Dog Friendly Places in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

Most of us take our furry children with us when we travel.  They have become such an important part of our families, we just can’t bear leaving them behind.  Our team at Sunset Properties is just like you!  We take our furry kids with us on trips, too. Everyone needs a vacation break sometimes! Because we understand the need for this kind of companionship, we make sure we have dog friendly rentals available.  We offer a variety of vacation homes that allow guests to bring their four legged babies with them.  But once you get down to our beautiful beach paradise home, where can you take your fur baby?  What can you guys do to hang out together?  Dogs are not allowed on the public beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, so where can you go for a playdate with your adorable little rescue who rescued you?  We suggest trying out the following local spots:

Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Established in 2003, the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is one of our favorite places to go when we want to visit all the ecosystems our island has to offer.  It’s kind of a “one-stop-shop” for hikers, bikers and fur babies who want to see a variety of wildlife habitats right here along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  You’ll be sharing the trail with other folks, so be sure to have pup properly leashed.  This is as much for your safety as for the safety of others.  With more than fifteen miles of trails to explore, this is one outing that’s sure to please everyone in your group.  Be on the lookout for herons, gators, bobcats and turtles.  You and your pretty pooch will travel through marshes, along old hunting trails, and through one of the last remaining maritime forests in South Alabama. There’s a lot to see and sniff!  The trails are well maintained and great for travel on foot or bicycle.  Because the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is a part of Alabama State Parks, there are also plenty of convenience stops for visitors, too.  You’ll find restrooms and picnic areas spread throughout.  So go ahead and pack a lunch for your and your buddy and make it a day outdoors!  Don’t forget to clean up after your canine cutie.  We expect you’ll find the trails clean and ask that you leave them that same way.

Lake Shelby Dog Park

Within the expanse that is Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is beautiful Lake Shelby.  Located just north of the beach road within Gulf State Park, Lake Shelby has long been one of our favorite places to go for picnics, swimming and just watching nature.  Dogs are welcome to enjoy Lake Shelby, too.  Your furry friend must be leashed when entering and leaving the park and must be current on all vaccinations.  While we recommend Lake Shelby as one of our favorite outing spots, we caution you to be watchful over your fur baby.  Alligators live in and around this ancient lake and they can be aggressive towards dogs.

Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Located on Canal Road in Orange Beach, Orange Beach Waterfront Park is a perfect place to take the kiddos and the Fidos!  The kids will find a wooden playground unlike any other on our island.  Parents will notice this is a great spot to snap some fun vacation pics, too!  The City of Orange Beach planned well when they added a 400 foot fishing pier to extend the park out into our beautiful back bay area.  Take a walk out on the pier and you may just see a family of dolphins swimming by.  Your hound will be happy with all the open space to stretch his legs.  Restrooms are provided and a pavilion is available so bring your picnic supplies.  Remember to keep your fur baby on a leash and clean up after if he goes potty in the park.

Unleashed Doggie Park

Are you and your cheerful canine will find plenty to wag your tails about at Unleashed Doggie Park!  Plenty of open space, that is.  Unleashed Doggie Park, located at 27920 Canal Road, opened in 2010 and it has become a favorite place of locals and visitors, alike!  In addition to plenty of open space to play, you’ll find a nicely kept, fenced-in large play area.  Watering stations are also available.  For everyone’s safety, this park has a very specific list of guidelines for visitors and we encourage you to check them out here.

The Fort at Fort Morgan

Have you ever visited the actual fort located at the end of Fort Morgan Road?  Turn off Alabama Highway 59 and head west about 22 miles and you’ll find Fort Morgan.  Its just past The Dunes subdivision and condos.  On the site of this historic landmark dating back to 1812 and formerly called Fort Bowyer, Fort Morgan historic site is a great place for a family outing!  All members of your family, including your furry bestie kept safely on a leash, are welcome to tour the fort grounds during daylight hours.  Historic Fort Morgan is located at the most western tip of Baldwin County where the Gulf of Mexico meets Mobile Bay making it’s beach area unique in several ways.  First, because the salt and fresh waters that surround Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan meet here, you’re sure to see several forms of marine life.  Dolphins tend to swim pretty close to the beaches that surround the fort.  Coastal birds like seagulls, blue herons, and sandpipers are visible almost daily.  Sand crabs love this largely untraveled beach and you may even see a gator somewhere nearby.  Another thing you’ll most likely see off shore is the Mobile Bay Ferry.  The ferry transports automobiles from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island in Mobile County.  The ferry schedule may be altered a bit due to COVID-19 concerns, so we suggest you check their website for an up-to-date schedule listing.  Lastly, you might find your furry friend sniffing something that was left at the old fort site for decades.  Artifacts found on fort property are naturally the property of the fort.  So, if you guys unearth something, be sure to take it to the gift shop located on the fort grounds.  Speaking of artifacts, if you’d like to see something really cool, that has been unearthed by the Gulf’s might power during a hurricane, but is too big to put in your pocket, travel about 5 miles east of the fort along the beach.  If the tide is just right, you may get a glimpse of The Rachel.  A ship from long ago, her remains are beached in the Fort Morgan area for all to see.

Fort Morgan Community

Our fur babies are not allowed to traipse their toes across the sandy white public beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, but they are allowed on the sand in the Fort Morgan community.  That’s right!  You and your four-legged jogging buddy can stretch your legs in the warm sand in Fort Morgan.  If you are a guest of Sunset Properties and your vacation home is located in this area, you will love the convenience of this.  The beaches in Fort Morgan, Alabama have less restrictive guidelines than those in other places on our island.  Consider reserving a vacation home in The Dunes Condominiums.  Check out Dunes 602 if you and your canine companion enjoy watching sunsets from a private balcony facing the Gulf of Mexico.  Dunes 202 may be more in line with what you’re looking for if you want to be poolside.  Several other condos located within this complex are also dog friendly.  Would you rather stay in a single-family beach house?  Give Dunesberry a look.  This spacious beach home is located in The Dunes subdivision and is literally just yards from the sandy white beaches of The Gulf of Mexico.  You and your pupper will enjoy sipping your cold drinks on private balconies as you plan your daily outings.  For a complete listing of our dog friendly rentals, follow this link.  Remember there are some restrictions associated with bringing your furry family member and we will be happy to answer any questions you have!  

When you’re ready to head down to our beautiful Alabama Coast, don’t leave your snuggle buddy at home.  Bring him or her with you, too.  There’s lots you can do together as a family and lots of great places to choose to stay.  We are looking forward to your arrival!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Choose a Local Pro to Manage Your Vacation Home in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

So, you just purchased your dream vacation home in your favorite escape-to city and you want to open your home up for vacation renters when you’re not using it.  Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are great places to vacation!  We applaud your choice!  But do you manage your rental by yourself and use a national website that folds your property into tons of other similar homes for rent or do you hire a local professional rental management company to help you market your investment?  At Sunset Properties, we believe knowing the pros and cons of this big decision are a must for any new or experienced vacation home owner.  We also know we can help you manage your investment to its fullest potential while keeping your personal goals for your property in mind.  We are going to list the “pros” for using us, Local Pros in vacation rental management, and let you determine the “cons” for yourself.

Here are five reasons you should choose Sunset Properties to manage your vacation investment in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan:

1       We are local and we are family

Our team at Sunset Properties lives, works and attends school in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  We have roots here.  We are local and we love our area.  It’s our home and, as a vacation homeowner, it’s your home, too.  We are a family company with family values and we welcome the opportunity to have you join us. We know buying a vacation rental home is a huge investment and we understand the need for owners to profit from it.  We also know owners want to be able to enjoy their purchases.  Because we live here, we are able to make recommendations to owners about dates and times to visit the Alabama Gulf Coast and still make their specific desired income from their rental home.  We can also make suggestions on changes or upgrades to properties based on the requests of renters.  We can even arrange those changes or upgrades with the owner’s permission. As for our guests, we listen to their wants and needs for their vacation experience and we match them with the home based on their specific vacation goals.   It is our intent at Sunset Properties to meet the needs, not only of our owner families, but of our guest families, too.  When we say, “we are local and we are family”, we are including you, as well!

