To locals in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, it’s known simply as “The Pony.” To vacationers, it’s World Famous Pink Pony Pub, but to all this restaurant and bar at the beach is famous for its chow, signature drinks, unmatched deck view and general good time. Hey, it’s why the beach bar is called “The World Famous Pink Pony.”

And it’s hard to miss the building if you’re traveling along the main drag in the heart of Gulf Shores, what with the painted pink pony sipping a beverage on the outside wall. It’s The Pony’s official mascot. A pink wooden building went up around 1950,as part of the Calloway family’s Seahorse Cottages. The pink square at the foot of the Gulf Shores Pier operated as a 30-by- 30 cafe, bar and bait shop, beginning in 1956. Hard to believe The Pony has been around that long.

For more than five decades this Pleasure Island watering hole and family destination has been on the to-do list during a vacation. Having survived numerous hurricanes including Hurricane Ivan in 2004, The Pony isn’t likely to be washed away by any hurricane.

These days, The Pony is a thriving beach bar with a view of Gulf Shores Public Beach and the Gulf of Mexico from the deck bar. There, patrons sit on picnic benches under the shad of thatched umbrellas. Inside, customers immediately take notice of the giant pink, lighted sign over the bar, which by the way, is where you’ll find locals day or night, enjoying a variety of signature cocktails including some of the island’s best frozen concoctions. When it comes to beach chow, The Pony’s menu runs the gamut with a little of something for everyone. The appetizer section holds 10 items, including their famous Gator Bites, or snack on the Cajun Nachos with a group of people. And you can’t be a real seafood eatery at the foot of the Gulf without offering authentic, fresh seafood and the kitchen will whip up a number of entrees for the seafood lover.

Whether you belly up to the bar with a cold beer and burger or chill on the deck in the shade with the family, Pink Pony Pub is a must this summer.