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

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

5 Fun Family Things to do in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

5 Fun Family Things to do in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

So you’re headed to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan for a week in June and you want to do some outside stuff with your honey and the kiddos.  You’ve already been to The Track and, even though you love Waterville USA, you want to do something just a little different.  Remember the old days when you went biking around the island with your parents?  Looking for some ideas similar to that?  Well, you’re in luck!  We, at Sunset Properties know and appreciate the importance of spending quality time with those you love because we are a family-owned, family oriented company.   Here are our suggestions for 5 Fun Family Things to do Together in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan while you’re vacationing in June.

  1.  Beach Volleyball

Ok, so you’re at the beach and the first thing you want to do is feel the sun on your shoulders and the sand between your toes, right?  Well, why not turn those wonderful feelings into a fun family game of beach volleyball?  There are a couple of nets around our island already set up and waiting for you to arrive.  Bring your own ball, plenty of sunscreen and some cool water and you’re all set.  For a list of suggested items to bring to the beach every day, check out blog about things to put in your beach bag.  Volleyball nets are located at The Public Beach in Gulf Shores and at Cotton Bayou, a part of Gulf State Park, in Orange Beach.  Gulf Shores is a great place to go watch the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship games held in May and it is a great place for us to all be beach volleyball champions all summer long!

  •  Geocaching

Since 2000, the global hide-and-seek treasure hunt game of Geocaching has taken off.  More and more places to hunt for treasures are being added all the time.  Did you know you can search for treasures right here in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan?  The Coastal Alabama Cashers have hidden lots of treasure boxes or “caches” around our island and they are just waiting to be discovered.  Learn about our island and its ecosystem.  Discover lesser traveled places and find treasures!  What a great way to spend a summer day!  To join the Geocaching craze, visit www.geocaching.com and sign up.  It’s an easy-to-use fun free app.  Kids and adults alike enjoy this interactive game.  Your fist find is right off Fort Morgan Road!  Make memories unlike any others.  So set aside some time, open your app, load up the kiddos and head out for adventure.   Explore our area in this unique way…and to quote Dr. Seuss:  oh the places you’ll go!

  •  Escape Room

One of the newest attractions on our island are the Escape Rooms.  If working as a team to solve clues sounds like fun, you and your family will love the challenge of an Escape Room.  This activity is one that will take the whole family working together to complete.  There are several scenarios from which to choose. Some Escape Rooms allow younger children and some have age restrictions, so its best to use our links provided here to determine which family outing will work for yours.  You’ll need to make reservations and choose your game scenario, so start by checking out Gulf Coast Escape Room for all the details of their Escape Room experiences.  Another option is XIT Escape Room located at Pelican Place at Craft Farms. A third option is the Escape House located at Waterville USA.  Located on the site of the world famous waterpark in Gulf Shores, the Escape House is sure to thrill your whole family.  Make sure you add this fun family outing to your “to do” list this Summer 2019 while you’re vacationing along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Your whole family will enjoy this unique experience and you’re sure to take home some memories like no others.

  •  Mini Golf

What is a trip to the beach without a game of mini-golf?  It is one of the most economical and entertaining ways to spend some time playing with your family.  There are several places to play mini-golf around our island.  Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf is a fun course that is built with a pirate ship theme.  Tiki’s Mini Golf and Bike Shack, located right next to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is also a favorite.   Once known as Zooland Mini Golf, this course is a timeless classic for any tourist or local alike.  A third option for mini golf is Adventure Island Mini Golf. Adventure Island is so easy to find.  Just drive East on Beach Boulevard, toward Florida, and look for the big bright volcano across the street from the Gulf in Orange Beach.  The kids will love the volcano and you will love the quality family time you all spend together.  Another option for mini golf is The Wharf Mini Golf.  Visiting The Wharf in Orange Beach is on most folk’s minds while at the beach, but did you know they have a mini-golf course?  That’s right!  So while you guys are shopping for the whole family, don’t forget to get in a round of family mini-golf!

