Orange Beach in Alabama is famous for its warm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It is an ideal snorkelling location, especially if you love to swim with lots of exciting marine life. With great visibility, you’ll have a terrific chance to spot stingrays, crabs, jellyfish, octopi, saltwater catfish, butterfly fish, sea turtles, damselfish and much more. Ready to dive on in? Here are some of the best places for snorkelling in Orange Beach, Alabama.
7 of the Best Places for Snorkelling in Orange Beach
1. Bird Island
Beautiful Bird Island in Orange Beach is located in the heart of the Perdido Pass. It is home to a variety of protected wildlife, flora and fauna, including sea oats, wading herons, and terns. Bird Island is famous for its gorgeous emerald water and white sand. It is a hot holiday spot with the locals on Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the 4th of July.
2. Romar Beach
Romar Beach on Orange Beach, 6.8 miles east of Highway 59, is home to a circalittoral reef. This is a manmade, artificial snorkelling reef constructed from concrete and limestone. This reef system is home to various parasitic and nautical marine life that live, play and feed in the area. The beach is great for shore snorkelling and is a safe and secure spot for beginners.
3. Robinson Island
Robinson Island is a bird and wildlife sanctuary and an important nesting area for Wading Herons and Terns. The island is popular with residents and visitors as a park and recreational area throughout the year. Exploring the clear blue waters around the sandbar, you’ll see the vivid marine life that lives under the Gulf of Mexico waves.
4. The Jetties at Alabama Point
The Jetties at Alabama Point Jetties are rock and concrete structures that protect Perdido Pass from the tides and currents of the Gulf of Mexico. Exploring the underwater world here, you’ll see a wide variety of marine life that call these shallow waters home, including crabs, encrusted molluscs, Black Sea urchin, alewives, pinfish, an array of juvenile fish species, minnows, mullet, rainbow wrasse, banded butterflyfish, damselfish, belted sandfish. You might also catch a glimpse of octopus, stingrays, horseshoe crabs, sea nettle jellyfish, and possibly sharks.
5. Walker Island
Walker Island is located in Perdido Pass within short proximity to the other Orange Beach island. It is accessible by watercraft and is a sanctuary for sea birds, marine mammals, and coastal plant life. Grass beds surround the island, and you’ll find many marine species, including shrimp, crabs, and fish.
6. Perdido Key Snorkel Reef
Just outside of Orange Beach waters lies the artificial Perdido Key Snorkel Reef. With a depth of roughly 12-15 feet, the reef modules sit approximately 6-8 feet below the surface, and the average visibility at this site is 10-20 feet. However, the visibility greatly improves when the sea conditions are calm – visibility can increase to 30 feet – so best wait till you have some good weather. The site is home to many species of tropical fish as well as sea turtles.
7. Gilchrist Island
Located at the mouth of Cotton Bayou, mere minutes from the popular Tacky Jacks Restaurant, is the popular Gilchrist Island. This is another Orange Beach Island and a sanctuary for marine animals and birds. Underneath the warm, clear blue waters, you’ll find plenty of schools of fish and sea turtles.