logo ×

History of Gulf Shores

HomeArea GuideHistory of Gulf Shores

A trip to gorgeous Gulf Shores, Alabama is always a treat for travelers. While many come here to enjoy the beach, sun, and surf, Gulf Shores is also a destination rich in history. The stories of the past make Gulf Shores the captivating vacation destination it is today and are certainly worth digging into and learning more about!

Early Inhabitants

The history of Gulf Shores dates back thousands of years. The area that makes up modern-day Gulf Shores was first occupied by Native tribes ranging from the Cherokees and Choctaws to the Chickasaws and Seminals, to name a few of many. Tribes thrived in this area thanks to the rich bounty of the sea and lush coastal soils. European explorers arrived in the Gulf Shores area in the 1800s by ship and began creating settlements not long after. They found the pine forests, waterways and fishing to be prime for setting up new communities.  It didn’t take long for the region to become a hub for logging and fishing.

20th Century Changes

For much of the early 20th century, the Gulf Shores area was home to more boats than any other mode of transportation. Families thrived within the parameters of this fishing village where they could catch just about everything and top it off with oyster and shrimp collections too. It was truly a way of life for residents. By 1905, the first railroad arrived in the Gulf Shores area, bringing with it signs of changes and economic progress. The intracoastal waterway was developed by 1937 providing more transportation routes for goods and inevitably expanding the area’s modern way of life. Following World War II, Gulf Shores experienced a significant tourism boom as travelers flocked to peaceful places where they could embrace an idyllic coastal lifestyle. Summer homes popped up around this time and guided fishing trips became popular. Many of the first hotels opened in the area as early as 1923 with more resort-style options available to travelers by the 1950s.

A Legacy of Scenic Relaxation and Fun

Today, Gulf Shores remains a popular and inviting vacation destination for travelers from across the map. It’s a place where fishing still abounds, but is now paired with options to check out historical landmarks and make the most of fantastic dining and shopping as well. Customizing a stay here with some of the history of Gulf Shores is a breeze from start to finish.

Book Today

Elevate your vacation to Gulf Shores by booking luxurious vacation rentals through Poole & Associates. Reach out today to learn more about our exciting options and to start planning!

contact us find your rental