2       We are available

We are always available.  We are available to assist our owners and guests 24/7 and then some (remember, we are on Island Time!).  While we have primary point people to serve our Sunset Properties families, our team is cross-trained, benefitting both our owners and guests.  We may not have the answer you need at the time you ask it, but we will find it and get back to you.  We are available by phone, text, email and social media messaging.  We are often available to meet with guests and owners by request.  Unlike owners who try to manage their properties from a remote location, we live here.  While renters may be okay with booking a property online without any personal interaction, when they actually arrive at their vacation home, sometimes they want to know a real live human is available for them.  We are!  We are real live humans and we are personally available!

3       We have been in the rental management business for a while

Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement.  In fact, we have over 35 years of vacation rental management experience and expertise.  We are also realtors and vacation rental owners, ourselves.  We know how to manage an owner’s rental calendar in a way that will make the property stand out.  We know which questions to ask guests to ensure their vacation needs are met and how to match up those needs with the exact right place for them to stay.  We know how to handle almost any situation that may arise, because we have been doing this for so long.  We don’t know everything about the rental management business and we are learning and growing and changing every day to meet new and unprecedented circumstances (like the COVID 19
Corona Virus Pandemic), but we do know quite a bit and we are pretty good at what we do.  To be in the same career field for this many years, you have to love what you do.  And we do love our jobs, our community and our neighbors… and it shows!

4       We will market your property effectively

We coordinate directly with our local Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as our local Chamber of Commerce.  We attend local meetings with other island professionals, such as restaurant owners, photographers, and attractions managers.  We actually know our government leaders in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and consider them to be some of our best friends.  This kind of local, face-to-face marketing creates word-of-mouth recommendations for potential renters and, oftentimes, someone’s personal recommendation is the best marketing you can get.  We also manage our website in-house.  Let’s face it, more people are shopping online now than ever before. Forget that national “big box” impersonal rental management site!  We are able to physically visit each home to keep the most current information about each posted on the web.  We provide our owners with professional photography, detailed home descriptions and provide extra services, like this blog, to draw potential guests in.  Further, we have created online partnerships with groups like Xplor!e and RedSky, giving our guests extra options for discounted attractions and vacation insurance. This hands-on approach from our team allows owners the freedom to just enjoy their purchase without the worry of keeping up with the day-to-day details of managing it.  We promote your home, so you don’t have to.

5       We take the hassle out of your rental management business

Did we say “hassle”?  Well, what we meant was we will do things like take those midnight calls from late arrivals.  We will make sure they get inside your vacation home when they are supposed to.  When a water heater leaks (and it will!) we will send the repair team out to fix it.  You don’t have to hear the upset voice from a guest and you don’t have to follow up with the repair company.  We will help make sure the pool attached to your property is clean and well maintained.  We will send a quality control team behind our cleaning experts to verify your home is ready between guests.  We will make every effort to ensure only small dogs are allowed inside our pet friendly homes and only renters who are age appropriate lease from us.  We will handle the issues when these guidelines are stretched (and they will be!).  These are just a few examples of the issues we tackle for our owners and guests.  We handle them professionally and in a manner that keeps our guests coming back to your home time and time again.  We take the guesswork and potential fraud out of online booking. But, most of all, as your rental home guest liaison, we will collect your rental fees for you and ensure you are paid fairly, completely, and in a timely manner.  

We know deciding whether or not to let a rental management company oversee the daily operations of your vacation home is a challenge.  We know it is appealing to try to do it yourself and maybe save yourself a little money.  But are you really saving?  How much is your time worth?  Why not let us handle the day-to-day business part of managing your rental home and allow you the pleasure of enjoying your vacation home?  Let us put our family oriented vacation rental management expertise at Sunset Properties to work for you.  After all, you just bought your dream vacation home in your favorite escape-to place, right? 

Well, go ahead!  Grab a Pina Colada and escape!  And just sit back and look for your rental income check in the mail!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Ten Important Things to Bring on Your Beach Vacation in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan This Summer 2020

With all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, we know you are wondering about your long awaited and eagerly anticipated beach trip to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan.  If you’re wondering what to bring, you’re not alone.  Many of you have called and asked us at Sunset Properties and Anchor Vacations what to bring.  While we are happy to make suggestions on the phone, we thought we’d just post a blog to help you guys out.  We pride ourselves on providing you, our guest families, with well-stocked beach vacation homes.  Having said that, however, there are still a few things you’ll need to bring from home to ensure you have the best possible beach experience during this Covid-19 cautionary time.

Here is a list of our ten important things to bring to the beach this Summer 2020:

  • Your Family

Pack up as many members of your tribe as you can fit into your vehicle and come on down!  The weather on our little island home is perfect and the rolling waves of theGulf of Mexico are spectacular.  Can’t find a boarding spot or doggie hotel for your fur baby?  No worries!  Bring him or her, too!  More than 25 of our beach rental homes are dog friendly (with some restrictions) and your four-legged friend is just as welcome as any other member of your family. If you get here and need a local dog sitter, just reach out to the good folks at Sea Paws Dog ResortThey will love on your furry family members while you’re out doing human things.   As you embark on your vacation rental search, check out our dog friendly home named Sea Turtle, a delightfully decorated beach home in the Bay to Breakers Community in Fort Morgan.  This magnificent home features six bedrooms and five full baths (and 1 half bath) and sleeps up to 17 humans and 2 dogs.  Like we said, pack up all your family members and come on down.

  • Sunblock 

We think bringing sunblock goes without saying for most folks, but we always list it anyway.  A bad sunburn can quickly ruin a great vacation for everyone!  Our local hospital is accustomed to treating folks with burned skin, and we have complete confidence in the good folks at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, but we hope you won’t have to visit them while you’re here.  While the FDA recommends an SPF of at least 15, the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) recommends a sunscreen with at least an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30. Sunblock is available in many stores around our island if you forget to pack it before you leave home.  Just remember to apply and reapply it all day long while you’re out enjoying our island paradise.  Even if it’s cloudy, apply sunblock.  Take it from us Locals, you can still get a pretty bad burn on a cloudy day. 

  • Shades

And pack your sunshades.  Protecting your eyes is always important, especially at the beach.  The sunlight creates glare off large bodies of water and things that reflect its light.  For example, our beautiful sandy white beaches can cause glare on bright days.  Glare is actually defined as sunlight that hinders sight.  It’s not a good thing.  Protecting your eyes, however, is always a good thing.  In addition to eye wear, think about adding a visor or ball cap to your bag.  These will help shade your eyes and the delicate skin on your face.  Remember to bring shades that protect against UVA and UVB rays, just like your sunblock will do for your skin.  And remember the kiddos!  They need shades, too!  

  • Toilet Paper

We urge you to bring toilet paper.  Your condo or beach home will have a starter roll in each bathroom.  To elaborate, Dunes 204 is a one bedroom, two bath condo overlooking the pool in The Dunes condominiums near Fort Morgan.  This home, with its super comfy sofa and fun bunk beds, will have toilet paper in each bathroom, but will likely not have extra rolls for you.  And keep in mind: our housekeepers do not restock that for you during your stay.  Even before the pandemic and Covid -19 issues that we have all faced this year, we asked our guest families to bring toilet paper from home.  It is more important this year than ever that you guys do that.  Pack your extra toilet paper along with all your other personal toiletries.  While our local grocery retailers have done a great job of keeping us stocked with toilet paper, we all know there can be shortages.  

