Fall at the Beach!!!

Have I mentioned that Fall is the best time to be at the beach? I know that summer is warm and the kids are out of school, and spring is great and sunny and not too hot! But Fall has the best of both of those and then some.  In the fall season at the beach it rarely rains, the skies are a beautiful sunny blue, and the days are warm while the nights get increasingly cooler.  You can enjoy the beach with virtually no crowds and the prices are nothing short of outstanding.  There are the same great restaurants and live music, shopping, high flying patriotic shows, and wildlife but we get to enjoy it during the fall in very special ways!

We have the fall migration of  birds and butterflies south, a million little jewels flying through our area all at once.  You can enjoy the new song stylings of amazing song writers throughout the area during the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival.  Don’t miss the Blue Angels Homecoming show, it will make your heart soar with patriotic pride. There are festivals and events almost every weekend along the beautiful Gulf Coast for you and your family to enjoy.

Coming up is the Elberta German Sausage Festival Oct 29th. Held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The best German Sausage you have ever tasted! Made from a secret recipe developed by the founding fathers of Elberta, AL. This is the only place you can get the real thing! Arts & crafts, live music, carnival rides, baked goods & more. Don’t forget to visit the Bier Garten for a large selection of imported beers.

Nov. 2nd starts the SEC Women’s Soccer Championship. Eight hopeful seeds will square off in quarterfinal action before the field narrows for Friday’s (November 4) semifinals. Championship play is scheduled for Sunday, November 6 at 2:00pm and will be broadcast live. Don’t miss the action!
Admission: $5.00 adults, $2.00 Students

The 4th Annual Oyster Cook Off on Nov. 5th! Join us on the beach and watch teams from restaurants, businesses, and individuals along the Gulf Coast compete to see who wins best oyster bragging rights for the entire year along with cash and prizes! The oysters are provided to the teams to prepare three ways: Oysters Rockefeller, Cajun Oysters and Create-Your-Own Raw.
Admission: Free to the Public and tasting tickets are $1 each. If you are interested in registering your team to compete please download the application online at www.thehangoutal.com. The entry fee is $250 per team and must be paid in full no later than October 15th.

The Frank Brown Song Writers Festival is coming up from Nov. 10th -20th. The festival provides an atmosphere to promote all writers, whether they had written hit songs which made people open their eyes and view the world in a different way or they are aspiring writers and musicians who knew they could do the same but needed a forum in order to get their music out to the world.

The Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, November 11 & 12, on board Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. Admission is FREE and the gates open at 8 am each day. The show includes static displays of aircraft of all types, food, beverage and vendor booths, virtual reality experiences and other attractions, including a Kids’ Zone, Sony Playstation II gaming area and bungee jumping. Home Depot will also have a Kids Workshop Area with craft projects. The air show begins at 9:45 am, with the Blue Angels slated to fly around 2 pm. The pilots will sign autographs after the show. There is also a night air show on Friday evening.
Visit the Museum’s display area at the air show and climb into our Blue Angel F/A-18 Hornet. Check out other historic aircraft from the Museum’s collection including a F-14 Tomcat, a F-4 Phantom and a HU-16 Albatross. Don’t miss our special guest appearance of a P-38 Lightning.
Visitors are encouraged to use the back gate off of Blue Angel Parkway to enter the base. Patrons may bring chairs, but no coolers, backpacks, food, drinks or pets will be allowed. A handicap area is set aside for wheelchairs only. For those who have never attended an air show, be advised that the aircraft can be VERY noisy and young children need protection for their ears. It can also be windy on the tarmac and layers of clothes are recommended.

Admission: Gate admission is free. Bleacher seating is available for $5 per person. Because of pre-sold reserved seating for large groups, bleacher seats are usually sold out before noon on Friday and before 11 am on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time and must be ordered before noon on Friday, Nov. 7. Groups of 50 or more can purchase bleacher seating for $3 per person.

An Awesome Day-Excursion to Dauphin Island, AL

An Awesome Day-Excursion to Dauphin Island, AL

Traverse Mobile Bay by Ferry and Arrive on a Fun, Island Getaway

by Mike Turner | July 26, 2011


Here is a great, day trip that will be a boat load of fun (literally) for the entire family.

It begins with a family style breakfast at Hazel’s Nook in Gulf Shores. Pancakes, yup, Waffles – yup, and my favorite- made to order omelets. (Bacon, onions, cheddar cheese, and salsa for me please).

Next, is a stop at the local store to stock up on munchies, water, soda, and sunscreen for the day of adventure, followed by a leisurely 25 mile drive down State Road 180 (West Fort Morgan Rd.) to the Dauphin Island Ferry Terminal. The Ferry runs every 45 minutes, and here is a link for specific times, etc. https://www.mobilebayferry.com/schedule.html

Cost runs $30 for a car plus $10 per passenger over the age of 12. If you want to save some dough, you can park at the terminal and walk on or take a bicycle with you for $5. I have taken the bike route and it was a blast. Or if you have a Harley, you can grab a round trip ticket for $8. But you need to plan ahead and take some rain gear, just in case. Dauphin Island is very bike/motorcycle friendly.

