Destination Gulf Coast: Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Destination Gulf Coast

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — This summer lots of us missed out on summer vacations because of the pandemic. But there are plenty of local attractions and activities we can all enjoy as a “staycation” and we’ve been sharing those with you. This week’s destination is the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores.

In its new location on oak road east, just off highway 59, the zoo now has about 25 acres of space to accommodate guests and its variety of animals.

“We’re very excited about finally being open again and we’re very excited about being open in this brand-new beautiful zoo,” says Zoo Director Joel M. Hamilton.

Whether its Buddha the huge black bear (whose fur is actually brown,) Simba the lion (who can be heard roaring at dawn and dusk), or Chucky the alligator (a favorite of locals) , the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is delighting people of all ages. When we visited, parents told us it’s the perfect place to take the family because the large outdoor environment has plenty of space to remain socially distant from others.

The zoo’s popular animal encounters are on hiatus due to covid-19. But guests can still feed green leaves to the giraffes, which are herbivores. I found their tongues to be rough, their skin to be soft, and their eyes beautiful enough for a Hollywood closeup!

Bruce “Quillis” the porcupine is also a star attraction, as are the monkeys, tigers and other large cats.

The zoo has added a train ride, a carousel, and a zipline-style seated ride which gives the rider a bird’s-eye-view of the entire attraction. A restaurant and a venue for meetings, weddings and receptions round out the offerings at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, a great staycation that’s perfect for your next adventure.

The zoo is following CDC and state guidelines to protect guests and also to protect the animals. For more information on the zoo, its new location and hours, go to


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