  • Your Favorite Foods and Snacks  

Do you have something special you like to snack on?  We all do!  We suggest you pack your favorite snacks for your trip to visit us in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  Again, our local grocery retailers like Rouses Market in Gulf Shores have done a great job of keeping their shelves stocked for locals and guests alike, but with the uncertainty that seems to be going on all around us, you cannot go wrong bringing your favorite non-perishable foods from home. All of our vacation destination homes feature fully stocked kitchens.  Take a look at the pictures of Shellchase.  In addition to the updated kitchen, you will find pictures of five bedrooms.  This home has sleeping accommodations for 12 people. This home also has plenty of outside living space, too.  Whether you will be enjoying your snacks on the private beach, in front of the TV or in your own personal deck space, we know you’ll love all that Shellchase has to offer!

  • A Beach Blanket

Social distancing is still important to us along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Beach blankets, for the most part, provide a space large enough for a few of the same family members to enjoy sunning and watching the waves safely together.  Our Safer at Home guidelines for the state of Alabama, encourage a six foot space between non-related families.  Enjoying your own beach blanket will be a great way to help you determine proper spacing.  We want everyone to enjoy their trip to our beautiful beaches and stay healthy both here and when you get back home.

  • Your Phone, Camera and Selfie Stick

Most of us have become dependent on social media to keep us up to date on local happenings and current events including our friends’ lives.  Just as we have come to rely on Facebook*, SnapChat* or Instagram* to help us keep up with our friends, they use it to see what we’re up to, as well.  Don’t forget your phone, camera and selfie stick.  We know you will find lots of opportunities to share how much fun you’re having while you’re in our neighborhood and we know you’ll want to post the best pics you can.  What better way to record your memories of your days and nights of fun in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan than by sharing them on your social media?  You’ll want to visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, the Ferris Wheel at The Wharf and eat breakfast at Ruby Slipper Cafe.  All of these will give you great opportunities for some fun pics!

  • Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is something everyone needs these days.  Be sure to pack some for your beach trip.  We encourage you to remember what the CDC recommends about handwashing and sanitizing.  For a refresher course,  follow this link to the CDC website for their latest recommendations.  You will most likely find sanitizer available in some of our retail shops and restaurants, but it’s always good to have a small bottle of your own with you.  And you might as well go ahead and pack a face covering or cloth mask.  While many of our retailers are not requiring you to wear one to enter their business, you can’t go wrong by sticking one in your purse or backpack, just in case. Be sure to pack one for each member of your family.  As of now, face coverings are not required on the beach areas or to use our pools or swim in the Gulf, nevertheless, having one handy is a great way to be prepared. 

  • Beach Towels

When you lease a vacation rental home from Sunset Properties, you will arrive to find meticulously sanitized bathrooms stocked with bath towels, wash cloths and kitchen towels for your whole crew.  It will not, however, have any beach towels.  We strongly suggest you bring at least one beach towel for each person in your group.  We ask our guests not to use our linens on the beach or at the pool.  Brightly printed, happy themed beach towels are a great way to display your personality on the beach and at the pool.  Your beach home will have a washer and dryer, so you’ll be able to do your laundry while you’re staying with us.  Be sure to bring your favorite laundry detergent, too.

  • Patience

And lastly, don’t forget to pack your patience.  We know you and the kiddos are super excited to be going to the beach.  This year, the excitement is especially strong because we have all been cooped up inside for much of the spring.  But the simple fact is, there are only a couple of ways to reach our Alabama Gulf Coast by car and they will most likely be heavily congested.  Expect delays.  But don’t think of them as delays.  Think of them as opportunities to make memories with your family as you travel.  Take a few minutes and stop and visit our neighboring cities on your way down.  Maybe plan a stop at Buc-ees in Loxley or Tanger Outlets in Foley to break the drive.  Maybe even stop and have a roll thrown at you at Lambert’s Cafe.  After all, you’re on vacation and the best part of your trip is literally just ahead!

At Sunset Properties and Anchor Vacations, we are so glad to invite you back to your vacation home!  We know once you get to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan, all your troubles will just float away with the Gulf breeze.  No matter what’s going on in the world around us, the waves of the Gulf are always calming, the pristine white sandy beaches are always inviting, and your company is always welcome.  So, go ahead, pack up the family (don’t forget furry Miss Speckles and friendly Mr. Spot!), gather a few necessities, and come on down!  Your perfect vacation home is just a call or click away!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

*Facebook and Instagram are owned by Facebook, Inc.

*SnapChat is owned by Snap, Inc.

Leave Only Footprints in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

For more than a thousand years, locals have left proof of their lives on our little Island Paradise.  Its actually hard to imagine our island had locals and guests that long ago.  But its true!  Our Alabama Gulf Coast has seen its share of different people, professions and lifestyles over the years.  Evidence of them is still obvious if you know what to look for.  Native Americans once lived all over our island and we celebrate them by remembering and by looking forward.  Today, we ask guests who visit Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan to Leave Only Footprints, when you walk in the same places these first beach loving Alabamians lived.  We suspect that if you take the time to listen, you can hear their spirits still whispering in the oaks.

  • Native American Canal

Not long ago, a group of archeologists from around the state of Alabama gathered in Gulf Shores to research a 1400 year old canal that existed between Oyster Bay and Little Lagoon.  That’s right!  Beneath part of what is our modern-day Fort Morgan community, there once existed a canal that connected those two bodies of water.  Presumed to be built by ancient Middle Woodland Era Native Americans who inhabited the area, this canal was eight feet deep and thirty feet wide and about a half of a mile long.  Today, that would take little more than a backhoe and a couple of days to complete, but in AD 600, this canal was built entirely by the hands and handmade tools of determined people.  Known to many older residents as the “Indian ditch”, it is believed to have been used by ancient fishermen to make their trips to and from the Gulf easier than land travel.  The canal has since been filled in either by men or nature or both, but relics dating it back to about 600 years after Jesus lived have recently been discovered.  The land where the canal is located today is owned by the City of Gulf Shores.  Researchers hope to have it linked to a hiking trail and one day in the near future, have it preserved for all to enjoy.

  • Bear Point

Bear Point is located at the far east end of what is now Orange Beach.  Until the early 1800’s, this area was home to a group of Creek Indians. These early settlers were descendants of the people of the Mississipian period and were known for their strong social structures and for building large mounds in or near their villages.  They were among the most respected Native Americans by European settlers.  In fact, in 1775, author and trader James Adair remarked about the Creeks that they were:  “more powerful than any nation” in the American South.   The Poarch Band of Creek Indians continue to contribute to our local history and future.  In addition to constructing OWA in Foley, a wonderful family recreation amusement park, they sponsor the annual Ballyhoo Festival in Gulf Shores.  Along with being known for its Native American inhabitants, Orange Beach was later known for its fishermen, turpentine producers and abundance of orange groves.  Although theweather on our island is perfect for growing citrus fruits, today Orange Beach is more widely known for being a leader in fishing and water recreation sports.  Everyone along the Alabama Gulf Coast knows that if you want to catch great fish, Orange Beach is the place to start.  

