The Ultimate Guide to Orange Beach, Alabama

Orange Beach is where sun-soaked shores and Southern charm converge as an unforgettable coastal getaway. 

Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, this vibrant beach town offers sugar-white sands, sparkling teal waters, and a laid-back vibe. 

You can almost smell the sunscreen and salty sea air, huh? 

Thrill-seekers ride the waves, nature lovers explore picturesque trails, and foodies indulge in mouthwatering seafood delights. 

Read on to discover what Orange Beach, Alabama, offers.

It might turn out to be your ultimate vacation spot! 

History 

Picture this: in the late `1800s, lush orange groves filled the area, making it a citrus paradise.

The satsuma orange became a beloved crop. 

But the good times didn’t last.

By 1926, the citrus industry took a nosedive due to freezing temperatures and infested seedlings.  

Fast forward to the mid-1860s when the settlement of Orange Beach began. 

Divided into three areas — east, west, and central — it gradually grew, attracting settlers with its natural beauty and abundant resources. 

“Orange Beach” pays homage to the fruits that thrived until the harsh freezes of 1916. 

Over time, OB transformed from a sparsely populated wilderness sustained by farming and fishing into a bustling community. 

The completion of the Intracoastal Canal in 1932 spurred development.

A bridge linking Alabama Point to Perdido Key in 1962 improved access to nearby Pensacola. 

Orange Beach also faced its share of challenges, though.

Hurricane Frederic wreaked havoc in 1979, drawing national attention. 

The resulting media coverage caught the eye of significant developers, kicking off a condominium-building boom. 

Because of this rapid growth, the City of Orange Beach was incorporated in 1984, leading to infrastructure improvements and the expansion of marinas and roads. 

Location 

An Ariel View Of Orange Beach, Alabama.

Orange Beach is the easternmost community on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

She sits gracefully along the Gulf of Mexico. 

It shares its eastern border with Florida’s Perdido Key and is accompanied by the charming city of Gulf Shores to the west. 

Weather 

Orange Beach turns up the heat!

This coastal paradise boasts a humid subtropical climate. That means mild winters and blazing summers. 

It’s the perfect temperature for a proper beach day, so pack your shades and sunhat and get ready to soak up some vitamin D! 


Accommodations

It offers many accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs.

There’s something for everyone, from luxurious beachfront resorts to Airbnb’s to cozy vacation rentals

Many of these accommodations have direct access to the beach, letting guests wake up to the sound of crashing waves steps away from their doorstep. 

If you want to book direct houses, one of the best options is VRBO.

Check VRBO Availability


Things to Do in Orange Beach

Information and Museums 

Orange Beach Welcome Center 

New to the area?

Start your adventure right at the Welcome Center. 

Step inside and be greeted by friendly staff ready to provide free brochures, local maps, and all the insider info you need to explore the Alabama Gulf Coast. 

You can ask them about the best places to dine and snag discounts on establishments.

This well-organized center conveniently categorizes information, making it a breeze to locate precisely what you’re looking for. 

Where: 23685 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561

Call: (251) 974-1510 

Orange Beach History Museum 

Initially built in 1019 as a schoolhouse, this historic building has been home to the OB’s official museum since 1995. 

Stroll through time as you explore local artifacts and memorabilia that vividly depict our Native American and fishing heritage. 

Admission is free, and the museum is conveniently accessible with ramps and handrails. 

Where: 25805 John M. Snook Ave., Orange Beach, AL 36561

Call: (251) 981-8545

Sea, Sand, & Stars Science and Nature Center 

The ‘Sea, Sand & Stars’ Science and Nature Center primarily aims at the kiddos.

They can observe the fascinating marine life in the 5,800-gallon aquarium and interact with some critters in the touch tank. 

There’s also a chance to dive deeper into scientific exploration with the microscope lab, where they can examine marine specimens up close. 

They can expand their horizons and gaze at the universe’s wonders in the planetarium’s immersive theater. 

Families can stroll along the 800-foot boardwalk, connecting with nature and enjoying outdoor classrooms. 

Lastly, kids can uncover the fascinating world of meteorology at the weather station. 

Where: 4900 S Wilson Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 

Call: (251) 981-5690

Cool Shots Selfie Museum 

This one’s for the content creators. 

The Cool Shots Selfie Museum offers 30+ selfie scenes to create fun social media content.

With a changing room, you can plan content for weeks ahead. It’s also the perfect spot for birthday parties and team-building events. 

Where: 4700B Main St., Suite N-207, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Call: (251) 978-6949

Here are more things to do in Orange Beach as well.


Beaches 

Pristine Beach.

Aside from the main public beach, here are the beaches within the Orange Beach area.

You can’t miss them. 

Alabama Point East 

Nestled just 0.3 miles east of the Perdido Pass Bridge, Alabama Point East boasts over 6,000 feet of pristine beach. 

