Orange Beach, Alabama
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Orange Beach Vacation Information

Southern hospitality is alive and well in Orange Beach, a thriving community on the Alabama Gulf Coast. When it comes to welcoming visitors, this tiny town (its permanent population is only about 5,000) scores big, with luxurious accommodations delicious dining, and shops selling everything from souvenirs to fine art.

Lazing on the white-sand beaches has to be the most popular pastime in Orange Beach. Visitors looking for a little more action won't be disappointed, though. More energetic activities range from deep-sea fishing and just about every other kind of water sport to shopping in the area's many stores and outlet malls.

In nearby Gulf Shores, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge offers a walk on the wild side, with hiking trails through scrub forests, marshes and swampland to the dunes and beach. Local charter captains also provide boat tours of the area's bays, bayous, and marshes, all of which teem with wildlife. At the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium, interactive exhibits showcase the aquatic animal and plant life of Mobile Bay and the Gulf Coast region. And to enjoy a truly unspoiled stretch of beach, head down the highway to Perdido Key and Gulf Island National Seashore. Along the shoreline, the park is home to an astonishing variety of marine life, and its woods and wetlands hold a diverse population of plants and animals.

Journeys into the past are as close as Fort Gaines, on Dauphin Island, and Fort Morgan, in Gulf Shores. Fort Morgan, which guards the main channel into Mobile Bay, was part of a major naval battle during the Civil War.

Just a short drive inland are the picturesque towns of Fairhope and Magnolia Springs. Founded more than 100 years ago, Fairhope is best known for its lovely parks, moss-draped live oaks, and spectacular views of Mobile Bay. It also offers a sophisticated mix of shops, boutiques, cafes and art galleries. Tree-shaded streets, gracious homes, and well-tended gardens give Magnolia Springs its special charm. Originally developed from a Spanish land grant in 1800, the town boasts natural springs once dubbed “the purest in the world.”

Mild temperatures and lots of sunny days make Orange Beach an ideal spot for a getaway any time of the year. It also hosts special events throughout the year, including the annual Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival, a 10-day musical celebration held each November, and August's Thunder on the Gulf powerboat races. Just down the road in Gulf Shores, the National Shrimp Festival celebrates its 37th year this October.

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Plan Your Trip to Orange Beach

Orange Beach Alabama Restaurants

Restaurants

Dining spots in Orange Beach run the gamut, from romantic eateries overlooking the water to bustling sports bars whose wide-screen TVs keep diners abreast of what's going on with their favorite teams. Fresh seafood from local waters dominates most menus, but there are plenty of spots offering other alternatives that range from pizza and pasta to barbecue and coleslaw.

Discover the delicious side of Orange Beach by choosing from our list of restaurants.
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Orange Beach Alabama Golf

Golf

Nine excellent courses, several of which adjoin luxury resorts, make the Orange Beach area a mecca for golfers. And since several of the courses were designed by golfing legends such as Arnold Palmer, Bruce Devlin, Jerry Pate, Earl Stone, and Robert Von Hagge, they offer challenges for players of all skill levels. Package deals and other specials are available and may include everything from green fees and cart rentals to rooms and meals.

Our list of golf courses and resorts will help you plan your Orange Beach golfing vacation.
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Orange Beach Alabama Fishing

Fishing

Easy access to the Gulf of Mexico through Perdido Pass makes Orange Beach an ideal starting point for deep-sea fishing trips. Catches vary, based on what’s in season. Black snapper, white snapper, vermilion snapper, shark, amberjack and triggerfish are generally biting all year long. Spring brings runs of the famous trophy-sized cobia. Winter anglers may encounter schools made up of thousands of redfish. Bonita can usually be found during the summer months. Fall fishing expeditions yield catches of king mackerel, jack crevalle, and Spanish mackerel. Further inland, the Orange Beach area is full of backwaters, bayous, and bays populated with both freshwater and saltwater species. The wetlands of the Mobile Delta and, closer at hand, the lake at nearby Gulf State Park, are ideal spots to catch freshwater favorites such as largemouth bass, crappie, and bream. To learn more about Orange Beach fishing charters, check out the list below.
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Orange Beach Alabama Shopping

Shopping

With the multitude of shops, malls, and outlet stores in Orange Beach and nearby communities, shopping is a pastime almost as popular as doing nothing. Merchandise ranges from shells and souvenirs to trendy new duds, one-of-a-kind artwork to discount shoes. Many of the big department stores have branches in the area. You'll also find plenty of locally owned shops offering goods that range from elegant and stylish to quirky and fun.

