32 Awesome Things to Do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

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Whether you love lounging on the beach or simply enjoy visiting a destination on the coast, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is the perfect location to experience a little bit of everything. From fun in the sun to a myriad of both indoor and outdoor activities, the Gulf Coast of Alabama is a haven for every type of traveler. For those of you that have visited this part of the state, you will know that it is famous for having 32 miles of pristine, sandy beaches. Although life at the beach on the Gulf Coast is pretty epic, we want to celebrate these 32 miles by heading away from just relaxing on the beach and instead, looking at 32 other awesome things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

gulf coast beaches

If you love the great outdoors, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach will certainly not disappoint with a plethora of activities waiting for you to experience. Kayaking, sailing, biking, hiking, golfing among many others will keep you occupied all year round. The beauty of this part of Alabama is that you can visit any time of the year and enjoy many of these outdoor activities.

things to do in gulf shores and orange beach

Best Things to Do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

When you hear that Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are all about “Keep on Summering” you know that this is a part of the US where you can visit and enjoy gorgeous weather all year round. But even in the heart of winter when it gets a little chilly, there are plenty of indoor activities to entertain all the family. Highlighting 32 experiences and activities may sound like a lot of things to do but when you realize that this barely scratches the surface of reasons to visit this stretch of coastline, you know you are visiting a destination that immediately captures the imagination.

best things to do on gulf coast

From the best outdoor activities to indoor experiences that all the family will love, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach really does have it all. We also want to feature some of our favorite places to stay and places to indulge in local cuisine because we would argue these are both reasons alone to justify visiting this part of Alabama.

kiva dunes golf course gulf shores

There is a reason (or two…or three…or more!) that we love returning to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, so let’s share 32 of our favorites and see if we can inspire a few of you to visit this part of the world. We are convinced you will not be disappointed! Whether you are spending one, two or three days in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you will not be short of things to do.

1. Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails

Experience a diverse collection of wildlife, gorgeous natural eco-systems, and breathtaking panoramic views when you explore the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails. Whether you hop on a bike or choose to walk along the pathways, there are 25 miles of distinctive trails that will not only give you the opportunity to keep fit while on vacation but also explore six unique eco-systems that thrive along the Gulf Coast.

hugh branyon backcountry trails

Our preferred method of exploring these trails is hopping on a bike courtesy of Beach Bike Rentals (see more below). Shortly after leaving the rental spot, be prepared to be on the lookout for various specifies of wildlife including alligators, bald eagles, snakes, and many others.

backcountry trails wildlife

Don’t worry, if you choose to venture along Rattlesnake Ridge, you may see an armadillo or hear a woodpecker leaving its mark but probably won’t see too many rattlesnakes! If you see the resident alligator “lefty” be sure to take a quick selfie.

2. Beach Bike Rentals

From exploring the backcountry trails to cruising around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, there is no better way to experience all of the hidden gems on the Gulf Coast than by bike. Visit Beach Bike Rentals, located on Perdido Beach Boulevard and grab your preferred bike to venture out on a fun-filled day of experiences around the bike-friendly neighborhoods.

beach bike rentals gulf shores and orange beach

If you choose to stay on the backcountry trails, you will have 15 unique trails to experience, covering 25 miles of distinctive ecosystems. But the real benefit of renting a bike here is for only $25, you can experience a full day exploring the Gulf Coast. Ride along Coastal Scenic Byway and of course, take some time to admire those gorgeous beaches that epitomize the beauty here.

Prefer to explore with a little more style? Why not hop on a tandem with your loved one and experience everything there is to see in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach!

3. Golf Around the Gulf Coast

The Gulf Coast may not be the first place you think about visiting as a golfing destination but after playing Kiva Dunes and Peninsula (two of several courses in this area), you will quickly realize that Gulf Shores and Orange Beach should be near the very top.

kiva dunes golf course

Other courses in the area that are worth visiting include Craft Farms and Gulf Shores Golf Club but for us, Kiva Dunes is definitely a highlight along the Gulf Coast. With immaculate course conditions and affordable green fees thanks to the dynamic pricing adopted (depending on how many tee times are available each day will drive the price of the green fees!), Kiva Dunes is frequently renowned as one of the best courses in Alabama.

