Posted on 6/14/2024 by TP

Sunny Escapade: Weekend Fun in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL

The Gulf Coast of the US stretches for almost 1,900 miles, boasting stunning beaches of white sands, seashells, and crystalline blue waters. Many people flock to this part of the country looking for a relaxing weekend filled with scenic beauty, culinary delights, outdoor activities, and endless family fun.

The thing is, there are so many amazing things to do on the Gulf Coast that it can be hard to decide what to include in your bucket list! That's where we come in. This blog will bring you the perfect weekend itinerary to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama.

With years of experience in Gulf Shores, we're experts in creating memorable getaways. Our vacation rentals range from beachfront homes to high-rise condos, making them the perfect home base for your next adventure. And we are experts in the region if we can say so ourselves. In our blog, we've written about topics like the best restaurants in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, what to do when it's raining, and even a guide to finding the clearest, cleanest water.

Ready for some wheeled coastal exploring? Let's jump right in!

Friday Evening: Indulge in Entertainment at The Wharf

Once you've settled into your vacation rental, kick off your Gulf Shores & Orange Beach getaway with an evening at The Wharf, Orange Beach's premier entertainment district. Start with a bird's-eye view of the tallest Ferris wheel on the Gulf Coast, offering thrilling ascents and panoramic vistas that everyone, especially children, will love.

Head over to Arena the Next Level Arcade for interactive fun with Laser Tag, Bazooka Ball, and various arcade games. Kids aged 7 and up will particularly enjoy the Outer Limits Virtual Reality arcade, which provides fully immersive rides and multiplayer options for the whole family.

For a more relaxed experience, wander through The Wharf's charming boutiques. When hunger strikes, choose from a variety of excellent restaurants and bars, offering everything from fresh seafood to casual dining.

As the evening progresses, the district comes alive with music, lights, and the buzz of both tourists and locals enjoying their night. It's the perfect way to ease into your weekend and get a feel for the local culture and entertainment.

Saturday Morning: Kickstart Your Day with a Boost of Energy at Duck's Diner

For over 20 years, Duck's Diner in Orange Beach has been a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Known for serving breakfast all day, along with traditional lunch specials, this spot is a must-visit.

The establishment prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients and offers healthy options, including fresh salads, fruits, veggies, and gluten-free entrees. The dishes are delicious, the vibe is cozy, and the staff is super friendly.

Must-try dishes: Banana Stuffed French Toast, Steak & Eggs, Duck's Special (2 eggs, bacon, and a single pancake), Corn Beef Hash, Shrimp with Cheese Omelet, Special Omelet (sausage, spinach, tomato, and feta cheese), Specialty Pancakes, Breakfast Sandwich, and Breakfast Burrito.

This is your go-to breakfast place!

Saturday All Day: Explore the Great Outdoors at Gulf State Park

Here's an idea for spending the rest of your Saturday: head over to Gulf State Park, just a mile east of the public beach. Gulf State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Spanning 6,150 acres, the park boasts two miles of pristine, sugar-white beaches and a variety of outdoor activities. For beach access, the Gulf State Park Beach Pavilion is perfect. Located six miles east of Hwy. 59, it offers three miles of spacious beaches with renovated, air-conditioned restrooms.

Spend the whole day relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. You can rent electric bikes or walk the beautiful trails. The park's bike paths are shaded and include multiple stops, such as a butterfly area, lookout points, alligator sightings, and playgrounds. The trails are paved, bike-friendly, and equipped with numerous rest spots and clean restrooms. The clean, long, and wide beaches are perfect for a peaceful walk and offer spectacular sunset views.

It gets better! Pets are welcome, and there's a dog park for your furry friends.

Saturday Evening: Dine with the Locals at Fish River Grill

Feeling peckish? Head over to Fish River Grill, a beloved seafood restaurant in Gulf Shores that's a hit with locals for its authentic southern-style seafood and mouthwatering burgers.

The menu is packed with highlights like homemade hushpuppies, classic po'boys, and generous seafood platters. Their burgers are a big draw, especially the River Burger, Bleu Cheese Bacon Burger, and Hurricane Burger. For seafood lovers, the Cajun Crawfish Pistol Basket, Gulf Shrimp Platter, and Large Bayou Seafood Basket are must-tries. They also offer a kid's menu and lighter options.

To complement your meal, try one of their refreshing drinks — the Spicy Bloody Mary, Bushwacker, Redneck Pina Colada, and a variety of Margaritas are perfect choices. Enjoy a hearty meal in a local favorite spot!

