Alabama may have celebrated its 200th birthday in 2019, but people have been calling the rolling tides of the Gulf Coast home for a whole lot longer.

Gulf State Park opened in 1939, but it took a little longer before the neighbors made it official. The two cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach that bookend the park are much younger. The City of Gulf Shores incorporated as the Town of Gulf Shores in 1956, while the City of Orange Beach incorporated as recently as 1984. But don’t let this apparent youth fool you, these communities have existed for many generations.

Baldwin County where the two communities and the park are located is older still. It’s the largest county in Alabama and was created by the Mississippi Territorial Legislature in December 1809, ten years before Alabama became a state.


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