It's hard to go wrong with any of the public beaches in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach?wherever you go, you'll have access to soft white sand, miles of shoreline, and unparalleled Gulf views. So where should you start out? That all depends on what you're looking for in your beach vacation. Whether you want to jump into a fast-paced game of beach volleyball, set up a romantic picnic, or take the kids somewhere with plenty of space to run around, there's a beach spot for you. You'll find our top 6 recommendations below.
Gulf Shores Main Public Beach
Thanks to its easy access point where Highway 59 dead-ends into the Gulf, the main public beach in Gulf Shores is an extremely popular spot, especially in the spring and summer. If you're driving in, try to get to the beach early so you can snag a nearby parking spot. If you're renting a condo or hotel right off of the beach, you can simply step out the door and stroll across the sand.
There's always plenty to do on the main beach, whether you want to play beach volleyball with some friends, search for the perfect seashells with your kids, lay out in the sun, or cool off in the Gulf. When you get hungry, you'll have a wide selection of nearby restaurant to choose from, including Bahama Bob's, Bill's by the Beach, and The Hangout.
If your idea of the perfect beach vacation involves sitting under an umbrella and getting lost in a new book, West Beach in Gulf Shores may be the best beach spot for you. This six-mile stretch of public access beach tends to be less crowded than the main beach and gets quieter the farther west you go. The beach, which is located on the west end of Gulf Shores, tends to have relatively calm water, making it a good place for you and your kids to dip your toes in the Gulf. If you enjoy fishing, you can also head to the nearby Little Lagoon to try your luck at catching flounder, redfish, speckled trout, and more. Little Lagoon is the perfect setting for kayaking and paddle boarding as well.
Orange Beach Waterfront Park
If you're looking for a slight change of pace from some of the other nearby beaches, try out Orange Beach's Waterfront Park. This public beach on Wolf Bay is free and open year-round and boasts some of the most scenic views in the area, making it a popular destination for weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations. There's plenty of space to lounge on the beach or swim in Wolf Bay, but there are also covered picnic pavilions, grills, a kids' park, and a 400-foot fishing pier. It's easy to spend a whole day at the Waterfront Park without running out of things to do.
Gulf State Park Pavilion
Like Orange Beach Waterfront Park, Gulf State Park Pavilion is often used for beach weddings thanks to its spectacular views of the Gulf, sand dunes, and sea oats. However, the stretch of beach by the pavilion is also an ideal spot for a regular day trip (and a popular place for surf fishing). When you need a break from the sun, you can retreat to the pavilion for shade, a snack bar, air-conditioned restrooms, and private showers.
Cotton Bayou Beach Access
Due to its convenient location off of Perdido Beach Boulevard and the presence of nearby vacation rentals, the Cotton Bayou beach area (which is part of Gulf State Park) often has a high-energy feel. Fortunately, there's plenty of space for everyone on this beach, and ample free parking just a short walk away. Come here to swim, surf, fish, or just enjoy some people watching.
Alabama Point Beach Access
For a more low-key day at the beach, head to Alabama Point (located on the east side of Perdido Pass just off Highway 182/Perdido Beach Boulevard). This beach is popular with locals, and you'll likely see plenty of families here. Alabama Point is known for being a good place to fish and watch charter boats heading in and out of the nearby marina. It's a popular spot for skimboarders as well.
You can't go wrong with visiting any of the beaches in this list. Book your Gulf Shores or Orange Beach beachfront condo today and enjoy a short walk to the sugar sands of the area's beaches.