Are you traveling south sometime soon? If so, consider taking a trip to one of the best beaches in Alabama for some fun in the sun!
While Alabama might only have a few miles of coastline, the state still has quite a few beaches to visit. You can even choose between saltwater oceans and freshwater lakes! Whether you’re looking for an amenity-filled public beach or a little hidden oasis, Alabama has something for everyone.
So, what are you waiting for? Throw on some sunscreen, grab your beach towels, and head to one of the best beaches in Alabama!
Best Beaches in Alabama for Families
1. Gulf Shores Public Beach
Gulf Shores, AL
The Gulf Shores Public Beach is one of the largest beaches in Alabama. Set up your chair and bury your feet in the miles of soft white sand, or enjoy a game of volleyball and then stop by one of the nearby restaurants for a bite to eat.
There is plenty to do at this public beach, along with some great amenities to take advantage of. You’ll find bathrooms and showers on-site. And there are picnic areas for you to enjoy your lunch, as well as pavilions for breaks from the hot sun!
If you have kids, this is one of the best beaches in Alabama to keep children busy! The beach has a long stretch of shallow water to splash around in. And if that isn’t distracting enough, the beach even has a playground to keep them busy all day long!
For added safety, the beach offers lifeguard supervision from March through October.
2. Cotton Bayou Public Beach
Orange Beach, AL
Cotton Bayou Public Beach is much smaller than the Gulf Shores Public Beach. That means it’s a little quieter. While the beach is small, they still offer lifeguard supervision to keep everyone safe. It’s also one of the best beaches in Alabama for small children.
The boardwalks provide great opportunities for walks, sea life viewing, and fresh saltwater breezes. You’ll find restrooms on-site, so you won’t need to give up your spot to find one elsewhere. Plus, the outdoor showers are great for cooling down and rinsing the sand off before getting into your car.
3. West End Public Beach
Dauphin Island, AL
Off the coast of Alabama you can find the beautiful Dauphin Island. West End Public Beach is at the western tip of the island and is one of the more popular options. The entrance fees are rather low, so it’s great for large families to enjoy without breaking the bank.
Their on-site clean restrooms come equipped with air conditioning to help beat the summer heat. They even have food vendors to keep your bellies full and your bodies hydrated in the hot sun! Last but not least, this beach has chair rentals available for you to use as well!
Just be aware that although this is one of the best beaches in Alabama for families, there are no lifeguards.
4. Alabama Point East Beach
Orange Beach, AL
Alabama Point East Beach offers a beautiful 6,000 feet worth of beach, which connects to the Gulf State Park. Here you’ll find sand dunes, relaxing picnic areas, restrooms, outdoor showers, and long boardwalks! Shallow waters make it a great place for young children who haven’t learned to swim yet.
They have limited parking, however, so you should get there early. And the limited parking means that this beach rarely gets overcrowded! It’s one of the best beaches in Alabama for a combination of city views and sparkling Gulf waters.
5. Orange Street Pier-Beach
The Orange Street Pier-Beach is the perfect place to keep kids busy in nature! This area offers stunning views of Mobile Bay with its stretched wooden pier, beach area, and beautiful grassy park. The calm and shallow waters are great for children, adults, and dogs alike (the area is pet-friendly)!
Its small sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing, while the pier is a beautiful area for fishing, watching local wildlife, and enjoying stunning sunsets. In fact, it’s one of the best beaches in Alabama for picturesque views on warm sunny days.
Best Beaches in Alabama for Quiet and Relaxation
6. Dauphin Island Public Beach
Dauphin Island, AL
The Dauphin Island Public Beach sits towards the east side of the island. It’s a very tranquil area with access to warm Gulf waters. Due to the lack of amenities and rough waters, families with children usually prefer other beaches. So, if you want some peace and quiet, this is one of the best beaches in Alabama for relaxing.
Relax in the sun for a while, and then take a walk to one of the beach’s covered picnic areas. There’s also a beautiful sprawling boardwalk over the dunes for leisurely strolls. Restrooms are on-site if needed, but they’re a little far.
7. Fairhope Beach and Park
Fairhope Beach sits on the coast of Mobile Bay, about a five-minute drive away from Orange Street Pier-Beach. It connects to a huge park, where you’ll find a duck pond, grills, picnic areas, and a playground. There’s also a sprawling paved walking trail to get some exercise or walk your fur babies!
The white sand beach is great for relaxing by the calm waters of the bay. There’s a nice shaded pavilion nearby as well, so you can enjoy your lunch or take a shaded break. It’s a very serene area and never gets crowded. Restrooms are also within the park.
This is definitely one of the best beaches in Alabama for relaxing and enjoying nature. Noise is never an issue here!
8. Fort Morgan Fishing Beach
Baldwin County, AL
Fort Morgan is a historic military landmark that dates back to 1834 and sits in the southernmost part of Alabama. Nearby, you’ll find the Fort Morgan Fishing Beach.
This beach is one of the best beaches in Alabama due to its abundance of fish. Fishermen flock here for deep sea fishing, as well as casting fishing. But you can also swim and relax here. It’s a very lowkey area that boasts wildlife like dolphins, sharks, various birds, and crabs. So, bring your camera!
A lack of bathrooms and amenities deter many beach go-ers and swimmers, which means it’s a quiet area for those who want some time away from the crowd.
