The smell of the salt air. The feeling of sand between your toes. The sound of music playing. And the taste of a sweet frozen cocktail. There are many sensations to experience when vacationing along the sugar-white sand beaches of Coastal Alabama.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are ideal spots for a late summer or fall vacation, with their 32 miles of expansive coastline. Whether you enjoy relaxing with a beach read, building sandcastles, snorkeling or playing beach volleyball, Alabama’s beaches are the place for you. Imagine long, leisurely days on the beach with waves lapping at the shore, the distant laughter of children and colorful sunsets.
Off the beach, you’ll find a wide array of outdoor activities as well, including hiking, biking, kayaking and fishing. For those interested in hiking and biking, look no further than the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Located in Gulf State Park, these 28 plus paved trail system winds through all nine ecosystems that make up the park. Throughout the trail, you’ll also find lookout stations for wildlife watching, a butterfly garden, free bike rentals and even a restaurant for a quick bite to eat before continuing your explorations.
If you want to get out on the water during your vacation, check out the Coastal Alabama Back Bay Blueway. The blueway offers four distinct paddling trails with 21 launch sites taking paddlers from the island’s westernmost end to the Florida/Alabama line. Whether by canoe, kayak or paddleboard, you’ll experience various waterways, from cypress swamps to freshwater lakes. If you don’t own a vessel, several local businesses will drop off paddling equipment at the accommodation or launch site of choice.
Another fantastic way to get out on the open water is by trying a favorite local pastime — fishing. Because diverse waterways surround the area, you can enjoy all types of fishing, such as deep-sea, beach and pier fishing. There are dozens of charter fishing providers in the destination, and you can choose from four, six, or 12-hour trips. There are even 24-hour overnight excursions. These charters have knowledgeable captains and deckhands available to help both novice and experienced anglers hook their catch.
Not only are Gulf Shores and Orange Beach home to beautiful beaches and bountiful outdoor activities, but the destination also offers delectable dining options. As you might expect, seafood is king on the Gulf Coast, and most local restaurants get their shrimp, fish and oysters fresh off the boat. For those who prefer meatier meals, you’ll also find restaurants serving BBQ, dry-aged steaks, mouth-watering burgers and kid-friendly options.
It’s never too early to book your accommodations and start planning a vacation in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Visit GulfShores.com to learn more about the destination, attractions, restaurants and lodging options.