Gulf Shores, Alabama

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Gulf Shores, Alabama
Condominiums and hotels on the beach
Condominiums and hotels on the beach
Motto(s): 
Small Town, Big Beach
Location of Gulf Shores in Baldwin County, Alabama.
Location of Gulf Shores in Baldwin County, Alabama.
Coordinates: 30°16′4″N 87°42′5″W / 30.26778°N 87.70139°W / 30.26778; -87.70139Coordinates: 30°16′4″N 87°42′5″W / 30.26778°N 87.70139°W / 30.26778; -87.70139
CountryUnited States
StateAlabama
CountyBaldwin
Government
 • MayorRobert Craft
Area
 • Total33.21 sq mi (86.01 km2)
 • Land28.36 sq mi (73.46 km2)
 • Water4.84 sq mi (12.55 km2)
Elevation
7 ft (2 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total15,014
 • Density529.35/sq mi (204.38/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
36542, 36547
Area code251
FIPS code01-32272
GNIS feature ID0119462
Websitewww.gulfshoresal.gov

Gulf Shores is a resort city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 9,741.[2]

Geography[edit]

Gulf Shores is located on the Gulf of Mexico, and is the southernmost settlement in the state of Alabama.[3] It is served by Alabama State Route 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway), which leads north to Foley. Route 182 (Beach Boulevard) runs east-west along the shore front, while Route 180 (Fort Morgan Road) runs parallel to it, north of Little Lagoon. Gulf State Park occupies a large eastern part of the city.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.0 square miles (72.5 km2), of which 23.2 square miles (60.0 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12.5 km2), or 17.24%, is water.[2]

Climate[edit]

Gulf Shores has a humid subtropical climate, with long, hot summers, and mild and sunny winters. With bright sunny summers and warm winters, Alabama Gulf Coast weather offers year-round opportunities for beach-going, fishing, and golfing. Winters are generally mild and residents can enjoy outside activities the majority of the time. Daily highs in winter are close to 60 °F (16 °C) and nighttime lows are near 40 °F (4 °C). Summers are hot, which makes for great beach weather and the sea breeze provides relief from the heat as well as humidity. Daytime highs in summer are near 90 °F (32 °C) and evening lows near 78 °F (26 °C). While the area enjoys a strong "snowbird" season from December to April, many locals say that May/June and October/November are the best months. Ocean surf temperatures are quite warm from May through November, often well into the low 80s.

As a result of being located on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Shores is vulnerable to tropical cyclones. In September 1979, Hurricane Frederic caused massive destruction, leveling most of the town. On September 16, 2004, Hurricane Ivan made landfall in Gulf Shores, causing extensive wind and flooding damage. In 2005, while the city was still cleaning up from Ivan, Hurricane Katrina caused extensive damage and flooding. The area was then struck again on September 16, 2020 when Hurricane Sally made landfall on the 16 year anniversary of Ivan, causing extensive damage and widespread flooding.[4]

Climate data for Gulf Shores, Alabama
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 81
(27)
77
(25)
81
(27)
88
(31)
95
(35)
96
(36)
101
(38)
98
(37)
97
(36)
93
(34)
84
(29)
84
(29)
101
(38)
Average high °F (°C) 59
(15)
62
(17)
67
(19)
74
(23)
82
(28)
87
(31)
89
(32)
89
(32)
86
(30)
78
(26)
69
(21)
62
(17)
75
(24)
Average low °F (°C) 45
(7)
49
(9)
55
(13)
63
(17)
71
(22)
76
(24)
78
(26)
78
(26)
75
(24)
66
(19)
56
(13)
48
(9)
63
(17)
Record low °F (°C) 9
(−13)
20
(−7)
23
(−5)
30
(−1)
50
(10)
55
(13)
65
(18)
64
(18)
52
(11)
37
(3)
24
(−4)
11
(−12)
9
(−13)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 5.29
(134)
5.49
(139)
5.31
(135)
4.27
(108)
4.41
(112)
5.14
(131)
6.23
(158)
7.19
(183)
5.38
(137)
3.85
(98)
4.14
(105)
4.87
(124)
61.57
(1,564)
Source: The Weather Channel[5]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1960356
1970909155.3%
19801,34948.4%
19903,261141.7%
20005,04454.7%
20109,74193.1%
202015,01454.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]

2020 census[edit]

Gulf Shores racial composition[7]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 13,062 87.0%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 307 2.04%
Native American 63 0.42%
Asian 161 1.07%
Pacific Islander 6 0.04%
Other/Mixed 793 5.28%
Hispanic or Latino 622 4.14%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 15,014 people, 5,810 households, and 3,347 families residing in the city.

