One of the fastest growing communities in the Yellowhammer state, the city of Gulf Shores is a coastal oasis that provides everything you could want out of relaxed beach living. According to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data, the city has experienced an exponential growth in population. Jumping from 5,000 residents in 2000 to a 2011 estimated population of nearly 10,000, it is easy to see why Gulf Shores apartments for rent are such a hot commodity.
The original inhabitants of the Gulf Shores region were Creek, Chickasaw, Cherokee and Choctaw Native Americans. However, Spanish conquistadores ruled over Florida from the 1500s to the late 1800s and drove much of the Native American population to the north. After Florida became a state, the Spanish left Fort Morgan in Gulf Shores, and after it was rebuilt by European settlers, a community was formed and the beach city began to grow.
Until recently, the city of Gulf Shores was mostly a year-round tourist attraction for travelers longing to cling to the powdery white beaches alongside the Gulf of Mexico. However, due to a new economic boom in the area, many Alabama residents are making their home on the beautiful coast.
Many students in the Gulf Shores community attend Faulkner State Community College, a 2-year institution offering more than 100 areas of study. The college attracts many residents because of its close proximity to the beach and technical programs that help prepare Alabamians for high-paying professions. But the main draw to Faulkner is its claim of being the most affordable school in the state.
Gulf Shores still remains a major tourist attraction in the Southeast, so it is no surprise that the Gulf State Park & Resort is among one the top employers in the city. According to the city's population assessment, there are job opportunities in real estate, healthcare and education in the area as well. Finding great Gulf Shores rentals shouldn't be a problem here since the population and real estate industry both continue to grow.
Perhaps the reason why so many people are flocking to the sandy shores here is because despite the ocean views and relaxed setting in Gulf Shores, the cost of living in the area is 11 points below the national average. According to statistics from city-data.com, the 2009 median gross rent in the area was $887 per month with the median household income more than $4,000 above the Alabama average.
Every year, the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce hosts al National Shrimp Festival during the second weekend in October every year. Now a cultural mainstay in the Gulf Shores community, the festival has been alive and kicking for over 40 years. Popular with locals and visitors alike, over 250,000 people flock to the shores every year to try some of the nations best shrimp dishes. The festival also offers arts and crafts, a sand sculpture contest and more than 250 vendors.
The main attraction in the city is of course the sugar white sand beaches that bring in thousands of visitors year after year. Gulf State Park takes up more than 6,000 acres of coastline offering everything from camping, trails and fishing. There is also a connected watering hole called Lake Shelby that is available for water-skiing, swimming and picnicking if salt water isn't your thing. At night, taking a walk on the pier is a great way to see all the sights of this wonderfully charming beach city.
To find your next rental apartment or house in Gulf Shores, take a look at our listings on Rent.com®.