Free & Fun Things To Do In Orange Beach

There are many ways to explore Orange Beach during a beach vacation without shelling out lots of cash. Here are a few places the locals said you should try:

Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum

Operated by the City of Orange Beach Parks and Recreation Department, the Indian and Sea Museum was originally built in 1910 as a schoolhouse. It has served as a museum since 1995 and was moved to its present location across from City Hall in 1999.

Open Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Wednesday during the winter months from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the museum houses local artifacts and memorabilia relating to the area’s Native American and fishing heritage. Families of early fishermen have donated supplies and collectibles that remind of the challenges and achievements of the earliest days of the local fishing industry.

Gulf State Park Beaches

There are two public beach accesses in Orange Beach, both falling within the operation of Gulf State Park.

Romar Beach, with a limited amount of free parking, is perfect for a quick beach stroll or last-minute lunchtime break. The access is located 6.8 miles east of Ala. Hwy. 59. Future plans call for construction of restrooms and rinsing showers.

Cotton Bayou is located at the intersection of Ala. Hwy. 182 and Hwy. 161. Nestled between condominium buildings, this access is a busy spot that offers restrooms and outdoor showers on site as well as ample free parking.

Alabama Coastal Birding Trail

The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail takes visitors throughout the region, including Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, which begins at the Perdido Pass bridge on Ala. Hwy. 182 and east of Ala. Hwy. 59.

Beginning at Perdido Pass – Alabama Point East, enthusiasts might see a Snowy Plover, a species of conservation concern, which nests in the area. Alabama Point also provides critical habitat for the Perdido Key beach mouse, and a wide variety of shorebirds are commonly seen in summer. In winter, common loons feed in the pass during changing tides.

Other spots to visit on this loop include Boggy Point, which offers an excellent view of Robinson Island, a roosting site for herons and egrets, the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails, where there are 11 miles of paved trails providing access from six entry points to habitats such as sandy oak hammocks, pine flatwoods, relict dune swales, seepage swamps and a pitcher plant bog. Interpretative signs placed along each trail identify many of the natural features of the maritime forest.

The loop also takes visitors to the Gulf State Park Pavilion, the Gulf State Park Nature Center/Education Center, Marsh Bridge, Shelby Lake Picnic Grounds, Gulf State Park Fishing Pier, Little Lagoon Pass and Wade Ward Nature Park.

From the loop sites in Gulf Shores, you would continue north on Ala. Hwy. 59 to the intersection of Ala. Hwy. 180/Fort Morgan Road to continue onto the Fort Morgan Loop.

SPECTRA Light Show at The Wharf

Take the kids to The Wharf for the SPECTRA Sound & Light Spectacular at 7:30, 8 and 8:30 p.m. SPECTRA incorporates sophisticated choreographed lighting effects with popular music to deliver an enlightening entertainment experience. Palm trees light up to the sound of the music.

Before, during and after the show, browse shops, stop in for a gelato or a cup of coffee from Southern Grind or enjoy dinner at one of many restaurants.

National Naval Aviation Museum

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the National Naval Aviation Museum is the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in the state of Florida.

At just over 20 miles from Orange Beach, the museum is located on the grounds of Naval Air Station Pensacola and contains more than 150 restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation displayed in 35,000 square feet of exhibit space and outside on the 37-acre grounds.

On-site attractions include the Naval Aviation Memorial Giant Screen Theater, flight simulators, Flight Deck Operations exhibit, cockpit trainers, Kiddie Hawk play area, Flight Deck store and Blue Angels 4D Theater.

Watch The Blue Angels Practice

The world-famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels are based at NAS Pensacola and can be seen practicing over the museum at NAS Pensacola most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from March to November. Practices typically begin at 11:30 a.m., and last about 55 minutes. Admission to practice is free and open to the public.

The outside viewing area for the Blue Angels practice is located on the museum flight line north of the museum. Signs are posted to direct visitors to viewing and parking locations, including limited parking for handicapped visitors. Open bleacher seating is available for 1,000 people.

Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach, Clay Studio & Hot Shop

The Coastal Arts Center, located just east of the intersection of Canal Road and Hwy. 161, is home to a temporary gallery and gift shop in the construction trailer located at the front of the cultural campus. Once construction is complete on the center’s brand new building on Wolf Bay later this year, the gallery will become part of the permanent structure. Local and regional artists featured include watercolorists, potters, painters, photographers, sculptors and textile artists.

The Clay Studio showcases the work of in-house ceramics artist Maya Blame-Cantrell. The public is invited to make their own clay pieces. Call (251) 981-ARTS for reservations.

Enjoy a visit to the Hot Shop by appointment only. You can make your own glass creation during sessions at 9 a.m., Monday through Friday. The session includes a 30-minute live glass-blowing demonstration of an ornament, flower and paperweight. Then, choose which one you would like to create for yourself.

Kayak Or Canoe In Wolf Bay

There are 10 designated canoe trail sites posted along the shores of Wolf Bay, Bay La Launch, Arnica Bay, Bayou St. John and Cotton Bayou.

Load up your canoe or kayak and dock from one of the sites on Gulf Bay Road, Cypress Avenue, Waterfront Park, Palmetto Extension, Harrison Park, Mississippi Avenue, Look Rook Road, Wilson Boulevard, Boggy Point or Cotton Bayou.

