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33 Incredibly Fun Things to Do in Orange Beach Alabama You Can’t Miss

It’s one of the best beaches in the USA – yet a dramatically underrated destination. You’ll absolutely fall in love with Orange Beach. If you’re looking for the best things to do in Orange Beach Alabama, here’s your list!

things to do in orange beach AL white sand blue water umbrellas
Stunning beaches of Orange Beach, AL

This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, see my disclosures.

The bright, white sand beaches are luxuriously soft under toe. It’s the beach that draws you into this amazing destination, but the food and activities will keep you coming back for more!

True to its name, Orange Beach, Alabama is obviously a beachy destination. But there’s so much more this place offers! I’ve traveled a few times to Orange Beach and nearby Gulf Shores, and these are the must-see activities in the area.

But first, if you’re wondering where this lovely beach town is, let’s get specific.

Where is Orange Beach Alabama?

Located on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, just across the Florida state line on the panhandle is Orange Beach. It’s right next to Gulf Shores, Alabama. In fact, the two towns are like sisters and it’s often thought of as one destination when visiting.

If you’re traveling with your family, you might just want to check out the best things to do in Gulf Shores with kids.

Map of things to do in Orange Beach

Here’s a map of the area, including Orange Beach and all the best Orange Beach activities.

Ready to get into the list? Let’s go!

Things to do in Orange Beach Alabama

Eeek! I’m so excited for you to explore this area. Check out the main highlights of Orange Beach here, and be sure to check out recommended things to bring and where to stay, later on in the post!

1. Beach time at Cotton Bayou Beach

cotton bayou beach from above on a sunny day
White sands of the Cotton Bayou Beach

You know I had to start this list off with the beach, right? 😍

These crisp, white-sand beaches are what draws you into this destination, and rightfully so. Some of the most gorgeous sand on the planet is in Orange Beach, Alabama. (This is saying a lot considering my time in Maui, Anna Maria Island, Costa Rica, Culebra Puerto Rico, and dozens of other popular beachy spots.)

Anyhow, there are a few beaches along the coast and all of them are spectacular. One of my favorites is Cotton Bayou Beach. With ultra-soft sand, you’ll enjoy dipping your toes into it. 

Swimming is welcome, too! The warmest Gulf Coast water and weather for swimming is typically April – October, but if you’re tough or wear a wet suit, you might try it during off-season, too!

Pro tip: bring your beach chairs, umbrella and travel cooler with you. The only services here are the restrooms. Oh, and you’ll need to pay $3 for public beach parking.

Location: 25900 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

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    2. Take a sandcastle building class

    Guyyyyys! This was one of the most fun and memorable things I’ve done in Orange Beach!

    Schedule an hour with Sandcastle University to learn how the pros create sandcastles. It’s perfect for couples, families or even large groups. 

    You’ll learn the basics of creating an epic sand castle, the kind you feel good bragging about as an adult.😉

    Your instructor brings all the tools and teaches the proper techniques – like the right water to sand combination! When a pro teaches you the right methods, the sand castles look like actual castles!

    During a family trip to Orange Beach, my 5 and 9 year olds loved building their own creations…but it might have been the parents who had even more fun!

    Book it now: Sandcastle University

    Location: Alabama’s beaches (varies based on agreed upon location)

    3. Dolphin cruise Orange Beach

    One of the coolest things to do in Orange Beach Alabama if you’re an animal lover is to take a dolphin cruise!

    Orange Beach sits on a thin strip of land with surrounding channels and bays just to the north of it. The great thing is that these waterways are perfect for water adventures without the strong ocean waves.

    Taking a dolphin cruise means you’ll be able to depart from The Wharf and stay on the smooth water. Pods of dolphins live within the channels and it’s perfect for a dolphin tour in Orange Beach. 

    Fun fact: These dolphins are smaller than the dolphins that live in the open ocean on the Gulf, because the food they eat is smaller, as apposed to large fish in the open ocean.

    Be sure to bring your camera and keep it on the film setting because you never know when a dolphin will pop it’s head up! You can take screenshots of the video if you want photos. 

