The 8 Best Beaches in Alabama

Written by Niccoy Walker
Updated: July 5, 2023
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These are the best 8 beaches in Alabama
Alabama is known for its beautiful white sand beaches.

While Alabama only has a small percentage of the Gulf Coast coastline, several beautiful beaches remain. Popular beach towns along the bays offer resorts, shopping, restaurants, and plenty of entertainment. And nothing beats the white sand beaches and clear blue waters of the Gulf. Check out these eight best beaches in Alabama, including their location, amenities, and recreational opportunities. 

1. Gulf Shores Main Public Beach

Aerial view of the beachfront at Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Gulf Shores offer white sand beaches and turquoise waters

©George Dodd III/

If you take Highway 59 until it dead ends at the Gulf of Mexico, you will find the Gulf Shores Main Public Beach. Along with pristine blue waters and white sand, this beach offers open-air pavilions, lifeguards on duty, restrooms, and showers. During the summer, the water is perfect for splashing, swimming, and other water activities. And while it is a large beach, it can get crowded pretty quickly during peak seasons (spring and summer). When you’re done lounging on the pristine beach, you can head over to nearby restaurants and shopping areas. There are also many hotels along the water.

Are you wondering what sharks you might see off Alabama’s coast? Check out this article.

2. Cotton Bayou Beach

Taken in the early morning hours on Cotton Bayou in Orange Beach, Alabama. This location is a great tourist stop. Many visitors and tourists love to go to the beach here. Love Cotton Bayou!

Cotton Bayou Beach has a family-friendly atmosphere

©Beach Images/

Almost seven miles east of Highway 59 is the Cotton Bayou Beach Access. Here you will find a small beach with a more residential feel. However, the area is lively, and there are always plenty of activities. It has a laid-back feel with more casual dining options nearby. But it’s a great family-friendly area featuring plenty of space to spread out and relax. Cotton Bayou features boardwalks, mats, restrooms, and outdoor showers.  

3. Dauphin Island

Aerial view of Fort Gaines and Dauphin Island, Alabama in July of 2022

Dauphin Island features seven miles of beaches with different access areas.

©George Dodd III/

Dauphin Island is a barrier island south of Mobile Bay. You have to drive on a long bridge to get there and pay $10 for a daily parking pass. The island features three public access beach areas: East End, Public Beach, and West End. And the beaches account for about seven miles. Dauphin Island is a perfect family-friendly destination, with relatively calm waters and shallow swimming areas. And the area can be less crowded than other public beaches in Alabama. While you’re in the area, check out the aquarium and bird sanctuary.

4. Alabama Point East Beach

Look out over rocks at Alabama Point East in Orange Beach, AL. This body of water is the Gulf of Mexico.

The Alabama Point East Beach has calmer water

©Beach Images/

As one of the best beaches in Alabama, this beach is part of the Gulf State Park. Alabama Point East Beach is a popular area for locals and tourists alike. Because the beach is in the gulf, the water tends to be calmer, which is perfect for families. And it’s an epic spot for sunset photos! Along with the Gulf’s distinctive white sand and turquoise waters, you will also find sand dunes, picnic areas, boardwalks, outdoor showers, and restrooms.

5. Fort Morgan

Aerial view of Fort Morgan Beach, Alabama Gulf Coast

You can visit historical sites near the beach at Fort Morgan

©George Dodd III/

Are you looking for a more natural area away from the crowds? Check out, Fort Morgan! This public beach allows you to see and experience the gulf shore the way it was meant to be. Fort Morgan is a top destination for nature lovers and history buffs. There are plenty of historical sites to explore and wildlife to see, such as dolphins and sea turtles. And unlike other public beaches in the area, you can bring alcohol to the beach in Fort Morgan.

6. Romar Beach

Beautiful summer sunset and the reflection of sunlight on the roaring waves of the ocean waters , roaring sea

Romar Beach is undeveloped but great for sunset beach walks.

Image: photoloveland, Shutterstock


For another undeveloped beach access area, come to Romar Beach. Located east of Highway 59, this access area doesn’t have any restrooms or showers, but there are plans in the works to further redevelop this beach. It is uncrowded, and people often come to this spot for casual walks along the water or picnic lunches. To be close to Romar Beach, you may consider renting a beach condo right on the water. 

7. Fairhope

The Fairhope, Alabama municipal pier at sunset

Fairhope Pier is a staple on the Gulf Coast


Fairhope is a small, charming beach town right on the Gulf Coast. The area features delicious restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and recreation. Along with pavilions, you will find paved walking trails, white sand beaches, and the historic Fairhope Pier that dates back to 1894. When you’re not strolling along the beach or splashing in the ocean, you can bring a picnic lunch to enjoy.

8. Robinson Island

Aerial view of Bayou Saint John and Perdido Pass in Orange Beach, Alabama

Robinson Island is a popular spot for boaters and partygoers

©George Dodd III/

Robinson Island is one of the most popular islands in Orange Beach. During the summer holidays, you can expect to see hundreds of boats and partygoers. In fact, the only way to get to the island is by boat. It is also a popular spot for birdwatching. While families are welcome, dogs are not allowed. And you may want to avoid the island with kids during Memorial Day and Fourth of July. If you visit, be sure to bring everything you need, such as food, water, towels, and sunblock. And remember to pack in, pack out, especially if you plan on partying on the beach.

Summary of The 8 Best Beaches in Alabama

1Gulf Shores Main Public BeachNear the city of Gulf Shores
2Cotton Bayou BeachNear the city of Orange Beach
3Dauphin IslandIsland in Mobile Bay
4Alabama Point East BeachGulf State Park
5Fort MorganWest of Gulf Shores on Mobile Point
6Romar BeachNear the city of Orange Beach
7FairhopeNear the town of Fairhope
8Robinson IslandIsland off Orange Beach

The photo featured at the top of this post is © George Dodd III/

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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Florida State College. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

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