Keep your eyes peeled to see dolphins or a variety of birds, like the brown pelican, egrets or herons.

Curl Up With A Good Book

If you came to the beach and forgot a book, stop by the Orange Beach Public Library to pick up a library card; residency is not required.

There are cozy spots indoors and outdoors at the library to read your selections. Check out the calendar for story time, book club meetings, and other gathering times and special events.

Perdido Key State Park

Perdido Key is a 247-acre barrier island near Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico. White sand beaches and rolling dunes covered with sea oats make Perdido Key State Park a favorite destination for swimmers and sunbathers. Surf fishing is another popular activity. Boardwalks from the parking lot allow visitors to access the beach without causing damage to the fragile dunes and beach vegetation. Covered picnic tables overlooking the beach provide a place for family outings.

The park is open for daily use from 8 a.m. to sunset and features tow parking areas and eight covered pavilions. Big Lagoon State Park, just across the bridge on the mainland, is open for camping and hiking.

Walk, Jog or Bike Backcountry Trails

Orange Beach is a great place to explore the 16 miles of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails.

A collaborative effort between the City of Orange Beach, Gulf State Park and property owners along the trail’s alignment, the trails were historically used by the area’s indigenous people as well as explorers and settlers.

With maps available at all trailheads, it’s easy to pick out a few trails to explore.

Along the (all paved) trails you will find restrooms and water fountain, bridges, interpretive signage, bike stands, places to stop and relax and a picnic pavilion.

You might even see a “Lefty” the alligator mom and her three babies along Rosemary Dunes Trail.

And, at the intersection of Cadman Road and Rosemary Dunes Trail is the new Boulder Park, which invites kids to climb on large boulders to enhance coordination, strength and flexibility. Located next to the Pavilion and Butterfly Garden about 1½ miles from the Catman Road Trail, Boulder Park is a favorite of local children.

Play At Waterfront Park

Located a quarter of a mile east of County Road 161 on Canal Road, Waterfront Park is a family park on scenic Wolf Bay.

Amenities include a 400-foot fishing pier with covered pavilions and seating, a bayfront beach, picnic shelters with grills, restrooms, a paved walking path and parking.

Enjoy A Round Of Disc Golf

On Canal Road adjacent to the dog-friendly “Unleashed” Dog Park, play a round of disc golf at the City of Orange Beach disc golf course.

The trees, shrubs and terrain changes located in and around the fairways provide challenging obstacles for players. There is no greens fee, and you won’t need a golf cart to enjoy this course. Bring your own discs, though.

Go Boating

The City of Orange Beach purchased Robinson Island and Bird Island in 2003 to preserve them from development. Today, the islands are a sanctuary for birds and wildlife and is used by residents and visitors as a gathering spot.

There are two public boat launches in the city, both of which offer paved parking and are operated by Gulf State Park: Boggy Point Launch at the end of Marina Road off Hwy. 61 and Cotton Bayou Launch on Hwy. 182 just east of the Hwy. 161 intersection.

The Boggy Point launch is the nearest to the Perdido Pass Bridge and is directly adjacent to the main channel with lots of marine traffic.

When visiting Orange Beach, bring the entire family and book a beach house. Or, if it’s a smaller crew, a condo could fill the bill.

Exclusive Events For Meyer Vacation Rentals Winter Guests

 

Join us in 2017 to celebrate Meyer’s 50-year tradition of family-focused fun, as we host “Stay Golden” activities, exclusively for you. Meyer Vacation Rentals has been trusted with millions of vacation memories….so let’s make more memories together! 

Once registered your name and number of attendees (up to 4 people) will be listed on a registration list for each event. Note: No tickets are issued. You will receive a confirmation of your registered events via email and a phone call from one of our team members within a few days of registration to process your credit card payment (if applicable).

Registration Options: Online: www.MeyerRE.com/WinterGuest Phone: 866-269-6914.

Attractions

Friday, Jan 6, 9:00 am-11:00 am: Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo (Free—Limit 120)

Alabama Gulf Coast ZooLocation: 1204 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores
Zoo Tour: The fun begins as soon as you enter the quaint, small zoo made famous in the Animal Planet series “The Little Zoo that Could.” Join us at the picnic tables for coffee and doughnuts and tour on your own until we come together at 10:00 for an animal show located at the pavilion. You are also welcome to continue your tour after the show.

Wednesday, Jan 11, 1:00 pm-2:00 pm: The Hot Shop (Free—Limit 50)
Location: 26389 Canal Rd (at the Coastal Arts Center), Orange Beach
Glass Blowing Demo: It’s great fun to see the artists hard at work on their colorful creations at The Hot Shop – Alabama’s premier hot glass blowing facility. You will want to bring your camera to capture images of the process. Glass Blowing classes can be scheduled as well as pottery classes at The Clay Studio next door. Spend some time browsing thru the art gallery, which is temporarily housed in trailers while the new art center is under construction.

