Plan Your Next Orange Beach Vacation with This Guide!
Summer and fall are both great times to visit Orange Beach! During the summer months, this popular beach vacation spot is jumping. The crowds and activity level hit their peak, and so do the temperatures. The water and sand are hot, the breeze is warm, and the beach party is in full force. Come fall, the temps and the crowds begin to let up. It’s all fun!
Get Outside and Hit the Beach
Time to grab your cooler, funky beach hat, sunscreen, and colorful beach towel and hit the beach. Our bodies turn into little solar panels as we soak up all the sun we can while lying on the toasty sand. It’s as if we have to soak up as much as possible so we can make it through the rest of the year. Catch up on your sleep or a few good books while you sunbathe, or do some serious beachcombing or a little surf fishing. Best of all, if you book one of our beachfront vacation rentals, you can do it all while you’re just a few steps away from the AC and flat-screen in your rental. Enjoy your first cup of coffee out on your deck, while you watch the sun come up or the kids splashing in the surf.
Fall is also one of the prime birdwatching seasons here on the coast as migratory birds stop to rest. Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is just one of several area parks that are part of the Alabama Birding Trail and offer fully accessible, meandering trails through various coastal habitats. Fall is a great time for birdwatching and hiking!
Get Out on the Water
Rent jet skis for the entire family and everyone can spend the day zipping along the coast. You can also take parasailing lessons and fly with the gulls as they hunt for lunch. Book a quick helicopter tour of the coast for an amazing aerial view of the bright blue Gulf.
Treat the family to a half-day dolphin watching tour out on the Gulf, or take your partner on a romantic sunset dinner cruise. If you’re here with a group of friends, book a glass-bottom or double-decker party pontoon and spend the day out on the water catching up with each other, sightseeing, doing a little fishing, and just having fun. Feeling a little more serious? Book an eco-tour and follow your guide as everyone silently glides through bayous, mangroves and the backwaters of the Gulf in kayaks, while getting up close to fish, turtles, shorebirds, and gators. It’ll give you a totally different perspective on the Gulf.
Serious anglers and novices love fishing in the Gulf! The fishing is good year-round, and there’s a wide variety of places to fish. There’s no need to rent a boat and head out to sea here in Orange Beach. Grab your gear (and license) and just walk out to the beach in front of your rental. Set up your beach chair and cooler next to your rod, and you’ll be pulling pompano, redfish, ladyfish, and flounder out of the surf in no time. Both surf fishing and pier fishing are great for families with small children looking for that first fishing experience. Don’t forget your crab trap!
Rent one of our Orange Beach waterfront vacation rentals with a private boat dock or fishing pier and you’ll be that much closer to enjoying your time out on the water. Not only are the docks and piers perfect for tying up your kayak, but they’re also great for fishing, sunbathing, and even dining al fresco under the stars. Bring your own boat, kayak, canoe or paddleboard, or rent what you want from one of the local marinas.
Fish inshore to get closer to the water – and the fish – on your kayak or canoe as you hunt for flounder, speckled trout, sheepshead, black drum, pompano, and mackerel. Cruise the creeks, channels, and marshes along with the barrier islands and coast while you enjoy the beautiful scenery and the company of shorebirds and our local dolphin pod.
The world’s largest artificial reef system is here in the Gulf. You can fish for king mackerel practically year-round here, and the reef is home to some of the best grouper and snapper fishing you’ll find anywhere. The reef and nearby wrecks not only offer amazing fishing opportunities but they’re great scuba diving spots too, and many are nearshore and easily accessible.
Book a charter for serious offshore or deep-sea fishing. Let someone else take care of those pesky little details like licenses, bait and equipment, and let someone who knows the local waters and where to find the fish do all the work. These charters last all day, and some overnight charters are available. Experience the thrill of reeling in trophy amberjack, king mackerel, grouper, tuna, marlin, swordfish, or wahoo.
Looking for excitement, but not the commitment of an all-day deep-sea excursion? Chasing tarpon or stalking a tailing redfish through the marsh is exciting with a fly rod when you’re in a kayak. Of course, you can head offshore too for some really challenging fishing as you try to land that big ole grouper on a fly rod.
For something completely different, try your hand at bow fishing. Yes, bow fishing! Bow in hand, search for carp, alligator gar, and drum in freshwater, or try saltwater night bow fishing and gigging for a truly unique adventure. Imagine hunting for a shark, at night, armed with a bow! This is an exciting, exhilarating way to make great memories that last a lifetime.
Catch your limit, then grill all those freshly caught fish out on your deck. And if you didn’t have any luck with the fish, just make a stop by one of our local fish markets and grab everything you’ll need. Blalock Seafood& Specialty Market is just one of many local markets offering fresh seafood, wine, cheeses, condiments, and seasonings. Try their Ginger Wasabi! And you can get everything at Lartigue’s Fresh Seafood, from fresh seafood and fixings to go, to fish bait and fishing charters.
