If you wish to visit the best beaches in Alabama, read and find out what’s in store for you. This article will give you all the details on how to reach and what to do for your beach vacation.
Why Visit Beaches in Alabama?
Alabama in Southeast U.S. has everything from sugar white sand beaches, waterfront views, and six ecosystems biking trails to fresh seafood.
As for the wildlife, you can try out the classy charter fishing, adopt sea turtles, see more than 400 birds, and sail with unique dolphins.
Choose the Alabama Gulf Shores for your next beach vacation because you can try out all the fun activities, eat at local restaurants, and stay near amazing lodges that will help you explore almost 32 miles of beaches. Travel is also made easier with multiple options, from a car to a ferry in hand.
Let us look at what are the best beaches in Alabama. Choose the best pick for you below –
1. 10 Best Beaches in Alabama
Due to its aesthetic landscape and inland waterways, more than 20 million tourists visit the beaches in Alabama situated near the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the most popular beaches in Alabama to try out are –
1.1 Orange Beach
The number of activities to do in Orange Beach makes it stand out from the rest. Everything is available here, from fishing, bike, and walking paths, to flyboarding, boat sailing, and sea recreational activities.
It is one of the sugar white sand beaches with beautiful turquoise-tinted waves that can be viewed as a relaxing spot with family. As for water-based activities, Orange Beach has the largest charter fishing fleet, so that you won’t be disappointed.
For staying, you can either choose something like the Phoenix I, situated right on the beach, or more luxury choices like Spectrum Resorts, which has all the modern amenities and panoramic gulf views.
In Orange Beach, you can try out private sailing adventures, unique tour boats, watersports, and parasailing activities. Click here to know more about the beaches in Alabama.
For eat-outs, you can either try out the local food at local life, The Wolf Bay Restaurant for its fresh seafood and waterfront views, or have a good cup of coffee in The Southern Grind. There are plenty of eat-out spots in Orange Beach, each special as they come.
Interstate 10 and 65 are the available access points for this beach. Apart from this, the Mobile Regional Airport and bus stops are close by as well.
Other Popular Beaches in Alabama Area
Romar Beach: Located on Highway 59, this is one of the beaches in Alabama located in the Perdido Pass. This is best for strolls and impromptu picnics. It has restrooms and outdoor showers for public access.
Alabama Point East: Located to the east of Perdido Pass Bridge, Orange Beach, this one offers around 6000 ft. of dunes, with picnic areas. It also has restroom and shower facilities.
Shell Beach: To reach the easternmost part of the Gulf State Park, you can visit this one in the orange Beach area. Get the seashells you love along the water’s edge! You can also access the white sand and dunes for Instagram-worthy pictures with small payments.
Cotton Bayou Beach: Found at the intersection of Highway 182 and 161, this beach has some of the most popular activities to try out in the Orange Beach area. You can also try out the nearby restaurants by staying at The Tides Hotel, which is a small distance from Cotton Bayou Beach. You can also try out the nearby attractions like Adventure Island Amusement Park and the Arcade with family and friends. The Gulf State Park beach pavilion also has picnic tables that can be enjoyed during sunsets. Your safety is also ensured on all these Alabama beaches as lifeguards are present between March – October at specific times.
1.2 Gulf Shores
With quartz grain sand and emerald waters, these are the most popular beaches due to easy access to almost 32 miles of the Alabama coastline. It has many fun activities like boat cruises and kid-friendly locations.
All favor the Gulf shore’s main public beach due to its multiple attractions with spectacular sunsets, wheelchair-accessible mats, green space, and an amphitheater. It also acts as a meeting point for many Jets Ski Dolphin Tours.
Some of the most popular beaches in Alabama to try out in this area are:
Gulf State Park
If you are traveling with your kids, the Gulf State Park, located between Orange beach and gulf shores, has picnic tables and swimming pools.
You can also go along the Hugh S. Branyon backcountry trail, on foot or bike, for a relaxing trail. The most popular activity here is Surf fishing. The Gulf Adventure Centre also offers zip lining, paddle boarding, and kayaking.
Some of the prominent wild animals spotted here are Alligators and deer.
Fort Morgan, located to the west of Gulf shores, is known for its serenity. Access points depend on a hotel reservation nearby; if you don’t have one, it is better to be well equipped if you reach here.
Combined with the breezes of Mobile Bay, the temperature of the Fort Morgan beach is perfect with natural dunes, birdlife, and coastal marshes. It also has a rich history, hosting civil war military forts and natural parks with rare species.