    Pro tip: opt for a sunset cruise to get beautiful water views while watching dolphins!

    There are many tour companies offering dolphin cruises. I used Cetacean Cruises and had an absolutely fantastic time! The captain and waitress were so genuine and entertaining – I highly recommend them!

    This is such a fun adventure, it could definitely be the highlight of your trip!

    Book it now: dolphin cruise Orange Beach

    Location: 4673 Wharf Pkwy W , 4673 Wharf Pkwy W, Orange Beach, AL 36561 (at The Wharf)

    4. Hit the trails at Gulf State Park (one of the best Orange Beach activities)

    gulf state park top thing to do orange beach view of boardwalk and pier
    Explore the fun trails at Gulf State Park, Alabama

    Sitting right between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores is the Gulf State Park. It includes a stretch of beach, multiple lakes and a ton of activities.

    One of my favorite ways to stay active while on vacation is through hiking. And while you won’t be climbing steep trails like while hiking in Mount Rainier National Park or hikes in Oahu, you will see some really cool scenery.

    With 28 miles of trails interwoven through the area, you’ll have a ton of options to get your sweat on!

    One of the most scenic trails in my opinion is the Lake View Trail, with pretty views of the lake! The Beach Mouse Bypass is another fun one, as it’s on an elevated wooden boardwalk. Here’s a link to the trails map to plan out your adventure!

    Location: 20115 State Park Rd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

    5. Breakfast at OSO Early

    I know what you’re thinking….can we get to the food already?! With so many amazing places to eat in Orange Beach, I won’t go through all of my favorites here. But I absolutely must mention OSO Early!

    Open for breakfast and lunch, this cute diner is the perfect way to start a lazy beach morning or pass the time on a rainy day.

    From traditional breakfast, coffee and a kids’ menu, it has just what you need to start your day.

    Pro tip: try the Curious George! It’s the banana cream-cheese stuffed French toast, and it’s to die for!  

    Location: 27370 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

    6. Go for a Ferris Wheel ride

    Ferris wheel at night best things to do in orange beach alabama
    The Ferris Wheel at The Wharf, Orange Beach

    The Wharf at Orange Beach is a fun entertainment area with shops, restaurants and activities. This is one of the most popular spots for hanging out (away from the beach anyhow). So for some good, clean fun, try a Ferris Wheel ride! 

    For just a few bucks per person, it’s an affordable way to see the sights of the area.

    Fun fact: the Ferris Wheel at The Wharf is one of the largest on the eastern USA! Ride 112 feet in the air while getting a great view of Orange Beach and The Wharf.

    Location: 23101 Canal Rd.Orange Beach, AL 36561

    7. Jet ski Orange Beach 

    jet ski rental orange beach father and son ride on the water
    Jet skiing Orange Beach AL

    No trip to Orange Beach is complete without some fun on the water! Renting jet ski’s at the Flora-Bama Marina was one of the top experiences on a recent trip to the area.

    In fact, visiting Flora-Bama and jet skiing is one of the top things to do in Orange Beach Alabama!

    Located right on the Florida / Alabama state line, Flora-Bama has several buildings for entertainment. With plenty of food options and outdoor entertainment on the Gulf or the bay, it’s a destination in its own.

    Look for the yellow building for jet ski and boat rental for the Flora-Bama Marina.

    It’s highly recommended to make reservations in advance, especially during the busy summer season. Oh, and if you’ve never driven a jet ski, it’s not very difficult at all! My first time driving one was jet skiing in Orange Beach. 

    Book it now: jet ski Orange Beach at Flora-Bama

    Location: 29603 Perdido Beach Blvd. Orange Beach, AL 36561

    8. Dine and drinks at The Gulf (a favorite on this list of best things to do in Orange Beach Alabama)

    holding fruity drink with palm trees in the background
    The perfect beachy atmosphere at The Gulf

    The perfect spot for soaking in all the beachy vibes while relaxing is at The Gulf in Orange Beach.

    It’s an outdoor dining experience created from shipping containers. With delicious drinks, food and just the right atmosphere for relaxing. Hang out there after a long day out on the beach, too. 

