Avoid snorkeling here when it is bustling with those fishing the area topside.
The Alabama Point Jetties are located on the east side of Perdido Pass, 8.7 miles east of Alabama Hwy 59 and 2.5 miles east of Alabama Hwy 161 / Orange Beach Blvd. Covering over 70 acres, this public beach access is among the most popular with the locals. Winding through the sand dunes, the boardwalks give visitors a first hand look at protected sea oats and natural habitats. Nestled under Perdido Pass, this beach access area provides parking , restrooms, and outdoor showers.
What Makes It Great
Perdido Pass separates the Alabama Point from the Florida Point. As Perdido River spills into the mouth of the bay it creates a passage connecting the Gulf of Mexico to the south and Perdido Bay to the north. Two barriers stretching into the gulf, created by rock, form the west and east jetties. Rock, concrete, deployed materials, and sunken vessels create reefs that guard the entrance to the pass. The water depths range anywhere from 5 to 8 feet deep but were recently dredged, dropping to 9 and 12 feet in some places.
The marine life you may encounter at the Alabama Point Jetties include crabs, encrusted mollusks, Black Sea urchin, alewives, pinfish, an array of juvenile fish species, minnows, mullet, rainbow wrasse, banded butterflyfish, damselfish, belted sandfish, octopus, stingrays, horseshoe crabs, sea nettle jellyfish, and possibly sharks.
Though the Alabama Point Jetties can be an excellent place to snorkel and dive, it is also a popular spot for fishing as well— and an extremely busy and high traffic area for boaters. The seawall and jetty are found on the west side of Perdido Pass. For the best conditions, diving during an incoming tide an hour or more before the peak is suggested. Winter may lessen the amount of anglers.
Who is Going to Love It
Flounder is easily caught around the jetties in the middle of the day, even between tides. There are sheepshead and grouper too. Stone crabs can be plentiful during season and visibility can be up to 25 feet during a good day.
Waters can get a bit choppy at times and during peak tourist season, boaters are more plentiful than fish. Anglers love the jetties too, so be careful not to get hooked.
This beach dive will be one of the best to see a plethora of species near shore. Swimming out to the jetties is not far but can be precarious with all the traffic.
Parking is easy for either side of the bridge with no parking fees.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
For the Alabama Point, Gulf Rd Orange Beach, AL 36561. Turn right onto Foley Beach Express, Partial toll road $3.50 per vehicle, go 9.0 mi. Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto Alabama's Coastal Connection/Canal Rd. for 0.5 mi. Continue straight to stay on Alabama's Coastal Connection/Canal Rd. for 2.4 mi. Turn right onto AL-161 S/Alabama's Coastal Connection/Orange Beach Blvd for 1.7 mi. Turn left onto AL-182 E/Perdido Beach Blvd for 1.6 mi. Turn right onto Gulf Rd. No fees for parking.
For the Perdido Pass Parking, go over bridge take first right. Parking is near restrooms and showers or underneath the bridge. No fees for parking.
Please remember a Dive Flag or suitable SMB is required for each team of divers and all divers must surface within 50' of the flag. It is suggested by Down Under Dive Shop to, “Inflate your marker float before strapping on your snorkeling gear and entering the water. Tow the marker float no more than 10 feet behind you as you snorkel. If you deploy extra line to skin dive to the bottom, roll the line back up before swimming on.”