Things to do in Orange Beach Alabama When You Aren’t Fishing
Whether it is in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores or anywhere on the beautiful Gulf Coast, one of the challenges of planning a family fishing vacation is satisfying everyone in the group who may not be as “gung ho” about fishing as you are. Dragging unwilling participants is no fun for anyone and can lead to stress and anxiety that can ruin a day of fishing, or even worse, an entire vacation. The good news is that if you’re planning things to do in Orange Beach or Gulf Shores, Alabama when you aren’t fishing, there are plenty or free and fun things for the whole family to do. In this article we’re going to cover my recommendations for how to maximize your time when you aren’t fishing.
Now before we get into my picks for things to do, I would be remiss to leave out fishing all together. Surf, pier, inshore and deep sea fishing in Orange Beach are second to none in the Gulf of Mexico. Few other areas offer the same access and options that coastal Alabama does. So if you’re planning a fishing trip to the area you will not go wrong, here’s how to make the rest of your time just as awesome for you and your family.
Fishing Tournament Weigh Ins
As I write this, I don’t know how the Covid-19 virus will affect fishing tournaments during the course of the year. I do know that the Flora Bama Fishing Rodeo, the “funnest” fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast has unfortunately been cancelled for 2020. The F.B.F.R is a great event for the family, couple or solo angler who wants to compete for great prizes and enjoy one of the best venues that Orange Beach has to offer, so pencil it for next year.
While the Flora Bama Fishing Rodeo is out for this year, don’t rule out the Flora Bama Marina campus which offers several restaurants to choose from as well as a private beach on the always calm intracoastal waterway. You can come by car or boat!
Regardless of what transpires with the virus scenario, keep in mind that fishing tournaments are great fun for the whole family, not only the overall experience but especially at the weigh-in activities. Everyone can see and “ooh and awe” at unique and cool catches that hit the dock and the fish are even on display where all can get up close and personal
Be sure to check out my calendar of fishing tournaments all along the Gulf Coast. If you’ve never been to a Big Game Fishing Tournament weigh in, it’s an absolute blast for families.
You should really consider spending a day at the Flora Bama Yacht Club. They offer kayak and paddleboard as well as pontoon boat rentals and you can access miles and miles of kayak trails using the yacht club as the starting point.
Speaking of “Eco-Tourism”, if you want an awesome family outdoor experience, consider walking or cycling the back country trail. The Hugh S. Branyon backcountry trail is made up of more than 15 miles traversing six distinct ecosystems through Gulf shores, Orange Beach, and Gulf State Park.
Visit the Tackle Shops on Canal Rd
Two area tackle shops will leave you with big smiles and potentially empty pockets if you love the latest, greatest, and hard to find tackle, equipment and apparel. J&M Tackle and Sam’s Stop and Shop on Canal Road have literally everything you could ever want or need to gear up for your next fishing trip. For a little something extra, grab breakfast at Sam’s! If you need a little help gearing up with the best baits and rigging for the area, they’ll be happy to help point you in the right direction to be successful on your trip.
Things to do in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores for Kids Without the Parents
I know all too well that sometimes the parents need a little time alone and sometimes the kids want it too! If you’re looking to give your kids some things to do in Orange Beach, Alabama when you are having a couples experience (we’ll get to those in a bit) then consider these awesome options.
The Summer Sailing Camp Wind and Water learning center put on by the City of Orange Beach Parks and recreation is a week long camp put on each week beginning in early June and running through early August. Camps start at six years of age, so just imagine what a week in Orange Beach would be like with just you and your wife and some FREEDOM!
When things heat up, Waterville USA is one of the most fun things to do in Orange Beach, Alabama. It is a great way to stay cool and let the kids make some waves on their own while you head out for some adult activities.
Things to do in Orange Beach for Spouses Who Don’t Fish
Whether you’ve got a charter booked, you’re bringing your boat down or you’re planning a trip with some friends or family just hitting the beach, there are plenty of options for your spouse to have some fun while you’re out chasing the big boys. Consider these options:
- Crafting at the Orange Beach Arts Center
The Orange Beach Arts Center overlooks scenic Wolf Bay and offers a fine art gallery where you can watch hot glass demonstrations and “Make-Your-Own” fused/blown glass. There are pottery demonstrations and Make-Your-Own clay items in The Clay Studio. For the kids in need of fun things to do in Orange Beach, there are summer art camps and even kids birthday parties with art projects included. If you love arts and crafts you’ll really enjoy this inviting and scenic campus to enjoy your next DIY craft experience.
- Shop While You Deep-Drop
If your wife loves to shop, she’ll have more than enough options for a day (or more) spent looking for her next great buy. The Wharf offers shopping options close to the amphitheatre which features some of the best musicians in the country. Sanroc Cay offers shopping options close to the charter docks. Both venues offer dining that is sure to please those looking for casual grub or fine dining alike.
- Spend a Day at the Spa
The McCollough Institute offers surgical and non surgical procedures as well as a med spa and is staffed with some of the best plastic surgeons and skin health technicians in the country. If you’re looking for more of a relaxation day at the spa or a salon experience, check out the Beach Club Resort and Spa for massages, facial treatments, body treatments, nail services, and there is even a full suite of services for the men who want to get in on the pampering.
Fun Things to do in Orange Beach, Alabama for Couples when they aren’t Fishing
Maybe you’re without kids for the day or even week, if you are, do not fret because there are plenty of fun things to do in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama when you aren’t fishing. Here are some of my wife and my favorites when it’s just us two.
- Dine Out
One of my favorite fun things to do in Orange Beach, Alabama when it’s just us adults is start a “Bushwhacker Tour”. There are so many great options for bars in the area, but I almost always start mine at the Flora Bama. The rich history of the drink started there and it’s a great jump off point to many of the other dining and bar options the area has to offer. Speaking of dining out, that brings me to another one of my favorites, and that’s the Southern Grace Series.
The Southern Grace Dinners take place at Fisher’s at the Orange Beach Marina. Now in its seventh installment, the highly anticipated summer culinary series features award-winning and celebrity chefs from across the South. For 2020, James Beard Award nominee and Fisher’s Executive Chef Bill Briand will open up his kitchen to spotlight the talent and cuisine of notable chefs from across the region.These exclusive dinners allow guests the opportunity to mix and mingle with their favorite chefs at a cocktail reception, followed by a communal-seated dinner in Fisher’s laid back and relaxed signature style. A portion of the proceeds benefits The Fuse Project, a nonprofit 501C3 organization dedicated to providing the spark for innovation, funding, and implementation of projects benefiting children along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Also available for the girls when the boys are out fishing is a really awesome brunch menu at Fisher’s and La Playa.
- Stay In
Sometimes, especially after a tiring day of fishing or a hot day on the beach, the best bet is staying in with your significant other. I have two options for those folks looking to stay in for the evening. Orange Beach Concierge Services and Island Epicurean offers personal chef and dining services when you’re looking for “gourmet on the go”. Multi Course dining experiences for 2 or even 10 are available for you two lovebirds on your night in.
If you want to go fishing in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores and make sure that everyone stays happy, give some of the above options a try. When everyone has a good time, you can guarantee you’ll be coming back for more great fishing in the future.