  •  Biking

Bike riding is always a great way to get the whole family outside and doing something together. Remember how much fun you had as a kid exploring our island with your parents?  In the old days, we had to strap our bikes to the back of the station wagon and bring them down.  Traveling with our bikes has become a bit easier now, but if you don’t want to haul your bikes to the Alabama Gulf Coast, we know where you can rent some for your outing.  Visit Tiki’s Mini Golf and Bike Shack.  This fun little Gulf Shores business has plenty of bikes to choose from.  Another option for bike rentals is Beach Bike Rentals in Orange Beach.  Along with all the entertainment and safety equipment you’ll need, like helmets, bells and baskets, Beach Bike Rentals has a wide variety of bike options.  Look for choices like cruiser bikes, tandems, adult trikes, children’s bikes, pull behinds and other child carriers as listed on their website.  Their website also shows in detail several suggestions for outings.  Check out Beach Bike Rentals for help with planning your whole day touring our island with your family.

With so many things to do as a family along the Alabama Gulf Coast, you’re sure to find the perfect way to hang out with your peeps! And with so many great beach home rentals available from Sunset Properties, we know we can get you all set with your accommodations, as well.  If you have a small family, check out Dunes 705.  This adorable condo located near Fort Morgan sleeps up to six comfortably.  If your family is a little larger, give 4 Shore a look!  Located just off West Beach, this amazing home sleeps up to eleven folks!  Sunset Properties is happy you’re coming to visit us and we cannot wait to meet your whole family!

www.susnetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Father’s Day 2019 – Gulf Shores – Great Places to Dine and Bushwacker Crawl

Father’s Day 2019 – Gulf Shores – Great Places to Dine and Bushwacker Crawl

Father’s Day 2019 is coming up and you’re planning a weekend getaway to the beach in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan to celebrate Dad.  What an awesome idea! Weekends seem to fly by down here, and we tend to spend so much trying to decide where to eat and what to drink that time can just get away.  Sometimes in haste, we can make bad decisions and end up regretting our choices.  To help you make your food and beverage choices easy, I decided to put together this blog highlighting some of my local faves.

Here are some great places to dine during Father’s Day Weekend 2019 and then go on a Father’s Day Bushwacker Crawl.

  •  Breakfast

To begin with, let’s begin at the beginning of the day with breakfast.  And no breakfast blog is complete without mentioning Hazel’s Nook.  Hazel’s Nook, located at the intersection of Fort Morgan Road and Gulf Shores Parkway, has been nestled right there under those ancient oaks serving breakfast since we actually can’t remember when.  They have been there, no joke, somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 years.  And you don’t make it in a small beach town that long unless you’re doing something right.  Hazel’s Nook does breakfast right!  If a hot, home cooked breakfast buffet featuring fresh eggs served with a side of grits and home fries, great coffee, a fun staff, and a local place that has stood the test of time appeals to you, then you need to take Dad to Hazel’s Nook while you’re here.  And by the way…yes, the eggs really are that fresh and yes, there really was a Ms. Hazel!  Hazel’s Nook is located, like I said, in a great place.  It’s not too far from West Beach near 4 Shore, a fabulous beach home that’ll sleep up to eleven people! This West Beach home is located in Gulf Shores not far from another can’t-miss breakfast spot:  The Ruby Slipper Café.  And since you’ll be here for two mornings, I can’t leave them out of this blog, either.  Unlike Hazel’s, The Ruby Slipper Café, located on Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach, is not a buffet style restaurant.  Instead, it’s a go-inside, sit-down and relax-and-chat kind of place.  When you first arrive, you’ll find the staff is so accommodating while you wait.  And you’re probably going to have to wait for a few minutes for a table.  But do it!  It’s worth it!  So, once you get your table, what do you order?  Choosing what to have at The Ruby Slipper is challenging for all of us.  That’s why I always seem to settle on thePeaceMaker.  This appropriately named breakfast entrée allows you to “make peace” with your tummy and mind and just have two entrees in one!  I like the Eggs Cochon paired with the Shrimp Boogaloo Benedict.  These are two totally different breakfast entrees and they go great together.  And don’t forget to have a couple of cups of their coffee.  I prefer at least one of those to be an Irish Coffee, but that’s just me.  Their coffee tastes like NOLA in a cup.  It’s some of the best I’ve ever had, and I drink a lot of coffee!  If you’d like something sweet for breakfast, try the Bananas Foster Pain Perdu.  This is an island favorite and it’s hard to make a trip down here and not have Bananas Foster at least once.  If Dorothy, herself, found her way to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan, she’d definitely find herself dining at The Ruby Slipper.  Don’t miss an opportunity to treat Dad to The Ruby Slipper while you’re in town!  There may be no place like home, but Dad will certainly thank you for taking him out for breakfast at two or our beach home faves:  Hazel’s Nook and The Ruby Slipper Cafe.