    Settle in with a good Surf’s Up cocktail (pictured above), or one of their many mojitos. Grab a tuna poke bowl, fish sandwich, octopus salad or a variety of fried finger foods. Just lounge under the palm trees while you enjoy yourself!

    The Gulf is one of the best Orange Beach Restaurants on the water. Those views are just awesome!

    Location: 27500 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

    9. Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach

    coastal arts center orange beach alabama things to do photo of building with palm tree
    Visiting the Coastal Arts Center

    If you’re an art lover, this is your place! Located on the Wolf Bay in Orange Beach, the Coastal Arts Center is an art gallery and also offers interactive ways to create your own art!

    You can visit the area to look at the amazing creations while in a beautiful setting on the water. Or take a class to learn new skills. From painting to glass blowing, it’s one of the most fun, unique things to do in Orange Beach!

    Check out the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach Facebook page for up-to-date info on hours and classes.

    Location: 26389 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

    10. Make your own pottery at a clay studio (one of the most unique Orange Beach Alabama attractions)

    pottery lined up on a table cups bowls and mugs
    Samples of what you’ll make during a clay class

    Time to get a little crafty and a little dirty for this next one! Located at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach, this gem is the perfect way to spend a rainy day!

    Reserve your spot for a class to create your own pottery in The Clay Studio.

    Location: 26389 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

    Orange Beach Alabama – things to do

    Only part of the way done with this incredible list of things to do in Orange Beach, Alabama and I’m sure you’re thinking about all the activities and food you’ll enjoy. You gotta see this next one…

    11. Romar Beach (one of my favorite things to do in Orange Beach Alabama)

    Orange Beach Alabama beach with white sand and blue sky, gentle waves

    I know, I know, this beach looks similar to the last. But that’s because it is! The beaches along Alabama’s 32 miles of sand are so similar. But isn’t part of the fun of going to a beachy destination checking them all out?

    This beach is gorgeous and the perfect example of what you’ll find in an Alabama Beach!

    If traveling with kids, grab some beach sand toys for extra fun. And for everyone else, snorkeling can be fun, too. During my last trip to Orange Beach, there were tons of sting rays all along the shoreline

    Snorkeling Romar Beach is not like the snorkeling beaches of Kauai because there’s no reef system (which means the sand is super soft!), so you won’t see colorful coral, but it’s a fun time in the water anyway!

    My husband and I almost always take our own snorkeling gear with us. It’s pretty inexpensive and gives us ultimate flexibility on when we want to get in the water. This is the snorkeling gear I travel with, and highly recommend it! 

    Location: 24450 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

    12. Segway Tour

    Back off the water, this is one of my new, favorite past-times: taking a Segway Tour! I haven’t had the chance to do it at Orange Beach yet, but did get to enjoy one on a girl’s trip to Sandusky, Ohio and it was soooo much fun!

    The Segway Tour in Orange Beach rides the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails, riding through trails and 6 distinct ecosystems, which would be really cool to see! And if you’ve never ridden a Segway, it’s actually relatively easy and the tours start out with lessons. 😊

    Pro tip: wear good shoes (not sandals) to prevent slipping and provide arch support (you’ll use your feet muscles!) And bring a water bottle.

    Book it now: Segway Tour Orange Beach

    Location: 21101 AL-135, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

    13. Free bike rentals at Gulf State Park

    Sticking with the wheels theme! Up next is one of the best, free things to do in Orange Beach Alabama.

    Alabama’s Gulf State Park has a fun, free bike-sharing program. It’s a cool way to see the area and get some exercise in! You know those hiking trails we talked about in #4 above? Well, hop on a bike and explore them!

    This is how bike-sharing works: 

    • Find a bike through the bike share program
    • Scan the QR code at the site to download the free app
    • Use the app to scan the QR code on the bike(s)
    • That will unlock the bike and track it’s location as you ride
    • When finished, return the bike to a drop off spot (doesn’t have to be the same one)
    • Lock it with the app

    That sounds like a lot but honestly it takes 2 minutes to grab your bike and go!

