Creativity Reigns on Rainy Days at the Beach with Life’s A Canvas

We have had LOTS of rain this year.  We have also had lots of requests for things to do at the beach when it rains.  Alex and I found a fantastic way to be creative, and spend an afternoon or evening making a one of a kind souvenir with your family! 

Some of the many painting options
Some of the many painting options

Recently, several members of the Sunset Properties staff took a group painting class.  You have probably heard of these classes.  You go as a group and everyone paints the same picture with direction from the staff and typically you have a glass of wine or something. 

There is a fantastic place in Orange Beach with a family friendly painting that is perfect for kiddos and couples alike.  If you and the children need something to do on a rainy day why not paint a great beach painting or a tropical fish painting, or maybe even a favorite part of the beach.  The fantastic staff at Life’s A Canvas, will help you and your children create a beautiful picture that you couldn’t find at a souvenir shop.  The best part of this experience is you get family time and you make something memorable from your vacation. 

Our next painting!
Our next painting!

This all may sound very intimidating, but it is not!  You are painting a picture with direction from helpful teachers.  They tell you what colors to use, where to start and take you step by step through the picture.  They even tell you how to mix colors and what paint brushes to use when.  It is an amazing feeling to walk in and have a blank canvas and walk out with a beautiful picture that you painted.

lac painting start
step 1 Anchor’s Away
lac panoramic
Anchor’s Away class at Life’s a Canvas finishing up!

Alex and I tried our hand at painting recently and had a great time, and came home with a masterpiece, at least to us!  The class was on Wednesday evening.  Wednesday’s are their “Unwind Wednesday’s”!  During these classes the Tiki Bar is open if you are interested in purchasing an adult beverage.  I had a Black Cherry soda, so drinking is certainly not required!  This class is full of local regulars and they played the newest radio hits while you paint.  This night was a mix of kind of club music and popular pop songs.  Other nights they play a more laid back selection. While children are always welcome the staff does recommend maybe choosing another night for a more kid friendly experience.  The artists who come to paint Wednesday, come to unwind from their week. 

lac step 2
Step 2 Anchor’s Away

We both chose a beverage and the class started shortly after that.  The artist began giving directions on how to mix colors and exactly where to start on the canvas.  As we walked through the steps of the painting it began to appear.  We were in a room of about 20 women and everyone was having a great time.  Between steps we took a little break to allow for dry time.  During this dry time we had a chance to look at all of the beautiful art for sale and jewelry that they had throughout the shop.  If you are looking for some great unique jewelry this is the place to shop.  We shortly jumped back into the painting.  The entire night everyone in walked around and encouraged everyone else about their painting.  It was a wonderfully encouraging experience with great music and lots of laughter and fun. 

LAC step 3
Anchor’s Away step 3
lac showing off our final product
Anchor’s Away Finished Product

If it is rainy while you are here do not miss this opportunity to paint with your family or friends!  I think you should work it in to your schedule rain or shine because it is such a unique experience!  What a perfect way to capture your memories at the beach.  Take a few hours and paint them yourself.  Classes start at $35 a person and this includes all of your supplies and a canvas.  Life’s a Canvas is open daily at 10 am until 9 pm.  You are welcome to bring whatever food and nonalcoholic beverage you would like.  Or if you need catering suggestions give them a call.  They do book classes and special parties and if you book a party they will give you a little bit of a price break.  The best part to me is you can bring the kiddos and they can paint too.  If kids are under 12 it is only $30 and again this includes all of your paint and supplies.  There are special days set aside as family days for painting, typically Sunday starting at 2. 

Life’s A Canvas is a don’t miss while you are here!  Be sure to leave a couple of hours open to create!

Tacky Jack’s 2 Fun and Food Where They Treat You Like A Local

I have to say I went in to this blog with hesitation.  We are beginning to visit our local restaurants and give you a review of the local fare.  My past experience with our closest local restaurant had been far from stellar.  So, I simply stopped going.  It had been almost 3 year since I had stepped through the doors of Tacky Jack’s 2 and I thought it was time to give it another try. Tacky Jack's Kiss the Fish

Alex and I gave them a call and set up lunch with Richard and the staff.  As we walked up the colorful stairs and heading to the little indoor dining room, I had fond memories flash in my head of a Sunset on the outdoor deck when it was brand new.  Alex and were greeted at the door by Christie and Mel with smiling faces letting us know we could sit any where we wanted.

