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13 Clear Water Beaches in Alabama You Need to Visit
Welcome to this blog post on “13 Clear Water Beaches in Alabama.” Alabama Gulf Shores are a standout among beaches, known for their pristine white sands, welcoming family atmosphere, abundant wildlife, and great weather most of the year. This makes it a highly sought-after beach destination in the United States.
Although it faces competition from nearby Florida beaches, Alabama's “sugar-white” sands and high-quality surf draw vacationers looking for a relaxing beach experience. In addition to swimming, the area offers a variety of water sports, including surfing, parasailing, diving, and Jet Ski dolphin tours.
Paid parking is available at state parks like the Gulf State Park Pier, Romar Beach, Cotton Bayou, and Alabama Point.
With plenty of luxurious resorts to choose from, you can easily extend your beach vacation with a golf or spa break when you need a break from the sun. Be sure to check out my list of the best clear water beaches in Alabama before planning your next sand and sea getaway.
Before we proceed, why not check out our previous post on 21 Clear Water Beaches in Massachusetts. I believe you will find it interesting.
Read also: 30 Clear Water Beaches in the US
Clear Water Beaches in Alabama
Even though Alabama's coastline isn't very long, it has beautiful beaches where the sand is clean and the ocean is clear. Visit these places to find the most beautiful, clear water beaches in Alabama where you can spend your vacation days.
Fort Morgan Beach — Gulf Shores
One of the best clear water beaches in Albama, Fort Morgan is a unique and secluded beach located 20 miles from Gulf Shores, surrounded by a historic fort that was active during several wars, including the Civil War. Though it's farther from downtown, the scenic drive and private beach make it worth the visit.
Fort Morgan beach, less than an hour from Gulf Shores, offers a quiet alternative to crowded public beaches. Although, it is not really used as a public beach, you can access it by paying the entry fee to the Fort complex for a combination of history and beach time.
This area is part of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, offering opportunities to spot various species of birds and animals. Stay at Gulf Shores Plantation for easy beach access or visit for the day using public access points.
Address: Fort Morgan Rd Gulf Shores AL 36542
West End Public Beach — Dauphin Island
West Beach is a charming seaside location on Dauphin Island. While the water is clearer than the east end, but not as crystal clear as Orange Beach, it's still the best choice for a visit to Dauphin Island.
West End Beach is ideal for those seeking relaxation and a connection with nature during their vacation. Despite having charming bistros, bars, cafes and other amenities, the west end is known for its secluded and peaceful atmosphere. Soak up the sun, play in the calm waters with the kids, or engage in water sports on this serene Alabama beach.
Address: 531 Dauphin Island Pkwy. Dauphin Island, AL 36528.
Gulf State Park — Gulf Shores
The Gulf State Park Beach is situated within the Gulf State Park and is home to the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. It is open to the public and is widely regarded as one of the top beaches in Alabama. This reputation is due to the beach's attractive features such as its soft sand and crystal clear water.
Every year, a large number of tourists flock to Gulf State Park Beach to bask in its serene beauty and tranquil atmosphere. The beach boasts pristine white sand and crystal-clear waters that are ideal for swimming and lounging. Safety is never an issue, as there are always lifeguards on duty to provide assistance if needed.
Aside from swimming and sunbathing, visitors can also book a fishing trip or rent a kayak to explore the coastline. Gulf State Park Beach is popular with families, couples, and kids because it has a lot of fun things to do and is a safe place to be. It is thought to be one of the best beaches in Alabama.
For a beach experience under the stars, Gulf State Park Campground is an ideal destination for camping. The campground offers a variety of amenities, such as picnic areas, restrooms, and playgrounds, for your comfort and convenience.
The beach is also equipped with a pier that serves as a popular fishing spot and a leisurely stroll. Whether you're with family or friends, you'll find plenty of picnic tables and pavilions to accommodate your group. If you're looking to explore nature, the campground offers a number of hiking trails that are sure to please any nature lover.
