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Travel

23 Things to Do in Gulf Shores Alabama

The Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area of Alabama boasts something for every foodie, adventure lover, outdoor enthusiast, or beach lover you know. Basically there are endless fun things to do in Gulf Shores Alabama as I found out recently when I visited this beautiful area of the southern state.

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Fort Morgan Beach , Gulf Shores Alabama

Gulf Shores is very family friendly and would be perfect for solo travel, girlfriend’s getaways, family or extended multi-generational travel opportunities. Desirable camp sites are also plentiful in the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area. There’s so much activity and Gulf Shores Alabama outdoor fun can’t be beat.

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Where on Earth is Gulf Shores?

Gulf Shores, Alabama is located on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico so that means they get some enviable weather year round. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, or a golfer,  you can make use of the weather to enjoy your particular sport or hobby, even in January when the chill sets in elsewhere.

And have you seen the beaches? The Gulf Shores area has some of the prettiest beaches and sunsets around. They deserve to boast about their pristine squeaky sand and spectacular skies and they are much less busy than so many other coastal beach areas, so that makes it a naturally peaceful and fun travel destination.

Many snowbirds migrate to this area for the winter months and it’s easy to see why. Gulf Shores has 32 miles of pristine waterfront. The sand is like icing sugar and the beachfront area is serene. This stunning beach is the greatest asset of all the Gulf Shores Alabama attractions I could find. It’s number one on the list of things to do in Gulf Shores Alabama.

Gulf Shores, Alabama Attractions Things to See or Do:

  • Segway Tour:

    This was one activity I had never tried before and I was excited to give it a try. We used Coastal Segway Adventures and had a lot of fun zipping through Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry and Gulf State Park.

  • Hike or walk through Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail.
    Gulf Shores Alabama

    There areĀ 25 miles of trails through the natural area that is a nature preserve. You can ride or walk, or hike and spy all kinds of wild life. This is one of the most amazing assets in the area really. Looking for something to do in Gulf Shores? Head to the trail and get those steps in.

  • Go bird-watching.

    Snowbirds aren’t the only birds in Gulf Shores. Bird-watching is one of those Gulf Shores Alabama attractions you might never know about until you visit the area. In fact this area is home to over 300 different species of migratory birds. The day we were doing the Segway Tour we spotted anĀ Eagle in her nest. And there are pelicans everywhere, along with dozens of other birds. It’s a birders paradise.

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Photo Courtesy of Eva Faircloth.
  • Fishing Charter

    Several of the bloggers in our group were up early and off on a fishing charter for the day with Ocean Ox Charters. With several restaurants that offer catch and cook capabilities you can catch something that is in season and take it right over to the nearby restaurant where they cook it up for you to enjoy. This is quite a big experience for anyone.

  • Paddle boarding

    Where there is water, there is also stand up paddle boarding of course. This can be a fun way to get some exercise and spot wildlife. We didn’t see anything other than boats the day we went out, but we did get some great exercise. We used Gulf Coast Paddle Company. Find out more about Gulf Coast Paddle Company on Facebook or Twitter.

  • Take a Walk on the Beach.

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    shrimp toast from Fishers

    The sand is squeaky and clean and the beach stretches for 32 miles. Much of the coastal area is protected so all you see for miles is beach and shoreline. A few condominiums and beach homes, set back from the beach are also visible, but it’s really quite astonishing how undeveloped the beach is. Gulf Shores is a great spot for a stroll.

  • Visit Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina 

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    There are two restaurants that are part of Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina. Enjoy an incredible meal upstairs. This is fine dining. The menu features fresh local food and seafood. We sampled many different dishes. The Oysters were fresh, and the shrimp toast was a bit of a tasty mystery. How did the chef get the shrimp in this appetizer? There were numerous specials making it hard to choose as they all sounded out of this world. Cocktails are quirky and memorable, served in charming cups. The scallops were the biggest I have ever eaten anywhere and the dessert menu was outrageous. Downstairs at Fisher’s there is a restaurant that is more mainstream.

