They say there is no place like home…but Orange Beach, Alabama gets pretty darn close. Also known as, Disney World, Orange Beach is the greatest family friendly coastal adventure in the United States.
It’s booming like crazy and I’m a tad conflicted about sharing this precious home away from home truthful tell all but hey, what are friends for? #tellonlyyourbestfriends
After our second visit to this straight out of Mayberry spot, we’re certain it’s a unique and a definite “to be considered” a permanent place to reside. Click here for our four day experience from last Summer.
There are so many things I cherish about Orange Beach including its proximity to sunny clear water Florida. When I say close I mean it’s practically a stones throw. Here is a quick tid bit…Orange Beach intercostal waters are split in half, half Alabama half Florida.
Speaking of split…we made it to the famous Flora-Bama bar…which sits smack dab on the Florida Alabama border. It’s a giant beach bar /club BUT before you judge me, make note that we went there for CHURCH! That’s right…every Sunday the Central Church hosts two services inside the legendary Flora-Bama bar. Get this…you can literally walk into church and before taking a seat, order a cocktail (if that’s your cup of tea). Yep, you can belly up to the bar order a bloody mary or screwdriver while you praise and worship. A new concept? I say whatever works to bring people to Jesus! The band and service were touching and the work the church does feeding the needy is incredible. I highly recommend visiting the bar and church while on your stay. Pop over for lunch, quick drink and nab a hat from the gift shop! It’s right on the beach you can’t miss it.
In my small non threatening opinion I have only two-minute critical quirks of the white sand paradise they call Orange Beach. One is the very harsh fact that I could never fully tame my skinny hair. I would basically be a perpetual frizz ball of natural unruly hair state 100 percent of the time. But so what right? I think I could live with it?!?
The second is the water-color. I’m sort of crystal clear blue water beach snob. The sand is as soft and white as baby powder but the green murky Mobile Bay color is not write home worthy water. It’s a little disappointing because I like to see my toes and snorkel but hey it’s less than an hour by boat to Pensacola.
The boat benefit is huge. The further out the clearer the water. We had the privilege of boating in the bay and taking a day trip to the island. Boats of every size and imagination are anchored out with families splashing and thumping to the sound of music. Bodies glistening in the sun and soaking up the salt water. It was awesome.
Mr. Chicken Fry had a special invitation to an early call to get his red snapper fish on. Look at the size of this catch. To say he had a good time would be an understatement. His team had reeled in their limit by 8:30am and guess what? Mr. Chicken Fry’s fish were the biggest of the day! Look at these whoppers!
Guide to the OB
Orange Beach is a
convenient, comfortable 10 hour drive from Dallas, Texas or you can fly into Pensacola, Florida and drive 21 miles to Orange Beach. There are van shuttle services or you can rent a car.
Mr. Chicken Fry and I prefer the beach house / condo type of arrangement. We stay in an homeowners area on the Cotton Bayou. This was our view for the week. A very generous friend invites us to his beach house on the bayou.
Renting for the week is cool because can basically move in and kick back. There is a Publix or Wal-Mart on the main strip. Stock up the kitchen with food and snacks for the whole family. Besides, Orange Beach hotels don’t have beach side service so either way you’re packing a cooler and toting it to the next activity. Why not serve yourself!?!?
We usually alternate meals in and out. For instance if I happen to have my “nice wife” hat on I will gleefully cook a big breakfast and in return we go out for dinner or vice verse. This trip we spent most / several nights with all of the kool kids in the neighborhood. These folks are true southerners and know how to kick it old school. Someone volunteers to host and will cook the main entrée. Every one else digs around in their frig for a quick side or salad. During cocktail hour, the guys grill and compare fishing stories, ladies chit-chat about important girl stuff like tanning and teenagers, while the kids nurse their sunburns. Then after about an hour, we all circle up, give thanks and pray then slay the feast. After a swift clean up, because at least five or more women jump into action together, we turn up the music and dance for three hours! What a country! The spreads of banquet style eating are massive but not informal. Just down home pot luck old fashion grub and grits. Oh…And homemade ice cream always seems to show up.
See, I told you it was like Mayberry!
Somehow I managed to balance my diet between homemade desserts such as lemon pound cake and blueberry almond cookies.
There are so many places to rent or lease. These sites came highly recommended by my friend who’s been living here for well over 15 years. Tell them Angi Abercrombie from Dallas sent you!
3259 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
1557 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
I have had personal experience at the Perdido Beach Resort. It’s a hotel on the beach with a pool. Perdido Beach Resort
The Caribe is a condo complex facing the island. It has a small water park feature for kids and adults.
Here are a few of the popular joints I recommend for snacking, brunching, lunching or dining. Oh and before I forget, have you ever heard of a Bushwacker? Down in these parts it’s a sugary signature dark liquor, vodka and rum beverage disguised as a frosty. I personally cannot speak from exprience but word on the beach is they are super potent so watch out. You’ve been warned!
Tacky Jacks. This is a huge come as your are breakfast, lunch and dinner indoor and outdoor restaurant bar. The food and service is superb and the view can’t be beat. Tacky Jacks also offers adventures like island tours, parasailing, barge and boat rentals etc. The gift shop is always a fun stop.
Across the street is Fischer’s. A marina, shopping and dining area. There is a “fine dining” upstairs and a more casual flip flop feel down bar/ restaurant below. The food is superb and the general area is nostalgic watching the giant fishing boats pull in and out.
Sassy Bass is smaller serendipitous restaurant with excellent wings and fish.
My recommendation is to make your way toCobalt for brunch following church on Sunday. It’s a ocean view and a massive brunch spread with all of the goods. IT’s next to The Caribe condos.
The locals rave about a nearby sushi joint called Big Fish that from what I hear never disappoints.
Big Mikes Steakhouse is also the talk of the town but I’ve personally never been there.
For all of you exercise enthusiasts….you are in for a real treat. Sign up for paddle board yoga on the water. Orange Beach Yoga has mastered a new way of working the body!
Certainly if you’re a cardio junkie, you can find any stretch of beach for a jog or long power walk any time of the day. The ocean breeze is always nice. Try something new like kayaking or paddle boarding. Get on a bike cruise around and explore. I took my own weights and resistance bands and 7 out of 10 days I did a challenging workout! Here’s the proof.
Also, don’t freak out if you check the Orange Beach forecast and it shows a 70% chance of rain every day. Expect to experience a daily lightly shower or a quick storm that will last about an hour or less. I think some type of thunderstorm passes in and out at least once or twice a day.
Please feel free to ask questions and or post your comments. I love hearing from you.
All in all it was another successful Abercrombie family adventure.
Love, dig in the sand and get a tan!