Tuesday, Jan 24, 10:00 am-11:30 am: The Gulf Bowl ($9—Limit 40)
Location: 2881 S Juniper St, Foley (behind Tanger Outlet)
Bowling: Thanks to your suggestions, we have added bowling to our fun activities. Three games and shoe rental is included in the price. Enjoy free coffee at Chic n’ Classy at Tanger Outlet beginning at 9 a.m. before bowling. Also you may wish to stay for lunch at The Gulf Bowl to sample their delicious menu items. 

Tuesday, Feb 21, 10:00 am-11:30 am: The Gulf Bowl ($9—Limit 40)
Location: 2881 S Juniper St, Foley (behind Tanger Outlet)
Bowling: Thanks to your suggestions, we have added bowling to our fun activities. Three games and shoe rental is included in the price. Enjoy free coffee at Chic n’ Classy at Tanger Outlet beginning at 9 a.m. before bowling. Also you may wish to stay for lunch at The Gulf Bowl to sample their delicious menu items.   

Cetacean CruisesFriday, Feb 24, 9:30 am-12:00 pm: Cetacean Cruises – MORNING ($22—Limit 44)
Location: 4673 Wharf Pkwy W (at the entrance to Springhill Suites by Marriott at The Wharf), Orange Beach
Dolphin & Nature Cruise: No trip to the coast would be complete without a water adventure. This 40-foot pontoon boat is designed to slip into some of the creeks and swamps of the back bays while your knowledgeable tour guide points out the local flora, fauna and wildlife of course including dolphins.

Friday, Feb 24, 12:30 pm-3:00 pm: Cetacean Cruises – AFTERNOON ($22—Limit 44)
Location: 4673 Wharf Pkwy W (at the entrance to Springhill Suites by Marriott at The Wharf), Orange Beach
Dolphin & Nature Cruise: No trip to the coast would be complete without a water adventure. This 40-foot pontoon boat is designed to slip into some of the creeks and swamps of the back bays while your knowledgeable tour guide points out the local flora, fauna and wildlife of course including dolphins.

Day Trips

Wednesday, Jan 18, 8:00 am-8:00 pm: New Orleans WWII Museum ($90—Limit 52)
Bus departs from Meyer rear parking area at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores
We will immerse ourselves in history during this all day trip to the National WWII Museum including a matinee lunch show at BB’s Stage Door Canteen. Buffet lunch 11:45 – 12:45 then Vic Tones dynamic vocal trio until 1:45. A self-guided museum tour is next, and then we gather at the Solomon Victory Theater at 4:00 pm for Beyond All Boundaries, a 48-minute 4-D experience narrated by Tom Hanks. Fee includes bus fare, buffet lunch, matinee show, museum admission, and movie experience.

Thursday, Jan 19, 9:30 am-5:30 pm: Wind Creek Casino ($15—Limit 52)
Bus departs from Meyer rear parking area at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores
During our five-hour casino visit, you will receive a $15 food credit and $10 free play to try your luck at the games such as “Wheel of Fortune,” “Sizzling 7’s,” “Double Diamond,” and many more.

Tuesday, Jan 31, 8:30 am-3:000 pm: Mobile Historic Homes ($44—Limit 52)
Bus departs from Meyer rear parking area at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores
Travel through time as you experience two of Mobile’s oldest and grandest homes. Our tour begins at the Oakleigh mansion in one of the cities many historic districts. Next, we will journey for lunch in the tea room and a tour of the Bragg-Mitchell mansion, all included in admission. Note: We will contact you for your sandwich and side order prior to the trip. 

Wednesday, Feb 15, 7:30 am-7:30 pm: New Orleans French Quarter ($30—Limit 52)
Bus departs from Meyer rear parking area at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores
Spend the day exploring the sights, sounds and tastes of New Orleans in the historic French Quarter. Take a horse and buggy tour of the area or walk to the nearby Aquarium of the Americas if you wish. Food, art, and music are the main attraction in this quaint part of the city that feels very European. Beignets at Café Du Monde, shopping at the French Market flea market, the fortune tellers in Jackson Square and a stroll on Bourbon Street are not to be missed.

Thursday, Feb 16, 9:30 am-5:30 pm: Wind Creek Casino ($15—Limit 52)
Bus departs from Meyer rear parking area at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores
During our five-hour casino visit, you will receive a $15 food credit and $10 free play to try your luck at the games such as “Wheel of Fortune”, “Sizzling 7’s”, “Double Diamond” and many more.

Bellingrath GardensWednesday, Feb 22, 9:00 am-4:00 pm:Bellingrath Gardens & Home ($31—Limit 52)
Bus departs from Meyer’s rear parking area at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores
Comfortable shoes and a camera are a must for your leisurely stroll through one of the finest gardens in the country, featuring 65 acres of year-round blooms and beauty.  Admission includes a tour of the preserved home of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath built in 1935. Lunch is on your own at the Magnolia Café located near the entrance. Your choices are soup, sandwiches and salads served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Be sure to save time to browse through the gift shop before boarding the bus for home.

Property Tours

Thursday, Jan 12, 9:00 am-12:00 pm: Tour of Rental Properties (FREE—unlimited attendance)Tour of Properties
Beginning Wednesday, Jan 11 pick up your tour map at Meyer offices at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores or 13700 Perdido Key Dr, Perdido Key, AL
Discover new rental possibilities when you take the self-guided tour of a few of the other Meyer Vacation Rentals monthly rental choices. Our professional rental staff will be on hand at each property to assist you with any questions.

