When it starts getting warmer out, it means it’s almost time for spring break! Whether you’re looking for a relaxing spot for your family to recharge, or a happening place to take your college besties, this list will not disappoint. We do spring break both ways here in Alabama!
Spring Break in Alabama
Keep reading to see what your spring break can look like in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and other more private getaway spots. Wherever you choose, it’ll be blue skies, bluer waters, and fun times, all the way!
Beach Day, All Day, Everyday!
Spring break in Alabama means it’s beach time and there’s no better place for lazy (or active) beach days than the Gulf Coast. The west Gulf Shores area and neighboring Orange Beach, both offer white sand beaches perfect for swimming, local festivals, water sports, and relaxing – all the things an ideal spring break calls for!
During the peak of spring season, the town of Gulf Shores swells to around 12 times its usual size with an inflow of up to 150,000 people. This includes both groups of teens and families!
Laze around on the sand or partake in activities like parasailing, jet skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing and more. Which beach you decide to stay near can end up determining what type of vacation you have, so choose accordingly.
West Gulf Shores Area
The West Gulf Shores area, consisting mainly of Gulf Shores Main Beach, Lagoon Pass Beach, and Gulf State Park, is perfect for families looking to entertain children out of school for the week. Although the area has quite a few hotels that accommodate teenagers along with clubs and event spaces in its vicinity, it’s still geared more towards family fun and less centered around partying. There are options for accommodations and recreation listed below.
Located close to Panama City Beach, Florida, Orange Beach is the best option for teenagers looking for a spring break destination in Alabama. While more laid-back than the MTV-style beach parties on television, Orange Beach offers plenty of things to do. With clubs to visit and spring-time events to attend, it’s all the fun without the standstill traffic! Plenty of condo options make it an ideal destination for families as well.
This secluded island south of Mobile is a perfect spring break destination if you’re looking for peace and privacy. The community is relatively quiet during spring, making it especially great for family and couples’ trips. Visit the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and historic Fort Gaines, stroll along the white sand beaches, watch the stunning sunsets, and catch a cruise or two. It’s the spring break getaway you just need to experience.
If you’re not feeling up to the beach on some days, you could always stay in and lounge by your accommodation’s pool. Some even have poolside tiki bars that will make you want to never leave!
Depending on which beach you choose to stay near and what your group looks like, there will be different accommodation options available to you. For most families looking to vacation in the Gulf Coast area, condos make the most sense. Their size and fully equipped kitchens simply make them the most family-friendly option.
Because of the age restrictions that often come with checking into condos, teenagers mostly have to depend on hotel accommodations. But don’t fret because there are many beautiful beachside hotels and condos to choose from for every type of crowd:
Restaurants, Bars and Nightlife
If you’re imagining drinks on the beach during your spring break in Alabama, you’ll have to think again, my friend, as that isn’t allowed on the public beaches. However, great food, creative concoctions, and dancing the night away at beachside establishments are all allowed. It makes Alabama’s Gulf Coast just as fun for teenagers, while being safe and family-friendly!
Located directly on Gulf Shores Beach with beautiful beach views to boot, Pink Pony is the bar to visit for some classic coastal snacks, drinks, live music, karaoke, and dancing. If yours is a family trip, just make sure to drop by early because though the place stays open till 3 AM, it welcomes children until 9 PM only.
The Hangout at Gulf Shores is a family restaurant that features live music, games, competitions, and line dances every night! Make sure you try their famous Shark Attack cocktail to get into the beach vacation mood and hand the little shark toy it comes with to the kids. In fact everything at The Hangout involves the whole family, including getting up on the tables to shake a leg! The Hangout is no doubt an Alabama Gulf Coast family favorite.
Located on the Florida-Alabama state line in Orange Beach, Flora-Bama is a must-visit place while on your spring break in Alabama. Live music 365 days a year across five venue stages, massive events, concerts, and their famous Bushwacker cocktail make this the number one beach bar according to locals and almost every spring-break-crazed teen across the country!
