Last Updated on May 11, 2024

Summer is almost here, school’s almost out, and families are getting serious about their vacation plans.

Gulf Shores, AL is a beautiful coastal city known for its beaches, warm weather, and vibrant atmosphere. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico (hence its name), this is a popular vacation destination for families, couples, and anyone seeking sun, sand, and relaxation.

I loved a trip there several years ago with my family, staying in a vacation rental just steps from the warm and welcoming Gulf Coast waters. Other than swimming, surfing, fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and parasailing, Gulf Shores provides opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife viewing, camping, hiking, zip-lining and so much more. Add in the great seafood restaurants the area is known for, and you have the recipe for a perfect summer beach vacation.

With that in mind, we have some great oceanfront vacation rentals or super-close-to-the-beach suggestions to help you soak up the sun, build your sandcastle and have fun with the ones you love.

Seacrest 602 Sixth Floor Condo

Gulf Shores Boardwalk from Seacrest vacation rental.
Gulf Shores Boardwalk from Seacrest vacation rental. Photo courtesy of VRBO

Guests have praised this two-bedroom, one-bath condo offering spectacular sunset views from a private balcony and its owners. The master bedroom offers a queen bed and the second a twin bunk bed and a double futon. A fully-equipped kitchen and washer/dryer make it easy for families.

You’ll also have access to a gulf-side pool with a spa, a BBQ area and a boardwalk leading out to the beach.

Boardwalk 1084 with Outdoor Pool

Boardwalk 1084 oceanfront condo vacation rental in Gulf Shores, AL.
Boardwalk 1084 oceanfront condo vacation rental in Gulf Shores, AL. Photo courtesy of VRBO

You could touch the beach if you weren’t on the 10th floor which offers stunning views from this one-bedroom, one-bath that can sleep four. The primary bedroom sports a king bed and a living room sofa bed sleeps two additional guests and also features an electric fireplace.

The nightly fee also includes $400 of free daily local activities for golfing, the zoo, a dolphin cruise and more. Guests also have access to a BBQ grill and an outdoor ocean view pool.

Raised Home Overlooking the Lagoon

Located on the banks of Little Lagoon, this raised private home can accommodate four guests with one bath, one master bedroom and a sofa bed in the living room.

The house offers cool, beachy tones with comfortable furnishings and plenty of natural light. The furnished balcony overlooks the water and Gulf Shores Beach is only a three-minute walk away.

Heart of Gulf Shores Private Home

If you’re looking for more space for your vacation, this vacation home is your ticket. The newly updated two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath can sleep up to six guests with a queen bedroom, queen guestroom and double sofa bed in the sunroom.

Sugary-sand beaches are just two blocks away. Guests will also appreciate the nearby restaurants and access to local attractions such as bike paths, nature trails, charter fishing boats, jet ski rentals, parasailing and more.

Surfside Shores Beachfront Condo

Views from Surfside Shores vacation rental third-floor condo.
Views from Surfside Shores vacation rental third-floor condo. Photo courtesy of VRBO

Sugary white sand, beachfront views and casual elegance are all part of this two-bedroom, two-bath third-floor condo that can sleep six. One bedroom offers a king bed, the second a queen, and the living room sports a queen sofa bed.

The fully-equipped kitchen even includes a Margaritaville frozen concoction drink machine so you can enjoy frozen drinks on your beachfront balcony. Guests also have access to BBQ grills and beachside pools.

Condo on West Beach

Count 50 steps and you’re toes in the sand from this two-bedroom, one-bath condo that can accommodate up to six guests. One bedroom offers a queen bed, the second two twins along with a double sofa bed in the living room.

The recently renovated vacation property is unique as the low-density complex only contains 36 units and a covered beachfront gazebo ideal for viewing the sunrises and sunsets.

Seawind 701 Gulf-front Corner Unit

Seawind vacation rental Gulf Shores Gulf-front Corner Unit.
Seawind vacation rental Gulf Shores Gulf-front Corner Unit. Photo courtesy of VRBO

Situated on the 7th floor, this exquisite oceanfront condo offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Shelby from its expansive balcony.

The primary suite features a plush king bed, the second bedroom a restful queen in addition to the third offering a twin bunk bed, so it can comfortably sleep up to six guests. Guests have access to an indoor/outdoor swim-through pool, hot tub, kiddie pool and a splash pad. In addition, the complex features a fully-equipped fitness center.

Seaglass Beach Cottage with Beach Access

If a condo isn’t really your thing, we have a beach cottage option for you.

Seaglass Beach Cottage is quaint, comfortable and close to everything Gulf Shores has to offer. You’re only a seven-minute walk to the beach but you’ll be able to walk to shops and restaurants and activities such as miniature golf.

The cottage offers two bedrooms, each with a queen bed, one full bath and a large covered front deck.

Lagoon Front and Beach Access

This gorgeous vacation property with the perfect beach décor features two bedrooms, two baths and can sleep up to six guests. You’ll get the best of both worlds here with both the lagoon views and deeded beach access just a few minutes across the street.

A wall of windows overlooks Little Lagoon with balcony access from both bedrooms and living room – the ideal spot to watch wildlife and stunning sunsets. In addition, a boat launch and slips are available on site along with a private pier for fishing and a large pool for swimming or sunning.

New Latitude Cottage

It doesn’t get any cuter than this retro/beach-chic coastal one-story cottage that’s pup-friendly to boot!

The recently renovated one-bedroom, one-bath vacation home can accommodate six guests with a king bed, twin bunk bed and optional blow-up queen mattress. The property also sports a pool and hot tub and includes a balcony overlooking the pool. Gulf Shores Beach is just a one-minute stroll and you’re less than 0.7 miles from The Hangout, the main downtown hub.

So whether it’s a condo, cottage or home you’re looking for in Gulf Shores, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs and sets the tone for your beach vacation.

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