As a travel journalist of many years, I have had the opportunity to travel to tropical paradises all over the country and abroad. I have watched huge waves crash against rugged rocks and subtle tides wash over colored sand on beaches around the world. And, while I celebrate the differences in the beaches of the world, I am always humbled and proud when I vacation on the sugar-white sandy beaches of my home state – Alabama.

Family together time in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach.

Alabama’s Gulf Coast is known, not only within the state, but in the southeastern region of the United States, as a beautiful stretch of sugar-white sandy beaches juxtaposing gorgeous emerald waters. It’s hard to imagine that type of amazing topography right here in sweet home Alabama if you haven’t personally witnessed it. This single factor reminds me over and over of why I like to vacation on the beaches of my home state!

Other reasons that I choose to vacation on Alabama beaches range from personal to practical, and I’ve listed a few here to see how they compare to yours:

  1. The drive factor. Living in central Alabama, I can literally be on the beach in four hours. I love that! I think most Alabamians are much like myself and enjoy the fact that they can make a spontaneous decision to jump in the car and head south for a last-minute long weekend at the beach.
  2. The pride factor. It is part of our claim to fame as native Alabamians to witness this awesome scene where sky meets water and sand, and know that this is part of our great state. I love it when a stranger vacationing in the Gulf Shores or Orange Beach area says, “Wow…I had no idea THIS was in Alabama!” IMG_1228
  3. The food factor. I love fresh seafood and straight off the boat is about as fresh as it gets! Alabama’s Gulf Coast offers something for every taste bud from classic American cuisine to Mediterranean, Mexican, Italian and seafood. For a more complete look at dining on the coast, check out  IMG_1234
  4. The pampering factor. Boy, a trip to the spa is such a special treat for this tired writer and Alabama’s beach areas have two good ones that I truly love! Fusion Spa at The Wharf in Orange Beach is a full-service Aveda hair salon and day spa offering a full complement of services (waxing, nails, massage and hair). I also love The Spa at the Beach Club (Gulf Shores on Fort Morgan) with a full-service resort-type spa featuring massage therapy, skin care, body treatments, steam rooms and a full-service salon to boot! For more information on these and other Alabama Coastal spas, visit


Keeping vacation dollars within my home state is important to Alabama’s economy. Collectively with other vacationers, we can keep folks employed in the tourism industry and continue to show off our stunning beaches to tourists while attracting snowbirds. It’s a win-win when the view is this good!