Known as a popular family beach town, Orange Beach, Alabama, tourists come back year after year. They come for the sugar-white sand beaches and return because of the welcoming spirit of the locals.
Travelers have also discovered award-winning golf courses, eateries that serve gastronomic delights, and historical sites scattered along the Alabama coast, making Orange Beach a terrific vacation destination.
About Orange Beach, Alabama
It can prove a magical experience watching a small Southern town turn into a tourist mecca each summer. With about 5,500 locals, Orange Beach, Alabama, can absorb tens of thousands of visitors to its beaches, lodges, and attractions. With plenty of condominiums, home rentals, and campsites, the town continues to put out the welcome mat every year.
Travelers gravitate to Orange Beach, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the deep south, and waves roll across the white sand with little effort. A busy wharf provides plenty of entertainment with outdoor concerts and Ferris wheel rides, while delicious restaurants satisfy discerning palates. Water sports occupy many visitors, and others come for hiking, bird watching, and cycling. All come together at day’s end to relish stunning sunsets.
Morning in Orange Beach
Get out early and beat the rush on your first day in Orange Beach. These locations should give you a little ‘Bama flavor:
Breakfast at Ruby Slipper Cafe
Address: 24151 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL
Menu Options: Order up a legendary Ruby Mimosa, a Three Little Pigs or smoked salmon omelet, and don’t forget the side of grits. Or go with the salmon avocado toast or eggs benedict. You’ll have a tough decision to make, choosing between eggs cochon, eggs Blackstone, chicken St. Charles, bayou shrimp, or corn beef benedicts. Top your morning meal off with a classic beignet.
Reasons to Love It: This place has ‘attitude.’ It’s a fast-paced diner with excellent service, an inventive menu, and Southern charm. Grab a delicious meal in record time, and pick up a Ruby Slipper T-shirt to accentuate your beach day attire.
Visit the Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum
Discover the original settlers of Orange Beach in the little white schoolhouse at Marjorie Snook Park. The Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum houses exhibits and artifacts of the local Native American tribes that inhabited the area and memorabilia related to the region’s fishing heritage. The collection showcases Orange Beach’s history and gives visitors an overview of the region’s founding.
Afternoon in Orange Beach AL
Fuel up with an exceptional lunch, then learn to say, “Ahoy, matey!” on this afternoon jaunt.
Eat Lunch at Cobalt
Address: 28099 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL
Menu Options: Revel in the coastal tastes of fresh seafood, from appetizers like crab claws, caviar, or firecracker shrimp. Then indulge in delectable entrees, including pecan fried catfish, blackened tuna salad, or Creole casino oysters. Reuben sandwiches, tuna melts, and the sweet heat chicken sandwich will suffice for the more traditional eaters. You’ll even find stone hearth pizza on the menu.
Reasons to Love It: Located in a beautiful contemporary building just under the Perdido Bay Bridge, Cobalt serves authentic dishes with style. Seafood is their specialty, but the menu is exceptionally well-rounded, and diners will find the perfect ocean view from every table. With its waterfront acreage, guests can park their boats at the dock and dine at Cobalt.
Take an Orange Beach Pirate Cruise
The youngsters in your entourage won’t have to swab the decks on the Orange Beach Pirate Cruise. However, they’ll love swashbuckling with the crew. They’ll help defend the ship, learn some pirate lingo, and uncover the history of Pirate Cove on this two-hour tour.
Spending an Evening in Orange Beach
You can choose from several eateries and activities, but here are our choices of ways to spend your evening in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Get Dinner at Wolf Bay Restaurant
This restaurant started as a bait shop, burned down in a fire, and still going strong. Wolf Bay Restaurant serves as a tribute to hard-working Alabama families, with its resilience and time-trusted recipes. Diners clamor for their seafood gumbo and lobster chowder and can’t get enough of the live music and outdoor bar.
Address: 24131 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach, AL
Menu Options: With yellowfin tuna poke, hushpuppies, and crab dip, the appetizers might not leave room for your meal. But you may not be able to turn down oysters on the half shell, shrimp and grits, or a shaved ribeye sandwich. If your appetite allows, you may wish to order the ribeye steak, New York strip, or a roasted half chicken. Any way you look at it, you won’t leave Wolf Bay Restaurant hungry.
Other Reasons to Love It: Where else can a fisherman take his catch to have it cooked up for him, besides his own kitchen? Wolf Bay serves a Gulf Coast seafood tradition with a colorful history and even more enticing menu items.
Stroll Orange Beach Waterfront Park
For a gorgeous evening’s walk, stroll through Orange Beach Waterfront Park. This forested area has a large pier with gazebos, picnic shelters, a children’s park, and paved walking paths. You can watch the sunset while enjoying ocean water lapping at your feet.
Where to Stay in Orange Beach
You can choose from numerous hotels, condos, and homes for rent, but those who enjoy a more rustic form of lodging will find camping at Gulf State Park more to their liking.
Campground: Gulf State Park
Address: 20115 State Park Road, Gulf Shores, AL
About the Park: With 496 improved campsites, Gulf State Park has room for everyone. Campers will find paved pads with full hookups, a picnic table and grill, and eleven shower houses throughout the park. They have recently added glamping campsites for a more luxurious experience, and the park has several cabins and a lodge.
Why You’ll Love Staying Here: Most campers enjoy the cozy feel of Gulf State Park, which lies along a forested lake just inland from the coast. The park boasts its own beach, and you can enjoy the best of both land and sea.
A Day in Orange Beach
You may see why so many families keep coming back to Orange Beach, Alabama. With plenty of activities and attractions to keep every member of your group busy, the town caters to its guests. And who can resist white sandy beaches, gentle surf, and water that washes away your worries? It might just be time for you to discover this diamond along the Gulf of Mexico.
Don’t Miss Out: After exploring Orange Beach, head an hour north to enjoy the town of Fairhope on the shore of Mobile Bay for more beautiful sand beaches.