Spend the Day at The Wharf
Can’t decide what you want to do, or maybe everyone wants to do something different? No worries, just head to The Wharf. It has everything from shops and spas, to mini-golf and a movie theater. Plus, there are outdoor concerts in their amphitheater year-round.
For some fast-paced fun, check out their arena for laser tag, the newest arcade games, or play Bazooka Ball. And for something a little different, the Outer Limits VR arcade has five fully immersive rides you have to experience to believe. At the Breakout Orange Beach escape room, you can choose from several different scenarios including The Kidnapping, Hostage, and Operation: Casino. Solve the puzzles and try to break out in time!
There’s a zipline! The Hummingbird Zipline Course speeds across the wharf and surrounding wetlands and forest via eight tower spots. Once your need for speed is fulfilled, enjoy a leisurely ride on the Ferris wheel where you’ll have time to enjoy the view. One of the tallest Ferris Wheels in the Southeast, this landmark attraction is a great way to end your day.
Need food on your Orange Beach vacation? Whether you want fine dining or a quick snack, you can find the perfect spot at The Wharf. Is your group looking for a family-friendly, casual dining experience? Try STKburger for burgers, wings, and lobster rolls or Ginny Lane Bar and Grill for fresh, local seafood, a kids menu, and craft brews and cocktails all with a great waterfront view. And the Southern Grind Coffee House is great for a quick bite with specialty coffees, sandwiches and salads, pastries, and their special gelato.
Make a stop at Gulf Coast House of Jerky. They have such a wide variety of interesting flavors, you’ll want to try them all – beef, buffalo, fish, pineapple, pork, alligator, shark, python, elk, venison, kangaroo, and more. Maybe you just want to skip right to dessert? You’re sure to find what you crave at Dippin’ Dots, Kilwins (serving delicious confections since 1947), or the Sugar Shack. I know the kids will love them all!
Island Time Daiquiris, Kentucky Mist Distillery, and YoHo Rum and Tacos (custom cocktails and tacos!) will keep your thirst quenched with refreshing adult beverages and entertainment. Stop at The Sandshaker for a few of the local favorite beverages – the Bushwacker! They have live music and are open late too.
Be sure to stay after dark for The Wharf’s sound and light show! Free to the public, this nightly show features popular music and synchronized lighting effects, all on The Wharf’s Main Street.
Festivals and More!
There are tons of activities all summer long, but fall is festival season here in the Gulf. And, here are a few of the area’s annual festivals to get you started.
Pastry chefs come from all around to show off their sweetest concoctions at The Wharf’s Sweetest Chefs event in September. The Flora-Bama’s Bulls on the Beach, also in September, hosts bull riders for this bull riding show. You can test your own skills on their mechanical bull if you dare, or just watch all the action while enjoying a Bushwacker or two.
October brings the nationally known Annual National Shrimp Festival to nearby Gulf Shores. With lots of shrimp and seafood, live entertainment, vendors, local art booths, and plenty of kid’s activities, this is a family-friendly festival. If you love shrimp, you can’t miss this festival. Of course, there will be Octoberfest celebrations everywhere. Be sure to check out the fall festivities at The Hangout, Flora-Bama, and The Wharf for Octoberfest, and get your fill of beer, brats, and German goodies served up Gulf style. Be ready to enjoy dancing to polka music on the beach!
The first weekend in November, The Hangout’s Annual Oyster Cook-off & Craft Beer Weekend (also in nearby Gulf Shores) starts with live music and plenty of craft beer to sample and includes an oyster shucking contest and Bloody Mary Invitational. Chef’s from all over the country show off their favorite oyster recipes at the cook-off on Saturday.
Our Orange Beach Vacation Rentals
Now you’re going to need a beautiful, comfy place to rest up after a long day of playing on the beach or fishing for dinner. Luckily we have vacation rentals throughout the Orange Beach area that will be the perfect home-away-from-home for your stay here. Relax and enjoy the balmy ocean breeze and the beautiful view from private decks and covered porches. Just one step into our bright, airy rentals will start your stress seeping away. Open floor plans make it easy to gather your entire group together for a freshly grilled fish dinner or friendly poker night.
Choose from beachfront, beach-adjacent or waterfront rentals. We offer comfy one and two-bedroom rentals just right for a romantic getaway or couples weekend. If you’re bringing the whole family or it’s time for that reunion with all your college buddies, we have spacious rentals that can accommodate large groups too. Many of our Orange Beach rentals are pet-friendly, so you can bring your favorite furry friend. All of our rentals have free Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens, and amazing views.
Your Orange Beach Vacation
If you need help finding the perfect vacation rental for your Orange Beach vacation, just give us a call! We’d love to help with the final selection or to suggest other activities to fill your days. One suggestion is to check on the Blue Angels practice schedule while you’re staying on the Gulf Coast. They practice their amazing aerial acrobatics year round and it’s worth the trip to nearby Pensacola!