Gulf State Park is a breathtaking beach that offers a perfect day out with family. From the stunning views to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, it's the ideal place to swim, play beach sports, and take in the natural beauty. Additionally, there are several economical take-out food and drink options available for those who want a quick bite.
Apart from the magnificent beaches, Gulf State Park offers additional amenities to enhance your experience. There's an 18-hole golf course for golf enthusiasts and an Audubon Bird Sanctuary for nature lovers, providing even more opportunities for fun and recreation.
Gulf State Park Beach in Alabama is a popular family beach with 35-foot dunes that lead to a white sand coastline. Visitors can enjoy the scenery and boardwalk vendors. Several vendors sell snacks, sunscreen, and other beach essentials, making family beach days easier.
Address: 20115 State Park Rd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
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Little Lagoon Pass
Little Lagoon Pass in Gulf Shores is a suitable choice for families seeking a public beach access point with various amenities. This location is situated across from the outlet where Little Lagoon flows into the Gulf. The beach access area has public parking, bathrooms, and outdoor showers, so families have everything they need to have a comfortable and fun time at the beach.
It is perfect for families with young children, as the water is shallow and safe for swimming. Additionally, there is a small public park located at Little Lagoon Pass that provides a shady area for families to enjoy a picnic lunch. With its proximity to other attractions and a fishing pier, Little Lagoon Pass makes it easy for families to have a full day of beach fun without having to travel far.
Address: 1660 West Beach Blvd Gulf Shores, Alabama
Gulf Shores Beach — Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores Beach is a popular destination among tourists and locals alike, due to its convenient access to the water and abundance of seaside activities. One can take a stroll on the soft sand at sunrise and observe local fisherman and wildlife taking advantage of the changing tide, before the arrival of sun worshipers later in the day.
The beach has been extensively renovated to enhance its amenities, including the addition of multiple access points, walking trails, parks, wheelchair accessible mats, restrooms, and an outdoor theater.
With its clean and well-maintained surroundings, the beach serves as a hub for various water excursions in the area, such as Jet Ski dolphin tours.
Take a stroll down the public pier to watch the pelicans compete with the local fishermen for their catch. Start at the main public beach if you're new to the area. This convenient destination has many pedestrian access points and many facilities.
For people who care about the environment, Alabama's beaches are a great place to go on vacation, not only because they are clean and free of trash, but also because the beach communities work hard to encourage eco-friendly travel practices.
The communities of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores have started a campaign called “Leave Only Footprints.” The goal of this campaign is to protect the delicate balance of the natural habitats, fish, and wildlife that make the area so beautiful.
One of these measures is the ban on glass containers on beaches. This makes sure that the area stays safe for people to enjoy in the future.
If you want the comforts of home after a long day at the beach instead of staying in a hotel, you can book one of the condo rentals in the area, like the Phoenix All-Suites Hotel West. It has a prime beachfront location and nearby restaurants and activities. This condo rental provides the perfect blend of convenience and comfort, ensuring a memorable and stress-free vacation experience.
Address: 101 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, Alabama
Cotton Bayou Beach — Orange Beach
Cotton Bayou Beach, located on the outskirts of Orange Beach, is recognized as one of the most stunning white-sand and clear-water beaches in Alabama. The famous seaside location boasts crystal-clear water and breathtaking ocean views. With its wide range of amenities and ample parking, Cotton Bayou Public Beach is a convenient and attractive spot for families to spend a day at the beach.
Cotton Bayou is a versatile beach that caters to all types of beachgoers, offering perfect sand for building sandcastles, calm waters for wading into the waves, and an opportunity to find seashells on the shore. In addition to these activities, the beach is ideal for surfing, swimming, fishing, sunbathing, and relaxation.
Visitors have easy access to a range of nearby oceanfront bars, restaurants, shops, and attractions, making it a convenient destination. For those looking for lodging options, the popular Island House hotel, which is a Hilton Doubletree hotel, is located nearby.
