Things to do at The Wharf Orange Beach with Teenagers

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to see what that means.

Spring break family vacation ideas with teenagers can be a challenge.

  • Where can a family go to make everyone happy?
  • You know, where do go so teens get time to sleep in, plenty to do, and lots of food options?
  • How do you balance a teen’s need for independence with family time?

When considering family vacation ideas with teenagers, I highly recommend The Wharf Orange Beach in Alabama! It meets just about every need a family with teens could have: shopping, entertainment, great food and some freedom. Of course, the white, sandy beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are nearby making lazy days realistic, too.

Whether you stay at The Wharf or spend a day there during your beach vacation, it has just about everything a teen could want! Ellie and I were invited to explore The Wharf last year for purposes of this post! We thoroughly enjoyed our research!!!

Where to stay at The Wharf, Orange Beach

The Wharf, Orange Beach has both condo rentals and hotel options for family vacations providing plenty of lodging options for families.

Condos at The Wharf: Choose from one to four bedroom units to meet the needs of your family or group. These luxury rentals include modern features, remote check-in and keyless entry for an easy stay. Right outside your door, enjoy great restaurants, shopping and entertainment. There’s also a wave pool, lazy river, swim pool, kid slides, beach volleyball, and beautiful marina views!

Springhill Suites Orange Beach at The Wharf: The only hotel at The Wharf, Springhill Suites offers large rooms, free daily breakfast, free parking and an onsite pool. Guests rate it 9.4/10 citing comfort, delicious breakfast, friendly staff and the great pool in their comments.

The Wharf ferris wheel and parking deck with onstreet parking and palm trees.

But, if you don’t want to stay here, that’s okay, too. The Wharf has ample free parking for day guests! And it’s centrally located in the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area for easy access. If you prefer to stay at the beach, we highly recommend:

  • Turquoise Place, a luxury, oceanfront condominium complex right on the gulf beach (with great deals at spring break) that just added a four story tall water slide and rooftop putting green to their extensive list of amenities,
  • Gulf Beach State Park, a little further from The Wharf, but a bit more affordable with many onsite activities,
  • Perdido Beach Resort, a luxury, beachfront hotel with easy access to The Wharf that has great amenities and fabulous onsite dining. We stayed here our first visit to Orange Beach and absolutely loved the pampering stay.

What to do at The Wharf Orange Beach

Ahhh…. this is where The Wharf Orange Beach excels. There’s so much to do here that teens won’t get bored.

First, the shopping!

I have a teen girl who LOVES to shop! We wandered the shops at The Wharf looking for great treasures to remember our trip. Whether looking for clothes, toys, home decor, accessories or souvenirs, it’s probably here. Beach decor and resortwear clothes are two specialties! I highly recommend exploring with your teen and asking her to pick out some outfits for you. Super fun! Here’s a link to the store directory so you can plan your day.

Teen posing for a photo while shopping for new clothes.

Second, the food!

Restaurants at The Wharf Orange Beach range from snacks to fine dining and everything in between. Most places are casual, like ice cream shops, coffee shops and quick bites. But there are bars and a high end restaurant at The Wharf, too.

• Read our complete Restaurant Review for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Third, the fun!

Whether you’re looking for things for the whole family to do or want family vacation ideas with teenagers that give them some freedom, The Wharf Orange Beach has got you covered. The Wharf theaters play first run movies at the state-of-the-art AMC theaters. There’s a laser tag park on the upper level and Breakout Games, an escape room offering several different experiences, some more challenging than others.

I spoke with several families with teens at Breakout Games, and they all said it’s one of the most fun things to do with teens in Orange Beach — great for a rainy day, or to take a break from the sun.

With its location at the marina, The Wharf Orange Beach also makes it easy to enjoy dolphin cruises, sunset cruises or sailing adventures. If you stay at The Wharf Orange Beach condos, you can park the car and forget it for a few days. How nice!

Fourth, The Wharf concerts

How many places can you stay that have shopping, dining, entertainment, waterfront views and a concert venue?

Not many, right?

But, at The Wharf Amphitheater, which is in walking distance to the condos and hotel, concerts at the Wharf Orange Beach are about as easy it gets.

Band performing on stage at the Wharf Amphitheater.

Beyond The Wharf Orange Beach: Teen fun in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

With all The Wharf Orange Beach has to offer, it’s one of my top picks for family vacations with teens. But, being so close to the beach, it’s a good idea to explore the rest of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach too!