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

Best Places to Golf in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

When you think about the pristine white beaches of beautiful coastal Alabama and all there is to do in our neighborhood, going golfing might not come to mind.  In your mind’s eye, you may envision brightly colored parasails being towed behind ski boats or, perhaps the tall extended outriggers of a shrimp boat.  Maybe you think of the familiar blue and white striped umbrellas and beach chairs that decorate our beaches.  Or maybe you just smile at the thought of enjoying a local musician play on a restaurant deck while you slowly sip a perfectly prepared Bushwacker.  Whether golf comes to mind or not, it is certainly true that Gulf Shores and our surrounding communities are blessed with some of the best golf courses anywhere.  If golfing is a sport you’re passionate about or something you’d just like to try while you’re on vacation, we want you to know where to go.  Here is a list of our five favorite golf courses in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan:

  • Craft Farms Golf Resort

Craft Farms Golf Resort is one of the top resorts in the country.  The Cotton Creek Course and The Cypress Bend Course were both designed by the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer.  With perfectly trimmed fairways and surrounding areas unmatched in beauty, these 18 hole courses are a must for any golfer, pro or otherwise.  You will enjoy beautifully furnished clubhouses and be assisted by a knowledgeable and professional staff.  These courses are both challenging and entertaining.   Craft Farms Golf Resort is located at 3840 Cotton Creek Circle in Gulf Shores.  Check out their website for tee times and fees.  Make it a point to go by and visit Craft Farms while you’re in our area.  You never know, Arnold Palmer may have just designed the perfect course for You!

  • Kiva Dunes Resort and Golf

The Golf Course at Kiva Dunes has just over 7,100 yards of play area and is one of the top courses in Alabama.  Located just off Fort Morgan Road at 815 Plantation Road, Kiva Dunes is a completely public course.  In April 2018, it was ranked the top public course in Alabama by Golf Advisor.  Reviewers complimented the course as well as the staff.  Because of its unique location, literally between The Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay, the winds change frequently.  The course, itself, changes with the winds and each golfing experience at Kiva will be a unique one. For tee times and fees, visit Kiva Dunes online.

  • Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club 

Also located just off Fort Morgan Road, Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club is another of our local favorites.  Peninsula offers three separate 9 hole courses:  Lakes, Cypress and Marsh and we encourage you to play all three.  Combine two of the three to make an 18-hole round.  Each provides a distinctly different challenge and reward.  Finding this type of variety in one resort location is not always easy.  Make sure to visit the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club website  to learn about tee times and fees.  Don’t forget to put Peninsula on your list of courses to check out while you’re staying with Sunset Properties.

  • One Club Golf

For one of the most distinctive golfing experiences around, try One Club Golf.  Along with traditional golfing outings, One Club Golf offers golfing after dark.  This fun and unique way to enjoy the sport is sure to please anyone.  With Sunset Golf, Glow Golf and Golf Happy Hour, we are sure everyone in your family will have a blast.  Conveniently located at 4000 Gulf Shores Parkway in Gulf Shores, One Club Golf is located only a short distance from most any beach home in our inventory.

  • Gulf Shores Golf Club 

Located in the heart of Gulf Shores at 520 Clubhouse Drive, Gulf Shores Golf Club is a semi-private club.  Guests are welcome to play this top-rated Alabama golf course, along with members.   This beautifully kept 18-hole course is home to several local non-golfing residents.  Raccoons, squirrels and alligators can sometimes be found on or near the course.  The course has some challenging holes, as well.  Trees and ponds make navigating this local favorite fun and exciting. While you’re here, be sure to visit the Pro Shop and clubhouse.  Gulf Shores Golf Club, built in the 1960s, is an icon in our area and we know you will want to visit it while you’re in our neighborhood.  Be sure to check out their website to make your reservation while you’re in town!

As a bonus to this blog, we don’t want to miss an opportunity to highlight our favorite place to practice.   The City of Orange Beach has opened Orange Beach Golf Center located at 4700 Easy Street in Orange Beach.  Easy Street is just off Canal Road near The Wharf in Orange Beach.  The Orange Beach Golf Center features 9-hole course with a lighted driving range, practice putting/chipping greens, practice sand bunker, and a Pro Shop.  This golf venue is so lovely and well-kept.  We encourage island guests to visit The Orange Beach Golf Center for a relaxing afternoon of golf.