Thursday, Jan 26, 9:00 am-12:00 pm: Tour of Properties for Sale (FREE—unlimited attendance)
Beginning Wednesday, Jan 25 pick up your tour map at Meyer offices at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores or 13700 Perdido Key Dr, Perdido Key, AL
If you enjoy being our guest maybe it’s time to be our neighbor. Check out the homes we are featuring for sale. A member of our CENTURY 21 Meyer Real Estate sales team will be on hand at each property to assist you with any questions.

Thursday, Feb 9, 9:00 am-12:00 pm: Tour of Rental Properties (FREE—unlimited attendance)
Beginning Wednesday, Feb 8 pick up your tour map at Meyer offices at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores or 13700 Perdido Key Dr, Perdido Key, AL
Discover new rental possibilities when you take the self-guided tour of a few of the other Meyer Vacation Rentals monthly rental choices. Our professional rental staff will be on hand at each property to assist you with any questions.

Thursday, Feb 23, 9:00 am-12:00 pm: Tour of Properties for Sale (FREE—unlimited attendance)
Beginning Wednesday, Feb 22 pick up your tour map at Meyer offices at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores or 13700 Perdido Key Dr, Perdido Key, AL
If you enjoy being our guest maybe it’s time to be our neighbor. Check out the homes we are featuring for sale. A member of our CENTURY 21 Meyer Real Estate sales team will be on hand at each property to assist you with any questions.

Signature Events

Friday, Feb 3, 2:00 pm-4:00 pm: Ice Cream Social and Fashion Show (Free—Limit 100)Ice Cream Social and Fashion Show
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores
Join us for a festive afternoon filled with delights. We begin with delicious ice cream from Matt’s Homemade Alabama Ice Cream and treats from Yummy’s Bakery, followed by a parade of fashions from Chic ‘n Classy at Tanger Outlet.

Wednesday, Feb 8, 10:30 am-5:00 pm: Golf Tournament at Peninsula ($45—Limit 100)
Location: 20 Peninsula Blvd.; Gulf Shores (5 miles west of Hwy 59)
The Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club is one of the most picturesque courses on the Gulf Coast. Located beside Mobile Bay this popular course features live oaks, cypress and other native plants. Plan to arrive around 10:30 to get in a little putting and driving range practice prior to the shotgun start at 11:00. After play, we’ll gather for a hamburger cookout and an awards celebration. Cash bar for beer and cocktails.

Wednesday, Feb 28, 8:00 am-11:00 am: Mardi Gras Day at Meyer (Free—Limit 250)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores
Laissez lesbons temps rouler, which translates to “let the good times roll,” and that’s our plan for Mardi Gras day. Join us for hot coffee and delicious donuts while gathering on our front lawn to watch the Gulf Shores parade that starts at 10. You are welcome to bring a lawn chair if you wish. The parade ends in time to head to Orange Beach to claim your spot along Perdido Beach Blvd (Hwy 182) for the afternoon parade starting at 1:00 p.m.

Workshops

painted-rock-turtleMonday, Jan 9, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm: Painting – Turtle Paperweight ($15—Limit 30)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores
Becky from Hobby Lobby will provide instructions and materials to paint a turtle design on a rock ideal as a paperweight or garden decoration. It may sound a little weird but it’s really cute and clever.

Friday, Jan 13, 10:00 am–11:00 am: Fishing Tips (Free—Limit 75)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores
Susan from Reel Surprise Charters will provide tips on what’s biting, where to fish and what bait to use to catch your dinner.

beaded-braceletMonday, Jan 16, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm: Beading ($35—Limit 30)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores
Tara from Blue Girl Beading has created a project exclusively for you. The fee includes instructions and all materials to create your very own souvenir jewelry.

painted-wine-glassesMonday, Jan 23, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm: Painting – Wine Glasses ($20—Limit 30)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores
Becky from Hobby Lobby will provide instructions and materials to paint a beach scene on a pair of wine glasses, complete with palm trees swaying in the breeze. Plan to return Feb. 27th to complete your set of four glasses.

painted-shell-candy-dishMonday, Jan 30, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm: Painting – Shell Candy Dish ($15—Limit 30)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores
Becky from Hobby Lobby will provide instructions and materials to paint a crab and a colorful design on a seashell. This unique décor item can be used as a small candy dish, soap dish or whatever you wish it to be.

Thursday, Feb 2, 10:00 am–11:00 am: Photography (Free—Limit 75)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores
Lori from Dillon Photography will provide information about unique coastal venues to photograph nature along with helpful photography tips.

Monday, Feb 6, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm: Beading ($35—Limit 30)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores
Tara from Blue Girl Beading has created a project exclusively for you. The fee includes instructions and all materials to create your very own souvenir jewelry.

painted-sailboatMonday, Feb 13, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm: Painting – Sailboat Picture ($20—Limit 30)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores
Becky from Hobby Lobby will provide instructions and materials to paint a sailboat scene on canvas.

beginner-knittingMonday, Feb 20,10:00 am-12:00 pm: Knitting – Beginner (Free class, materials $18—Limit 30)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores
Pam McNeely a.k.a. McNeedles welcomes you to the fun, fabulous world of knitting. Learn to knit, purl, cast on, and bind off in this beginner knit class. The class is free, and the kit costs approximately $18.

