The most popular attraction in the destination is (you guessed it) – the beach. The area boasts sand that’s soft as sugar and squeaks between your toes. Alabama’s beaches also line the beautiful salty waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The sounds of waves lapping, children laughing and sea birds chirping are what you’ll hear as you and your family are enjoying the warm coastal climate found along these shores.
Off the beach, you’ll find a plethora of activities and attractions worth exploring. Outdoor enthusiasts can take a bike ride down the 28-mile Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, kayak along the Coastal Alabama Back Bay Blueway or hike at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. Art connoisseurs will enjoy visiting our various art galleries that house pieces made by local artists. For hands-on action, check out the Coastal Arts Center in Orange Beach. The facility houses both The Clay Studio for pottery spinning and pick n’ paints as well as The Hot Shop, Coastal Alabama’s premier glass-blowing facility. History buffs will find one of the area’s most fascinating spots is Historic Fort Morgan. This Third System masonry fort was built in the early- to mid-1800s and played a crucial role in the Battle of Mobile Bay. Guests can tour it on their own, book a guided tour with a local historian or take things to the next level and experience the Espionage at Mobile Point escape room inside the fort.
Throughout the year, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are home to a variety of eclectic events, especially during the spring. The Orange Beach Festival of Art (March 20-22) is celebrating 46 years this spring with more than 100 vendors displaying a variety of media including pottery, glass art, culinary, dancing, singing and more. Shortly following is the Waterway Village Zydeco and Crawfish Festival (April 4). If Cajun cuisine and dancing are up your alley, this one’s for you. And lastly the NCAA Beach Volleyball (May 1-3) returns to Gulf Shores to crown its champion. With eight collegiate teams competing for the title, you’re sure to witness some fierce competition out on our sugar-white sand beaches.
If all of this talk about exploring activities and events is making you hungry, join the club! Lucky for you, fantastic food is found around every corner on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Whether you want fresh Gulf seafood, traditional Southern fried chicken or Alabama BBQ, we’ve got something to satisfy every palette. To top it off, most of the restaurants pride themselves on being locally owned and source their meat, seafood and produce from local purveyors.
When the sun starts to set and your family wants to wind down, the destination has plenty of lodging options for you to make your home away from home. With hi-rise condos, colorful beach houses, boutique hotels and campgrounds, you’ll find exactly what you need in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Many accommodation options are also beachfront and have amenities such as pools, grilling stations, fitness centers and more.