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[8] of 2010, there were 9,741 people living in the city. The population density was 274.3 per square mile (105.9/km2). There were 6,810 housing units at an average density of 370.4 per square mile (143.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.54% White, 0.22% Black or African American, 0.44% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Of the population 1.23% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,344 households, out of which 20.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. Of all households 26.7% were made up of individuals, and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.56.

Of the population 16.4% was under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 29.0% from 45 to 64, and 23.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males. The median income for a household in the city was $41,826, and the median income for a family was $51,862. Males had a median income of $40,259 versus $22,467 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,356. About 6.8% of families and 9.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.

Since the year 2000, Baldwin County as a whole has experienced rapid population growth, second only to Shelby County in Alabama.[9]

Economy[edit]

Residential area on the canal

Tourism[edit]

Tourism dominates the economy of Gulf Shores.[10] The 2010 BP oil spill was expected to adversely affect both local real estate and beach tourism. After a year of decline, the tourism economy in Gulf Shores returned to pre-spill levels.[11]

Attractions in Gulf Shores include Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo;[12] Pelican Place at Craft Farms, a shopping mall; Waterville USA, a family amusement/waterpark;[13] and 10 golf courses.[14][15]

Hangout Music Festival is an annual three-day music festival on the beach each May.[16]

Some residents opposed the building of a new hotel on state property, and the use of BP Oil spill funds to finance projects other than environmental repair.[17]

In 2022, the city introduced a plan to make a $15 million revitalization of Gulf Place, a public beach area. Amenities will include a boardwalk, parking, green space, and restrooms. The project will involve sustainable and low-impact development strategies, including stormwater management, and beach dune restoration to provide animal habitat and protection from storm surge.[18][19]

Education[edit]

Public education was originally administered by Baldwin County Public Schools.[citation needed] The Gulf Shores City School System was established in 2017.[20][21] Schools include:

Infrastructure[edit]

Jack Edwards National Airport is located in Gulf Shores and offers services from Gulf Air Center, Salt Air Aviation Center and Platium Air Center.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 29, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Gulf Shores city, Alabama". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  3. ^ "EXTREME SETTLEMENTS: A COMPREHENSIVE LIST". Weekend Roady. 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2014-08-20.
  4. ^ Jay Reeves, Angie Wang and Jeff Martin (2020-09-16). "Hurricane Sally blasts ashore in Alabama with punishing rain". yahoo.com. Retrieved 2020-09-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Gulf Shores, AL Monthly Weather Forecast". The Weather Channel. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  7. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. ^ "Census 2000 Demographic Profile Highlights" (for Gulf Shores, AL), US Census Bureau, 2007, webpage: US-Census-GulfShoresAL Archived 2020-02-12 at archive.today.
  10. ^ "Discover Alabama's Gulf Coast". Gulf Shores & Orange Beach. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  11. ^ 7thSpace (2011-10-01). "Last year's oil spill was predicted to lessen the interest in condos in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores". 7thspace.com. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  12. ^ "Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo". Encyclopedia of Alabama. 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  13. ^ "Things to do in Gulf Shores: Check out 16 Gulf Shores Attractions". TripAdvisor. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  14. ^ "Gulf Shores Golf - Gulf Coast Golf Courses - Great Public Golf Courses". Golf.gulfshores.com. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  15. ^ "Alabama State Parks". Alapark.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  16. ^ Amy Bickers. "Hangout Music Festival". Southern Living. Time Inc. Lifestyle Group. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  17. ^ "'Misunderstood' Gulf State Park Project on track for 2018 completion, executive director says". AL.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  18. ^ "Gulf Place Public Beach Master Plan". TSW. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  19. ^ "Gulf Place Revitalization Project". www.gulfshoresal.gov. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  20. ^ "City Schools - Gulf Shores, AL - Official Website". www.gulfshoresal.gov. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  21. ^ "Resolution 5876 - Establishing a GS City School System".
  22. ^ "gs-hs.com". gs-hs.com. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  23. ^ "gsmsdolphins.com". gsmsdolphins.com. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  24. ^ "gsesdolphins.com". gsesdolphins.com. Retrieved 2012-12-26.

External links[edit]