Located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Orange Beach is a small Alabama coastal town that attracts thousands of visitors with its spectacular wide, white sandy beach, warm waters, and plenty of activities in the water and on land. There are also several large parks, such as Gulf State Park, Alabama Point East, and Orange Beach Waterfront Park. The Wharf is a popular tourist destination with shops, restaurants, and bars and the Indian and Sea Museum tells the story about the region's heritage.
1.Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail
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The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail offers visitors to Orange Beach an opportunity to escape the bustling tourist world and immerse themselves in the wild world of towering pines, scrub oak, palmetto, and thick, green deer moss. Just minutes from the busy beaches and hotels, the trail runs past calm freshwater lakes, mysterious coastal swamps, and lush wetlands teaming with life. As you walk the easy trail, you might spot white-tailed deer, coyote, bobcat, wild boar, otter, alligator, and hundred species of birds. The trail runs through six distinct ecosystems, namely longleaf sand ridges, freshwater marshes, live oak maritime forest, coastal dunes, pine flatwoods, and coastal hardwood swamps. The trails have interpretive signs to help visitors identify plants and wildlife.
24037 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 251-981-1180
2.Orange Beach Waterfront Park
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Orange Beach Waterfront Park is shady, pleasant bayside park on beautiful Wolf Bay. Its most visible feature is a 400-foot-long fishing pier, which is a great spot to throw a line and hope for the best. The spacious park has a number of picturesque picnic pavilions with benches and tables, BBQ grills, picnic shelters, restrooms, and a wonderful kids’ playground with swings, slides, and a jungle gym. There is a trail that runs through this wonderfully landscaped oasis, passing by many lush plants, blooming bushes, and towering trees. The park is a popular spot for weddings and other parties, festivals, and public events and is great place to watch spectacular sunset over the bay. The Pleasure Island Art Association is located in the historic Campbell House Gallery in the park.
26425 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 251-981-6039
© The Wharf
The Wharf is the most popular, exciting, and inviting dining and shopping destination on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Visitors can choose from a range of restaurants and eateries, from fine dining and casual Southern flair to local seafood favorites. The fun continues at night at daiquiri bars, boat bars, places with live music, and sport bars with a range of games on TVs. At the Wharf, you can pamper yourself at one of several spas and salons with a massage, rejuvenating treatment, or new hairstyle. If you need some retail therapy, the Wharf has dozens of locally owned boutiques and unique shops, with something for everyone. You can also find decor for your home, sports gear, birthday gifts, and much more. The Wharf is located on Canal Road in Orange Beach.
23101 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 251-224-1000
© Adventure Island
Adventure Island is a popular amusement park located in Orange Beach, just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico. It features a range of exciting rides and adventures for the whole family. You can ride go-karts and bumper boats and play lazer tag, try adventure golf, have some fun at the arcade, or go on paddle boat rides. There are many rides just for the kids. The whole family will enjoy watching the eruption of the giant five-story volcano, with fire shooting into the sky. You can try high power adventure game of tag, play 18-hole mini golf with the whole family, try climbing a coconut palm, or take a slow, relaxing boat ride on Adventure Island’s lost lagoon lake.
24559 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 251-974-1500
5.The Fun Boat Dolphin Cruises
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The Fun Boat Dolphin Cruises is a 2 hours of family fun in the bays of Orange Beach and Alabama Gulf Shores. It starts from Sportsman Marina in Orange Beach. The fun begins with a pleasant boat ride along the bay to locate playful dolphins. Dolphins are social creatures that always travel together with their families, so when you spot a pod of dolphins, it means that you will see the whole family: Baby dolphin, daddy dolphin, mama dolphin, maybe even grandma. Knowledgeable deckhands who travel with guests on dolphin cruises will answer all the questions and tell you stories about the local sea life. After watching dolphins swim around the boat and showing off, the second part of the fun starts: Water wars. Kids get water cannons and squirt guns to splash each other to their hearts’ content. The boats take maximum 35 people on their dolphin cruise so that everyone gets full attention.
27075 Marina Rd., Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 251-233-3690
6.Orange Beach Sailing Charters and Sunset Cruises
© Orange Beach Sailing Charters and Sunset Cruises
Orange Beach Sailing Charters offers a relaxing ride on their elegant yacht on the bay or out into the Gulf of Mexico. There is a range of trips to choose from and in all of them you will be able to see the Perdido Pass bridge, the jetties, the pass, frolicking dolphins, and miles of blue ocean. You will pass by other boats and will see the beach from the Gulf side. If you are travelling with kids, you might want to choose an introductory 1-hour sail. For a more romantic journey, they also offer a sunset cruise. All cruises are private and take a maximum six people. You can bring your own snacks and drinks.
Hudson Marina 4575 South Wilson Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 251-981-7245
7.Orange Beach Helicopter Tours
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Orange Beach Helicopter tours offer a fun way to see the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Orange Beach the way birds see it: From high up in the sky. They offer a range of family-friendly tours such as the 5 to 7-minute-long Beach Tour and the Round the Island Tour, which lasts 11 minutes and offers opportunity to see the entire Orange Beach and Perdido Key area. The Sea Life Tour offers a bird’s eye view of the ocean and the fish and animals swimming below. The trips are safe, fun, and memorable and are a great gift for someone’s birthday.
