Located on Alabama’s picturesque Gulf Coast, Orange Beach is a fantastic and family-friendly vacation destination. Adventure Island Orange Beach and The Wharf Marina are two of the area’s best attractions. Filled with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, the best things to do at The Wharf Orange Beach include doing the Hummingbird Zipline Course; going to a show at The Wharf Amphitheater; and seeing the nightly SPECTRA Sound and Light Spectacular.
If you’re eager to find free things to do in Orange Beach, Alabama, relax at Gulf State Park’s beautiful beaches, or go for a walk on the Backcountry Trail. Here are more fun things to do in Orange Beach.
1. Gulf State Park
Gulf State Park has 6,500 acres of protected land. There’s 2.5 miles of beaches with white sand and crystal clear water. Gulf State Park is also home to three freshwater lakes, 27 miles of scenic nature trails, a fishing pier, a 496-site campground, and a beach pavilion. Its Nature Center hosts permanent educational exhibitions and seasonal events as well. A weekend at Gulf State Park is one of the best things to do in Orange Beach this summer.
Opened in 1964, Flora-Bama is the country’s most famous beach bar. It’s known for its live music, friendly patrons, and fun events. Local musicians and renowned national artists perform on the five different stages at Flora-Bama year-round. Some of its most famous annual events include a chili cook-off, beach concerts, the Annual Mullet Toss, and fishing rodeos. But they also host daily events as well, like Sunday bingo and Welcome Wednesday. Don’t miss visiting this Gulf Coast icon.
3. Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail
Although people flock to Orange Beach for its beaches, just minutes from the coast is the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Known locally as simply BCT, this isn’t a single trail like the name suggests. It consists of over 15 miles of multi-use trails. Visitors can walk or bike through six different ecosystems, including coastal dunes, freshwater marshes, and live oak maritime forest. The BCT is home to a plethora of native flora and fauna as well, so keep on the lookout!
4. Adventure Island
One of the most family-friendly things to do in Orange Beach is to spend the day at Adventure Island. The beachfront amusement park has rides that suit kids of all ages. Some of the rides and attractions available include go-karts, bumper and paddle boats, two 18-hole mini-golf courses, laser tag, and the Alligator Alley Arcade. However, Adventure Island’s biggest attraction is its five-story erupting volcano, which regularly comes alive with both fire and sound.
5. The Park at OWA
The Park at OWA is located a 20-minute drive inland from Orange Beach. The amusement park is home to 22 fun rides and attractions. There’s both thrilling and family-friendly rides like roller coasters, the spooky Mystic Mansion, and the unique Air Racer. The newest installation at The Park at OWA is Wacky Waters – a splash pad with a 20-ft tall dump bucket, a raining coconut tree, and over a dozen interactive water features.
6. Orange Beach Sailing Charters and Sunset Cruises
One of the most romantic things to do in Orange Beach is a sunset cruise. Fortunately, Orange Beach Sailing Charters offers a daily 2.5 to three-hour sunset sailing charter service. Hop aboard the area’s most luxurious yacht and take in the beautiful views of the Gulf Coast from the water. There’s both private (maximum six people from one group) and shared (three couples) sunset charters available. It’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.
7. The Wharf
The Wharf Marina is a state-of-the-art attraction. It’s where you’ll find the city’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment options. There’s a nightly SPECTRA Sound and Light Spectacular show, the Hummingbird Zipline Course, an 18-hole mini-golf course, the AMC Theatre, The Arena for indoor fun and games, and even a Ferris wheel. You can also see national touring artists perform at The Wharf Amphitheater. Be sure to visit The Wharf Marina, as it’s home to the most fun things to do in Orange Beach.
8. The Fun Boat Dolphin Cruises
The Fun Boats Dolphin Cruises are the premier dolphin cruise in the Gulf Shores region. The two-hour Dolphin Cruise includes seeing wild dolphins having fun and putting on a show in the bays surrounding Orange Beach on the Gulf Coast. The friendly staff aboard entertain and educate throughout the tour as well. The Fun Boats Dolphin Cruises have two decks and indoor seating, and are also known for their fun boat to boat Water War gun fights.
9. Hummingbird Zipline Course
Located at the aforementioned Wharf Marina, the Hummingbird Zipline Course is actually Alabama’s longest zipline course. It’s also been the number one attraction in Orange Beach on TripAdvisor for numerous years. The two-hour course begins and ends at The Wharf, but has you flying over pristine coastal wetlands in the interim. It features eight ziplines, which equals 6000 feet of fun, and the highest point is 115 feet. For thrill seekers visiting the Gulf Coast, check out Hummingbird Zipline Course.
10. Alabama Point East
Alabama Point East is a popular (but uncrowded) Gulf State Park beach area. Located just .3 of a mile east of Perdido Pass Bridge, Alabama Point East features 6000 feet of wide beach with white sandy shores, calm and clear waters made for snorkeling, and sand dunes. There’s also four boardwalks over the dunes, as well as picnic areas. So, if you’re searching for the best beaches in Orange Beach, head to Alabama Point East this summer.