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Spring officially ushers in the high tourist season along the Alabama Gulf Coast – and Alabama’s very own Pleasure Island. By early May, the island will be teeming with vacationers. It’s likely you’ll require more than a week to see all the attractions, eateries, bars, and things to do and events in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, but if a week is all you have, that’s ample time to hit all the Gulf Shores beach things to do.

Eat and Drink – Gulf Shores Beach Things To Do

When it comes to beach grub, there’s the iconic establishments like Bubba’s, Lulu’s at Homeport, Tin Top, Tacky Jacks, The Hangout, Mikee’s, Sea ‘N Suds, DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen, Doc’s Seafood Shack, and of course, the infamous Flora-Bama. But there are some off-the-beaten path restaurants like Anchor, Flippers, Our Cigar Bar, Coastal Kitchen, O’Choppers, Snappers Lounge, Barefoot Island, and Our Cigar Bar, just to name a few. When it comes to imbibing in a bushwhacker or cocktail with an umbrella, there are dozens of juke joints, honky-tonks, and thatched, pool-side tiki bars to get your drink on. Cheers!

Family Fun On the Cheap

Got a condominium full of little ones? Pleasure Island offers things to do away from the beach like Waterville U.S.A., The Track, Adventure Island, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, The Hangout and much more. If you’re on a budget, there’s plenty to do on the cheap with the kids like Waterfront Park, Gulf State Park Pier, Fountain of Youth at Lulu’s and, naturally, the beach! Yeah, we got beaches—dozens of miles of powdery, snow-white sand. From West Beach to Gulf Shores to Cotton Bayou and Perdido Pass in Orange Beach, it’s endless beach as far as the eye can see.

Events and Festivals

April and May also means the shoulder season, which means festivals like the Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party. What’s that? Glad you asked. It’s an intimate beach bash for three days at the Flora-Bama Lounge and Package along with tens of thousands of folks from across the country gathered for one of the most popular Gulf Shores beach things to do: to toss a lifeless mullet from Florida into Alabama and to party in paradise.

Like classic Southern muscle cars? In late April, The Wharf holds its annual Bama Coast Cruise. In May is The Hangout Fest, a three-day music fest held right on Gulf Shores Public Beach, featuring a variety of live music from Friday to Sunday night. Got wine? The Orange Beach Wine Fest in mid-May offers a plethora of crushed grapes at Caribe the Resort, while the Hot Air Balloon Festival in neighboring Foley in early May gives tourists a bird’s-eye-view of Baldwin County.

Where Do I Stay?

Lodging options run the gamut from small beach cottages to plush beachfront homes to cozy condos and swanky penthouses. Depending on your lodging budget and needs, the Alabama Gulf Coast offers all kinds of price points. Whether you’re looking for lodging for a romantic getaway for two or a large home for a family reunion or a baseball team, the area can accommodate your needs. But keep in mind, rates don’t dip in the high season.

Your Perfect Spot in the Sand

The beautiful beach communities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are no longer a secret, and with good reason. The beaches are some of the most pristine and stunning in the country, while the culinary and entertainment landscape captures the best of the Deep South. So, come on down, y’all.  What are you waiting for? The Alabama Gulf Coast is waiting for you.

When you visit Gulf Shores, you won’t want to skip out on enjoying our phenomenal weather—especially during the temperate months of the spring season. Take full advantage of the warm and cheerful Gulf Coast sunshine by planning a picnic in one of the city’s many distinctively beautiful spots that are perfectly suited for such Gulf Shores family activities. Read on below to learn more about some of Gulf Shores’ best places to picnic.

Fort Morgan Historic Site

Pair your picnic with a side of history at the Fort Morgan, where visitors can explore the ruins of a key battle site of the Civil War (sometimes with the added effect of costumed reenactments), as well as the rugged bluffs overlooking the scenic splendor of the Gulf of Mexico. You will likely get a glimpse of some of the huge cargo freighters that deliver goods from around the world to the Port of Mobile each day, a great Gulf Shores family activity!

Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Consisting of over fifteen miles of trails interspersed amid six different ecosystems, each trail in this extensive network offers distinctive sights for your viewing pleasure, from towering sand dunes to aromatic magnolias and a butterfly garden. You can hike off your meal as you go!

