The Clay Studio at the Coastal Arts Center in Orange Beach, AL

Find Your Inner DIYer At the Beach

A great vacation is all about the experience - enjoying things and feelings you can only find in your destination.

In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, it’s safe to say the relaxing beach atmosphere and warm Southern culture create an experience like no other. If you’re the hands-on type looking for more than a day on the sand, there are many other activities that can even further enhance a wonderful beach trip.

Alabama’s beach communities are brimming with tons of DIY experiences from unique art classes to immersive wildlife experiences. There really is something here for every type of DIYer. Plus, you take home more than handmade souvenirs; you take home amazing memories as well. You can have a piece of the beach with you no matter where you are. We’re sharing some of our favorite ways to find your inner DIYer at the beach.

High Cotton Bath Company

High Cotton Bath Company

If you love the relaxing atmosphere of the Alabama Gulf Coast, why not take some of it with you? Visit High Cotton Bath Company to make your own luxury bath, body or home products! Choose from more than 400 chemical-free bases, and then use their 200+ fragrances and oils to customize them to your tastes. They’re safe, smell divine, and will always remind you of your favorite beach vacation. Be sure and call ahead about a group experience if you are with friends or family. It's the perfect way to keep relaxing even after your trip is over!

Hammer & Stain

Come take a class in anything from painting and decorating a wooden sign to a hand-knit blanket workshop. You'll find there's something for everyone at this Gulf Shores DIY business. Check online for available classes or open paint days. Celebrating a birthday? Hammer & Stain is the perfect party place if you can plan ahead with a reservation.

Clara's Loom

Clara's Loom

Looking to add some texture to your life? Clara's Loom is the place for you! This charming textile cottage and studio offers classes in a variety of weaving techniques from celebrated textile artist Celia Dionne. They're age-appropriate, family-friendly and perfect for small groups or individuals. Browse the retail store to take home unique handwoven shawls, scarves, textile jewelry, designer yarns and more. You can even buy a travel loom so you can keep working on your new weaving skills.

 

The Clay Studio

The Clay Studio is a unique artistic experience offered by the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. Here, you’ll learn all about the art of pottery making in classes lead by local ceramic artist Maya Blume-Cantrell. You can hand build bowls, try your hand throwing on the spinning pottery wheel, or paint a beautiful design on pre-glazed pieces. Whatever you choose, you’ll end up with a one-of-a-kind piece of Alabama Gulf Coast art to decorate your home. Don’t forget to browse the gallery and gift shop for even more beautiful ceramic crafts.

Harmony Creek Farm

Be sure and visit Harmony Creek Farm for some of the best in locally made natural products including handmade artisan olive oil soaps, bath and body products, sunburn soother, insect repellent, lip balms and gift wrapped soaps. Also, look for fun classes like making bath bombs.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Sloth Encounter

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Encounters

Not a DIY, but definitely an individual experience like no other, the encounters at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo are sure to leave you with all the feels. Meet the red kangaroos upclose and personal with a kangaroo encounter. You’ll need to schedule in advance, and don’t forget to have someone snap some photos. If sloths are more your cup of tea, book a sloth encounter and learn about the behaviors and diets of one of the world’s slowest animals. Either encounter is a winner at the new Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, the first ZAA-accredited U.S. zoo facility built from the ground up in more than 20 years. It’s 25 acres of special adventures including theme-park family entertainment, encounters, interactive animal shows and a cool giraffe feeding station.

Ready to start making crafts and memories? Download our vacation guide to begin planning your best DIY beach vacation and find places to stay during your trip!

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