Things to do in Gulf Shores, Alabama ~ Southern Vacation Rentals

Are you planning a group getaway to Gulf Shores this year? This exciting slice of coastal paradise on Alabama’s Gulf Coast offers no shortage of fun. From local color at iconic restaurants to classic Gulf Shores landmarks and everything in between, this is the place to visit if you’re traveling with a group. To get the scoop on some of the best things to do in Gulf Shores, we asked a local about some of the best places to go during your stay. Read on for our top picks on dining and activities during your vacation!


Looking for a healthy bite to eat in Gulf Shores? Picnic Beach offers a huge variety of good, clean eating options – even the barbecue is clean! From smoothies and fresh juices to meat platters and burgers to die for, there isn’t a bad thing on the menu. Or, treat yourself to lunch at the Pink Pony Pub, a “World Famous Beachfront Restaurant and Bar.” That’s right – the Pink Pony Pub is located directly on Gulf Shores’ beach. Their claim to fame is “surviving hurricanes since 1956” and they have a menu chock-full of fresh salads, seafood specials, and their World Famous Pink Pony Pub Nachos. This is one of those places you have to see to believe.

Meanwhile, for fine dining, head about 20 minutes east into Orange Beach to Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina. You can experience casual dining at Fisher’s Dockside as well, but for fine dining, you’ll definitely want to try Fisher’s. The dinner menu consists of some of the best swordfish, pork shank, and seared jumbo scallops around. Be sure to save some room for the macaron ice cream sandwich and a cup of French press coffee from Fairhope Roasting Company!


There is so much fun to be had year-round in Gulf Shores. If you’ve never been on a dolphin cruise before, then you absolutely must add this to your itinerary. Our Southern Perks partners offer discounts on activities like dolphin cruises during your stay. Simply mention that you’re staying with Southern or use the provided promo code to save! Another great way to cruise the Gulf waters is on a local favorite sailboat, Wild Hearts. This charter boat will take you on just about every excursion you can imagine, from sunset cruises to family adventure sailing – they even offer private and corporate charters!

If you want to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground, then you’re in luck as there is still so much to do in Gulf Shores. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo provides hours of fun as well as Waterville USA and OWA Amusement Park. Shop till you drop at Tanger Outlets in Foley, just a quick 12-minute drive north of Gulf Shores. Nature lovers will enjoy a day of hiking the Hugh S. Brayon back Country Trail at beautiful Gulf State Park.

Where to Stay

Additionally, it’s not a getaway without somewhere to stay. Our inventory of Gulf Shores vacation rentals offers everything you could imagine, including beachfront condos and luxurious homes. For any kind of group getaway – whether a large family reunion or even a corporate retreat – Caribe Retreat in Gulf Shores is the place to be. Made up of four separate homes within two beachfront buildings, Caribe Retreat can as little as 20 people or as many as 80. Beautifully designed interiors, fully equipped kitchens, and incredible views await!

For more information on things to do in Gulf Shores, visit our Gulf Coast Guide! Be sure to visit our group travel page to learn more about booking your group getaway with Southern.