Don’t you just love the name? Orange Beach! I think that is one reason I wanted to visit. That, and the fact that I have never been to Alabama.
So, why Orange Beach? I planned our road trip somewhat last minute, not real sure it would come to fruition. But when it looked like it was a go, I had my eye on Gulf Shores, Alabama. It simply looked beautiful and wasn’t far away from Destin, Florida, an area we had visited four years ago. Sadly, before I reserved our hotel, Sally hit. My heart was broken for those folks in the area, yet I still had the urge to travel to Gulf Shores. That’s when I discovered Orange Beach. The hotel I wanted was not available in Gulf Shores, but I found a place in Orange Beach. So I made reservations and we packed our bags.
Orange Beach is literally attached to Gulf Shores. We saw so much hurricane damage from miles away, and all around Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. It was so very sad. Yet, there was an energy in the air, the spirit of those who lived there was not crushed. They were cleaning up and picking up, and we could see it everywhere we went.
We discovered Gulf State Park and spent two mornings walking and hiking through the park. Unfortunately part of it was closed due to storm destruction, but part of it was open, and that area was beautiful! We ventured into one area not yet cleaned up, and it was clear they had pride in the park and when they clean up, they do it right. The cleared area was just lovely! When I crossed one caution line to take a closer look, I did see that one of the wooded bridge walkways was completely blown apart, and the walking path was covered with trees, twigs and debris.
My favorite things about Orange Beach? (besides the name 😊) The beautiful beach, of course, but the people were awesome! They welcomed us and appreciating the businesses. They were not only recovering from the storm, but from COVID restrictions as well. Great food, great service, beautiful weather, and a vibe that celebrates life and all that is good.
They could not fill the hotels to full capacity because of COVID. There were no crowds of people. But there were people and energy …and I found my new happy place 😎
I loved Orange Beach!
I was very thrilled to find these three cool snakes on our first walk in Golf State Park!
One of them is venomous, can you guess which one?
Left: Corn Snake (friendly 😊)
Top Right: Northern Cottonmouth (watch out for this one!)
Bottom Right: North American Racer (another friend 😊)
Note the park sign, bottom right. Virtually every single sign was blown down or bent over 😢
(Click on the photo to enlarge)
Sadly, below is my only alligator of the trip (aside from the cool gators at Live Bait restaurant-highly recommended, by the way!)
People seemed to love to feed the birds. Not so sure that’s good for the birds. However, it did make for a couple of cool photos!
And of course a few more bird photos. I had hoped to see more variety of birds. Someone I talked to while there said he thinks the hurricane may have chased the birds off, as he also expected more birds.
The day we left it rained, and hard. And we had overcast skies at times. But it was beautiful, and it was warm. I was sad to leave Orange Beach, but excited for the next leg of our adventure.