The links-style golf course at Kiva Dunes is perfectly manicured and utilizes the natural landscape to create a golfing experience any standard of golfer will enjoy. On the other hand, if you prefer a more US parkland-style course, Peninsula is the perfect place to test your skills at the 27-hole complex. Golf in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is a challenging yet rewarding experience for all the family to enjoy.

4. Kayaking Excursions

Visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is all about the great outdoors, in particular heading out on the water to enjoy the gorgeous waterways that come together to create the spectacular Gulf Coast. What better way to experience this than by getting “up close and personal” with the waterways on a kayak (or stand-up paddleboard if you prefer).

kayaking excursion gulf shores and orange beach

Although there is a myriad of kayaking excursions awaiting you along the Gulf Coast, perhaps the best experience is to enjoy a guided tour of a local waterway with Coastal Segway Adventures. You never quite know what wildlife you will stumble across and what better way to interact with coastal animals than by enjoying their natural habitat. From a myriad of bird species to fish, turtles and more, those that love wildlife experiences cannot help but fall in love with kayaking around the Gulf Coast.

perdido pass orange beach

Some of the most popular areas for kayaking along the Gulf Coast include Bon Secour River, Little Lagoon, Lake Shelby in Gulf State Park and Perdido Pass.

5. Parasailing Adventures – Sail Wild Hearts

Feeling adventurous when you head to the Gulf Coast? Why not overcome any fears you have about parasailing and enjoy an adrenaline rush courtesy of an excursion into the Gulf with Sail Wild Hearts. As you are lifted into the sky, your fears will subside and you will be left admiring the inherent beauty of the Gulf Coast from a birds-eye view.

sail wild hearts parasailing

If you have never been parasailing, this adventure quickly shifts from fear to relaxation in a matter of seconds. As you float along in the sky after that initial rush, the beauty of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach can be seen through the turquoise waters in the Gulf and the gorgeous natural landscapes that create this beautiful stretch of coastline in Alabama.

parasailing in gulf shores and orange beach

Sky Surfer is a 35ft parasailing boat and renowned as one of the best along the Gulf Coast. With this vessel, you can be sure your parasailing experience is safe, secure and comfortable. With Sail Wild Hearts, you are “sky surfing” as opposed to parasailing. Want to know the difference? Think about luxury, comfort, and safety and that’s what you will enjoy when you venture out into the Gulf with Sky Surfer.

6. Sunset Cruise – Sail Wild Hearts

After visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach on several occasions, we have realized this destination is home to amazing sunsets. What better way to experience these than by heading out on board a 53-foot open catamaran courtesy of Sail Wild Hearts to enjoy an epic sunrise experience while also admiring local wildlife in the Gulf. A 90-minute cruise out into the Gulf is the perfect wildlife and sunset encounter, before heading back into the quiet, calm back waterways to create the epitome of a coastal paradise.

sail wild hearts sunset cruise

Pods of dolphins can frequently be seen enjoying their natural habitat while guests on the catamaran can enjoy a selection of snacks and beverages before the pièce de résistance – the Gulf Coast sunset can be admired from a plethora of awesome viewpoints. Those adventurous enough will head out on the “netting” to kick back and relax while being mesmerized by the beauty of mother nature creating a magical sunset experience.

7. Historic Fort Morgan

The Gulf Coast is certainly recognized as a beach paradise but it is also a historic location dating back over 150 years when Fort Morgan was a masonry fort and part of the Battle of Mobile Bay. The Siege of Fort Morgan dates back to 1864 when this fort was under attack and today, visitors can learn all about the strategic location and how this played an integral role in the American Civil War.

historic fort morgan

For a small admission fee, visitors can enjoy a self-guided tour throughout the fort, exploring some of the iconic fortifications and learning about the rich history that continues to be preserved to this day. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach may not be a destination you think about visiting if you are a history buff, but Historic Fort Morgan certainly offers an experience every historian will appreciate.

