Gulf State Park named Alabama’s Attraction of the Year
Baldwin County’s Gulf State Park has been named Attraction of the Year by the Alabama Tourism Department in the 2019 Alabama Vacation Guide and Calendar of Events.
The park offers 28 miles of hiking and biking trails, a nature center, programs focused on local wildlife, a saltwater fishing pier and a newly opened interpretive center. It receives more than 600,000 annual visitors, offers an array of recreational experiences and lodging opportunities on its 6,150 acres.
Gary Ellis, director of Community Relations and Administration at Gulf State Park, shared his excitement of the park being named Alabama’s top attraction.
“Being selected by our peers is the highest form of flattery and something our team cherishes. It further reinforces a great sense of pride by all the employees to be in good company with other elite Alabama attractions,” Ellis stated.
Ellis also offered insight into the future of a Learning Campus at Gulf State Park.
“The park’s many different habitats, such as forest, wetlands, dunes, freshwater and saltwater provide a unique opportunity to provide more educational programs,” Ellis said. “The Learning Campus will host camps and retreats, educational conferences and workshops for all types of groups. Longer term, plans are underway to expand trails and group camping sites.”
The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel, opened last November. The hotel, which accommodates guests, business meetings and conferences, offers 350 guest rooms and includes two restaurants and a pool. The hotel is now booking through 2024.
The Lodge’s General Manager Bill Bennett insists bookings have been holding strong at the hotel.
“Reservation activity has been quite impressive for the new beachfront facility,” Bennett said. “First and second quarter bookings are coming in at a record pace and should result in strong business levels for the entire park.”
Bennett added, “With a commitment to sustainability and direct access to more than 2 miles of pristine beach, guests are truly impressed with the design and comfort of the facility.”
One of the first events being held at the Hilton’s The Lodge at Gulf State Park is Governor Kay Ivey’s Gulf Coast Inaugural Celebration on January 12 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Recording artist Neal McCoy is set to headline the event, which will cost $25 per person.
Tickets for the event can be purchased here, however, attendees may donate four children’s books to donate to the Alabama Literacy Alliance in lieu of a ticket.
Other lodging available at Gulf State Park includes 11 cottages, 20 cabins and 500 campsites.
“One reason the Alabama Tourism Department made this designation is the environmental sustainability the park is embracing,” Conservation Commissioner Chris Blankenship said of Gulf State Park. “Restored sand dunes, a rainwater recycling system and lighting favorable to wildlife are just some of the things that make the park ecofriendly.”
Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.