Beach Rules & Regulations

The City of Gulf Shores strives to provide a safe, clean, family-friendly environment for everyone visiting our public beaches. We ask that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the following rules, regulations, and helpful reminders. 

Tent and Shelter Regulations

  • Per our City ordinance, tents and shelters are defined as any tent, shelter, canopy, cabana, windscreen, or other supported ground cover or enclosure and shall also mean the frame, support, poles, guy lines, and other support features for a tent or shelter when the covering is not attached. 
  • Tents and shelters larger than 7 feet by 7 feet and taller than 4 feet are not allowed on public beaches unless the tents/structures are placed in the designated area at Gulf Place. Individual property owners may allow tents and shelters on private property north of the City of Gulf Shores pole markers provided. 
  • We recommend the use of single pole beach umbrellas to fully enjoy our beautiful white-sand beaches.
  • Any structures or equipment left on the beach an hour after sunset until sunrise will be removed and disposed of by beach patrol (except for permitted beach services). If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, please contact the Gulf Shores Public Works Department at 251-968-1156.

Prohibited Items and Actions

The following items and actions are strictly prohibited:
  • PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED on any of the sand beaches in Gulf Shores. Pets are welcome at Gulf Place, but they may not travel on the sand beaches. 
  • No glass or breakable containers
  • No alcoholic beverages
  • No tents / canopies larger than 7'x7'x4' unless they are placed in a designated tent area
  • No fishing at Gulf Place
  • No tobacco and e-cigarettes
  • No motorized vehicles
  • No digging holes deeper than 12 inches (Please remember to fill holes in for the safety of our residents and visitors)
  • No fires, grills or cooking devices
  • No fireworks, sky lanterns, sparklers
  • No drone operation
  • No solicitation
  • No walking or standing on sand dunes. Use beach walkovers and boardwalks where provided. Staying off the dunes will help us to preserve our dune system and the habitat it provides.
  • No entering the Gulf while double red flags are flying. Always observe and obey the beach flag warning system while visiting our beaches. Click here for more information on beach safety.
  • Do not leave any structures or equipment on the beach when you leaveAny structures or equipment left on the beach an hour after sunset until sunrise will be removed and disposed of by beach patrol (except for permitted beach services). If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, please contact the Gulf Shores Public Works Department at 251-968-1156.

Beach Weddings

  • As a rule, weddings are not allowed on the Gulf Shores public beaches.
  • If you are renting a private beach house or condominium, and have the permission of the owners to conduct a wedding, no permits are required from the City. You do need to make your guests aware, however, that they cannot park on the road rights-of-way. 
  • No chairs, gazebos, arches, etc. are allowed to be placed on the public beaches. 
  • Gulf State Park, located in Gulf Shores, has a pavilion that is perfect for family and group outings, reunions, beach parties and sunset weddings. Rental is available 7 days a week, except major holiday weekends during the summer. For more information on pavilion rentals or to having a wedding on Gulf State Park beaches (permit required), call (251) 968-7296 or (251) 968-7245 Wednesday - Sunday. 
  • Contact the City Clerk's office at 251-968-1124 for more information from the City of Gulf Shores.


  1. Joethan Phillips

    Joethan Phillips

    Beach Safety Chief
    Phone: (251) 968-9828