Monday, Feb 20, 2:00 pm-4:00 pm: Knitting – Mica Tam (Free class, materials $38—Limit 30)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores
Pam McNeely a.k.a. McNeedles teaches the art of knitting a Mica Tam (hat). The class is free and the kit costs approximately $38.

Monday, Feb 27, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm: Painting – Wine Glasses ($20—Limit 30)
Location: Meyer office at 1585 Gulf Shores Parkway; Gulf Shores
Becky from Hobby Lobby will provide instructions and materials to paint a beach scene on a pair of wine glasses, complete with palm trees swaying in the breeze.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Activity registration will begin Wednesday, December 7, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. (CST)

  • Register online at MeyerRE.com/WinterGuest. Or call 866-269-6914 and Meyer Vacation Rentals staff will assist you with registration.
  • Winter Guest events are exclusively for Meyer Vacation Rentals guests.
  • Reservations may be made for up to four people for all activities.
  • You will be contacted following your registration for payment for the paid activities, so that we may also gather more information.
  • Activity fees are not refundable.
  • No tickets are issued. Your name and number of attendees will be listed on a registration list and checked off when you arrive.

More Area Info

For area happenings, you can also check our Gulf Shores/Orange Beach Calendar of Events and Gulf Shores Music Calendar.

Book up to 24 months in advance
We accept reservations up to 24 months in advance. Note: An initial payment of 10% is due at the time of booking with the remaining 20% due one year prior to arrival.

Single Month Rentals
You can reserve the single months of October, November, December, January or February up to 24 months in advance, when arriving and departing on the 1st day of the month.

Hot Deals
If you are still searching for a spot for winter sun and fun, check out the Hot Deals for the latest price reductions on remaining condos and houses.

Reminders, Hints & Tips
Mail—Mail CANNOT be delivered directly to your vacation residence. Only property owners have access to onsite mailbox keys, which are government property, not transferable, and cannot be duplicated. Your mail may be forwarded by renting a Gulf Coast area mailbox from your local Postmaster prior to your arrival.

Phone calls—Local phone calls are free. Long-distance providers charge an access fee.

Local newspaper subscriptions:
The Islander and The Onlooker—251-947-7712
Press-Register (Mobile)—888-779-7759
Pensacola News Journal—800-288-2021, ext. 500.

Internet connection—Some properties are equipped with Internet connections; however, cables to connect to computers are not provided.

Wireless Internet hotspots—There are numerous wireless hotspot connections in the area, including the welcome centers, libraries, recreation centers, coffee shops and restaurants.

Be safe, and drive carefully. We look forward to welcoming you to the beach. If you have any questions, call us at 866-269-6914.

Indoor Adventures Abound On The Gulf Coast

Even though most days on the Gulf Coast are sunny, an afternoon rain show is not uncommon. And, while your beach condo or house is a perfect spot to relax and wait until the sun emerges once again, your family may want to get out a bit and explore some of the area’s fantastic indoor activities.

From arcades to museums and movies to shopping, there are plenty of adventure-filled indoor activities to explore on the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast.

Arcades

Looking for a fun rainy day activity? An arcade can fill the bill for vacationers of all ages.

Arena The Next Level
Play in more than 10,000 square feet of fun on the upper level at The Wharf in Orange Beach.

Get competitive with your friends during a round of laser tag. Or, play Bazooka Ball, which is a combination of laser tag and paintball. While safe for younger players, the game provides an adrenaline rush for seasoned players too.

Fat Daddy’s Arcade
Open daily at 10 a.m., Fat Daddy’s Arcade is located in Orange Beach and offers more than 100 arcade games, interactive rides, a photo booth, food and more.

Interactive games include Guitar Hero, Jumping Jackpot, Big Buck Hunter Open Season, Terminator Salvation and The Fast and the Furious. Other games include coin pusher games, prize claws, Barber Cut, Deal or No Deal and more. There are even more traditional arcade games like Skee Ball, Hoops, Pac Man and Air Hockey.

Shrimpy’s Mini Golf & Arcade
Located at 204 East 2nd Ave., in Gulf Shores, Shrimpy’s Mini Golf and Arcade is a colorful spot to play. And, right next door is a seafood restaurant, making for a perfect evening of fun.

The Track Recreation Center
In Gulf Shores, just north of Gulf Shores on Ala. Hwy. 59 is The Track Recreation Center, where a large arcade is a perfect spot for a rainy afternoon of fun. In addition to fun arcade games, there are also interactive thrill rides inside as well.

Waterville USA
Waterville USA is more than just water slides and wet and wild fun. An on-site arcade and the House of Bounce stand ready to welcome the entire family.

The House of Bounce is a 2,500-square-foot indoor playground that dares the family to tackle the obstacle course, dare the giant drop slide and play in the inflatable play area. Parents can hang out in the arena as the kids bounce to their hearts’ content.