Address: 25900 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
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Orange Beach — Orange Beach
Orange Beach is a beach enthusiast's dream come true! With over 27 miles of stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear emerald waters, this Gulf-front city is an ideal location for creating lasting memories. As one of the top family vacation destinations in Alabama, the shores are teeming with exciting activities and adventures.
There's a range of activities for visitors to enjoy, whether you're looking to relax on the beach and soak up the sun or seek adventure in the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Take a dip in the ocean, cast your line into the deep blue for some fishing, or speed through the waves on a jet ski. With its endless attractions and opportunities, there's always something to do in Orange Beach.
Orange Beach, due to its close proximity to Florida, attracts many tourists every year. There are numerous hotels and restaurants in the area that cater to visitors, serving both local and international cuisine.
Orange Beach prides itself on its natural beauty and works hard to keep its beautiful shoreline and protected wildlife habitats like Wolf Bay and Graham Creek Nature Preserve in good shape so that future generations can enjoy them.
If you are a deep-sea fishing enthusiast, you'd love Orange Beach, as it offers multiple charter options with experienced captains who are well-versed in finding prime fishing spots. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a beginner, this is an excellent way to spend your day when you're looking for an activity other than lounging on the beach. Additionally, some resorts in the area offer access to private beaches for their guests.
Address: 23685 Perdido Beach Blvd. Orange Beach, AL 36561
Dauphin Island — Dauphin Island
Dauphin Island, located a short distance away from the bustling beaches of Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, offers a serene and family-friendly public beach experience. The island boasts miles of pristine sand and rolling waves, and is also pet-friendly, making it the perfect place for a beach getaway.
In addition to soaking up the sun, visitors can also delve into history at the 19th-century Fort Gaines, complete with original cannons. For those looking for some active fun, bike and kayak rentals are readily available, as well as scenic walking trails near the beach.
To visit Dauphin Island, you have two options for transportation. The first option is to take the Mobile Bay Ferry from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island, which operates based on weather conditions. The second option is to drive from Mobile by heading south and accessing the island via the bridge.
When it comes to accommodations, it is recommended to stay in Mobile or in one of the resorts in Gulf Shores for easy access to Dauphin Island.
Address: 1551 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528
Robinson Island — Orange Beach
Robinson Island, one of the three sandbar islands located to the north of the Perdido Pass bridge in the Orange Beach area, is a popular destination for both swimmers and boaters. The islands, which also include Bird and Walker islands, are only accessible by boat and are a well-known secret among locals.
As the islands serve as a shorebird nesting habitat, visitors are urged to remain in the beach areas and avoid venturing inland in order to preserve the habitat. Additionally, no pets are allowed on the island.
It is a hidden gem nestled in the back bays of Orange Beach, known for its protected habitat and picturesque scenery. The city has made efforts to preserve the natural flora and fauna around the water.
Visitors can reach Robinson Island by taking an island cruise that includes a swimming stop or by booking a kayak tour with Coastal Kayaks, which offers a day trip to the islands. The Caribe Resort in Orange Beach is a popular choice for families on vacation because it is close to the beach and has pools, a lazy river, a marina, fishing docks, and restaurants.
Address: Alabama 36561
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Fairhope Beach — Fairhope
Fairhope, an attractive town located along the Alabama Gulf Coast, is renowned for its scenic beaches and breathtaking views of Mobile Bay. Before indulging in the sun and sand, it is highly recommended to explore the various seafood restaurants, shops, cafes, boutiques, art galleries, and gift stores that the neighborhood has to offer.
If you're seeking a lively beach atmosphere and a variety of activities, Fairhope should definitely be on your list of places to visit. This beach is a popular spot for swimming, as the waters are shallow and the waves are gentle. There are also picnic areas and shady trees in the grassy area behind the beach, providing a peaceful and tranquil environment for visitors.
Tourists who prioritize environmental conservation will find Alabama's beaches to be a desirable destination due to the lack of litter and the ongoing efforts of coastal communities to promote eco-friendly tourism practices.
