GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — South Alabama residents know what to expect as summer approaches: a flood of traffic down the Baldwin Beach Express bound for the white sand beaches and warm waters of the Alabama Gulf Coast.
From Fort Morgan to Orange Beach, vacationers enjoy the coast’s beaches, restaurants and entertainment. According to Travel + Leisure’s list of top 25 beaches in the United States, Gulf Shores Public Beach is one of the best places to put your toes in the sand.
Gulf Shores Public Beach ranks number 18 on the list. The nation’s best, according to the list, is Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii. Despite its more than 1,300 miles of coastline, only one Florida beach made the list, number 5 Clearwater Beach, in Clearwater, Fla.
- Poipu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
- Ocean City, Maryland
- Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
- Pope Beach, Lake Tahoe, Nevada
- Clearwater Beach, Clearwater, Florida
- Harris Beach, Oregon
- Glass Beach, Port Townsend, Washington
- Oak Street Beach, Chicago, Illinois
- Carlsmith Beach, Hilo, Hawaii
- Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
- Grand Haven State Park, Michigan
- Santa Monica Beach, California
- Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
- North Beach, Tybee Island, Georgia
- Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts
- Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York
- Crystal Lake State Park, Barton, Vermont
- Gulf Shores Public Beach, Alabama
- Park Point Beach, Duluth, Minnesota
- Asbury Park Beach, New Jersey
- Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
- Coligny Beach Park, Hilton Head, South Carolina
- Alki Beach, Seattle, Washington
- Ocean Beach Park, New London, Connecticut
- Coney Island Beach, Brooklyn, New York
Travel + Leisure considered several factors when compiling the list: the sand, the waves, seclusion, public transportation and parking, boardwalks, activities, and even the amount of shade trees. Gulf Shores’ palm trees, limpid waters and fine sand helped it stand out. Travel + Leisure also praised Gulf Shores’ easy access to parking and proximity to restaurants, shops and the boardwalk.