Never Been to a Beach in Alabama

Sunday, January 15th, 2023

Footprints in the Sand

Footprints in the Sand

Gulf Shores Public Beach
Gulf Shores, AL

Today was a day trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL.

Part of me is somewhat flabbergasted (that is the appropriate word) that I have no real knowledge of beaches in Alabama. A state I was born and raised in. I have vaguely heard of Gulf Shores but I have never heard of Orange Beach or the fact there were beaches within 3-4 hours of where I grew up.

I am not sure what that would have changed in my life. I still would have gone to an HBCU college (maybe Bethune-Cookman vs Morris Brown) and had some of the same experiences I assume. Maybe I would have made an effort with friends to hang out at the beach or suggested a family reunion in the area... who knows.

I was also trying to search my brain as to why no one would mention this place. Could it have been that the older family, and family friends, did not travel extensively because of the history of racism and segregation in the state? For some that is not true, because we hit the road to go north and did visit Florida on occasion. 

Could it be there was always an excuse to "go there eventually" or "when the time is right?"  Or was... just not the right time? Something we all say at some point in our life.

Maybe I am just annoyed that the beach could have been in my life a lot earlier. I guess it appeared when it needed to. 

No matter what, my first experience driving through the Gulf Coast was on a road trip leaving Key West, FL, and heading back to Colorado. The sand is still as gorgeous as I remember. It's referred to as sugar sand, and it fits. It's a finely grained, lightly tanned color that looks so clean and sparkly when you drive past the beaches.

I am not a beach connoisseur, but I have been to many beaches in the US and other countries, and nothing to seems to compare to the visual of the beaches here on the Gulf Coast. Definitely not San Diego where I lived for years (and still love the beach). A close runner-up may be the beaches in Hawaii... cause Hawaii is just stunning and I have not been there in over 10 years so I don't exactly remember. LOL

Overall, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores have found a fan for life. Instead of trying to call every RV park on both coasts of Florida and getting the NO because the snowbirds booked 2 years out, I am going to keep the Gulf Coast in my memories. 

And yes... even though it was 56 degrees, it was a gorgeous day to hang at the beach for a few hours.

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