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America's Best Little Beach Towns

America's Best Little Beach Towns: Gulf Shores

Jeff Greenberg/Alamy

Gulf Shores, AL

Gulf Shores is near miles of splendid beaches along Bon Secour National Wildlife refuge and is a mainstay of the American seafood industry. Apart from the National Shrimp Festival every fall, the beaches are known for the strange occurrence of “jubilees,” random nights when crabs, fish, and shrimp flop up on the beach and make for easy pickings.

Stay: Magnolia Springs Bed and Breakfast is a charmer with stained glass in the den, elaborate woodwork in the great hall, and hearty three-course breakfasts.

Eat: Set in a circa 1897 building surrounded by Spanish moss and live oak trees, the Wash House Restaurant serves fried oyster lettuce wraps and beef spring rolls.

Tom Austin

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