This is quite possibly the most popular question on the vacation groups for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The island is FULL of fun family activities and activities for couples and friends get-aways! This has the potential to be a very long blog, so I will do my best to highlight a few and include a wide array of activities. I'll include links for each website as well, so you can book your excursion directly with them (I DO NOT get paid at all for referrals or booking through any of the links)
Let's start with a few of the family friendly activities.
Dolphin Cruises! There are so many different options out there!! Some of the most popular are Cold Mill Fleet Dolphin Cruises | Dolphin Watch Tours: Orange Beach & Gulf Shores, AL , The Fun Boat Dolphin Cruises Dolphin Home - Dolphin Cruises , and Surfs Up Dolphin Cruises Dolphin Cruises - Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Alabama - Surf's Up (surfsupdolphincruise.com). Each dolphin cruise offers something different and they're at some different price points. You can bring your own coolers on the boats and they all provide life vests for the kiddos. We have personally done Surf's Up and saw so many dolphins! The area is not short on Dolphins (thankfully) so you will see dolphins on all the cruises - they LOVE playing in the wakes. The Fun Boat does water wars, which would be welcome on those hot days!
The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. This is not your ordinary zoo! It's also known as the "Little Zoo That Could" due to the way it recovered after Hurricane Ivan. The zoo is now Brand NEW, it relocated a bit more inland to help with not having to repair or come back after major storms. All of the animals are up close so there no boring looking at an empty enclosure, and they even have encounters that you can pay extra for. Also, be sure to eat at the restaurant - we've heard AMAZING things! Update From Zoo Director : Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.
Putt Putt they're all over! We have a couple that we have been to that we really enjoy. Pirate's Island - great courses and great for all ages. The even have things to read and do while waiting for your turn. Be sure to go to their website for a "kids play free coupon!!! Gulf Shores AL - Pirate's Island (piratesislandgolf.com). Then we also like Adventure Island - this one has an arcade and other activities. We would go here the day we were heading back home to wear the kids out before the car ride home. Adventure Island (adventure-island.com)
OWA - This is in Foley and you will see it while driving into town (if you take our directions lol). They have roller coasters and all sorts of restaurants, shopping, and even a wine bar and a distillery. Now, what's really cool is EVERYONE can get in to the park for free, if you want to ride the rides it's only $20 per person, which is one heck of a deal considering our amusement park here in KC is over $50 for everyone who wants to even enter the park! THEN in 2022 they will have an INDOOR gigantic water park that will be open year round - perfect for visiting during the winter, AND those rainy days! I'm not sure how much that pass will be, but I'd expect it to be pretty reasonable. OWA – Amusement Park & Entertainment Destination – Foley, Alabama (visitowa.com)
Alligator Alley, we have not been to this yet, but I believe it's on our agenda for our next visit. You actually get to feed and hold and "cuddle" (their verbiage lol) some alligators!! They take you on a guided tour then you get to do the interactions. Pretty cool and not something you get to do every day. I'm sure I'll be posting our experience on our Facebook page. Alligator Alley | Alligator Farm & Family Nature Adventure (gatoralleyfarm.com)
Fort Morgan, this is an actual military fort that had been "owned" by several different countries through the years. It's pretty cool and the only fee you pay is to get into the fort. It's a self guided tour and you can go inside and through A LOT, like there were times I though we were in places we shouldn't have been lol. If you're history buffs or just enjoy cool architecture then definitely go here.
Ok - here are some things for adults
This is brand new this year - CRUISIN TIKIS!! Yup, it's like the bike trolleys but on water and you don't have to peddle! Bring your drink of choice and they'll provide the tunes and the fun! Now, we just need an adult only week in the warm months lol. Cruisin' Tikis Orange Beach | Orange Beach, AL
Flora-Bama!! After 6pm it's over 21 and they have different areas inside and out with entertainers galore. Lots of live music and sometimes you never know who you'll run into - if there's a country concert - they just MIGHT show up for a quick show! They also have all sorts of things that are family friendly throughout the year too. FLORA-BAMA | WORLD FAMOUS BEACH BAR AND LIVE MUSIC
For older kids and kids at heart there Go Carts and rip cord at The Track in Gulf Shores! Multi- level go cart track, we haven't done it but it sure looks fun! Family Fun Park | Go-Karts | Kid Rides | Arcade – The Track (funatthetrack.com)
Big Beach Brewery - They have live music most weekends and some outdoor games too. They don't provide food, but do have some great beer and some wine as well. Door dash your food for the night straight to the brewery and enjoy the tunes and company.
Parasailing - I have this in this category since not everyone can do it. This is a blast and I will always remember the time I went as a kid. There are so many that I just included this link with all of them lol Parasailing in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach (2021)
Deep sea fishing - this is not for everyone and definitely not for those who get sea sick lol, but for those who enjoy fishing, there really is no other feeling than hearing that line go ZING, and not knowing what exactly will be on the other end. Again, there are so many out there, I hope this link helps THE 10 BEST Gulf Shores Fishing Charters & Tours (with Photos) - Tripadvisor
And here are some things that we also enjoy
Learn how to build the perfect sand castle with Sand Castle University. She comes to you with all the supplies you'll need, you get a video of the lesson and a list of what you'll need to accomplish perfect sand castles in the future! We loved this and love knowing how to properly build now! Sand Castle University
Biking around the state park. You can rent bikes for all ages at Beach Bike Rental. We have done this for several years and have really enjoyed it. We bike around the park, see the eagles and nests, then we go to the Gulf Shores Pier. Beach Bike Rentals (beachbikerentalsorangebeach.com)
Gulf State Park Pier, this is such a neat place to go and explore and watch "the pros". You'll be amazed and some of the set ups! You can even fish if you'd like straight from the pier! They have poles and bait and licenses! Gulf State Park Pier | The Pier Life
Ok, that's of course not all but you can sure get a good start! Comment below if you've done any of these and have any advise. Or if you have other places that you really enjoy! We'd love to hear from you!!