the south side of the building. There are beautiful palms on left and right sides of the building facing the highway along with handicap parking and accessibility.

There is a separate wooden boardwalk to the east side of the building that runs through the sand dunes that is approximately ___ feet long and then approximately another ____ feet to the shoreline.

There is a wooden boardwalk on east side of the building that includes handicap accessibility in the front of the building and stairs opposite of that on the left. It is approximately ___ feet long and another ___ feet to the shoreline. There are showers on both sides of the boardwalk just short of the sidewalk that takes you to the Tiki Bar.

On the west side of the building, there is a wooden boardwalk that runs up to the picnic area and is approximately ___ feet long. There is another wooden boardwalk on the west side of the building that is approximately ___ feet long and ___ feet to the shoreline. Showers are found on this boardwalk like the east side. Bike racks are located at the beginning of this entrance, as well.

Signs are posted stating there are no lifeguards on duty, but in reality there is one lifeguard stand behind the pavillion. As all other beach accesses, the lifeguards on duty are seasonal just like the rental equipment.

Further down on the south side of the building are 3 steps up to a large open area with several picnic tables. For handicap accessibility, you will need to use the ramp on the northwest side of the building.
Past the picnic seating area is a large fireplace with an opening on each side. There are a few more picnic tables on the west side of the fireplace. This entire area is open air and overlooks the sand dunes.

Separate male and female restrooms are in between the snack bar and picnic area with the fireplace. There are also water fountains here for your convenience.

How to Find It

22250 East Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

This is an easy beach to get to. The beach pavilion is located 2.7 miles east of Alabama Highway 59 and 3.7 miles west of Alabama Highway 161. This is also located just east of Gulf State Park Fishing about ___ mile away.

Gulf Shores State Park Pavilion