Taking time to unwind, relax, and enjoy a well-deserved vacation is easy to do for those who set their travel sights on sunny Gulf Shores, Alabama. Filled with stunning shorelines to enjoy hugged by blue waves to match, it’s a scenic place that’s loved by adventurers and families from near and far alike. Whether you’re one for time on the sand or you can’t wait to make the most of in-town fun, entertainment and adventures, Gulf Shores has something exciting waiting for you. That said, it’s also a destination that’s packed with history to discover! If you happen to be a traveler that can’t wait to dig into the stories and legends of the past, Gulf Shores is a great place to do exactly that. From military Gulf Shores history to the stories of explorers that left intriguing legacies in their wake, Gulf Shores is a place where the past is still very much intact. The following are a few of the historical hot spots to check out when travel plans bring you this way.
Visit the Gulf Shores Museum
When you’re looking for a comprehensive place to learn more about the rich history and culture of Gulf Shores, starting your journey at the Gulf Shores Museum is always a good idea. Located at 244 W. 19th Avenue, the Gulf Shores Museum sits within a renovated home that hosts a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits and displays for guests to enjoy and engage with. These displays and exhibits showcase local history in a clear and concise manner, offering up timelines and portfolios on personalities that shaped the story of Gulf Shores before it became the hub of tourism it’s known and loved as today. The renovated home itself that the museum sits within is a historical landmark to be enjoyed. This home turned museum was constructed prior to World War II and was the home of the Vole family hailing from Mobile, Alabama. After Hurricane Frederick hit in 1979, the home was donated to the city and was first used as a library before being restructured into a youth center and eventually into the museum it is today. A visit to the museum offers guests a chance to also explore the grounds and gardens where they can admire the steeple overlooking the terrain that was donated to home in 1953. The museum is also outfitted with a donated 40-foot mast that was built back in 1940 and stood on the Sea Biscuit Shrimp Boat. The Gulf Shores Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Admission to the museum is free to the public with donations gladly accepted.
Fort Morgan State Historic Site
History buffs traveling to Gulf Shores willing to travel a short way to connect with the past will find a rich story waiting to be explored at the Fort Morgan State Historic Site. Located at 110 AL-180, this 19th century military fort is a place where guests can enjoy a tour as well as engage with displays and exhibits. The Fort Morgan State Historic Site is open daily from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm and is well worth visiting when you’re interested in learning more about how this military destination has roots reaching back to 1834. It was during this time that Fort Morgan became an official guardian of Mobile Bay after construction was started in 1819. In total, the fortification originally held more than 46 million cubic yards of bricks. A visit to the Fort Morgan State Historic Site today offers up unique insight into the fort’s role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864.
As with so many things in history, it’s easy to find varying stories when it comes to origins, battles, and victors of war. Gulf Shores, Alabama is no exception to that rule. While many historians put Gulf Shores history firmly in the hands of the arriving Spanish explorers in the early 1500s, others lean more towards the legend of Prince Madoc. This Welsh nobleman is believed by some to have reached the sugar-white shorelines of today’s Gulf Shores in 1170 seeking a more peaceful life than the one he left behind in war faring Wales. The legend states that he landed at Mobile Bay and began to establish a colony with the help of 100 men sailing with him. Eventually, the story goes that he returned to the area with additional men, women, and children who would call the area home. While the story of Madoc is highly contested among archeologists and scholars, the legend remains strong in the area with many people claiming the presence of Madoc is undeniable at Mobile Point. Those interested in seeing for themselves will find this historical landmark well worth visiting the next time they’re in town!
Book Your Getaway Today
Make the most of your Gulf Shores getaway by letting Poole & Associates handle your vacation rental accommodations while you’re here. Reach out to learn more about our exciting property options, including great short-term stay homes, and to start planning! In case you’re looking for properties in areas other than the Gulf Shores, make sure to check out our fantastic villas in Orange Beach, AL!