LuLu’s is the place to celebrate food, family, and fun! Located on the Intracoastal Waterway in Gulf Shores, this family friendly restaurant offers scenic views, live music, a fun arcade, activities for the whole family, food, and drinks. Try their popular cocktail, ‘Bama Breeze while there.
Attend Concerts, Events and Tours
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have events and concerts lined up aplenty all throughout the year, but even more so during spring break. Before nailing down the ol’ itinerary, make sure you check out what events, tours, and concerts are taking place during your spring break dates on the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism website.
The Wharf in Orange Beach is a family entertainment center that’s worth dropping by while in the area. With shopping, dining, movies, a marina, miniature golf, Ferris wheel, and amphitheater, there’s usually always some event going on in which families would enjoy partaking.
Visit an Amusement Park
In the Gulf Shores area of Alabama there are many adventures to be had for the thrill-seeking traveler. A most most classic option is going to an amusement park! Whether you are a teenager or an adult looking for the perfect springtime activity, visiting one is sure to take you on a nostalgic journey filled with wonder and excitement. Take your pick from the best ones below:
Waterville USA in Gulf Shores
Waterville USA is located just a quarter mile from the beach and offers visitors 20 acres of fun. Although the water rides only open at the start of May, there’s still plenty to do during spring. Ride the rollercoasters, munch on some yummy theme park eats, and solve your way out of their two escape rooms. You’ll have the gang and yourself occupied for the whole day!
Adventure Island at Orange Beach
Go to Adventure Island to play mini golf, take a turn on their go-kart track, experience the eruption of their five-story volcano, play laser tag, have a go at paddle-boating through their lost lagoon, and so much more. They even have kiddie rides and an arcade so everyone in the family has something to look forward to.
The Track in Gulf Shores
Teenagers, adults, and young kids have plenty of fun things to try at The Track. The amusement park features six go-kart tracks, thrill rides like the Skycoaster and the Spinning Coaster, Blaster Boats, Kid Country Rides, mini golf, and an arcade. A thrilling day in the sun at The Track is just what you need to complete your spring break in Alabama.
Escape Spring Break
While most are probably here looking for spring break getaways, some might be searching for ways to “get away” from spring break! Here are a couple of places to consider visiting to escape the noise of spring break:
In Fairhope you’ll be met with cute flower planters decorating the city, a charming municipal fishing pier, private beach, duck pond, and a spring arts and crafts festival. Stay at the adorable Boise Lane Cottage that’s located just a couple quiet blocks from Mobile Bay for the most relaxing time you can imagine.
Enjoy Fort Morgan’s secluded white sand beaches with your family, friends, or sweetheart this springtime. Go hiking through the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge, ride the Mobile Bay ferry, go fishing, visit the 19th century fortress at the Fort Morgan Historic Site, or just stay in.
Check out this sweet beachfront corner unit on the west end of the peninsula. It allows you to stay close enough to all the action of spring break without having to be at the center of it!
Tips for Spring Break in Alabama
Hover on this image to get my best tips for visiting Alabama during spring break!
Know Before You Go
- Plan and book early because hotels fill up quickly!
- Practice safe drinking.
- Be discreet about your location on social media.
- Don’t drink in a hot tub.
- Wear lots of sunscreen.
- Swim safely.
- Stay hydrated at all times.
- Avoid staying on the first floors of hotels because they have been known to be commonly targeted by thieves.
- Secure your belongings in a locker.
- Always stay with your group, especially at night and when visiting the ATM.
Whether you’re a teenager or a parent planning a trip, I hope this guide to spring break in Alabama has given you some ideas to get started. I’d say get packing already because no matter who you are, Alabama has exactly the kind of vacation you’re looking for. All that is left to do is to make a break for it…a break for spring break!
Have you been to any of these places in Alabama during spring break? Would you add any tips or places to visit? I would love to know your take on this guide!