9. Florida Point Beach
Orange Beach, AL
Florida Point Beach is another one of the best beaches in Alabama that sits within the Gulf State Park. It’s a little bit of a walk from the parking lot, but it is well worth it, because the beach never gets too crowded. It isn’t technically a private beach, but it sure feels like one!
This is one of the best beaches in Alabama for sun tanning and burying your feet in the warm sand. Relax in the sun and enjoy views of rolling waves and dolphin pods as they feed on local fish. This is one of the best places to view dolphins since there aren’t many people to disturb them!
10. Branyon Beach
Gulf Shores, AL
Branyon Beach is a quaint beach located on the shores of Gulf State Park. It’s not too far from the campground area within the park. It’s one of the best beaches in Alabama for walking and watching sunsets and sunrises.
Take a walk along this long stretch of soft white sand and listen to the calming noise of rolling waves. Most people love the area for hiking its trails, so the beach is rather bare and secluded. But still be sure to take a quick dip in the water. It’s known for being bright blue and crystal clear!
Best River and Lake Beaches
11. Pineywood Island
Lake Martin, Tallapoosa, AL
Located within the vast Lake Martin, you’ll find a little slab of land called Pineywood Island. It sits within the Elkahatchee Creek part of the lake off the coast of Wind Creek State Park.
This secluded little island offers one of the most relaxing beaches you can find. The waters are calm, clear, and perfect for floating around in.
The island comes equipped with a few chairs, as well as some picnic tables. Lay on the sandy shores, go kayaking, fish, or enjoy lunch at a picnic table. This is one of the best beaches in Alabama to help create a private little oasis.
12. Bridgeport Beach
If you have kids and simply floating around won’t cut it for them, Bridgeport Beach might be a better option. This beautiful little beach area is on the shores of the Alabama River. You can visit for the day or even rent it for a private event!
Besides swimming, you’ll find a small playground, a grass lawn area, benches, and picnic tables to enjoy your meals. The swimming area is safe and stress-free. It is a designated area with a barrier to prevent people from going too far.
Enjoy a picnic, go for a swim or float, and just relax. Overall, this beach is a peaceful area and one of the best beaches in Alabama for family recreation time.
13. Lake Guntersville State Park Beach
In Lake Guntersville State Park you’ll find a little lakeside beach that’s open from sunrise to sunset. The park maintains the area well, so it’s clean and safe for families to hang out.
Lake Gunterville’s waters are beautifully clear and calm, making them perfect for swimming or floating. The surrounding area also has amenities like restrooms and vending machines if needed. And you can even rent a cabin nearby, as the park also includes a campground.
Enjoy fishing, sunbathing, cooling off in the water, picnic meals, and maybe even catching a glimpse of an eagle! In fact, Alabama eagles tend to hang out in wooded areas near rivers and lakes.
Ultimately, Lake Guntersville State Park Beach is one of the best beaches in Alabama for immersing yourself in nature.
14. Slackland Beach Park
Slackland Beach Park is part of the Weiss Lake Preserves, and the only protected swimming area in the park.
Walking trails and beautiful towering trees surround the beach area. There are also plenty of benches to sit on and enjoy the view, as well as a gazebo. Shaded areas are in an abundance here. It’s a very peaceful area!
Enjoy a day of relaxation by the water through swimming, fishing, or napping to the sounds of nature. It’s one of the best beaches in Alabama for bird-watching!
Don’t forget to pack some food, as there isn’t much around! The park does offer clean grills and picnic tables for you to use, however. Restrooms are also nearby.
What To Bring to The Beach
Preparing for the beach is essential to your enjoyment and safety! Here are a few things you should pack with you when visiting the best beaches in Alabama.
If you plan on swimming, you’re going to need something to help you dry off! Turkish beach towels are one of the best items to bring with you. Not only will they help you dry off, but sand won’t stick to them, and they dry quickly! This means no soggy, sandy towels in your car at the end of the day.
You’ll probably need shade at some point, especially if you stay at the beach for a full day. A simple beach umbrella like the Aoxun beach umbrella can do a world of wonders. And it even has a tilt option and UV protection!
Beach tents like the Venustas tent are another great option for shade. They can also help block the wind! These tents have great ventilation and UV protection, which keeps the inside cool and comfortable.
You can’t go to the beach without sunscreen. Try to opt for lightweight, water-resistant, high-SPF sunscreens like Neutrogena. It won’t feel sticky on your body and it works great on all skin types, including sensitive skin!
Unless there are food vendors around, you’ll need to bring your own food and drinks. To keep everything cold, pack up a cooler like the Coleman Chiller Portable Cooler. It’ll keep your drinks ice cold and your sandwiches fresh!
Blankets and Chairs
If you plan on staying at the beach for a while, you’ll also need somewhere to sit! Large sand-proof beach blankets like Wekapo Beach Blankets are perfect for relaxing and sunbathing. And if you’re not a fan of sitting on the ground, Nice C Beach Chairs also offer great comfort and breathability. Comfort is key on a long beach day!
Visit Best Beaches in Alabama!
Whether you’re looking for some fun in the sun or just a place to relax, Alabama’s beaches have it all! Sunbathe, go for a walk, swim, have a picnic, and enjoy the local wildlife. Take your pick of saltwater or freshwater swimming and enjoy the best beaches in Alabama!
Do you need more fun ideas? If you’re looking for more entertainment in the heart of Dixie, check out all the great things to do in Alabama!