Vacations along the Alabama Gulf Coast are easily filled with fun in the sun, as much fresh Gulf seafood as you can handle, and fantastic shopping thanks to an array of funky boutiques and outlet malls. For those who make the trek to the area’s beautiful beaches year in and year out, adding some unique and quirky attractions to your itinerary can help keep your vacations feeling new and exciting. Here are a few hidden gems and vacation ideas in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach (don’t forget to snap a photo while you do!):
Take a Photo with The Shark
As you travel down Highway 59 toward the sugar-white sand beaches of Gulf Shores, whether you’re making your way to your home or condo on West Beach or turning east toward Orange Beach, the first stop you have to make is Souvenir City. As you drive up to the Gulf Shores landmark, you will notice the large Shark’s Mouth entrance to the business, which has been a family favorite for photo opportunities for decades. Does your family have a wacky personality? There are some unique and funny photo opportunities for those with some creative thinking!
Hangout with Some Alligators
When you need a bit of a break from the beach and want some fun away from the shore, head north about 25 minutes to Alligator Alley in Summerdale, Alabama. A wildlife refuge for alligators found across the nation, Alligator Alley offers guided tours to meet gators, educational learning opportunities and even a chance to feed some of the littler critters in the park! Learn more about the fun opportunities at Alligator Alley here.
Dine in a Shipping Container
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are definitely not in short supply of fantastic dining ideas for those looking to enjoy delicious seafood caught only a few yards offshore. One of the most unique dining experiences, however, happens at The Gulf in Orange Beach. Developed by the fun-loving owner of The Hangout in nearby Gulf Shores, The Gulf was built using shipping containers to create a truly unique ambiance, not found elsewhere along the Coast. To make your experience even better, the majority of seating is situated in the sand, only feet from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico where you can enjoy stunning views of the Alabama Point Pass. You can find The Gulf’s daily lunch and dinner specials on their Facebook page.
Join the Birds on the Beach
Another hidden gem on the Alabama Gulf Coast is the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The popular Pine Beach Trail offers visitors the opportunity to explore the natural habitats of Gulf Shores while catching glimpses of a great variety of birds who call the refuge home. Sitting down Highway 180, the Pine Beach Trail offers a little more than two miles of natural vegetation and pristine habitat ideal for spotting Red-Eyed Vireo, Eastern Bluebirds, Prairie Warblers and even Bald Eagles. Learn more about the extensive trail system cared for by the Bon Secour NWR here.
Don’t forget to snap some memorable photos when you visit these fun, unique spots! Tag them with #KaiserBeachLife and #VacationDifferently, and you might be featured on our pages. To find a vacation home-base, start browsing Alabama Gulf Coast vacation rentals online.