Enjoy the vast expanse of sandy shores, scenic dunes, and convenient amenities like boardwalks, picnic areas, restrooms, and refreshing outdoor showers. 

It’s the perfect spot for beachgoers to kick back or frolic under the sun. 

Where: 28105 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561

Cotton Bayou Public Beach Access 

The Cotton Bayou Public Beach Access is between Highway 182 and 161.

Its prime location near popular condominiums is a hub of activity where you can people-watch all day. 

You can enjoy the convenience of restrooms, outdoor showers, and an ADA beach access mat at the east ramp. 

Where: 25900 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561

Shell Beach 

Shell Beach is situated east of the Perdido Pass Bridge and provides convenient access to Gulf State Park’s easternmost beaches. 

For a small fee, visitors can enjoy the pristine white sand and scenic dunes, perfect for shell hunting along the water’s edge. 

It’s also right across from The Caribe.

Parking and a portable restroom are available for your convenience. 

Where: 28280 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561

Romar Beach 

Located 6.8 miles east of Highway 59, Romar Beach is a charming spot near condos like Phoenix V and Seaside Beach Club. 

Whether looking for a leisurely beach stroll or a spontaneous picnic, this beach offers easy access and convenient parking. 

Although restrooms and outdoor showers are in the plans, they are currently unavailable. 

Where: 24450 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561


Tours and Rentals 

A Pier Parked With Rental Yachts And Boats.

Cruises 

Want to go on the ultimate immersive coastal experience?

The cruises on Orange Beach offer a unique opportunity to explore the picturesque surroundings. 

You can watch dolphins, sea turtles, and birds or enjoy a leisurely sunset ride. 

With knowledgeable guides and comfortable vessels, these cruises are popular for those seeking a more laid-back maritime adventure. 

Experience luxurious cruising with the top cruise option in Mobile, Alabama!


Parasailing 

Parasailing in Orange Beach offers a new perspective and sense of freedom as you fly above the shores, supported by a gentle breeze. 

With experienced guides and regulated safety measures, you can feel confident and secure as you take flight. 

Get more info on Orange Beach parasailing!

Find Parasailing Companies


Boating 

With its beautiful coastal location, boaters can explore the scenic waterways, fish in the Gulf, or glide along the shoreline. 

Whether you prefer a pontoon ride or the thrill of a speedboat, Orange Beach provides various rental options to suit your preferences. 

Get Boat Rental Info


Jetskiing 

Jetskiing is one of the more popular water activities in the area.

With Orange Beach’s open waters, you can experience the freedom of riding the waves and the cool spray of gulf water. 

With many rental options available, you can have a jetski to yourself for an entire day and explore as far as Fort Morgan.

Consider these Orange Beach 5 Premier jet ski rentals.

Jet Ski Rental Companies


Helicopter Tours 

You can take to the skies and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the stunning beaches, turquoise waters, and picturesque landscapes of Orange Beach. 

From the comfort of a chopper, you can ogle at the panoramic views, spot marine life, and capture incredible aerial photos for the Gram. 

These companies offer helicopter tours in the Gulf Shores / Orange Beach area.

Helicopter Tour Companies


Snorkeling & Scuba Diving 

Snorkeling and scuba diving in Orange Beach offer immersive experiences in the vibrant underwater world. 

You can dive into crystal-clear waters, encounter diverse marine life, and discover colorful coral reefs. 

Read more about seeing the Gulf underwater in this post.

Info On Scuba Diving


Dining 

dining

Dining is a real treat in Orange Beach.

From casual beachside eateries to upscale waterfront restaurants, the food scene here is a feast for the senses. 

You can indulge in fresh, locally sourced seafood, tantalizing flavors, and creative cuisine crafted by world-class chefs. 

Whether savoring a shrimp po’boy or indulging in a gourmet seafood platter, each bite will transport you to culinary bliss. 

And the relaxed coastal ambiance adds to the charm, begging you to unwind and revel in the company of friends and family. 

Learn where to find the best restaurants in Orange Beach, AL.


Nightlife

nightlife

As the sun sets, Orange Beach comes alive with a vibrant nightlife.

From beachfront bars to live music venues, there’s something for every party-er. 

Sip on tropical cocktails, groove to live tunes, and dance the night away in one of these nightlife spots in Orange Beach:

Discover the best nightlife spots in Downtown Alabama.

Pour Smart Bar 

Pour is a “smart” bar with 39 beers on tap.

You start a tab, serve yourself, and pay by the ounce.

This establishment is the brainchild of a father, daughter, and son trio who decided to venture into the service industry. 

Taelor, the daughter, was drawn to the Gulf Coast and made it her permanent home.

Austin, the son, recently joined the team to contribute his talents. 

