Living in the City of Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores, Alabama is, as the name suggests, a community on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. The primary road in and out of Gulf Shores is Route 59, which is also referred to as the Gulf Shores Parkway. Living in Gulf Shores is not what most people would expect from a community that sits so close to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a typical tourism town in that its population of around 11,000 swells to three and four times that size during the tourism season.
This community has a higher median income than the rest of the state of Alabama, and it has a median residential housing value that is almost twice that of the Alabama state average. The people who live in Gulf Shores do very well and have created a profitable living off of gulf fishing and tourism. Make no mistake, tourism is the primary industry in this little Alabama town and the residents here know how to do tourism the right way.
Gulf Shores is in the path of many of the major Gulf of Mexico hurricanes, but the town seems to always bounce back better than ever when a hurricane comes through. Since 2000, Gulf Shores has experienced two major hurricanes that have done extensive damage to the area, but it has also seen a 100 percent increase in permanent residents who are settling in the area. The friendly disposition of the community continues to attract people from all over the country who are looking for a new place to live.
The majority of the population in Gulf Shores is made up of married, educated families. That means that there has been an impressive infrastructure set up to accommodate the growing population. Gulf Shores has its own elementary, middle and high schools that can accommodate all of the students of the area. The town also has its own library and the South Baldwin Regional Medical Center is less than 20 minutes away. The focus on dealing with crime in Gulf Shores has been successful as the crime rate has dropped by almost 50 percent since 2002.
One of the reasons people choose to live in Gulf Shores is its weather. Because it sits on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, the town does get a little more rain than the national average and the humidity can be high during the summer. But the town also gets more refreshing breezes and sunshine than most other parts of the state of Alabama. Gulf Shores tends to get its precipitation in bursts of a few days, which leaves the rest of the year comfortable and clear.
Another reason so many people move to Gulf Shores is the low unemployment. As of 2013, the unemployment rate in Gulf Shores was only five percent. That is two points lower than the state average and three to four points lower than the national average. The biggest industries that do most of the hiring are the retail and construction industries, which goes along with the history that the area has for tourism.
Since the town of Gulf Shores is a tourism town, there is always plenty of things to do in the area. There are nine professional level golf courses within a short driving distance of Gulf Shores and the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is also close by. The Gulf Shores Museum tells a bit of the history of the area, and Craft Farms Resort has become a very popular destination for tourists and locals.
The area also has several large shopping malls, nature preserves, amusement parks and water parks as well. There is also a healthy selection of fishing and charter boat businesses that locals can utilize to spend a day on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The area also has several lakes that have become family fun destinations, including a lake called Little Lagoon. The entire area is set up as a family fun center and the locals get to enjoy the fun all year round.
Since Gulf Shores never gets snow, the tourism trades are open all year round with visitors choosing from a selection of hotels in the area. Camping and is also a popular choice for both residents and tourists. With the new hurricane warning systems in place, the people of the town have become much better at protecting their property in case of inclement weather. This is a community that bands together during the bad times and has learned how to enjoy all that it has to offer when things are going well. The weather, the attractions and the people are just some of the reasons why so many people are starting to settle in Gulf Shores. Since the 2010 census, the population has continued to grow and it does not look like it is going to stop any time soon.