28273 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 855-496-2747
8.Hummingbird Zipline Course
© Hummingbird Zipline Course
Hummingbird Zipline Course is Alabama’s longest and the most exciting zipline adventure. Located at The Wharf entertainment district in Orange Beach, this new 6,000-foot-long course has eight ziplines that range from 300 to 1,600 feet as well as 115-foot-tall towers. The guests are guided by a pair of guides in small groups, learning along about the island’s rich flora and fauna and fascinating history along the way. The views of the intracoastal waterway and Wolf Bay are spectacular, and so is the panorama of the wetland area, featuring treetop platforms and rope bridges. Guests must be at least 10 years old, and weigh a minimum of 70 pounds and a maximum of 250 pounds. The zipline starts and ends at The Wharf in Orange Beach.
4830 Main St. Suite G-114, Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 877-947-8434
9.Alabama Point East
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Located a short drive east of Perdido Pass Bridge, in Gulf State Park, Alabama Point East is a great place to spend some time enjoying nature and watching birds. It has over 6,000 feet of wide, sandy beach, boardwalks, sand dunes, picnic areas, restrooms, and showers. The sea oats habitat offers great opportunities for bird observation and fishing. The views of Perdido Pass and the Gulf of Mexico are breathtaking. Alabama Point provides a critical habitat for a number of animals, such as the Perdido Key beach mouse. It is a nesting site for the snowy plover and a variety of shorebirds, and common loons feed in the pass during the winter. Overnight camping is not permitted in the park.
20115 State Hwy. 135, Gulf Shores, AL 36542, Phone: 800-252-7275 or 251-948-7275
10.Indian and Sea Museum
© Indian and Sea Museum
The Indian and Sea Museum in Orange Beach is a fascinating local museum located in a century-old schoolhouse, showcasing the region's Native American and nautical heritage. The museum houses numerous artifacts and memorabilia that tell the story about the area’s Native American and maritime history. Many families of fisherman have generously donated collectibles and everyday objects that remind us of the challenges and achievements of the area’s fishing industry in its early days. The building that houses the museum was built in 1910 as a schoolhouse, converted to a museum in 1995, and moved to the present location in 1999.
25850 John M Snook Dr, Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 251-981-8545
11.The Southern Grind Coffee House at The Wharf
© The Southern Grind Coffee House at The Wharf
Established in 2012 at The Wharf in Orange Beach, the Southern Grind Coffee House is a popular coffee shop and a social spot. Spacious and bright, this quirky place is full of fascinating details and decorated with art and antiques that grab the attention of everyone who stops by for a cup of Java or some of their unique pastries, cakes, or sandwiches. Everything is made fresh with local ingredients. They use old family recipes for their home-made pastries, gelatos, and other treats. They have a nice courtyard where you can sit with your dog. They also have a free Wi-Fi, so visitors can check their Facebook or emails.
4751 Main St #116, Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 251-923-3265
12.Lartigue's Fresh Seafood
© Lartigue's Fresh Seafood
Established in 1979, Lartigue’s Fresh Seafood Market is a family-owned and run business in Orange Beach specializing in fresh seafood caught locally in the Gulf of Mexico. Besides fresh fish and seafood, they also sell steamed seafood to-go with a side order of corn and potatoes, country boils, oven-ready specialty dishes, shrimps, fish, oysters, and crabs. Whether you are just planning to feed your family or having a party or a wedding, Lartigue’s will take care of your needs. They also sell fishing bait, tackle, souvenirs, and much more. If you are planning a beach picnic, bring your basket and they will load it up with a perfect lunch, complete with spices, sauces, and cutlery.
23043 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 251-948-2644
13.Big Fish Restaurant & Bar
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Located in a strip mall on Canal Road in Orange Beach, AL, Big Fish Restaurant is a surprisingly elegant seafood restaurant. The large bar and modern, sophisticated decor with white table cloths in the main dining room create a pleasant atmosphere for a business lunch or a family dinner. The place is famous for their sushi and fresh seafood, but their extensive menu has something for everyone. If you like seafood, you should not miss the Hurricane, a huge selection of shellfish that includes cold-water lobster tail, jumbo shrimp, diver scallops, blue crab claws, P.E.I. mussels, all poached in their house tomato broth. Their wine list is fairly small but very well selected. The bar makes superb cocktails.
25814 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561, Phone: 251-981-5516
12 Best Things to Do in Orange Beach, Alabama
- Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, Photo: Courtesy of MISHELA - Fotolia.com
- Orange Beach Waterfront Park, Photo: Courtesy of Luis Soquetti - Fotolia.com
- The Wharf, Photo: The Wharf
- Adventure Island, Photo: Adventure Island
- The Fun Boat Dolphin Cruises, Photo: Courtesy of melodymigas - Fotolia.com
- Orange Beach Sailing Charters and Sunset Cruises, Photo: Orange Beach Sailing Charters and Sunset Cruises
- Orange Beach Helicopter Tours, Photo: Courtesy of George - Fotolia.com
- Hummingbird Zipline Course, Photo: Hummingbird Zipline Course
- Alabama Point East, Photo: Courtesy of Corey - Fotolia.com
- Indian and Sea Museum, Photo: Indian and Sea Museum
- The Southern Grind Coffee House at The Wharf, Photo: The Southern Grind Coffee House at The Wharf
- Lartigue's Fresh Seafood, Photo: Lartigue's Fresh Seafood
- Big Fish Restaurant & Bar, Photo: Courtesy of M.studio - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Ulf - Fotolia.com