Looking to escape the winter blues? All you have to do is hop down south to the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida, where endless sunshine and miles of white-sand beaches await you. With near-perfect weather throughout the year, this part of the country beckons sun seekers and invites them to kick back, relax and pamper their senses.

If you're still not convinced, here's a list of five reasons why the Gulf Coast should be your winter getaway location:

1. Trade in the snow for sand

Building a snowman might be one of the most quintessential Christmastime activities, but have you ever built a sand man? How
about a sand angel? You won't have to get bundled up to enjoy the
same outdoor activities you would at your colder home.

2. The greens stay green

With numerous golf courses to choose from throughout the year, including wintertime, Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach and Perdido Key become a golfer's dream come true. The fairways don't close for business because of snow (because it doesn't snow), and oftentimes the temperature stays at a cool and refreshing mid-60s -
even in February!

3. Evening strolls on the beach

On Christmas Eve, a great way to ease pre-Santa Claus adrenaline with your kids is to take a long walk on the beach - something you can't do so easily when it's 20 degrees out. If the moon's is shining, the beach will be naturally lit so you won't even have to worry about bringing a flashlight.

4. It's oyster season!

Winter on the Gulf Coast provides a luscious treat: oysters! Sure, you might be used to serving a Christmas ham, but when they're so fresh and delicious, why not save some room for these succulent bites?

5. Last-minute shopping spots

If you're a holiday shopping procrastinator, Gulf Shores area shopping centers have plenty of specialty and boutique stores where you can find everything on your Christmas list. Santa had better watch out, because you're going to get some really awesome gifts for your family!