  • Shell Banks Cemetery

Located behind Shell Banks Baptist Church on Fort Morgan Road, historic Shell Banks Cemetery sits beneath the ancient Live Oaks just inland from Mobile Bay.  While cemetery markers prove a timeline of Americans who lived near here, including some grave markers from the American Civil War, this was once the location of the Native American village of Achuse.  A nearby historical marker states that in 1539 this location hosted a Native American settlement that was visited by one of Hernando DeSoto’s men.  This initial meeting was the first ever recorded encounter with Native Americans by any European explorer.  Native Americans were then referred to as “Indians”.  To elaborate, this meeting was 81 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in what is now the Commonwealth of Massachusetts  and 68 years before the English settlers founded Jamestown located in Virginia.  A Native American village called “Achuse” was listed on an old Spanish map from the 16th Century proving the community existed and verifying the location was near the modern-day Shell Banks Baptist Church.

In this time of social distancing along the Alabama Gulf Coast, we know you are looking for things to do and places to see that won’t involve being in crowded areas.  We, at Sunset Properties,  invite you to tour our island, enjoy our sandy white beaches, and consider those who lived here before us.  Take a ride through our Fort Morgan Community or over to Bear Point.  Along the way, you will see some of the most beautiful coastal landscaping anywhere.  You will also pass several of our rental homes and one just might be perfect for you and your family.   Located near Fort Morgan along and near the calm waters of Mobile Bay, we have several vacation homes ranging from condos to single family luxury homes available.  In Orange Beach where the seafood is amazing and the fishing non-stop, we invite you to look at our selection of dog friendly homes.  Or if you prefer to stay in Gulf Shores just a short distance from the world famous Hangout where there is fun for kids and adults alike, or a quick drive to the Flora-Bama where the bushwackers are always cold and the music always exceptional , we’ve got some fabulous beach homes available there, as well.  Please enjoy all our island has to offer, the things that are obvious to everyone and the ones that are a little more hidden.  Come stay with us and enjoy our beautiful beaches, back bays and rich history.  

And please… Leave Only Footprints.

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

10 Ways to Social Distance and Still Have Big Fun at the Beach in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan

Social Distancing has become the new norm for many of us.  In order to fight COVID-19, we have been told to stay inside our homes except for essential travel for a couple of months now.  We either missed Spring Break or our Easter vacation because of the COVID-19 cautions that were recently put in place.  We have been working from home, homeschooling our kids and eating supper at home every night.  We are completely Netflixed out and we have watched everything interesting on Prime.   We haven’t been able to go non-essential shopping. Or tan or get our nails done.  We’re so over it. We have Covid-lag.    We have cabin fever.  We need a vacation from our lockdown.   We need some good old fashioned vitamin D, some nice warm sun on our faces and some sand between our toes.  If this is you, Sunset Properties which serves Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan has you covered!  With some restrictions, the Alabama Gulf Coast is open and we are ready to help you Social Distance your way to a great vacation!

Here are ten ways to social distance and still have fun at the beach in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan:

  1.  Go for a walk on the beach

Social distancing stipulates we stay 6 feet apart.  That is an easy thing to do when you have 32 miles of beautiful sandy white beach to walk on.  What’s better to cure cabin fever than a walk along the Gulf of Mexico while you watch the sunrise or sunset?  How about collecting shells?  Have you missed seeing the sandpipers run around in the tide pools?  Alabama Beaches are open to families and groups of 10 or less.  This means you can take a walk on the warm sand you’ve been missing, enjoy watching the coastal wildlife that makes you smile and spend time outside with your family.  Sunset Properties manages condos and beach homes that either face the beach or are right on it.  Located near Fort Morgan, Dunes 204 faces the beach, but sits back a little from the Gulf.  Lighthouse 607 is right on the beach in the heart of Gulf Shores and Crystal Shores West 1201 located in the West Beach area of Gulf Shores is also right on the Gulf.  The beach walk you’ve been craving will literally be just steps from your own vacation backdoor.  Remember when you visit our beaches, leave only footprints.

  • Swim the tides in the Gulf

The Gulf of Mexico never technically closed during this time of flattening the curve, but access to it from many locations did.  We are happy to report, however, that now access is open and if the Gulf of Mexico is where you find happiness, happiness is ready to see you!  The beaches in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan and Orange Beach are open and ready for guests.The Haley House Beachside 12, located in Beachside Romar Gated Community in beautiful Orange Beach  has a boardwalk through the dunes, making access to the Gulf a breeze.  While community pools may remain restricted in accordance with the Safer at Home Order issued by the State of Alabama on 4/29/2020 and expires 05/15/2020, the Gulf of Mexico is open and is perfect for a swim.  It is super easy to social distance here!  Bring your favorite float and plenty of sunscreen and enjoy the pleasure of swimming in the rolling waves of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.

  • Feast of fabulous seafood take-out

While dining inside a restaurant is not approved by the State of Alabama’s Safer At Home Order, take-out and delivery are.  Many of our local restaurants are offering pick up/carry out services.  Eating fresh Alabama Seafood is one of the many pleasures of vacationing along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  If you’re staying in the Fort Morgan area, perhaps at Coquille at Martinique, a wonderful six bedroom, five bath home, we suggest you call ahead for a take-out order.  Coquille’s sunroom or deck would be a great place to enjoy some freshly prepared seafood from Sassy Bass Amazin Grill or Behind the Pines, both conveniently located just minutes from Coquille.  For a list of all restaurants in our area and the services they are providing, visit our tourism folks’ website at  www.gulfshores.com or take a look at their current restaurant public information  SmartSheet.

  • Host a family picnic

Here along the Alabama Gulf Coast, we love to picnic!  We love to dine out by literally eating outside and enjoying our wonderful Island weather.  We hope that while you’re our guest, you’ll do what the locals do and have a family picnic, too!  To create the best possible coastal picnic, visit Rouses Market in Gulf Shores.  Rouses sells only the freshest of veggies, hand cut meats, amazing seafood and they have a great selection of craft beers.  Several local parks are open and, in accordance with the Safer At Home Order,  we know you and your family will enjoy dining out at Orange Beach Waterfront Park located on Canal Road or Wade Ward Park located on Gulf Shores Parkway.   Both of these wonderful city parks are easily accessible from Colony Club M5 at Drake’s Landing.

  • Shop, shop, shop

Have you missed retail therapy as much as we have?  Though our Safer At Home Order restricts the number of folks who can be inside a retailer at one time, it does allow us to shop again for items recently considered “non-essential”.  Items like clothing, shoes, jewelry and fishing supplies are now, once again, available to us in our Island Paradise.  We hope to see you at SanRoc Cay, Pelican Place, The Wharf and The Original Oyster House Boardwalk shops soon!    Once you’re done with your retail therapy, how about some balcony therapy?  The view from Crystal Tower 706 located in the West Beach area of Gulf Shores is breathtaking!  Fix yourself a tall, cool tropical drink and relax on your balcony with a great book.  This condo also has a lazy river and game room for the kiddos.  Remember to remind the kiddos, social distancing applies to any pool or condo amenity that is open.  We want you all to have a great vacation and enjoy your stay.

  • Explore Fort Morgan

School has been out for a while and field trips probably got cancelled.  How about taking a family field trip to our favorite local historical spot:  Fort Morgan Historic Site.  Located at the end of Fort Morgan Road, where Mobile Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Morgan Historical Site offers a great opportunity for learning and relaxing.  Located just past The Dunes Condos and Subdivision, and originally built in 1813 and called Fort Bowyer, a fort has occupied this site for more than one hundred years.  While the museum remains closed due to COVID-19 concerns, the fort itself and its beaches are open to the public.  Fishing in these brackish waters can yield one of the freshest suppers around!  Dogs are also allowed to tour the fort with their humans.    Did you know Sunset Properties offers more than 25 properties that allow dogs?  Certain restrictions apply, but if you’ve been in lockdown with your fur baby and you think a beach trip will not only benefit you, but sweet little Fido, as well, give us a look!  We might just have the perfect vacation home that suits you both!

