Upcoming Gulf Shores Events!!!

July is a great time to be at the beach, and the weather is typically fantastic!  Long sunny days full of adventure, evenings with great breezes and plenty of family time.  If you are looking for a little more excitement while you are here take a look at some of the upcoming events.

Check out the Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Calendar of Events for fun things to do during your beach vacation. From music to history, sports to festivals, parades to plays, we’ll give you plenty of things to do all year-round.

Ringo Starr at The Wharf AmphitheaterJul 4, 2012  7:00 PM
The Amphitheater at The Wharf
Gulf Shores Annual Fireworks Extravaganza!Jul 4, 2012  9:00 PM
Gulf State Park Pier
Blue Marlin Grand ChampionshipJul 10, 2012 – Jul 15, 2012
At the Marina
The Wharf
Miranda Lambert w/ special guest Lee Brice and Thomas Rhett at Th…Jul 12, 2012  7:30 PM
The Amphitheater at The Wharf
Blue Angels Air ShowJul 14, 2012
Pensacola Beach, Florida
National Museum of Naval Aviation
79th Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo Jul 20, 2012 – Jul 22, 2012
Dukes of September at The Wharf Amphitheater 

Jul 21, 2012  8:00 PM
The Amphitheater at The Wharf

There are great fireworks shows throughout the area,  be sure to make plans in advance to get perfect spot for fireworks.  If you don’t want to head out for fireworks typically people staying in the area put on a spectacular show for everyone till late!  Either way pack you cooler and get your perfect spot settle in and watch the magic as we celebrate our country.  Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Beach Update, Tropical storm Debby!

Hey everyone!  What a beautiful day on the beach in Ft. Morgan!!!!  We were waiting on pins and needles to see if  Tropical Storm Debby was heading our way but it seems we are in the clear.  It looks as though the storm is heading toward the Panama City area.  We have just a hand full of condos open for the week so any one who is having to evacuate give us a call we are running a great special!  The beach has people here and there and the water is calm enough to swim now.  I am sure with the big waves from the weekend there treasures to be found if you don’t mind hunting a little.

Take a look at today’s video! The beach is beautiful.  See you soon.

Sunset Properties’ Becky Is Heading Back To School

Our beloved office manager Becky has started out on a new adventure.  She told me it was always her dream to earn a college degree!  We think Becky is wonderful as is but this is her dream and Sunset Properties owners try to support our dreams as much as possible.  After much searching and discussion with the powers that be, Becky has begun her classes at Columbia Southern University! 

Columbia Southern is one of the nation’s first completely online universities, established to meet the demand for alternatives to the traditional university experience. All degree programs are offered completely online, giving you the flexibility to fit your education around career and family commitments.

 With CSU, Becky can take schedule shifting and time management conflicts out of the equation. Open enrollment and self-paced programs make rearranging her life to attend a class or take a test a thing of the past.  With Becky’s unpredictable schedule and multiple jobs, CSU is a perfect fit for her to advance her career and knowledge. With CSU’s 24-hour access to course assignments, online forums, web lectures, interactive software, and audio and visual examples she is excited about the opportunity to earn her degree.

Becky is spending her evenings and early mornings reading and studying and her coursework and taking test.  In not to terribly long she will have an Associates Degree in Business with an emphasis in Travel Tourism.  So now she will have the knowledge she has earned in real life and the book knowledge she is gaining to make your stay one of you favorite memories.   We are so proud of our Becky!  Be sure to cheer Becky on as she works toward her Dream!!!

The Indies or The Dunes, Which is Better???

I get this question daily.  Guest call in wanting to know, ” Really which one is better?”  Both buildings have things that I love and maybe some things that I would change.  I’ll tell you about them from my point of view and hopefully this will help you make an informed decision about where your next stay will be.

