Orange Beach Travel Guide
Orange Beach, Alabama, is a small Gulf Coast town of about 5,000 that is located in the southeastern tip of Baldwin County. It sits on a peninsula, now made an island by the Intra-coastal Waterway, between Perdido Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Creek Indians long lived in and around the area that now comprises Orange Beach, and they had a settlement in the vicinity into the early 1800’s. During colonial times, pirates often used Perdido Bay as a perfect hideaway zone. They had good access to fresh water there and could remain hidden until jumping out to ambush Spanish galleons and other passing ships. Some even believe that Captain Billie Bowleg’s pirate treasure is still hidden in the area.
Settlement began in the 1860’s, and the town of Orange Beach was, at first, a center of forestry industries due to its proximity to forest lands further inland. Later, after deforestation took place, orange groves were planted in Orange Beach, giving it its present name, and a citrus industry developed in the early 1900’s. A blight and several hard freezes wiped out the citrus trees by 1926, however. At first, Orange Beach grew slowly due to poor road access, but after the Intra-coastal Waterway came through in 1910, the tourist and charter fishing industries expanded.
Things to see and do in Orange Beach
Swim and relax on the 32 miles of white-sand beaches. Also golf at the Orange Beach Golf Center and enjoy some off-shore fishing at or near the long, sandy strip.
Go sailing on private tours of Perdido Bay, the interior lagoons, and the open Gulf. You can see the sun set over the waters and keep a sharp eye out for dolphin sightings. And at Zeke’s Landing Marina, you can rent equipment for water sports like kayaking, snorkeling, jet skiing, and paddle boating. Also consider chartering a dive boats or a yacht.
Go deep sea fishing in the waters surrounding Orange Beach. There are many guided tours, and there are numerous fish species often pursued, including red snappers, tuna, marlins, mackerels, and wahoos.
Visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, just a few blocks north from the beach. There are nearly 300 animals to see, including lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, reptiles, and numerous bird species. There is also a petting zoo for the kids and shows throughout the summer months.
Peruse the Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum, where you can learn of the fishing heritage and Native American history of the Orange Beach area.
Orange Beach has a “humid subtropical climate.” Its winters are rainy but relatively warm, while its summers are hot and humid. Because of its location on the Gulf, Orange Beach does get hit with a good deal of tropical storms and, occasionally, a hurricane.