Together, they’ve created a haven for sports enthusiasts, craft beer lovers, and cocktail aficionados. 

Pour Smart Bar embodies the lively spirit of the OB community, offering nights that combine great drinks with a welcoming atmosphere.

Where: 4851 Wharf Parkway, D-124, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Call: (251) 284-6747

Pleasure Island Tiki Bar

Pleasure Island Tiki Bar, located at Sportsman Marina in Orange Beach, offers a delightful venue to unwind and embrace the laid-back beach lifestyle. 

With its 1,600 sq. ft. open-air space, this bar provides breathtaking views of Terry Cove.

It’s the perfect backdrop for patrons to enjoy ice-cold drinks, delectable food, and the magnificent Gulf Shore surroundings. 

Where: 27844 Canal Road, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Call: (251) 981-8454

The Keg Lounge and Grill 

Since opening in 1980, The Keg Lounge and Grill has become a local favorite in Baldwin County. 

They’ve been dishing out some seriously delicious burgers, pizza, and barbecue, earning a solid reputation for the best American fare on Orange Beach. 

No wonder it’s the go-to spot for locals and visitors alike!

With friendly staff, excellent service, and a lively atmosphere, The Keg has become a beloved gathering place for beachgoers. 

As one of the older bars on the island, they’ve got a knack for creating a welcoming environment where folks can enjoy a satisfying meal, a cold drink, and some live music. 

Where: 26796 Canal Road, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Call: (251) 981-9462 

Sandshaker 

Sandshaker at The Wharf is where the action happens on the vibrant East side.

Having established its reputation in Pensacola in 1973, Sandshaker expanded to Orange Beach, bringing its iconic “Bushwacker” along. 

From 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sandshaker offers non-stop entertainment and a chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of this beloved establishment. 

Where: 4851 Wharf Parkway East, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Call: (251) 923-0080

Cat’s Meow 

Cat’s Meow has been Orange Beach’s reigning top karaoke bar for over 25 years.

With its inviting ambiance and perpetual party atmosphere, it’s no wonder this venue has become a local institution. 

The stage is open to all, allowing guests to shine like their favorite stars.

From the eclectic music selection to the fun emcees, Cat’s Meow’s success lies in its ability to create evenings of good, clean fun. 

Where: 4720 Main St Suite M 101, Orange Beach, AL 36581 

Call: (251) 240-6013

Shopping 

Orange Beach is also a shopper’s paradise!

From charming boutiques and local artisans to bustling shopping centers, there’s something for every shopper. 

Explore the vibrant waterfront shops, browse unique coastal-themed treasures, and indulge in well-deserved retail therapy that complements your beach getaway. 

Here are some of the top shopping venues in Orange Beach: 

The Salty Palm 

The Salty Palm is a charming coastal boutique owned and operated by Kelly and Clayton Blackwell. 

With a passion for the Gulf Coast, they have created a fun and trendy shopping spot for vacationers. 

The Salty Palm has everything from stylish apparel and accessories to unique gifts and local art! It’s safe to say that this store captures the essence of Orange Beach. 

Where: 25751 Perdido Beach Blvd A3, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Call: (251) 229-8990

SanRoc Cay Marina 

SanRoc Cay Marina is a shopping paradise on the Gulf Coast.

It’s your go-to spot for resort beachwear, trendy shoes, and unique gifts. 

And don’t worry about parking; there’s plenty available! 

Plus, it’s conveniently located near the beach highway.

Come on because it’s the perfect place for the guys to relax while the ladies shop to their heart’s content. 

Some shops here are Blue Lagoon Swimwear, The Treasure Chest, Gifted, and Jane Loves Shoes. 

Where: 27267 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561

Call: (251) 980-0016

Salt Mercantile 

Salt offers an unparalleled selection of unique and high-quality merchandise as a top-rated, locally-owned boutique beach store. 

They have something for everyone, from trendy clothing and locally made jewelry to crafty home decor items. 

The warm and helpful staff will ensure a breezy and delightful shopping experience. 

Customers rave about the exceptional products and the super excellent service they receive. 

Where: 25122 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561

Call: (251) 981-7258

Tallulah’s Treasures

Tallulah’s Treasures is a fun and eclectic shop in Orange Beach.

They offer a wide range of clothing, unique home decor items, fights, and accessories. 

The friendly staff provides excellent customer service (without overbearing), creating a welcoming atmosphere. 

Each purchase is beautifully wrapped, making the whole experience feel like a special gift, so treat yourself! 

Not only do they cater to shoppers, but they also show kindness to local cats, giving them food, water, and cozy blankets. 

Where: 25122 Perdido Beach Blvd. #6209, Orange Beach, AL 26561

Call: (251) 981-6003

These great shopping malls in Mobile, AL, are worth a visit.

Family Fun 

family fun

Orange Beach offers a plethora of family fun activities.