  •  Bike around our island

Biking is always a great way to see the sights and follow social distancing guidelines.  With bike trails that circle most of our island, you will pass through and beside multiple ecosystems.  You will most likely see several different local wildlife species.  One great place to explore our ecosystems is the Hugh Branyon BackCountry Trail.  With seven trails that cover about 15 miles of our island, you’re sure to see something different each time you ride.

  •  Enjoy a bushwacker or some ice cream to go

That’s right!  The world-famous bushwacker is now available, so to speak, in a to-go version.   The folks at Doc’s Seafood Shack and Oyster Bar in Orange Beach have created a wonderfully delicious ‘to-go’ version of your favorite island drink.  Because of the innovative way they are serving this delicious island treat, it could be for adults or kids.  Check out their facebook page for details.  

  •  Check out a library book from the Orange Beach Library

The Orange Beach Public Library has begun to offer curbside service.  Books can be reserved online and you can call ahead and have someone deliver it right to your car!  How cool is that?  Whether you’re staying at Moorings 302 or Caribe C Penthouse 14, you’re just a short drive to the library.  Reading on vacation is one of the most relaxing things we can do.  Reading from a balcony with a fabulous view is a dream come true!  Maybe you want to tell your kiddos a bedtime story while you’re making new memories on this vacation.  This is a great way to accomplish that without breaking any social distancing guidelines.

  1.  Go boating, skiing or fishing

Have you ever thought how great it would be to bring your own personal watercraft from home and enjoy it while you’re on vacation?  What better time to find out than when social distancing is expected?  After all, there is a lot of water surrounding our island and keeping six feet between you and the next guy should be pretty easy if you’re on your own boat.  We have three rental homes that have dedicated boat slips located in Navy Cove on Mobile Bay in the Fort Morgan Community.  Check out Navy Cove 1207, Navy Cove 2113 and Navy Cove 2114So go ahead, bring your own boat down and enjoy social distancing while you ski, fish or just explore the waters that surround our island home.

With many of our attractions still closed, we know your entertainment options seem limited now.  We say they are only as limited as your imagination.  There really is a lot going on around our little island.  We are so glad you’re choosing to stay with us at Sunset Properties while you’re here.  If we can help you in any way, just call or text us!  Remember, we’re all in this together! 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251-543-1370  



For more information on COVID-19, go to www.cdc.gov

Fort Morgan Escape Room!

Do you love escape rooms? Do you love history? Well, our very own historical Fort Morgan now has an escape room! This new experience is a great way to interactively learn the history of Fort Morgan.

It is perfect for those older children that love history, but need a fun way to learn. As of now, they are offering this escape room Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  and recommended for people 12 and older. It takes around 40 minutes to complete. With this escape room you are placed directly in the Fort as an enlistee just like you were part of the three different wars it was used for. Fort Morgan was used off and on throughout the Spanish American War, World War I, and World War II. Every clue you find that is leading you closer to the escape also informs you of some of the rich history in Fort Morgan. This is one of the most interesting ways to learn about the defenses of the Mobile Bay and is a definite must-do for you and your family. Fort Morgan’s website says, “It is the summer of 1864 and you are Federal Spies captured by the Confederate soldiers. The Battle of Mobile Bay was one of the most decisive battles of the war. Can you help the union forces understand the defenses of mobile bay? Does the fort have an effective method of attack? Your job is to find the defensive map and escape route.  LISTEN carefully! Wise captives have been known to escape. Step back in time to discover your fate.”

You have to book this experience in advance at escaperoom@fort-morgan.org or go to their website for more information, http://www.fort-morgan.org/escape-room/ this fun escape room is only $25 per person! When you are booking your beach vacation to Fort Morgan, don’t forget the historic escape room! We at Sunset Properties have many properties in Fort Morgan, from one bedroom condos to seven bedroom houses! When you’re thinking about booking a Fort Morgan vacation remember you can reach us at 251-543-1370 and e-mail us at info@sunsetproperties.com. Our website, www.sunsetproperties.com , has many options for you to choose from. Don’t delay and book today! 

Six Amazingly Instagrammable Venues in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

With the ever-increasing popularity of social media platforms and the unending urge we all feel to share pictures of our life journey, we began to think about our favorite local places we like to share on our Instagram* and Facebook* pages.  As a result, we, at Sunset Properties,  put together a list of Six Amazingly Instagrammable Venues in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan for our readers.

  1. Fort Morgan Historic Site

With its pristinely kept lawn, beautiful background of Mobile Bay or The Gulf of Mexico and amazing craftsmanship, Fort Morgan, the historic battle location found at the end of Alabama Highway 182, makes a uniquely beautiful venue for any type of photography.  The aged concrete found in the older outer parts of the fort create an eye-catching setting sure to enhance your pictures.  Come inside the fort.  Be sure to pay close attention to the way the light seems to move as you walk thru the arched entrance.  Once inside the fort, you’ll notice that the colors of the bricks along with the 100-plus year-old masonry itself offer a setting the likes of which is found nowhere else on our island.  The granite stones that make up several of the staircases inside this former Civil War soldiers’ home are also naturally beautiful and can be used like bleachers to seat larger groups for a family photo.  Lastly, the beaches of Fort Morgan also provide the perfect coastal setting.  Be mindful of Fort Morgan’s posted hours of operation.  Be careful not to get locked in!  The fort closes at sunset but consider staying on the grounds as long as you can before the sun goes down.  The shots you’ll get when those rays get long and stretched may just be some of the best ones you’ll catch anywhere on the island.  If you’re looking to increase your Instagram followers, the pictures you get at our beloved Fort Morgan may just do it!

  • Perdido Pass

The waters of Perdido Pass are filled with marine wildlife.  If you’re wanting to snap some pictures of sea turtles, dolphins and maybe even a manatee as they pass by, Perdido Pass is a great place to start.  Located just off Alabama Highway 180, also known as Perdido Beach Boulevard, Perdido Pass at Alabama Point offers both a recreational beach and a man-made park-and-view area.  This is not only one of our favorite places to take Instagram-worthy pictures of the aquatic wildlife that encircles our island home, but we love to fish here, too!  In addition to providing a fisherman with the opportunity to cast into schools of whatever hungry species happen to be swimming by, the swiftly rushing waters that push through the pass and under the bridge at Alabama Point create an ever-changing, never-disappointing looking glass view into the underwater world that surrounds us.  If pictures of marine wildlife are what you’re hoping to get while you’re visiting Orange Beach, be sure to check out Perdido Pass.

  • Caribe C Penthouse 14 Balcony

If you’re planning on visiting Perdido Pass, why not just go ahead and stay there?  Check out Caribe C Penthouse 14.  What an amazing view!  Unlike our other suggestions, you’re going to have to plan ahead to get a great shot from here.  This fabulous penthouse unit stays booked much of the time, so if this one makes your list of must-see Instagrammable places, be sure to call ahead to reserve it.  From this balcony, you’ll see out over the Gulf of Mexico as well as have great views of our back bays in Orange Beach.  On sunny days your view will seem endless, but there is nothing like catching a shot of a vivid rainbow arching across a fall sky over the Gulf right after a heavy rain.  Caribe C Penthouse 14 will provide plenty of opportunities to take great pictures, but it is an amazing beach home, itself.  We are sure you and your family will love staying with Sunset Properties at Caribe C Penthouse 14. We are equally sure your Instagram followers will love seeing all the amazing pictures you take while you’re here.

