Frequently Asked Questions

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

Where is Gulf Shores & Orange Beach?
This year-round value destination is located on the northern Gulf of Mexico between Pensacola, Florida (which is 30 minutes to the east) and Mobile, Alabama (which is 90 minutes to the northwest). Our Pleasure Island is truly an island separated on the north side by the Intracoastal Waterway and on the west side by Mobile Bay. Dauphin Island is a short ferry ride away. Also, our slice of Alabama tourism attracts many visitors from the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast, such Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, LA, and Biloxi, MS. In addition to these guests, our Orange Beach and Gulf Shores vacation rentals are only a few hours from Panama City Beach Florida

Can I bring my pet?
Several properties are pet friendly and may have rules as to size and number of pets you can bring. Please note the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach both have city ordinances prohibiting animals on the beach, and that pets are not permitted in the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. However, you may search locations where pets are allowed. Be sure to double-check the pet policy of your vacation rental before bringing your pet.

Where can I find information about our sea turtles?
Bookmark www.alabamaseaturtles.com for all of your sea turtle information. On this website, you will discover interesting statistics on our flippered visitors, tips for being turtle friendly, and ways to volunteer.

What I can do in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach?
With so many activities and sights to see in the area it may be difficult to decide what to do.  Please check our events pages where we post everything from major concerts and festivals to quaint tidbits of southern culture. Or if the sun has set on everything but your energy, find a lively hot spot on our nightlife page.

What do the colored flags mean on the beach?
These flags are a part of the beach flag warning system that alerts beach-goers about the surf conditions. Adopted by the cities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores and the Gulf State Park, this system has five flags. Conditions at all public beaches are constantly monitored so that the posted flag(s) reflects the current conditions. Learn more about the flags and beach safety.

Can I get married on the beach?
You can say “I Do” to a romantic beach-side wedding. Some couples choose to be married in front of houses, hotels, condos, state park pavilion or even at the public beach. You may need to get permission at particular locations.  Our Weddings page contains many helpful tips for the bride to plan her wedding.

Where can I fish if I don't have  a boat?
Land a whopper of a fish (or tale) by visiting several popular fishing spots. In Gulf Shores, check out Little Lagoon or visit the fishing pier near Fort Morgan State Historic Site. Meanwhile, Orange Beach showcases its waterfront park (which also has a fishing pier) and Alabama Point. If you want to leave the land lubber legs behind but don’t own a boat, book a charter or head boat.

When does the ferry leave and how much will it cost?
The Mobile Bay ferry shuttles passengers and vehicles between Fort Gaines (on the west side of the bay) and Fort Morgan (on the east side). Operating during daylight hours, the ferry typically departs every 90 minutes. An check up-to-date schedule and list of fares can be found on the Mobile Bay Ferry website or  call (251) 861-3000. A one-way ticket for an automobile is $18.00 while a round trip is $30.00. Each additional passenger (not including driver) is $6.00. Special rates are also available for motorcyclists, motor homes, trailers and walk-on passengers. Rates were accurate at the time of this posting and current information may be viewed on the  Mobile Bay Ferry website. The ferry accepts cash, personal and traveler’s checks and Visa, Mastercard and debit cards.

When is Mardi Gras?
Make your reservations now to spend Mardi Gras on Alabama's Gulf Coast. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach both host parades on Fat Tuesday with other local and nearby parades leading up to the big day. Fun for the whole family! Laissez les bon temps rouler!

  • March 5, 2019
  • February 25, 2020
  • February 16, 2021