Combining entertainment, information, and breath-taking views, Cruise Orange Beach's captains take passengers to the waters of the Alabama Gulf Coast for an afternoon of adventure. The captains helm two 50-foot vessels?the Ann-Sea and Dolphin-Fun?ferrying passengers of all ages on fun-filled cruises that might result in sightings of leaping dolphins and sunbathing krakens. Best of all, midway through the trip, the crews pull the two boats side by side and incite a water war. Armed with water cannons, kids and adults alike soak the opposing group?or their own leader if they've declared mutiny?in a spirited water fight. Passengers will even get a chance to handle a live blue crab plucked from one of the scattered crab traps before returning to shore.
Although these sightseeing trips comprise most of Cruise Orange Beach's outings, the captains also offer private charters for visitors looking to scuba dive, parasail, or view the sunset while bobbing in the water.
In the real world, superpowers don't come from a radioactive spider or some magical ring. They come from a 60-foot hose, which attaches to a personal watercraft known as a flyboard. Flyboard Bama uses those flyboards to send people soaring up to 30 feet into the air. The board straps to the feet, and two jets spew water to create lift, which allows riders to perform tricks or even dive into the water like a dolphin. Flyboard Bama also offers dolphin cruises and parasailing.
If you tilt your head and squint, the murky waters of the Honey Island Swamp almost look like a red carpet. Ok, that might not be entirely true, but thanks to the guides at the locally owned and operated Cajun Encounters, Hollywood stars and famous musicians have toured one of Louisiana's only remaining preserved wetlands. Their covered and uncovered swamp tour boats have welcomed the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Usher, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Forest Whitaker.
Kelly Ripa even gave the tour a glowing review and a feature on Live! with Regis & Kelly, but celebrity status and a personal assistant who carries you over puddles are hardly required for getting up-close looks at alligators, wild boars, bald eagles, and other swamp animals.
As an eco-friendly tour company, Cajun Encounters extends its adventures beyond the wetlands. With 16 years of experience, its team members provide round-trip pick up service via mini busses decked out in the ultimate comforts. Guides lead guests on tours of the city, including the historic French Quarter and graves at local cemeteries. Or they might travel back in time, visiting two plantations straight out of the 1800s.
In partnership with Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Insta-Gator Ranch strives to preserve Louisiana wetlands and educate its visitors on regional wildlife. On the ranch, tour guides explain the ins and outs of the Louisiana alligator industry, from hatching gators to using them for food and textiles. During the tour, guests stroll along protected walkways near crystal clear waters to witness the goings-on of more than 2,000 alligators and view the specialized airplane used to scoop up alligator eggs from Louisiana swamps. Adding flair to the experience, a guide leaps into the pen to catch one before giving it a warm embrace and a box of water buffalo-flavored chocolates. Before tour's end, both kids and adults can hold and play with baby gators and have their portrait taken with the scaly youngsters. The hatchery also allows for the adoption of infant gators and houses a retail shop filled with alligator belts, wallets, heads, and more.
There are many ways to explore Lacombe's natural landscape, and Bayou Adventure gives you access to just about all of them. There are bike rentals for rolling along the surrounding nature paths, while kayaks allow sightseers to traverse the water or just stay on land and fight with paddles. For those looking to fish or hunt, Bayou Adventure keeps a wide assortment of equipment?as well as bait?in stock, from tackle to turkey necks and chicken livers. And for anyone not officially sanctioned for either activity, the outpost helps you start your journey by offering hunting and fishing licenses.
On April 7, 1932, Walter and Bessie Bellingrath invited the public to peruse their private gardens for an afternoon. They expected only a handful of garden aficionados, but instead more than 5,000 locals flocked to see the Bellingrath's azaleas. The crowds were so massive that the Mobile police were called in to direct traffic. Two years later, the couple officially opened Bellingrath Gardens as a year-round attraction.
These days, new flower varieties are always blooming across the gardens' 65 acres, from chrysanthemums each autumn to more than 2,000 roses in the summer. Besides the flowers, the property hosts a 1,600-foot boardwalk winding through a bayou preserve and a riverfront grotto perched beside a waterfall. After exploring the grounds, stop into the 10,500-square-foot Bellingrath home, which still contains Mrs. Bellingrath's china collection and the basement hole Mr. Bellingrath dug to China.