Located on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, Gulf Shores is a resort city in Baldwin County. Its ideal location and sunny weather have made it a desirable option for retirees. Aside from that, the city is home to a number of beaches and state parks, and plenty of annual festivals and parades.
Climate and Geography
A coastal city in Alabama, Gulf Shores is located in the southernmost corner of the state. Summers are sunny and hot, while winters can be short and warm. Residents can expect to see more rain than the national average and over 200 sunny days a year.
Gulf Shores has a small town feel, with tight-knit neighborly communities. Located right on the water, Gulf Shores is home to many large bodies of water, greenspaces, subdivisions, and golf courses.
Recreation, Culture, and Entertainment
Residents of Gulf Shores have plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. The city’s largest attractions are found in Gulf State Park, where locals can go on boat cruises, kayaking, and airboat tours.
Those looking to get in touch with nature can visit the coastal habitats of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, or Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo where residents can have hands-on encounters with lemurs, kangaroos, and sloths.
Whether its a tour through Fort Morgan, or the Coastal Arts Center, Gulf Shores has plenty of historical attractions.
Residents can be sure to find everything they need in the city, including farmers markets, breweries, and restaurants on the beach. Gulf Shores is also in close proximity to Orange Beach, a city where residents can find many more attractions and amenities.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Gulf Shores is only slightly higher than the national and state averages, this is due to the average housing cost which is higher when compared nationwide. Other categories such as utilities, transportation, and groceries are all lower than the national average.
Alabama is a tax-friendly state for retirees. Most pensions and Social Security benefits are exempt from state income taxes and homeowners 65 and older qualify for several tax breaks. The sales tax rate in Alabama is 4 percent and Gulf Shores does add a 6 percent tax on that rate.
There are two medical centers and hospitals in Gulf Shores, South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, and Thomas Hospital. Just an hour outside the city in Pensacola, Florida, residents can find Baptist Hospital, and Sacred Heart Hospital, both ranked high performing by U.S News.