Gulf Shores features a wide variety of malls and outlets, making shopping one of the best things to do in Gulf Shores.
The Tanger Outlets
There is a major outlet center about 8 miles north in Foley. The Tanger Outlets have GAP, Nike, Coach, Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Juicy Couture, etc., etc., etc. There are a number of restaurants, a new bowling alley called Gulf Bowl (with amazingly good gumbo, really).
The Wharf is a development on the Intercoastal Waterway with a number of great restaurants, an array of local shops, a Rave Movie Theater, indoor miniature golf, the Southeast's largest ferris wheel, an outdoor concert amphitheater, a marina and more. It is a good place to check out the boutiques and you'll find activities here around holidays and events like the boat races. You'll find it on Canal Road just next to the Beach Express bridge.
San Roc Cay
San Roc Cay is a small center with several very good restaurants, local boutiques, and a charming marina. This can be a great spot to watch tournament fisherman bring in their catch before enjoying a good meal.
The Pelican Place at Craft Farms
The Pelican Place at Craft Farms located 3-4 miles north of the beach on Hwy 59 has a Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Books-A-Million, plus lots of other local and chain boutiques to meet an array of needs. You'll also find Cobb Theater here.