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Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach - Which is Better?

Jeannelle Douglas

April 20th 2022

Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach - Which is Better?

You have the Gulf Coast on your mind and are looking for a new vacation spot. You’ve narrowed it down to two places: Gulf Shores, Alabama and Orange Beach, Alabama.

It can be hard to choose between the two areas if you don’t know which one to choose. There are plenty of activities in both areas that can keep your trip busy from the moment you arrive. The cities are practically twins — they share the same beaches, similar attractions, and even the same zip codes. So how do you choose which one to visit? We’ve got you covered with this guide to Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach.

Table of Contents

  • Gulf Shores Vs Orange Beach-Similarities
  • Gulf Shores vs Orange Beach- Differences
  • Gulf Shores vs Orange Beach- Beaches
  • Gulf Shores vs Orange Beach- What is There to Do for Families?
  • Where to Stay
  • Takeaway

 


 

Gulf Shores vs Orange Beach-Similarities

 

Sunset at Orange Beach Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach - Which is Better?

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have many similarities.

 

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are similar in many ways. They both have a lot of beaches and fishing. They are both very beautiful and tropical. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach also share many similarities like shopping, an abundance of seafood restaurants, and fun attractions. Both areas are known for their sugar-white sand beaches and emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico that greet visitors each year.

{Read Reviews & Book Gulf Shores Orange Beach Attractions Online}

 

Gulf Shores vs Orange Beach- Differences

 

Alabama Gulf Coast Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach - Which is Better?

Gulf Shores has stretches of white sand beaches.

 

The beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are connected by Alabama Highway 182. Even though they are right next door to each other, they are two vastly different areas.

Gulf Shores is family-friendly. It has long stretches of white sand beaches and a number of restaurants and attractions. There are a few small shopping centers in town and several discount stores such as Walmart and Publix where you can get groceries.

Orange Beach is more upscale. There are tons of high-rise condos lining the beach in this area, so it is not quite as family-friendly as Gulf Shores. Many visitors choose Orange Beach because it feels more modern than the neighboring Gulf Shores.

 

Gulf Shores vs Orange Beach- Beaches

 

Orange Beach Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach - Which is Better?

The beaches are perfect for relaxing and soaking up the sun.

 

The main draw for visitors to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is, of course, the beach. There’s no mistaking that both offer gorgeous white sand, clear blue waters, and plenty of room to spread out your beach blanket.

Gulf Shores is larger than Orange Beach in terms of size — with more coastline compared to Orange Beach — so it offers more variety when it comes to beaches. The main public beach area in Gulf Shores is West Beach, which provides volleyball courts and other amenities for tourists. Gulf State Park also has an expansive beach area that’s perfect for families who want a little more space to stretch out their towels without having to walk a long way down the beach.

In Orange Beach, guests will find two main public beach areas: Perdido Pass and Cotton Bayou. Perdido Pass has restrooms, showers, and changing rooms available for use by the public during daytime hours.

{Read Reviews & Book Gulf Shores Orange Beach Jet Ski/Waverunner Rentals Online}

 

Gulf Shores vs Orange Beach- What is There to Do for Families?

 

Waterville USA Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach - Which is Better?

Pictured above is Waterville USA. Image by watervilleusa.com.

 

Gulf Shores offers a bit more to do in comparison to Orange Beach and it’s a more kid-friendly spot. The main strip is lined with miniature golf courses, arcades, and ice cream parlors where kids and adults can easily pass away a summer afternoon. At night, the place to be is The Hangout, a sprawling beachfront restaurant that hosts outdoor concerts throughout the year.

We have laid out some of the most popular family-friendly attractions in Gulf Shores, which include:

  • The Track Family Fun Park
  • Gulf Coast Zoo
  • Waterville USA
  • Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
  • Zooland Mini Golf

When it comes to Orange Beach, it’s the perfect place to experience nature. It’s more laid back and has a slower pace. It’s an ideal place for adult travelers who want to unwind and relax. You can enjoy soaking up the sun at the beach, going fishing, or playing a round of golf. If you’re with family, there are many excellent activities that are suitable for all ages including a zipline course, boat cruises, restaurants, and shops.

{Read Reviews & Book Gulf Shores Orange Beach Tourist Attractions Online}

 

Where to Stay

Lodge at Gulf State Park Gulf Shores vs. Orange Beach - Which is Better?

Pictured above is the Lodge at Gulf State Park. Image by lodgeatgulfstatepark.com.

 

Gulf Shores offers a variety of lodging accommodations. From spacious hotel suites and beachfront condos to cozy beach cottages, each Gulf Shores vacation rental provides easy access to the miles of white-sand beaches, quiet back bays, and an abundance of outdoor activities. Check out TripShock’s picks for the best accommodations in Gulf Shores below:

 

The Lodge at Gulf State Park
21196 E Beach Blvd
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Phoenix All Suites Hotel West
533 W Beach Blvd #6435
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

The Beach Club Resort & Spa
925 Beach Club Trail
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

If you’re planning a vacation in Orange Beach, Alabama, you’ll find plenty of hotels that can accommodate your entire group and are near top attractions. Whether you are looking for an all-inclusive resort, a lively beachfront hotel, or a cozy condo or cottage, they can all be found in Orange Beach. Check out TripShock’s top picks for the best accommodations in Orange Beach below:

 

Perdido Beach Resort
27200 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL 36561

Island House Hotel Orange Beach
26650 Perdido Beach Blvd
Orange Beach, AL 36561

SpringHill Suites Orange Beach
4673 Wharf Pkwy W
Orange Beach, AL 36561

 

Takeaway

 

Gulf Shores vs Orange Beach- Which is better? Gulf Shores is a great destination for a family vacation or weekend getaway, but you may want to consider Orange Beach if you prefer a small-town atmosphere or if you are looking for more golf courses and upscale amenities.

 


 

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