  •  Lunch

Located on Fort Morgan Road about five minutes from Navy Cove 2113, Dunes 705 and Dream, Sassy Bass Amazin’ Grill is a great place to go for lunch.  The service is outstanding, the drinks are refreshingly chilled, and the food is amazing.  While Sassy Bass is a great place to take the whole family for dinner, I strongly suggest trying them for lunch, as well.  The atmosphere is great for families or a couple of friends just hanging out.  Dine inside or on their screened porch.  The super friendly staff will be happy to seat you where you’re comfortable.  And their menu item choices are sure to please anyone.  With food for both land and sea lovers, there is something for everyone at Sassy Bass.  Their burgers are piled high with perfectly cooked beef and smothered with the freshest of toppings.  Their seafood po-boys are literally overflowing with seafood and toppings, and their hand cut fries are a comfort food like none other.  If you choose to have a salad, try the vinaigrette dressing.  It is zippy sweet summery taste of yum and it seems to make the taste of the veggies sort of pop.  I can’t let their slaw go without mentioning either.  If you like the old timey Pool Room Slaw, you are going to love Sassy Bass’s slaw.  It is served in a quarter cup size side cup, but you’re gonna want a whole-big-ole-bowl of it. And, if an adult beverage appeals to you, try one of their signature fishbowl drinks.  I’d love to make a recommendation on which one, after all, there are quite a few. But I just can’t choose one fave.  They are all great!  If non-alcoholic drinks are your choice, they have plenty of those to choose from, too.

  •  Dinner

We covered breakfast and lunch.  So, what about dinner?  Or as we affectionately call it in South Alabama:  supper.  Where are you going to take Dad for supper?  Suppertime down here at the beach is one of our favorite times of the day.  It’s a time when we all sit down together and talk about our day.   Dinner is usually around 7PM or so, but supper can happen most any time after lunch.  If you choose to stop mid-to-late afternoon and eat, then it’s Lupper!  But, no matter what you choose to call it, just make sure you call Fin & Fork in Orange Beach and make a reservation for it.  While reservations are not required, I do suggest making one.  This place is so good and so conveniently located on Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach not too far from Grand Caribbean 215, they are packed most all the time.  You can choose to eat outside at a picnic area, on their screened-in porch or inside the restaurant.  Regardless of which area you choose, try the grouper.  It’s not called “Local’s Favorite Grouper” for nothing.  You’ll get a huge helping of fresh panko (that yummy bready stuff they put on fish) covered grouper topped with a mushroom and crab sauce that’s been placed delicately and deliciously inside a cabbage leaf.  Oh-Em-Gee!  It’s one of the prettiest plates of food that’ll ever be laid in front of you and the taste is just as Oh-em-gee-able.  You’ll probably just sit there and admire it for a minute before you taste it.  If you’re like most, you’ll have the urge to snap a picture of it and Facebook post it.  But try to refrain.  Posting your food on Facebook, according to most millennials, is so last year.  But then…. there’s always SnapChat!  Picture this:  alongside your grouper, you’ll get these perfectly seasoned whole green beans and whipped Yukon gold mashed potatoes.  The sweetness of the potatoes and the zingy-ness of the green beans is a perfect pairing for the fish.  If your Dad is more of fried fish guy, try the Whole Fried Snapper.  Our Alabama Gulf Coast is famous for our great Snapper Seasons, and Fin & Fork is celebrated for their Whole Fried Snapper.   Also, while you’re there, order some Sushi.  You might not expect to get great Sushi in Orange Beach, but you will!  Fin & Fork has a great Sushi Chef preparing Sushi to order.   Take Dad to Fin & Fork for his Father’s Day Dinner, Supper, Lupper or all three.  He’ll thank you for it!

