Visiting Orange Beach or Gulf Shores Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are well known all over the South as a relatively inexpensive, family-friendly beach destination. A variety of local restaurants, fun-filled activities, incredible lodging options and 32-miles of pristine beaches are just a few reasons why the Alabama Gulf Coast is the ultimate beach destination.
One of the main reasons why visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is that a vacation doesn’t necessarily require a ton of planning. It’s entirely possible to just spend a full week enjoying the sand, sun, and water. But there is also a lot to do in the area for families – particularly eating great seafood or embarking in a few adventurous activities.
Orange Beach and Gulf Shores have long stretches of sugar white sands are just some of their appeal. Home to less than 20,000 locals and temporary home to 5 million tourists each year, the cities have much more to offer than just the standard tourist filled beaches.
Things To Do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach (not on the Beach) Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have plenty of fun activities besides the beautiful beaches. Some are indoors and great for a rainy day. Other can be found by making a short drive / day trip outside of Gulf Shores. There are even free things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Gulf State Park Bike (or Hike) – The Gulf State Park has some amazing trails through forest, marsh and along scenic lakes. If you don’t have a bike handy there are several places you can rent one – try here or here. The park has done a really good job making the trails fun. You can stop and climb rocks, slide, look for gators and play on the park our playground. Biking these trails has become one of our favorite activities. For park map click here.
Nature Center – Nestled in the campground area is a wonderful little nature center. Last year we went to a talk on sea turtles and we plan on going to many more talks this summer. The talk was wonderful and very hands on. It’s a really good way to learn a lot about the environment around us. Click here to look up a schedule of events.
Pier – The Gulf State Park Pier is a fun unique experience. We did our last trip on a day that the park had education activities as well. You can fish or just check out everyone else.
Kayak – Rent a Kayak (click here) or go fishing on Lake Shelby
Lake Shelby – Lake Shelby can be a great stop for a busy day with kids. The water is calm and swimming areas are shallow. The water is brackish so it’s not everyone’s cup of tea 🙂 but it can be a nice alternative if you’re tired of the beach.
Geocaching – One of our favorite things to do in the park. Upload the app and don’t let the Muggles catch you.
Waterfront Park in Orange Beach Waterfront Park in Orange Beach is located on the back bays of Orange Beach is a wonderful place to spend a few hours. First stop at the playground and let the kids run off some extra energy. Next go to the Hot Shop (closes about 3). We just love watching the artist make their beautiful pieces. There is also a clay studio right next to the hot shop where you can see more masterpieces in progress. The beautiful new Coastal Art Center is also worth a stop. Check out local works of art and those stairs … so pretty.
Feel free to take a stroll down the pier and kids can also go swimming. The water is shallow and calm and there is a small, sandy beach. It’s not generally crowded but there is usually one or 2 families taking advantage of the calm water.
Just a block away is the library. It has a small play area with puppets and blocks if you’re searching for an indoor space outside of your condo. The library does have many year round activities. Click here for the calendar.
Between the Art Center and Library you’ll see a lovely building down by the water. It’s called the Wind and Water Learning Center and is the location of … sail camp. If you plan ahead and have the time sail camp is a wonderful addition to a holiday. They also have other activities like the Full Moon Paddle.
Sea and Stars This is an educational facility just behind the elementary school. During the summer they do tours for donations – you may need to rsvp. Our kids (and us) really enjoyed the tour and learned quiet a bit. For more information click here.
The Orange Beach Public Pool is just across the street. It has a toddler area with fountain (and usually a small slide), diving board and slide for older kids.
If you’re wanting a place to work out – check out the nearby recreation center. Waterville Honestly it’s been awhile since I’ve made it to Waterville but I’m sure it’s still a good time. It may not be the best option for younger kids (I just don’t remember a lot of shady spots) but it’s a good water park. They use to offer after 3pm discounts. I’m not sure if that’s still available but it may be worth calling and checking. The Track Go carts, toy grabbers, kids area, putt put – it’s a lot of fun. You can make a short stop or find enough to do for a few hours. The Factory This is basically an indoor trampoline park. There are areas for toddlers and smaller kids. I would be hesitant to let my kids jump in areas around the larger kids but every time I’ve been it has not been a problem. I also would give my older kids a big safety lecture. There is a ninja climbing area that is a favorite of my kids.
The Zoo This is a great little zoo with lots of hands on activities. If you can spring for one of the animal encounters go for it. We’ve played with lemurs, held baby kangaroos, and hung out with baby tigers. There are plenty of opportunities to feed the animals. Please read the signs in front of the cages to make sure the animal you are feeding is not on a diet.
