Beach house rentals in Orange Beach are ideal if you're looking for a relaxing vacation with the sparkling Gulf of Mexico lapping at the shores right outside your doorstep. Plus a short distant from your Orange Beach rentals and the beach are some other fantastic sightseeing opportunities in this vibrant community.

The backwaters of Orange Beach, also known as the back bays, are alive with fishing charter excursions, dolphin cruises, waterfront restaurants and places to simply relax and swim in some serene waters. Here are three ways to enjoy the back bays of Orange Beach:

Shop and dine at The Wharf

Explore the backwaters of Orange Beach at the many marinas, where you can shop, dine or book a fishing charter or kayak rental.Stop over at The Wharf after an afternoon on the beach for some superb shopping and dining experiences. An entertainment center built around the marina on the backwaters of Orange Beach, this plaza is home to dozens of local boutiques and galleries, where you can buy everything from upscale menswear and designer swimsuits to locally made arts and crafts. Plus you can enjoy a bird's eye view of the coast from the largest Ferris wheel in the Southeast or spend an evening watching the latest blockbuster movie at the comfortable multi-screen theater.

Once you get hungry, head to Villagio or Ginny Lane for dinner. Just steps away from your dining experience on some of the best local fare at these eateries you can watch the fishing charter boats and private yachts come into port. There are even some Orange Beach condos in this plaza, so if you're lucky, you'll be surrounded by these fantastic amenities!

Head out on an Orange Beach fishing charter

No vacation to Orange Beach is complete without a chartered fishing trip - after all, Orange Beach has the largest charter fleet on the entire Gulf Coast! Pick from one of the many Orange Beach fishing charter options and choose whether you want a two-, four- or eight-hour trip out on the water. Most of these operations will take you throughout the back bay, along the many canals that wind through this unique, mostly residential community enroute to the exciting Gulf waters.

Of course, you'll also get the thrill of reeling in catches like speckled and white trout, red and black drum, croakers and flounder.

Relax by the water

If you're just looking for a tranquil alternative to the crashing waves out on the beach, pack up the family in the car and head over to the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach. While the center itself has a host of fun activities for the whole family, there's also a quiet beach on the shore of Wolf's Bay, where the kids can play in the sand and splash in the smooth, calm waters. Fishing enthusiasts: be sure to bring your poles and lures! The pier is a perfect spot to drop a line.

You can also take a dip in Wolf bay from other public access points throughout Orange Beach.

Paddle Wolf Bay

Fishing charters aren't the only way to get out and enjoy the backwaters of Orange Beach. Many boat rental companies located at the various marinas and wharfs on the backside of Orange Beach offer kayak rentals. Get a single or double boat and paddle out to Wolf Bay and the many canals that run through the region. Keep an eye out for herons and dolphins!