We grabbed a seat near the bar and were joined by Richard the manager and took a look at the menu.  Not too much had changed since I had been in last.  It is still a colorful place with friendly staff and very casual dining.  The menu is simple burger and seafood.  Some of the favorites on the menu are Crab Claws or Mexican Garbage for an appetizer.  You can get those crab claws steamed or fried, both are wonderful!  Beware the Mexican Garbage is big enough for a crowd.  If it’s just two of you this could be your entire meal.  We chose to have some gumbo as it is also a favorite on the menu and a side salad.  The gumbo is tomato based and has a great flavor with plenty of little shrimp for the seafood lover.  The salad was simply a little garden salad with tomatoes and croutons; you get your choice of dressings.  Either is a great addition to your meal especially if you are extra hungry. Tacky Jack's Inside

For our lunch we tried to cover the spectrum, Alex is not a seafood eater and I am so I had fish tacos with Chips and salsa, and Alex had a Bacon Cheese Burger with fries.  The food was out very quickly but while we waited we chatted with Richard, and we talked about this past summer.  He said they had record crowds and a great summer over all.  Their goal is to make each hungry person happy and full before they leave.  He said with the small indoor space this can be a little tricky because they simply cannot seat everyone in the cool Air conditioned comfort of the restaurant.  He was so glad they added the outdoor dining area, which is nice to sit out and enjoy the sunset.  But in the heat of the summer it is just hot sometimes.  After being on the beach all day people are not always super excited about eating in the heat.  Once they get their yummy food everyone seems to settle in to the cool breeze on the deck and enjoy the view. Tacky Jack's Salad and Gumbo

Our food arrived about that time and everything looked great and smelled wonderful.  Alex’s bacon cheese burger was beautiful and I was a bit jealous.  But them my tacos showed up.  The tacos and chips and salsa were a fantastic portion and were cooked perfect.  I chose to have the fish blackened, but you can have it grilled or fired.  My only complaint was the salsa wasn’t spicy enough for me, but I LOVE SPICY!  Alex’s burger was huge; we could have split it and had plenty of food.  Truthfully, we could have split my tacos as well and I did share taco’s, gumbo and dessert with my husband!!! Tacky Jacks Bacon Cheese burger

While we ate we talked about Tacky Jacks down below.  There is a fantastic little beach bar that opens at 3 each day.  They’ll make any drink you request but we highly recommend you try the Bushwacker.  It is a local favorite and we think you’ll love it especially on those hot summer afternoons.  Year around there is the funniest Karaoke you will find anywhere.  The locals will entertain you and the vacationers will amaze you with their singing abilities.   Be sure to take an evening and join the fun.

Tacky Jack's Fish Taco'sWe finished off our meal with yummy desserts, Alex had Peanut Butter Pie, and I enjoyed Key Lime Pie.  Both are wonderful and certainly meet that sweet craving if you have room for dessert.  There is also the choice of a brownie pie is chocolate is more your thing.

Don’t miss out on breakfast at Tacky Jacks 2.  The Farmers Omelet is big enough to feed two at least and maybe three.  The waffles are my favorite!  This is the perfect place to stop and get a last beautiful view before you go.  They open at 8 AM and breakfast is until 10:30.  Tacky Jacks Key Lime Pie

I am happy to send vacationers over to Tacky Jacks 2 for a meal and to enjoy a fun time at the bar.  I have no doubt they will be treated like the local family and have some great food and have a fun time!  Be sure to stop by when if you get a chance and don’t for get to enjoy the UNBEATABLE sunset view from the patio dining area.






