Orange Beach is a city in Alabama located on the Gulf Coast. It has beautiful white sand beaches, but is quieter and cheaper than the Florida beaches nearby.
You can fly into nearby airports such as Mobile, AL or Pensacola, FL. Private and corporate planes are served by the Jack Edwards Airport in Gulf Shores.
Other options include Montgomery, AL and New Orleans, LA - both of which would require a three-hour drive.
The Gulf Shores and Orange Beach areas are easily reached from Interstates 65 and 10 as well as US Hwy 98. All three intersect with Alabama Hwy 59 (also known as Gulf Shores Parkway) which leads directly to Gulf Shores.
Distance from major cities: Atlanta, GA, 370 miles; Birmingham, AL, 274 miles; Jackson, MS, 245 miles; Memphis, TN, 480 miles; Nashville, TN, 450 miles; New Orleans, LA, 214 miles; St. Louis, MO, 632 miles.
A ferry service is available between nearby Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island. The ferry landing is approximately 25 miles west of Hwy 59 on West Fort Morgan Road.
Boaters can reach Gulf Shores and Orange Beach via the Intracoastal Waterway. The Tennessee-Tombigbee provides a link between the Intracoastal and numerous ports in the midwest. In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, boaters will find numerous marinas available.
Plenty of accommodations are located directly on the beach. Guests can walk right out and enjoy the sand and water. Some are located within easy walking distance of restaurants and shops.
The cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are connected by two main east-west highways. The most southern one is Highway 182 (known locally as Beach Blvd). It runs along the beach and offers great views of the water. Highway 180 (known locally as Canal Road) runs along the Intracoastal Waterway.
Highway 59 terminates at the public beach in Gulf Shores where it connects with Beach Blvd.
- Fort Morgan 51 Hwy 180 West. (251) 540-7127. Museum 9-5 daily. Fort hours vary by season. $3 for adults. $1 for children. A fort has been at this site on and off since the 1500s. The present fortification date from 1834 to WWII and played a vital part in the Battle of Mobile Bay. Historical tours are given daily in the summer.
- Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo 1204 Gulf Shores Parkway, (251) 968-5731. Open daily 9-4. $8.80 for adults $6 for children. Children under 2 are free.The Zoo features many exotic animals, inlcuding lions, monkeys and bears. There is also a petting zoo, reptile house and in the summer there are daily animal shows.
- Gulf Shores Museum, 244 West 19th Avenue, ☎ 251-968-1473. Learn about Gulf Coast weather with a video on the Hurricane Hunters. Great exhibition on shrimping and fishing. Free. edit
- Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum, 25850 John M Snook Avenue, Orange Beach, ☎ 251-981-8545, . Tue-Fri, 9AM - 4PM; Sat. 9AM - 2PM. Collection of local artifacts and items that tell the area's Native American and fishing history. edit
The best thing to do in Gulf Shores is enjoy the beaches. There are plenty of places to park at most public beaches. Some offer facilities and picnic tables. There are many beach access area that provide pedestrian access only. These are best if you are staying nearby and don't need a car to get to the beach. It is best to be aware of the Beach Warning Flags that tell you whether it is safe to go int othe ocean.
There is an unlimited amount of water sports activities available in Gulf Shores. Take your pick between waverunners, catamarans, parasailing, sailboats, boogie boards etc. at any of the numerous rental places along the beach.
- Gulf Shores Public Beach is full of activity and is conveniently located near bars and restaurants. Lifeguards on duty and picnic areas are available. Arrive early for a good spot.
- Gulf State Park 6 miles east of Hwy 59. A great beach for families and away from the hustle of the other beaches. Facilities are minimal and a small parking fee is charged.
- Waterville USA Hwy 59 North.  A 25 acre water and fun park. It has waterslides that are for the kiddies and the daredevils. There is miniature golf, go-karts, an arcade, and small carnival rides for younger children.
- GOLF!. Numerous courses at varying rates. Gulf State Park has an affordable course. Look up Soldiers Creek, Lost Key and Glenlakes for great courses at very fair prices. Cotton Creek and Cypress bend are both Arnold Palmer designs. Many more. edit
- Adventure Island, 24559 Perdido Beach Blvd, ☎ 251-974-1500, . Fun for the entire family with mini golf, bumper boats, go-karts and arcade. edit
- Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, 12295 Hwy 180, ☎ 251-540-7720, . sunrise - sunset. Great location for hiking with more than six miles of trails. Amazing beach access - worth the hike. edit
- Ferris Wheel at The Wharf, 4985 Wharf Parkway, ☎ 251-224-1000, . Mon - Sat 10AM-10PM; Sun 1PM - 8PM. Take a ride on the tallest Ferris wheel in the Southeast. Great views from the top. $4. edit
- Pirates Island Adventure Golf, 3201 Gulf Shores Parkway, ☎ 251-968-4653, . Family-friendly mini-golf with a fun pirate theme. Waterfalls, pirate ship and fog machine. edit
- The Track Recreation Center, 3200 Gulf Shores Parkway, ☎ 251-968-8111, . Splash in the water with bumper boats. Ride go-karts, play mini-golf. Dare to try the sky coaster. edit
- The America II at Hudson Marina , 4575 South Wilson Blvd., Orange Beach, Alabama, 1-251-981-4127.
- Gulf Shores Steamer, 27267 Perdido Beach Blvd, ☎ +1-251-948-6344, . A great selection of steamed seafood is on hand at this extremely casual restaurant. They served up platters of freshly steamed seafood, sandwiches and a kids menu with some great appetizers including steamed blue crab claws, raw and steamed oysters and smoked tuna dip. They also serve hand-cut ribeyes, burgers and chicken for the landlover. They offer waterfront dining. edit