We can pack a picnic for you but it’s up to you to fill your day with memories. Where to make them? Lucky for you, we know all the best picnic spots. Have fun.
Gulf State Park
6,500 acres of land. 2½ miles of beach. Surely, you can find a spot to picnic here. This huge park is home to three freshwater lakes, a scenic nature trail, picnic pavilions and a championship golf course. (Maybe don’t unpack your picnic on the fairway.) The picnic area on Lake Shelby is beautiful, but the park rents the pavilions 7 days a week, so they are often occupied. Never fear, there are plenty of places to stop and eat – try the beach or the pier, for a picnic with a view. After lunch, check out on-site segway tours, and an adventure center with ziplines, paddleboards and kayaks.
Orange Beach Marina
Spread out on a grassy spot or the wooden dock of the marina, and watch the boats come in. The next one could be yours. Book a dolphin cruise or parasailing tour right here, and eat your picnic lunch before you board.
Alabama State Fishing Pier
When the old pier was destroyed back in 2004, a modern pier was constructed east of Gulf Shores, just minutes from Orange Beach. A quarter-mile long, eat your lunch at the picnic tables before lining up along the rails to fish or sightsee. If you need a fishing license, you can purchase one here. It’s $8 to fish, or just $3 to enjoy the sights and sounds of the pier.
The Beach (Out Back)
Don’t feel like venturing out? Hey, we get it. You’re staying at a hotel on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. So if you feel like relaxing right here, take your picnic out back and stake your spot in the sand.
Built between 1819 and 1833, Fort Morgan played an important role the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864, standing guard at the point where the bay meets the Gulf of Mexico. Today, you can explore the seaside fortification, nature trails and pristine beaches. Enjoy the view from the top of the fort, a perfect spot for your picnic. Entrance to the fort is $7 per adult and $4 for children age 6-12. Military entrance is free with a valid ID.
Wade Ward Nature Park
Two blocks north of the public beach in Gulf Shores, this park features an elevated boardwalk from which you can view the wildlife of the wetlands connecting Little Lagoon and Lake Shelby. With sightings of otters, pelicans and even alligators, this is a wonderful place to take in local nature after your picnic – which you can eat at benches along the sidewalk, or at the small pavilion or deck overlooking the water.
Orange Beach Waterfront Park
Perched on beautiful Wolf Bay, this park boasts a fishing pier, picnic shelters, paved paths and a dedicated kid’s park. The long 400’ pier has two covered areas with benches, so you can even picnic with the bay underneath you! The kid’s park is home to a wonderful playground. The grounds of the waterfront park are next to the Coastal Arts Center, a great place to visit to check out the local artwork, and even participate in creating a souvenir to take home from your travels.
Back Country Trail
Winding 15 miles through Orange Beach and the Gulf State Park, the Hugh S. Branyon Back Country Trail covers six distinct ecosystems – including freshwater marshes and hardwood swamps. A lovely spot for picnicking might be the trail’s Butterfly Garden, where you can relax on the porch swings of the pavilion or roll out your blanket on the lush lawn. The garden is conveniently located near the restrooms, and the new Boulder Park, where kids can rock climb. A fun way to explore the trail is on two wheels – rent a bike from Infinity Bicycles and see where the day takes you.
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
The name ‘Bon Secour’ means ‘safe harbor’ in French. This refuge keeps watch over some of Alabama’s last remaining undisturbed coastal habitats, where you can see native flora and fauna the way they were meant to be. This natural oasis is the perfect spot for a hike. Unpack your picnic, but don’t feed the animals! Then, climb the observation tower on Pine Beach for a birds eye view of the coastline.
If you’re in the mood for a day trip, head to Fairhope with your picnic pack. This quaint town is home to lovely shops and festivals – you never know what might be going on in the square. Enjoy your picnic among the flowers and trees at the Marietta Johnson Botanical Garden downtown, or at the Fairhoper’s Community Park, where nautical themed playground equipment is fun for the kids. The 2,200 square foot splash pad is also a big hit in the hot summer months.