42nd Annual National Shrimp Festival

Dates & Timesshrimp

Oct 10, 2013 – Oct 13, 2013


Main Public Beach, Gulf Shores
AL Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce, 3150 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores, AL 36542


Savor fresh from the gulf seafood at the 42nd Annual National Shrimp Festival during this four-day event that attracts over 300,000 people. This year the festival will play host to more than 80 hours of musical entertainment featuring a lineup of national, regional and local acts. There will be musical acts to please all palates, including Blues, Motown, Southern Rock, Jazz, Zydeco and Country. The music begins at 10 a.m. each day and runs through 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Food is another highlight of the festival with 50 local and regional vendors lining the boardwalk at the public beach with mouth watering delights. Due to the generous sponsors, Zatarains’s, Organized Seafood Association of Alabama, Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission and Wind Creek Casino, 200 pounds of shrimp per day will be prepared by some of the area’s best chefs of their award-winning recipes and given away for people to sample at different tasting times that will be posted on the outside of the sponsor tent.

New activities this year include: “Outdoor World” and “Shrimp Festival Idol”. Outdoor World will feature fishing, boating, hunting and other outdoor vendors and activities. Shrimp Festival Idol will be an “American Idol” type competition where high school singers from seven local schools will compete in elimination rounds to find out who will become Shrimp Festival Idol. Scholarships will be awarded to the top three contestants.

Families can enter the annual sand sculpture contest on Saturday, Oct. 12th. Kids can take part in a myriad of activities in the newly relocated Children’s Activity Village, including face-painting, karaoke and much more.kid shrimp

Runner and walkers can enter the 10K and 5K races to help work off some of the great food at the festival. All net proceeds of the Run will be donated to Coastal Baldwin Education Enrichment, benefiting the local Gulf Shores & Orange Beach public schools. Entry Fees are $20 by Sept 30: $25 by Oct 12.

Art lovers will have almost 200 booths of fine art and arts and crafts vendors from which to choose. Car lovers will have a chance to preview many of the new 2014 Chevrolet models that will be on display.
Admission: Free to public.


42nd Annual National Shrimp Festival – Entertainment Line-Up


*Times and stage location TBA* Line-up is subject to change

East Stage Sponsor Wind Creek Casino
West Stage Sponsor Organized Seafood Association

Thursday, October 10th
10:00-11:30am Lisa Christian
11:45-1:15pm Jim St. James
1:30-3:00pm Midnight Confessions
3:30-5:30pm Stephen & Les
6:00-7:30pm Sand Band
8:00-10:00pm The Tip Tops

10:00-12:00pm Elaine Petty–Smokin’ Elvis’
12:30-2:30pm Top Hat & Jackie
3:00-5:00pm Willie Sugarcapps
5:30-7:30pm Tony Goulas
8:00-10:00pm Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster

Friday, October 11th
10:00-11:30am Ryan Conner
11:45-1:00pm Vic Saul
1:30-3:30pm Lee Yankie & the Hellz Yeah
4:00-6:00pm Maggie Koerner
6:30-8:00pm Voodoo Bayou
8:30-10:00pm Blackjack Billy

10:00-11:30am Will Kimbrough
11:45-1:30pm Long Lost Friend
2:00-3:30pm Laura Lynn Danley & Justin Patterson
4:00-6:00pm Sugarcane Jane
6:30-8:00pm Ryan Balthrop & Friends
8:30-10:00pm Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster

Saturday, October 12th
10:00-11:30am John Cook/ Cowboy Johnson
11:45-1:30pm Brent Burns
2:00-3:30pm Jason Abel Project
4:00-5:30pm Varlet
6:00-7:30pm Jason Justice & Hung Jury
8:00-10:00pm Voodoo Bayou

10:00-12:00pm Shrimp Fest Idol Contest
12:15-1:30pm The Beach Billy’s
1:45-3:15pm Betsy Badwater
3:45-5:30pm Jim “Dawg” Parks Band
6:00-8:00pm Spyn Reset
8:30-10:00pm Everclear

Sunday, October 13th
10:00-11:30am Karen Reynolds
11:45-1:00pm Greg Fells
1:15-3:00pm Lea Anne Creswell
3:30-5:00pm Adam Holt Band