8. Espionage at Mobile Point Escape Room

If walking around and learning about the history of Fort Morgan isn’t enough and you need a little more hands-on experience, why not participate in the Espionage at Mobile Point Escape Room? Step back in time to 1864 as a federal spy that has been captured and get ready for 60 minutes of fast and furious fun as you embark on a series of clues to locate two maps that will allow you to escape execution.

espionage at mobile point escape room

Use your decision-making skills and come together with friends and family to build trust as you attempt to solve cryptic puzzles to find more clues and piece together the map that will lead to your escape. Be sure to use all of your resources, including finding a series of coins scattered across the room that will allow you to “buy” clues from the individual charged with watching over you.

9. Charter Fishing Excursions

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach take fishing to the next level. From angling excursions in the Gulf of Mexico to cruising the backwater bays of the Gulf in search of snapper, the opportunities for fishing adventures are endless. For those of you that prefer to stay on dry land, you can head over to Gulf State Park Pier to learn all about the basics during an Angler Academy. But it’s the charter experiences where the fishing aficionados will spring to life as you venture out deep into the Gulf in search of a myriad of fresh fish.

charter fishing gulf shores and orange beach

From beginners to seasoned anglers, there are over one hundred unique excursions available to satisfy every level. Captains on board the vessels will take you to the optimal locations in the Gulf where you can sit back and relax before capturing your “catch of the day”. Check out this collection of fishing charters and tours in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to find the perfect experience for your next visit to the area.

10. Retail Therapy at The Wharf

Take time to visit the hub of entertainment along the Gulf Coast by heading over to The Wharf, home to a variety of local boutique stores, an AMC movie theater and an iconic ferris wheel. Whether you are looking at purchasing local products to remember your time in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, or perhaps wanting to visit one of the various national brands, you can be sure that your visit to The Wharf will give you much needed retail therapy.

the wharf orange beach

Head over to The Southern Grind Coffee House to grab an espresso before exploring the collection of nautical themed decor that will likely entice you to rethink your design at home. With a variety of local restaurants to choose from, the difficult decision will be determining exactly where to eat while you “shop til you drop” at The Wharf.

the wharf orange beach

Don’t forget to return to The Wharf at night to enjoy the spectacular sight of the light show that frequently can be seen here. The ferris wheel illuminates the night sky and visitors can enjoy a vibrant, lively atmosphere as they wander around the various stores.

11. Bath Boldly – High Cotton Bath Company

If you are looking for the perfect girlfriends getaway experience or even something for you and a loved one to enjoy, head over to High Cotton Bath Company located at The Wharf for the ultimate Bath Boldly encounter. Learn all about a plethora of fragrances, chemical free product bases and much more before creating your very own product that you can take home.

high cotton bath company the wharf

Whether you want to create a hand soap, body wash, shampoo or even salt scrub, the Bath Boldly signature experience gives you the opportunity to find your favorite fragrance (or combination of fragrances) from over 250 different options. To make life a little easier, there is a selection of popular combinations to choose from to suit both male and female but perhaps you will be adventurous enough to create your very own magical fragrance.

bath boldly at high cotton

12. The Clay Studio

Get ready to showcase your arts and craft skills at The Clay Studio at The Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach by learning everything there is to know about creating the perfect bowl or something similar. Start at the beginning by learning the basics of “throwing” on a pottery wheel before glazing with your favorite color and creating the perfect masterpiece.

the clay studio

Take a self-guided tour around the art gallery inside The Coastal Arts Center and be sure to leave your address so your magical work of art can be shipped to you. If you ever contemplated creating something that would sit perfectly on your fireplace or side table, now is the time to visit The Clay Studio. Don’t worry though, the resident professional will ensure you leave satisfied with your creation!

