Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Best things to do near the Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Alabama

Everyone knows Gulf Shores and OBA are the best kept secret in Alabama but besides beautiful beaches and epic sunsets, what else is there to do? Here we’ve compiled our best list of family friendly activities in Gulf shores and beyond. 

a girl laying on a Gulf Shores Alabama sign

A trip to Gulf Shores is not complete without visiting the Gulf State Park. There are several public beaches here including Romar Beach, Cotton Bayou Beach, and Alabama Point East, but our favorite is the beach near the Gulf State Park Beach Pavilion.

Here there is ample parking as well as many concessionaires offering beach chair rentals, food and drinks, and other activities.

Paddle boarding with Pure Aloha Adventures Alabama 


2 people laying facedown on a paddle board a couple laying on stand up paddle boards in the water 3 girls laying on paddle board in gulf shores Alabama

Pure Aloha Adventures offers stand up paddle boarding lessons, tours and rentals as well as kayaking and paddle board yoga. Reservations are as they fill up quickly in the summer time. Guests joining a tour will be given a thorough beach lesson and safety talk and then will be guided out and taken on a one hour tour while searching for dolphins and other marine wildlife and taking in the views! Expert guides will coach you every step of the way ensuring even beginners will have an amazing adventure! This tour is one of the most family friendly activities in Orange Beach and Gulf shores. Rentals are also available and it’s a great way to get in some morning exercise before getting into the rest of your vacation shenanigans. Tour locations vary and reservations must be made online as they do not take walkups. 

If paddle boarding isn’t your jam, beach chairs are available for rent from different outfitters along Gulf Shores and Orange Beach signs are located up and down the beach, just call for reservations.  

Our second favorite thing to do in Orange Beach Alabama is taking a ride on these awesome Cruisin’ Tiki’s.

floating tiki bars in orange beach Alabama

Depending on the season you can choose from a 1.5 hour cruise or a 3 hour tour with stops at some of the best off shore islands off the coast of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach including the famous Bird Island. This is such a fun activity for bachelorette parties, wedding parties, birthdays, and everything in between. This is a BYOB cruise and USCG captains will cruise you around safely while you soak up the sun and enjoy those adult (or virgin) drinks of your choice! It is seriously a not to be missed, one of kind, excursion!

After a few hours at the in the sun, you are going to need to refuel. One of our favorite places for that is The Gulf Orange Beach.


a chalkboard menu at The Gulf in Orange Beach Alabama a cup of coffee on a table a group of people on a beach with a palm tree

This is a cool joint with plenty of seating overlooks the Perdido Pass. Enjoy a famous coconut mojito or delicious fish tacos while taking in the sights and sounds on in one of the most instagrammable locations in Gulf Shores. Here you will go to the bar to get a drink and then wait in line to order your food. Lines look long when you first approach but move quickly and food is delivered to your table via waiters and waitresses. There are plenty of picnic table in the sand for seating and you can pick full sun or shaded tables with umbrellas.  

After lunch you may want to do a little shopping. Our favorite little store is the Orange Beach Store located at 25122 Perdido Beach Blvd.

Here you can get everything from beach attire, reusable water bottles, sunscreen, and signature shirts and hats with their recognizable orange logo. This is not your typical tourist trap souvenir shop. Their products are high quality and are a great gift for those unfortunate friends and family who didn’t get to join you on the trip. 

If biking is your thing, the trails around Lake Shelby in the Gulf State Park are not to be missed.


a bicycle is parked next to a picnic table near the beach a bicycle parked in front of a giant chair at the Hangout in Gulf Shores a girl standing behind a bike in gulf shores Alabama

With over 28 miles of PAVED trails, you’ll be sure to find something for cyclists of all levels. For road cyclists, you can ride the loop around the lake a few times to get in some good miles or take the beach road for miles in either direction. For the leisurely biker, you can rent bikes onsite and cruise the many trails and scenic overlooks in the park. There are plenty opportunities for wildlife viewing and plenty of spots to stop and take pictures. Wildlife at the Gulf state park includes many different species of birds, yes, there are snakes, and even alligators! It is southern Alabama after all!  

Finish the day off by having a beer and watching the squirrels frolick on the outdoor patio at Big Beach Brewery.  

a person sitting on a swing holding up growlers of beer