Let’s start with The Dunes she is the matriarch of The Dunes Community.  The first building here and the anchor of this last little community on the island.  The Dunes was finished in 2001  and the owner have had the option to be a rental condo from the beginning.  The Dunes Building sits about 300 yards from the edge of the Gulf and every condo its beautifully calming waters.  This building has a westerly facing view of the gulf which allows for sunset views from virtually every balcony in the building.  Over time the community has grown and some of the views have become obstructed.  with homes.  You do still have a great water view from the pool deck and if you are on the 3rd floor and above.  This building was built on a Dune so it naturally sits well above sea level and has had no storm damage  to speak of in the years it has been open.  In fact this building is one of the safest places to be!

Lets talk interior!!!  The Dunes has seven floors of condo with 10 condo units on each floor with the exception of the 1st floor which has 8.  The first floor also houses an office for Sunset Properties, a fitness center, sauna, His and Hers restrooms, and an indoor pool.  The interior of most of the condos still have the original Formica counter tops and white cabinets.  However, we are beginning to see owners upgrade their cabinets to the more modern granite counter tops and install new cabinets.  Now that the building is getting a little older most of the owners are putting efforts into upgrading their interiors as well.  New furnishings and paint through out!

Each floor includes one bedroom, two bath condos, two bedroom, two bath condos and three bedroom, two and a half bath condos.  The one bedroom, two bath condos have master bedroom with an attached bath, a set of bunk beds built into the hallway, with a bath across from them.  A full size kitchen, living area that over looks the Gulf, and a washer and dryer.  Most of the one bedroom condos also have a sleeper sofa.  These condos sleep up to six and are a great option for small families or couples on a budget.

The two bedroom two bath condos also sleep up to six.  The master still has an attached bath but instead of being located at the entrance of the condo the Master bedroom in a two bedroom is located on the Gulf side of the condo with its own balcony door.  The two bedroom condos have a second bedroom near the front door which has a Bay view if you are on the 3rd floor or above.  this second bedroom also has an attached bath.  these condos also have the full size kitchens, washer and dryer, and living area that over looks the Gulf!  The two bedroom condos are great if you have multiple couples traveling or just want a little more space to spread out!

The three bedrooms truly are the show places of the building.  Located on the east and west end of the building these condo have gorgeous sweeping views of the end of the island multiple balconies, and plenty of space for everyone in your party!  The master bath room has private toilet shower area away from the sink and vanity.  The bathroom is attached to the master bedroom which has its own balcony and balcony door.  The other two bedrooms share a large bath that is situated in the hall and attached to one of the rooms.  Both of the extra bedrooms are located at the north side of the building so they overlook the bay.  The living area has a large balcony that gives a great space for the entire family to enjoy the Gulf view.  There is an additional half bath off of the living area just past the washer and dryer closet.  The full kitchen is the most open off all of the condos sizes and there is a great bar area for people to realx or just have breakfast.

The Dunes  has ample parking for multiple vehicles and even a place to store your boat at the ends of the parking area.  The Dunes requires parking passes at different times of the year.  be prepared to pay for the $12 passes for your vehicles.  Dogs of 35 pounds or smaller are welcome at The Dunes in pet friendly condo units, but not in th pool area, and you must leash and pick after your dogs at all times you are outside of the condo.  If you are staying at the Dunes you have access not only to The Dunes indoor out door pool but also The Dunes Community pool about halfway to the beach.   Over all the Dunes is  a fantastic family friendly place to stay!

The Indies was finished in 2005 and also has 7 floors.  The Indies has some very strict policies that you should be aware of prior to booking.  It is not pet friendly!  Also, The Indies has as they call it a “No Sharing Policy”!  This means simply that they do not share their amenities with the rest of the community.  The guest staying at at The Indies only have access to the amenities at The Indies because of this policy.  They also have parking passes just as The Dunes does but they are $22.00 per pass.  You also do not have boat storage at The Indies.  You will need to plan ahead and set up boat storage at the marina across the street, as your boat will be towed from the Indies parking lot.