  • Gulf State Park Pier

Another great place to catch some wonderfully sharable Instagram pics is the Gulf State Park Pier.  With its ever-changing views, you’re sure to see something new each time you visit.  Because the Gulf State Park pier extends out into The Gulf of Mexico some 1500 feet, the marine life you will see underneath changes with the depth of the water.  The waves change as well.  Usually as you reach the end of the pier, the tumbling, rolling waves become little more than rising and falling water.  However, when the wind is blowing, the water can whitecap and create amazingly interesting picture opportunities.  For an unmatched view of the Gulf Shores skyline and beach, look back inland from the end of the pier.  Early morning and late day lighting can offer one-of-a-kind pictures that you will want to share with your followers.  Additionally, the architecture of the pier, itself, is pretty interesting.  Look past the concrete to the way the pier is constructed.  The cold, clean lines of the pier contrasting against the warmth of the water and sand will make any Instagrammer smile.

  • The Ferris Wheel at The Wharf

How do you feel about heights?  If taking pictures from over 100 feet up appeals to you, then The Ferris Wheel at The Wharf absolutely must be on your list.  For breathtaking views of our island home, visit The Wharf in Orange Beach and ride the only Ferris Wheel for miles around.  To be exact, the Ferris Wheel at The Wharf is 114 feet tall, has 24 gondolas and can hold up to 140 people.  At night, you will witness one of the most vivid light shows anywhere as the wheel becomes its own light show experience.  Taking pictures of the Ferris Wheel is almost as much fun as taking them from it.  Another great Instagrammable venue at The Wharf is their ice-skating rink.  A rare find in South Alabama, an ice-skating rink makes a great holiday backdrop for pictures.  Starting in mid-November, The Wharf will kick off the holiday season by having Santa stop by for pictures and opening its ice-skating rink.  Be sure to put The Wharf on your Instagram venue list.  You won’t be disappointed!

  • The Public Beach in Gulf Shores

What would a trip to Gulf Shores be without at least one Instagram post from The Public Beach?  Pretty much since the invention of cameras, folks have been visiting our beautiful white sandy beaches in Gulf Shores and taking pictures. Located at the end of Alabama Highway 59, also called Gulf Shores Parkway, the Public Beach in Gulf Shores has been a photo favorite for more years than most of us have been living. Photography methods may have changed, but our beaches remain one of our all-time favorite places to take pictures.  Whether you choose The Gulf of Mexico as your backdrop or you prefer the sea oat covered dunes in your pictures, you’re sure to catch something memorable.  Several of our favorite local pubs and restaurants line our beach boardwalk.  Instagramming a shot of the famous Pink Pony Pub will surely get you several likes.  The world-famous Hangout is also located right in our public beach area.  With so many photo opps at The Public Beach in Gulf Shores, we are sure you will find just the perfect one to post.

 At Sunset Properties, we celebrate vacations and memories.  We know your vacation memories are some of the most special ones you make throughout your life.  We also know you love sharing pictures of your travels.  These are a few of our favorite spots to take pictures and we would love to hear what yours are.  Also, we want to remind you that we are a family owned, family operated vacation rental management company and we specialize in helping families choose their perfect vacation homes.  From our condos located near Fort Morgan, to our luxury beach homes located along the Alabama Gulf Coast, to our cozy condo located in Park City, Utah and down to our vacation home near Walt Disney World, we love helping our guests plan their perfect getaway.  Give us a call at 251.543.1370 or email us at info@sunsetproperties.com for all your vacation rental needs.  We guarantee you’ll find some Instagrammable moments we haven’t even thought of!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

*Facebook and Instagram are the property of Facebook, Inc.

Top 10 Reasons To Go Fishing in Gulf Shores in the Fall

The reasons to fish the waters along the Alabama Gulf Coast in the fall are many.  Local anglers will tell you to plan your trip, come on down and expect to have a great time while you’re here.  We will tell you that there are lots of reasons to Go Fishing in Gulf Shores in the Fall, but here are our top ten:

1       The Temperature is Great

The weather in the fall in Gulf Shores is fabulous.  The days are usually warm following a cool start and the nights are comfortable.  Be sure to pack sunscreen when you come down.  Even though the sun’s rays are longer this time of year, you can still get a sunburn while you’re fishing.  Remember, the rays reflect off the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and off our crystal white sandy beaches and you can get a quick sunburn without even realizing it.  Also, pack both shorts and jeans.  We’re pretty sure you’ll need both.  Don’t forget a windbreaker or light rain jacket.  We do get a little rain here in the fall, but it usually doesn’t last long.  And pack your shades.  As the days cool in the fall the sun seems to shine brighter.  Shades and visors are a must for any fall outdoor activities, especially activities like fishing where water reflects the sun’s rays.

2       Charters are Easy to Get

Fishing charters leave out of Orange Beach all year long.  Fall fishing is a great excuse to book a charter and go a few miles off shore.   The good folks at Orange Beach Fishing Charters and Fishing Guides are ready to help you get started.  With off-shore, near shore and deep sea fishing options available, you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for.  Several of our favorite charter companies leave out of Zeke’s Marina.  For years, the good folks at Zeke’s have been ready to get locals and guests alike out on the open waters of the Gulf.  Another option is Gulf Rebel Charter Fishing.  For over 50 years, these folks have been taking fishermen and ladies right to the best spots to catch the most fish.  Gulf Rebel Charters is a local family owned business.  Still haven’t found what you’re looking for?  Give Extreme Chaos Inshore Charters a try!  This is one inshore fishing experience your whole family is sure to love!

3       Great Fish are in Season

Fishing is great along the Alabama Gulf Coast all year long and fall is no exception.  Dolphinfish like dolphin, dorado and mahi-mahi are in season all summer and through October.  Bull Redfish are also in season.  Flounder is a local fave and can be caught through October in our area.  Several species of grouper are also in season.  We love fresh Gulf GrouperCobia is another local favorite and it is in season through October.  Whether you’re fishing from our famous Gulf State Park Pier or from one of our local charter boats, we are sure you will catch something great to eat while you’re here in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan.  If you can’t enjoy it here, pack it well in ice and take it home for a mid-winter feast you’re sure to enjoy!

4       Accommodations are Affordable

Lodging is a bit less expensive in the fall than it is in summer months.  With our tourist season winding down, we are able to offer nightly stays at reduced rates.  Usually, we have a greater selection of available properties to choose from, as well.  If you’re looking for a beach home to rent while you’re planning your fall fishing getaway adventure, check out Spunky Sandpiper.  This three bedroom beach home located in the Fort Morgan community sleeps up to twelve folks.  You can bring all your best buds on your fishing weekend and all stay together in this great home!  If a more unique beach home appeals to you, take a look at The Boathouse.  This boat shaped home is right on Mobile Bay and offers spectacular views!  It has two bedrooms and sleeps up to seven.  Small dogs are also welcome here with some restrictions.   Another great option for your fishing adventure is Navy Cove 1207.  This lovely condominium features two bedrooms and two bathrooms and sleeps up to six.  Additionally, it has its own boat slip.  That can be a definite plus for any angler!

5       Dining Out Is Quicker

With less folks visiting in our area in the fall than there are in the summer months, dining out is usually much quicker.  Lines at local restaurants are shorter and the whole experience can be much more relaxed and enjoyable.  This can be a real plus if you’ve been out fishing all day and you’re tired and hungry.  While you’re here, be sure to check out some of our favorite places.  For breakfast, you really should give the Ruby Slipper Cafe a try.  We love all of their eggs benedict choices.  And their coffee is second to none.  For lunch, stop by and see the good folks at Sassy Bass Amazin’ Grill on Fort Morgan Road.  Their seafood entrees are all excellent.  Would you rather have a great burger while you’re in our area?  You must try the World Famous Keg Burger at The Keg Lounge and Grill on Canal Road.  Don’t let the name fool you.  It’s not just a bar, it’s a great little hidden treasure.  They have a wonderful kids menu, too.