9:00-10:00am Liberty Church Worship Service
10:00-11:30am Burning Cypress
11:45-1:00pm Kyle and Karl
1:15-3:00pm Shiny Objects
3:30-5:00pm Andy Smith Band


Blue Angels Fan Experience


Blue Angels Fan Experience

Every Wednesday

Don’t miss the Blue Angels Fan Experience at the National Naval Aviation Museum. Meet the Blue Angels and get autographs each Wed. at 11:30 a.m. Continue your experience with “The Magic of Flight” on the IMAX® giant screen, “Ride with the Blues” in a HD motion-based simulator, and receive your own commemorative Blue Angels dog tag for a discounted price of only $12 (Wednesday only).

Other Wed. specials include buy one dessert, get one dessert free at the Cubi Bar Cafe and 10% off all clothing (excluding clearance items) at the Flight Deck Museum Store. Blue Angels autograph sessions are always FREE.

Click here for more info on the Blue Angels Fan Experience.

FREE Autograph Sessions Every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

Blue Angels Fan Experience
Every Wednesday – Just $12

IMAX® + Simulator + Blue Angels Dog Tag and Chain

• Enjoy the IMAX® Experience of “The Magic of Flight”
• Take a Motion-Based Simulator “Ride with the Blues”
• Get your own commemorative Blue Angels Dog Tag and Chain

Plus at the Cubi Bar Cafe buy one dessert, get one dessert free and the Flight Deck Store is offering 10% off clothing (excluding clearance).


Harbor House, The Perfect Bay Getaway!

Harbor House is absolutely the best place to go if you want a private little getaway to fish and enjoy sunsets.  This little two bedroom two bath, house sits right on the water and was just completely redecorated and new flooring was installed!

you can see the most beautiful sunsets from this hom eand it's docks!
you can see the most beautiful sunsets from this home and it’s docks!

Harbor House is a warm and welcoming two bedroom,  home that sleeps nine people comfortably.  Located on the Ft. Morgan peninsula, directly on Mobile Bay, this beautiful home is also only 300 yards away from the Gulf of Mexico with its warm and breezy sugar white sandy beaches.  With its great location and private pier with lights and a fish cleaning station, this quaint house is perfect for the whole family, including the avid fisherman of the bunch.

Harbor House Big Catch!
Harbor House Big Catch!

This home has a wrap around covered deck that overlooks Mobile Bay and allows for awesome sunrise and sunset views.  Be sure to enjoy an evening on the deck watching the dolphins swim into the sunset. The large well stocked kitchen is perfect for the family that loves to cook.  This kitchen will come with everything you need and then some to prepare amazing meals with you family.
The master bedroom has a wonderful King size bed to add to your comfort.  The second bedroom has a queen bed.  If you have a few extra people there are two sleeper sofas and a roll away bed.  For your convenience, this house also has two full size bathrooms, a washer and dryer, and dishwasher. Bring your boat or your jet ski…there is plenty of room for both!
Don’t miss out on this piece of paradise!!!!  Give us a call to book today!

Sunset Properties, The App!!!!

We have noticed over the years that visitors just about can’t function without their cell phone lap top or tablet. The time of coming to the beach and being disconnected is coming to the end rapidly. As a company we are trying to meet the needs of visitors to this area by creating an app. It is simply called Sunset Properties you can find it in your app store on any device. Look for our logo!

ssp_logo - camera ready

Ok you may be thinking why a beach vacation rental company would need an App. We let me explain!!! Fort Morgan is a beautifully unique and well amazing destination. There is amountain of information that we give guests just to make a reservation as many of your know!!!

We wanted to give you access to all of the information about fun things to do, places not to miss, upcoming activities, specials, what to bring and what to do before you go, along with access to photos to all of our properties. This one little app can answer almost every question a guest may have 24 hours a day. You need your Wi Fi password? It is on the app. You need to get to urgent care? You can find directions and phone number on the app. Do you want to know the best place to see the sunset? The coordinates are on the app. Need to let us know about a problem? You can send us a message through the app. You can find the surf conditions and weather updates. It does all of these things and SOOO much more.