The Indies is a great building!  It has a beautiful roof top terrace for sunning, complete with lounge chairs.  The pool deck has multiple pools for The Indies guests.  You have a sunning pool, that waterfalls into the regular condo size pool.  The association has converted one of the hot tubs into a kiddie pool and there is also another traditional hot tub.  There are plenty of lounge chairs on the pool deck to soak up the rays while on vacation.  There are also multiple fitness centers for your use.  The first door on your left as you enter the breeze way is the security guard office and business office.  this is where you can pick up your wrist bands for swimming at the pool and any extra parking passes you may need.  The Indies condos have large garden tubs, and shower combination.  All of the units of The Indies face directly south toward the Gulf of Mexico.  The Indies sits on top of a parking garage which put it well out of the way of storm water as well.  The parking garage has limited parking.  Do not assume it is ok to park ther most likely your condo does not have a parking place.  Most of them do not!

This building has one, two and three bedroom condos as well just ina little different situation than the Dunes.  Where The Dunes has mostly one bedroom condos, The Indies has mostly 3 bedroom condos.

The Indies also has a three bedroom, three bath condos which are located on the east and west end of the building.  These large end units are considerably larger than the 3 bedroom, 2 bath condos in the interior of the building.   The large three bedroom, three bath end condos have fantastic wrap around balconies.  These  balconies allow beautiful views on the west end you can even catch the sunsets.  Because this building looks directly south you can tell the sun is setting but you cannot see it from most condos. The view is still beautiful with Indies sitting equally back from the water you can see the gulf from each room third floor and above.

The interior three bedroom, two bath has a master bedroom that over looks the Gulf while the other rooms are sit on the north side of the condo.  The mast bedrooms have their own bath while the other two bedrooms share a hall bath.    The living area has a beautiful view of the Gulf out the main patio door.  The condos all have granite counter tops and the majority have stainless steel appliances in their full size kitchens.  The large hallways allow easy access for those who may need wheelchair accessibility  this is not a benefit that The Dunes has.  There are not pull bars or roll in showers in these condos, however.

The two bedroom two bath condos look toward the gulf through their main sliding glass door.  Just in side the door is the main living area and the fully equipped kitchen.  The Master bedroom also has its own door that allows access to the balcony and a private bathroom.  The second bedroom also has its own bath and is located at the north end of the condo with a window that looks toward the bay.

The building only has a hand full of one bedroom condos and each of these only has one bath.  The bedroom in these condos is located on the north side of the building.  these condos also have bunk beds in the hall.  Most of the one bedroom condos sleep six which means they are wonderful for small families.  The one bedrooms are located in the middle of the building.  They all have a similar balcony that looks toward the gulf with a door that leads in the main living area.  The living area and the kitchen are one shared space in all of the condos.  This condo is a great choice for those who want to stay close to their conod and want the upgrades that came with this building from the beginning.

My hope is that with knowledge you can make an informed decision about whihc condo building would be best for you and your family when you com on your beach vacation!  See you soon!

What To Do At The Beach, When It Rains!!!!


You traveled hundreds maybe even a thousand miles to take a vacation at the beach, and its RAINING!!!! Ugggg, the kids are getting stir crazy, good grief you are getting stir crazy!  What are you going to do???  Watching the rain is definitely something to see from your balcony but for most it can only keep occupied for so long.  So what do you do???


Don’t panic!  There is plenty to do!  First, take an inventory of your groups interests?  Do have kids interested in science, shopping, art, planes, animals, nature?  If you kids are interested in any of these there are things to do in the area!


Before you head to the beach also check out the website www.gulfshores.com they have a list of area activities!  Well the easiest of these is probably shopping,  Tanger Outlet is 40 minutes away.  Just jump in the car and find some great deals.  Happy hunting!!!  If your guys are with you there are several hunting , camping, outfitter stores for them as well.


