The Best Alabama Beaches: Gulf Shores, Orange Beach

The best Alabama beaches are among the country’s most beautiful and inviting. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have collected a number of accolades from some of the world’s most respected travel experts. Coastal Living magazine and the Travel Channel have touted Alabama beaches among the best beaches in the U.S. for family vacations. But what makes these beaches so special? Learn why Alabama Beaches keep vacationers coming back year after year:

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Gulf Shores Public Beach

Sugar-white sand, water recreation and great seafood: Enjoy that and more at Gulf Shores public beach. One of the most popular Alabama beaches, guests will find volleyball nets, picnic areas, open-air pavilions and restrooms/showers, making it easy to spend the entire day at the beach.
Water sports are a must at Gulf Shores public beach and include kayaking, parasailing, surfing, boating, swimming, fishing and more.

Orange Beach

The Orange Beach area offers miles of white sand and beach fun as well. Whether looking to relax or play, you can do both in Orange Beach. On vacation, plan some of the best deep-sea fishing, boating and sailing adventures you can find in the South in Orange Beach.

Gulf State Park

Nestled among the sand dunes and sea oats lies a natural beach at Gulf State Park. In addition to swimming and relaxing, surf fishing is among the top things to do at the Gulf State Park beach. Other amenities include restrooms, private showers, a snack bar and even a fireplace for cooler-weather days.

The park also houses a pier, one of the most popular places for fishing and catching Gulf Coast views. The Gulf State Park Fishing Pier offers guests indoor concession seating, a store that stocks gear and souvenirs, and benches so visitors can watch wildlife or an amazing beach sunset.

Also located in Gulf State Park is Cotton Bayou. This small beach features free parking, restrooms and outdoor showers. While at Cotton Bayou, visitors can also people-watch and meet locals staying in nearby condos. For a quick walk or lunch with that special someone, check out Romar Beach, which also offers free parking.

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Lake Shelby, Other Areas

Lake lovers will want to spend a day at Lake Shelby, a 900-acre lake perfect for boating, swimming and fishing. Guests can acquire a fishing license here as well. Families can also rent tables and pavilions in the recreation area, providing a great spot for a reunion or wedding reception.

Located in a more remote setting, visitors can explore Lagoon Pass Beach, which is a shallow waterway that connects Little Lagoon to the Gulf of Mexico.

Visiting Alabama Beaches: Safety

The Alabama beaches promote safe, family fun. Lifeguards are available at some locations, including Gulf Place, West 6th Street and Lagoon Pass from March to September, however it’s important each person practice beach safety. The beach warning flag system helps protect you and your family from water hazards. Here’s a quick breakdown and how you should proceed:

  • Double red: Water is closed to public
  • Single red: High surf, strong currents
  • Single yellow: Moderate surf and currents
  • Single green: Calm conditions, stay alert
  • Single purple: Dangerous marine life present

Now it’s time to plan your vacation to Alabama Beaches! Find accommodations for the whole family.

Check out these 10 unique attractions in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.