Nestled between Gulf Shores and Florida’s Emerald Coast, Orange Beach is an excellent destination for sun and sea on a budget! Its location on Alabama’s Gulf Coast means it benefits from white-sand beaches and turquoise-blue waters. It doesn’t, however, come with the overwhelming numbers of the more famous resorts in neighbouring Florida. This makes it a fantastic destination for a staycation this summer.
Orange Beach is quite small, but there isn’t a lot of information out there about the different neighbourhoods on offer. This can make it quite tricky to plan your trip. You’re definitely there for the beach – but where’s best for peace and quiet? What about the nightlife? Is there a restaurant district?
Thankfully, we’ve got you covered in this guide to the three best neighbourhoods in and around Orange Beach! We’ve consulted locals, travel experts, and online reviews to give you the lowdown on where to stay in this hidden gem on the Gulf of Mexico.
So, let’s dive right in!
Quick Tips: Where to Stay in Orange Beach?
- Overall Best Place to Stay in Orange Beach – Perdido Beach Boulevard
- Best Place to Stay in Orange Beach on a Budget – Downtown Orange Beach
- Where to Stay in Orange Beach for Couples – Perdido Key
- The Club at Live Bait is the most popular nightlife venue throughout the summer, offering live music and discounted cocktails.
- SanRoc Cay Marina is home to some excellent bars and restaurants; they can get a little pricey, but it’s well worth it for a date night.
- Adventure Island is a small theme park a short walk away from the Boulevard, with great attractions for younger kids.
Orange Beach one of the American South’s best vacation spots right now. is quite a compact city and therefore easy to get around. In a hurry and don’t mind which neighbourhood you end up in? These are our top overall accommodation picks in Orange Beach!
Idyllic Condo in Orange Beach – Melody of the Sea
This condo is actually out at Perdido Key, but with views like this, it’s worth the extra cost associated with Orange Bay’s neighbouring Florida resort! The complex is located right on the beach, so you won’t need to go far to hit up the main attractions in the area. With one large bedroom, we think this is a great choice for couples.VIEW ON VRBO
Laid-Back Downtown Home in Orange Beach – Wolf Bay
There are plenty of charming beach homes in Orange Beach, but this two-bedroom condo on the north has a more peaceful atmosphere than those along the main strip. Part of a larger complex, guests are given access to the on-site pool. There is also a small grill where you can rustle up a barbecue on warm summer evenings.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Family Friendly Hotel in Orange Beach – Perdido Beach Resort
Sometimes you just need the added convenience of a hotel – and this four-star resort right on the beach is surprisingly affordable. They offer family suites and regular rooms, so no matter how big your party, you will find something suitable. The on-site restaurant offers typical American cuisine, as well as a buffet breakfast every morning.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Orange Beach
Perdido Beach Boulevard
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Downtown Orange Beach
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Orange Beach’s 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
The city is split into two areas – North and South! For this guide, Perdido Beach Boulevard refers to the area surrounding the main road through the south of the city. For Downtown, we’ve included everything above Gulf State Park.
Keep reading for our top accommodation picks and things to do in each area!
- COOLEST thing to do in Perdido Beach Boulevard: New to surfing? This excellent taster session will have you catching waves in no time!
- BEST place to visit in Perdido Beach Boulevard: The beach! Stretching along the entirety of the city, the white sands and turquoise waters are a must-see.
Perdido Beach Boulevard is the most popular street running alongside Perdido Beach! This is where you will find most of the tourist attractions, with something for everyone. Families will love this area in particular thanks to the theme park, family-friendly restaurants, and nearby hiking trails to suit all levels.
Nightlife is a little more laid back in Orange Beach than other coastal resorts in the United States, but it’s still well worth visiting. Couples, in particular, will enjoy the easy-going atmosphere and well-priced drinks on offer. The restaurants often open late and serve some of the best seafood in the area.
Perdido Beach Boulevard is also the best-connected part of the city. Keep following it east to get to Florida, including the Perdido Key neighbourhood we’ve recommended below! It’s technically considered part of the wider Downtown area anyway, so getting around the rest of the city centre is a breeze.
Things to See and Do in Perdido Beach Boulevard
– Head out into the water with a professional fisherman in this experience – with only four people allowed; this is great for families.
– Looking for some professional holiday snaps? This coastal photo walk is well priced and will have you reminiscing about the trip for years to come.
– SanRoc Cay Marina is home to some excellent bars and restaurants; they can get a little pricey, but it’s well worth it for a date night.
– The Club at Live Bait is the most popular nightlife venue throughout the summer, offering live music and discounted cocktails.
– Gulf State Park, which separates Perdido Beach from the rest of Downtown Orange Beach, is packed with hiking trails to suit all levels.
– Adventure Island is a small theme park a short walk away from the Boulevard, with great attractions for younger kids.
Stunning Condo in Perdido Beach Boulevard – Pelican Pointe
Within walking distance of Adventure Island, this soothing little condo is a firm favourite with families. It can sleep up to eight guests across three bedrooms – and the master bedroom has a private en-suite. The beach is basically just outside your front door, and the outdoor dining area has gorgeous sea views. Kick back, relax and enjoy a much-needed break at this seaside condo.VIEW ON VRBO
Calming Apartment in Perdido Beach Boulevard – Sea Salt
The calm blue interiors of this quaint condo are complemented by the stunning ocean views from the large, wrap-around balcony! Sleeping up to ten guests across three bedrooms, this is a great pick for both families and large groups. The beach is right on the doorstep, and guests have access to an outdoor pool and sports courts.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Gorgeous Family Hotel in Perdido Beach Boulevard – Perdido Beach Resort
Let the hotel take care of everything for you at this lavish four-star resort right on the waterfront! Rooms are spacious and come with balconies overlooking either the pool or the sea. The on-site bar offers laid back vibes and a great cocktail menu for those that want to chill out by the pool for a day or two. There are four restaurants within the complex, so you’ll be spoiled for choice.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
- COOLEST thing to do in Downtown: Cetacean Tours offer some excellent tours down Portage Creek, plus a few further into the ocean to spot dolphins.
- BEST place to visit in Downtown: Kick back and relax at Orange Beach Waterfront Park – be sure to bring along a picnic and fishing equipment if you have it.
While Downtown Orange Beach includes Perdido Beach Boulevard, the area north of Gulf State Park offers some cheaper accommodations. For this reason, as well as the locally-owned restaurants and boutiques, we reckon it’s the perfect pick for those on a budget. It also has a quieter beach area and plenty of free public parks where you can lie down and bask in the sun.
There is some nightlife in the area, but it is a bit grittier than the options closer to the main beach strip. This is where the locals party; if you’re willing to give it a chance, you’re certain to have a unique experience. Just make sure to head to the Wharf the next morning for some brunch to clear the hangover.
Things to See and Do in Downtown
– The Wharf is a collection of bars, restaurants, and cafés surrounding the bridge over Portage Creek. It bursts into life in the evenings but has some good morning venues.
– Snappers Lounge is a bit of a mix between a dive bar and a nightclub. It offers casual games and a laid-back bar with some of the strangest cocktails you’ll ever taste.
– Get your adrenaline fix at the Hummingbird Zipline; they’re right next to the Wharf, and even have a few courses suitable for kids.
– Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum, managed by the local indigenous population, showcases the region’s native and nautical histories.
– Doc’s Seafood Shack and Oyster Bar might not look like much from the outside, but this no-frills restaurant offers up some quality grub.
Peaceful Family Home in Downtown – Osprey Watch
Despite being so close to the city centre, this cute little pied-à-terre has a secluded feel. For this reason, it is excellent for families with younger kids that need some peace and quiet in the evenings. The Orange Beach Recreation Centre is nearby, giving you the same facilities you would find in a condominium complex for a fraction of the price.VIEW ON VRBO
Budget Friendly Pad in Downtown – Wolf Bay
Simple yet cozy, this condo is perfect for those on a budget that don’t want to give up their home comforts! Its location on the northern coast of Orange Beach gives you stunning sunset views across the beach without the crowds of the southern strip. There are plenty of hiking and bike trails nearby – perfect for more outdoorsy guests.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Cozy Hotel in Downtown – SpringHill Suites
Another excellent hotel complex, this three-star dream is for those on a tight budget. Rooms are somewhat basic but modern, and with balconies overlooking the northern coast. Operated by the Marriott, you can sleep easy knowing you are being looked after by an American household name. There is a small outdoor pool, and breakfast is included in the rate.VIEW ON BOOKING.COM
- COOLEST thing to do Perdido Key: Eco-conscious travellers will love this kayaking experience to neighbouring uninhabited islands.
- BEST place to visit Perdido Key: Johnson Beach Park is a quiet alternative to the beaches in the main tourist area.
Ok, we know – Perdido Key isn’t even in Alabama! It is, however, connected with Orange Beach and is only a couple of minutes in the car from the Downtown Area. Perdido Key is the gateway to Florida’s Emerald Coast. It’s a bit pricier than Orange Beach, but still totally manageable if you’re looking to chill for a few days.
For couples, Perdido Key is absolutely worth the extra couple of minutes travelling time! It’s quieter than both Orange Beach and the bigger Emerald Coast resorts – and comes packed with romantic Orange Beach restaurants and ambient bars.
Things to See and Do in Perdido Key
– Breathe in…and out! Cast all your troubles away with this chilled out yoga session right on the beach.
– Fishing more your thing? The same people that provide the eco-tour also have a dedicated fishing experience onboard their kayaks.
– Enjoy a laid-back round of golf or two at Lost Key Golf Club – they also have an excellent clubhouse.
– The Point Restaurant is our favourite eatery in the area. Dating back to the 50s, they’re a local institution thanks to their seafood.
Romantic Hideaway in Perdido Key – Melody of the Sea
Condos like this are exactly why we think Perdido Key is a great option for couples! Spacious and bright, it is a relaxing atmosphere to wake up in every morning ahead of a day in the sun. The balcony has views of the ocean and is a great spot to catch the light breeze with a glass of wine or three.VIEW ON VRBO
Affordable Apartment in Perdido Key – Ocean Breeze East
Visiting as a larger group? This very affordable apartment is a great way to share the cost of an otherwise expensive resort! It can sleep up to seven people across three bedrooms, making it a popular choice with groups of young people and larger families. The balcony overlooks the beach, with many guests reporting that you can watch the dolphins at certain points of the year.VIEW ON VRBO
Easy Going Resort in Perdido Key – Purple Parrot
There aren’t any traditional hotels in Perdido Key, but this resort (composed of apartments and condos) is a great alternative! It comes with a large pool and a nearby bar (both on-site) offering live music every evening to set the mood. Apartments are powered with smart technology to ensure optimum comfort and security throughout your stay. Need some extra relaxation? Hit up the huge spa offering a variety of holistic treatments.VIEW ON AIRBNB
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Orange Beach
Orange Beach is a little bit off the radar for most tourists, but if you’re on a budget and need to stay within the United States this summer, it is a fantastic alternative to the Emerald Coast beaches in Florida. It’s a little more laid back than the bigger resorts, with a more local atmosphere and easy-going beaches.
In terms of our favourite neighbourhood, we absolutely love Perdido Beach Boulevard! This is where the life and soul of the city are – with locally owned eateries and sun-drenched beaches stretching the entire length of the street.
That being said, all the areas mentioned in this guide come with their own charms. Downtown is perfect for ballin’ on a budget – and if you want to splurge a little, heading across the border to Perdido Key in Florida is totally worth it.
We hope this guide has helped you narrow down your options for your upcoming trip to Alabama’s Gulf Coast. If you’re still undecided, we also have an article about where to stay Gulf Shores right next door!
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
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