Cool Things to Do in Gulf Shores Alabama

Things to do in Gulf Shores Alabama include visiting Alabama Beaches, exploring Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, and dining at amazing Alabama coast restaurants. Savor luscious, soft, white, sugar sand US Gulf Coast Beaches, explore historic and natural attractions, and experience one of USA’s most unique adventure activities.

Between visits to Louisiana (Lake Charles and Houma) and Florida (Naples and South Florida), Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism hosted us for three wonderful days so that we can discover and explore things to do in Gulf Shores Alabama and share findings with our network. We visited many attractions, ate memorable meals, and even encountered wild predators in the glorious Alabama beaches region.

Congratulations to chef Bill Briand of Fisher’s Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina for being nominated as a James Beard award semi-finalist for Best Chef: South. See all 2020 James Beard semi-finalist nominees here.

Where is Gulf Shores Alabama?

Gulf Shores Alabama map from LiveBeaches.com
Gulf Shores Alabama map from LiveBeaches.com

Cool Things To Do in Gulf Shores Alabama

1. Visit Alabama Beaches

Most of the activity in the Gulf Shores area centers around their beaches so I will start there. The soft white sugar sand draws visitors—human and animals—all year round.

Good Monday morning. Did you know that Alabama has gorgeous white sand beaches? Visit Al BeachesVisit AlabamaHarris Properties Management

Posted by Charles McCool on Monday, March 6, 2017

Dude just chillin on my beach.Visit Al BeachesAlabama Beaches

Posted by Charles McCool on Friday, March 3, 2017

Look at how wide the Gulf Shores Alabama beaches are. So much room to play, or just sit and bake.

Good morning from Gulf Shores, Alabama. So glad this is not snow. ????Visit Al BeachesHarris Properties Management#GulfShores #VisitALBeachesVisit Alabama

Posted by Charles McCool on Sunday, March 5, 2017

2. Soar Above the Alabama Beaches

Be a human drone and fly 1,000 feet above Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Gary at BeachFlight Aviation owns and operates this gyroplane, providing scenic tours and flight instruction. I myself flew this super fun craft for about 20 minutes but who was counting. Click below and watch the cool video of me flying above Gulf Shores.

3. Explore Gulf State Park

25 miles of hiking and biking trails highlight the many cool things to do at Gulf State Park. We rented bicycles from Beach Bike Rentals to easily traverse the magnificent park. Yes, we saw several alligators.

Find me soon on Swamp People on History. ???? ????????????Visit Al BeachesGulf State Park-Alabama#GulfShores#VisitALBeaches

Posted by Charles McCool on Saturday, March 4, 2017

 

Do not worry, that water is not bloody or even dirty. Many waterways in southern Alabama and throughout the southern United States have that iced tea tint.

things to do in Gulf Shores Alabama. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
free range gators can be found in Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama

McCool Travel tip: keep your rental bicycle between you and the gators you photograph.

For more gator fun, please read about Greenwood Gator Farm in Houma Louisiana.

4. #LiquidRoadTrip Kayak Tour With WildNative

While our WildNative Tours guide set up our kayaks, dolphins jumped in the water right in front of us.

things to do in Gulf Shores Alabama. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
kayaking in Gulf Shores Alabama

 

Super morning kayaking with WildNative Tours in coastal Alabama. Saw dolphins and many coastal waterfowl. Even a blue…

Posted by Charles McCool on Sunday, March 5, 2017

It is always a nice day when I am on the water. It was really fun to explore nooks and crannies in the Gulf Shores Alabama area.

kayaking on Bon Secour River, Gulf Shores Alabama. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
kayaking on Bon Secour River, Gulf Shores Alabama

For more cool kayaking places, please read Fun Places to Kayak in US.

5. Hike Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

While driving to Fort Morgan, make sure you allow time to hike the Jeff Friend Trail in the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. The 1 mile loop trail is a lovely oasis highlighted by Little Lagoon, a popular place to bird watch.

Jeff Friend Trail, Bon SecourNational Wildlife Refuge in Alabama
Jeff Friend Trail, Bon SecourNational Wildlife Refuge in Alabama

6. Explore Fort Morgan

After your Alabama National Park property hike in Bon Secour, drive to the end of the peninsula and visit Fort Morgan. The classic fort, built before 1833, protected Mobile Bay during several wars and is now a state historic site. Take time to visit the museum, walk the fort walls, and check out the vistas. During our short visit, a super tanker left Mobile Bay, which provided a grad show for everyone within sight.

historic Fort Morgan in Gulf Shores Alabama. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
historic Fort Morgan in Gulf Shores Alabama
inside Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores Alabama. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
inside Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores Alabama

7. Have Fun at Flora-bama

Flora-bama Lounge and Oyster Bar is a classic roadhouse style bar known for live music and good times. It has been selected Best Bar in US and Best Beach Bar several times by different entities.