6       The Beaches are Less Crowded

Our beautiful beaches are less crowded, too.  If long quiet walks collecting shells without the hustle and bustle of the summer crowd appeals to you, you’re in luck!  Fall vacationers find our beaches easier to access and more peaceful than in the summer months.  Truly the lazy days of fall appeal to many.  If you’re one of those people who enjoys listening to the sounds of the waves, reading a good book and enjoying the warmth of the sun without the heat of summer, you’re going to love Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan in the fall.  Once you’re through with your fishing charter, we encourage you to take a blanket out onto our beautiful beaches and just enjoy watching the stars in the night sky.  

7       Festivals are in Full Swing

Fall is not only fishing season along our Alabama Gulf Coast, but it’s also festival season!  Be sure to plan your fishing adventure weekend to include one of our great locally produced festival activities.  Festivals celebrating seafood, musicians, and birds are just a few of the great events we have planned for the next few months. The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival lasts for several days in November and can be found at many venues.  Check out their website for details.  For a complete list of our festivals, read our blog entitled Four Fall Festivals You Shouldn’t Miss in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.   While fishing is a great reason to come this fall, our festivals may just be the reason you want to stay a little longer.

8       Nightlife Rocks

The Nightlife here in our area never disappoints.  In addition to the great music you’ll find all around our island during the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival, you’ll also find music playing at all of our favorite places.  Live Bait Food and Spirits is known for its great entertainment.  Be sure to try their Greek Nachos, too, while you’re there!  The Hangout in Gulf Shores has become world famous for their entertainment.  Even though Hangout Music Fest is in May, we’re sure you’ll find some enjoyable moments at the Hangout this fall!  And don’t forget to stop by The Wharf after dark.  The Ferris Wheel never disappoints and offers a breathtaking view of our island!  And the Spectra light show offers nightlife fun for the whole family.  After all, young anglers need to have fun, too!  

9       Golf is Right Around Every Corner

What better way to make a fishing weekend extra fun than to add a golf outing to it?  With great weather all fall long in our neighborhood, why wouldn’t you do just that?  Golf courses are all over our beautiful island home and golf packages are very easy to get this time of year.  Whether you want to golf at a course Arnold Palmer designed or at one of the oldest and best kept courses around, Gulf Shores Golf Club, your choices are abundant.  For a complete list to all the courses around, check out our blog about best places to golf.  We encourage you to book a golf outing while you’re here.  After all, why not experience the best we have to offer, both on land and at sea?

10     Who Really Needs a Reason to Fish Anyway?

Seriously!  Come on…who does need a reason to fish?  Fishing is one of the most relaxing sports around and it can end up being the most exciting!  Fishing is something we can take our kids along to and do with our parents.  Fishing creates an opportunity to make unforgettable memories and can provide food as well as entertainment.  After you think about, you really don’t need a reason to fish….just a time and a place!

Come on down to the Alabama Gulf Coast this fall and fish, golf, enjoy our nightlife and stay with Sunset Properties while you do it all.  We are looking forward to your arrival and we are here to help you with your reservation or to answer any questions about any of the fun activities we have going on in our area.  Go ahead!  Make a plan!  Come on and Fish!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Four Fall Festivals You Shouldn’t Miss in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

We know when you plan your vacation to the Alabama Gulf Coast, visiting our sandy white beaches is always at the top of your list.  We get it. Everyone loves listening to the sounds of the waves hitting the shore and watching the seagulls play overhead.  In the summer, the beach is all abuzz with swimmers, surfers and watercraft riders.  There are so many things to do right there on the beach, you may not think about anything else.  But what about when the fall comes?  Trips tend to be shorter and the beaches are not quite as busy as they are in the summer.  What is there to do in the fall when you only have a couple of days to enjoy South Baldwin County?  We want you to know about Four Fall Festivals you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  From seafood, to wildlife, to some of the best music and art anywhere, fall festival season down here is just getting started!  You really need to come on down to Coastal Alabama, stay with Sunset Properties and check these out:

Alabama Coastal BirdFest

The 16th Annual Alabama Coastal Birdfest:  A Birding & Nature Festival will be held October 2-5, 2019.  BirdFest showcases great bird- and nature-watching spots all around Baldwin and Mobile counties, including Fort Morgan, Dauphin Island, Weeks Bay, Gulf Shores, and more. BirdFest offers excellent bird and nature watching experiences for both experts and novices alike.  Festival goers can expect to see a wide variety of coastal and migratory birds, alligators, dolphins and an array of local wildflowers.  Many BirdFest activities are ticketed, however there is one event that is free to the public.  In addition to the different ticketed locations of this festival, a Bird and Conservation Expo is planned for Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Fairhope campus of Coastal Alabama Community College in the Halstead Amphitheatre.  This outdoor expo is free to the public and everyone is invited.  The 16th Annual Alabama Coastal Birdfest is a production of The Weeks Bay Foundation and proceeds will benefit this local conservation group.

Annual National Shrimp Festival

A production of the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, The 48th Annual National Shrimp Festival is planned for October 10-13, 2019 at the public beach area in the heart of Gulf Shores.  The Shrimp Festival, a locally produced and nationally recognized festival celebrating one of our favorite crustaceans, continues to be volunteer-driven.  Dozens of locals come together and collaborate to produce one of the best food, music, arts and crafts festivals anywhere.   This year’s music lineup is sure to please all who attend.  Look for musicians to be performing on two stages.  Groups expected to perform include:  The Tip Tops, Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster,  and the Velcro Pygmies.  There will be tribute bands celebrating the music of Def Leppard, Elvis and AC/DC.  Local faves Tophat & Jackie, Brent Burns and Elaine Petty are also scheduled.  Be sure to check out the fine arts area featuring local and national artisans.  And don’t forget the food.  As is tradition, we expect to have shrimp in all kinds of recipes.  We love our Alabama Gulf Shrimp and hope you will try some while you’re here.  The Annual National Shrimp Festival is free to the public.  For guidelines on what you can bring into the festival site or for shuttle stop locations, check out their website.  We will see you there!

Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend

If you thought the Annual National Shrimp Festival was the last thing going on this fall along the Alabama Gulf Coast, think again!  We have a couple of more festivals you need to try!  Join several of your besties at the Hangout in Gulf Shores November 1-2, 2019 for the 12th Annual Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend.  This ticketed event is slam full of all the things we love about Gulf Shores:  beachfront, seafood, music, good friends and fun!  While not every oyster will give you a pearl, you’re sure to make a treasure chest full of memories when you meet your friends at the Hangout in early November.  There will be restaurant tastings, celebrity chefs cooking and craft beer sampling.  You can expect cocktail demos and an oyster shucking contest.  There will be a champagne lounge and a tailgating experience.  In addition to all this, there will be live music right on site!  Your ticket covers so much, we can’t even list it all here.  But you can check it all out for yourself on the Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend website.  Everyone knows the Hangout is always a great place to…well…hang out…but when they do a festival, they do it up right!  Be sure to put this weekend on your calendar and stay with Sunset Properties while you’re in our neighborhood.  We have several condos and beach homes that are really close to the Hangout and we are sure we can find you the perfect place to stay!

Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival

Since 1984, the good folks at The Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store have produced the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.   This eleven-day multi-venue event will take place November 7-17, 2019 in both Alabama and Florida along our beautiful Gulf Coast.  Named for a beloved night watchman at the Flora-Bama, the late Frank Brown, this festival celebrates people who otherwise might not get public recognition.  This unique festival allows seasoned song-writers and up-and-comers alike, the opportunity to showcase their talents.  Because this festival “moves” from venue to venue, festival goers not only are exposed to a variety of songwriting talent, but also get to experience the best our coastal communities have to offer in food and drinks.  This year the Southeast Tourism Society has named the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival one of the Top 20 STS Events in the Southeast for November 2019.  With great venues like The Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store, the Coastal Arts Center in Orange Beach, Lucy Buffet’s Lulu’s in Gulf Shores and the Sandshaker at The Wharf, we are inclined to agree.  We can’t wait to see songwriters like Mac Davis, Dean Dillon and Mark Dreyer perform.  For a list of all songwriters represented, check out their website.  

