With 32 miles of white-sand beaches, clear turquoise water and a family-friendly atmosphere, you can’t go wrong. Whether this is your first trip or you’re a repeat visitor, there’s plenty to keep the entire family entertained on Alabama beaches! If you’re ready to try something fun and adventurous, you won’t be disappointed in the selection of new attractions in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach. Take a look at our top four favorite Orange Beach and Gulf Shores attractions!
Technically, the Hummingbird Zipline has been around for several years. However, during 2017 the zipline was deconstructed from the Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores and relocated to The Wharf in Orange Beach. The new Orange Beach zipline is bigger and better than ever! Experience an adrenaline-pumping excursion with breathtaking views over both land and water. The new zipline features more towers than the previous one, with nine towers and seven ziplines extending the length of one mile. You’ll soar as high as 90 feet above the ground and enjoy spectacular views of the Intracoastal Waterway and other coastal scenery. If you’re vacationing with a large group of family and friends, tour guides can take as many as 10 zipliners at one time.
Stay and Play Near The Wharf and Hummingbird Zipline
The Wharf and its surrounding Orange Beach attractions offer a plethora of world-class restaurants, family-friendly attractions, 10,000-seat amphitheater, boutique shopping and more. For those who want to stay nearby, consider bayfront vacationing. Beach houses offer an ideal opportunity to spread out and enjoy privacy. Dock of the Bay, a four-bedroom, 2 ½ half bath beach house located on Wolf Bay, is just a short drive from this entertainment district and beaches. In fact, you’ll have your own, private bayfront beach and dock. Dock of the Bay is ideal for those who love fishing, kayaking and getting back to nature with the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail nearby. Other budget friendly options are the homes at Orange Beach Villas.
You won’t find any other Orange Beach attraction quite like this one! Orange Beach Cat Boat Tours opened in 2017 and has been thrilling vacationers with adrenaline-pumping adventures ever since. Located at Caribe Marina, you’ll have the opportunity to coast through the scenic back bays and Ole River areas of Orange Beach on your own, personal watercraft. You can choose between a guided tour or can actually rent a cat boat for as little as $50 per hour and explore on your own after a brief lesson. A cat boat is a unique watercraft and is considered a compact catamaran. The boat sits low to the water and accommodates a driver and passenger in comfortable seats.
If you need a first-hand account before you work up the nerve to pilot your own boat for the first time, Fadra Nally of All Things Fadra has the details for you. “In just a few short hours, I went from very hesitant, first-time boat “captain” trying to figure out how to steer without a steering wheel to a Cat Boat-loving, stick-steering master! Orange Beach Cat Boat Tours gave me the knowledge and confidence to zip around the waterways (and get my pulse pounding) or take it slow to check out the scenery in the back bays – from wildlife to amazing homes right on the water.”
If you’ve never experienced the tranquility Ole River in Orange Beach offers, Blue River at Wind Drift is the perfect Orange Beach vacation rental. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo is located directly on Ole River with beach access just steps away. If you already own a boat, Wind Drift is boat-friendly and boat slips are available for a small fee paid onsite.
OWA is another one of the newest beach attractions that takes top billing. While not actually in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach, the amusement park is located just a few minutes away in nearby Foley. Plan to spend a full day at OWA during your Gulf Shores AL vacation. The park offers a come-and-go atmosphere, unlike attractions similar to Six Flags. There are plenty of restaurants including Wahlburgers and The Groovy Goat, with more being added. You can even satisfy your sweet tooth at Hershey’s Ice Cream Parlor. There are 21 roller coasters and rides ready to provide thrills and chills for all ages. Rollin’ Thunder is a park favorite and features stomach-dropping loops, twists and hairpin turns. Year-round special events keep the entertainment going. Check the park’s event calendar prior to your Gulf Shores vacation to make sure you have the latest OWA news.
Amusement parks are always more fun in groups! If you’re traveling with a large group and need a Gulf Shores AL vacation rental that’ll sleep, oh say, 26 people, check out Brainstopper. It’s appropriately named because the moment you walk in the door, your worries and stress will melt away. Besides offering eight bedrooms and eight and a half baths, you also have use of two community pools and direct beach access. Expansive balconies are perfect for your morning cup of coffee before heading out to experience the thrills at OWA.
We’re taking the adventure down a notch for those ready for some good, old-fashioned beach fun. If your sandcastle-building skills fall a little flat, treat the family to a lesson with Sand Castle University. SCU offers group sessions for building perfect sand sculptures. Owner Janel will bring the class to you, complete with all the necessary beach tools needed! Trust us when we say, you won’t even mind any homework from this “class.” If you’re celebrating a special occasion like a graduation, anniversary or marriage proposal, Sand Castle University can even construct a personalized sand sculpture for the occasion!
One of the things that makes this new Gulf Shores attraction so attractive is that it can come to you! So, essentially, everywhere is near SCU. However, we suggest taking a peek at the Lemon Drop beach house located in Morgantown in the Fort Morgan community. It’s a great spot with plenty of quiet white-sand beach available. The four-bedroom, two and a half beach house offers access to two community pools and tennis courts. When you aren’t building sandcastles, the secluded neighborhood is great for bike riding. You can even bring your golf cart along! If you have a large group, Lemon Drop is located near several other beach houses, including Brainstopper, Pelican Paradise, Sea La Vie and Sawgrass.
Now that you know where to stay and play on your next Gulf Shores and Orange Beach AL vacation, it’s time to start planning your next trip! For information on booking direct and keeping money in your pocket for all these great beach attractions, check out this blog with money-saving tips for booking Gulf Shores vacation rentals.
A place for strolling and taking in the gorgeous sights of the beach and the ocean alongside a number of fun-filled things to see and do, Orange Beach deserves to be on every vacationer’s Gulf Shores itinerary. Read on below to learn more about things to do in Orange Beach, AL!
To begin, no trip to Orange Beach is complete without stopping at The Wharf. Here, you’ll find a variety of attractions housed in one single locale, including one of the largest Ferris Wheels in the Southeast U.S., as well as Carmike Cinemas, the enormous outdoor concert venue known as The Amphitheater, and a bevy of stores and restaurants.
Orange Beach Waterfront Park is the perfect place for sightseeing and walking around in the scenic loveliness of Orange Beach. Nestled against Wolf Bay, this park has picnic areas with grills, paved walking paths, a fishing pier, and a lit park for children.
Other family-friendly attractions in Orange Beach include Adventure Island, Fat Daddy’s Arcade, The Wharf Mini Golf, Arena the Next Level, and educational attractions like the Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum and the Wind & Water Learning Center.
If you and your family appreciate handmade artisan crafts and artwork, you might also want to check out the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach, where you can choose to create your own masterpiece or pick out a pre-made beauty from the gallery, gift shop, clay studio, or the hot glass shop.
For those of you travelling with four-legged companions, Orange Beach Dog Park is a wonderful place to let them run free with dogs of their own size (as there are separate sections for small and large dogs) under the shade of towering trees. Water and benches are also provided.
Finally, you can check out the magnificent natural setting of Orange Beach on the Alabama Coastal Connection Scenic Byway, where you can drive to serene beaches, quaint downtown areas, historic sites, wildlife preserves, and mouthwatering seafood restaurants along the way.
Contact our office today to find out additional information on attractions and activities in Orange Beach and the rest of Gulf Shores when you reserve your trip lodgings in one of the pristine vacation rental properties that you can search by bedroom!
Photo By Kevin Stephenson from Florence, AL, USA – Sunrise – Front, CC BY 2.0