10 Unique Attractions in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in Alabama have become one of the Southeast’s top spots for family vacations and quick getaways. The Gulf Shores area welcomes more than 5 million visitors a year, and travelers love exploring the area’s attractions. In this southern vacation hot spot, find fun for the family and things to do off the beach. To make the most of the trip, we rounded up some lesser known attractions in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Top 10 Attractions in Gulf Shores You May Not Know

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Ride Open Cockpit Style

Embark on a journey in a historic biplane or glide over Gulf Shores’ small towns and historic attractions. The 1928 Travel Air Biplane at Van Sant Airport holds two passengers, and packages range from 20 minutes to one hour.

Enjoy Treetop Views at The Wharf

See one of the tallest Ferris wheels on the Gulf Coast while admiring the scenery and gentle breeze. Open until around 8 p.m., The Wharf’s Ferris wheel is a perfect way to start or end a day at the beach.

Make It a Date

Snuggle up with a loved one and float over the Gulf Shores area in a hot-air balloon. Taking Off Hot Air Balloon Company offers packages for families and couples, and a typical ride last three hours.

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Hold an Alligator

See more than 450 alligators in their natural environment with an opportunity to feed them at Alligator Alley. There’s also bird-watching and a Giant Snake Safari. Photographers are welcome, so don’t forget the camera.

Hunt Quail in Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores hunters should visit Rhodes Hunting Preserve, a family-owned preserve. Hunt deer and quail, or fish for largemouth bass and bream/shell cracker. In addition, they host guided and unguided hunts.

Learn About the Greatest Spear Hunter

Stop by the Spear Hunting Museum, which honors Gene Morris, known as the “greatest spear hunter in modern history.” The museum educates visitors about spear hunting, and admission is free.

See Sports in New Ways

Home to one of the largest sports art collections in the world, American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) features more than 1,500 pieces from around the globe. The ASAMA collection includes all media, such as paintings, sculptures and photography. Admission is free.

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Photo: Greg Goebel

Learn About Ships, Submarines and Planes

History buffs should check out Battleship Memorial Park, home to USS Alabama, which weighs some 44,500 tons and measures 680 feet in length. Visitors can explore other battleships, the USS DRUM (SS-228) Submarine from World War II and more than 25 aircraft displays.

Take a Class, Meet Local Artists

Browse local art and meet creators at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. The museum also offers classes in culinary, writing, dancing, painting and photography. A hot shop and clay studio also welcome visitors to create masterpieces.

Shop Souvenir City in Gulf Shores

First, walk into a shark’s mouth. Then browse thousands of trinkets and Gulf-inspired gifts. From apparel and jewelry to traditional souvenirs and home décor, guests will love shopping Souvenir City for the perfect item.

Need more idea? Find more attractions in Gulf Shores and things to do!