A dolphin cruise through Bon Secour Bay provides great sights for water-based activities. If you rent a boat through Orange beach, you can also try out tubing and fishing further offshore.
If you love hiking, the Bon Secour national wildlife refuge and the interpretive center have 7000 acres of hiking trails. For a secluded spot, the Pine Beach Trail is a great hike. You can also learn about their unique flora and fauna and see some alligators here.
From here, A Mobile Bay ferry to Dauphin island would not only showcase beautiful views of Fort Morgan, but you can also get to see Fort Gaines and Estuarium. You can end the day in Tacky Jack’s, a family-friendly local place known for all-day meals and karaoke nights.
Overall, it would be an amazing day out.
Gulf Shores Public Beaches
Other than these, plenty of public beaches in Alabama adorn the gulf shores like –
1) The Gulf Shores 2nd street public beach, located two blocks to the west of Highway 59, has proper facilities like outdoor showers, picnic areas with covered pavilions, and handicap-accessible restrooms.
2) The Gulf Shores 4th Street Public Beach has a special facility with only pedestrian crossing beach access points, which is great for those staying at nearby attractions.
3) Gulf Shores 5th Street is a west-end public beach at Highway 59. It has a free parking facility on the northern side, with a boardwalk leading to the beach. Southside parking is also available beside the popular Bahama Bob’s.
4) Gulf Shores 6th Street Public Beach lies six blocks towards the west of Highway 59, with a ready-to-walk boardwalk. It also has an outdoor shower and handicap-accessible restrooms.
5) Gulf Shores 10th Street Public Beach has only beach access. Parking is across the street. Showers and restrooms are other common facilities. The same is available at Gulf Shores 12th Street Public beach.
6) Gulf Shores 13th Street Public Beach has free parking, a dune walkover, and other common facilities.
1.3 Little Lagoon Pass
Located in Gulf Shores al, this is a family-friendly beach. It is located near the street where Little Lagoon meets the Gulf.
Since it has shallow waters, it is great to visit with your kids. The public park over here can also be enjoyed with a small picnic-packed lunch.
It is popular for its fishing pier and water fountain. It is located towards the west (2.9 miles) of Highway 59, with common bathroom facilities.
1.4 West Beach
West beach is the perfect place for those who want a private and secluded Alabama beach experience. You can visit this beach while seeing the rest at Gulf Shores itself by staying at the beach houses over here.
You get it all here with white sugary sands, clear waters, and beautiful restaurants. It’s considered one of the best beaches in Alabama, extending from Fort Morgan to Mobile Bay, with the Little Lagoon lake separating it.
The best part is if you wish to see some sea turtles, Alabama beach mouse, and some migrating birds, you only have the Bon Secour national wildlife refuge nearby.
You can try out different activities in West Beach, from Kayaking, Canoeing, Zipline, Miniature Golfing, and Aerial Adventure Parks. Some of the best west beach rentals are Harbor House 5, Midnight Mullet: Gulf Shores Coastal, When Pigs Fly, and Blu Penthouse.
Staying at West Beach will also give you easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, which has the Fort Morgan peninsula beside it. This can be easily accessed from the westernmost part of the Beach.
The best time to visit West beach is between May to October for complete seclusion.
1.5 Dauphin Island
This is one of the gem beaches in Alabama, known for its natural landscapes, thus called the ‘Sunset Capital of Alabama.’ Filled with parks, trails, exhibits, and panoramas, it’s worth every penny you spend.
Dauphin Island Park Beach is also the only pet-friendly beach in the area, and you can even camp with RVs, trailers, and bus facilities available.
Almost 151 sites in Dauphin Island Park are fully hooked up camping grounds. Facilities like Free Wi-Fi, boat launches, Amp service (30/50), dump station, picnic areas, playground, and a boardwalk leading to a secluded section are available.
On Dauphin Island, you can also visit the historic fort Gaines of 1821, which is a famous historical landmark, real housing cannons.
Visit over here also includes exploring the Dauphin Island sea lab that is doing noteworthy oceanic and coastal research in the U.S. There are plenty of graduates and fellowship opportunities present here for interested students.
As for stay, Phoenix All Suites Hotel West or the Caribe Resort, situated on gulf shores and Orange beach, provide easy access to Dauphin Island.
How to Reach Dauphin Island?