For your animal lovers there are so many places to go!  My favorite is the Estuarium.  Drive your car down to the ferry and turn left once you get off the ferry.  It is only about a half a mile from the to the Estuarium. The Estuarium is a sea lab run by Auburn University  where students come to study through out the year.  There is also a section for the public to learn all about the local area and marine wildlife.


Just a few miles away on Ft. Morgan road is the Bon Secour Refuge office.  In this office there are all sorts of information and displays to capture and enthrall the minds of your young nature lovers.  For the young hunters in your family take a trip to Summerdale and visit the Spearhunting Museum.  You are guaranteed a great time and maybe even a lesson in throwing a spear.


For your little scenic lovers, The Estuarium, and Refuge office are close stops that would entertain.  If you are willing to go a little farther try The Explorium in Mobile! This is a fantastic place to spend the afternoon.  The exhibits change regularly check out the website to see what is showing for the time you are here.


In the heart of Gulf Shores there are several different souvineer shops.  Each shop has an airbrush artist.  Take your artistic child to design his or her own shirt on a rainy afternoon.  Be sure to let them use the camera and catch some beautiful shots from their point of view.


Definently don’t panic all of things mentioned above and much more to do at the beach when it rains.  Don’t forget the rain usually passes in just a few hours and with a little planning you have made some great unique memories with your children!


See you soon guys!


8th Annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival

Balloon festival
Balloon festival

The balloons are flying hurry down!  Each year for Father’s Day Foley welcomes more than 50 hot air ballonists from across the country.  Tanger Outlets presents the festival which will take place at the Foley Sportspark, 18507  Highway 98 West in Foley.

This is one of those don’t miss events you can not only see the balloons lit up each night but the festival goers and surrounding neighborhoods will enjoy the flights as they fly over each day.  The festival will also offer live entertainment, delicious food, arts and crafts booths,  a children’s village and more!

For a complete schedule of balloon festival happenings along with photos, videos, and parking information. Go to www.gulfcoastballoonfestival.com

The Dunes Beach First Sea Turtle Nest!

Turtle season is well under way!  We are thrilled to announce the first nest on our beach.  I was getting ready for work when I received a phone call from Jackie Issacs the Wildlife  Biologist from the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge.  She was invited me down to help and was gracious enough to let me make a little video.  This is a quick video of what a sea turtle nest  looks like and the processes it takes to move it to a safe place on the beach.  Watch our video and we hope to see you soon.  In 55 days the will be ready to hatch!  You can keep tabs on this nest and all the others on Alabama’s gulf coast at www.alabamaseaturtle.com .  Hope this is a great start to your summer!

May in Pictures from Sunset Properties!

We wanted to share the happenings this past May in a different way! We hope you enjoy these photos! See you soon…

Fishing at Sunset
Fishing at Sunset
Sterling at Lego land
Sterling at Lego land
Marietta's Party
Marietta's Party
Manta Rays migrating down The Dunes beach
Manta Rays migrating down The Dunes beach
Lauren And Tyler
Sterling and Mickey
Sterling and Mickey
Becky and Tony  at Graduation
Becky at Tony's Graduation
Some of the biggest fish caught we've seen in some time
Some of the biggest fish caught we've seen in some time. Thanks Kendall!
Jim showed us one of the beautiful benefits of fishing
Jim showed us one of the beautiful benefits of fishing
Tara and Teresa at The Hangout Music Festival
Tara and Teresa at The Hangout Music Festival


Tara at The Hangout Music Festival

How to have the perfect Beach Vacation

You can’t plan for everything and often times the unplanned things are what turn vacations into memories that last a lifetime.  So of my favorite beach memories are when things went a little wrong.  As I child instead of catching fish I caught a fire worm!

Fire worm
Fire worm not at all what we wanted to catch.

This is not at all what we wanted to catch but it is the one of the most fun memories I have fishing.  It still makes me love fishing.  Not for the fight of it but for the beauty of what will come out of the water.  It is always an adventure.

