Gulf State Park RV & Campground Guide

Alabama

Located along the southern shores of Alabama, Gulf State Park, about an hour from Mobile, Gulf State Park’s two miles of beaches is home to glistening white sand beaches, lots of sea-loving animals, and a treasure trove of seashells. The weather along the Gulf Coast is mild, with average highs between 60-90 degrees, depending on the time of year. The most pleasant weather at Gulf State Park is in the spring and fall, based on the temperature and humidity of the area. 

The park has meandering boardwalks that take you over the swamps and dunes of the park and down to the beaches. There’s also a Dog Pond for your furry friends who love to swim! You can fish at either Lake Shelby, or fish the gulf from the pier. Anglers might catch redfish, bass, bream, speckled trout, catfish, flounder, Spanish mackerel, whiting, croker, and more. There are even managed shark fishing events, which you can find out about here. The Gulf State Park Pier, which was rebuilt after Hurricane Ivan, has indoor seating and concessions, shops selling tackle and souvenirs, comfort stations midway down the pier, and wheelchair accessible rail fishing.

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Weather
Spring 60 F - 80 F
Summer 80 F
Fall 60 F - 78 F
Winter 53 F - 56 F
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Nearby Cities
Gulf Shores, AL
Pensacola, FL
Mobile, AL
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Gulf State Park

The RV campgrounds at Gulf State Park get glowing reviews from people who have stayed there, and it’s obvious that the campground and its amenities are a priority for those in charge of the park. With the bugs and humidity the south is known for, you’re likely to have a much more pleasant night in a comfortable RV than camping in a tent! If you do choose to use an RV,  consider renting one from RVshare.com, where you can find a custom rig for your family, at a price that suits your exact budget. All rentals come with nationwide insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a world-class team dedicated to helping you succeed. You can rent an RV at your home and drive it to the park, or if you’d prefer, you can fly to Alabama and then rent an RV there to head to the park.

Gulf State Campground

Gulf State Campground is in the park, just 1 ½ miles from the white sand beaches. All full hookup pads are big enough for motorhomes with pullouts and have a picnic table and pedestal grill. They don’t have fire rings, but do allow people to bring their own portable rings. There are showers, and the campgrounds are near a camp store, laundry, a swimming pool with splash pad, tennis courts, and the Nature Center which features weekly activities. You can even rent a bike from the camp store to explore the 25 miles of paved trails around the park. 

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: n/a
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: pool, camp store, volleyball courts, tennis courts, nature center, full-service bathhouses, laundry

Island Retreat RV Park

This campground is just six minutes from the park, in the beachside town of Gulf Shores. Gulf Shores has championship golf, renowned restaurants, and is the place to find one-of-a-kind experiences like dolphin cruises. You can also explore nearby Fort Morgan, which was tasked with protecting the area’s coastline.

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: yes
  • Wifi: yes
  • Pet-friendly: yes
  • Other amenities: pool, playground, clubhouse, showers, laundry

RV Rentals Near Gulf State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Gulf State Park

Inside Gulf State Park

As the park is along the beautiful Gulf Coast, there are plenty of water-related activities for visitors. Sit on the white sand beach and read, or take the kids to splash in the waves. There are the boardwalk paths to explore, taking you over varied coastal environments like swamps and dunes, down to the shore. There is plentiful fishing, or bird watching from the pier or from the shore. In fact, you may see lots of wildlife on your trip - the park is home to bobcat and white-tailed deer. You may even see an alligator sunning himself! 

Some other cool experiences and activities at the park include:

even trails among six distinct ecosystems make up more than 25 miles of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail complex through the cities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, and Gulf State Park. Explore the timeless beauty of the Butterfly Garden, the mystical Freshwater Marshes and the Coastal Hardwood Swamps. Catch a glimpse of a Bobcat on the Twin Bridges or a White Tailed Deer on Gulf Oak Ridge. View an Alligator basking in the sun and be sure to bring your camera to capture the adventure! With terrain suitable for walking, running, and biking, you are sure to enjoy the stunning natural scenery only found on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  

Bicycling - Seven trails that wind through six different ecosystems make up over 25 miles of bike trails through the park. You can rent a bike at the camp store and spend the day discovering the Butterfly Garden, or the Freshwater Marshes, or the Coastal Hardwood Swamps. Definitely bring your camera along!