Sunday Morning: Learn About the Local History at Orange Beach History Museum

Spend your Sunday morning exploring the rich history of Orange Beach at the Orange Beach History Museum. Housed in a century-old schoolhouse built in 1910, this quirky and fun museum is the best place to learn about the region’s Native American and nautical heritage.

The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Alabama’s past through stories from local families and a collection of donated artifacts. The exhibits cover everything from a 500-year-old dugout canoe to a washboard donated in 1994. You’ll find a wonderfully eclectic mix of items, including antique typewriters, textbooks from the 1800s, and WWII memorabilia.

Admission to the Orange Beach History Museum is free. This hidden gem offers so much history packed into its historic building that you might find yourself wanting to stay all day, immersed in the preserved works of local and regional historical life and events.

Sunday Afternoon: Have a Splash at Alabama Point East Beach

Spend your Sunday afternoon at Alabama Point East Beach in Orange Beach, just a short walk east of Perdido Pass Bridge. This beach is a local favorite, often called Point East, Florida Point, or Perdido Pass, and it's easy to see why. With over 6,000 feet of wide, sandy beach, warm emerald waters, and plenty of sand dunes, it's a perfect spot for a relaxing day out.

You'll find boardwalks leading to various parts of the beach, picnic areas, restrooms, and outdoor showers, making it super convenient. It’s also a great place to watch boats go by, see wildlife like sandpipers and pelicans, and hunt for seashells. The long boardwalks offer stunning views of the crystal blue water and white sandy shores – ideal for a sunset stroll.

Whether you’re lounging on the sand, exploring the dunes, or enjoying a picnic, Alabama Point East Beach has everything you need for a perfect beach day.

Sunday Afternoon (Alternative Plan): Enjoy a Water Wonderland at Waterville USA Waterpark

Looking for a different kind of fun? Head to Waterville USA Waterpark in Gulf Shores. Opened in 1986, Waterville USA is a hit with families for its mix of water rides and amusement park attractions.

The park has 17 slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and themed water playgrounds perfect for younger kids. But that’s not all – there’s also a roller coaster, go-karts, mini-golf, a big arcade, and even an escape room.

For parents wanting to chill out, Cabana Cove offers private shaded areas with loungers and umbrellas. It’s a great spot to relax with some food and drinks while the kids play. Just remember to book ahead since spots are limited.

The Dune Racer, a six-lane mat racer slide, is a crowd favorite, and the FlowRider lets kids try out surfing and bodyboarding. Younger kids will love Shrimp Boat Village and Wa Wa World, filled with water cannons, sprays, and other fun interactive features. It’s a total water wonderland that promises a fantastic day for everyone.

Sunday Evening: Toast to the End of a Wonderful Weekend at Oso at Bear Point Marina

End your weekend on a high note at Oso at Bear Point Marina, a local favorite with stunning marina views. The diverse menu offers something for everyone, from gumbo and fish tacos to fresh salads and the standout Papa Oso cocktail.

Enjoy the beautiful outdoor seating area, perfect for watching breathtaking sunsets over the water. Inside, the spacious seating is ideal for larger groups. The lively tunes from local bands and singers add to the vibrant ambiance. Oso also caters to kids and offers vegetarian and vegan options.

Sunday Evening (Alternative Plan): Enjoy a Private Family Dinner at Your Rental

Family vacations are perfect for bonding and creating lasting memories. After a weekend of exploration and adventure, consider using your vacation rental's amenities for a special private dinner with your loved ones.

Put on your chef's hat and gather the family in the kitchen to prepare a delicious meal together. Cooking as a team fosters a sense of camaraderie and lets everyone contribute their culinary creativity.

While the dishes simmer and bake, engage in lively games and share laughter as you reflect on your experiences in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. It’s the perfect way to wrap up a wonderful weekend!

Wondering Where to Stay During Your Trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL?

Choosing a vacation rental lets you soak up the Gulf Coast like a local, offering ample space and an authentic vibe to stroll right into the community's rhythm. It's not just a place to stay; it's a chance to live the coastal lifestyle firsthand.

With years of experience in Gulf Shores, we're experts in making memorable getaways. Our vacation rentals range from beachfront homes to high-rise condos and are perfect for a home base for your next getaway.

Your ultimate comfort and happiness are our top priorities. Our local staff is dedicated to going the extra mile, ensuring you and your family have a memorable vacation in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL.

When you stay with us, all you need to focus on is letting the coastal beauty whisk you away - rest assured, it will!

Previous Celebrating Independence Day in Gulf Shores, Alabama Bucket list Activities in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL Next