OWA This is a new amusement park in Foley. I haven’t been but it sounds like a nice day out. Here’s the website for more information.
Wharf The Wharf generally has great activities all year round. Even if no activities are scheduled it’s a good place to take a stroll, go shopping, get some good food and ride a ferris wheel. For more info see here.
Putt Putt There all over the place and all fun. Our favorites are Pirate’s Cove and the smaller (and cheaper) one in front of the zoo.
Shop at Tanger Outlet Mall Great stores, shaded playground and a splash pad. Let the husband watch the kids and get your credit card ready.
Golf Yep, there ‘s lots of it. I can’t give you much advice but you can check here.
"INTIMATE" WEDDING PACKAGE INCLUDES: - Consultation either in person, e-mail, or phone. - Officiant: Non-denominational Minister - Heart carved on the sand with red rose petals for the couple during ceremony. - "Two Lives Become One" Unity Sand Ceremony: The bride and groom each pour sand from individual bottles into one bottle to symbolize the couples unity. The bottle of sand is then a keepsake for the couple - You obtain your marriage license at clerk's office. - Set up and breakdown on on our chosen Prime Beach location - FREE Digital Wedding Welcome Packet, includes tons of information for your wedding such as local Hotels, Restaurants, Hair Salons, Limo Services and more! With us, you will be very well informed for your wedding. "INTIMATE" Wedding package
"LOVE POEM" WEDDING PACKAGE Includes:
- Consultation either in person, e-mail, or phone. - Officiate: Non-denominational Minister - 3 Bamboo Pole Arch decorated in flowy sheer fabric - 3 Large arrangements - "Two Lives Become One" Unity Sand Ceremony: The bride and groom each pour sand from individual bottles into one bottle to symbolize the couples unity. The bottle of sand is then a keepsake for the couple - Sand Ceremony Table - Set up and breakdown on our chosen Prime Beach location - You obtain your marriage license - FREE Digital Wedding Welcome Packet, includes tons of information for your wedding such as local Hotels, Restaurants, Hair Salons, Limo Services and more! With us, you will be very well informed for your wedding.
"LOVE POEM" Wedding package
"MY SUNSHINE" CEREMONY WEDDING PACKAGE INCLUDES: - Consultation either in person, e-mail, or phone - Officiant: Non-denominational Minister - 3 Pole Bamboo Wedding Arch decorated with sheer color fabric and/or lovely Tropical Silk Flowers - AISLE WAY: Ferns down both sides of the walkway and 6 bamboo Tiki torches decorated with matching flowers OR 8 Shepperd Hooks with hanging white Kissing Balls or decorative Chinese Lanterns (several colors available to choose from) - 10 Chairs with sashes set up on the beach (additional chairs available) - "Two Lives Become One" Unity Sand Ceremony: The bride and groom each pour sand from individual bottles into one bottle to symbolize the couples unity. The bottle of sand is then a keepsake for the couple - "Wish upon a Shell" Ceremony: The bride and groom and any others attending the ceremony walk to the edge of the ocean and make a silent good wish for the couple while tossing a seashell into the sea - Set up and breakdown on our chosen prime beach location - FREE Digital Wedding Welcome Packet, includes tons of information for your wedding such as local Hotels, Restaurants, Hair Salons, Limo Services and more! With us, you will be very well informed for your wedding. - You obtain your marriage license
MY SUNSHINE Wedding package
"ARBOR OF LOVE" CEREMONY WEDDING PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- Consultation either in person, e-mail, or phone - Non-Denomination Minister - Traditional Wedding Vows (OR) Vow Renewals - Opportunity to say personal vows to each other or standard lovely vows - Table for the minister - Unity Sand ceremony - 8Pole Bamboo Arbor draped with sheer fabric swag, several colors available, with ribbon accents - 2 silk flower arrangements for the Bamboo Structure AISLE WAY: - 6 Decorated Bamboo Tiki torches - OR - - You can substitute the Decorated Tiki Torches for: White Kissing balls, hanging from 6 shepherds hooks - Ferns and Seagrass to frame the aisle way - Up to 20 Chairs with sashes set up on the beach (additional chairs available) - Set up and breakdown of the beach on our chosen Prime Beach Location - You obtain your marriage license - FREE Digital Wedding Welcome Packet, includes tons of information for your wedding such as local Hotels, Restaurants, Hair Salons, Limo Services and more! With us, you will be very well informed for your wedding.
You are welcome to bring your own Minister or photographer, however there is no credit for that on a package. Thank you.
All Packages are PLUS $60 Beach Wedding Permit.
MORE SERVICE OPTIONS:
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