Holidaymakers seeking a relaxed, family-friendly getaway will find it in Alabama’s beaches and nearby small towns. Characterized by warm Gulf waters and soft, ivory sands, the state’s beaches and surrounding small towns are a treat for those seeking a laid-back, family-friendly getaway. When determining the best Alabama beaches, U.S. News took into account scenic beauty, available amenities, and the opinions of experts and travelers to determine which stretches of shoreline were worth visiting. Do you have a favorite? Vote in the poll below to have a say in who makes the list for next year.
Gulf Shores Main Public Beach
Tourists and residents alike flock to Gulf Shores’ main public beach for its easy access to the water and lively atmosphere. Visit the beach early in the morning to see the local wildlife and fishermen taking advantage of the ebbing tide before the day’s tourists arrive.
An amphitheater, wheelchair-accessible mats, and restrooms have been added to the beach’s facilities as part of a major renovation project. Many water activities, such as Jet Ski dolphin tours, begin and end at the beach, which is clean and convenient.
Enjoy watching the pelicans compete with the local fishermen for their catch while strolling along the public pier. It’s a good place to start if you’re new to the area because it has a wide variety of amenities and numerous pedestrian access points.
Even though Alabama’s beaches are free of litter, the eco-conscious vacationer will enjoy them because of the ongoing efforts of beach communities to promote sustainable vacations. The Leave Only Footprints campaign in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores includes measures like no glass containers on the beaches to protect the natural habitats, fish, and wildlife that make the area so appealing for a sandy vacation.
Fort Morgan Public Beach
Small but charming, Alabama’s Fort Morgan Peninsula has some of the most interesting beaches in the state. The beach encircles the historic fort, which served as a military base during several conflicts, including the American Civil War. It’s about 20 miles from downtown Gulf Shores, but the scenic drive and secluded beach are well worth the effort.
Although the beach at Fort Morgan isn’t open to the public, visitors who pay an entrance fee to the Fort complex can get access to it nonetheless. Combining some historical sightseeing with some downtime by the water makes for a perfect day trip. In contrast to some of the more crowded public beaches, this quiet beach is located less than an hour away from Gulf Shores, Alabama
West Beach is the place to go if you want to avoid the crowds but still enjoy the Gulf Shores beach experience. You can either rent a beach house or admire it from the water’s edge in this area of Gulf Shores, Alabama. There are numerous restaurants where you can have a romantic sunset dinner or a relaxing lunch by the water.
The Gulf State Park and Waterville USA waterpark are just a short drive from the beach, which extends all the way into Mobile Bay. Private vacation homes and resorts along the Gulf Shores offer the closest lodging options to West Beach, but you can also drive there for the day from one of these locations.
Alabama Point Beach
More than a mile of white sand beach access is available at Alabama Point Beach, which is located in Orange Beach, and is close to the Gulf State Park. With its proximity to the Perdido Pass Bridge, the beach provides excellent views of the boat traffic that passes through the Perdido Pass, which is particularly advantageous for photographers.
This beach is particularly wide, with more than 6,000 feet of beach area to scout out a spot for the day. This is one of the most attractive aspects of Alabama Point Beach. Preparing a picnic lunch to enjoy in the shade at one of the picnic areas is a good idea. Aside from relaxing and swimming, make sure to check out the sand dunes at the beach and boardwalks while you’re there.
Picnic areas, a boardwalk, restrooms, and showers are all available on the beach. Due to the fact that Alabama Point is rarely crowded and the water has gentle waves, it is an excellent choice for families and children. Keep an eye out for dolphins, which are known to swim through the area on occasion, for an added bonus. Parking at the beach is subject to a fee.
Robinson Island, which is one of the best-kept secrets in the Orange Beach area, is a popular swimming and boating destination for both locals and tourists. Robinson Island is one of three small sandbar islands located north of the Perdido Pass bridge. Robinson Island is a popular tourist destination. These islands, which are only accessible by boat, are very popular with the locals.
Bird and Walker islands, as well as the other islands in the group, are all shorebird nesting habitats, and visitors are strongly advised to stay on the beaches and avoid venturing inland in order to protect the habitat. Other visitor restrictions include the fact that pets are not permitted on the island.
Robinson Island is a small piece of paradise tucked away in the back bays of the Bahamas because the habitat surrounding it has been protected. The scenery is beautiful, and the city is doing its part to protect the natural flora and fauna that surround the water.
Robinson Island can be reached by taking an island cruise that includes a stop on the island for swimming and snorkeling. In addition, Coastal Kayaks, which offers an all-day trip to the islands, can be booked for a kayak tour.
This beach is known for its sandcastles, kites and volleyball as well as its stunning sunsets, which can be seen from Romar Beach. However, parking fees are required at Romar Beach, but its location makes it an ideal spot for a post-dinner stroll along the beach or an afternoon picnic.
There aren’t many people on the beach, but that’s part of the appeal. It’s best to visit this beach from a nearby condominium like the Phoenix V, one of several condominiums run by the same company, which offers a wide range of accommodations based on the size of your group. Parking is limited.
Those looking for an active beach scene and more than just sunbathing should put Fairhope Beach on their list of places to visit. Fairhope beach and the surrounding neighborhood have a tranquil atmosphere.
There are few waves at Fairhope Beach, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing swim. You won’t run out of places to have a picnic and get some shade during the day.
You must pay a small entrance fee to access the park’s restaurants, shops, and beautiful gardens near the Fairhope Pier. In Fairhope, you’ll find a variety of small shops and restaurants, making it a great place to walk. Walking trails and nature trails are available for those who don’t want to spend the entire day at the beach.
Cotton Bayou Beach
Cotton Bayou Beach is a small stretch of beach that is sandwiched between two boardwalks, two highways, and a few condominium buildings. It has the same pure-white sand as other Orange Beach waterfront locations, but it is not as crowded as some of the city’s more popular public beach destinations.
The public beach on Dauphin Island is well worth the trip from the more crowded beaches in the Orange Beach and Gulf Shores areas to get away from it all. The island stretches for 14 miles, with long stretches of sand and ocean surf separating it from the mainland. Pets are welcome on the beach, and it is a safe environment for families.
If you want to mix in a little history with your swim, you can visit the 19th-century Fort Gaines, which is still home to its original cannons, which is located on the island. It is possible to rent bikes and kayaks, or you can go for a walk on one of the trails that are located nearby and are close to the beach.
Take the Mobile Bay Ferry from Fort Morgan over to Dauphin Island from the Gulf Shores or Orange Beach to get to Dauphin Island from the other side of the Gulf (weather dependent). If you are driving from Mobile, you can reach Dauphin Island by heading south and crossing the island bridge.
Little Lagoon Pass
Little Lagoon Pass, located in Gulf Shores, is a public beach access area that is ideal for families. It is directly across the street from the point at which Little Lagoon empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It is a good choice if you are looking for a location that provides both beach access and amenities such as public parking, restrooms, and outdoor showers in one convenient location.
Small children enjoy playing in the shallower water, which is ideal for families with small children. Another option is to stop at Little Lagoon Pass, which has a small public park where you can relax with a picnic lunch under the shade of tall trees. Other attractions and a fishing pier are close by, so you can spend your entire beach day in a single location if you choose to.