The Beach by Boat
Thirty-two miles of white-sand beaches means there’s a whole lot of coastline to cruise.
So whether you “have boat, will travel” or plan to rent one on arrival, you’ll discover plenty of options for boating and floating in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
Unique Spots by Boat
If you’ve ever driven over the Alabama Point Bridge in Orange Beach and looked toward the bay, you’ve no doubt noticed a few boats beached on a small cluster of islands. Locals refer to this as Robinson Island; however, it’s actually a collection of islands called Bird Island, Walker Island and Robinson Island. The islands are only accessible by boat, kayak or standup paddleboard. Bring a picnic lunch, beach your boat and spend the day. Just remember to leave only footprints and take your trash, chairs and beach gear with you when you leave.
If you launch your boat at the Fort Morgan boat ramp, you’re just a short boat ride from Sand Island Lighthouse. The decommissioned lighthouse is located on the southernmost point of Alabama at the mouth of Mobile Bay and is about three miles offshore. The first lighthouse on the island was constructed beginning in 1837. Sand Island faces constant erosion issues and the lighthouse is listed as one of the most endangered lighthouses in the country on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. Dolphins frequent the lighthouse area, so keep your eyes open and do some dolphin watching on the trip over!
If you’re a scuba diver, don’t miss the opportunity to visit The LuLu, a sunken tanker about 17 nautical miles south of Orange Beach. It’s a great depth for beginner divers with 50-foot depth clearance at the top of the wreck. The bottom-level depth is 115 feet, which is great for more experienced divers. There are several other dive locations around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, including The Whiskey Wreck that can be accessed from the shoreline or small boat.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Boat Rentals
No boat? No problem. You can still access Alabama’s waterways via a rental watercraft. A center console boat is ideal for fishing and cruising the nearshore and back bay areas. Pontoon boats are great for a leisurely day of cruising or pulling a tube with passengers. You can even rent double-decker pontoons with slides!
For more details on planning a boating vacation in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, read Plan Your Boat-friendly Beach Vacation on Alabama’s Beaches.