Lake Shelby Recreation Area – Gulf Shores Family Activities

Shaded by immense oak trees, Lake Shelby offers serene picnicking conditions for those who wish to take their meal next to the idyllic backdrop of a 900-acre freshwater lake. Beyond sitting on the grass or by the shoreline, pavilions are also provided for picnics. Gulf Shores family activities like kayaking and paddle boarding make for fun post-meal pursuits. Remember to bring your pooch because the waterfront dog park at Lake Shelby is just a few steps away!

Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Nestled against Wolf Bay, Orange Beach Waterfront Park has a number of amenities that are ideal for a picnic excursion, including shelter areas with grills, walking paths, a fishing pier, and a park for children.

Alabama Point East

Situated slightly east of Perdido Pass Bridge within the boundaries of Gulf State Park, this breathtaking locale includes pristine beaches, impressive sand dunes, tranquil boardwalks, and areas designated for picnicking, though just about any spot along Alabama Point East will provide stunning visuals to go along with your meal.

Harris Vacation Rentals – Your Guide to Gulf Shores

Contact our reservations team to find out additional information on what you can expect during your time in Gulf Shores when you book your trip accommodations in one of the lovely vacation rentals that Harris Vacation Rentals has to offer for your stay today! Explore our amazing deals, cottage and condo rentals today!

Sunny and warm, there are few elements beyond the climate alone that could make your stay in the Gulf Shores area any better. However, the local restaurants in nearby Orange Beach just might give the weather a run for its money!

For those times when you’re hankering for a bite to eat while you’re out and about, we’ve put together a short list with a few of our favorite Orange Beach culinary establishments. Below, you’ll find some of the greatest Orange Beach local restaurants. We hope that you enjoy these listed restaurants and their delectable dishes! Read on to learn more about where to go for the best meals around!

Brick & Spoon

A breakfast and brunch place with amazing Southern and new American cuisine, Brick & Spoon serves up mouthwatering favorites like their cornmeal crusted oysters with sriracha on deviled eggs, softshell crab eggs benedict, and the Killer Creole Omelette with fire roasted grits. Top off your meal with one of their famous Bloody Marys!

Cosmo’s Restaurant & Bar

This popular restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, but be mindful: the food is so good that loyal customers can cause the wait times to get a bit long. If you don’t mind the wait or if you come during an off-peak time, you can revel in the deliciousness of the firecracker shrimp, duck and Andouille sausage gumbo, barbecue crab claws, or their full sushi menu. All with an amazing view of Perdido Pass!

Fisher’s Dockside (and Fisher’s Upstairs)

Recommended by Southern Living Magazine, this restaurant actually houses two separate restaurants under one roof, both with waterfront dining. Fisher’s Dockside is the casual, family-friendly part of the restaurant, while Fisher’s Upstairs provides an upscale dining experience with two bars and a rotating seasonal menu. Both sections serve variations on classic American and Southern cuisine, including shrimp and grits, bushwhackers, pan-seared grouper, and Murder Point oysters.

Orange Beach Local Restaurants: Ginny Lane Bar and Grill

Serving up dishes in the American and Southern culinary tradition, this restaurant is famous for its blackened shrimp over fried green tomatoes, pecan encrusted chicken, the creamy grits with shrimp and bacon, chicken tortellini, and their famous white chocolate bread pudding. The bread pudding recipe was actually willed to the restaurant by their pastry chef!

Doc’s Seafood Shack & Oyster Bar

If you’re looking for a seafood fix, you can’t go wrong with Doc’s! Voted one of the Top 10 Seafood Shacks in America by Fox News, this quaint food spot has served seafood gumbo, fried crab claws, golden fried oysters and more in the area for over thirty years. They truly know their way around seafood!

Explore What Orange Beach Has to Offer with Harris Vacation Rentals!

Trust us; whether you’re looking to rent, or you just want to learn more about this amazing vacation destination, we can help! Browse our rentals by bedrooms and contact our reservations team today to learn more about what you can expect during your stay in Orange Beach when you book with Harris Vacation Rentals.