Take a Mobile Bay ferry from Orange Beach or Gulf shores. It connects Fort Morgan peninsula with Dauphin Island. You can also drive south from Mobile, which connects to Dauphin Island.
1.6 West End Public Beach
Considered one of the best sandy beaches in Alabama, leisure and beauty are combined factors of this beach that could make your vacation ten times better.
If you are a person who enjoys crowds and secluded areas, this is the place for you. It is open all seven days to accommodate visitors.
A special feature of this beach is the ‘Sunset Concert’ conducted on one Sunday per month. It might hike up the fee by 2 dollars, but worth it.
1.7 Florida Point Beach
This is one of the best beaches in Alabama for a perfect tranquil vacation. It has pure white sand that runs along the entire peninsula, part of the gulf state park pier. It is also mentioned in the Alabama Coastal birding trail.
Florida Point beach is also quite low profile, despite being situated in the busy gulf coast region. It also helps it’s situated a bit far from the popular Cotton Bayou beach, avoiding its crowd.
Surfing is a popular activity to try at Florida point beach, available towards the west of Perdido pass.
As for facilities, parking, showers, restrooms, boardwalks, and a shaded picnic area is commonly available in Florida Point Beach.
1.8 Alabama Point Beach
For pleasant scenery and crystal-clear waters, the Alabama point beach near the Perdido Pass is a great location. Reaching there would also be a great experience with a wooden boardwalk that lets you enjoy the cool breeze.
With dolphins on the coast’s horizon, this is one of the scenic beaches in Alabama that everyone can enjoy. For photographers, the front row views while passing in boats through the pass is an amazing opportunity to get some good shots.
The best part of Alabama Point beach is the area it covers (almost 6,000 feet.) With mild waves, swimming areas, boardwalk, and restrooms, it is a good viable option for families to enjoy. You can use other beaches in Alabama for parking facilities.
1.9 Robinson Island
This is one of Alabama’s beaches, which is part of its trade secrets. It is accessible only by boat taken from Marina Road. You can try out many watersport activities and view natural ecosystems regularly maintained by the city.
Robinson Island is also great for watching seabirds and wading herons who build their nests over here. It is best to carry all the amenities you need here since Robinson Island has none, being separated from the main coastline of Alabama.
1.10 Fairhope Beach
Located near Mobile Bay, Fairhope beach is one of the active beaches in Alabama, lying surfside. It has a great ambiance and community that you can fit in.
The minimal waves are great for anyone to try swimming, with plenty of picnic spots and beach chairs to relax in.
Despite the entrance fee, the small boutiques, eateries, and gardens near Fairhope Pier are worth trying out. The town itself is pedestrian friendly with walking paths and nature trails.
1.10.1) Best Place to Stay and Eat
You can enjoy the whole day at Fairhope beach by eating your meals at the known Wintzell’s Oyster House and staying at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort to know better about the history of the area, with luxury accommodations.
2. Other Attractions in Alabama
The beaches in Alabama are not the only reason to visit here. Know as the yellowhammer states; it also has beautiful botanical gardens, Zoos, and educational centers like –
1) US Space and Rocket Center in Northern Alabama that makes you explore the full space experience in real life. From learning to be an astronaut to scuba lessons, they have plenty of camps attended by thousands of visitors. You would not want to miss this. Click here to know more.
2) Robert Trend Jones Golf Trail is a great place to visit for competitive golfing. It has 11 locations, spreading throughout the state, visited by many. For a more elite experience, the nearby Marriott or Renaissance hotels are perfect for staying at.
3) Point Mallard Park is a great family destination. It has a much-visited water park, housing America’s first wave pool and slides. From hiking and jogging facilities to tennis courts, there are plenty of outdoor activities to try here.
4) Huntsville Botanical Garden is one of the country’s largest open-air butterfly houses and a fun children’s garden. You wouldn’t want to miss this with attractive areas like the Biblical Garden that houses Bible Plants like Dogwood Trees! It is a great site to visit with beautiful bird trails and some gazebo peace.
5) Bellingrath Gardens And home house some of the prettiest Alabama sights throughout 65 acres. The colorful flora here makes it a popular destination. If you wish to see its best sights, visit during spring to see full-bloomed flowers or during Christmas, which adds to the beauty factors with lights shining through the garden.
These are only some out of many, to know more about other attractions like museums and race tracks, click here.
For more in-depth coverage of the beaches in Alabama, check this article out.