We know many of you come to visit our beaches and stay with us at Sunset Properties and golf isn’t even in your plans.  You may not have even known about all the great ways to enjoy the sport in our coastal towns.  We encourage you to venture out and try something new.  You and your family may just fall in love with golfing here with us in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  If you’re already an avid golfer, and you knew about all our great courses, we encourage you to give Sunset Properties a try!  Our vacation homes range from one bedroom condos to multi-bedroom luxury beach homes.  We have homes that welcome small dogs and homes with private pools, and pretty much anything in between.  Just as we are sure you will find your best golf experience here in our area, we are equally sure you will find your perfect Sunset Properties vacation home.

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Five Unique Foods You Must Try in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

We know most of you come to our beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast and stay with us at Sunset Properties with the intention of having somefresh Alabama Gulf seafood while you’re visiting.  For some great ideas on where to find the best seafood around, check out our seafood blog. If you have seafood allergies, we have a blog for that, too.  Most locally owned restaurants offer seafood-free menus.  Several have gluten-free foods, as well.  But what about trying something just a little bit unexpected?  Several of our favorite local restaurants have kicked it up a notch with some of their menu items.  But a few have some really great unique food choices and we wanted to highlight those here.  Here are five foods you really should try while you’re in our neighborhood:

  1. The Ole Spider Burger

So don’t let the name of this local fave scare ya!  The Ole Spider Burger, a staple at Doc’s Seafood Shack & Oyster Bar for many years, definitely deserves to be on our Top 5 List!  A spider burger is a “big ole (soft shell) crab” on a bun with all the toppings you’d expect on any burger.   Crabs are trapped while they are in between hard and soft outer shells.  While their shells are soft, they can be fried whole and eaten.  You might be surprised just how good this local treat really is!  Inside the crispy outer coating, you will get a mouthful of delicious sweet crab.   We suggest topping it with lettuce, tomato and onion, just like you would your favorite beef burger.  Add some ketchup, mustard or mayo; or try our favorite:  cocktail sauce!   The Ole Spider Burger comes with fries and slaw, but we suggest adding an extra side of Doc’s World Famous Homemade Onion Rings and a cold beer or a tall glass of southern sweet tea.

  • Seafood Primavera Pizza

We all love pizza, right?  We can honestly say, you’ve never had a pizza like this.  If alfredo sauce topped with gooey mozzarella, shrimp and scallops sounds good to you, you will love the Seafood Primavera Pizza at Papa-Rocco’s.  The pizza also comes with broccoli and onions.  Papa-Rocco’s has been a local’s favorite restaurant for more than 30 years.  Located just north of the public beach in Gulf Shores, you really must stop by and visit the good folks at Papa-Rocco’s.  They call themselves the “home of warm beer, lousy pizza” but we respectfully disagree.  The beer is consistently some of the coldest anywhere and we have yet to get a bad pizza from there!  Recently, Papa-Rocco’s has added delivery to their services.  So if you don’t want to leave your beach home and go out to eat, give them a call.   Delivery just may be the answer for you!

  • World Famous Award Winning Keg Burger 

If you happen to be one of those folks who have seafood allergies, you’re gonna love our next suggestion:  The World Famous Award Winning Keg Burger from the Keg Lounge and Grill located on Canal Road in Orange Beach.   Cooked to order, this beef hamburger piled high with lettuce, tomato and grilled onions is sure to please any burger connoisseur.   Add a side of cheese fries and a cold beer for pure tasty mouth-watering bliss!  Who would ever think of having a beef burger at the beach, right?  We are so glad the good folks at The Keg did!  For years, we have found ourselves happily parked inside The Keg enjoying the flavor-filled Keg Burger they are so famous for.  Don’t let the name “The Keg”  fool you into thinking you have to be 21 to enter.  They offer a great menu for kids, too!

  • Beignets and Cafe’ au lait

How about a little  taste of New Orleans while you’re visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast?  How about enjoying some fresh, hot beignetsCafe’ Beignets of Alabama has a location in Gulf Shores and one in Orange Beach.  Well-known around south Baldwin County, Cafe Beignet is a popular breakfast or brunch spot for a light, quick sweet meal.  You cannot have French New Orleans style beignets without a cup of cafe’ au lait.  For most of us, that’s puffy powder-sugar coated pastries with a delicious cup of chicory with steamed milk.   Beignets are definitely a morning treat, so you’ll want to stop by before they close daily ‘round about noon.  Be sure to give this family-friendly easy to find locals spot a try!