  •  Bushwacker Crawl

No trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast is complete with a Bushwacker.  So why not take Dad on a Father’s Day Bushwacker Crawl? (which, by the way, I just invented for this blog!)  Why do we affectionately call it a “crawl”?  Well, when you have your first Bushwacker, the answer is not so obvious.  But by the time Dad tries all three Bushwackers I suggest here, he might need some help walking.   Hence the name:  crawl.  Remember, someone sober must drive Dad so he can enjoy his outing.  If everyone in your group wants to try these, I strongly suggest you plan ahead and contact a taxi to drive you.  Uber and Lyft are not available in our area, but this link will give you lots of choices for local drivers.  While we love our Bushwackers down here, safety is always our first concern.  Drink responsibly and let someone else drive!  For your first stop, take Dad to Anchor Bar & Grill located off Canal Road on Wilson Boulevard in Orange Beach.  I say start your crawl here, because they make unique and specialty Bushwackers.  While most Bushwacker bartenders use rum, the good folks at the Anchor Bar & Grill use Vodka.  It’s a great twist on an old favorite and they are soooo good!   And, by the way, so is the view from Anchor Bar & Grill.  It overlooks beautiful Terry Cove in Orange Beach.  While you guys enjoy your first taste of frozen goodness on your Father’s Day Bushwacker Crawl, you’ll get to watch seagulls play and maybe even catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two.  You’re also almost guaranteed to see our local pirate ship that docks right outside the Anchor Bar & Grill at Hudson Marina.  Maybe you could even squeeze in a Pirate Cruise while you’re down.  Your second stop on your Father’s Day Bushwacker Crawl needs to be Flippers Seafood & Oysterbar located at Bear Point Marina, just a bit down Canal Road from The Keg (which is a great place to highlight in another blog!)  Bushwackers at Flippers are worth the drive.  While you’re there, go ahead and have some oysters on the half shell, too.  Oysters go so good with Bushwackers!  Flippers has a wonderful full menu.  If raw oysters aren’t your thing, I know there is something on their menu that will make your tummy smile!  The last place I’ll suggest for a great Bushwacker is Tacky Jacks in Gulf Shores.  Head back from Flippers toward Gulf Shores on Canal Road, and just keep going.  Right where the road makes a sharp (really sharp!) left, you’ll find Tacky Jacks.  Tacky Jacks overlooks the intracoastal waterway.  I’d like to suggest an appetizer to go with your Tacky Jacks Bushwacker, but everything on their menu is a winner.  So, I’ll leave this one to you.  By now, you should know why we call this little outing a crawl.  While I hope you guys are having a great time on your Father’s Day Bushwacker Crawl, I can’t stress enough the importance of a sober driver and the willingness of locals in the transportation industry to help you out.  Don’t drink and drive.  But if you’re having a good time on this little crawl, and want to keep it going, check out our blog on 5 Best Bushwackers to give you some suggestions on a couple more places to try!

I hope this blog helps make your decisions on where to take Dad for food and drink easier than you expect.  You know, at Sunset Properties, we celebrate families.  We are a family owned, family-oriented company.  We are flattered that you are planning to spend a weekend with us celebrating your Dad this Father’s Day 2019 with us and we hope you’ll plan a week later this summer to celebrate your whole family and stay with us again!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Have a safe and happy Father’s Day Weekend and Summer 2019!

Drinking and Driving – A Threat to Everyone. Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes. Driving drunk is never OK. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.” CDC

Four A-MAY-ZING reasons to visit Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan in May 2019

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Spring is folding into summer and down here along the Alabama Gulf Coast, May is a wonderful month to visit our Island Paradise.  The flowers are in full bloom, everything is new and fresh, and our sugar white sandy beaches and rolling tides of the Gulf of Mexico just seem to welcome summer in a way nowhere else can.  We have shaken off the cold of the winter, restocked our shelves, brightened up our beach homes and our staffs are ready to greet you.  Come on down to the Alabama Gulf Coast and stay with us at Sunset Properties.  We, like the warm early summer sun, are ready for your arrival!  There are four fabulous weeks in May and here are Four A-MAY-ZING reasons you need to be on the Alabama Gulf Coast in May:

1.      Annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival   May 2-4, 2019

For fifteen years, locals and guests alike have looked to the skies on the first weekend in May to see amazingly colorful hot air balloons drifting brilliantly in the sun.  A rainbow filled thrill for everyone,  the Annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival is an event you won’t want to miss.  Be at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Foley on the evening of Friday, May 2 and see the balloons glow from 6-8PM.  It’s an almost magical to see these towering balloons illuminate the horizon with their giant gas flames.  Meet the balloon crews and teams who make this all possible.  Bring the kids and watch their eyes light up with wonder!  Then be sure to visit the festival grounds on Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd and 4th,  for a full weekend of fun.  There will be a carnival, food vendors, tethered balloon rides, a the Disconnected K9 Dog Show, and the fabulous bands Dr Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster and Werewolf the legendary 80s cover band are scheduled to perform.  This 15-year old Alabama Gulf Coast even is one that continues to grow and thrill attendees.  Don’t forget to contact Sunset Properties to book you amazing accommodations and don’t miss your chance to come out and make some great memories that will last a lifetime!