Browse & Learn At Museums

The Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast is blessed with numerous museums and learning centers that help tell the story of the area.

Baldwin County Heritage Museum
Located in Elberta, only a few miles from the Gulf Coast Beaches, the Baldwin County Heritage Museumcontains exhibits that were collected from the daily lives of the men and women who built Baldwin County.

The museum’s exhibits are located within 20,000 square feet of space and allow visitors to reconnect with the early history of Baldwin County.

The museum also features special exhibits and events, and is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.

Gulf State Park Nature Center
Gulf State Park’s Nature Center is a living museum of plants and animals that are native go the Gulf Coast region.

Weekly programs include guided nature walks, beach walks, pier walks and a nature time.

The center, located within the state park campground area, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum
Originally a schoolhouse when it was built in 1910, the Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum has been a museum since 1995.

The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, but group tours may be booked at other times.

The museum houses local artifacts and memorabilia related to Orange Beach’s Native American and fishing heritage. Families of early fishermen have donated supplies and collectibles that show the challenges and achievements of the early days of the area.

National Museum of Naval Aviation
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the National Museum of Naval Aviation is the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in the state of Florida.

The museum contains more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation. Historic and one-of-a-kind aircraft are displayed both inside the museum’s nearly 350,000 square feet of exhibit space and also on the 37-acre grounds.

A 325-seat giant screen theater presents a variety of films, including “The Magic of Flight,” offering a “Fly with the Blues” experience that tells the story of human potential and the importance of training and importance.

Admission and parking are free. Visitors to the museum 16 years of age and older must have a valid photo ID and all bags are subject to search.

Fort Morgan Historic Site
Located 23 miles west of Ala. Hwy. 59 on scenic Fort Morgan Road, the museum at the Fort Morgan Historic Site is filled with displays of artifacts portraying the artillery, uniforms and history of the area for more than 200 years.

The museum and gift shop are open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily.

Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center & IMAX Dome Theater
The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, located in Mobile, features exhibits that explore science, math and technology in an effort to provoke innovative and critical thinking that leads to discovery.

The center features a variety of permanent as well as special exhibits. Permanent exhibits are housed in three galleries: Hands On Hall, Wharf of Wonder and My BodyWorks. There are also live demonstrations held in the ChemLab and BioLab.

Special exhibits have included solving a murder mystery at the Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery exhibit, the Da Vinci: Machines & Robotics exhibit and more.

The J.L. Bedsole IMAX Dome Theater shows films on a variety of topics, such as great white sharks, mummies, the Hubble telescope, airplanes, Greece, Everest, space and more.

The Exploreum is open daily, and admission prices depend on age.

Gulf Shores Museum
Housed in a World War II-era home on land donated by one of the founders of Meyer Vacation Rentals,Claude O’Connor, the Gulf Shores Museum first opened in 1982 as a library and later as a youth center. Today, it tells the story of Gulf Shores with a variety of artifacts that appear in permanent exhibits. Seasonal programs and events are also offered.

The museum is located on 19th Avenue in Gulf Shores, near the public library and city government buildings.

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
Named Alabama’s 2015 Attraction of the Year, USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park offers self-guided tours of the USS Alabama, USS Drum submarine, the Aircraft Pavilion, park memorials, military equipment and a recreational area.

The USS Alabama, a South Dakota-class battleship, was commissioned in 1942 and served in World War II in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. She was retired in 1962 and in 1964 taken to Mobile Bay and opened as a museum ship the following year. She was added to the National Historic Landmark registry in 1986.

The park is open 364 days a year.

Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Located in Fairhope, the Weeks Bay Reserve encompasses more than 6,000 acres of land and water in and around Weeks Bay and along Mobile Bay.

The Reserve has a free educational interpretive center and two boardwalks. One boardwalk is behind the Reserve Interpretive Center and leads to Weeks Bay; the pitcher plant bog boardwalk connects to Fish River.

The Reserve is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Get Adventurous

A little teamwork and an adventurous spirit go a long way for these next rainy day options.

Breakout Orange Beach
Not your average outing, Breakout Orange Beach invites visitors to solve mysteries. With different rooms that follow unique storylines, you and your friends have 60 minutes to escape your adventure of choice by cracking codes, solving puzzles and following clues.

Themes at this uniquely adventurous spot include “Kidnapping,” “Operation: Casino,” and “Hostage.” Escape themes are periodically changed.

Breakout Orange Beach is located on the second story of The Wharf at Orange Beach, so when you’ve “escaped,” there are plenty of restaurants, shops and other attractions to explore.

Gulf Coast Escape Room
Escaping is also the key at the Gulf Coast Escape Room, located at the Bayou Village shopping center next door to Matt’s Ice Cream shop.

Visitors have 60 minutes to solve puzzles, find clues and escape a themed room. Players are advised to communicate and cooperate with one another to maximize the experience created by this sophisticated code-cracking adventure game.

Themes at this experience include “Zombie Autopsy,” “The Doll Room,” and “Stop the Oil Spill.”

For either of these venues, reserve tickets in advance online for the experience of your choice.

Catch A Movie

Two movie theaters are located in close proximity to Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach and Perdido Key: Carmike Cinemas Wharf 15 in Orange Beach and Cobb Pinnacle 14 Theatres in Gulf Shores.