  • Joe & Dave’s Alligator Bites

If you peek in our bayous around our island, you’ll most likely see some alligators.  While we do not encourage feeding, molesting or killing them, we do suggest you try some already prepared to eat.  Most people agree alligator meat is a tasty delight.  Stop by the Original Oyster House and try some of Joe & Dave’s Alligator Bites.  Fried to a golden brown, a basket of  perfectly portioned gator bites with a side of their wonderful dipping sauce, is certainly a reason to dine in Gulf Shores’ own Original Oyster House located in the heart of Gulf Shores.  Add an ice cold adult beverage or soda and we’re sure you’ll be glad you stopped in.  Don’t forget to grab one of their super stylish t-shirts, while you’re there.  Enjoy great food and take home a great souvenir from the Original Oyster House!

These unique menu items available from some of our favorite local restaurants are just a few reasons why we love our island.  Whether you’re staying with us at Sunset Properties for a weekend or all winter long, we encourage you to shop local and try new foods!   And remember, for all your vacation rental needs, Sunset Properties has you covered.  From single bedroom condos to multi-bedroom beach homes, we have exactly what you’re looking for in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or in Fort Morgan.  Call us, text us or email us and we will be happy to get your next beach vacation reservation ready for your arrival!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Top 10 Ways to Destress in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan for Labor Day Weekend 2019

T

With Labor Day 2019 right around the corner, we know you’re probably trying to squeeze in one last summer beach vacation getaway.  At Sunset Properties, we are ready for your arrival.  Not only are we looking forward to you coming to visit us along the Alabama Gulf Coast, we have ten great ideas how to spend your Labor Day 2019 stress-free and without laboring at all!

  1. Relax under a beach umbrella and read a book

How does stretching out one last time this summer on a beach chair, book in hand, as you relax to the unmatched sounds of the waves of The Gulf of Mexico sound?  To us it sounds pretty good!  Be sure to pack your sunscreen.  We know it’s late in the season, but you can still catch a pretty bad burn if you’re not careful.  So pack your favorite novel, your cozy towel, and come on down to Gulf Shores, stay in Dunes 401, located in the Fort Morgan community, and you beach relaxation moment is only a few steps away!  

  • Watch the sun rise and set from your own beach home balcony

Maybe you’re an early riser.  Why not enjoy a hot cup of coffee as you watch the sun come up over The Gulf from your own private balcony in Indies 603?  Maybe you’d rather sleep in.  We get it.  After all, you’re on vacation.  Well, be sure to watch one of the last summer day’s sunsets with an amazing view of Perdido Pass and Alabama Point from Caribe C Penthouse 14.  With a view unlike any other on the island, this penthouse with its exquisite decor is perfectly placed for amazing views any time of day.

  • Stroll the boardwalks at Wade Ward Nature Park

The boardwalks at Wade Ward Park, located over an amazing wetland area in the heart of Gulf Shores, provide a place for a relaxing stroll.  You’ll be able to become a part of your surroundings while walking safely above any wildlife that could seem threatening.  This city park is located only about five minutes from your vacation home Lighthouse 607.  So getting here won’t create any stress, either.

  • Watch the tide ebb and flow under the Gulf State Park Pier

The Gulf State Park Pier has almost a half mile of railing and the view underneath changes almost minute-by-minute.  We’ve heard about people who have glass aquariums or fish bowls in their offices for stress relief.  We suggest taking a walk out on our pier to enjoy an unmatched view of the best natural open aquarium anywhere:  The Gulf of Mexico.  You’re almost guaranteed to see schools of fish swimming in the waves no matter what time you go visit the pier.  For extra entertainment, make it a night trip.  The waves lapping against the pier make a sound that is soothing to not only your ears, but also to your mind, body and soul.   Couple that with the feel of the night air along the Alabama Gulf Coast, and we believe you’ll forget all about labor of any sort.

  • Watch the boats travel through Perdido Pass

Just steps from Caribe C Penthouse 14, is Perdido Pass.  This is one of our favorite fishing spots.  But if fishing seems too much like work to you, just find a bench and watch the boats go in and out from our back bays.  We’ve also seen sea turtles swim by and you may even catch a glimpse of a manatee or two.   This is definitely a relaxing way to spend a few lazy hours while you’re in Orange Beach.