The summer may be over down here along our Alabama Gulf Coast, but the fun sure isn’t!  We hope to see you this fall.  Whether you’re just coming down for one of our great festivals or to stay for a couple of weeks, we at Sunset Properties are anxiously awaiting your arrival!  We have condos and beach homes located in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  We have vacation rental properties that will sleep from 2 to 22 and everything in between.  Want to bring your fur baby with you for your fall getaway?  We’ve got you covered on that, too!  So go ahead, plan your festival outing and plan on staying with us at Sunset Properties.  

Happy Fall, Y’all! 

We’ll see ya soon!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

5 Tips to Help You Enjoy Your 2019 Annual National Shrimp Festival Weekend

Welcome to The 48th Annual National Shrimp Festival in beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama!  We are so glad you’ve decided to spend an October weekend with us!  For four fun fall days, October 10-13, 2019, Shrimp Festival Fever will take over Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  And we know many of you have been to visit our lovely island during Shrimp Fest, but for those of you who haven’t yet come down to experience the crustacean celebration, we invite you to give us a try!  The Shrimp Festival, with its 250,000 estimated attendance, can be a bit intimidating.  We thought we’d give you a few tips to help you enjoy your 2019 Annual National Shrimp Festival Weekend:

1       Know Where You’re Staying

With so many options on where to stay during Shrimp Festival Weekend, how do you decide what’s best for you?  At Sunset Properties, we are happy to help you with that!  If you want to stay within walking distance of the festival, check out Bare Foot.  This lovely three bedroom home sleeps up to eight people and is only a short walk to the main public beach in Gulf Shores.  If you’d like to stay in a condominium in Gulf Shores, take a look at Island Sunrise 468.  This super cute condo sleeps up to eight people comfortably and has an amazing Gulf front beach view.  Maybe you want to stay a little farther away from the festival site and use a shuttle for part of your trip to it.  Check out Dunes 704.  This one bedroom condo sleeps up to six people and has two full baths.  It is located near Fort Morgan and will allow you all the quietness of the Fort Morgan community after you leave Shrimp Fest each evening.  If a penthouse appeals to you,  be sure to check out Caribe C Penthouse 14 in Orange Beach.  While you’ll need to plan your transportation to the festival site, you’re sure to love this elegantly decorated penthouse condominium that overlooks Perdido Pass.  

2       Know How to Get to The Shrimp Fest Site

So getting to the Shrimp Fest site can be a bit complicated.  With the roads blocked off just north of the public beaches in Gulf Shores, parking can be pretty challenging.  We suggest taking BRATS.  Baldwin Rural Area Transit Service, lovingly known by us locals as BRATS, is the best way to get there.  BRATS shuttles will pick you up and drop you off outside the festival site making access a breeze!  Festival goers can purchase an all day rider’s pass and shuttles run about every 15 minutes.  For a complete list of shuttle stops, check out this link to the Festival Shuttle Guide.

3       Know Your Art and Entertainment Options

This is the 48th Annual National Shrimp Festival and the Arts and Crafts and Music continue to just get better with each year.   The fine arts section of The Shrimp Fest is a juried show and awards are given to the best of the best.  The Crafts section is slam full of crafters who create everything from clothes to household items and just plain unique art.  If you’re having a hard time deciding what to get your special someone for Christmas, make a plan to shop the Shrimp Festival.  We are sure you’ll find something for your someone who seemingly has everything.  There are so many unique items to choose from, your Christmas shopping will be super easy while you’re here.  And of course, you’ll want to know the music lineup.  We  have included the music lineup here, but remember things can change a little:

Thursday, October 10, 2019

EAST STAGE 

• Lisa Christian: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

• Poarch Ninjas: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• Ryan Balthrop: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• Tobacco RD: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• Style the Band: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

• Doctor Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

 WEST STAGE

• Logan Lassiter: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

• Hannah McFarland: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• Roxy & The Magic Johnsons: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• Bruce Smelley: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• David Jones & Friends: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

• The Tip Tops: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

Friday, October 11, 2019

EAST STAGE

• Tophat and Jackie: 10:00 AM -11:30 AM

• Tracey & Alan: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• The Defrosters: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• Will Smith: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• Journey2Mars: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

• Category 6: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

WEST STAGE

​• Brent Burns: 10:00 AM -11:30 AM

• Christina Christian: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• Shiny Objects: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• Yeah, Probably: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• The Wildflowers: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

• Doctor Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

Saturday, October 12, 2019

EAST STAGE

• Elaine Petty: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

• Ten Penny Gypsy: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• JoJo Pres: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

​• Miles Flatt: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• Cort Carpenter: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

• Mustache’ The Band: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

WEST STAGE

• Singing for Scholarships Contest: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

• Elvis Remembered: 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

• Ultimate Def Leppard: An Incredible Tribute: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• Highway to Hell: The Ultimate AC/DC Tribute Band: 6:00 PM  – 7:30 PM

• Velcro Pygmies: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

Sunday, October 13, 2019

EAST STAGE

• Worship Service: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

• Al & Cathy: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• Sandra Kaye & The Legend Band: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• Voodoo Bayou: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

WEST STAGE

• Marcus & Ebony: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

• Andy Smith: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• Wavelength: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• The Groovinators: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

4       Know How to Dress

Fall along the Alabama Gulf Coast can be a bit tricky.  One day it might be a clear beautiful 80 degree day with low humidity and the next day it may rain and be a cool 60 degrees outside.  So what do you wear to Shrimp Fest?  We suggest packing some fun tees and shorts and your flip flops.  You’re probably going to need them at least one of the days you’re here.  Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, too!  The Gulf is still warm enough to take a dip and all of our beach vacation homes have available pools.  Some even have hot tubs on site and you won’t want to miss out on those!  Also, bring some comfy jeans.  Nights in October can be a bit chilly.  We can’t predict the evening air temps from year to year, but it’s better to be prepared than to be chilled while you’re watching your favorite bands perform at the festival.  And it’s a good idea to pack your frog tog or wind breaker.  Like we mentioned before, sometimes it does rain a little in October.

5       Know What You Can Take Inside

The Festival grounds are gated, but entrance is free.  The National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores is a family event.  Bring your kids, in-laws, and best buds and plan to stay a while.  Phones and cameras are allowed.  And they have a wonderful Kids Area all planned out.  You will want to take pictures and make life-long memories while you’re here.  Having said that, though, there are a few things you cannot bring into the festival site.  Pets are not allowed.  If you choose to bring your dog with you on your Shrimp Festival Weekend Vacation to stay in one of our many dog friendly rentals, we strongly suggest your reach out to the good folks at Sea Paws Dog Resort to schedule a play time for your fur baby.  Coolers are not allowed.  Why would you need one anyway?  The best food available anywhere and the coldest beer and sodas will be available right inside the festival.  For other FAQs, follow this link to the Shrimp Festival page for information.

We at Sunset Properties are thrilled to know you’re coming to celebrate Shrimp Fest Weekend with us.  If you have any questions about your vacation home reservation, call, text or email us.  We are happy to help.  And remember, our Shrimp Festival Weekend is four days long, so you’ll want to plan to come early and be there Thursday when it opens.  Thursday is less crowded than any other day and it’s the day when most of us locals go and hang out.  So come on down a day early and hang out with us!  We are looking forward to your arrival!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370