The Best Airport To Fly Into For An Orange Beach Vacation In Alabama

Secret's out that Alabama has some of the USA's best and most pristine beaches. Amongst the top of those is Orange Beach, located on the Gulf Coast. Orange Beach is ideal for planning a trip for fun water adventures, good southern cooking, and a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you've officially added Orange Beach to your radar, you're certainly not alone. 

In a post-pandemic world, Orange Beach has only grown in popularity among tourists. But if you want to get there, you'll have to know the most efficient route, and the airport you need to fly into when vacationing in Orange Beach, Alabama, is not even in the state. While it's surprising, it makes perfect sense. Geographically speaking, the closest and, therefore, most ideal airport to fly into is Pensacola International Airport (PNS) over in Florida. Hey, it's a two-state-for-one vacation if you ask us. 

Why is Pensacola International Airport the best for Orange Beach?

It's not that there aren't plenty of airports in Alabama; there certainly are. But with Orange Beach's location on the southern coast, it is conveniently close to the Florida-Alabama state line. Luckily for you, if you follow our lead and book your ticket into Pensacola, you will be able to experience the joy of the Florida-Alabama state line yourself. 

Pensacola International Airport is only about 30 miles from Orange Beach, allowing you to reach your tropical destination in under an hour. For context, other major airports in Alabama are Mobile Regional Airport, located about 70 miles away from Orange Beach (so more than double the distance), and Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, the state's largest airport, a whopping 288 miles away from the beach. Of course, you could embark on an Alabama road trip and hit the gorgeous city known as the seafood capital of the Southeastern state or explore the underrated state park perfect for campers and glampers. However, if time is money, then flying into Pensacola makes the most sense. 

Other tips for getting around Orange Beach

Flying in is only half the battle when it comes to getting to Orange Beach, Alabama. Once you arrive at Pensacola International Airport, and if you have the time, Pensacola is entirely worth visiting on its own. The beaches here are unmatched due to the vibrant hues of the Gulf of Mexico. But Pensacola aside, Orange Beach is our primary focus.

To get to Orange Beach from Pensacola, you need to rent a car. Not only will the car rental get you to your Alabamian destination, but having a vehicle is crucial in traveling around Orange Beach, as well. To find the best deals on rental cars, use an app such as, which has great perks for those subscribed to its Genius Loyalty Program, or Expedia, which, like any third-party site, has a long list of both pros and cons. While renting a car in Orange Beach is recommended, the coastal town offers rideshares such as Uber and Lyft. If that's the case, you can book a shuttle from Pensacola right to Gulf Shores, Alabama.