Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Alabama
Waves rolling in over the wide, white-sand beach
A romantic stroll through sugar-soft sand at sunset
Sailing the coast aboard the Wild Hearts catamaran
Aerial view over the Gulf of Mexico and the area's back bays
Family fun on the beach in Gulf Shores
Saltwater fishing from the scenic Gulf State Park Pier
The Kiva Dunes Golf Course, one of 14 area courses
Reeling in catches on a Gulf of Mexico fishing charter
- Major Airports:
- Pensacola (PNS)
- Mobile (MOB)
Laid-back vacations on Alabama's Gulf of Mexico beaches
Picture a perfect day at the beach: blue skies, a gentle breeze and turquoise waters lapping at the shore of a sugar-white sand beach. Alabama's 51 kilometers of pristine beaches on the Gulf of Mexico set the scene for holiday memories that last a lifetime.
Located in the southeastern USA, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are an easy drive from New Orleans, Atlanta and Nashville, making it an ideal addition to a regional tour. It’s a favorite getaway for families, with many opting to return year after year for generations. Go beyond the beautiful beaches, and spend some time enjoying water recreation, local history, festivals, incredible seafood and live music – a variety of activities and attractions for all interests and ages.
Beyond the Beach
From zip lines and water parks to golf courses and fishing charters, there is entertainment for everyone in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Nature lovers can enjoy kilometers of walking and biking trails, dolphin cruises, and diving or snorkeling trips. History buffs can step back in time and explore Fort Morgan and the local museums. You can also spend some time treasure hunting for the perfect souvenir in the island's many boutique, gift and specialty shops.
To experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the coast on a grand scale, plan your trip around one of many popular festivals and events. The Wharf's Boat and Yacht Show in March is the largest show of its kind on the Gulf Coast. The Hangout Music Festival takes place in May, right on the beach, and features three days of music on multiple stages. In October, the National Shrimp Festival attracts more than 250,000 seafood fans and features arts, crafts, children's activities, live entertainment and, of course, shrimp. November's Frank Brown International Songwriters' Festival features Grammy Award-winning songwriters as well as up-and-coming artists. Visit during the annual Oyster Cook-Off in November and sample the culinary creations of celebrity chefs from across the USA, plus a wide variety of craft beers.
Fresh Gulf Seafood
Whether you catch your own on an offshore fishing charter or simply select from a restaurant menu, seafood plays a starring role in the culinary scene of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. In fact, many local restaurants will cook your catch for you. Enjoy a wide variety of restaurants, from relaxed to upscale. Linger over your meal at a waterfront restaurant with views of the Gulf or back bays, or relax at an open-air restaurant featuring live entertainment. Many family-friendly options also include children's play areas and activities.
Rooms with a View
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer a wide selection of accommodations including spacious beachfront condos, national hotel chains, private beach houses and full-service resorts. Amenities vary by property and can include private Gulf-front balconies, beachside swimming pools, lazy rivers, tennis courts, fitness rooms, on-site dining and more. For those that prefer camping, a selection of RV parks and campgrounds offer facilities for both tents and campers with amenities including full hook-ups, laundry facilities, pools and nature trails.
Alabama's coast has four ecosystems: ancient maritime live oak forest, wet longleaf pine savanna, freshwater marsh and small stream swamp forest.
The white sand found here is made of quartz crystals that filtered down through the Appalachian Mountains thousands of years ago. It’s so pure and fine that it actually squeaks when you walk on it.
Gulf State Park’s Lake Shelby is one of the closest freshwater lakes to a body of saltwater in the world. Saltwater occasionally finds its way into the lake, making it home to both freshwater and saltwater fish.
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Hangout Music Festival
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Gulf Shores and Orange Beach