13. Attend Seasonal Festival

From Shrimp Fest to the annual Oyster Cook-Off, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is home to a variety of festivals and events that attracts visitors from all across the globe. Local chefs love to showcase their delicious dishes during these events and it’s an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to sample a collection of offerings while enjoying live entertainment.

gulf shores and orange beach festivals

The Fall season is a great time to visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach with a number of festivals taking place, including the National Shrimp Festival (aka “Shrimp Fest”) in October and the Oyster Cook-Off at The Hangout in early November. Regardless of what time of the year you visit the Gulf Coast, you can be sure there is an event or festival right around the corner.

A full list of annual festivals and events can be found here: Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Annual Festivals

14. The Lodge at Gulf State Park

The Lodge at Gulf State Park is a truly unique lodging accommodation located within the state park in Gulf Shores. After the original location was destroyed in a hurricane, they decided to come back better than ever with a sustainable hotel that truly is walking the walk.

the lodge at gulf state park

With turtle-friendly rules, using collected rainwater, locally sourced food, and locally focused and sourced furniture and artwork, this one of a kind place is definitely worth a stay.

As part of the Hilton brand, this hotel epitomizes everything there is to love about the movement towards the “Leave Only Footprints” ordinance and typified by the large wall in the heart of lobby which represents the sea turtle footprints that are prominent in this part of the Gulf Coast.

Thanks to Ashley from Wild Hearted for sharing her thoughts on why the Lodge at Gulf State Park is heading in the right direction with sustainability initiatives along the Gulf Coast.

15. Stay in Luxury at Turquoise Place

All-inclusive resorts are generally associated with the Caribbean islands but if you are looking for a close alternative in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, consider staying at the gorgeous Turquoise Place by Spectrum Resorts. Located in the heart of Orange Beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, this state of the art condominium complex offers breathtaking accommodations, top-class amenities, and private beach access.

turquoise place condo

Stay in ultimate luxury at Turquoise Place and feel like you are in your “home away from home” as you utilize SubZero or Wolfe appliances in the kitchen, a jacuzzi tub in every condo’s balcony and a gorgeous jet tub in the master bathroom. Head down to the lazy river for a relaxing float before venturing to the gorgeous pool. With a variety of other on-site amenities, you could easily spend your vacation relaxing at Turquoise Place without ever needing to leave.

turquoise place by spectrum resorts

Whether you are intending on spending spring break in Alabama or perhaps considering a family getaway later in the year, Turquoise Place has everything covered for the perfect luxury vacation. Don’t let the price tag convince you otherwise, as it’s worth every penny! Check out our top tips on where to stay in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

16. Relax at The Beach Club

If you prefer a more secluded environment, consider staying at another of Spectrum Resorts’ properties – The Beach Club. Located between Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan, this resort offers exclusive amenities and gorgeous condominium options for visitors. Focused on delivering high-quality service to every guest that stays at The Beach Club, Spectrum Resorts delivers a “clean bed guarantee” (freshly laundered duvet for every new guest) which helps set aside this condo complex from other competitors along the Gulf Coast.

the beach club gulf shores

On-site amenities include access to a gorgeous beach, a private pool for each condominium tower, an indoor pool, tennis courts, sauna, and steam room, among many others. A variety of dining options are available including The Village Hideaway where you can also test your golfing skills at the indoor simulator.

The Beach Club is the perfect relaxation spot in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. While you are only a short drive from the heart and soul of the Gulf Coast, you are far enough away to make you feel as if you are in a secluded environment.

17. Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and Safari Club

Before associating the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo with other stereotypical zoos around the world, take a moment to learn about the story that has captured the hearts of so many people that have visited this iconic attraction. For 30 years, Patti Hall has been volunteering and showing passionate leadership for a zoo that was highlighted on Animal Planet’s “The Little Zoo That Could”. Patti has not only helped guide the growth of this zoo, but she also has shown love and compassion for animals, unlike many others.

alabama gulf coast zoo

During the tragedy of Hurricane Ivan that struck the Gulf Coast in 2004, Patti transferred many of the animals to her own backyard and for 7 weeks following the mass destruction of this natural disaster, along with several other volunteers she took care of the animals before they were able to return.

safari club gulf shores

In late 2019 and early 2020, a brand new larger site will host the Zoo and prior to the grand opening, visitors are strongly encouraged to visit The Safari Club to enjoy the delicious local cuisine. Catering to vegans, vegetarians unlike anywhere else along the Gulf Coast, this restaurant is unique with regards to being “green certified” given the efforts that are taking place to create a sustainable, eco-friendly environment thanks to the leadership of head chef Greg Buschmohle.

