Aerial view of Orange Beach, Alabama

Orange Beach, Alabama

Orange Beach is a small resort city located in the southern part of Baldwin County in the US State of Alabama. The city is situated along the Gulf of Mexico in the state's southwestern corner. It is bordered by Florida's Perdido Key to the east and has the city of Gulf Shores to its west. Orange Beach covers a total area of 41.3 sq. km, of which 38.1 sq. km is occupied by land, and 3.2 sq. km is occupied by water.

The Climate Of Orange Beach 

Aerial view of Orange Beach, Alabama
Aerial view of Orange Beach, Alabama. 

According to Köppen Climate Classification, Orange Beach experiences a humid subtropical climate characterized by hot and humid summers and mild winters. The city receives an average rainfall of 1602 mm per year. 

Brief History Of Orange Beach 

A recreational boater in Orange Beach, Alabama
Recreational boater motors past protective oil bloom positioned in Perdido Pass in an effort to protect Orange Beach, Alabama from the BP oil spill. Editorial credit: Cheryl Casey /

The present-day Orange Beach area was initially settled in the mid-1860s. Foresting was the most common occupation in the area, followed by plantation. Tourism gradually drew more development to the area, not just to beaches but to the new nourishing fishing industry. In the 1920s, the area witnessed the construction of its first hotels, and locals began renting their boats for one-day fishing expeditions. The Intercoastal Waterway was expanded into the area around 1910 and was completed in 1983, improving travel by water. The first paved road was completed in 1947, electrical service was established in 1948, and phone service in 1956. In 1961, the Orange Beach Volunteer Fire Department was founded, and a public water service started operating in 1974.

In 1979, Hurricane Fredric struck Orange Beach hard, but the pace of development in the city picked up dramatically, pushing the town to incorporate in 1984. In 2010, Orange Beach and many other Gulf Coast communities suffered from a severe decline in tourism after the Deepwater Horizon mobile oil rig's explosion off the coast of Louisiana, which occurred in April of the same year. Marshes and beaches were polluted by the oil disaster affecting the tourism season. Although beaches have recovered, the fishing industry continues to be affected. At present, tourism continues to be one of the prominent sustaining industries in Orange Beach.

The Population Of Orange Beach 

The city of Orange Beach has 6,607 people with a median age of 56.6 and a density of 212 people per square kilometer. The population of Orange Beach has increased by 21.43% since the last census, which recorded a population of 5,441 in 2010. The majority of the residents of the city are White. In fact, there were 118 times more White residents than any other race or ethnicity in 2019. The largest ethnic groups in Orange Beach are non-Hispanic White, representing 98% of the city's population, followed by Two or more races at 0.83%, Asians at 0.78%, and Others at 0.15%. Almost 99% of the city's residents are U.S. citizens, and only 2.14% were born outside the country. Columbia Southern University is the largest university in Orange Beach. A total of 7,635 degrees were awarded in the city in 2019. The student population is skewed towards men, and the most popular majors are General Business Administration & Management, Occupational Safety & Health Technology, and Fire Science & Firefighting.

The Economy Of Orange Beach 

The median household income of Orange Beach is $81,883, which is higher than the median annual income across the entire United States. Although the income inequality in Alabama (measured using the Gini index) recorded 0.456, the males have an average income that is about 1.44 times more than the average income of females. The economy of Orange Beach employs around 2,960 people in different industries. The city's most prominent industries include Retail Trade, Accommodation & Food Services, and Real Estate & Rental & Leasing. Similarly, the highest paying industries include Construction, Professional & Scientific & Technical Services, and Administrative & Waste Management.

Things to Do In Orange Beach 

Tourists enjoy in Orange Beach, Alabama
Tourists enjoy in Orange Beach, Alabama. 

Orange Beach is a resort town that attracts thousands of visitors with its spectacular white, wide sand beaches and plenty of activities the town offers in water and on land. Visitors enjoy several large parks such as Alabama Point East and Orange Waterfront Park. The Wharf is a well-known tourist destination with restaurants, shops, and bars in addition to the Indian and Sea Museum.

The visitors and the locals use the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail to escape the city life and immerse themselves in the world of towering pines, palmetto, scrub oak, and thick, green deer moss. The trail runs past clear freshwaters, lakes, and lush wetlands, teeming with signs that help visitors identify plants and wildlife.

Adventure Island is also a popular tourist destination. The Amusement Park features a range of exciting rides and adventures suitable for everyone. Visitors can ride go-karts and bumper boats. They can also play laser tag, have some fun at the arcade, try adventure golf, or go on paddleboat rides. The park has a five-story volcano that shoots fire into the sky.

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