If you need a little sand and sun, look no further for your next beach vacation than the Gulf Coast of Alabama. Two picturesque towns right on the coast, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, have all the sand and sun you could want. In addition to their beaches, there are plenty of things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Before you plan your trip, find out what to do when visiting Alabama's beaches.
Things To Do in Gulf Shores Alabama
Two of Alabama's most popular beach towns, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, are virtually synonymous with one another. With over 32 miles of beachfront space, there is a place for everyone at the beach. In addition to enjoying the sand and sun, these things to do in Gulf Shores should be on your must-do list!
1. Water Sports
More active vacationers will enjoy the opportunities to get active in the fantastic gulf waters. From kayaking to parasailing and even diving, there is no shortage of options for choosing a water sport to participate in.
2. Hiking or Biking
Gulf Shores is home to Gulf State Park. It connects Gulf Shores to Orange Beach through 26 trails spread across 28 miles of the park. These trails allow visitors to experience the diverse ecosystems of Alabama in addition to experiencing nature by bike or on foot.
3. Dolphin Cruises
Dolphin Cruises have gained popularity for their ability to deliver unique views of an exciting species without getting wet. Many cruises offer food and drink options; some even have a pirate theme. Capacity is limited on these sailings, so booking in advance is highly recommended.
4. Visit Historic Fort Morgan
Fort Morgan has guarded Mobile Bay since 1834. It was active in four wars, including the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. The fort hosts a “living history” program and an exhibit featuring personal items from solider who served at the fort.
5. Go to The Wharf
The Wharf is located in Orange Beach and is a fantastic destination for families and groups due to the many activities available. The iconic Ferris Wheel will give you a bird's eye view of the town, which looks gorgeous at sunset. Other activities include a movie theater, axe throwing, and escape game rooms.
6. Build a Sand Castle
Ever wanted to build a professional sand castle? Well, now you can. Sand Castle University will come to you, wherever you are in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, and teach you how to build an incredible sand castle! All classes are private, and they provide all the equipment you need.
7. Golf on Award-winning Courses
Alabama's Gulf Coast boasts incredible courses. Designed by golf legends such as Arnold Palmer, Jerry Pate, and Earl Stone, these courses are ideal for perfecting your swing.
8. Hit up The Mini-golf Course
Alternatively, you can take your family to one of the many mini-golf courses in the area. Tiki's Mini-Golf offers $5 games and bike rentals. If pirates are more your speed, check out the treasure at Pirate's Island. For indoor fun, try Jurassic Golf and play amongst glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs.
9. Fish For Your Dinner
Fishermen of all skills can cast a line in the gulf. In the spring, look for more bluefish, cobia, and pompano as they are more prominent at that time of year. After your fishing adventure, head to a restaurant like Fresh Off the Boat or Sassy Bass Amazin' Grill where they will cook your catch!
10. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
Home to almost 200 different species, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo was the star of a 2006 documentary on Animal Planet called “The Little Zoo That Could.” Just six miles from the beach, you can see many exotic animals and participate in educational activities or simply stroll the zoo at your leisure.
11. See The Sights on a Segway
Coastal Segway Adventures offers a unique way to see nature and wildlife in Gulf State Park. The two-hour guided tour begins with Segway riding instructions before heading off down the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry trail to see eagles, foxes, butterflies, and maybe even an alligator.
12. Take a Tour With Hammocktime Tiki Tours
Enjoy a two or four hour tour of Orange Beach by boat. Rest in the onboard hammocks or get in the water during planned stops on the tour. Restrooms are on board, and you can bring your own beverages too!
13. Learn About The Iconic Bushwacker
The Surfside Shuttle is the perfect way to try the famous Bushwacker drink that is available at many bars and restaurants on the Gulf Coast. The Bushwacker is an alcoholic drink that is similar to a Mudslide, and there are many debates on who does it best in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
14. Tropic Falls at Owa
If you don't mind a short drive to Foley, Alabama, you can get your theme park and water park fix in one spot. OWA, which means “big water” in the Muscogee Creek language, is home to the indoor water park, Tropic Falls, and over 20 theme park rides and attractions.
15. Eat Your Heart Out
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have no shortage of incredible restaurants to try on your visit. Family-friendly restaurants include Lulu's Gulf Shores, The Hangout, The Gulf, and Tacky Jacks, which has locations in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
For a more “grown up” atmosphere, try Voyagers at Perdido Beach Resort, Bar 45, The Beach Club Kitchen and Cocktails, or Cobalt the Restaurant.
While this list is not exhaustive, hopefully its given you a few ideas for fun things to do in Gulf Shores during your next trip.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Sarah Gilliland is a travel journalist and travel editor for Wealth of Geeks with over ten years of experience writing, editing, and producing content related to family travel. She freelances for several online outlets, including Yahoo, Insider, Conde Nast Traveler, and Attractions Magazine. Sarah's beats include theme parks, family travel, cruises, and road trips. When she isn't traveling or writing freelance columns, Sarah can be found on her website, On the Road with Sarah, or binging the latest geeky thing on Netflix or Disney+.