Girlfriend’s Guide to Shopping Alabama Beaches

When I’m on vacation, especially a girlfriends’ getaway, shopping is high on the list of things to do.

In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, the shopping is phenomenal! Boutique shopping is an experience in itself! Take a day to window shop — oh, who am I kidding? Shop at the adorable shops and boutiques, savor local cuisine and pamper yourself with mani’s and pedi’s during a girlfriend getaway on Alabama’s beaches.

But who wants to research where to shop? That’s no fun! So, here’s my complete guide to shopping at the beach.

Women shopping at The wharf

Shopping at The Wharf in Orange Beach 

In the boutiques and shops at The Wharf you’ll find just about everything! With more than a dozen shops for kids, men and women’s clothing, you can update your wardrobe with southern style. Or, accessorize with jewelry and sunglasses.

Some of my favorite apparel and accessory shops at The Wharf are:

  • Seaside Shoes and SWIM which offers shoes, handbags, artisan jewelry, beach accessories and gifts for those you left at home.
  • The Orange Beach Store which offers casual, beachy clothes for the whole family, perfectly representing the relaxed vibe of this beachside destination.
  • Utopia, which offers trendy and affordable items.
  • The Bag Lady, where you’ll find ladies fashion accessories and gifts — jewelry, watches, shoes, candles, cover-ups, scarves, beach inspired gifts — and handbags, of course!

If you want that beach feeling all year long, shop for home goods and home decor, too. At High Cotton Bath Company, create your own beach-inspired scents for the bath. Then, when you go back home and reality seeps in, you can “escape” to the beach with a soothing bath that takes you back to the beach. Or, create a beachy getaway at home with decor and accessories from The Southern Grind Coffee House.

Of course, all that shopping needs “fuel.” With 16 restaurants at The Wharf, you’re sure to find the perfect bite.

  • For breakfast or brunch, The Southern Grind Coffee Shop is a great place to start! They offer gourmet coffee, of course, and fabulous, made-to-order dishes. One of my favorite savory dishes is the avocado egg melt — satisfying, but not too heavy. For a sweeter bite, I recommend the pear and pecan cinnamon French toast.
  • For a quick lunch, head to Blue Water BBQ Company, a cafeteria style eatery that serves food quick so you can get back to the action!
  • For a more formal meal, my personal favorite is Villagio Grille with its Italia- inspired menu. Ginny Lane Bar & Grill features fresh, local seafood at its waterfront location.
  • For a quick break from the shopping, enjoy a drink at Red or White Wine or at Island Time Daiquiris. Or, grab a sweet treat from Kilwin’s, Dippin’ Dots or the Sugar Shack.

Complete your day at The Wharf with some entertainment. With a movie theater, giant Ferris wheel, boat rentals and cruises, mini golf and live entertainment, you can take home more than shopping bags — you’ll have great memories, too!

Pelican Place in Gulf SHores

Pelican Place at Craft Farms in Gulf Shores

Pelican Place in Gulf Shores has both local and national stores, entertainment and restaurants for a great day out.

Did you forget to pack something essential? Head to Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond for whatever you need. Or, go to Books A Million for a book to enjoy on the beach.

At Angel Nails and Spa, kick off your shopping day with some pampering. Then head out to shop for souvenirs, keepsakes or other unique items at the specialty shops.

  • The Beach House has “beach chic” resort wear, jewelry, accessories and gifts.
  • Everything Beautiful has women’s clothes in all sizes — and some amazing flip flops! They are focused on offering unique and timeless pieces you’ll enjoy for years.

After shopping, indulge in a sweet treat at The Yard Milkshake Bar. With 28 flavors of ice cream, 8 flavors of cookie dough and dozens of mix-ins and toppings, you can make the milkshake of your dreams! Or, if you’re like me — indecisive — use the “premade milkshakes” menu to narrow your options. Come hungry. Don’t count the calories. Make memories.

Other Shops and Boutiques

If you don’t want to make a full day of it, check out the independent shops and boutiques across this beautiful beach destination for gifts, souvenirs or something for yourself.

Get the gourmet in your life specialty olive oil or balsamic vinegars at the Happy Olive on Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach.

For the art collector, you’ll find the perfect gift at the Prosperous Pelican in Orange Beach. This shop features 20 artisans with art in all mediums, including clay pottery.

Harmony Creek Farm, also in Orange Beach, features locally made artisan soaps. Or, make it an experience and take a class. Make soap, bath bombs or a seashell soap dish to remember your trip.

In Gulf Shores, make your own jewelry creation at Blue Girl Beading. While they offer “drop in” classes, they recommend you plan ahead and schedule your class.

Girlfriend getaways and shopping go hand-in-hand. So, take a break from the beach and enjoy a day of shopping and food as you make memories to carry you through until the next getaway!

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