Where can you go to experience some of America’s finest beaches yet still have plenty of activities and attractions to explore? Many people would probably mention destinations in Florida or California but we want to share with you our thoughts on Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama and why this is such an appealing destination for us!
Hopefully after reading this, you will be inspired to explore this part of South Alabama that sits along the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf Coast offers 32 miles of breathtaking beaches but in addition, there are a myriad of things to do along this stretch of coastline that will satisfy every visitor. Whether you are looking to indulge in delicious local seafood or perhaps experience your own fishing expedition, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are the perfect locations to experience this and much more.
Pristine White Sand Beaches
If you are looking for pristine, white sand beaches you would be hard pressed to find any beaches around USA with cleaner, more relaxing beaches than Gulf Shores. Alabama is not likely to be the first US state you would think of when it comes to perfect beaches, but after taking in the views and smoothness of the sand you may be inspired to check this out for your next vacation.
But if the beaches at Gulf Shores are not enough for you, just along the Alabama coastline is Orange Beach which provides miles of sandy beaches AKA “the perfect spot for a relaxing getaway!” From the tip of Historic Fort Morgan (more on this later), there are 32 miles of gorgeous beaches…certainly no shortage of beautiful spots to take an early morning stroll or enjoy the breathtaking evening sunsets that are typical in this part of the world.
Explore Historic Fort Morgan
One of the finest examples of military architecture in the New World
If the beach life doesn’t provide enough inspiration to head to Gulf Shores, perhaps exploring the historic masonry fort that is Fort Morgan may interest you! As you can see from the above quote that is frequently referenced by leading scholars, Fort Morgan played an integral part in four wars and has been the safeguard of Mobile Bay since 1834.
It is no surprise that Fort Morgan was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960. Visitors can take tours of the fort and accompanying museum to learn all about the historic battles that took place here.
Admission: $7 Adults; $5 Seniors and Students; $4 Children (Age 6-12). Free entry for active duty, veterans and children under 6.
Championship Golf Courses
The moment I saw that Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama played host to a number of championship golf courses, I was sold!! Whether you prefer to play the Scottish links style courses or rolling hills parkland courses, there is something here for every golfer, regardless of standard.
Craft Farms plays home to both Cypress Bend and Cotton Creek and both of these are impressive looking Arnold Palmer designed courses. Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club is a popular choice among locals and visitors alike, while Kiva Dunes is a rugged, links style course that should be on every golfers radar when visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
While the traditionalists may love the golf courses in this part of Alabama, for those looking to try a trendy new sport, why not experience FootGolf at Glenlakes Golf Club in nearby Foley. Golf in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is for everyone to enjoy, so don’t forget to pack your clubs when heading to the Gulf Coast!
One of the most exciting encounters you can have with wildlife is a dolphin cruise where you head out into the open water and see dolphins in their natural habitat. Orange Beach is the perfect spot to head out into the Bay area and whether you want to experience a glass-bottomed catamaran for the idyllic viewing opportunity or simply want to gaze over the side of your chosen vessel, the chances of seeing a dolphin are high when taking one of these tours.
Art Galleries and Museums
Are you looking for a trip to enhance your intellectual levels by visiting a variety of art galleries and museums? Gulf Shores offers a myriad of options dependent on your interest but one museum that I am particularly intrigued with is the USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile. Not only can you wander around the battleship, you can also explore the USS DRUM submarine.
Alabama’s Finest Cuisine
Heading to Gulf Shores wouldn’t be the same without sampling some of Alabama’s finest cuisine. Of course seafood is the primary dish and I would recommend entertaining this as your mainstream diet while staying in Gulf Shores.
Whether you want to sample Coconut Shrimp from Bahama Bob’s Beach Side Cafe or you prefer the more upmarket seafood and steak from Nolan’s Restaurant & Lounge, there are enough options to keep your taste buds occupied.
After experiencing the delectable cuisine in Gulf Shores, The Wharf located at Orange Beach is a haven for more great restaurants plus a myriad of entertainment and shopping options for that extra retail therapy if you haven’t experienced enough of Alabama already! For those of you that need a little extra caffeine before exploring more of the Gulf Coast, check out the best local coffee shops in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, including The Southern Grind at The Wharf.
Gulf Shores may not be the most attractive destination for the global media like Miami or Key West, but what it does offer is a variety of reasons that will hopefully convince you to choose this option!
When you add nearby Orange Beach to the mix, you really have a perfect destination with two coastal locations that ooze natural beauty and offer enough for visitors to be entertained during their visit.
We are really looking forward to heading to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to explore many of the above listed reasons, though this is just a brief overview of what is available in this part of Alabama.