Kayaking and paddleboarding - Ike’s Beach Service rents a variety of water equipment including kayaks, paddleboards, beach lounge chairs, and more. You can even sign up for a parasailing trip with them and get a glimpse of the shore from way up in the air!

Dog Water Time  - If you’re having a great time enjoying the outdoors, your dog should, too! The Dog Park along Lake Shelby features agility equipment for pups, along with access to the lake so water-loving dogs can swim. Spend an afternoon playing catch and swimming with your four-legged buddy. Be sure to check the rules here to make sure your dog has the proper vaccinations and other requirements to play at the park.  

Outside Gulf State Park

The nearby beach town of Gulf Shores is home to plenty of things to do once your outside the park. From shopping to restaurants to golfing, you’re sure to find something to do in this beautiful seaside place!

Restaurants

The Gulf Coast is, of course, known for its seafood! Spend a day in the sun and water, then head to dinner for fresh food caught from that very same sea just that day. 

Fin & Fork

Just down the coast in Orange Beach, this restaurant not only serves fresh Gulf seafood each day, but also has privately farmed Black Angus beef, house-made sushi, and other specialities all prepared in their true scratch kitchen. The family-friendly eatery also features live music at times, and a welcoming atmosphere.

Type: Seafood, American

Location: Orange Beach, AL

Bahama Bob’s Beachside Cafe

Bahama Bob’s is frequented by tourists and locals alike, and is known for their fried pickles, coconut shrimp, and beautiful views while guests sit right on the beach.

Type: Seafood, American

Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Shopping

The Wharf in Orange Beach

The Wharf has boutiques, galleries, and other shopping, as well as restaurants, and a movie theater. If the kids tire of shopping, take them on the Ferris wheel (and get a breathtaking view of the Gulf Coast from the top!). There are also concerts at the Ampitheater in the shopping center as well.

Location: Orange Beach, AL

Sightseeing

Fort Morgan Historic Site

On the point where the bay meets the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Morgan was important to the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864, and was used during the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II. Visitors can see the evolution of coastal warfare, and how the U.S. Army adapted as they worked to defend the country along the coast. There are also nature areas, a boat launch, a picnic area, and a beach. Prices are $4 for kids and $7 for adults.

Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Pensacola Lighthouse & Museum

Visitors can climb the 177 steps up the Pensacola Lighthouse, built in 1859, and get a panoramic view of the Gulf Coast. The lighthouse is on Naval Air Station Pensacola, an active military base, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You must be 7 or older to climb the stairs. Also, because it’s an active military base, check here to be sure you bring the proper I.D. to be allowed to visit. Prices are $4 for kids and $7 for adults.

Location: Pensacola, FL

Dolphin Cruises, Cold Mil Fleet

See dolphins up close, playing and jumping in the surf. The waves made by the boats create the perfect surf for dolphins to frolic. The 90 minute cruises are perfect for families, and there are sunset crises available as well. Prices are $22 for daytime cruises and $27 for sunset. Kids 2 and under are free.

Location: Orange Beach, AL

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How to Get to
Gulf State Park

Gulf State Park is located off Alabama’s Coastal Connection/Orange Beach Blvd. From Mobile, you’ll take I-10 to 98 south towards the water!  From Pensacola, you take FL-292 into Alabama, then turn onto AL-161N.

Entering Gulf State Park

There is no fee to enter Gulf State Park.

Visiting Gulf State Park is sure to be a wonderful trip. There’s so much to do there! From landfaring activities like bicycling and hiking to spending time in the water boating or swimming, there’s sure to be an activity for everyone in your group! While you’re out and about, don’t forget to tag us in your social media posts or send us a photo and some details at [email protected]. We may just feature your story on our blog or social media channels. Happy camping!