The Wharf 15 is located at 23151 Wharf Lane in Orange Beach. Call (251) 981-4444 for show times.

The Cobb Pinnacle 14 is located at 3780 Gulf Shores Parkway. For movie times, call (251) 923-0100.

Explore The Arts

There are lots of opportunities on the Gulf Coast to peruse beautiful works of art and also to make your own.

Blue Girl Beading Company
A “bead boutique,” Blue Girl Beading Company is located at 2200 East 2nd Street in Gulf Shores.

Owner and designer Tara Gifford teaches visitors how to design their own jewelry using wire, metal work and intricate stitching. Drop by to design your own piece, or register for a class. Classes are taught for a fee, which also includes materials.

Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach
Love the arts? There is plenty to see at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. A gallery and gift shop showcase watercolorists, potters, painters, photographers, sculptors and textile artists. Artwork is frequently changed so there is always something new to see!

Also on site is a hot shop, where you may visit to see glass blowing in progress. There are also glass blowing lessons, group demonstrations, glass fusing and lamp work done on site.

The Clay Studio features the work of ceramics artist May Blame-Cantrell. You might also enjoy creating your own pottery Monday through Friday.

Make reservations for the Hot Shop or Clay Studio in advance by calling (251) 981-2787.

More Fun Stuff

Looking to let the family blow off some steam during a rain shower? The below activities are pretty high energy!

The Factory
Open jump sessions are held throughout the day at The Factory, where participants are invited to play now and grow up later.

The park features 12,000 square feet of connected trampolines – more than 50! The famous angled wall trampolines and a series of launching decks from different heights create even more fun.

The Factory also offers air dodgeball, a basketball goal to dunk on, and foam pits to soar into.

A flight simulator allows you to experience air-to-air combat, stunt flying and interactive roller coaster rides. Combined with patented, fully interactive, 360-degree pitch and roll technology, kids and adults will find this indoor attraction very exciting!

Gulf Bowl Family Entertainment
Need to keep everyone busy for a few hours? Bring them to Foley to play at Gulf Bowl Family Entertainment, which is more than just a bowling alley.

Call ahead – (251) 943-4575 — to reserve a lane.

Come early to eat at Captain’s Choice, which serves everything from fried pickles to oysters Rockefeller. A full bar is also available, featuring specialty drinks as well as premium or import draft beer.

Combine your bowling excursion with a game of laser tag at the multi-level laser tag arena on site. Or, enjoy playing arcade games and winning prizes.

Shop

When the rain showers come, many visitors gravitate toward shopping. After all, you don’t want to return home empty handed!

Pelican Place at Craft Farms
Located just north of the Intracoastal Canal Waterway bridge in Gulf Shores and anchored by Target, Cobb Theatres, Books A Million, Bed Bath & Beyond, Publix and a Courtyard by Marriott, Pelican Place at Craft Farms is a lifestyle center featuring a streetscape intersected by a pedestrian restaurant plaza and splash fountain.

Several restaurants and boutique-styled shops are located at Pelican Place. It’s a great place to explore, enjoy an ice cream, watch a movie and browse the shops.

Tanger Outlets
Looking for great deals on your favorite designer or brand name clothing? Check out Tanger Outlets in Foley. Shops are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

At Tanger, you’ll find accessories and jewelry, apparel, children’s apparel, food, footwear, housewares and home furnishings, and specialty goods.

Some of the popular stores include American Eagle, Charlotte Russe Outlet, Coach, Golf 4 Less, New York & Company, Nike Factory Store, Old Navy Outlet, Under Armour, Levi’s Outlet, Polo Ralph Lauren, Claire’s, Michael Kors, Journeys, T.J. Maxx, Le Creuset, Bath & Body Works, and Yankee Candle.

The Wharf in Orange Beach
The Wharf in Orange Beach is a diverse entertainment destination featuring a 112-foot-tall Ferris wheel, a music and lights show, uniquely coastal shops, restaurants, an amphitheater and a marina.

Restaurants featuring everything from burgers and pub food to steaks and fresh Gulf seafood.

The Wharf Putt-Putt is an 18-hole mini golf course open seven days a week. The Arena offers indoor fun for kids with arcade games, Bazooka Ball, Mission Impossible and Laser Tag. New at The Wharf is Breakout Orange Beach, where you and your friends and family work together to escape a themed room.

Also on site is a 15-screen movie theater, and a 10,000-seat amphitheater that headlines artists such as Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Twenty One Pilots and more.

The marina at The Wharf is located on the Intracoastal Canal Waterway and offers everything from boat slip rentals to excursions to see dolphins play or watch the sun set. Charter a fishing boat, rent a boat for a day, tour the bayous and marshlands on a nature tour or relax on a cruise.

50 Years Of Making Your Memories Our Business

Meyer Vacation Rentals has been helping families create forever memories at cool pools across the Gulf Coast since 1967.

These fun indoor activities are near Meyer’s condos and beach houses in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan,Orange Beach and Perdido Key.

Stay On Top Of Gulf Coast News With Meyer Vacation Rentals

 

Sea Star

Stay on top of the latest headlines and issues affecting Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan, Fairhope, Perdido Key and the surrounding areas on Meyer Vacation Rentals’ News Page.