  • Watch the sunset over Mobile Bay

From your deck at Navy Cove 2113, you’ll have a spectacular view of the sunset over Mobile Bay.  Why not fix yourself a cold beverage and just sit back on your private deck and watch the summer sun’s rays fade away into the bay.  As the summer draws to an end, the sun’s rays seem to soften and stretch across the bay in a way you can only see this time of year.  Make plans to stay in one evening and see for yourself.

  • Watch the dolphins play at Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Have you ever been to Orange Beach Waterfront Park?  This is a great place for a family picnic and to spend an afternoon enjoying the outdoors. You can also walk out on the pier and you might be able to see dolphins playing just off shore in Wolf Bay. With clean public restrooms and a large kids area, this family friendly local park is a great place to relax and unwind.  There is no charge to use the park and everyone is welcome.

  • Kick back and float in your beach home’s pool

We cannot forget about this special way to relax and recharge.  All of our condominium beach homes have pools on site.  Many of our beach houses have pools available in their communities and a couple of our homes have private pools attached to them.  Check out Dream, Kiva and Sip N Sea to see what a luxury beach home with a private pool looks like.  Talk about a great way to spend a few hours before you have to return to work.  Bring your float and kick back and let the gentle rolling waters of your nearest pool wash away your stress.

  • Walk your fur baby at Unleashed Dog Park in Orange Beach

We know walking your fur baby at home is relaxing.  Why not bring your furry kiddo to the beach with you and walk him or her at Orange Beach’s own doggie park:  UnleashedSunset Properties has several homes that allow small dogs with some restrictions, so bringing your four legged friend on your weekend vacation can be stress-free, too!

10.    Shell hunt on Fort Morgan Beach

For some of the best treasures the Gulf can provide, we suggest walking Fort Morgan Beach.  Because the waves of the Mobile Bay are softer and gentler than those the Gulf produces, we often find larger shells and sand dollars on Fort Morgan Beach.  Remember, any artifacts you may uncover belong to the Fort and cannot be removed, but shells, sand dollars and the like are yours to take home.  These make wonderful natural souvenirs and will help you remember your trip for many years to come.

We at Sunset Properties, know your last beach weekend this summer is important to you.  We want you to have a relaxing 2019 Labor Day Weekend.  We are proud to offer clean, fully stocked beach homes to fit any need and are ready to make your reservation with you.

If you need us during your stay, we have two office locations on the island to serve you.  You can also reach us by phone, text and email.  It is our goal to make your Labor Day getaway, just like any other vacation with Sunset Properties, as stress-free and pleasant as possible.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!

www.sunsetpropertie.com

251.543.1310

5 Places to Take a Break on Your Way to the Beach in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan

You’re all packed and headed to south Alabama to visit your favorite beach home on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  You know you have a five hour trip ahead of you and your kiddos will get restless in the car.  How many times have you heard “are we there yet?”  What if you plan a stop on the way?  Why not take a few minutes to let everyone out of the car, stretch your legs, get some food and take a break from the trip?  Here are five places we suggest stopping for a break on your way to you Sunset Properties beach home:

  1.  Buc-ees

Have you ever been to a Buc-ee’s before?  Chances are, if you’ve visited Texas, you have.  However, there is only one Buc-ee’s in Alabama.  Conveniently located just off Interstate 10 on the Beach Express near Loxley, Alabama, is the only Buc-ee’s in our great state.  Located some 460 miles from the next nearest Buc-ee’s this store, this is one place you won’t want to miss.  The first thing you’ll notice is the large number of gas pumps.  The second will probably be the prices.  Buc-ee’s is very competitive with gas prices, and chances are, you’ll find gas a few cents a gallon cheaper here than anywhere nearby.  But don’t just stop for gas.  Go inside.  With clean restrooms, a friendly staff and great food, Buc-ee’s is surely a place worth stopping by.  They offer food and beverage choices from made-to-order hot food, to a super coffee bar, to an Icee selections second-to-none. Buc-ee’s has something for everyone.  Try the brisket sandwiches!  This little taste of Texas right here in Alabama is something no beef lover should miss.  But more than food, Buc-ee’s is a great retail shop, too.  If you forgot your swimsuit, Buc-ee’s has you covered!  Need camping gear or a great cooler?  Check out their selection of outdoor supplies.  How about a gift for your friend back home?  They have that, too.  And does your little traveler need a new toy?  Buc-ee’s has a great selection of souvenir toys and gifts.  So, if “are we there yet?”  needs a “yes” answer, stop in at Buc-ee’s and be amazed by this new retail venue.  Once you get back in your car, you’re less than an hour away from your beach home.