    I especially like that there are baskets on the front for items you may need to bring with you (like water!)

    There are several locations for picking up and dropping off the bikes. I hopped on one near the Woodside Restaurant (one of my favorite, fun places to eat in Gulf Shores.) But there are many other locations throughout the park.

    The only downfall is that the bikes are standard and there aren’t kid sizes. So this is a fun activity for a friend’s trip, couples or families with adult children.

    Location: 20115 State Park Rd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

    14. Mini golf Orange Beach

    mini golf course in orange beach with stripe lighthouse in background
    Fun Orange Beach activity for all ages: mini golf!

    It’s one of the best things to do in Orange Beach with kids, although this is a favorite for all ages. It’s good, clean fun and a way to bring on a little competition on your vacation to Orange Beach!

    Here’s a list of the mini golf courses in and around Orange Beach:

    • Beachside Mini Golf (pictured above)
    • Adventure Island
    • Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf (also really fun!)
    • Tiki’s Mini Golf

    15. Crab hunting at night

    hunting sand crabs in a net
    Catching sand crabs at night

    Looking for a fun nighttime activity? Hunting for crabs on the shore after dark is one of the most unique activities in Orange Beach. A great spot to hunt for crabs is the shores at Gulf State Park.

    If you’re traveling with kids, grab a net and see how many you can find. Be sure to catch and release! 

    When my family went during one of our trips to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, the most crabs we found were slightly higher on the shore than the water line. You might see them try to run into their crab holes to escape!

    Location: 22250 E Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542 (Gulf State Park Pavillion parking lot)

    16. Waterfront dining at GT’s on the Bay

    A favorite for all ages is GT’s on the Bay. With waterfront and outdoor dining, it’s the perfect spot for lunch or dinner. In fact, it’s one of the most fun things to do in Orange Beach!

    If you like shrimp, the firecracker shrimp is a must! If fish is what you’re after, you absolutely must have the Mahi-Mahi sandwich. Both are amazing!

    Kids will love the pirate ship, obstacle course and sand playground while parents love the live music and outdoor bar. No worries being bored here waiting for a table!

    Location: 26189 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

    17. Visit Lake Shelby

    orange beach attractions - smooth lake with trees and blue sky

    A picturesque scene just steps away from the salt water Gulf Coast, Lake Shelby is a freshwater lake in the Gulf State Park. It’s a scenic setting for walking, hiking, biking and fishing. You’ll actually find freshwater and saltwater fish in the lake, and fishing for blue crab is popular, too!

    (Shelby Lakes actually consists of multiple lakes, but the most popular is the largest, known as Lake Shelby.)

    Note: if you want to fish, you’ll need a local fishing license. Learn more about that here.

    Fun fact: along with fishing, there are swimming areas at Lake Shelby, despite the fact that there are residents alligators. The alligators stick to themselves in the areas that aren’t as frequented as people.

    There are even cabins at Lake Shelby if you’re looking to stay on the lake. Check availability here.

    Location: navigate to Shelby Lakes, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

    18. Hang out at The Wharf (a must-do on this list of best things to do in Orange Beach)

    the wharf entrance with sculpture fish, palm trees and shopping center

    Whether you’ve had a full day on the beach or it’s cool and rainy outside, you’ll find plenty to do at The Wharf. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Orange Beach Alabama.

    Fun for all ages, The Wharf at Orange Beach is an entertainment district full of restaurants, shops, condos and a ton of activities.

    Here are a few of my favorite things about The Wharf:

    • YoHo’s Rum & Tacos
    • Riding the Ferris Wheel
    • Outer Limits VR Game Room
    • Ice cream at Kilwins Orange Beach
    • Ginny Lane Bar & Grill

    There’s so many things to do at The Wharf at Orange Beach, I can’t possibly list them all here. You’re sure to have a great time – and great food, too!

    Location: 23101 Canal Road, Orange Beach, AL 36561

    19. Rent a Polaris Slingshot

    If you’re looking for a high-adventure activity, then this is it! Renting a Polaris Slingshot for the day is a fun, unique way to see the area!

