You don’t have to go far for a sun-kissed beach vacation. With idyllic weather, minimal crowds, and 32 miles of soft, sandy shores, Alabama beaches are seaside escapes that are also an easy flight or convenient drive from most places in the southeastern United States. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, coastal cuisine, or charming seasonal events, Alabama’s beaches have you covered.
Accessible adventure at Alabama’s beaches
A short road trip from major cities such as New Orleans, Atlanta, and Nashville, this Alabama seaside destination along the Gulf of Mexico offers the ideal mix of a relaxing getaway and fully engaging adventure. With average spring temperatures ranging from 60°-80° Fahrenheit, the season is the perfect time to visit. In addition to dreamy weather, you can enjoy fewer crowds than during peak season, making for a lot more miles of white-quartz coastline for you to spread out on and enjoy. Plus, lower prices on shoulder-season accommodations mean you’ll have more vacation budget left to enjoy the activities at hand.
To truly immerse yourself, take to the water in a kayak, carving through the tranquil back bays with your paddle and keeping an eye out for dolphins and some of the thousands of bird species inhabiting this region. Go Go Kayaks offers well-maintained gear such as kayaks and stand-up paddleboards and pickup and delivery of whatever water sports equipment you choose.
For an adventure on foot, the region boasts extensive trail networks, ranging from short, paved pathways to longer trails through the flora and fauna. Within Gulf State Park, The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail travels more than 28 miles through nine distinct ecosystems, including coastal dunes, maritime forests, and hardwood swamps. This well-maintained trail offers excellent views of the Gulf in addition to wildlife-spotting opportunities, with alligators, birds, and butterflies that all call it home.
Spring events in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach host a variety of seasonal festivals and events throughout the spring, with something for every interest. The Ballyhoo Festival celebrates the culture and heritage of the Gulf Coast, showcasing tribal dance and storytelling from the Indigenous Poarch Creek Indians, early Americana music via fiddle and banjo competitions, and the juried fine art of 100 vendors.
The Wharf Boat and Yacht Show invites attendees into the world of coastal boating, showcasing more than $100 million in maritime vessels, from small fishing boats to luxury yachts. Marine manufacturers display the latest and greatest in boating technology, while live music, food vendors, and a kids’ area ensure that there’s something for everyone.
Restaurants along coastal Alabama
No matter the activities you’ve been enjoying, you’ll need to top up your tank along the way. Don’t let the name High Tide Daiquiris & Mimosas fool you—this lagoon-front hideaway offers everything from breakfast and coffee to cocktails and charcuterie boards. (Though, whatever the time of day, their famous daiquiris are sure to catch your eye.)
Beachfront restaurant CoastAL Orange Beach offers indoor and outdoor dining—both with excellent views—as well as live music, signature cocktails, and a storefront where you can buy CoastAL merch for souvenirs.
For a meal with a view, The Gulf is a waterfront hotspot known for its fresh seafood, tunes from its curated record collection, and eco-friendly design, which features shipping containers and salvaged or recycled building materials, lending itself to a modern, laid-back aesthetic.
Finally, the banana-leaf-wrapped Chilean seabass at Cosmos Restaurant & Bar represents this fan-favorite restaurant’s take on elevated Alabaman dining. With specials including gumbo, po’boys, and surf n’ turf, this pitstop is sure to be the ideal sendoff to your perfect spring trip on the Gulf.