Gulf Shores, Alabama
Alabama's best beach stretches six miles from Gulf Shores Parkway to the end of Dolphin Drive. The farther west you go the less congested it gets—until there's nothing but sun, sea, and your own footprints. But what sets Gulf Shores apart from other Gulf Coast destinations is the quality of the sand: soft underfoot and ultra-bright white. Summer water temperatures hover at bathtub levels, and gentle waves make the beach safe for even the youngest waders.
Hotel Recommendation: The Kiva Dunes Resort sits minutes from West Beach. Read our review.