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10 Best Rainy Day Activities in Orange Beach

Hot Spot Glass Blowing Orange Beach Alabama

Rainy Day Activities, Orange Beach AL

If your sunny vacation gets dampened by cloud cover, you can drown your sorrows in the knowledge that there are plenty of opportunities for fun out of the sun.

Just ask Kim Chapman, Public Relations Manager for Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism.

“Rainy days provide yet another reason to visit the National Museum of Naval Aviation, which offers so much to see and do,” Chapman says. “I’m always amazed to see how this facility brings to life the history that we all once studied in school.”

Her team provides many more suggestions for activities to make you happy when skies are gray, which we have shared here, along with some of our own personal favorites.

Now, get out and find your ray of sunshine.

1. PLAY. We at Toes in the Sand understand that toes in the soggy sand doesn’t quite hold the same allure. But while it pours on the shore, you can get your game on in several area hot spots. Try Alligator Alley Arcade at Adventure Island, featuring more than 100 video games, as well as an indoor rock wall. There’s even a Roller Coaster Simulator, for when you can’t ride the real thing. Waterville may seem counterintuitive, but aside from its slides and pools, it boasts the largest game room on the Gulf Coast. Want to take it to the next level? Visit Arena: The Next Level at the Wharf, with 3,000 sq. ft. of arcade space including Bazooka Ball and Laser Tag.

2. LEARN. There’s no shortage of museums in Coastal Alabama. If you want to learn about the area, visit Gulf Shores Museum, Orange Beach Indian & Sea Museum or the Baldwin County Heritage Museum. Amazed by airplanes? Make the short jaunt over to Pensacola to visit the National Museum of Naval Aviation – sure to delight with 190 beautifully restored aircraft representing the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

3. GET LOST. Lose yourself in a scintillating story on the page or the screen. You can pass the time at the Orange Beach Public Library, or take in the latest flick at The Wharf’s Carmike 15.

4. SHOP. Hope you brought a big beach bag, because the shopping is top notch. Head to Tanger Outlets in Foley for 120 brand name stores at spectacular savings. You’ll find Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach, BCBG, Carter’s, J.Crew and more. Or consider shopping at the Wharf, where you can also grab a meal or catch a concert.

5. EAT. When the going gets wet, whet your appetite! Have we mentioned how good the food is here? And with so much water in every direction, you’re likely to have a stellar view, even in the rain. For local flavor, we suggest Cosmo’s, Cobalt, Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina, Jimmy Buffett’s sister’s place Lulu’s, or Happy Harbors.

6. RELAX AND REVITALIZE. If you’re stuck inside, you may as well be pampered. Head to Fusion Spa Salon Orange Beach for a massage, mani-pedi or makeover.

7. ROLL WITH IT.  Visit the 24-lane bowling center that has been family owned and operated since 1959. Bonus? Kids bowl free at Gulf Bowl.

8. GO WILD. Even in the rain, there’s so much to do at Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, “The Little Zoo That Could.” These guys don’t let the rain get them down, and neither should you. Have an animal encounter with lemurs, kangaroos, reptiles and – the newest addition – two tiger cubs named Romeo and Hamlet. The zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

9. EXPLORE. If the forecast shows no sign of letting up and you have the time to spare, consider a trip to nearby Mobile to visit the Exploreum. Experience 150 hands-on science activities in permanent exhibits such as Hands on Hall, the Wharf of Wonder and the new My BodyWorks, the most advanced health exhibit in the nation. Penguin Planet opens in the summer of 2014, and the IMAX Theatre is now showing “Space Junk.” The Exploreum is open every day but Monday.

10. CREATE. While you’re making memories, consider making a souvenir work of art. Paint, sip and shop at Life’s a Canvas, or visit the Coastal Arts Center at Orange Beach, where you can learn to blow glass at the Hot Shop or create your own pottery at the clay studio.

Even the grayest day can be beautiful. When all else fails, just take in the view. Find comfort in the clouds from the balcony or poolside bar of the Hilton Garden Inn.

– Ashley Kahn Salley
Lead Storyteller, Innisfree Hotels