As I mentioned yesterday, I came down to the Gulf Shores for a speech and I have decided to stay a couple days to explore this unique area. I am staying at The Lodge at Gulf Shores Park a unique property that I will be discussing later on the travel blog. I wanted to start with some pictures taken at dawn during a long walk down the beach running along the Gulf Shores Park. We had a heavy storm come through last night and the birds were out getting their breakfast. This is also a major sea turtle nesting area so you are given stickers to go over your phone lights (Baby sea turtles can confuse cellphone lights of the moon and head in the wrong direction). The beauty and sense of natural power of this place is overwhelming particularly on an abandoned beach at dawn.
To get to Gulf Shores, we flew in Pensacola (one of my sons, Jack, is with me on this trip). It is about 45 minutes to the Gulf Shore.
Notably, you pass over the Perdido Pass Bridge. It was built in 1962 and the State of Florida did not want to pay for the bridge along the state border. So it ceded to the State of Alabama two miles of beach front land in return for the construction of the bridge. Bad deal for Florida in hindsight.
However, Florida almost lost all of the pandhandle. In 1869, Alabama governor, David Lewis, offered to buy the whole panhandle for $1 million from where the bridge is located to the Apalachicola River. Florida came close to selling because it saw no real value in beach areas. Panhandle residents even voted and by a 2-1 margin favored going to Alabama. An 1870 Florida map even shows the legend: “Territory west of the Apalachicola proposed to be ceded to Alabama.”
However, the final vote stalled in the Florida legislature. It was passed in the House but the Senate balked and the measure died.
There are wonderful parks in this area as well as some of the most interesting bars and restaurants that you could ask for. Then there are the beaches of soft sand and warm Gulf waters. We have already seen sea turtles and sharks (a fitting experience on “Shark Week”). Outside of the Lodge near shore is a sand bar and a pier that are favorite feeding areas of sharks. It is a dream for anyone who loves eco-tourism.
Here a some pictures from dawn on the Panhandle.
17 thoughts on “The Gulf Shores: The Jewel of Alabama”
Enjoyed your article, but think you might have the wrong legislature. I read some years ago, that it was the Alabama legislature that avoided this opportunity. At the time it was proposed the Alabama legislature was controlled by the North Alabama politicians and they saw that if Northwest Florida was annexed into Alabama, that would then turn the balance of power in the State government to the politicians representing South Alabama. Throughout Alabama’s existence there’s been quite a rivalry between the two regions as they both had very different economic interests. I understood that the Florida legislature voted to approve the transfer, as most of the lower/south part of Florida looked down on those that lived along the northern part. If you stay in Northwest Florida you are liable to see more Alabama/Auburn stickers as Florida or FSU stickers.
Thank you for such a lovely article. We think it’s a pretty special place as well.
Ditto on G.H. comments on July 13th. Shhhh…. Don’t brag on us too much! Already millions of tourists and snowbirds have found out about our little piece of Paradise and it’s getting too crowded.
Welcome to the panhandle and the Redneck Riviera. This area is spectacular down to Panama City. The residents are unfailingly polite and deeply conservative majority. In hurricane season, neighbors help each other, regardless of your politics to quickly cleanup afterwards. A clear example why red states areas are exploding in growth.
Nice pictures and even nicer to know that in Crazy Time you have been able to stop for some rest and pleasure.
When you’re starting back to work . . . Don’t know where else to go with the Question: It is abundantly clear that the DOJ (which includes the FBI) is thoroughly corrupt (no, of course not everyone). Given that all prosecutions in the US have to go through the DOJ, it seems the DOJ is the de facto gatekeeper to who and what is fully invetigated, prosecuted where justified and people held accountable where justified. TIme and time again (and through 12 yrs of personal experience) I’ve seen investigation after investigation leading to prosecution and then they just vanish, the screen goes dark. We also see cases in which, essentially, the FBI is investigating the FBI or the DOJ the DOJ. How can a path trough the DOJ-FBI be cleared? Do we have any means for this situation? Or is it one case at a time? Or does it have to go to SCOTUS? Ot to multiple findings have to converge? We write our legislators. Some of them have picked up our issues. They retire or die and we’re right back where we started. What’s the road out of this?
Great photos and description of the solitude and natural beauty! The Great Blue Heron is wonderful!
You keep praising a repressive, backwards place like Alabama and the woke crowd will be calling you a “nazi” too. They need to be treated like a conquered nation. Isn’t that what the love and tolerance crowd is proposing for us?
So pleased you enjoyed the Lodge and the beautiful destination we call home. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are truly paradise!
Professor……I hope you had a meal or two at renown Wintzell’s Oyster House. There are several, but the original is in Mobile on Dauphin St. The last time we ate there, Mr Wintzell was still alive. Best seafood on the Gulf Coast!
The entire Gulf Coast is beautiful, although Florida has white sand. Fortunately, we don’t get the hordes in Texas.
Go down south and see my shore.
Take a photo and pay my white.
Nice pictures, takes me back in time.
For some reason, scientists are refusing to ‘science’ with this topic.
What is needed for herd immunity? The experts, despite 100’s of years of experience and data, cant seem to science out that specific percentage. Back in March the CDC said 80 million had contracted the virus and survived. Now what is that number? Added to the number of vaccinated? This is back of the envelope calculations, not some closely held state secret.
Last week the disaster of the moment was Missouri, cases going through the roof. Proof more vaccinations were required. Except when you look at the facts, deaths are unaware of the emergency, continue their downward trajectory.
Its the experts that are to fault of citizens doubting the agenda of the experts.
Sweet gig when you can take all that in on a business trip.
Everybody gets vacation time. Right?
I rarely do a business trip and not take vacation to explore and relax.
Humans require a change of pace back to nature. The one thing most hate is change yet it is required of all us sojourners. It’s so nice to live in a green belt
Beautiful photos, Jonathan. Thanks for sharing!
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