What do Corey Smith, Widespread Panic, Sugarland and Kenny Chesney have in common? They’ve all performed at The Whart Ampitheater, a 10,000-seat tiered venue located in the middle of The Wharf complex in Orange Beach. The venue attracts headline acts year-round.
Attractions in Gulf Shores
The best part of an Alabama Gulf Coast vacation is our variety of activities and attractions in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan and beyond. These exciting adventures appeal to all ages and types: beach lovers, thrill seekers, music lovers, and those who just like to “hang out” will find their place along the beach. Here’s just a sampling of area attractions:
Gulf Shores Points of Interest & Orange Beach Activities
The little zoo that could, as seen on Animal Planet, opened in June 1989 as Zooland Animal Park. The zoo was founded as a private enterprise by Joey Ward of Gulf Shores. In 1991, the Ward family created the Zoo Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation, and donated the 17 acres of prime real estate that makes up the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo today. Three years later, the Ward family and the Erie Meyer Foundation graciously donated an additional 13 acres, which are still undeveloped. The zoo is tucked away just blocks from the beach and is home to more than 290 animals. Lions, tigers, bears, monkeys and macaws are just some of the creatures that inhabit this Gulf Coast oasis. There’s also a petting zoo, reptile house, aviary and daily animal shows in the summer.
For a fast-paced adventure, head to The Track, a family recreation center in Gulf Shores. Take a ride on a Go-Kart, get into a water battle on a bumper boat, “hit it through the windmill” at the miniature golf course or take an “adrenaline pumping” free fall from the Skycoaster.
History buffs will love nearby Fort Morgan. A historic fort at the mouth of the Mobile Bay, it is regarded by some as one of the finest examples of military architecture. While it saw action during four wars, Fort Morgan is most famous for its role in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War.
A legendary beachfront club and restaurant, the Hangout’s origins date back to the 1950’s and 1960’s, when it was an open-air arcade and burger joint. These days, The Hangout is back and better than ever. In addition to “world-famous” wings, it’s also home to the Hangout Music Festival in May.
The kids will love Waterville USA, a 20-acre water and amusement park in Gulf Shores that offers “the best collection of water rides on the gulf coast”. With new attractions like Flowrider, and established rides like the Screamin’ Demon, Waterville is an all-day fun ride.
Explore the newest attraction in southern Alabama. The amusement park at OWA offers 21 themed rides consisting of roller coasters for thrill-seekers and classic amusement rides for the young, old, and everyone in between! Visitors of OWA will also enjoy shopping and dining experiences. More phases of the development are underway, including a water park. OWA sits adjacent to the Foley Sports Complex, which boasts 16 state-of-the-art outdoor fields and a 90,000 sq. ft. indoor event center.