There’s A LOT to keep the family occupied, from building sandcastles on the beach to dolphin cruises, water parks, mini-golf, and fishing excursions. 

So, if you’re bringing your family along on your beach trip, here are some places to visit:

 

The Wharf 

The Wharf is a bustling entertainment district in Orange Beach, offering a vibrant atmosphere and endless family fun. 

You can ride on the Wharf Express Train, challenge your family to a mini-golf or laser tag game, and hop on the Ferris Wheel for some breathtaking views. 

Oh, and don’t miss the dazzling nightly light show that will be imprinted in your memory! 

The Wharf Marina is also famous, hosting impressive boat shows and thrilling saltwater fishing tournaments on the Gulf. 

So, if you’re unsure where to take the kids, this sprawling complex is the ultimate destination for an unforgettable family outing. 

Where: 23101 Canal Road, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Call: (251) 224-1000

Adventure Island 

Looking for an action-packed day of recreation at Orange Beach?

Adventure Island is the answer! 

You can swing into action there in their two exciting 18-hole mini-golf courses.

Or you can try something new with their new indoor black light mini-golf. 

More of a speed junkie?

Then, feel the rush as you race around the go-kart track with twists and turns. 

Want to embrace the aquatic vibes of the beach?

Then splash and spray your way through bumper boat water gun battles with the kids! 

If you have very young children, you can let them have a blast on age-appropriate rides made just for them. 

Lastly, you can test your gaming skills at the Alligator Alley Arcade, with over 100 games.

That’s an entire day covered! 

Where: 24599 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 26561 

Call: (251) 974-1500

Fat Daddy’s Arcade 

Are the kids looking for some classic all-American fun?

Well, what’s more American than an afternoon at the arcade? 

This vibrant spot is packed with over 80 of the latest and greatest arcade games, ready to delight kids and adults alike. 

Play classics like Ticket Catcher and Wizard of Oz or embark on an adrenaline-pumping adventure in Jurassic Park. 

The prize center is a true treasure trove, offering goodies like Nerf toys, Pioneer Woman items, and Hot Wheels galore. 

And after working up an appetite, grab a slice of pizza or a sweet treat. 

The place even underwent a snazzy makeover in 2022.

So, why wait?

Set high scores, chow down on some game fuel, and let the good times roll at Fat Daddy’s

Where: 24565 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 26561 

Call: (251) 980-1050

Sand Castle University 

If you’d instead stick to the beach, you can unleash your inner sand sculptor with Sand Castle Univesity. 

Their expert instructors will teach you the tips and tricks to create awe-inspiring sand castles.

You might have already heard of these guys.

From HGTV to Fox 10 News, SCU has made waves on TV and social media. 

They provide private classes in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Perdido Key, and Pensacola Beach.

You can meet up anywhere where there’s sand, whether a private beachfront rental or a public beach. 

With all the equipment provided, you only need to bring your creativity and willingness to get a little sandy.  

Where: Book here. 

Call: (251) 600-9771

Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach 

Got artistic family members?

Then, let them unleash their creativity at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. 

Nestled amidst majestic oak trees by the serene Wolf Bay, this lively campus offers unique learning experiences for all ages and skill levels. 

You can witness the mesmerizing art of glass blowing at Alabama’s only open-access hot glass facility.

You can also get your hands dirty at The Clay Studio

And while you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the impressive 10,000 sq. ft. fine art gallery showcasing the works of Gulf Coast artists. 

Where: 26389 Canal Road, Orange Beach, AL 36561 

Call: (251) 981-2787


Orange Beach FAQs 

Is there a local airport in Orange Beach? 

Lots!

The main one is Jack Edwards Airport, just 15 minutes from Orange Beach via Alabama’s Coastal Connection. 

As for domestic flights, the closest is Pensacola International Airport, which is approximately 30 minutes away. 

Mobile Regional Airport is another nearby option, about an hour’s drive from Orange Beach. 

What is there to do in Orange Beach? 

OB is known for its outdoor recreational opportunities. You can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, diving, and exploring nature trails. 

Can I spot dolphins in Orange Beach? 

Absolutely!
OB is home to a thriving population of dolphins.

You can take a dolphin cruise or rent a kayak to increase your chances of encountering these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. 

What annual events are held in Orange Beach? 

OB hosts several exciting events throughout the year, including the Orange Beach Festival of Art, the Orange Beach Seafood Festival & Car Show, and Freedom Fest


Conclusion 

Orange Beach is a captivating coastal destination with the perfect sun, sand, adventure, and relaxation blend. 

From its irresistible beaches and thrilling water activities to its vibrant shopping and dining scene, Orange Beach has something for everyone. 

So pack your bags, get ready to soak up the Alabaman sunshine, and let Orange Beach work its magic on you!


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