Beaches

Know your beach

Leave Only Footprints 

Please do your part to keep our beautiful beaches safe and clean. Each of us is responsible for protecting and preserving it and the City of Gulf Shores strives to provide a safe, clean, family-friendly environment for everyone visiting.

The following regulations have been established by Ordinance 1792 and enforced on our beaches. Enjoying our coastline responsibly ensures a more positive experience for you and helps ensure the safety of all our visitors and the sustainability of our natural resources.  

  • All non-permitted personal items such as beach chairs, umbrellas, tents, ice chests and beach toys are to be removed from the beach each night.
  • Keep off the dunes. Staying off the dunes will help us to preserve our dune system and the habitat it provides. Use beach walkovers and boardwalks where provided.
  • Observe and obey Beach Warning Flag System. Double red flags means the waters are closed for your safety.
  • Be respectful of private property beyond the bounds of your lodging property.
  • Beach Rules & Regulations
City of Gulf Shores Ordinance 1792 
Leave Only Footprints Ordinance

City of Gulf Shores Ordinance 1773


Prohibit Beach Litter and Recycling Program

For more sustainability resources, information on updated city rules and regulations and the latest from Leave Only Footprints visit cleanisland.org

Beach Safety 
The City of Gulf Shores provides seasonal lifeguard services between March and September, and encourages the public to swim at the protected public swimming areas (Gulf Place, West 6th Street, and Lagoon Pass) when lifeguards are present. One full-time beach safety supervisor and 13 seasonal lifeguards make up the City of Gulf Shores Beach Patrol. Lifeguard towers are present at the following locations.

Public Beach Access
The City of Gulf Shores offers several public beach access areas. Find information about beach access and parking fees.

View an interactive map showing the Gulf Shores Beach Access points or view the PDF below.
Beach Warning Flags 
The Beach Warning Flag System is in place for your safety.  Please observe and obey the flag system and all lifeguards.  The absence of beach warning flags does not constitute safe swimming conditions.  For current surf conditions call 251-968-TIDE (8433).  Beach Warning flags are present at the following locations

Rip Current & Surf Reports

View the latest rip current & surf reports

Water Quality 

Most of the bacteria living in the coastal waters are harmless. A few, like Vibrio, can have serious health impacts for people with:

  • compromised immune systems
  • open wounds, or
  • those who eat raw shellfish

Anyone with an inflamed wound or concerned that he or she may have come in contact with Vibrio should quickly seek medical attention.

Alabama Department of Public Health and other government entities regularly monitor water quality and will notify the public if needed.

The state of Alabama tests the waters across Alabama’s Gulf Coast multiple times per month during the summer swimming season (June through September).

We encourage residents and visitors to check local news outlets or city websites for current information. Click here for current statistics and water quality ratings from the Alabama Department of Environmental Quality.

Swimming Water Quality Status
View the latest swimming water quality status

Click to enlarge

Vibrio