    You’ll get the benefits of riding a motorcycle – the fresh breeze directly on your skin in an open-air environment, yet it’s easier to drive and more similar to a 4-wheeled vehicle. It’s fun to ride in the Slingshot, which feels a little like riding in a race car!

    Book it now: Polaris Slingshot rental

    Location: 25150 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

    20. Coffee at The Southern Grind Coffee House

    If you’re looking for an early morning pick-me-up or want to hang out at a coffee house for a bit, then The Southern Grind Coffee House is a perfect spot for you.

    With your choice of traditional breakfast like bacon and eggs, breakfast bowls or want to stick to a coffee or smoothie, there’s a little bit of everything at the Southern Grind. My family enjoyed coffee, smoothies and a pretty great breakfast!

    While you’re there, check out the souvenirs and artisan gifts in the shop. From beachy artwork to seashell décor and so much more, you might just find the prefect thing at The Southern Grind.

    at Hotel Indigo: 22843 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, Alabama 36561
    at The Wharf: 4751 Main Street Suite 116, Orange Beach, AL 36561

    21. Go kayaking

    top things to do in orange beach include kayaking on lake Shelby photo shows kayaks in foreground with lake and blue sky
    Kayaks along the shore of Lake Shelby in Gulf State Park

    Giving out virtual high-5’s to anyone who loves kayaking! 🖐 From kayaking during a weekend in San Diego to kayaking Lake Erie at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, I’ve kayaked almost every coast possible in the USA.

    So I was thrilled to learn I could kayak at the lake at the Gulf State Park!

    Whether you’re traveling with your significant other, as part of a group trip or with older kids, kayaking on Lake Shelby is a fun activity for all.

    You can rent kayaks right on Lake Shelby near the picnic and dog park through Gulf State Park Boats and Bikes. No need for a reservation though, it’s first come, first serve so show up when you want to paddle on the lake!

    Location: 21101 AL-135, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

    More things to do in Orange Beach Alabama

    Can you even believe this list?! And it’s not even over yet. More adventure and amazing food awaits in Orange Beach.

    Let’s keep going.

    22. Visit the Gulf State Park Pier

    gulf state park pier sign
    Walking the Gulf State Park Pier

    Right down the street from kayaking is the Gulf State Park Pier. Walk the pier and see gorgeous views of the coast! Or learn about the local wildlife through all the signage as you walk the pier. See how many species of birds you can spot!

    If you’re into fishing, the Gulf State Park Pier is actually the largest fishing pier on the Gulf. You can buy a day license and rent gear right on the pier, too. More info here.

    Or, visit the souvenir shop or grab a bite to eat at the nearby ByWater Beachside Beach Bar & Grill.

    Note: The pier was severely damaged during Hurricane Sally in 2020. A large section is gone (watch a video of the damage). However they’ve opened it so visitors and locals can use the pier through the stable section, which still gives fun views of the coast!

    Location: 20800 E Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

    23. Hit up the local brewery or distillery

    brewery at GT's on the Bay in Orange Beach photo shows brewery equipment
    Microbrewery at GT’s on the Bay

    If you like eating, or in this case drinking local, I’ve got just the list for you! Gulf Shores and Orange Beach still has that small-town vibe in some situations, so there’s not as many brewery options as a place like Breckenridge, CO.

    However, you’ll find tasty brews and drinks at the few places they do have!

    Spots making local drinks:

    kentucky mist distillery with liquor bottles and bar
    Kentucky Mist Distillery at The Wharf

    24. Relax at the spa

    It’s a perfect way to just get away from it all and enjoy your vacation in true relaxation! Book a massage, facial, pedicure, or get your hair done!

    Book a couples massage for a romantic getaway, escape while the rest of the family plays at the beach, or grab your friends and enjoy getting your nails done, there’s so many ways to feel pampered and relaxed in Orange Beach.

    Local spas to check pricing and availability during your vacation:

    25. Go sea shell hunting

    hunting for seashells on the sand with ocean waves in background
    Hunting for sea shells early in the morning in Orange Beach

    A favorite for all ages while on a beach vacation in Alabama is searching for sea shells! Whether you have a giant collection at home you’re looking to add to, or this is your first opportunity to hunt for sea shells on the beach, it’s always a fun time.