2.      Mother’s Day    May 12, 2019

Can’t seem to swing a beach trip to see the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival?  What about Mother’s Day?  Most of us celebrate our Moms every day.  We know that she alone is the person who always has our back.  She’s always been our friend, our cheerleader, our taxi driver and the one who always has great advice.  When we were kids, she helped us balance on skates, kissed our knees when we fell and skinned them, and gave us ice cream to help the hurt go away.  As we became adults and our life challenges changed, so did Mom’s help.  But she’s the one who never lets us down.  For someone who has done so much for us, how do we ever even begin to show her how much we appreciate her?  What’s a great way to celebrate Mom on Mother’s Day 2019?  Why not bring Mom at the beach this year?   Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are three of her favorite places.  How about instead of the same-old, same-old easy-peasy card and chocolate, why not give Mom a Mother’s Day Memory she will always cherish?  Bring Mom to the Alabama Gulf Coast, stay in one of Sunset Properties’ fabulous beach homes, treat Mom to some delightfully mouth-watering Fresh Alabama Gulf Seafood and shop in some of the best retail venues in the whole state.  What are you waiting for?  You know this is a great idea!  Mother’s Day is special anywhere, but make your Mom’s weekend extra special by spending it with us, here at the beach.  Contact Sunset Properties and mention code MOTHER19 for a special discount offer on some beach homes.  Go ahead!  Be Mom’s hero, just like she’s always been yours!

3.      Hangout Music Festival   May 17-19

Maybe you can’t get down here for Mother’s Day and the Hot Air Balloon Festival is not the kind of festival you had in mind.  Well, in that case, you won’t want to miss the annual Hangout Music Festival which rocks the public beaches in Gulf Shores from May 17-19, 2019, with a kick-off party scheduled on Thursday, May 16.  With a band line-up like no other and music that lasts from 11-11 each day, you will have a blast with your besties as you celebrate mid-May on the beach while your favorite live music plays. Hangout Fest is a gated, ticketed event and the tickets usually sell out, so if you’re planning on coming, you probably need to act quickly to ensure your spot.  If you need some help planning your Hangout experience, check out our blog 5 Tips to Make Your Hangout Festival Experience Super Groovy for some great ideas.  And if you need a place to stay, we can help with that, too.  Sunset Properties has several beach homes near the Hangout venue.  Call or email us and we’ll help you find just the perfect place for you.

4.      Memorial Day    May 27

So you were saving the best for last?  The a-MAY-zing fun continues along the beaches here all month long.  Memorial Day Weekend is the last weekend in May, but it’s the first weekend of Summer at the Beach!  The kiddos are finally out of school and you’re planning to come to the beach for the unofficial summer kick-off week, Memorial Day 2019.  Awesome!  We are so glad you’re choosing to spend your first summer vacation week with us!  At Sunset Properties, we have several wonderful beach homes to choose from and here on the Alabama Gulf Coast, the summer fun ramps up on Memorial Day!  And here in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, we have great attractions for your whole family.  The kiddos will love Waterville USA , The Track and Adventure Island .  Your whole family will love The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.  With great places to dine like King Neptunes, Cobalt and Doc’s Seafood Shack, you won’t have to worry about cooking.  But if you choose to prepare your own meal, shop Rouses Market and then enjoy a fully stocked kitchen in any of our supremely decorated beach homes.  If you want to bring your fur baby, you’re in luck!  We have quite a few dog friendly homes to choose from and we even can recommend a wonderful locally owned doggie daycare Sea Paws Dog Resort so your fur baby gets to enjoy vacation, too.  

Vacation.  Ahhh….just saying that word makes us smile.  May, here in our Island Paradise is truly a month for a vacation.  Whether you choose a quick weekend getaway vacation, or a week long stay with us, we are truly excited to know you’re coming.  If you need any help making your reservations or have questions about any of our wonderful beach homes, please call or email us.  We are always ready to assist our guests.  Don’t wait!  Our homes fill up fast all month long, so call us now!  Get ready to plan your own A-MAY-ZING vacation and we will see you soon!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

5 Things You and Mom Must Do for Mother’s Day in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

5 Things You and Mom Must Do for Mother’s Day in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

So you’ve decided to take Mom to the beach for Mother’s Day Weekend 2019, but you’re not sure what to do or where to stay.  It is going to be a short quick trip so you’re in need of a little advice.  To make the most of your time here, you need a plan.  We, at Sunset Properties, have a few great ideas and we know you and Mom will make some great memories.  

