Alabama beaches are some of the best on the Gulf Coast. They aren’t as crowded or developed as more well-known beaches, and plenty of fun activities are nearby. Many aren’t even aware that this southern state has beaches.
Be enlightened as we share the details on seven of Alabama’s best beaches.
Alabama Has 32 Miles of White Sand Beaches
The Gulf Coast stretches from Texas to Florida’s Keys. Alabama is in the middle, with 32 miles of white sand. Alabama beaches start close to the Mississippi line and extend to the Florida panhandle.
Rivers form the boundaries on the eastern edge of Alabama, so it has lots of bends and curves. That chunk of land at the bottom is where you’ll find the Alabama beaches.
With so many miles of coastline, there are plenty of places to enjoy the sand and surf. We’ll point you toward the very best Alabama beaches and share what you can do in these beautiful areas.
The 7 Best White Sand Beaches in Alabama
While there’s some nightlife, Alabama’s beaches have a well-earned reputation for being fun, family-oriented destinations. All of these destinations are along the salty waters of the gulf, and all have their own personality.
1. Orange Beach
Address: 28273 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
About: Named for the citrus groves once abundant here, this is one of Alabama’s largest beach communities. With a population of around 6,500, there’s still a small community vibe.
Orange Beach has fishing boats, pleasure crafts, and condos but plenty of beaches to explore. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail has miles of paths for hiking and biking.
The Wharf retail development offers dining, drinks, shopping, and a live concert venue. The beach itself has sparkling white sands and easy access to open waters.
Beachside Amenities: Orange Beach is exceptional, but it has very few public amenities. There is public parking for a fee, but there are no public restrooms other than port-a-potties. Please note that the city prohibits alcoholic beverages.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 9.6/10
2. Dauphin Island Beach
Address: 3000 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528
About: This barrier island south of Mobile is a rustic resort getaway accessible by a two-lane causeway. It’s nearly 30 miles from Interstate 10, through a sparsely populated area.
The public beach is on the island’s west end, while other sites are popular with birders. The historic Fort Gaines, built in 1821, is a popular attraction, and there are a few small local restaurants.
Beachside Amenities: There’s a big parking area, air-conditioned restrooms, a food vendor, and beach chairs for rent. Pets are not allowed, and neither are grills or glass containers.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 9.3/10
Pro Tip: Need somewhere to stay while in Alabama? Check out these 7 Best Campgrounds on the Beach in Alabama.
3. Cotton Bayou Beach
Address: 25900 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
About: This smaller beach area is a local favorite compared to other Alabama beaches. It’s close to where State Route 182 intersects with State Route 161. It can be easy to miss because multi-story condominiums overshadow it. It has direct access to the gulf. When it’s not crowded with beachgoers, it’s bordering on ideal because it’s so easy to access.
Beachside Amenities: There’s a parking area and small but clean bathrooms with outer showers. There is also a short boardwalk to the beach.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 9.4/10
4. Florida Point Beach
Address: 28105 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
About: This beach is close to the state line, and it’s one of the best Alabama beaches. The only downside is walking from the parking lot to the beach area. You may want to travel lightly, with as few supplies as possible.
The view along the elevated boardwalks is incredible, and the beach offers seclusion. It’s also just down the road from the world-famous Flora-Bama Lounge, the area’s epicenter for live music day and night.
Beachside Amenities: There are restrooms, outdoor showers, and covered picnic areas, though far from the shoreline.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 9.1/10
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5. Fort Morgan Beach
Address: 110 Hwy. 180 W. Gulf Shores, AL 36542
About: Head down State Route 180 to the east and keep on driving, enjoying the rural and residential scenery on the way. If you see the actual Fort Morgan or the ferry boat, you’ve gone too far.
This is possibly the most remote beach on our list, more than 20 miles from the central part of Gulf Shores. It’s less crowded than other Alabama beaches, but there are few parking spots. It’s also dog-friendly.
There are no lifeguards, so swim cautiously and watch for red flags that warn of rip currents. A ferry at the end of Fort Morgan Road crosses the Mobile Bay to Dauphin Island.
Beachside Amenities: Because this is a primarily residential area, you won’t find any amenities here.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 8.9/10
6. West Beach
Address: 699 West Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
About: To the immediate west of Orange Beach, Gulf Shores has more than twice as many people but keeps its small-town feel. The city has many different beach areas, and West Beach is the least congested.
There are numerous public access points off the main beach highway, State Route 182. Look for the small parking lots at 4th Street, 5th Street, 6th Street, 10th Street, 12th Street, 13th Street, and 16th Street near Lagoon Pass. These are just far enough off the beaten path to offer more solitude.
Beachside Amenities: The typical amenities include a small bathroom facility and outdoor showers near the boardwalk or wooden steps down to the beach.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 9.2/10
Pro Tip: If you’re going to camp on the beach while in Alabama, make sure to follow these 10 Beach Camping Golden Rules You Should Never Break.
7. Gulf Shores Main Beach
Address: 101 Gulf Shores Pkwy. Gulf Shores, AL 36542
About: Also known as Gulf Place, this is the main beach at the southern end of U.S. 59. The proximity to the highway makes it a trendy location, and there are numerous famous restaurants in the area and souvenir shops.
The annual Hangout Music Festival takes place on the Gulf Shores in May. You’ll want to avoid the beach that particular week if you’re not there for the jams, but it’s much more laid-back at other times.
Beachside Amenities: There are beach attendants here during the peak season, along with open-air pavilions, restrooms, and showers. In addition, the city has mats available for wheelchair access on the beach. Just like Orange Beach, you cannot bring alcohol to Gulf Shores.
Morton Road Trip Rating: 9.1/10
Visit Alabama Beaches for Fun and Adventure
We love discovering new places, and we plan to return to coastal Alabama again and again. The gorgeous beaches are a big reason, and so are the friendly people and the slower pace of life.
We also love that at some times of the year, it’s almost like we have the beach to ourselves. In the fall, the weather is still lovely and mild, and the largest crowds have moved on. It’s a magical time just before the winter crowds have moved in from northern states.
If you’re seeking a relaxing and beautiful location for a beach vacation, you might want to give Alabama beaches a shot.
What Alabama beach do you want to relax on? Drop a comment below!
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