  • Yoga on the Beach

    Such a good idea after travel and a bit of indulgence. Glow Yoga is the ticket. When I am at a resort or a beach and they offer yoga, well that’s a no brainer. There’s nothing sweeter than practicing yoga on the beach when on vacation. It’s peaceful and really challenging to do the same moves with sand and wind and beach sounds all around you. When I picture my happy place, this is it – yoga on the beach in a place like Orange Beach.

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  • Stay at Brett Robinson Vacation rentals.

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    We stayed in Phoenix II – there are multiple Phoenix rental condominiums and prices vary. The condominium we stayed in was massive and clean and really a beautiful location as well. Central to many amenities with a gorgeous view. Ride the lazy river. There is a lazy river at many of his beachfront properties. Very fun and unique. I LOVE lazy rivers. Hop on an inner tube and just chill out in the water. There was also a waterslide and an indoor pool where we stayed. VERY good choice. Brett Robinson has the largest selection of beachfront condominiums, hotels and beach houses on the Alabama Gulf Coast. 

  • Dinner or Lunch at The Gulf.

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    Which is also very pet friendly by the way and located on the beach.The Gulf is a quirky, fashionable, waterfront restaurant built out of shipping containers. It is bright and spacious and the menu is fresh and of course there is seafood. 

  • Take a sunset cruise with Sail Wild Hearts.

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    This was a really lovely way to spend an evening. Sail Wild Hearts has an open ocean catamaran and it’s big enough for 49 people. The service at Sail Wild Hearts is wonderful and attentive and the crew are very responsible with regards to the area and the marine animals. You will spy dolphins in their natural habitat while having a lovely evening cruise. They occasionally also have a cruise when The Blue Angels pass over head. They also do private cruises and adventure cruises that last longer and involve a stop with activities like snorkelling.

  • The Wharf

    Visit The Wharf entertainment and shopping district. Take pictures because it is a perfect selfie spot. Have a coffee and a snack, or buy a few cool products to take home.

  • Pop into The Southern Grind while at The Wharf

    The Southern Grind has the best name of any coffee shop and breakfast spot in all of Alabama. Scrumptious breakfast and great coffee selection with gelato. Cute gifts too. If I could have figured out how to get some of the art home on the plane I would have bought the beach themed cozy cushions and artwork too.

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    Photo courtesy of Chris Christensen, via AmateurTraveler.com
  • Fort Morgan Historic Site

    Fort Morgan is an Alabama Historic Site built between 1819 and 1833. It played a significant role in the battle of Mobile Bay in 1864. It was also used during the Spanish America War, World War I and World War II. History buffs and those interested in the military will be curious about Fort Morgan and its role in history. For history buffs, this is one of the most important things to do in Gulf Shores Alabama.

  • Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo – AKA – the little zoo that could.

    The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is very family friendly and affordable too. Children under 2 are free. During Hurricane Ivan the zookeeper took all the animals to her home to keep them safe. That story was featured on Animal Planet. That’s the kind of zoo this is. There are numerous animal experiences that you can add on to the entry fee. So for instance we added the Kangaroo experience to our entry and were able to hold a joey in a special carrier they had for the baby Kangaroos. The lemur experience is pretty cool too. FYI the lemurs love hats and camera bags. Home to over 500 exotic animals.

  • The Hangout Music Festival

    This is a three day music festival held in May usually on the public beaches. It is apparently epic! Travelling in May? You might want to make this an event to see when there.

  • Golf

    There are many places to Tee off in Alabama, including some beautiful Robert Trent Jones designed spots. If golf is your thing, you can find your swing easily here.

  • Waterville USAWaterpark,

    Waterville is an amusement park featuring water slide and kid’s rides as well as a roller coaster.

  • EAT at any of the amazing restaurants throughout the Gulf Shores area.

    Kitty’s Kafe makes a great omelette and there are so many great variations. There’s a lovely patio area here too. The Anchor Bar and Grill has a stunning location and view and some great meals too. Ricotta Cake is a must try treat. Want to know where to have brunch in Gulf Shores? Brick and Spoon is the breakfast spot that you have to try. It was my favourite of all the breakfast spots and with good reason. Very creative meals that you will remember. See my post on Gulf Shores Breakfast Restaurants.

