BEYOND THE BEACH
Whether you’re an adventurer looking to hike, bike and zipline, or someone more inclined to sit back and ride one of the tallest Ferris wheels on the Gulf Coast, or possibly a go-getter wanting to do a little bit of everything, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are the places to be. And because we want you to experience a perfect Brett/Robinson vacation, we have handpicked what we believe are the best things to do. Your vacation time is limited, so make the most of it.
Set off and bike or hike over 24 miles of paths that link Gulf Shores to the Gulf State Park and the City of Orange Beach over the Fort Morgan Road Trail, Alabama’s Coastal Connection and the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Take in scenic views along the way as you cruise over paved multi-use trails that vary in length and travel through different ecosystems. It is the perfect way to explore the longleaf pine forests, freshwater lakes, coastal wetlands, and marshes. You may even get to
see white-tailed deer, fox, alligators, bobcats, tortoises, osprey, and bald eagles.
Climb high at the kid-friendly Boulder Park rock climbing attraction off the Backcountry Trail. Kids can test their rock-climbing skills while sharpening their mental skills at the same time. Next, you can unwind at the tranquil Pavilion and Butterfly Garden. After taking a break, be sure to check out the new innovative playground on the Backcountry Trail, called “Big Al’s Parkour Challenge.”
Our Gulf Coast is one of the nation’s best nature and historical destinations for both academics and hobbyists. Take an afternoon to go on a guided nature walk at the Gulf State Park Nature Center or a two-hour guided tour through the Backcountry Trail with Segway Adventures. If bird watching is your passion, enjoy expertly guided tours on land and water during the Alabama Coastal Bird Fest each October. Only a scenic drive away down Fort Morgan Road is the site of the Battle of Mobile Bay, a turning point in the Civil War and a fascinating and educational adventure for the whole family.
ZIPLINE & ROPES COURSE
Gulf Adventure Center’s Hummingbird Ziplines – at the new location at The Wharf in Orange Beach – are an exhilarating adventure with nine towers and seven zip lines over the length of one mile. The zip line course takes you as high as 90 feet, providing dramatic views of the stunning coastal topography.
Be a part of the action at LuLu’s Mountain of Youth and Munchkin Mountain – ropes courses for all ages – in Gulf Shores. The Mountain of Youth is a three-story climbing apparatus with different levels of zigzag beams and rope bridges. Just harness in and experience the thrill of tightrope walking and climbing. For young children, Munchkin Mountain is a mini ropes course, so everyone can have a blast!
MUSEUMS & LEARNING CENTERS
Enjoy a hands-on experience on what the Alabama Gulf Coast has to offer at the Sea, Sand, and Stars Nature Center on the campus of Orange Beach Elementary School. It features a 5,800-gallon Saltwater Aquarium, 1,500-gallon Marine Life Touch Tank, 800 feet Nature Boardwalk with outdoor classrooms, Planetarium, Microscope Lab, Library and Gift Shop.
Gulf State Park’s Nature Center is a living museum of plants and animals that are native to the Gulf Coast region. The park offers weekly programs, including guided nature walks, beach walks, pier walks and nature time.
Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum houses artifacts of the early days of Orange Beach in the original 1910 Orange Beach School Building. The museum houses local artifacts and memorabilia relating to the area’s Native American and fishing heritage. This is a must-see spot.
Learn more about the interesting history of Gulf Shores at the Gulf Shores Museum. You can even fly through the eye of a hurricane with “Hurricane Hunters,” an interactive display.
The Hot Shop in Orange Beach is Alabama’s premier hot glass blowing facility. It’s dedicated to educating the community about glass blowing, sculpture, and art. Make your own one-of-a-kind keepsake to carry back home with you.
The Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach offers beginning and intermediate painting, ceramic lessons and much more. Browse the gallery and gift shop from watercolorists, potters, painters, photographers, sculptors and textile artists.