It is our hope that this app will make your life easier and put access to our area at your finger tips. Oh, and there is another benefit to having this app. We post fantastic specials for just our App users. Take a minute and download this App you won’t regret it!!! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Fall into A Fantastic Beach Vacation!!!!

baby sea turtleI have said it before and will say it again Fall is my favorite time at the beach.  The weather is perfect.  The crowds are small unless you are coming to Shrimp Festival!  There are amazing things to see and do constantly between the festivles and all the comings and goings in nature. I wanted to take some time and share some of my favorite fall memories with you.

I have fantastic memories of spending entire weekends in crystal clear water diving for whole seashells just off shore with some of my best friends.  I think back about chasing piles of blue crabs through water with nets and filling up buckets with them for dinner.  We laughed and squeeled like little kids it was so much fun.  Watching the first little baby sea turtle poke his nose through the sand on a moonlit night.  Then suddenly that one special spot on the beach was boiling with a hundred baby sea turtles who immediately began marching to the safety of the water.  Humming birds sneaking in through an open door in the office because the weather was so nice we wanted to leave the doors open.  Watching the tireless team of Bird Banders weigh and measure someof the most beautiful creatures that visit or little piece of the island.  Then getting to let the bird go from my hand for it to continue on its southern migration.  At night watching metor showers from the quiet darkness of the beach.

My new favorite is Fall memory is enjoying the cooler weather with my husband.  Walking hand and hand down the shore exploring all the way down to Fort Morgan and back.  I get a chance to show him my favorite things and share childhood memories.  It is always such a special time for us.

Please join us this fall at the beach with your girlfriends, on a fishing trip, or just you and someone special!   You will make wonderful memories for a lifetime.  We hope to see you very soon!!!



SEC FEST!! Are you ready for Football!!!!!!

It is that time again!!! FOOTBALL!  I can hear the fans yelling already.  This year our Alex the newest member of the Sunset Properties Staff is joining all of you to cheer on her favorite team at SEC FEST!!! Be sure to look for her she will be handing out SPECIALS GIFTS in the costume you choose.  Be sure to find us on facebook and pick her costume.  Give us a call for specials to go along with this event.Sunset
Aug 15, 2013 – Aug 18, 2013


Gulf Shores Public Beach
Gulf Shores Main Public Beach (Gulf Place), 101 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores, AL 36542


Before your favorite team takes the field in the Fall of 2013, bring the entire family to the white, sandy beaches of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL for the 2nd SEC BeachFest, a championship celebration that will kick-off the 2013 college football season. Join us August 15 – 18 as we kick off the SEC fall football season with legendary coaches and players, football clinics, a fishing tournament, a golf scramble, a 5k run, concerts and alumni happy hours.
The SEC BeachFest Friday night concert will feature “Bayou Soul” style of Louisiana native, Marc Broussard (below left). The singer-songwriter is known for blending rock, R&B and blues and wrapping it all up with a Southern twist. His song “Home” was a hit on the radio and has been performed by the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton. Broussard has performed on several late-night talk shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

On Saturday night, “Take a Back Road” down to the beach and catch Rodney Atkins (above left).. The hard-working country star has been nominated for several Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards and was named ACM’s Top New Male Vocalist in 2006. The Knoxville native’s no. 1 singles include “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows),” “These Are My People,” and Platinum hits like “Take a Back Road” and “Farmer’s Daughter.” Both concerts are scheduled to start at 8 p.m. and are free with your SEC BeachFest ticket.

The 2013 SEC BeachFest will bring some of your favorite legendary….and boy, do mean LEGENDARY, coaches and players from around the SEC. As if the fishing, golf, food, music, beach and FanZone fueled by BP aren’t enough, the event gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with these sports greats and listen to their stories. We’ve already started lining up these renowned coaches that include College Football Hall of Fame Inductees such as Billy Brewer (Ole Miss), Frank Broyles (Arkansas), Vince Dooley (Georgia), Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee), Pat Dye (Auburn) Gene Stallings (Alabama) and RC Slocum (Texas A&M). Former players include Chris Doering (Florida), Ben Leard (Auburn) and Howard Schnellenberger who played and coached at Kentucky, in the NFL, and then started a successful football program at Florida Atlantic University. These are just a few of the legends that will be on hand to entertain and inspire you.

