Skip to Content

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores is one of our family’s favorite vacation spots. We’ve been at least six times and haven’t even scratched the surface of all the things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. I blame this on the beautiful beaches that beckon us to never leave.  Below are 10 things to do in Gulf Shores that I bet you didn’t already know about. If you can tear your eyes away from the shoreline to experience them, you won’t be disappointed.

things to do in gulf shores alabama

While the beach is the main attraction in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, there’s a lot more to experience if you can pull yourself away from the shore (no judgment here if you can’t though. Gulf beaches are among the most beautiful in the world!) Continue reading for 10 things to do in Gulf Shores Alabama during your visit.

I’ve done 4 out of 10 of these unique experiences that Gulf Shores, Alabama offers, so guess which six things are now on my bucket list?

ecotourism in gulf shores segway tours

Drive a Segway

Whether you need a Segway lesson to get you started, or just want to spend a couple of hours on the 14 miles of trails, Coastal Segway Adventures has you covered.

Go Glamping

The new Outpost Campsites at Gulf State Park offer tent campsites with cots and a sink with running water. I’d bring my goose down comforter and be pretty set!

gulf state park outpost campsite

After all, the cooking would be up to Hubs.

gulf state park outpost campsite

Tour an Oyster Farm

As much as I love to eat these little delicacies, I should probably learn more about where they come from! Whiteboots Charters will take you out to tour the ShellbanksSelects Oyster Farm. You’ll ride out on their flat-bottom boat and get a fun lesson in raising oysters.

Gulf Shores Oyster Farm Tour

I wonder if they let you chow down afterward? If not, check out my recommendations for where to eat in Gulf Shores, because you’ll surely be craving some oysters after this experience.

a plate of raw oysters on the half shell with lemon slice garnish.
The oysters here are so fresh!

Learn to Scuba Dive

Thanks to Down Under Dive Shop, I fulfilled a life-long dream and got my Open Water SCUBA Certification. It’s not necessary to fly to the Caribbean, find an all-inclusive resort, or take multiple weekends to get your certification. You can learn to dive during your family vacation to Alabama Beaches!

Get the online learning portion from PADI done at home then do your pool and open water dives with Down Under Divers. I promise you’ll be hooked. I certainly am!

Pet a Kangaroo

And a lemur and sloth too if you like! Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is home to over 500 exotic animals.

Meet Frodo. He’s travel-sized and I was tempted to bring him home with me. The kids don’t keep me busy enough so we should totally adopt a kangaroo, right?

In addition to a petting zoo, you can experience animal encounters with kangaroos, lemurs, sloths, tamanduas, and reptiles.

The ‘roos are a favorite of ours. There were twin joeys during this visit!

Take a Sandcastle Class

Why settle for the scoop and bucket method when you can create a masterpiece?

Sandcastle University Gulf Shores Alabama Sandcastle class

Enroll in Sandcastle University and the experts will bring a sandcastle class to you! Don’t forget to photograph your beach art before the tide comes in.

Make Blown Glass Art

Speaking of art…Who doesn’t love to watch glass being blown by hand? There’s something utterly captivating about the process. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to work with this medium yourself, stop by The Hot Shop at The Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach for a Make Your Own Glass class.

make your own glass class gulf shores

Schedule this activity early in your trip so your souvenir has a couple of days to fire in the kiln. If you can’t take it home with you, The Coastal Arts Center can ship your creation to you.

Help Baby Turtles Out to Sea

Watching a sea turtle nest excavation is something you never forget. Cheering on the newly hatched baby turtles as they make their way to the sea is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people.

a gloved hand holding a baby sea turtle while two of its siblings scurry across the sand toward the ocean.
Baby sea turtle cuteness overload!

Organizations like Share The Beach, are conservation programs, not tourist attractions. So seeing a sea turtle nest excavation is really a matter of serendipity. If you are visiting Gulf Shores and Orange Beach during nesting season, be sure to stalk follow Share The Beach on Facebook so that you can maximize your chances of being at the right place at the right time.

This excavation took place in Orange Beach right outside Best Western.

Picnic Indoors

Sit at the picnic benches or snag one of the provided blankets to enjoy your meal picnic-style indoors on the artificial grass at Picnic Beach BBQ.

Experience some of the best places to eat in Gulf Shores! We even visited a couple of these best restaurants Gulf Shores and Orange beach have to offer twice during our trip. Be sure to check out these best Gulf Shores restaurants on your next Alabama Gulf Coast vacation.

Hubs insists you try the ribs. He got excited enough about them to need to meet the grill master.

Experience some of the best places to eat in Gulf Shores! We even visited a couple of these best restaurants Gulf Shores and Orange beach have to offer twice during our trip. Be sure to check out these best Gulf Shores restaurants on your next Alabama Gulf Coast vacation.

Get Your Eco-Tourism On

There are so many new things happening at Gulf State Park from the new Interpretive Center to the grand opening of the new lodge this November. This means new things to do in Gulf Shores! You can tour the backcountry trails on a Segway, enjoy your entire vacation without a car thanks to the bike rentals available, and even snorkel the new artificial reef.

If eco-friendly travel is a priority for you, don’t miss out on being a part of the newest initiatives at Gulf State Park. Watch the video above to learn more.

Which of these 10 unique things to do in Gulf Shores will you try first? Personally, I want to see if I can pilot a Segway successfully. You never know until you try!