18. Sand Castle University

Take a few minutes to reminisce about your childhood years when you were at the beach trying to build that magical sandcastle…how did it turn out? Ok, fast forward to the present day and when you hear about the possibility of attending Sand Castle University to learn the tricks of the trade and master the crafting techniques to create a masterpiece, I am sure you will be as excited as we are about that thought.

sand castle university

Regardless of where you are staying, the professionals at Sand Castle University will bring their equipment to your chosen beach location and help you create a memorable work of art. Sand Castle 101 is a one-hour session giving you the basic techniques before giving you all the tools needed to design your preferred castle. An advanced session is also available for those that have already mastered the basic techniques but regardless of your skill level, this is a family-oriented experience that everyone cannot help but love!

19. Enjoy a 50s Themed Diner

“Hey Cool Cats, Welcome to the Sunliner Diner!” – these were the first words we heard as we took a step back in time to the 1950s by visiting this quintessential diner in the heart of Gulf Shores. When you think about everything associated with American culture in the 1950s – listening to music on jukeboxes, stereotypical American cars and of course, traditional fare including hamburgers and milkshakes, Sunliner Diner has it all…and more!

sunliner diner gulf shores

Take a spin down Beach Road in one of the Sunliner Diner convertibles that are available to rent in front of the restaurant but it’s the experience inside that will likely make you want to return time and time again. Delicious food and decadent milkshakes create an irresistible menu while listening to your favorite hits from previous decades will certainly bring back many childhood memories and stories shared by previous generations.

sunliner diner gulf shores

20. Picnic Themed Beach BBQ

If you’re looking for a spot to eat within walking distance to the beach that has a fun and welcoming atmosphere, Picnic Beach is definitely the place. Picnic Beach offers a large welcoming outdoor space and bright interior space equipped with green “grass” flooring and fun decor.

picnic beach gulf shores

The best thing about Picnic Beach is its welcoming menu. No matter the dietary needs of your entire group, there are plenty of options for everyone. 

Thanks to Ashley from Wild Hearted for highlighting why the Picnic Beach in Gulf Shores is a great outdoor and indoor dining option for everyone.

21. Breakfast in Gulf State Park

Start the day in fine style by taking a stroll around Gulf State Park or taking advantage of the bike-share program that is available. But before any of this, why not head over to Woodside Restaurant at Gulf State Park to enjoy breakfast from a menu created from locally sourced ingredients. Whether you are intrigued by the South Island Parfait or perhaps Brad’s Breakfast, you can be sure that you won’t leave Woodside hungry.

woodside restaurant at gulf state park

Sit inside the screened-in porch area or main dining area to enjoy freshly prepared food and admire the meticulous attention to detail that is given to serving your chosen dishes. There are weekday specials available every morning while visitors later in the day can also enjoy a lunch and dinner menu that is equally appealing.

22. Hang Out at The Hangout

The Gulf Coast isn’t short of places to enjoy live entertainment but perhaps the most popular among locals and visitors alike is the infamous Hangout in the heart of Gulf Shores. Fresh seafood from the Gulf is a popular menu item while live music is frequently on offer. Renowned for being the home of the annual Oyster Cook-Off event, The Hangout is always a fun-filled venue for all the family to enjoy.

Every day is action-packed full of activities, events, and experiences for everyone to enjoy. Perfectly located on Beach Boulevard overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, visitors frequently take a stroll along the beach before venturing inside this location to enjoy a nightcap (or two). The kids will love the foam hour that takes place every hour until 6 PM daily while there are plenty of other outdoor activities including ping-pong, foosball and a large picnic area for all the family to experience.

