Wondering where to plant your beach umbrella? You'll find a variety of public beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama - each special in its own way and each offering a different experience. Try 'em all and see which fits you best.
Alabama Point Orange Beach
There must be something magic about this stretch of Gulf and the pass leading into the back bays. The water here always seems to be that glistening turquoise you see in magazines. This is a spot for serious relaxation. Located just .3 miles east of Perdido Pass Bridge, Alabama Point offers more than 6,000 feet of wide beach, large sand dunes, and a 225-foot boardwalk. It's a bit of a walk out across the dune line, so pack lightly and focus on the simple pleasures. This park offers some great views of incoming and outgoing charter boats... if you can keep your eyes open.
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Beach Fort Morgan
Want to commune with Mother Nature? Then take a hike down Pine Beach Trail. Put the top down and enjoy the drive about ten miles down Highway 180. The trail meanders two miles through an enchanted forest of palmettos, live oaks and Spanish moss - past Gator Lake and Little Lagoon - to a spectacular ridge of dunes and a pristine, all-natural beach. Along the way, you'll see an astounding variety of birds and other wildlife. Don't feel like walking? You can park along Mobile Street for easy beach access without the exercise. The refuge office is close by if you need park information.
Cotton Bayou Public Beach Orange Beach
This small beach area is found at the intersection of Highway 182 and Highway 161. Nestled between some of the most popular condominiums in the area, there's always plenty of people-watching and activity. There is ample free parking and the beach is easily accessible.
Gulf Shores Public Beach Gulf Shores
If you are looking for a volleyball-playing, beach-bar hanging good time, this is the spot for you. Highway 59 dead-ends into the Gulf of Mexico and for a small fee, you get all-day up-close parking, making it easy to unload your gear. When you're hungry or thirsty, just drag yourself out of your chair and up to one of the beachside restaurants, serving up great food and entertainment. Beach attendants, life guards, three open-air pavilions and a picnic area are available.
Gulf State Park Gulf Shores
This un-crowded, natural beach is located six miles east of Highway 59, among the sand dunes and sea oats. There's lots of room to spread out, making it a great place for families with lots of gear. Surf fishing is a popular activity here. There is a covered pavilion area with restrooms and picnic tables. A small parking fee is charged, but there are plenty of spaces, and lots of room for large vehicles and RV's.
Lagoon Park Gulf Shore
Lagoon Pass is a shallow waterway connecting Little Lagoon to the Gulf of Mexico, 2.9 miles west of Highway 59. You'll find restrooms, an outdoor shower and a water fountain on site, with parking on the northeast side of the Lee Callaway Bridge. Get there early though, because parking is limited.