Our list of stores, malls, and outlet centers will help you plan your Orange Beach shopping excursion.
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Orange Beach Alabama Events

Events

With warm, sunny days most of the year, any time’s a good time for a celebration in Orange Beach and neighboring Gulf Shores. One of the area’s best-known festivals, celebrating the local shrimping industry, is held every fall. Two others, one in late fall and the other in the spring, showcase local, national, and international musical talent.

More than 300 vendors offering food, arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, and other retail goods make the National Shrimp Festival one of the nation's most exciting outdoor events. The four-day festival, held on the beach in Gulf Shores, attracts some 250,000 visitors annually and is one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s top-rated events.

The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival, held each November at various spots in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and other nearby communities, offers nearly two weeks’ worth of live musical entertainment. It's named for the late Frank Brown, a music fan who worked as night watchman at the legendary Flora-Bama Lounge for 28 years. The festival was founded as a venue for aspiring writers and musicians to showcase their work.

Since it was first held in 2010, the Hangout Music Fest has grown into a nationally recognized event featuring both established performers and talented new faces. Set up on the beach in Gulf Shores, Hangout Fest stages have hosted such music greats as Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, the Dave Matthews Band, Jack White, the Zac Brown Band, and the Foo Fighters.

in addition to these star attractions, there are plenty of other special events scheduled year-round in the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area – concerts, theater and dance performances, wine tastings, food festivals, and arts and crafts shows. Check out our calendar of events for an up-to-date list of what's going on while you're in town.
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Things to do in Orange Beach Alabama

Other Things To Do

When you want a break from lounging on the beach, you'll find plenty of options in Orange Beach and neighboring Gulf Shores.

Of course, there are plenty of businesses that rent equipment for water sports, from diving and snorkeling to kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding. And local captains offer charters for all kinds of fishing – inshore, offshore, saltwater, freshwater, and more, plus sightseeing and dolphin-watching excursions for groups of all ages.

Back on land, the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is made up of miles of paved trails through scenic woodlands and wetlands for bikers and hikers. The trails are well marked, so there’s no danger of getting lost, and there are benches set at intervals for relaxing and enjoying the views.

The area is also a golfer’s paradise, with five challenging courses, all within a short drive of each other: There’s Lost Key Golf Club on nearby Perdido Key, as well as Kiva Dunes Golf Club, Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club, Cotton Creek at Craft Farms, and Cypress Bend at Craft Farms, all in Gulf Shores.

There’s fun for the whole family at The Wharf, an Orange Beach shopping and entertainment venue that includes bars and eateries, retail shops, a Ferris wheel, a marina, and a 10,000-seat amphitheater that hosts nationally and internationally known entertainers. (Guest artists in the past have included the Dave Matthews Band, Luke Bryan, Florida-Georgia Line, Three Dog Night, and Jimmy Buffett.)

More family entertainment can be found at Gulf State Park, where facilities include a Zipline course, 18 holes of golf, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails (including part of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail), a Gulf fishing pier, and a beachfront pavilion.

Also family-friendly and not to be missed is the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo – Animal Planet’s “Little Zoo That Could.” Located only a few blocks from the beach, the zoo offers kids’ camps and other special events as well as its permanent – and adorable – animal exhibits.

Just a short drive away, and perfect for a day’s outing, are historic Fort Morgan, which played at pivotal part in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay; the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, in Theodore, Alabama, near Mobile; and the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola.
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