  •  Burris Farm Market

Have you heard about Burris Farm Market’s milkshakes and cobblers?  Located on Alabama Highway 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) in the heart of Loxley, Burris Farm Market has been a staple for fresh fruits, veggies and plants for years.  But you can’t stop in at Burris’s without having some hot peach cobbler or a made-to-order strawberry milkshake.  Fruits and vegetables sold here are mostly locally grown and are always fresh.  Your Sunset Properties beach home has a fully stocked kitchen, so why not stop at Burris Farm Market and get some fresh veggies to pair with local Alabama Seafood?  While your kiddos are enjoying their milkshake break, you can take some time to stretch your legs and peruse their extensive fresh selection.  After a milkshake and shopping break, you only have about forty-five minutes left on your trip to your beach home.  This little last part of the trip should be a bit easier with smiling kiddos in tow.

  •  Groovy Goat

We know OWA is probably on your short list of things to do while you’re in our area.  But why not stop by the Groovy Goat at OWA on your way to your Sunset Properties  beach home and take a break from the road?  The Groovy Goat has a full menu and lots of beverage choices.  This unique restaurant also has 40 arcade games to keep the kiddos occupied while you rest yourself.  Located at 106A S. OWA Boulevard in Foley, taking a break here will allow everyone to just chill out for a few minutes.  The kids will love their first glimpse of OWA and you will be able to catch your second wind before you finish the drive to your beach home.  The Groovy Goat is about ten minutes from Gulf Shores.  You’re almost to your vacation home so stay a few minutes at The Groovy Goat and just unwind for a bit.

  •  Pirate’s Cove

Hey Matey!  Have you thought about stopping at a beach front venue and having one of the best cheeseburgers anywhere on your way to your beach home?  If that sounds tempting, travel about fifteen or twenty minutes from Foley on county road 95 in Josephine (near Elberta), to Pirate’s Cove Marina and Restaurant.  When you arrive, you’ll probably sit outside overlooking the water.  Directly across the bay, is Orange Beach.  Many locals travel to Pirate’s Cove by boat.  Their fabulous cheeseburgers and Bushwackers are local faves.  Taking a break from the trip at Pirate’s Cove will give the kiddos a first glimpse at the sand and water they’ve been talking about all the way down.  It’ll give the adults time to breathe in the fresh air that you’ve been longing for ever since your made your vacation reservations.  Don’t forget to get yourself a Pirate’s Cove can hugger.  After all, you’re on vacation already.  Why not make your first souvenir be a cool one?!  When you guys leave Pirate’s Cove, you’re about thirty minutes from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

  •  Tanger Outlets

How about a little retail therapy to break up the monotony of the road?  In addition to being one of the best retail shopping centers on the Alabama Gulf Coast, Tanger Outlets in Foley is a great place to stop, stretch your legs, find clean restrooms and get something to eat.   With more than 70 stores, everyone is sure to find something at Tanger Outlets.  Stop in for a great pizza at Bella’s Pizza or have some mouth watering sushi at Rock N Roll Sushi.  Walk around the property and explore stores like Kate Spade New York, Nike Factory Store and St. Nick’s Knife Factory.  You’ll also find a Ralph Lauren Factory Store, a Yankee Candle Outlet and Kay Jewelers Outlet, and many more stores.  For a complete list of stores in our Tanger Outlets click here.  After you’ve taken a little break at Tanger Outlets and you’re ready to finish your trip to your beach home, you can ride easy.  You only have about fifteen minutes and you’ll be in Gulf Shores.

We, at Sunset Properties, are looking forward to your arrival.  We know that last hour or so of a trip to your vacation can be a bit trying.  Everyone’s tired of spending time in the car and everyone is in need of a short break from the road.  We hope you will try some or all of these uniquely local spots either on your way to your beach, while you’re staying with us, or on your way out.  Enjoy your summer and thank you for vacationing with Sunset Properties!  

