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differences between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores

Indianapolis...
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132 posts
11 reviews
5 helpful votes
differences between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores
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We'll be first time visitors to the area. I'm trying to figure out the differences between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. Could someone give me your opinion on this?

We have 3 daughters (6, 7 and 8). We definitely want to be on the beach and have a pool. We'd love to be within walking distance of some restaurants and stores but we can use our car for other attractions!

Thank you.

Searcy, Arkansas
Level Contributor
2,372 posts
76 reviews
157 helpful votes
1. Re: differences between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores
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It is hard to tell where one starts and the other ends.. they are separated by the state park.. I would suggest staying in gulf shores near what they call the T.. The T , is where the main road meets the beach road , that runs parallel to the beach.. Lot's to walk to in that area...

Gulf Shores, AL
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2,745 posts
19 reviews
27 helpful votes
2. Re: differences between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores
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1.

2.

3.

That's about it... :)

Orange Beach...
Destination Expert
for Gulf Shores, Orange Beach
Level Contributor
1,688 posts
616 reviews
378 helpful votes
3. Re: differences between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores
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Orange Beach is nicer and a little more expensive. The restaurants are better in Orange Beach but more choices in Gulf Shores. Gulf Shores tends to get more snowbirds and spring breakers than Orange Beach. There are more things to do, and in closer proximity, in Gulf Shores. Orange Beach has all the marinas and Gulf Shores none. But both are nice and the quality of the beach itself doesn't change between the two. I personally think that Gulf Shores has more cookie-cutter type condos than Orange Beach. Like Fordarama said it is hard to tell the difference between the two and even then it's very easy to travel between both.

Indianapolis...
Level Contributor
132 posts
11 reviews
5 helpful votes
4. Re: differences between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores
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Thank you, everyone!

Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
3,350 posts
114 reviews
75 helpful votes
5. Re: differences between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores
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We have stayed a lot in both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and both are equally great places to enjoy the beach. Both also have an equally wide range of restaurants which are all reviewed here on TripAdvisor. There are also marinas in both towns: the Gulf Shores Marina is located near Fort Morgan and the Orange Beach marinas are located near Perdido Pass. Both places provide great charter fishing. However there are some differences. Orange Beach has almost all condo towers along the beach, while Gulf Shores has more of a mix of condo towers, low rise condos, and many gulf front beach houses. There are also many places in west Gulf Shores where you can stay on either side of the beach road and still walk to the beach because the road is only 2 lanes wide. In Orange Beach you need to be gulf-front because the road is 5 lanes wide and very busy. Orange Beach has a few ultra luxury condo towers (multi-million dollar condos) available for rent and Gulf Shores has several very nice condo resorts that include both cottages and condos with lots of amenities.

6. Re: differences between Orange Beach and Gulf Shores

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