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Is there really that much difference between one beach vacation spot and another? What makes Alabama's Gulf Coast anything special?

Aside from the fact that we have 32 miles of the softest, whitest sand you've ever seen - so soft, in fact, that it squeaks under your feet - and clear, turquoise water that comes to shore in gentle waves, you'll find a spirit that is uniquely Alabamian. What really sets us apart is our special blend of beach town simplicity and old-fashioned Southern charm-- not to mention a sense of community even visitors feel. Things move pretty slowly around here. Expect to have a conversation with the checkout clerk at the grocery store. Don't be surprised if the server asks where your mama's family is from. Wherever you go, you're greeted by a charming "Hey (that's "ha-ay") y'all" and reminders beckoning you to slow down to enjoy the simple pleasures and the people around you.

That's not to say that we can't keep you entertained. For those who need a little more activity than turning over every 30 minutes to achieve the perfect tan, Alabama's Gulf Coast offers visitors plenty to do, without feeling overcrowded or overbuilt. Cool off with the kids on a lightening-fast ride down a giant waterslide or take a zoo adventure. Putter away the day on one of our ten championship golf courses where the allure of a perfectly maintained fairway is enhanced by the diversity of design. Cast your line for deep-sea adventure, with some of the best captains anywhere to guide you to some of the best fishing anywhere. Step back in time with a visit to historic Fort Morgan, site of the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. Or shop 'till you drop at outlet stores, antique malls and quaint beachside boutiques.

Let's not forget about Mother Nature. Visit with her at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, the Gulf State Park, or go birding along the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail.

Festivals are us! There's the Snapper Festival in February, the Pleasure Island Art Association's festival in March, the October Fishing Rodeo, the National Shrimp Festival in October, the Frank Brown International Songwriters' Festival in November. And, there's more than just festivals going on. Our website calendar of events is updated daily. Check it out on

When all the action makes you hungry, head to the table. With the world's best fishing hole as our playground, succulent, fresh-off-the-boat seafood is the order of the day. Sample a different delicacy every day and come back for seconds. Choose from seaside family hangouts where sandy feet are welcome, white-linen romantic candlelit dinners for two or downright dives that serve up some of the finest food and fun to be found.

So what makes us special? It isn't just the beach, the water, the fishing, the golf, the dining, nature or hospitality. It's all of these things and the people who enjoy them. It's a place to create happy memories.

Information Provided by Alabama Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau

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