And if you happen to be in the market to purchase your very own beach home, please email John at info@sunsetproperties .  He’ll be happy to show you around!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370


The Best Places to Picnic in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

So you want to spend a day out in about enjoying the natural scenery in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  We, at Sunset Properties, know your indoor accommodations are important, but now you’re ready to just get outdoors.  You’ve got your comfy walking shoes on, applied some insect repellent and sunscreen and you’re looking for ideas.  Here are six easy-to-access places that you should drive to, then get out of your car and enjoy a little of our island paradise on foot.  Take your family and a picnic basket filled with fresh local Alabama Seafood and make memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

  • Wade Ward Nature Park

Located just off the sidewalk along Highway 59 in Gulf Shores near Scoop’s Ice Cream, Wade Ward Nature Park is one of our favorite places to explore.  With free public parking nearby on East 1st Street, accessibility for the whole family is easy.  You’ll enter the park area as you cross a wooden boardwalk bridge and under a pavilion.  The walkway is an elevated boardwalk that sits above the wetlands below.  It’s an easy walk and you’re almost guaranteed to have great views of alligators, heron, and other coastal wildlife.  In the marshes, you’ll find an array of plant life indigenous to this type of ecosystem.  Bring along your camera!  Wade Ward Nature Park is part of our Alabama Coastal  Birding Trail.  Migrating birds are often spotted here.  Your whole family will enjoy this outing where you’re sure to see plants and animals unlike any in your own front yard north of our beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast.

  • Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Established in 2003, Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is actually seven trails in one.  It is made up of over 15 miles of trail paths and passes through six distinctly different ecosystems in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and around Gulf State Park.  A fun trail destination is Boulder Park.  You will find giant boulders perfect for kids to climb.  It is located  next to the Pavilion and Butterfly Garden; about 1½ miles from the Catman Road trailhead on Highway 161.  Rock climbing venues along our Alabama Gulf Coast are uncommon, but this one’s sure to please.  For a complete map of all the trails to explore along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail follow this MAP link.  In the meantime, don’t miss an opportunity to bring your kids to Boulder Park for some memorable outdoor fun!

  • Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Located on Canal Road to the east of Doc’s Seafood, Orange Beach Waterfront Park is a great place for a family outing.  With pavilions and restrooms and an unmatched view of Wolf Bay, your whole family will enjoy an afternoon here.  Be sure to walk out on the 400-foot-long fishing pier to get the absolute best view possible!  While alcohol is not allowed in Orange Beach Waterfront Park, pets are!  Remember to visit this family-friendly, exceptionally clean outdoor park when you’re planning to get your whole family out for an afternoon of sightseeing and picnicking opportunities.

  • Fort Morgan Beaches

What blog about natural walking trails and outdoor family venues would be complete without mentioning the serene beaches of Fort Morgan?  Most island guests are accustomed to seeing the clean, swept, sandy white beaches in front of condos and places like The Hangout in Gulf Shores.  While those beaches are always nice and welcoming, the undeveloped beaches of Fort Morgan are some of our favorites.  The dunes are a little more covered with sea oats and the island wildlife is often more visible.  To get here, travel all the way to the end of Fort Morgan Road and enter the fort.  Park near the restrooms and walk out the brick walkway to the beaches.  At the end of the walkway, go left and head towards the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile Point or choose to walk to the right and explore The Mobile Bay side of this beach.  If you need more reasons to visit Fort Morgan this summer, check out our blog about the Fort.  And if you happen to look out across the water and see Dauphin Island bridge and wonder what’s over there, we’ll tell you:  The Dauphin Island Sea Lab.  Catch the Mobile Bay Ferry, which leaves from the entrance gates at Fort Morgan,  to cross Mobile Bay and extend your nature outing around this area by including a trip to the The Estuarium.  You’ll be glad you did!

  • Romar Beach

Romar Beach, located nearly 7 miles from Highway 59 on Perdido Beach Boulevard, has been a local’s favorite Gulf access point for years.  There is only a limited amount of free parking around this Alabama State Park beach access, but if you’re just looking to run out across the sand and put your toes in the water, you have to stop here at Romar Beach. Don’t forget to bring a picnic basket.  This little stretch of public access is a great place to spread a blanket and have a snack.  Many people have asked us about the name “Romar”.  Romar is a combination of two last names:  Roche and Martin.  These two gentlemen were the first to build homes in this area of our island around 1924.  Stop by and see for yourself what attracted them all those years ago!  The years have changed, but the beauty of Romar Beach remains.