Then I think about the time I got sunburned so badly and the wind was blowing really hard so we got sand blasted too.  But the water was perfectly clear and we could pick up huge shells we could see rightbelow us.  It is always the crazy things that give you the best laughs or most vivid memories when you look back.

Do it all even the cheesy stuff!
do it all even the cheesy stuff!

So how do you have the best most perfect vacation.  My suggestions are do some planning but roll with the wacky unplanned things as well.

1. Plan an adventure or two.

2.  Try some new or differnet  food

3.  Learn a little history

4.  Be Brave, try something new don’t let fear hold you back from an amazing adventure!

5.  Don’t count out the cheesy stuff  The cheesy goofy tourist stuff is popular for a reason!

6.  Also don’t count out the simple stuff.  sometimes a day in the sun listening to the waves or just a walk on the beach is just what you need.

7.  Mostly comfy shoes, and comfy clothes.  ! night out in fancy clothes and uncomfortable shoes.

8.  Family time is always a plus!  Get as much as you can.  Cook together, play together,  adventure together!

Treasure the family time
treasure the family time

9.  Rest!  It is no fun to come back from vacation tired and in need of  another vacation.

10.  Take some pictures and let everyone tell you their favorite parts of each day.  Don’t forget to write it down.

Most importantly,  if things don’t always go as plan try not to loose your cool.  You are here to have fun.  It is never fun for kids to see their parents yelling nor is it a great example to embarrass or belittle the person you are dealing with.   Get to the beach make some memories!  We’ll see you soon!

How To Live In Ft. Morgan

At least once a week, someone tells me they are hoping to move to this area.  They love the Country at the Beach!  It is one of their life goals to live here!  There are a few things to consider, however, before you make the move.  Ideas that you must embrace and make your own to really be a part of the Ft. Morgan Community.

First, you must really like sand!  It gets everywhere, on everything, and is just simply everywhere.  You must truly think of sand as your friend.  It has created your beautiful beach and without it things just wouldn’t be the same in your favorite place to walk, fish, swim, relax and play.  So say it with me.  I love SAND!  Just keep repeating that.  Okay, now that you have that simple basic truth down, you have let go of the idea that your new home will be immaculate and sand free,  you are well on your way to embracing the relaxed lifestyle of island life.  I’m  not saying embrace filth!  I’m saying that it is not an end of the world crisis if a little sand is around.

Take a deep breath, that first one is really the hardest one!  Okay now look at your cell phone, tablet, maybe even laptop.  Hug your wireless device.  Pay lots of attention to it.  Spend all the time you could possibly want with your wireless device where you live now!  Once you get to Ft. Morgan they will be used less, and at times useless!  Not to mention in constant harms way.  With water all around and sand everwhere, these things tend to have a short life here.  If fact people have so much fun without them (once they are used to the idea they don’t work well) that they forget them.  I mail back or have people turn more cell phones into lost and found each year.

Slow Down enjoy the sunset
Slow down enjoy the sunset

The real trick to living here is taking everything in stride!  Remember all things happen for  reason.  If it rains one day at the beach, you notice the locals love it!  That’s because it doesn’t happen often and we know how much our area needs it.  The wind blows so hard you feel sand blasted and that’s ok!  This is one of the natural ways the beach is cleaned.  There is seaweed everywhere on the beach and now its down your swim suit because you wanted to swim.  The seaweed is important to our local sea creatures, it acts a nursery to our beaches, and it helps build our protective sand dunes when it washes on shore.

Are you seeing a theme here???  Start enjoying the things around you and let go of the things that are a part of the modern world.  In this place of remote beauty we hold on tightly to our natural world and history and don’t take much else really seriously!  We use our precious time to enjoy family, friends,  sunsets, food, fishing and fun.  If this still sounds good to you, pack your bags!  Bring your necessities and don’t forget your comfy clothes and shoes!  We’ll see you soon.