A Full Guide to Kayaking in Gulf Shores AL

woman kayaking river with view from behind her as she goes through narrow passage in trees
Kat Shaver

Kayaking is a popular activity along the Alabama Gulf Coast, and requires little to no experience to enjoy! With an abundance of inland lakes, bays, and lagoons, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are a water sports paradise. 

Stand up paddleboarding, considered to be one of the fastest-growing sports, can also be enjoyed in the water around Gulf Shores. Paddleboarding is easy and great for all ages, and it's the perfect way to get out on smaller lakes and rivers. 

If you are interested in paddleboarding or kayaking in Gulf Shores, you'll find local rental companies to get everything you need for an afternoon or weekend on the water. If you prefer to be guided on the water, try a guided excursion to all the best spots of the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Where to Kayak in Gulf Shores

Gulf State Park

Gulf State Park's Lake Shelby is a freshwater lake that offers calm waters perfect for paddleboarding and kayaking. There are kayak rentals available on-site at Lake Shelby, or you can bring them with you to the boat launch. Middle Lake is also within Gulf State Park and has a boat launch. 

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is an undisturbed coastal barrier island that is home to abundant wildlife. You can tour the Bon Secour River, Intracoastal Waterway, and Oyster Bay via a kayak tour to see sea turtles, a wide variety of bird species, and more. 

Little Lagoon

Little Lagoon is a 10-mile stretch of open water that is ideal for kayaking and fishing. This inland lagoon has a soft, sandy bottom perfect for a quick dip on an especially hot afternoon, but it also makes for calm waters to leisurely cruise. You'll see some wildlife here, particularly a wide variety of bird species. 

Cotton Bayou

Cotton Bayou is located in nearby Orange Beach and offers calm waters ideal for paddleboarding and kayaking. The Bayou is home to local wildlife, including dolphins, which you may just catch a glimpse of while you're here. Within the Bayou, there are several points of interest, islands, and even waterfront restaurants to enjoy. Visit Robinson Island, Bird Island, or Sand Island for a quick lunch break, or visit Tacky Jack's Pleasure Island Tiki Bar, or Anchor Bar & Grill. 

Gulf Shores Kayak Rental

Go Go Kayaks

Go Go Kayak Rentals serves the Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan region with kayak rental delivery or pick up along the Bon Secour Bay. Offering the largest inventory of kayaks on the Gulf Coast, Go Go Kayaks is a great option for large groups and last-minute plans. You can rent single kayaks, ocean duo kayaks, and paddleboard, as well as kayaks for kids, fishing, and surfing.

Phone: 251-752-5500

Address: 8850 State Hwy., Gulf Shores, AL 36542 

Paddled By You

Paddled By You is a family-owned and operated rental service on Cotton Bayou in Orange Beach.  You can rent paddleboards by the day or hour here, and reservations are encouraged so you can be sure to get the equipment you need for the day. Paddled By You has a selection of single kayaks, double kayaks, triple kayaks, and stand up paddleboards available for 2-hour, 4-hour, and 8-hour rentals. 

Phone: 251-752-9250

Address: 26448 Cotton Bayou Drive, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Coastal Kayak Excursions

Coastal Kayak Excursions offers kayak rentals and guided excursions along the coast of Orange Beach. The 3-hour guided excursion is perfect for groups that want a professional to lead the way to view some of the most beautiful coastal scenery and wildlife. If you're going out on your own, Coastal Kayak Excursions will shuttle you to a drop-off/pick-up location and provide you with everything you need. 

Guided Excursion Times: 9 am, 1 pm & 5 pm

Phone: 251-253-2430

Address: 28101 Perdido Blvd., Orange Beach, AL 36561

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