  • Lake Shelby

Lake Shelby is located inside Gulf State Park just off Perdido Beach Boulevard on Highway 135.  This well-kept outdoor venue welcomes pets and people, alike.  Pets, however, must be leashed.  Lake Shelby is known for its wild alligator population and they are protected, so be aware if you choose to bring your fur babies. Leashing them is an absolute must and any type of feeding or molesting the gators is a crime.  Fishing is also allowed in Lake Shelby.  There are picnic areas, designated swimming areas and restrooms available, as well.  Lake Shelby is a unique body of water in our area.  It is considered a freshwater lake, even though it is so close to the Gulf.  You’ll notice the color of the water is not like most other lakes you’ve seen, too.  But it is safe for swimming and fishing.  Freshwater bass, bream and crappie all live in Lake Shelby, along with trout and mullet.  Be sure to visit this unique lake and adjoining park. 

We’re glad you’re choosing to spend part of your summer with us in our island paradise.  At Sunset Properties, we have several beautifully decorated and fully stocked beach homes around the island available for your family’s use.Imagine, Dunes 206 and Navy Cove 2113 are located just minutes from Fort Morgan.  Lighthouse 607 is not too far from Lake Shelby.  If you’re looking for a penthouse, check out Caribe C Penthouse 14.  If none of these fit your vacation stay needs, email us atinfo@sunsetproperties.com or just give us a call 251.543.1370 .  We will be happy to help you find the perfect beach home to make the indoor part of your beach vacation unforgettable!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

10 Reasons Why You Should #BOOKDIRECT with SUNSET PROPERTIES in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

10 Reasons Why You Should #BOOKDIRECT with SUNSET PROPERTIES in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

There are so many ways to book your vacation reservations nowadays, it’s hard to decide which way to go.  You can use a rental management company, use a VRBO or 3rd party site, or just book with an individual you find on Facebook.  All have their advantages but there are a few reasons going with a rental management company like Sunset Properties can be your best option.  Here are 10 reasons why you should consider Booking Direct with Sunset Properties when you plan your next vacation to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan.

  1.  Extensive choices of homes

When you choose to book direct with a vacation rental management company, you have a large inventory of homes to choose from.  If you have a specific number of bedrooms needed, prefer a specific location or need special accommodations like elevators or boat ramps, all you have to do is search in one online location to find it all.  Sunset Properties offers exceptionally decorated homes with all of these amenities available and all you have to do is look at one website – ours!  Tired of hunting around the web to find your perfect vacation home in your price range?  Look no further than www.sunsetproperties.com because we know we have the perfect place for you.

  •  Availability of staff

Booking with VRBO or with an individual may seem great at first.  You send an email, negotiate a price, and submit your payment via the web.  Easy.  Peasy.  Done.  But what about service after the sale?  What happens if you get to your vacation home and you need a real live breathing person to help you?  Like right then?  What happens if you get to your vacation home and find out the person you booked with and paid via PayPal is not even affiliated with the property?  What if you trustingly get scammed?   Then what?  When you book direct with Sunset Properties, the internet is just your first connection with us.  If you arrive at one of our amazing beach homes and you need something right away and need a local person to help, you’re in luck!  We have two offices in Gulf Shores.  One is located at The Dunes near Fort Morgan and the other is across from The Track at 3145 Gulf Shores Parkway (Alabama Highway 59).  We have office hours most days and an on-call service for the things that pop up when our office is closed.  If you need a human to help you, one will be available.  We’re just a phone call away.  No emailing required.

  •  Cleanliness of homes and properties

When you book with a rental management company, you know you are getting the cleanest possible condo or home, right?  You really cannot be sure if you book from an individual.  When you book with Sunset Properties, you can rest assured you will check-in to a superbly clean home.  Just because you’re coming to the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast, where we know you love our sugary white sandy beaches, doesn’t mean you want to spend the night with sand on your floors.  Not only will you check-in to a home cleaner than you might expect, you will also find brooms and mops in your condo or home in case you want to tidy up while you’re there.  

  •  Options to change your mind

What happens if you book your vacation and something comes up?  Can you change your mind?  Can you change your home choice?  Can you change your dates?  We know that most folks plan their vacation times months in advance, but without regard to that, sometimes work can get in the way of the best made plans.  Sometimes, our bosses require that we present an unanticipated report right in the middle of our vacation week.  Sometimes we get sick or have accidents that prevent us from being able to go on our much-needed getaways.  Then what?  Maybe you’ll be able to reschedule with an online service or individual or maybe not.  At Sunset Properties, we understand things happen.  Depending on your circumstances, we will make every effort to help you reschedule your stay to a time that will work for you with minimal or no financial penalty.  It’s what we do.  It’s who we are.  We are a family-owned, family-run company.  We love to go on vacations with our families, too.  And we know that for most folks a vacation week is a much- anticipated luxury family time and to lose that opportunity all together makes no one happy.  Why risk losing your pre-paid vacation money with a strictly online service or private individual when you can book direct with confidence with Sunset Properties?