1.      Ride our Ferris Wheel

As soon as you get to our Island Paradise, you will most likely see the Ferris Wheel at The Wharf in Orange Beach.  With the top gondola towering at an astounding 112 feet high, The Ferris Wheel at The Wharf is truly one of our favorite island landmarks.  It is the largest Ferris Wheel in the Southeast.  Day or night, The Ferris Wheel welcomes guests to ride one of its 24 gondolas.  It can hold up to 140 people at a time.  Even if you’ve ridden our Ferris Wheel before, you will definitely want to make it one of your planned stops while you and Mom enjoy Mother’s Day Weekend on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  While you’re at The Wharf, don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the many fine retail shops.  Mom will love a new fun outfit from Sand Dollar Lifestyles or a nice cold daiquiri from Island Time Daiquiris.   In addition to all the other great things to do at The Wharf, they have a great summer concert series lined up, too.   Bryan Adams will play at The Wharf Amphitheatre on Friday night May 10th.  While you and Mom are at The Wharf, why not take in a great concert?  The weather is perfect in May for outdoor shows and we know you’ll have a blast!

2.      Eat at Cobalt

With so many great places to dine around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, how to do you choose?  We suggest trying Cobalt, The Restaurant in Orange Beach.  Located next to The Caribe under the Perdido Pass Bridge in Orange Beach, not only is the food great, but so are the views!  With menu items like yellowfin tuna and grilled chicken, how can you go wrong?  Oh, and did I mention their delicious desserts?  You must try the bread pudding or triple layer chocolate cake!  Mom will certainly thank you for this special Mother’s Day meal!  Sunset Properties has two great penthouses available for reservations at The Caribe right next to Cobalt.  For a Mother’s Day Stay Mom won’t soon forget, consider reserving Caribe C Penthouse 14 or Caribe B Penthouse 4.  

3.      Enjoy a Flora-Bama Bushwacker

How can you have a weekend at the beach and not have a Bushwacker?  No other island drink is like a Bushwacker and with several great places to have one, how do you choose?  We recently published a blog about our favorite local Bushwackers, but if we have to choose just one, we suggest visiting the Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store and trying theirs.  A Bushwacker is a frozen drink that consists of several liquors usually mixed with chocolatey goodness and topped with a cherry.  Located on the Alabama/Florida State Line, the Flora-Bama is known worldwide for great Bushwackers, unmatched entertainment, cold beer and fresh oysters.   There is always a great band playing and the service is second to none.  One of America’s oldest roadhouses, the Flora-Bama is not just a local bar, its a local landmark!  Moms are always welcome and we can’t think of a better time to share one of our favorite local beverages with your Mom than on her special day.  Don’t forget to take lots of pictures while you’re there.  A visit to the Flora-Bama anytime is always the right time to make memories!

4.      Shop at SanRoc Cay

With so many great retail venues to shop, how do you decide?  From The Tanger Outlets in Foley, to the great shops at Pelican Place, to a plethora of local island shops, the choices are vast.  We want to suggest you check out SanRoc Cay for Mother’s Day.  Located across from the beach in Orange Beach, SanRoc Cay is a unique shopping and entertainment district.  You will love spending the day with Mom here.  With upscale boutiques like Sweet Dreams and Blue Lagoon Swimwear, Mom is sure to find herself the perfect Mother’s Day gift here.  When Mom is all shopped out, be sure to visit Louisiana Lagniappe for some great food!  After lunch, how about taking Mom out on the water for a charter trip?  Contact the good folks at SanRoc Cay Marina for details on charters and rentals.  SanRoc Cay is so much more than just a shopping venue.  It is a place to spend the whole day with Mom making memories that will last long after you’ve gone back home.