???????????????????? Find me, I am buying for another 40 minutes. ????Flora-Bama Lounge & Package

Posted by Charles McCool on Saturday, March 4, 2017

Joint be jumpin at Flora-Bama Lounge & Package Visit Al Beaches Visit Alabama

Posted by Julie Bingham McCool on Saturday, March 4, 2017

So, yes, you simply must visit Florabama to see what the fuss is about whether for its biggest event, the Mullet Toss, or surprise, McCool Travel tip: Flora-bama hosts church services every Sunday at 9am and 11am, and it is not unusual to attend service with a frosty adult beverage (a Flora-bama Bushwhacker is the popular choice).

Bushwhacker at Flora-Bama church
Bushwhacker at Flora-Bama church

8. The Hangout in Gulf Shores

Right at the intersection of highway 59 and Beach Blvd is the place many people go to hangout in Gulf Shores, especially during Spring Break when it is open until 2:30am. In fact, the place is called The Hangout and is a restaurant, live music venue, and overall fun spot. Here are The Hangout menus and upcoming events at The Hangout.

9. The Wharf in Orange Beach

The Wharf Orange Beach is a massive entertainment, retail, residential, and marina space. See all the biggest shows along the Alabama coast at The Wharf, in its 10,000 seat amphitheater. Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney performed in April 2019. See all events at The Wharf and a listing of The Wharf restaurants.

10. Where to Eat in Gulf Shores Alabama

Local Gulf Shores cuisine experiences we tried included eating Royal reds (local shrimp) at The Steamer, sampling craft beer at Big Beach Brewing, dining on fresh grilled seafood and rum drinks at LuLu’s (Jimmy Buffett’s sister), local BBQ (amazing) at Hog Wild, and happy hour at Bill’s by the Beach (now closed).

Royal Reds at The Steamer in Gulf Shores AL. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
Royal Reds shrimp at The Steamer in Gulf Shores AL
cool beer taps at Big Beach Brewing in Gulf Shores AL. Article and photo by Charles McCool for McCool Travel.
cool beer taps at Big Beach Brewing in Gulf Shores AL

On our way out of Gulf Shores, heading toward Pensacola, Ruby Slipper in Orange Beach for brunch was an amazing treat.

Ruby Slipper's Bam Bam Biscuit with candied bacon is a pretty awesome way to start the day! ????#MondayFundayVisit Al Beaches Gulf Shores, Al. Beaches

Posted by Julie Bingham McCool on Monday, March 6, 2017

 

We attended a NUISANCE dinner at Voyagers, at Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, under the direction of Chef Brody Olive. NUISANCE raises awareness of flora and fauna which are a nuisance, underutilized or invasive, but sustainable and available through noble, culinary endeavors. In other words, our meal included ingredients that are not friendly to the local environment, like oyster drills and venison. That was a unique Alabama beaches dining experience.

seared Gulf blackfin tuna and quail egg at Voyagers in Orange Beach Alabama
seared Gulf blackfin tuna and quail egg at Voyagers in Orange Beach Alabama

The Gulf—made from storage containers—intrigued us and we will try it next visit. On my current trip, I ate at the Original Oyster House, Salt at San Roc Cay, Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina, Perch at The Lodge, and The Yard Milkshake Bar. Strong recommendations were given for Fin & Fork in Orange Beach, Matt’s Ice Cream, and Sunliner Diner.

For more Gulf Shores Alabama restaurants, please see:

11. Where to Stay in Gulf Shores Alabama

Lodging along Alabama beaches varies from campsites to luxury hotels in Gulf Shores AL. Harris Properties and Southern Vacation Rentals hosted us in convenient 2 bedroom condos in beachfront buildings. One US Gulf Coast play to stay for my next Alabama Beaches trip will be The Lodge at Gulf Shores. I toured the property soon after it opened and it is magnificent.

Here is a comprehensive list of Gulf Shores AL lodging. Here is an Alabama Beaches luxury condo review.

cloudy sunrise from Gulf Shores Alabama condo
cloudy sunrise from my Southern Vacation condo in Gulf Shores Alabama condo

Another Gulf Shores lodging option is vacation rentals, including condos, apartments, and houses. >>> To receive $40 off your first Airbnb rental, use this Airbnb discount code.

Let us know some of your favorite things to do in Gulf Shores Alabama?

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things to do in Gulf Shores Alabama include the magnificent beach, outdoor activities, amazing places to eat. Alabama Beaches. Orange Beach. Gulf Shores.

Things To Do in Gulf Shores Alabama first published for McCool Travel on 23 October 2017.

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8 thoughts on “Cool Things to Do in Gulf Shores Alabama”

  1. Love the piece on gulf shores, we live in Tuscaloosa and frequently visit gs. Will be looking for articles on Scotland!!!!

    Reply

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