Fort Morgan is situated at Mobile Bay, which is an inlet in the Gulf of Mexico. The fort played an important role during the War of 1812 and the American Civil War and is listed as a National Historic Landmark.
This was our first time staying in Fort Morgan and we loved it. We stayed for over a week and enjoyed every bit of the vacation. We came here right after our short visit to Dauphin Island, but in contrast, we saw big waves for the majority of the time. Somebody said that Ft. Morgan is a great place for people who used to enjoy Destin before its beaches became way too popular.
Fort Morgan consists of small homes for the most part, but we stayed at a 3 story condo, which had an outdoor and an indoor pool.
The beach views are fantastic! Fort Morgan is somewhat secluded, so stock up on groceries and supplies, as the very few small-sized local grocery stores are rather expensive.
Beach access and parking
Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of misleading and ever-changing information about public beach access in the Fort Morgan area. Let's clear things up!
According to the information provided to us by the HOA, there are only 3 nearby official public beach access points: Our Road, Mobile Street, and an unnamed road near the Fort (labeled as Ft. Morgan Fishing Beach in the Rookery HOA information).
There is no parking lot on Our Road, but there are areas along the side of it that do not have "No Parking" signs. We used to park along the side of the road along with several other cars when going to the beach and no one got any fines.
Mobile Street has a parking lot.
The unnamed road near Fort Morgan is in terrible shape. We were only able to drive down it for a few minutes before having to back out since there was no room for turning around. If you are riding bikes (or a Hummer) you will get to the beach OK though.
There is public beach access at the end of most of the public roads along Ponce de Leon. It is a small paved road that runs parallel to the beach between the beach-facing front houses and the second tier houses. There are other public beach accesses in between the streets but there is not a lot of room for parking.
There are a bunch of signs around the site saying the grounds, beach, and fishing are open from 8 AM to 5 PM each day. Indeed, the gates to the actual fort close at 5 PM. BUT this does not apply to the public beaches or beaches in front of rental homes or condos.
Food and restaurants
There are some restaurants down Ft. Morgan Road. Gulf Shores, obviously, has a much larger selection of F&B spots, so your driving time really depends on where you are staying in Fort Morgan.
We stopped at a welcome center, and the staff showed us a couple of nice restaurants that were close to where we were staying.
If you’re cooking, check out the Sassy Bass Market. It has fresh fish and a nice grocery store. Fresh Market Seafood is the place you want to go to for fresh seafood in Fort Morgan. This local market is fun to go to even if you're not planning on buying any fish at all!
Of all the Gulf Coast vacation options, Fort Morgan is said to be one of the most dog-friendly destinations. You can stay in one of the designated dog-friendly beach houses.
Fort Morgan’s beach area between the Engineer’s Wharf and fishing pier allow dogs if they are leashed. The pet-friendly beach starts after fate and runs parallel to the main road.
Be cautious of the permitted areas since the city will instate a fine for pets who wander off the authorized pet zones.
Basically, dogs are allowed on virtually all of the Fort Morgan beaches within the city limits, as long as they are leashed, and including the Fort. But NOT in Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge.
If you are trying to avoid spring breakers, consider staying at The Beach Club (https://thebeachclub.spectrumresorts.com) – it is very family-oriented. As for water conditions, we have found the water at The Beach Club to be very similar if not identical to the water in Gulf Shores. But, The Beach Club is about 10 miles from the end of the peninsula and the water will most certainly change as you get closer toward the opening of Mobile Bay.
- 1 hour 25 minutes from Pensacola, FL
- 1 hour 30 minutes from Mobile, AL
- 3 hours 35 minutes from Montgomery, AL
Hotels and rentals
If you're considering staying for one or even a few nights, there are plenty of options available near the beach. Chose your preferred accomodation type and your favourite room provider:
- Nearby rentals from VRBO.
- Nearby rooms and properties from Booking.com.
Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Gulf Shores Public Beach which you can visit:
- Gulf State Park Beach (1 mile)
- Cotton Bayou Beach (7 miles)
- Bon Secour Beach (National Wildlife Refuge) (8 miles)
- Alabama Point Beach (8 miles)
- Perdido Key Beach (15 miles)