  • The Clay Studio at The Coastal Arts Centre of Orange Beach

    Make your own clay creations and decorate them too. A great addition to the list of Gulf Shores Alabama attractions.

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    Memorable Gulf Shores Alabama Things to Do

    The food and restaurant scene in the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area is spectacular. Fish and seafood doesn’t get fresher than this. Area beaches are amazing and the trails are seemingly endless. We could have stayed so much longer. Gulf Shores is more than you expect and Gulf Shores Alabama attractions will keep you hopping.

    Want to Stay Where I Did?

    You can book the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winning Phoenix West II here. 

    Book a Sail Wild Hearts Cruise too. Also a Certificate of Excellence winner.

    Orange Beach accommodations in mind? Here you go.

    Coastal Segway Tours – MUST DO!!!

    Visit Historic Fort Morgan for the day. Or Choose a Stay Close to Fort Morgan.

    Rent a bike? Beach Bike Rentals can be booked in advance. 

    I was a guest of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism recently and as such received perks such as accommodations, travel, food and activities while there. This post contains affiliate links as a service to my readers. My opinion is all my own and it is also truthful.

    Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

    29 Comments

    • gingermommy

      I was suppose to visit a few years back but timing did not work for me. Looks like a great place. Hopefully I will get to visit soon as I love the beach! Segways are a blast!

      • Paula

        It must seem weird to see bloggers visiting and talking about your home state. The food MERRY!!! The food. I am clearly never going to be able to eat seafood again or BBQ unless I am in Alabama.

    • Yashy Murphy

      There’s so much to do there!! Looks like even little ones would like it there. That said – you look like you’re having a great time there without kids as well!

    • Eloise

      Well dang, Alabama has a lot to do… I never really thought about traveling there for vacation, but MAYBEEEE I will consider it now! Looks like a good time : )

    • Kathleen

      I never would have guessed that you could do all that in Alabama. My husband would love Fort Morgan (as would my daughter Morgan šŸ˜‰ ) and I’d love the paddle boating and golf. That lazy river is to die for! What fun.

      • Paula

        Segway Tour was so much fun! I found it hard to shoot pictures and attempt video or anything else at the same time though. I was concentrating on balancing. LOL.

    • TIm B

      We’ve been on several family vacations to Florida’s gulf coast but haven’t visited Alabama yet. I’ve heard good things about this area though and your post reinforces that reputation. We’re going to have to consider a visit ourselves.

    • Amanda Love

      WOW! I’ve never been to Alabama before and I didn’t know that there are so many things that you can enjoy there. I love all of these suggestions and I’m definitely taking note of them.

    • Echo

      I had no idea that there was so much to do in Gulf Shores! I love being at the beach, but man, there is way more to do than just that!

      • Paula

        Yes Echo I agree. Especially when I visit with family. I could lay on the beach and read and relax all day every day however my teens and my husband are like okay that’s enough of that now what can we do? I think they’d be thrilled to do some of these amazing things in Alabama.

    • E H

      This looks like an amazing place! I wouldn’t have thought it has so many interesting points to see and attend! There are definitely enough activities for a two week visit! We are always looking for our next destination for a vacation, and this place certainly fits the bill! I am looking forward to seeing this with my own eyes – what a lovely time!

    • uprunforlife

      I had no idea that there was so much to do in that area. It has been a few years since I have been to the beach. I would enjoy walking on the beach, catch the sea turtles (if they have them), and maybe fishing.

    • Kiwi

      I had no idea Alabama gulf shores had so many things to do. This isnt too far from where I am at maybe a mini roadtrip can be in the works.

    • Lynndee

      Wow, so much great things to do and see in Alabama. I’ve never been to that state yet, but I certainly would love to visit one of these days.

    • Aimee Geroux

      Looks like an amazing place for a vacation! I am so itching to get away, might have to talk to my travel agent about visiting here! Sounds like you all had a blast, love all the pictures!