I’ve heard folks say: I want to go to Gulf Shores and do what the locals do. I want to know what they know. I think those statements are a bit funny, because we, at Sunset Properties, are always sharing our knowledge with you, our readers and guests. But I will admit, there are a few cool things we locals know about winters in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan that not a lot of folks outside our area are aware of. I decided to write this blog to share
10 Things Locals Know About Winter At The Beach And You Should, Too just in case you’re contemplating a winter getaway vacation to our happy part of Alabama.
- Shell collecting is the best
The beaches are less crowded and shell collecting during the winter months at the beach is so great! With smaller crowds and fewer people walking the beaches, there is, quite literally, less competition to find the best shells. Walking the beach along the Alabama Gulf Coast on winter days can be a bit breezy and sometimes it is a little cool, so you might want to wear a jacket or windbreaker for your outing. Some days, however, the temps can reach the high sixties and even the low seventies, so don’t be surprised if you work up a little sweat while you’re treasure hunting.
- Painting or writing a memory is a breeze
The winter sun reflecting off The Gulf of Mexico will make the water and sky sparkle and shine in amazing hues of blues and greens. It’s easy to photograph our local beauty with a camera or phone, but why not take some watercolors or artist chalks and artists paper and capture your own memory? Often you’ll find locals just sitting and relaxing on our vacant Gulf Shores beaches and making notes about or painting what they see. If you take the time, we know our wonderful little island’s environment will speak to you. You may not know it, but there may just be an artist inside you and this may just be the place to set him free.
- The timing is perfect for great photography
If painting is not in your wheelhouse, why not take some breathtaking pictures of our island? Less crowded beaches means you’ll have less opportunities for those crazy photobombers who seem to be everywhere in the summer. Try shooting a few pictures in black and white and see how great they look! The air is just crisper and cleaner during the winter months and the sunlight’s reflection off seemingly everything is amazing. Sea oats are always great models. We urge you to take pictures, but please do not disturb the sea oats. They help hold our dunes in place and they are protected by law. If you’re not the best photographer, but you want to capture some memories while you’re here, contact the good folks at Chasing the Son Photogrpahy and see if they can’t help you out.
- Local seafood is surprisingly affordable and there usually is not a wait to be seated
How long have you waited to be seated for dinner in the summer at the beach? We suspect you’ve waited at least thirty minutes. In the winter, however, seating is much quicker. Locals know that most restaurants offer early-bird dinner specials, too. It’s like eating at happy hour every night! We cannot think of a better way to try a new menu item than to sample our great local Alabama Gulf Seafood at a reduced cost.
- Fort Morgan is the perfect place for a December picnic
If you’ve never been inside the magnificent walls of Fort Morgan, we cannot think of a better day outing than planning a picnic on the fort grounds. Take your picnic basket and blanket and spread out on the grassy area inside the fort for a cozy winter meal. The walls of the fort help deflect some of the chilly breezes that can meander off Mobile Bay. You’ll love the way the warm sun feels on your face and you’ll enjoy a making personal memory with your family or special someone.
- Adult beverages taste better when you only have a few folks around
Everyone loves a great crowded night spot in the summer. The fast pace of summers at our beach make our nights even hotter. But there is something special about visiting a beach bar in the winter. Sitting by a window where you can see the gulls playing outside or boats passing by as you sip your favorite adult beverage with just a few friends nearby gives you a whole new perspective on our laid-back beach life. It is so nice to be able to enjoy a simple glass of wine or a rum topped bushwacker and have nice conversations with our friends. If you want to meet a few of us, come on down to the Pink Pony or Bill’s By the Beach or Big Beach Brewing Company. We might just be the folks sitting right beside you.
- Shopping for beach attire and small gifts is easy
Did you know that many of our local shops run amazing sales on swimwear and local tees during the winter months? Yep! One of the best times to get amazing deals on fashionable swimwear is during the winter. All those cool tees you were eyeing during your summer visit, those are on sale, too. How about getting someone back home a great gift at a reduced price? We are pretty sure you can find the perfect souvenir to take back home at an amount that won’t cut into your adult beverage budget. Visit www.gulfshores.com for a complete listing of local retailers.
- Tanning is still a thing and flip flops are still acceptable footwear
That’s right! You can still tan in the winter and you can wear your flip flops in January. We do! You can actually get a pretty bad sunburn if you aren’t careful. While you may not want to don that string bikini in late December, you will most likely find days when shorts and t-shirts are comfortable. Always, always, always use sunscreen while you’re visiting our happy little island. Even on winter days, when it’s cold and snowing back where you come from, down here, the sun continues to tan us all winter.
- Volunteer opportunities are all around
Want to become an intrinsic part of our little community while you’re here? Great! Locals are big on volunteering and we welcome our guests who want to participate. Our local United Way is always looking for kind hearted folks who want to volunteer at their partner agencies. The Thomas Norton Library usually likes to have volunteers around. And our museums in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach may have volunteer opportunities.
- You can sleep cheap
This is one of the biggest secrets locals know. After this blog posts, I guess it won’t be a secret anymore. Lodging and vacation rental prices are at our yearly low, so finding an affordable place to stay is super easy. You will get to stay in the same great places you did last summer but for about half the cost. Sometimes it is even less than half! Check out our website www.sunsetproperties.com or better yet, give us a call. We may have a weekend special that isn’t posted and you might just be the lucky person who gets our rental deal of the week!
So we have you thinking about a winter beach getaway, huh? Awesome! Check out some of our amazing accommodations options in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. Don’t have time to look for yourself, that’s ok! We are ready to answer your call at 251.543.1370 and help you find your perfect winter getaway vacation home!