  •  Travel insurance guarantee

We encourage all vacation renters to purchase travel insurance.  For a minimum investment on top of your rental cost, travel insurance covers all kinds of unexpected things that can, without proper planning, ruin a great vacation experience.  We are proud to offer travel insurance.  Depending on which level of coverage you choose, it will assist financially with all kinds of life’s little mishaps that may occur.  Lose your luggage?  It can help buy you clothes.  Miss your flight?  It can help with that.  Did someone get sick while you’re traveling?  Travel insurance can even help with medical costs.  Can you get travel insurance from an individual?  Maybe or maybe not.  But you definitely have that option with Sunset Properties.  For an in depth guide to what travel insurance covers, check out our blog about it!

  •  WYSIWYG

What you see is what you get.  Most of us believe that what is represented online is a true and accurate description showing recent pictures of vacation destination homes or anything else we purchase online.  At Sunset Properties, we pride ourselves on keeping our website updated to provide the most accurate information about and pictures of our beach homes.  We don’t like going on our vacations and finding out what we booked isn’t what we get when we arrive and we never want our guests to be disappointed, either.  

  •  No scams or spams

How many crazy texts and spam emails do you get daily?  We get our fair share!  We don’t like them, and you probably don’t either.  We won’t share your personal information with random vendors.  We won’t send you unnecessary texts.  We won’t spam you and we won’t scam you.  While some individuals may not actually be who they say they are, Sunset Properties is a reputable company, both in our local area and nationally.  We are proud to be a member of the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and a partner with the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Additionally, we have partnerships with Xplorie, and Red Sky.  We are the real deal and we have over thirty-five years of experience in the real estate and hospitality industry and we are here to stay.  You can rest assured you’re booking with a great company and rest well when you arrive and stay with us.

  •  Future bookings are easy

Once you become part of our guest family, your future bookings will be super easy.  We actually form relationships with most of our guests.  But even if we don’t get to know you in person, you will have an opportunity to go ahead and book your next stay with us while you’re here.  We love to get folks set up ahead of time for their next trip to our Island Paradise.  We believe you will fall in love with your vacation home (most of our guests do!) and want to go ahead and make sure it’s available for your next visit to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan.  Just give our office a call, and we’ll get you all set up.

  •  Pets are welcome

Do you travel with your fur baby?  We do.  Our four-legged kids are just that:  our kids, too.  So, we truly understand the need to bring your whole family along when you come to the beach.  Many of our vacation homes are dog friendly.  With some restrictions, you are welcome to bring your fur baby with you.  We are also happy to recommend doggie spas, doggie daycares and places to take your dog for a family outing.  We also know which beaches are dog friendly and where the best dog parks are.  We can recommend these vendors and venues with confidence, because we go there with our fur babies, ourselves.  We live and work here.  We are not just some internet site or faceless email you correspond with.  Can your VRBO site or private individuals do that?

   10.  Special services are offered

Is there something special you want when you arrive to your vacation home?  Maybe you want a special meal delivered.  Maybe you want a Christmas tree when you arrive.  Maybe you just want someone to accept flowers for you, so your arrival is one to remember.  We will make every effort to accommodate special guest requests like these.  Just call our office at 251.543.1370 and tell us what you need and let us see if we can make it happen for you.  We may even know the perfect person for you to call to arrange your special something.  

These are just a few of the reasons booking direct with Sunset Properties is a great choice.  We didn’t even mention the add-on fees VRBO charges owners that you, the guest, will ultimately incur.  We hope you choose to book with us.  We are ready to help you get your next vacation planned in one of our amazing beach homes that sleep from 2-20 people and pets.  We have homes with elevators, stairs, private pools and gyms on site.  We have condos and story-book beautiful Gulf front houses.  We have homes in golf course subdivisions and homes with boat slips.  We even have a couple of penthouses that are just waiting for your arrival.  

Go ahead.  Give us a call.  Book direct with Sunset Properties and you’ll be on your way to an amazing vacation experience on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370