The boat ride is a treat in itself, taking in the sights of other boats, maybe a tanker, or perhaps if you are lucky a dolphin playing in the boat’s wake.

As you arrive onto Dauphin Island, you feel like you have been transported back in time. It is 17 miles long and ¾ of mile wide barrier island that is parallel to the Gulf of Mexico.  It is a sleepy, fishing village with tons of charm, miles of undiscovered beaches, quaint eateries, and another great attraction – The Dauphin Island Sea Lab, home to the State of Alabama’s Marine Science Institute.  https://www.disl.org/

Here you will find a treasure trove full of adventure. Huge aquariums, touch-tanks, The Living Marsh Boardwalk, and Weather Station.

At the west end of the beach, there are vendors providing umbrellas, jet ski rentals, parasailing, water slides and certified lifeguards, clean restrooms and showers. Entrance fees are $2 to park, and $3 for each person over the age of 12. No alcoholic beverages, pets, glass or grills are allowed however.

There is also the Audubon Bird Sanctuary, https://www.dauphinisland.org/bird.htm  Dauphin Island has been recognized as one of the ten most globally important sites for bird migrations. The Sanctuary includes more than 150 acres of maritime forest, marshes, and dunes, including a lake, a swamp and a beach. It is located on the Eastern end of the Island and has walking trails and boardwalks in which to experience this unique natural treasure. Migrating birds utilize this area after their long flight across the Gulf from Central and South America to rest up before heading on. They also utilized the Sanctuary as their final feeding and resting area before their return flight. (And you thought the Atlanta Hub was busy).

And if that isn’t enough to do, don’t forget to check out Fort Gaines for an awesome view of Mobile Bay, and you can image yourself as a sentry watching out for enemy ships!

Have fun!

Bellingrath Gardens a must see when you visit the Beach

We’ve talked about this several times in the past, but we wanted to call attention to one of the most beautiful sites to see in the area. We visited their website and found this useful information. This is a definite “must see” for anybody with a green thumb!
Bellingrath Gardens

If you decide to venture over to Dauphin Island via the Mobile Bay Ferry, be sure to head on over to Mobile to smell the flowers at Bellingrath Gardens and Home. The garden features 65 acres of fragrant flowers that bloom year-round.
Belingrath Rose
Bellingrath Gardens and Home was the creation of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bellingrath. The Gardens were first opened to the public in 1932 while a national garden club meeting was taking place in Mobile, Alabama. Mr. Bellingrath placed an ad in the Mobile newspaper announcing that anyone who would like to see the spring garden could do so free of charge. After an overwhelming response, the couple decided to keep the gardens open year-round beginning in 1934. Throughout the year, this 65-acre garden estate is in full bloom with camellias in the winter, azaleas in the spring, roses in the summer, chrysanthemums in autumn and Magic Christmas in Lights during the holiday season.
Bellingrath Christmas
In addition to the self-guided walking tour through the gardens, you can also enjoy a 45-minute cruise aboard the Southern Belle, and a tour of the 10,500 square foot home with its original furnishings. You can experience the Bayou Boardwalk, Mirror Lake, the Great Lawn, the Asian-American Gardens. Don’t forget to stroll through the Butterfly Garden and view the formal garden terraces. For more information, visit https://www.bellingrath.org/home/ for events, admission rates and hours of operation.

2011 Sunset Properties Photo Contest Winners

We wanted to say a special Congratulations to our Winners and Honorable Mentions for our 2011 Photo Contest. We appriciate your time an efforts in entering this contest and sharing your beautiful memories and great talent! Enjoy these great photos below.

1st Place: Jessica Mooney ” Baby Jake”

Jessica Mooney - Baby Jake

2nd Place: Jennifer Hill – ” Crab Hunting”

Jennifer Hill - Crab Hunting

3rd Place: Angela Allred – “Fishing Lesson”

Angela Allred " Fishing Lesson"

Honorable Mentions in no particular order

Amanda Snipes Family Beach Photo
Amanda Snipes- “Family Beach Photo”

Christie Arthur - Mr. GQ
Christie Arthur – “Mr. GQ”

Kevin Ware Sunset From Pier
Kevin Ware – ” Sunset from Pier”

Toni Fahler - Lucy buried in the sand
Toni Fahler – ” Lucy buried in the sand”

147th Commeration of the Battle of Mobile Bay

The 147th Commemoration of the Battle of Mobile Bay will be held at Saturday, August 6 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the park at the end of Fort Morgan Road (AL Hwy. 180). Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for ages 6-18 and free for children under 6. (Active duty military and families also admitted free.)

To read more about the history of this event, see our feature article: No “Petty” Battle

The Commemoration: Lots of Reasons to Attend!

