Who doesn't love a beach vacation?
I recently returned from a fun and adventurous few days in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, often referred to as the Alabama Beaches. The coast of Alabama is lined with 32 miles of soft white sandy beaches and it's a vacation treasure of the South.
After you've spent some quality time on the beach, there is so much more to do in Orange Beach or Gulf Shores! Explore beyond the coast to find an array of activities that will excite everyone. Here are my favorite five non-beach activities for families on the Alabama Gulf Coast!
Deep Sea Fishing
Whether you are a fisherman or not, I highly suggest planning a half day trip out in the Gulf to experience a deep sea fishing excursion. This was my first time deep sea fishing, so it was a learning experience for me that turned into a fun and exciting part of my vacation. We went out on the waters with Captain Jimmy of Ocean Ox Charters.
The amazingly helpful crew taught me how to catch some big fish, plus the boat is so comfortable. It is equipped with air conditioning, bathroom, living room with TV and sleeping quarters, ensuring a comfortable experience for your family while out on the waters.
Glass Blowing or Pottery Painting
Take a break from the sun and get creative at the Coastal Arts Center. The expansive arts property provides educational and interactive experiences, along with the exhibitions of fine arts. The only public access glass studio in Alabama is here! You have a chance to learn the art of glass blowing before creating your own masterpiece or spend some time at the Clay Studio creating a one of a kind piece or paint a functional souvenir to take home.
I painted a beautiful coastal serving dish – You can read about my experience painting a beautiful piece of pottery and see a full tour of the entire property on my family travel blog, A Cupful of Carters.
Segway Tour through Gulf State Park
Take a 2-hour guided Segway tour along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail of Gulf State Park to see beautiful landscape and natural wildlife, including gators! Coastal Segway Adventures gives you a segway lesson and practice time before setting out on an informative tour that covers a lot of ground. You will travel through very distinct ecosystems experiencing beautiful forests, sparkling lakes and mysterious swamps.
Make friends with a Baby Kangaroo
The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo offers lots of unique opportunities to get up close and personal with a variety of animals, including a baby kangaroo! This was one of the highlights of my trip.
The Alabama Gulf Coast zoo is home to more than 500 exotic animals. In addition to the baby kangaroo, you can sign up for encounters with lemurs, reptiles, anteaters and sloth.
How about beautiful and breezy sunset cruise? Climb aboard the Wild Hearts Catamaran for an evening sail into the Gulf of Mexico. This was definitely a relaxing way to end an adventurous day in Orange Beach. The two-hour trip included complimentary water, soft drinks and light hors d'oeuvres.
Orange Beach, Alabama is such a fun destination for families. Any of these activities would be a great addition to your beach vacation this summer.
Disclosure: My trip to Orange Beach was hosted by Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. All my activities were complimentary for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
How else can we help?
Want the best price on your flight? The nearest airport to Orange Beach is Pensacola International Airport, which is about 30 miles from Orange Beach. Use AirfareWatchdog or Skyscanner to compare fares from major airlines. Then book directly with the airline, rather than a 3rd party site. Find out why HERE.
Need a place to stay? I stayed at the Brett/Robinson Phoenix West II Condos and couldn't be happier. It’s located on a beautiful stretch of the beach with a pool, lazy river and upscale spacious rooms. These accommodations truly are a home away from home. Check rates and availability now on TripAdvisor.
Need a rental car? Driving your own car is the best way to get around Orange Beach. Find the best rates from dozens of agencies at RentalCars.com. Read my tips for getting the best price on your rental car HERE.