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Why This Unexpected U.S. State Is Soaring In Popularity For Beach Vacations This Summer

Summer is the perfect time for long, lazy days by the beach, and Americans are fortunate because they don’t have to travel far to find stunning beach destinations. Among these, an unexpected state is rising in popularity for beach vacations, drawing in visitors with its serene white sand beaches, warm hospitality, and an array of activities. This emerging hotspot offers an alternative to the more crowded shores of Florida and California, providing a tranquil yet exciting beach experience.

This destination, according to, is experiencing a boom in tourism thanks to its relaxing atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and variety of attractions. If you haven’t guessed yet, we're talking about Alabama.

Alabama is known for its rich history and vibrant culture. Visitors come for the renowned Southern hospitality and the breathtaking natural landscapes, which include forest-covered mountains. However, what many don't realize is that Alabama also boasts some of the most picturesque beaches in the United States.

Alabama’s coastline, nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, features expansive stretches of pristine white sand. These beaches, although lesser known than those in Florida and California, are increasingly attracting savvy tourists. In fact, 29% of travelers to Alabama head straight to the beaches of Baldwin County, a significant increase compared to pre-pandemic levels. Alabama continues to set tourism records year after year, with the beach spots of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan leading the way.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are separated by just a 15-minute drive and a 7.5-mile stretch of beach. This is part of a 32-mile expanse of sugar-white coastline that draws numerous visitors to Alabama's shores. Despite their proximity, each beach offers a unique vibe. Gulf Shores is ideal for a bustling family vacation or a weekend getaway packed with activities. It’s a lively spot perfect for those looking for entertainment and family-friendly fun.

On the other hand, Orange Beach offers a more relaxed, small-town atmosphere with upscale amenities and excellent golf courses. It's perfect for travelers seeking a more refined beach experience. While many visitors choose to stay in one resort, they often explore all the beaches in the area, making the most of the diverse experiences each location offers.

Fort Morgan provides a distinct beach experience, combining beautiful sand with a rich historical background. Visitors can wander through the Civil War-era star fortification that gives the beach its name. Built between 1819 and 1833, Fort Morgan was the site of the Battle of Mobile Bay and played significant roles in the Civil War, the Battle of Spanish Fort, and even both World Wars. This historical site is a must-visit for history enthusiasts, especially those interested in military history.

Though Fort Morgan Beach was named after the fort, the actual fort is situated 20 miles inland. Admission to Fort Morgan is reasonably priced, making it an accessible destination for families and history buffs alike. Even if you don’t visit the fort itself, Fort Morgan Beach offers a serene escape, ideal for those looking to enjoy nature without the hustle and bustle of a busy resort town.

The beaches at Fort Morgan are less developed, which adds to their charm. These public beaches allow visitors to enjoy the stunning Gulf waters in a more natural setting, free from extensive manmade influences.

Alabama's beaches are becoming a top choice for summer vacations, offering a blend of natural beauty, history, and warm Southern hospitality. Whether you’re looking for a lively family getaway, a peaceful retreat, or a bit of both, Alabama's Gulf Coast has something for everyone. This summer, consider exploring the hidden gems of Alabama’s coastline for an unforgettable beach vacation.


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