    There’s a bit of seasonality for hunting sea shells, just like there is for seaweed. However you should be able to find small shells and sand dollars almost year round in Orange Beach, Alabama.

    Pro tip: to find the best shells, be sure to go early in the day. By evening the good shells are usually gone because the beach has been picked over by fellow hunters.

    Location: any of the Orange Beach Alabama beaches

    26. Got kids? Visit the playground

    playground in orange beach with colorful equipment including slides
    New playground in Orange Beach, Alabama

    Orange Beach has so many public areas to enjoy, including a waterfront park and kids playground. Unfortunately, it was significantly damaged during Hurricane Sally’s arrival, so the pier on Wolf Bay is closed at the time of article publication.

    However, the playground is a great spot for kids to run out some energy! Whether you need a break from the waves or it’s a little chilly in Orange Beach, this public playground is a great alternative where kids can be creative and have fun.

    Location: 26389 Canal Rd., Orange Beach, AL 36561

    27. Gulf State Park Interpretive Center

    Perhaps one of the coolest educational centers you’ll find along the Gulf Coast, the Gulf State Park Interpretive Center is an impressive set of structures that should be visited by everyone traveling to the area.

    The Interpretive Center is actually one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the entire state of Alabama, passing the Living Building Challenge. It actually produces its own electricity and water – and then some – resulting in a net positive for water and energy!

    The building was created from local materials and takes advantage of the natural resources of the area – the warm sun and ocean breeze. Smart, right?

    The Interpretive Center has a large education center as well. Visitors can learn about the local flora, fauna, habitats and a variety of living species that live in the Gulf State Park and surrounding region. I was super impressed with this area and it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Orange Beach Alabama.

    Location: 22250-A E Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

    28. Paddle board on Middle Lake

    smooth lake with grassy coastline and blue sky on of the top things to do in orange beach alabama
    The serene Middle Lake at the Gulf State Park

    A much smaller lake than Lake Shelby, but still worth a visit is the Middle Lake within the Gulf State Park. This is a quieter, calm lake with a serene setting, and a good spot to witness nature at work.

    I recommend renting stand-up paddle boards through Island Life Kayaks and Paddle Boards and spending some time on the lake. There’s a boat launch at Middle Lake, so put your kayaks in there and enjoy the sights!

    Location: navigate to the campground at Gulf State Park and you’ll see the boat launch

    29. Sunset on the beach

    gulf coast sunset sun and water
    The Gulf Coast produces picturesque sunsets!

    Nothing beats a sunset on the beach, right? Well the Gulf Coast has some pretty spectacular ones! So grab a seat at any of the local beaches (Romar Beach is my favorite!) and enjoy a beautiful sunset.

    Just a quick note, during the fall and winter the sun rises and sets on the water, so you’ll get the most direct sunsets during that time of year. In the summer it sets on land and isn’t directly seen from the beach. But obviously you’ll still get that sunset glow during the summer!

    Location: any Orange Beach Alabama beach

    30. Take a sunset Tiki Bar Cruise

    This one just sounds fun, doesn’t it? If you’re into sunsets and cocktails, you’ll love catching a sunset cruise on a tiki bar! Float your worries away on a tiki bar as you watch the sun going down in the beautiful water surrounding Orange Beach.

    This is a BYOB, which is perfect if you’re traveling as a couple, with friends, or go light if traveling with kids!

    Book it now: Sunset Cruise on a Tiki Bar

    Location: Caribe Marina, 28101 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561 (departure point)

    31. Hang out at Alabama Point East (another favorite on this list of best things to do in Orange Beach Alabama)

    aerial view of alabama point with white sand and ocean in background
    The beautiful and peaceful beach at Alabama Point

    With a little more remote location this beach is a bit harder to get to, but that just means fewer people to share the beach with!

    With mellow waves and less rough surf, this is by far one of the best calm options if you enjoy swimming in the Gulf. It’s perfect for kids, too due to the shallow beach and calm waves.

