Families on a summer trip, couples looking for a romantic getaway, friends celebrating a long weekend-no matter who you are or who you're traveling with, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach will provide an unforgettable vacation experience, especially when you stay in a beachfront condo. There's so much going on in these neighboring beach towns that it may be tough to fit everything you want to do into a day. We've highlighted some of our favorite activities for a day in Gulf Shores in this itinerary, but you can easily spend more time exploring the area if you're going to be staying with us for a long weekend, a week, or more. View our Day in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach video to get a taste of the beach life.
Driving into Gulf Shores
If you're visiting us from a city within driving distance, you can take I-65, I-10, or Highway 98 to get to your beachfront condo in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach. If you're visiting us from a little farther away, you can fly into the Mobile or Pensacola airport, both of which are about an hour's drive from the white sand beaches of Gulf Shores. Rent a car and enjoy the scenic drive along the coast-you'll probably find it hard to resist the temptation to roll your windows down and let the Gulf breeze in.
Getting Ready to Explore
You may want to head straight to the water, but take a few minutes to turn your Gulf Shores or Orange Beach condo into your beachfront headquarters. Drop off any groceries you've brought with you, pour yourself a drink, and enjoy the views from your balcony. When you're ready to head to the beach, pack a cooler with snacks, water and other drinks, and plenty of sunscreen.
Walking to the Beach
Getting to the beach is easy-just open the door of your condo and step outside. You'll immediately be able to dig your toes into the soft, fine-grain sand our area is known for and then cool off in the Gulf. No matter what vacation rental you're staying in, you'll have easy access to the beach, thanks to our 32 miles of white-sand coastline. Explore West Beach, Romar Beach, Cotton Bayou, Gulf State Park and beyond. Remember to bring beach toys for the kids, and set up beach towels and umbrellas so that you have a shady spot to relax when you're not jumping in and out of the water.
Dining in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach
Even spending just a few hours on the beach can work up an appetite, so hit up a popular local restaurant-like Tacky Jack's in Gulf Shores or Cosmo's in Orange Beach-for a filling lunch or dinner. Thanks to our proximity to the Gulf, our area restaurants have the freshest seafood available, and you'll be able to try dishes like bacon-wrapped shrimp, fire-grilled oysters, and fried Mahi fish tacos. You're on vacation, so indulge a little.
We understand if you want to get in more beach time after lunch, but there are also plenty of other things you can do if you want to explore Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Rent fishing poles, pick up some bait and take the family fishing at the Gulf State Park Pier (some restaurants will cook what you catch) or go parasailing to get a bird's eye view of the coast. Get a little competitive with go-kart racing at The Track in Gulf Shores or shop for the perfect souvenir at The Wharf in Orange Beach.
Checking out the Night Life
If time allows, try to get to the beachfront restaurant The Hangout so that you can check out the outdoor foam party that happens every hour on the hour until 6pm. If you arrive at The Hangout after 6, don't worry-adults can enjoy a beer or cocktail, and kids and adults alike can enjoy courtyard games and the giant sand pit. The Hangout hosts live music year round, so check to see who's playing while you're in town. You can also check out live music every night of the week at the Flora-Bama Lounge-it's a must-visit spot for anyone who loves dancing.
Taking in a Beach Sunset
The perfect way to end your day might just be right back where you started-on the beach. Take a walk along the shore or watch the sun set over the water from the comfort of your condo balcony, and use this time to wind down so that you can enjoy a good night's sleep. If you're staying for another day or two, you can start planning the activities you want to fit into the rest of your trip.
If you're daydreaming about a vacation in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach but haven't booked your rental yet, now is the time. Plan your Gulf Shores or Orange Beach trip and find out why so many visitors keep coming back year after year.