Here are a few recent headlines and news snippets from around the area:

 

Orange Beach Tops List For 2016 Vacations

TripAdvisor reviewers have named Orange Beach No. 2 on its top 10 list for travelers’ choice destinations on the rise. (MORE)

 

Poseidon’s Playground Gets A Little More Fun

A pyramid, a rocket and a steel structure were deployed at Poseidon’s Playground, an artificial reef located in Orange Beach, giving divers more unique statues to explore. (MORE)

 

2016 Hangout Fest Tickets On Sale

Want to attend Hangout Fest 2016? Buy your tickets and reserve your preferred accommodations before both run out. (MORE)

 

Shorts & Flip Flops For The Christmas Tree Lighting At The Wharf

It was a festive—and warm—scene at The Wharf in December as people enjoyed the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. Bands played, children sang and wrote letters to Santa, and more. (MORE)

 

Dune Restoration Underway At State Park

The Gulf State Park Enhancement Project team has begun work to restore the equivalent of more than 50 football fields of dunes flattened in 2004 during Hurricane Ivan. (MORE)

 

Stay tuned to our News Page for regular updates on local news.

Attention, 3-D Artists!

The Hangout in Gulf Shores—yes, you know the place, located at the main beach—needs your help. Well, maybe more appropriately, they would like your participation or your assistance to spread the word.

2012 art contest winning sculpture, orange beach arts center, the hangout, gulf shores

Pictured is the 2012 winning sculpture “When I Visit Your Home.” Maybe your entry will be the 2013 winner!

Partnered with Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach, The Hangout is asking artists to consider submitting an entry for the 2nd Annual Hangout Public Art Competition. Your work should be a large-scale, weather-friendly, 3-D sculpture relating to this area. If your work is chosen, you will receive a $3,000 stipend and the displayed art will become property of The Hangout.

While last year’s contest was open to college/university students, this year it is open to all artists.

If you are interested in taking part in this competition, email your contact information to Juli Jordan at jjordan@cityoforangebeach.com. Be sure to include “Hangout Public Art Competition” in the subject line. Deadline for this initial contact is October 14, 2012.

November 18 is the deadline for a written concept design plus photos of detailed sketches or models. Your presentation of the model—including why you chose the design and the requirements of installation—is due December 16. Announcement of the winning design will be January 15, 2013.

For further information, contact Juli Jordan at the email address above or 251-981-4111.

Be sure to stop by The Hangout to see the winning sculpture from 2012 or 2013. If you need a place to hang your hat while doing so, consider staying a few days or a few weeks at a condo in Gulf Shores. Meyer Vacation Rentals has a wide selection of condos and houses to fit your budget and number of guests.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Vacation Rentals on TwitterFacebook and MySpace.

Orange Beach Seafood Festival

Saturday, February 25, 2012, marks the 20th anniversary of the Orange Beach Seafood Festival sponsored by the Orange Beach Sports Association.

Orange Beach Seafood Fest, Alabama, car show, hot rod

Enjoy a day of delicious seafood, classic cars, local music, arts & crafts and kids activities during the Orange Beach Seafood Fest on February 25, 2012.

Just by its name, you naturally expect to find plates full of great seafood, and plenty of it. Choose a delicious pile of fried or broiled fish or shrimp and you’ll also get generous portions of sides. (Have your $11 ready before you pick up the plate, though, as it will require both hands to carry it.)

There’s plenty to do before and after you eat, too. Check out the many hot rod, antique and classic cars on display. Even though there will be prizes for the vehicles at the end of the day, you’ll see that the favorite part of the contest for the owners is talking about their cars with all the admirers. (Have a car you’d like to enter? Just $15 registration gets you a spot and two meal passes.)

Wander through the 40+ vendor booths to find exclusive items made by regional arts and crafts folks. Home décor, jewelry and accessories, clothing and more will be available.

This alcohol-free, pet-free atmosphere is great for the kids, and they will have plenty to do with inflatables, games, a climbing wall and more. There is even a kids performance stage that will include all-day entertainment.

Speaking of all-day entertainment, you will enjoy live music throughout the festival, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., including the ever-popular Top Hat and Jackie playing around noon. The rest of the day you’ll hear from local artists such as Chris Sweeney, Gage Downs, Bailey Kennon, Kenny Lambert, Callie Ann Myers Thompson and more.

The festival’s location at the Orange Beach Sportsplex (off Canal Road approximately one mile east of the Foley Beach Express) works well because of its large open area. But it’s also fitting for the event, as proceeds from the day will allow purchase of uniforms, equipment and insurance for youth baseball, T-ball and softball, as well as help with expenses for officials and to sponsor clinics.

There are plenty of places to stay at the beach, but did you know there are also great options near the Sportsplex? Look out over the marina and be just steps from shopping, dining, a movie theater and more when you choose a elegant 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom condo at The Wharf, sleeping 4–8 people. Or enjoy a quiet, bayside getaway in a 2-bedroom condo that sleeps 6 at Wolf Bay Villas, where you can toss a line off the pier and even clean your catch at the fish-cleaning station.

Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on TwitterFacebook and MySpace.

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