Gulf Shores in Alabama is famous for its miles of pristine white quartz sand washed by blue-green Gulf of Mexico waters. With good visibility, great weather, and lots of beach snorkelling spots and wrecks, Gulf Shores is perfect for beginners as well as more advanced underwater explorers. These waters are home to stingrays, crabs, jellyfish, octopi, saltwater catfish, butterfly fish, sea turtles, damselfish and much more. Ready to seas the day? Here are some of the best places for snorkelling in Gulf Shores.
7 of the Best Places for Snorkelling in Gulf Shores
1. The Whiskey Wreck
Looking for an exciting shore dive in Gulf Shores? The Whiskey Wreck is a 200-foot rum runner boat in less than 20 feet (6 metres) of water. It is located at 601 West Beach Boulevard, and it is just past the sandbar. Visibility at the site usually ranges from 10 to 15 feet. The wreck is home to vibrant marine life and cool hidden crevices making this a rather thrilling snorkelling session.
2. Lagoon Pass
Lagoon Pass is a safe place to learn how to snorkel and for younger snorkelers. The shallow lagoon has a soft, sandy floor, which you can walk on easily, and there is no undertow. So, no worries about getting swept away. Lagoon Pass is a shallow waterway connecting Little Lagoon to the Gulf of Mexico. It is located 2.9 miles west of Highway 59.
3. Paddle Wheeler – Gulf Shores
There is an abundance of marine life at the Paddle Wheeler – a sunken paddle-wheel-propelled boat – located west of Lagoon Pass. The Paddle Wheeler has the shallowest waters for snorkelling, with a depth range of 8 to 20 feet. This wreck in shallow waters hides a variety of interesting underwater creatures which are begging to be discovered. The best thing about this site is that it is usually very quiet as not that many people come here.
4. Alabama Point
Alabama Point is located just a short distance east of Perdido Pass Bridge. This wide beach with sand dunes, boardwalks, and plenty of amenities, is also home to a circalittoral (artificial) snorkel reef. This shallow reef is only about eight feet deep and is 500 feet from the shore. You can locate the reef from the water by looking for the alignment of red and yellow poles that serve as reef markers.
5. Poseidon’s Playground – Gulf Shores
Located in Gulf State Park Pier, Poseidon’s Playground is a fun snorkelling site filled with statues of Poseidon, Venus of the Sea, and Apollo. There’s also a table-like grouper reef topped with marine life ornamental images and handprints of actors Nicholas Cage and Cody Walker (brother of the late Paul Walker) and film director Mario Van Peebles. You’ll find this underwater playground south of Perdido Pass on the eastern edge of the R.V. Minton Artificial Reef Zone and just 40 feet (12 metres) beneath the water’s surface.
6. Gulf State Park Pavilion
Gulf State Park has access to another artificial reef at Pavilion. The Pavilion is an uncrowded, natural beach with gorgeous sand dunes and sea oats. It is a safe and serene site for beginners and younger snorkelers. Under the water, you’ll swim with a wide variety of marine life, including octopus, crabs, worms, saltwater catfish, and an array of juvenile fish species. The Pavilion is located six miles east of Highway 59.