Gulf State Park boasts beautiful beaches and the longest pier on the Gulf of Mexico at 1,540 feet! The pier now has features that were not available on the old pier, destroyed in 2004 by Hurricane Ivan, such as indoor seating for the concession area, an indoor retail area for tackle and souvenirs and comfort stations at the midpoint of the pier. Stop by and spend an afternoon fishing or just hanging out!
Trails and Rivers
5 Rivers Delta Resource Center and Recreational Area
30945 Five Rivers Blvd, Spanish Fort, AL 36527 • Phone: 850-625-0814
Delta Blues – When one thinks of the Delta, Louisiana comes to mind. We are proud to submit 250,000 acres, the second largest river delta in the U.S., for your consideration. The 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center is the gateway to wetlands that are home to pelicans, turtles, bobcats and maybe an alligator or two. And there are bobcats, egrets and bald eagles… oh my! Start your visit at the new Resource Center, overlooking Justin’s Bay, that offers wildlife exhibits and a state-of-the-art theater showing movies about the wildlife and culture of the Alabama Delta. Say hello to Loretta for us and if she ignores you, well, she’s just playin’ ‘possum. Best of all, it’s free. Explore the nature trails and be on the lookout for gators and wild boar. For the really adventurous, you can rent a canoe or kayak and take an expert-guided trip for an hour or even (for the really really adventurous) overnight. And there’s a terrific Story Time Tuesday event for the little ones.
Alabama Coastal Birding Trail
[GPS] N30.27725 W-87.55606
The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail is an organized effort to help avid birders see the best and most birds. The trail, arranged as a series of loops, describes the birding spots most frequented by Alabama birders. Each loop could easily take a half day or more. Suggestions are given for some of the birds that may be expected at each site. Check the Alabama Ornithological Society (AOS) for current information. Below is a link to a website that gives you the GPS coordinates of all the trails. The coordinates above are for the Orange Beach Loop.
Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails
[GPS] N30.28028 W-87.58223
The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail system was developed to provide recreational opportunities through one of the last remaining intact maritime forests along coastal Alabama. Over 11 miles of paved trails provide access from six entry points to a diversity of coastal habitats including sandy oak hammocks, pine flatwoods, relict dune swales, seepage swamps and a pitcher plant bog. Interpretive signs placed along each trail identify many of the natural features of the maritime forest. The Backcountry Trail is steeped in lore and local legend. For decades, a creature believed to be part man/part wildcat –The “Catman”– has allegedly lurked along the paths and swamps of the back country woodlands. Spooky!
Beach n’ River Kayak Rentals
18743 Keller Road, Foley, AL 36535 • Phone: 251-971-8359
For those visitors who may have stayed out in the sun just a little too long or feel the need to actually move, may we suggest kayaking on the Bon Secour River. Just a short drive from the beaches, Bon Secour leads you into a world of moss drenched oaks and hanging wisteria. Pelicans dive for fish and you may see a dolphin or two. Be sure to leave a little time to take a quick dip in the “ole swimming hole”. It’s called the “ice box” but you did want to cool off, right? If you want to explore up a lazy river give Beach n’ River a call!
The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo
27206 Safe Harbor Drive, Orange Beach, AL 36561 • Phone: 251-981-4144
The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is tucked away just blocks from the beach and is home to more than 500 animals including lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, macaws, and more. There’s also a petting zoo, reptile house, aviary, seasonal animal encounters, and daily animal shows in the summer. We’re big fans of The Little Zoo That Could! For more information and a walk on the wild side check out the Gulf Coast Zoo videos on our YouTube channel.
Parks and Gardens
Bellingrath Gardens and Home
12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road, Theodore, AL 36582 • Phone: 850-973-2217
I try to get to Bellingrath at least twice a year when I’m in town. It’s beautiful, relaxing and soul restoring. An ideal outing for the girls or with Mom. I take mine! Tour the Bellingrath Home, complete with its original furnishings and Mrs. Bellingrath’s extensive collection of decorative arts. Built in 1935, the 10,500 square foot home was designed by prominent architect, George B. Rogers. The style of the Home was dubbed “English Renaissance” by Rogers. Additionally, take a 45-minute cruise along the Fowl River aboard the Southern Belle. On your self-guided walking tour, you will enjoy the 2004 Top Public Rose Garden in the U.S., as awarded by the All-America Rose Selections, experience the Bayou Boardwalk, marvel at Mirror Lake, behold the Great Lawn, view the Asian-American Gardens, stroll through the Butterfly Garden, observe formal garden terraces and more!
Gulf State Park
20115 State Highway 135, Gulf Shores, AL 36542 • Phone: 251-948-7275
Located in the city of Gulf Shores on the coast of Alabama, white sun-kissed beaches, a surging surf, seagulls and seashells greet you at Gulf State Park. Consisting of 6,150 acres with two miles of sugar white sand beaches, Gulf State Park has a modern campground, a beautiful Beach Pavillion, back country trails and the longest fishing pier on the Gulf of Mexico. There’s also an interactive Nature Center, new tennis courts and an 18 hole Refuge Golf Course.
Orange Beach Waterfront Park
26425 Canal Road, Orange Beach, AL 36542 • Phone: 251-981-6039
The Waterfront Park is open to the public year-round. This beautiful family park is located on scenic Wolf Bay. Amenities include a 400’ fishing pier with covered pavilions and seating, picnic shelters with grills, restrooms, paved walking path and parking. Lighted kids park with slides, swings and climbing areas. Perfect photograph opportunity with Wolf Bay as a backdrop.
Any restaurant, shopping venue, activity or entertainment that we select are our personal favorites. These are not paid promotions and we accept no ads or favors. If you visit and enjoy one of our selections, please let them know you saw it on our web site. We like to be good neighbors and support local businesses, artists and crafts people. Thank you!