If you’re like many people this holiday season, you can’t wait for the New Year to arrive.
If you’re done with 2022, why not start living like it’s 2023 by kickstarting your resolutions in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach? Whether you want to learn a new skill, try a new adventure, or make some lifestyle changes, you’ll find easy and fun ways to do all of that and more just steps from our sugar-white sand.
Fitness is the number one resolution chosen - and the first to be abandoned - in the U.S. every year. If you want to get fit in a way that’s fun enough to keep your attention but effective enough to shed some serious pounds, check out these great options in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
- Hit the Trails. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach boast a number of scenic nature trails where you can walk, hike, or run to your heart’s content. As a bonus, they’re so full of stunning scenery that you won’t know if it’s the beauty or your burning legs that are leaving you so out of breath (though it’s probably a little of both).
- Pedal it Out. If you have a need for speed, renting a bike is a great way to get in some cardio that’s fast and fun. Beach Bike Rentals offers daily bike rentals and is located right outside of the Gulf State Park for easy access to the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. You can also take advantage of the bike share program located at various locations throughout Gulf State Park. Simply download the Bloom Bike Share App and scan a code at one of the bikes stations throughout the park to use the bikes for up to three hours at no charge.
- Beach Yoga. Fitness, wellness, and beach-ness combine for a fun workout session that hits all the senses with Glow Yoga. Their seasonal beach yoga classes are perfect for all skill levels and take place beachfront on the Dune Terrace at The Lodge at Gulf State Park, giving a whole new definition to Namaste. You can also schedule a private yoga session at your own location.
Looking for a new hobby to love? From seashell collecting to coastal-themed arts and crafts, there’s no shortage of fun ways to spend your spare time near Alabama’s beaches. Get started now to be a master in your new hobby by the time New Year’s Eve arrives!
- Get Crafty at The Clay Studio. If you want to get more crafty this year, The Clay Studio at the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach is your best bet. Guided by ceramics artist Maya Blume Cantrell, you can learn to hand-build amazing works of arts, take a spin on the throwing wheel, or start small by picking and painting a pre-made piece of pottery.
- Birdwatching. Birdwatching is a popular pastime on the Alabama Gulf Coast. If you want to find your own feathered flock, hit the Coastal Alabama Birding Trail to explore six distinct birding loops, each covering a unique ecological region. All you need to get started is a pair of binoculars, a birding field guide, and some comfy walking shoes.
- Search for Shells. You can't visit the beaches without picking up a few shells in the sand. Our beaches are home to a variety of different shells and plenty of great places to find them. Be sure to pick up a free shell bag at one of our welcome centers before you go searching!
If you prefer thrills over tan lines, you can work on crossing items off your bucket list thanks to our area’s variety of unique outdoor attractions. You’ll find plenty of ways to chase an adrenaline rush in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
- Skydiving. Do you dream of feeling the wind in your hair…as you take an adrenaline-pumping jump from a plane? If so, book an excursion with Skydive the Gulf. The center offers the only Gulf-view skydives in the area. The sunset skydive will have you landing on the beach at Flora-Bama just in time for a bushwacker!
- Parasailing. If flying hundreds of feet in the air with only a body harness supporting you is your idea of fun, you’ve got to try parasailing over the Gulf Coast shoreline. There are several companies across Gulf Shores and Orange Beach that offer professional parasailing tours where you can see our white-sand beaches from a whole new angle.
- Fly a Gyroplane. With BeachFlight Aviation, you can soar high over the beach in a gyroplane - then take the controls yourself (with the help of an FAA-Certified Flight Instructor, of course). The plane’s unique design offers a comfortably stable flight experience while open-air seats offer an unmatched view of the beach and marine life far below.
- Hunt Your Moby Dick. If hooking a lifetime catch is on your bucket list, you’re in luck - the Alabama Gulf Coast has some of the best fishing charters and tours in the country. Grab your favorite anglers and hit the open ocean on a day-long, guided fishing trip to hunt - and hook - underwater beasts like Mahi, King Mackerel, Red Snapper, and even sharks.
For more ways to kickstart your 2023, visit the our full list of things to do in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach.