On the southern edge of Alabama, you and your family can enjoy a beach vacation filled with fun, sun, sand, and relaxation in Orange Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. In the winter months, mild weather beckons visitors all year long to the white sand beaches and bays where people fish every day.

To the west of Orange Beach is the Gulf State Park for you to explore where you should check out the flora and fauna and enjoy some bird watching. A stay on the beach is easy with all the condo vacation rentals or choose something a little more peaceful on a bay in a cozy cottage with a dock. Here are the 10 of the best Orange Beach vacation rental locations to check out.

1. Orange Beach, Alabama

Plan a vacation along the white sandy beaches in this city that meets the Gulf of Mexico. You and your family will spend your days playing in the warm surf, hunting for seashells, and building sand castles. In the evenings, enjoy a choice of local restaurants that offer seafood so fresh it’s possible it was caught the same day, such as the Shrimp Basket close to the beach. End the day by sitting on the balcony of your vacation rental enjoying the sounds of the waves crashing and the smell of salt air.

2. Gulf State Park Area, Alabama

If you and your family prefer to spend your days hiking and fishing, the pick a spot close to the Gulf State Park. Inside the parks, boundaries are walking paths, unspoiled beaches and plenty of local wildlife, including alligators. Traverse the 15-mile Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail on a bike that you can rent from the camp store inside the state park.

3. Pensacola, Florida

Travel east along Highway 182 catching glimpses of the Gulf of Mexico on the right and the inlet on your left before crossing a bridge and state line to arrive in Pensacola. Warm, calm water make this beach the perfect place for your family to try their hand at paddle boarding. The downtown area offers quaint shops, local eateries run by skilled chefs and live music venues in the evenings, such as Vinyl Music Hall or the Stage Northside.

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4. Ono Island, Alabama

If island life is the life for you and your family, then check into one of the beachfront condos or a spacious home on Ono Island. Tucked away behind the barrier island where Pensacola sits, Ono Island provides you with a slower pace of life and all the amenities within driving distance. You and your family can spend a day exploring the Big Lagoon State Park with its salt marshes as you walk along the raised platform path. Keep your eyes peeled for unique birds and butterflies.

5. Perdido Key, Florida

Just a couple minutes east of Pensacola is the hideaway town of Perdido Key. You can set up in one of the vacation rentals on the beach or a nearby cottage and then kick back and relax. Spend your days unwinding on the beach or your evenings enjoying a moonlight stroll through the sand. For something a little more lively, stop by The Jellyfish for a martini after enjoying crab legs at The Crab Trap.

6. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Make your way west from Orange Beach along Highway 182 following the Gulf of Mexico to reach the exciting city of Gulf Shores. Vacation rentals dot the beach and the Little Lagoon, where you can fish every day. After a few days of the beach life, take the family to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and give your little ones a hands-on experience with some animals, including kangaroos and lemurs.

7. Cedar Grove, Alabama

If you’re looking for a slower pace of life while on vacation, then the small community of Cedar Grove welcomes you and your family. Nestled along the Bon Secour Bay, this town offers a small town feel, but you can reach restaurants and shops in a few minutes by car. It’s truly a place to unwind and relax. Once you’re feeling restored, load the family up for a tour on kayaks to view dolphins at sunset.

8. Gasque, Alabama

In Gasque, choose a vacation rental by the bay or a lagoon side hideaway with the Bon Secour Bay and the Little Lagoon on either side of the town. Local companies provide you with beach chair and umbrella rentals, setting them up each morning so that you can finish your coffee in the shade while the kids play in the surf.

9. Oyster Bay, Alabama

Surrounded by water on all sides, the community of Oyster Bay is an island retreat for your family to explore and reconnect with each other. Take your family out on the water for a couple of hours on The Fun Boat Dolphin Cruise and get a new perspective on the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding area.

10. Caswell, Alabama

Located east of Orange Beach, Caswell moves away from the Gulf of Mexico and makes it homes along the shoreline of the Bayou Saint John. You and your family can while the days away fishing, be sunning, and enjoy the warm waters of the bayou. Check out the schedule at The Wharf Amphitheater for upcoming live music events. It’s just a short drive away.

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