Michael Bailey, cultural resource coordinator at Fort Morgan, said events at the park are growing in significance leading up to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay in 2014. So far this year the fort has marked other Civil War-era events such as the peaceful seizure of Fort Morgan from the federal government by Alabama troops in January.

Bailey said the schedule for Aug. 6 is as follows:

·        8:30 a.m. – Raising of colors (the Confederate Second National Flag, which flew in August 1864)

·        10:30 a.m. to noon – Drilling and firing artillery (32-pounder and 6-pounder)

·        9:30 to noon – Rifle firing by reactors

·        1:30 to 2:30 p.m. – Second round of artillery firing

·        3:30 to 4 p.m. – Second round of rifle firing

·        4:30 p.m. – Lowering of flag

Throughout the day will be living history exhibits of soldiers and laundresses, along with two non-firing artillery pieces. Also, guides will give oral histories of the Battle of Mobile Bay.

The Mobile Bay Ferry will operate all day between Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island. A concession stand will sell hot dogs, snacks and drinks throughout the day.

For more information, call the Fort Morgan Museum at 540-7127.

To get there:

From Mobile  (or take ferry — https://www.mobilebayferry.com/— from Dauphin Island)

–  Take I-10 E toward Pensacola – go 16.5 mi

– Take exit #44/LOXLEY/BAY MINETTE onto N HICKORY ST(AL-59 S) toward Gulf – go 28.6 mi

–  Turn Right on HWY 180 – go 19.9 mi

–  Arrive at the center of FORT MORGAN, AL

From Pensacola

–  Take FL 292 W to Alabama line – go 19.8 mi

–  FL 292 W becomes AL 292 W – go 10.6 mi

–  Turn Right on Gulf Shore Parkway (AL-59) – go 1.1 mi

–  Turn Right on HWY 180 – go 19.9 mi

–  Arrive at the center of FORT MORGAN, AL

Thanks Coast360.com for the info on this fun event!

Here they come! Baby Sea Turtles in Ft. Morgan

It is that time of year, and we are so excited!!!  It is baby Sea Turtle time.  We have 33 nests so far and they have been laid throughout the summer.  They are just beginning to hatch and it is an amazing sight to see.  100 baby turtles the size of your palm, fighting their way out of their nest under the sand. Then they rest for just a bit while sniffing the air.  Soon they are ready to begin scurrying to the water in unison.  They traveling down a tarped pathway put up by The Share the Beach volunteers.  Once the get to the end of the tarped pathway they stop and sniff the air again.  Their instinct kicks in a and they move straight toward to the water.  Visitors and volunteers alike work together to make sure these babies avoid crabs and sea birds. 

If you have a chance come down and try to see this unique event.  Give us a call to book today!     Special thanks to Chris Edlin for sharing his photo with us!

Body Surfing in Ft. Morgan

Have you ever been surfing?  What about Body surfing?  There is a big difference between the two but both are worth trying. If you want to start out on easy waves Ft. Morgan is the place to try.  Of course, surfing is standing on a surf board riding a wave.  Body surfing is using your body like a surf board and riding a wave in.  My boss took a great video body surfing in Ft. Morgan.  Give us a call to book a trip and try out your surfing skills.

Ft. Morgan Beach Update July 21st

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day on the beach.  Today the water is the clearest I’ve seen it in years.  You can see everything on the bottom from seashells to fish swimming by.  It is so great to see families enjoying the beach and water this summer.  Today the water is great!  The temperature is great!  Everyone is having fun!  Where are you????  Give us a call to book today?  Check out our Beach update 7/21/11  See you soon!

Tiki Beach, Luxary Gulf Front home Beautiful view

We have a gorgeous new home called Tiki Beach.  It is located just to the east of The Dunes community and it is a walk out the back door on to the beach home.  Luxury at every turn, this home is a joy to be in because comfort was key in every purchase.  With 6 bedrooms and 5 baths you have enough room for your entire party.  You have 3 master bedrooms with views of the gulf.  The other 3 rooms you have a queen bed and then two rooms with bunk beds.  One has two sets of bunks and the other a single set of bunks.  This home sleeps 16 people total.  With sweeping views and limited visitors to that area, this is the perfect house for your getaway.  Take a look at the sneek preview!  Sneak Peek of Tiki Beach

Ft. Morgan Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles are our favorite local wildlife.  This time of year the Loggerhead Sea Turtles are in nesting mode.  Currently we have 27 nests in Ft. Morgan alone.  different government organizations have been stopping mother sea turtles this year and affixing tracking devices to their backs.  You can see the Sea Turtle Tracking on line.  Unfortunately it is not real time there is a 10 day lag time to when it is posted online.  That is not the only exciting news with Sea Turtles this year we have had several live releases of injured turtles this year as well.

In 55 Days after the nest is laid  in the sand the babies start to emerge.  Baby Turtles making their way to the water is a site not to be missed!  Our first nest in Ft. Morgan will be hatching out in the next week and then we should have at least one a week until October.  Check with us at the office and we can let you know where the next nest open to the public will be!  See you soon!