    Alabama Point East is also a perfect spot to watch the sunset (if you don’t have enough of those ideas already). 😉

    Note: there are restrooms at this beach, but closer to the parking lot so prepare yourself to walk as needed.

    Pro tip: take comfy shoes (I recommend water shoes) because the boardwalk to the beach is quite long. Then you’ll have support for the walk and water shoes can transition right into the water and sand with no challenges. These are my favorite water shoes that I took to Orange Beach (and they go everywhere with me!)

    Location: 28105 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

    32. Find the most Instagrammable spots in Orange Beach

    Whether you’re an online content creator or just love to capture photos from your travels, there are plenty of opportunities in Orange Beach. 

    Here are some of the best spots for photos in the area:

    • The fish sculptures at The Wharf
    • Entry landscaping/palm tree median at The Wharf
    • The Gulf outdoor restaurant
    • Alabama Point East
    • Literally any Orange Beach Alabama beach because they’re all beautiful

    33. The Yard Gulf Shores

    strawberry ice cream in a jar with cheesecake and whipped cream on top
    Ice cream to share at The Yard

    Alright so I’m cheating here as this one is in Gulf Shores. The two cities are so close together, and this such a perfect fit for this list I have to include it!

    If you’re an ice cream lover or have a sweet tooth, you absolutely must visit The Yard Milkshake Bar. Every time I’ve visited the area, I’ve tried something new at The Yard – and spoiler – it’s all good! 😋

    With fun flavors like Salted Caramel Cheesecake, The Unicorn, The Mermaid, The Cereal Killer and Cookie Butter Me Up, you’re bound to find something you’ll like!

    Location: 3800 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

    First-time visitor’s guide about Orange Beach, Alabama

    Before this post about the best things to do in Orange Beach is wrapped up, let’s talk about a few more super important details!

    Where to stay in Orange Beach

    There are a variety of vacation rental properties and hotels in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. You’ll have plenty of options depending on your style and the amenities you’re looking for. Condos and beach homes are popular in this area, and there’s a bunch of hotels that line the beach, too.

    I love staying right on the beach, and most recently stayed in the heart of Orange Beach at Harbour Place, Unit 406.

    It was perfect for my family, including 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a balcony with partial beach views and a pool and hot tub! It included free parking and the elevator was super convenient. With direct beach access, we couldn’t ask for anything more!

    Here’s a link to this vacation property, by Youngs Suncoast, to check availability.

    Nearest airport to Orange Beach

    At the time of publication, the closest large commercial airport to Gulf Shores is Pensacola International Airport, about an hour east of Orange Beach. Alternatively, you could fly into the Mobile Regional Airport, about two hours northwest of the area.

    Current plans are underway for commercial flights to be added to the expanded Gulf Shores International Airport, which would make airplane travel super convenient. Check the official airport website for details.

    How to get around Orange Beach

    Orange Beach Alabama things to do girl walking down pier with beach in background
    Another gorgeous walkway to the water at Orange Beach

    Orange Beach is spread out so a rental car is the most convenient way to get around Orange Beach, Alabama.

    I love using Discover Cars when traveling because I typically save 10-30%. It’s basically an online search engine for cars that’s free to use, and the most reliable car companies are on there.

    Search now: Rental car prices

    For in-town trips, rideshares like Uber and Lyft are available.

    What to pack for Orange Beach

    pink beach towel with woman standing on beach
    Always pack my lightweight beach towel with a hidden zipper pocket when hitting the beach!

    As you’re making your way through all the activities and things to do in Orange Beach, you want to be prepared with all the right gear.

    Let’s just sum this up by saying swimming suits and flip flops are the top things to pack!