23. Indulge at The Yard

Experience the ultimate indulgence by visiting The Yard Milkshake Bar in Gulf Shores for a gourmet milkshake, topped full of your favorite sweet treats. Don’t let the price tag convince you otherwise because this is a once in a lifetime experience (ok, maybe after visiting the first time you will be convinced to return!) where you can enjoy a magical concoction of ice cream combined with sweets, candy and much more.

the yard milkshake bar

Be prepared to wait your turn as there is frequently a 45 minute or longer wait time. It’s well worth the wait to capture not only that perfect Instagram shot in front of the neon sign but also indulge in a magical sweet delicacy. The Birthday Cake Shake is a definite favorite as are all of the other pre-defined milkshakes. However, if you are feeling really adventurous, maybe you will design your own masterpiece. Be sure to share on Instagram and most importantly, enjoy every last bite!

the yard milkshake bar gulf shores

24. Waterfront Dining at GT’s on the Bay

With so many amazing restaurants to choose from in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, it’s a difficult decision to know where to visit. If you consider cuisine, well it’s still a pretty tough choice. However, when it comes to location, there is one in particular that in our opinion stands out from the competition – GT’s on the Bay. Located overlooking Wolf Bay, GT’s offers outdoor seating with gorgeous views of the bay while offering a unique indoor dining area with a large, open fish tank in the middle.

GTs on the Bay

Offering a diverse variety of menu options, ranging from a blend of local, seafood favorites to “create your own” pizza, GT’s on the Bay is a family-friendly atmosphere that will surely entice you to visit. The spacious outdoor area is the perfect spot to capture a late evening sunset while indulging in delicious cuisine. The Cajan Empanadas are a definite favorite as is the Firecracker Shrimp for those that enjoy a little extra kick in their cuisine.

GTs on the Bay

25. Healthy Deliciousness at Soul Bowlz

If you are looking for healthy breakfast options in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, look no further than Soul Bowlz, a vegan-friendly establishment that creates delicious acai and other nutrient-packed bowls of deliciousness. The difficult choice will be deciding what blend to choose but regardless of your decision, you can be assured that it will be a fresh, delicious and truly fulfilling experience.

soul bowlz gulf shores

Renowned as a “bowl of heaven found on the Gulf Coast”, Soul Bowlz is the perfect way to start your day with plenty of nutrients, exotic superfruits and the optimal blend of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids. The real enjoyment is that along with knowing you are eating healthy, this bowl is flavorful and refreshing.

26. Visit a Nautical Themed Coffee Shop

When it comes to the best coffee in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, there are not many better than The Southern Grind Coffee House. With two locations at The Wharf and along Perdido Beach Boulevard, this coffee shop represents the Gulf Coast perfectly through the nautical-inspired decor, gorgeous turquoise color throughout and of course, delicious coffee and cuisine options.

southern grind coffee house

Both locations are worth visiting but The Wharf is conveniently located if you are staying in the condos there or if you are visiting for a little retail therapy. With a myriad of menu options to choose from, you can be sure your favorite espresso drink will be hand prepared to perfection.

southern grind coffee house the wharf

Enjoy stereotypical southern fare at breakfast or lunch before picking out a few decorative items that are the perfect souvenir to take home and recall your trip to the Gulf Coast.

27. Enjoy a Stereotypical Southern Breakfast

As you have probably established already, breakfast in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is a pretty awesome experience with so many cool spots worth visiting. If you are ready to sample traditional southern breakfast fare, head to The Ruby Slipper to enjoy the signature Eggs Benedict dishes. The Peacemaker, Eggs Cochon, and Shrimp Boogaloo are all Eggs Benedict dishes that are popular for good reason.

the ruby slipper

Enjoy an eye-opening cocktail with your southern breakfast and you will leave The Ruby Slipper knowing that you have experienced the ultimate combination to start your day. Originating in New Orleans, The Ruby Slipper has opened this location in Orange Beach and it’s no surprise that it has become an immediate fan favorite among locals and visitors alike.