Alabama Point Beach — Orange Beach
The Alabama Point Beach, situated in Orange Beach, boasts over a mile of pristine white-sand beachfront that provides easy access for visitors. The beach is conveniently located close to the Gulf State Park, offering a prime location for recreational activities and relaxation. The beach's proximity to the Perdido Pass Bridge allows photographers to capture stunning shots of boats passing through the pass.
One of the standout features of Alabama Point Beach is its width, which provides ample space for visitors to find a spot to call their own for the day. With over 6,000 feet of beach area to choose from, visitors can bask in the sun, swim in the mild waves, or find refuge in the shade at one of the picnic areas.
In addition to relaxation and swimming, the beach offers opportunities for exploration, including sand dunes and boardwalks, making it a perfect destination for families and kids. Visitors can bring a packed lunch to enjoy in the picnic areas, or take advantage of the beach's facilities, including restrooms, showers, and a boardwalk.
Another highlight of Alabama Point Beach is the chance to spot dolphins swimming in the area, adding an extra special touch to an already enjoyable experience.
However, parking at the beach requires payment. Despite this, the beach is usually not crowded and offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Address: 27853 Perdido Beach Blvd Orange Beach, Alabama
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Romar Beach — Orange Beach
Romar Beach is a well-known spot for beach activities during the day, such as building sandcastles, flying kites, playing volleyball, and enjoying breathtaking sunsets over the Gulf Shores. Although there is a fee for parking at Romar Beach, it is easily accessible and a great option for a relaxing evening walk along the beach or an afternoon picnic near the water.
The small size of the beach makes it a favorite among those seeking a more intimate and serene experience. However, it is important to note that the available parking is limited, so it is advisable to plan your visit accordingly.
One option is to stay in a nearby condominium, such as the Phoenix V, run by a company that offers various accommodations to fit the needs of groups of different sizes.
Address: 24522 Perdido Beach Blvd. Orange Beach, Alabama
West Beach — Gulf Shores
West Beach is a stunning stretch of shoreline located in Gulf Shores and is widely considered to be one of the most picturesque beaches in the country. The sand is soft and pristine, and the water is crystal clear and inviting, perfect for activities such as swimming, fishing, snorkeling, and more. There are also a variety of water sports available, including boat tours, sailing, and kayaking.
When you're ready for a change of scenery from the beach, you have the option to visit one of the nearby local restaurants or historical landmarks in town.
West Beach is a highly sought after beach destination in Alabama, and it's easy to see why. The beaches are beautiful and offer a multitude of activities and attractions in the area.
You can relax on the beach or stroll the pier and if you are feeling adventurous, try parasailing or jet skiing.
West Beach is the perfect family vacation destination, offering something for everyone. Kids will love splashing around at the local water parks, while adults can check out the unique shops and dining options. If you're seeking a serene escape, West Beach won't disappoint.
1417 West Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, Alabama
Frequently Asked Questions on Clear Water Beaches in Alabama
1. Does Alabama have any hidden beaches?
Alabama boasts several secluded beaches that are ideal for a relaxing getaway from the daily grind. Some of the state's most secluded beaches include Bayfront Park Daphne, Belrose Park Daphne, Pine Beach Trail in Gulf Shores, Orange Street Pier Beach in Fairhope, and Meaher State Park.
2. What are some of the most beautiful Alabama beaches?
Alabama has many beautiful beaches with pristine water, such as Fort Morgan Beach, Cotton Bayou Beach, Romar Beach, and others. You'll want to find out everything you can about these lovely Alabama beaches, then of course, add them to your bucket list.
3. What is the safest beach in Alabama?
West End Public Beach is considered the safest beach in Alabama due to the presence of a lifeguard on duty, which is a rarity among the state's coastline. In addition, a roped-off area has been designated for swimming, further enhancing the safety of the crystal clear waters.
4. What beach has the clearest water in Alabama?
Fort Morgan beach is considered a hidden treasure in Alabama, boasting the clearest blue water among all the state's beaches.
5. What is the most popular beach in Alabama?
Orange Beach is the most popular and bustling beach in Alabama, attracting crowds for its diverse range of activities, accommodations, and dining options.
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