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 Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have collected a number of accolades from the world’s most respected travel experts. In fact, Coastal Living magazine and Travel Channel have touted Alabama beaches among the best beaches in the U.S. for family vacations. What makes these beaches so special? Learn why these Alabama beaches keep vacationers coming back year after year.
Best Alabama Beaches and Where to Find Them
Gulf Shores Public Beach
White sand, water recreation and great seafood: Enjoy that and more at Gulf Shores public beach. One of the most popular Alabama beaches, guests find volleyball nets, picnic areas, open-air pavilions, restrooms and showers. These amenities make it easy to spend the entire day at the beach. Additionally, water sports are a must at Gulf Shores public beach. Visitors can kayak, parasail, surf, swim, fish and more.
The Orange Beach area offers miles of white sand and beach fun as well. Whether looking to relax or play, travelers can do both in Orange Beach. On vacation, plan some of the best deep-sea fishing trips in Alabama, and boating and sailing adventures in Orange Beach.
Gulf State Park
Nestled among 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 Gulf State Park. Other amenities include restrooms, private showers, a snack bar and a fireplace for cooler-weather days.
The park also houses a pier, one of the most popular places for fishing and Gulf Coast views. Gulf State Park Fishing Pier offers guests indoor concession seating, a store with gear and souvenirs, and benches, so visitors can watch wildlife and amazing beach sunsets.
Also located in Gulf State Park is Cotton Bayou. This small beach features free parking, restrooms and outdoor showers. While at Cotton Bayou, visitors people-watch and meet locals staying in nearby condos. For a quick walk or lunch with special someone, check out Romar Beach, which also has free parking.
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 scenic spot for reunions or wedding receptions.
Located in a more remote setting, explore Lagoon Pass Beach, which is a shallow waterway that connects Little Lagoon to the Gulf of Mexico.
Visiting Alabama Beaches: Safety
The best 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 everyone from water hazards and currents. Here’s a quick breakdown and how to 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