28. Visit Lucy Buffett’s Waterfront Hangout

A trip to the Gulf Coast wouldn’t be the same without experiencing Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s in Gulf Shores. This festive waterfront hangout is more than just a restaurant, in fact it’s an experience that you can enjoy for several hours with a plethora of fun-filled family entertainment options available throughout this location. Enjoy live music, delicious freshly prepared cuisine and have a whole bunch of fun!

lucy buffett's lulus gulf shores

Enjoy spectacular views of the waterways as you indulge in the fresh catch of the day before sampling Key Lime Pie or Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding for dessert. Head over to the rope course for a post-meal experience before exploring LuLu’s store to find apparel, trinkets and other branded merchandise to recall your visit to this attraction that is so much more than a restaurant. Check out a collection of the best places to eat in

29. Stay in Luxury at The Wharf

The beauty of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is that there is a myriad of accommodation options available to suit every preference and budget. For those of you that prefer to stay away from the beachfront properties, why not head to The Wharf and stay in a luxury condo overlooking the Intracoastal waterway.

the wharf condos

We recently stayed in a property courtesy of Young’s Suncoast Realty and immediately fell in love with the decor and overall location as it overlooked the waterway from the balcony and from the front door, the gorgeous Wharf. When it comes to premier resorts along the Gulf Coast, you really are spoiled for choice but if beach life just isn’t your thing, perhaps staying close to the Gulf Coast’s entertainment hotspot will be the perfect alternative.

the wharf condos

30. Sample the Best Pastries on the Gulf Coast

Visit BuzzCatz Coffee and Sweets in Orange Beach to sample the best local, home-made pastries along the Gulf Coast. Locally crafted pastries will leave you salivating as you admire the collection available, ranging from traditional chocolate chip cookies to salted caramel cupcakes and scones.

buzzcatz coffee and sweets

Signature pastries here include the award-winning cinnamon roll, the BuzzCatz pop-tart, and blueberry infused biscuits. Enjoy one or more pastries while drinking your favorite coffee or tea. When you have visited BuzzCatz Coffee and Sweets, you will remember exactly why home-style cooking is the best.

31. Hike Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

Similar to the Backcountry Trails, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is another great eco-friendly area worth exploring with your favorite hiking boots. Four distinctive trails are available throughout this wildlife refuge covering six miles. Alligators, armadillos, red fox and bobcats can all be seen here dependent on the time of year you visit.

Visitors can learn all about the wildlife and sustainability practices taking place inside this refuge courtesy of the interpretative signs that are displayed throughout the area. If hiking isn’t really your thing and you prefer to hit the open waters, grab a kayak (or bring your own) and explore Bon Secour from a different angle.

32. Enjoy 32 Miles of Beaches

You didn’t think that we would write about the best 32 things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach without saving the best until last! That’s right, you simply cannot visit the Gulf Coast without allowing some time to enjoy the gorgeous beaches that line this stretch of coastline.

gulf shores beaches

Whether you are staying at a condo with private beach access or simply want to visit one of the many public access points, the beaches along the Gulf of Mexico are arguably some of the most spectacular anywhere in the US. Words will never do enough justice to these beaches and although we are fond of the photographs we have taken, there is really only one way to experience the inherent beauty and that is by stepping on the gorgeous sands for yourself.

Summary

32 reasons to visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach…are you convinced yet? We LOVE visiting the Gulf Coast and each time we find something different to enjoy. The beaches are always a highlight attraction and we think it’s only appropriate that we celebrate these 32 miles of coastline by highlighting a variety of other reasons that should entice you to book a trip in the near future.

gulf shores and orange beach sunset

Whether you choose to visit in Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, you can be assured that there will be something indoors and outdoors to capture your imagination. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach just has a way of making you want to return time and time again…we certainly cannot wait to enjoy our next adventure on the Gulf Coast!

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