As a long time, busy Realtor in our beautiful area, I get the opportunity to visit every corner of the beach.  I must say, it is truly a wonderful place to live, work, and play.  Whether you’re just visiting or you live here all the time, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offer a wonderful way of living in virtually every area of your life.

The Alabama Gulf Coast is very family-friendly and offers many things to do for all ages.  Here are a few options….

Some of the standouts for family fun include:

Waterville USA

  • 20 acres of water park, amusement park, and escape rooms
  • 17 water slides
  • Go-Kart racing
  • Wave simulator for surfing and body boarding
  • Mini-golf
  • Wave pool
  • Refreshments and much more

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

For now our zoo is located about a mile from the beach and showcases over 600 exotic animals.  However, our little zoo is becoming an even larger attraction in November 2019.  The new 25 acre zoo will offer a larger, more modern environment for the animals as well as provide theme park entertainment, event venues, dining, and educational programs.  The zoo is the most ticketed venue in Baldwin County.

There are dozens of things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for the entire family, which is one of the reasons why so many folks come here every year AND move here!

Relaxing on the beach is the epitome of lifestyle in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach…… 

Of course, our beach is the highlight for the whole area!  The Alabama coast attracts over 6 million visitors annually who want to take in the beautiful, emerald waters of the Gulf and the sugar-white sands of our beach.  The 32 mile coastline stretches from the Florida state line all the way to the tip of Fort Morgan.  The beach is also very wide which gives sunbathers plenty of room to spread out while soaking up the rays. 

Although there are a ton of things to do here, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is a fantastic place to just relax.

While you’ll find more beach goers near the public access points, the picture above is fairly typical for most of our coast.  For every condo community and beach house, part of their private property is the beach (up to the mean high tide line).  So, if you’re staying right on the beach as a visitor or owner, you won’t feel too crowded.

Public Beach Access



So much to do, so little time…….

The Wharf of Orange Beach is kind of like a city within the city.  Not only is there a ton of shopping and beautiful waterfront condos available but you can play too.  Here’s what you’ll find at The Wharf:

  • 112 foot Ferris Wheel
  • 18 hole mini-golf
  • Sound and light shows
  • Hummingbird Zipline – 8 towers covering 6,000 feet
  • Bazooka Ball and Lazer Tag
  • Escape Room
  • AMC Movie Theater

It’s all about the water sports in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach where you’ll find opportunities for:

  • Paddleboarding
  • Jet Skiing
  • Parasailing
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Snorkeling
  • Diving
  • Sailing
  • Equipment Rentals

Visit this page for a complete list of local businesses that can hook you up for all of the fun you can handle in the water.

The Alabama Gulf Coast has several championship golf courses to choose from for fun and challenge.  Look at the map below for Craft Farms, Gulf Shores Golf Club, The Peninsula, and Kiva Dunes.

Golf Courses at the Beach

Other Ways to Play at the Beach:

  • Adventure Island
    arcade and mini-golf
    24559 Perdido Beach Blvd
  • Fun Boats Dolphin Cruises
  • Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf
    3201 Gulf Shores Pkwy
  • The Factory
    trampoline park, arcade
    18948 Oak Rd W


The Alabama Gulf Coast is one of the most diverse eco-systems in the country and there are plenty of places to explore nature in all its glory.

Gulf State Park

Gulf State Park is a true natural wonder where visitors and locals can take advantage of 28 miles of trails and 9 different ecosystems.  Here’s a little of what you can enjoy at Gulf State Park:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Geocaching
  • Swimming
  • Paddling
  • Wildlife watching
  • Exploring
  • Fishing

Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

The Backcountry Trail offers 7 trails for hiking and biking and connects with Gulf State Park.  You can explore 6 distinct ecosystems while staying active with nature.

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is a massive 7,157 acre “safe harbor” to a variety of wildlife on the coast of Gulf Shores.  This is perfect for those who would love to explore nature in its purest form.  Bring comfortable shoes!

Whether you’re into running on the beach, water sports, and sweating it out in the gym, our beach has plenty of opportunity to stay healthy and be active.

Side note:  In June 2018, Gulf Shores was designated as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community (one of 2 cities in Alabama).

Health & Fitness Centers in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach



You don’t have to look too far to find a great place to eat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach….

According to Yelp, here are the top places to eat at the beach…

  • Anchor Bar and Grill
    4575 Wilson Blvd
  • Brick & Spoon
    24705 Canal Rd
  • Flying Harpoon
    112 Windmill Ridge Rd
  • Bahama Bobs
    601 W Beach Blvd
  • The Beach House Kitchen & Cocktails
    1154 W Beach Blvd
  • The Gulf
    27500 Perdido Beach Blvd
  • Luna’s Eat & Drink
    25753 Canal Rd
  • Big Fish Restaurant & Bar
    25814 Canal Rd
  • Kitty’s Kafe
    3800 Gulf Shores Pkwy
  • The Royal Oyster
    807 Gulf Shores Pkwy
  • Ruby Slipper Cafe
    24151 Perdido Beach Blvd
  • Cobalt
    28099 Perdido Beach Blvd
  • Fin & Fork
    24131 Perdido Beach Blvd



Well, you can’t live in a resort town and not have any great places to shop!  According to Yelp, here are the top places to spend your money in the area….

  • The Wharf
    4830 Main St
    Orange Beach
  • Tanger Outlets
    2610 S McKenzie St
  • Tallulah’s Treasures by the Sea
    Women’s clothing, decor
    25122 Perdido Beach Blvd
  • Happy Shak
    jewelry and accessories
    517 Gulf Shores Pkwy
  • Salt Coastal Outfitters
    Gift shop
    25122 Perdido Beach Blvd
  • Retro Road Trip
    Gift shop
    701 Gulf Shores Pkwy
  • Geez Louise Boutique
    Women’s clothing, accessories, shoes
    701 Gulf Shores Pkwy
  • Too Hot Mamas
    27267 Perdido Beach Blvd
  • Downtown OWA
    100 N Owa Blvd
  • Souvenir City
    Gift shop
    217 Gulf Shores Pkwy
  • Sanroc Cay
    Multiple shops
    27267 Perdido Beach Blvd

When the sun goes down and you’re ready for some “big boy and girl” entertainment, there are plenty of places to have a drink and listen to some music.  

Here are a few to get you started…

  • The Hangout
    101 E Beach Blvd
  • Splash Bar
    27200 Perdido Beach Blvd
  • Pink Pony Pub
    137 E Gulf Place
  • Flying Harpoon
    112 Windmill Ridge Rd
  • The Cove
    131 Cove Ave
  • The Club at Live Bait
    24281 Perdido Beach Blvd
  • Flora-Bama
    17401 Perdido Key Drive
  • The Gulf
    27500 Perdido Beach Blvd
  • San Bar
    27267 Perdido Beach Blvd

The lifestyle in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is relaxing, family friendly, healthy, and excites your senses.  If you are in the real estate market to buy or sell a home in lower Alabama, please reach out to me.

Jeff Nelson