Pristine white sand, blue-green waters, and endless sunshine are the usual description of the beaches in Alabama. As an Alabama native, I can confirm that it’s all of these and more. Whether you’re looking for a secluded beach getaway or an active beach experience with water sports and activities, the beautiful beaches in Alabama absolutely have it all!
Beaches in Alabama
Although the beaches in Alabama stay beautiful year-round, there are some months during which visiting makes more sense. The spring in late April and May along with the fall in September and October is when the temperatures are warm enough for a pleasant swimming experience. Also, accommodation costs in the area are still relatively low. However, if your heart is set on summer, time your trip for after July 4th to get the best deals.
Beaches in Alabama have all types of accommodations to choose from. They include hotels, condos, cottages, and campsites. Some areas have more of one accommodation type over the rest, so I’ve included details below for each of the beaches.
Beautiful alabaster sands, blue waves, and outdoor attractions make Orange Beach one of the most famous beaches in Alabama. Being popular among tourists means there are all sorts of facilities, restaurants, and attractions like water sports peppered along the coastline. It’s everyone’s go-to beach for a fun time so expect a crowd!
Try flyboarding for an action-packed adventure, lounge at the beach, go golfing at one of the nearby courses, or check out the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Visit Alabama Point Beach, on Orange Beach, for a moment to yourself if you need a mini-escape. With a boardwalk and beautiful photo ops, you’ll get the quiet respite you’re craving.
Later, check out The Wharf for the ultimate family-fun destination. It has shopping, food, arcade games, and mini-golf for maximum fun! Orange Beach is the perfect place for youngsters looking to explore the area’s nightlife, as well. Flora-Bama and Mudbugs Seafood Bar and Grill are good places to start!
Gulf Shores Main Beach
Gulf Shores Main Beach is one of the most accessible and family-friendly beaches in Alabama. With a number of access points, green spaces, clean walking paths, restrooms, showers, and facilities like an amphitheater, it’s no wonder why!
Lie beneath picnic pavilions and watch the sunset over the waters, play beach volleyball, or go on a dolphin tour. If you aren’t a fan of the sand and are looking for other types of activities, there are plenty of those as well.
Fort Morgan Public Beach
Located less than an hour away from Gulf Shores, sits Fort Morgan Public Beach, one of the most unique beaches in Alabama. Fort Morgan itself is known for its National Historic Landmark status, dating back to the 19th century, when it was built to protect Mobile. Although the quiet, secluded site might initially only interest history buffs, it has enough to do for beach lovers as well.
Most of the area on the peninsula is part of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, so bird watchers can expect to spot some migrating birds during their visit. Lounge by the water’s edge and take in the panoramic view of the ocean without the usual crowd one would expect at a beach. Once you’re ready for a new activity, you can explore the fort for a small fee.
The beach has only two access points and very few facilities so make sure you bring everything you need when visiting. The nearest accommodations are also at Gulf Shores, so be sure to arrive and leave early to make the most of your trip.
Located on the Fort Morgan peninsula and extending all the way to Mobile Bay, West Beach is referred to by many locals and tourists as the “best beach.” This is due to the fact that most think of it as the more quiet and serene cousin of the happening Gulf Shores!
West Beach offers families the chance to unwind privately while still staying in close proximity to the action of Gulf Shores. The many luxury condos, hotels, and restaurants indicate the beach has no shortage of places to stay and eat.
Its nearby location to attractions like amusement park Adventure Island and the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge means there are fun things for everyone to do in West Beach. If you’re lucky you might even get to see sea turtles or an Alabama Beach Mouse!
Gulf State Park
Ideal for travelers craving both adventure and relaxation, Gulf State Park offers 28 miles of trails for hiking and a 2-mile long beach for lazy lounging. Surrounded by cottages, cabins, and campsites, the beach is great for outdoorsy folk looking for budget accommodations. For those looking forward to a more luxurious experience, there are options for you too – check out the one below by Hilton!
If lounging around feels right, the Beach Pavilion area is a beautiful spot for relaxing. With a shaded picnic area, picnic tables, and public restrooms, it’s a family-friendly place to set up camp for a day. Surf fishing is a fun and popular sport to try your hand while visiting Gulf State Park. There are natural sand dunes in the area with wildlife such as alligators, deer, and armadillo that you might encounter – so keep an eye out!
Tagged the “Sunset Capital of Alabama,” the 14-mile long beach has, along with stunning sunsets and views, quite a few resources and activities to explore. The beach is open year-round and has parks and trails to enjoy. This is a great option for the solo-traveler looking for a getaway or a couple of lovebirds longing for some alone time.
Dauphin Island Park and Beach offers camping grounds with around 150 sites for visitors to use. Facilities like free wifi, bath houses, laundry facilities, and a playground area make camping here a family-friendly adventure. While there, try and visit the historic Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island Sea Lab as well as the Audubon Bird Sanctuary for fun learning.
The artsy city of Fairhope is best known for its galleries, cafes, gift shops, and resident illustrators and novelists. It’s no surprise that the Fairhope beach scene is beautifully authentic too! Spectacular sunsets, emerald waters and ivory sands make it an ideal picnic spot for families while still offering lots to do off the beach.
Start by spending time relaxing by the beach or getting active with water sports such as snorkeling and speed boating. The gentle waves at this beach make it a casual, safe spot for swimming with family. For a small fee, you can enter the park right next to the beach and get access to the famous 1,488-foot-long Fairhope Pier, as well as restaurants, shops, and gardens.
Admire the picturesque views of Mobile Bay from the pier and then wander through the downtown area to take in Fairhope’s culture through the cute boutiques and cafes. Finally, drop by the historic Julwin’s Restaurant for breakfast before leaving to learn why it’s so special to the locals!
Lagoon Pass Beach
Lagoon Pass, located 3 miles west of Highway 59, is a shallow waterway that connects Little Lagoon to the Gulf. This site along the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail, offers the perfect family-friendly beach on the lagoon side. Featuring shallow, gentle waters, Lagoon Pass Beach makes for the perfect picnic location. Onsite amenities include restrooms and outdoor showers making it even more ideal.
Little Lagoon Pass Park, situated directly on Little Lagoon Pass, is a great access point to the beach. It also has a fun, open space for the kids to play. Fishing is a common pastime here so bring your fishing pole and license with you!
And there you have it! All of the best beaches in Alabama in one place for you. I hope this list helps you “seas” the day and begin planning your trip to one of these amazing beaches! Whether you’re going with family or friends, there’s plenty to do at Alabama’s shores.
What’s your favorite beach in Alabama? Have any tips to add? Leave me a comment below and share your best ideas!