    But in all seriousness, here’s a list of the top items I take to Orange Beach (and other beachy destinations)

    • Two swimming suits, two swim covers and a few other weather-appropriate outfits. Sun dresses, shorts and layers for the evening is really all you need in Orange Beach! I love merino wool for travel, because it’s perfect to create layers and regulate your body temperature.
    • Lightweight beach towel, beach bag and beach hat. Don’t forget the essentials for a perfect day at the beach!
    • Sunglasses and a lens cloth. Sitting on the beach with the salty air, you’ll want to keep your sunglasses and phone lenses clean.
    • Ocean-safe sunblock. This one’s my favorite and it smells great! Always make sure the sunblock is reef safe to protect our oceans.
    • Body glide. This is to protect your thighs if they like rubbing together. Wearing swimwear and dresses plus ocean air and humidity can cause real problems on those legs! You’ll be glad you have some Body Glide.

    Get the full beach packing list here👇

    Get the perfect packing list for your next beach vacay!

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      Things to do in Orange Beach Alabama (a recap)

      Orange Beach Alabama things to do-photo of blue sky, pier and white sand
      One last photo of the beach!

      Orange Beach is a destination that any beach lover will enjoy. Between the amazing beaches, plethora of activities and delicious food, Orange Beach is full of exciting experiences for your perfect vacation.

      Here’s a recap!

      Orange Beach things to do:

      1. Cotton Bayou Beach
      2. Sandcastle building class
      3. Dolphin Cruise
      4. Trails at Gulf State Park
      5. Breakfast at OSO Early
      6. Ferris wheel ride
      7. Jet ski Orange Beach
      8. Dine and drinks at The Gulf
      9. Coastal Arts Center
      10. Take a pottery class
      11. Romar Beach
      12. Segway Tour
      13. Bike for free at Gulf State Park
      14. Mini golf Orange Beach
      15. Crab hunting at night
      16. Waterfront dining at GT’s on the Bay
      17. Visit Lake Shelby
      18. Hang out at The Wharf
      19. Rent a Polaris Slingshot
      20. Coffee at Southern Grind Coffee House
      21. Go kayaking
      22. Gulf State Park Pier
      23. Local distillery or brewery
      24. Relax at the spa
      25. Hunt for seashells
      26. Visit the playground
      27. Gulf State Park Interpretive Center
      28. Paddleboard on Middle Lake
      29. Sunset on the beach
      30. Take a sunset Tiki Bar Cruise
      31. Hang out at Alabama Point East
      32. Find the most Instagrammable spots
      33. The Yard Gulf Shores

      Related content to read next:
      11 Awesome Orange Beach Restaurants with Water Views

      24 Fun Things to See and Do at The Wharf Orange Beach
      Fun Places to Eat in Gulf Shores, Alabama
      21 Exciting Things to Do in Gulf Shores with Kids
      Beach Packing List – What to Take and What to Leave Home

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      orange beach alabama 33 incredible things to do you'll absolutely love photos of beaches and drink

      Thank you to Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism for hosting me! As always, all opinions are my own.


      Sunday 21st of November 2021

      That breakfast at OSO Early looked incredible! That seems like reason enough for me to visit, haha. Thanks so much for sharing!


      Monday 29th of November 2021

      Hahaha! There's lots of great food and activities in the area. Hope you get to book a trip sometime!


      Saturday 20th of November 2021

      Orange Beach looks really awesome! It seems there are endless activities to do there. I never knew it's possible to take sandcastle building classes but I bet it's a lot of fun! :D


      Saturday 20th of November 2021

      Oh yes Lina! There's so much to do in Orange Beach. And the sandcastle building was super fun!!


      Saturday 20th of November 2021

      Wow the beach looks so tempting ..i want to visit it right away πŸ™‚ thanks for sharing such lovely vibes


      Saturday 20th of November 2021

      Sounds like it's time to book a trip πŸ˜‰


      Saturday 20th of November 2021

      Wow! Is there really a thing like a sandcastle building class? I would so love to attend one. How did you like it?


      Saturday 20th of November 2021

      Yes! The class was amazing! My confidence in building sandcastles is much higher now πŸ˜†


      Saturday 13th of November 2021

      I didn't know Alabama could be so cool and beautiful! And the best part is it looks like it would be a place my kids would love, too!


      Monday 15th of November 2021

      Yes Megan THIS is Alabama!😍 And it's a great spot for families - my kids looove the area!