Lace up your running shoes and put on your team colors! You can show your school pride in the SEC BeachFest 5K and 1-mile fun run. Your registration fee includes a ticket to the SEC BeachFest FanZone and the end-of-race breakfast.
New for 2013! Have the chance to catch the fish of a lifetime and meet legendary SEC coaches and players in the 1st Annual SEC BeachFest Fishing Challenge on Saturday, August 17th at Zeke’s Landing.

Enjoy a half day charter trip with your friends, family, or co-workers, followed by free food, drinks, and prizes as you see how your catch stacks up against legendary SEC coaches and players at the Weigh-In Party presented by Wolf Bay Lodge. Bring your kids to the pier in Gulf Shores State Park on Sunday, August 18 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. for a chance to meet former Heisman Trophy winners and win one of many prizes! Children 15 years and under. Free Admission!

Want to hang out with your fellow fans and raise a few cheers during SEC BeachFest? We’ve got the spots for you! Happy hours are from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Auburn Fans – Compleat Angler Seafood Grille & Bar, SEC East Fans – Baumhower’s Restaurant, Alabama Fans – LuLu’s at Homeport Marina, SEC West Fans – Cobalt the Restaurant

The FanZone fueled by BP is the place to be during SEC BeachFest. Here you can take a picture with the Dr. Pepper National Championship Coaches Trophy, visit the Plan Your Next Vacation Station tent and learn more about Gulf Shores & Orange Beach and even attend the Impulse Clinics and town hall chalk talks with the coaches. Plus you can enjoy beach football, beach volleyball, corn hole competitions, inflatables and more.

Talk about bragging rights! You could swing your way to a serious claim to fame by winning the SEC BeachFest Golf Scramble. And even if your foursome doesn’t win, you’ll still get to enjoy two rounds of amazing golf, four free tickets to the SEC BeachFest FanZone, two days of complimentary buffet breakfast and lunch, a gift bag and chance to meet SEC coaching legends. The fee to participate in the golf scramble is $1,200 per four-person team. Craft Farms, Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club and Gulf Shores Golf Club will host the scramble. Kiva Dunes will host the top qualifying teams for the finals.

Warning Flags For The Beach!!!

Play it Safe

The beaches within Orange Beach, Gulf Shores andGulf State Park have adopted the following flag system
to alert beach goers of surf conditions. Flags are posted at all public beach areas and conditions are monitored
throughout each day. Please remember that the absence of red flags does not assure safe conditions. On Gulf Shores city beaches, it is illegal to enter the water when the double red flag is being flown.

The Dunes Beach has recently adopted this flag system as well.  Our flag system is a little difference, If all is safe to go in the water there will be an American Flag flying.

As always if you have questions ask someone.  We are happy to help.  Just keep in mind American Flag safe to play Red Flag stay away.

149th Anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay

Cannons are booming and the ground shakes you can see the smoke rising from gun fire in the distance and smell the black powder.  Suddenly a regement of men in full civil war era dress run past you and take cover for incoming cannon fodder and enemy fire.  You are not watching a historic film or documentary on the big screen this is live action hitory!!!

All you have to do is show up in Fort Morgan on August 3rd.  You can witness history in action.  Live battles and demonstrations on daily living at the fort.  You can enjoy demonstrations on cooking, the life of women at the fort, candle making, stable work, and a doctor’s visit.  These demonstrations are eye opening on thier own and when combined with the anniversary reinactment you will feel as though you stepped back in time at Fort Morgan.

This is an all day event so be sure to pack your tennis shoes and comfy clothes becaues it will be warm.  You can enjoy the festivities from 9 am until 4 that afternoon.  This is a don’t miss event.  So be sure to make plans to take the short trip to Fort Morgan on August 3rd!