6 award-winning things to do in Baldwin County

Lifestyle Editor
Posted 4/5/24

The weather is warming, and the pull to Gulf water is getting stronger. Whether you're visiting, a recent transplant or longtime local, Gulf Coast Media can help you plan a perfect day out in South …

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6 award-winning things to do in Baldwin County


The weather is warming, and the pull to Gulf water is getting stronger. Whether you're visiting, a recent transplant or longtime local, Gulf Coast Media can help you plan a perfect day out in South Baldwin.

One of the fun aspects of having a vacation destination in your backyard is the ever-changing food and entertainment offerings. The downside is having so many choices can cause a bout of choice paralysis.

Gulf Coast Media readers voted for over 400 of their favorite businesses, restaurants, events and attractions in the 2024 Best of Baldwin competition, and the winners were announced in February. The winners are searchable at www.GulfCoastMedia.com/BestOf to help you choose where to go, what to do and where to eat.

We have put together an ideal family day in southern Baldwin County according to the 2024 Best of Baldwin winners and finalists.


Every fun day should start off with a hearty breakfast. Whether you are starting your day in Daphne or Orange Beach, Best of Baldwin top 5 breakfast spots offer something for everyone across the county.

Another Broken Egg Café – Winner
Another Broken Egg Café, located in the heart of downtown Fairhope, offers a wide variety to jump-start your day. Start with a coffee or mimosa and an order of biscuit beignets. The breakfast menu ranges from chicken and waffles to smoked salmon benedict.
300 Fairhope Ave., Fairhope

Duck's Diner

Duck's Diner has been a local breakfast and lunch staple for over 20 years. If you like to order the house specialty when you visit a new eatery, you are in for a treat. Duck's banana stuffed French toast or banana pecan pancakes will tickle your taste buds and delight your belly.
4560 Easy St., Orange Beach

Dan's Diner
Dan's Diner may be the newer kid on the Best of Baldwin block, but Chef Dan Navarro is not new to the Baldwin County food scene. Navarro has been catering, teaching and cooking in the area for a long time and opened Dan's Diner in 2022. The restaurant makes you feel like you stepped back in time to the height of the diner revolution, and the menu features everything you need for a filling breakfast.
105 NW 1st St., Summerdale

East Shore Café
East Shore Café is in the heart of Daphne, and the menu offers all the classics your stomach may desire. Along with delightful dishes, the restaurant offers diners a lovely setting with plenty of outdoor seating.
1506 Main St., Daphne

Gulf Shores Diner
Gulf Shores Diner is a spot some visitors may not know about but should go on your list. The menu has all the staples from steak and eggs to biscuits and gravy and hashbrown skillets to pancakes. Even better, the location gets you closer to the beach.

3639 Gulf Shores Pkwy. #4, Gulf Shores


When you think of spending a day in South Baldwin County, your mind may instinctively go to the beach. The beach is great, but there are so other many fun activities to enjoy. If you are looking for an action-packed day of activity, here are the some Best of Baldwin winners to consider.

The Backcountry Trail – Best Bike Trail
The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail isn't just the Best of Baldwin. In 2023, it took first place in the USA Today Reader's Choice Awards and is up for the awards again this year (go vote before it's too late). The 26 trails cover more than 28 miles of paved trails within the 6,150-acres park, which is a collaborative effort between Gulf State Park and the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Bring your bikes or just take a stroll and enjoy the nine distinct ecosystems full of wildlife and plants. To learn more about the trail system, trailhead locations and what you can see, visit alapark.com/parks/gulf-state-park/trails.

3801 Orange Beach Blvd., Orange Beach / www.backcountrytrail.com

Sail Wild Hearts – Best Boat Tour
The Wild Hears catamaran sails around Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Perdido Key every day offering visitors amazing views and experiences. The options range from a sunset cruise to morning dolphin cruise. The 53-foot catamaran sailboat is specious enough for 49 passengers and offers areas below deck to take shelter from the elements. Give your family the experience of being on the open water.
27075 Perdido Beach Blvd., Orange Beach / www.sailwildhearts.com.

Off The Hook Charters – Best Charter Boat for Snapper, Best Deep Sea Fishing, Best Inshore Fishing Gulf Coast Media's readers really love fishing with this crew, enough to vote them Best of Baldwin in three categories, so if you are looking for some experts to locate the snapper for you this season look no further. Even if you only have a few hours, the captains with Off The Hook Charters can take you on a two-hour inshore fishing or a 12-hour offshore excursion and everything in between.

1577 AL – 180, Gulf Shores / www.offthehookfishingcharters.org

The Track-Gulf Shores – Best Go-Karts
Do you feel the need, the need for speed? Head to The Track-Gulf Shores and burn some rubber on the best go-kart tracks in Baldwin County. The multistory wood track is a blast for the young and old. The Track offers more than just go-karts. Play a round of putt-putt, win all the tickets in the arcade, or get wet in the water shooting bumper boats. It's a fun place for the whole family.
3200 Gulf Shores Pkwy., Gulf Shores / www.funatthetrack.com

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo – Best Local Attraction
Alligators, bears and lemurs, oh my! You are never too old to enjoy a day at the zoo, and the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is a gem. The campus offers visitors an up-close look at some amazing animals, hands-on experiences, education and fun. Don't miss your chance to feed a giraffe, hold a kangaroo or ask a zookeeper questions while they feed the animals. If you get hungry, you don't even have to leave the property. Just pop into Savanna and enjoy a delicious meal with views of the zoo.
20499 Oak Road East, Gulf Shores / www.alabamagulfcoastzoo.com

Tropic Falls at OWA – Best Amusement Park
Are you looking for a day of adrenaline? Look no further than Tropic Falls at OWA. Gulf Coast Media readers voted the amusement and indoor water park No.1 for best amusement park. The park's location on the Baldwin Beach Express makes getting there easy, and the massive free parking lots ease the driver's stress. The Downtown OWA area is filled with shops and restaurants to enjoy before, during or after your visit to the park. Inside the park, visitors can choose to enjoy both the indoor/outdoor water park and amusement park or just the amusement park. The park offers rides for the big kids and grown-ups as well as the tiny tots in your crew. The indoor water park has loads of slides, a massive lazy river and kids splash area. It is easy to spend all your time riding the waves. Once the weather warms enough, you can also enjoy the Big Water Bay wave pool outside.
1501 S. OWA Blvd., Foley / www.visitowa.com