5.      Sunbathe on Fort Morgan Beach

If you’ve never been to Fort Morgan Beach, you are certainly missing out on a great local experience.  The gently rolling waves of Mobile Bay that kiss the beach of Fort Morgan are perfect for floating, swimming and sunbathing.  Fort Morgan Beach surrounds our famous fort and then stretches around from Mobile Bay to meet the Gulf of Mexico in front of The Dunes condominiums and The Dunes subdivision.  To avoid the business of the public beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, many locals and guests alike choose to pass their lazy beach days on the beaches of the Fort Morgan area.  Because you’re planning to try out these hidden gems located near the end of Fort Morgan Road, why not stay there, too?  Dunes 407 is a tastefully decorated one bedroom, two bath condo that sleeps up to six people, and it is perfect for a Mother’s Day weekend getaway.  The Dunes faces the Gulf and has a private beach.  If you’d prefer to stay on Mobile Bay, check out Navy Cove 2113.  This two bedroom, two bath condo comes  with a private boat slip.  Want to see a complete list of available beach homes?  Visit SunsetProperties.com and use code MOTHER19 for a special offer on some homes.  What better way is there to spend Mother’s Day weekend than in a great waterfront beach home?  We simply cannot think of one! 

With all that Mom has done for us, it seems so little just to celebrate her one day a year.  We suggest celebrating Mom all year long, but if you have to squeeze it all into one weekend, we hope you will take our suggestions and make Mom’s weekend extra special.  Come on down to the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Come stay with us at Sunset Properties.  Our beaches are beautiful and our waterfront views are spectacular.  Our entertainment districts are welcoming and our southern hospitality unsurpassed.   Our accommodations are superb and our pools are sparkling.  All we’re missing is you, and of course, Mom.  Join us at Sunset Properties this year for Mother’s Day as we celebrate our Moms and help you celebrate yours!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Five Reasons Why You Should Come to the 2019 Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores

Guess what’s right around the corner!  The world famous Hangout Music Festival is coming faster than we can believe!  It’s almost that time again!  We at Sunset Properties hope you are planning a trip down to visit our sugary white sandy beaches in May 2019.  From May 17 until May 19, 2019, your favorite public beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama will be alive and rockin’ with some of the best entertainment anywhere on the planet!  Each year, the festival tops the previous year.  If you haven’t already made your plans to attend, here are Five Reasons Why You Should Come to the 2019 Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores and enjoy a stay with us while you’re in town:

1.      THE HEADLINERS ARE TOP NOTCH

The 2019 Hangout Music Festival includes headliners from multiple genres of music. If you’re a fan of rap music, you’ll feel the bass drop for Cardi B. Travis Scott is also going to be present with his flows and rhymes. If you have a taste for something a bit more mellow, much like a laid back Pleasure Island weekend in the summer, Khalid has you covered with his smooth beats and similar R&B sound.  How about something a tad more Indie?  The Lumineers will also be gracing the stage with The Gulf of Mexico as a fabulous background.  This awesome group known for “Ho Hey” is also famous for their acoustic songwriter sound. If you’re a fan of an Indie sound that has more of a new wave feel, Vampire Weekend will be just the group for you to see. The former school teachers turned bandmates never disappoint.   Finally, if EDM is your style and you love electronica, the Norwegian DJ Kylo is sure to impress with his melodic beats.  These are just a few of the top notch performers scheduled to delight festival goers in May 2019.  For a complete list of scheduled entertainers, check out the festival LINEUP page.

2.      SHUTTLES ARE AVAILABLE

The good folks at the Hangout Music Festival have thought of everything!  They have arranged for shuttles to be available for festival goers.   Besides the obvious resolution of not having to drive in all that traffic and find a great place to part, these SHUTTLES are best if you plan to indulge in adult beverages.  With shuttle lines all over our island, a $50 pass to ride can save you the hassle of a possible DUI or accident or worse.  If you’re wondering if we have a place for you to stay on or near a shuttle line, the answer is YES!   Sunset Properties has rental homes available in Gulf Shores, like Pat-Ti-O, located so close you can walk to the festival and Beachview 223, just a little way down Beach Boulevard.  Catching a shuttle is super easy!  We have amazing properties in Orange Beach, too, like Caribe C Penthouse 14.  If you’d rather stay on quiet Fort Morgan Road, we have lots of homes and condominiums at or near The Dunes.  No matter where you choose to stay, you should go ahead and get that shuttle pass.  That’s one purchase you won’t regret.

3.      ACCOMMODATIONS ARE AMAZING

Like I said, Sunset Properties has amazing beach rental homes all over our island.  Once you spend all day out in the warm May sunshine, you’re going to want a nice comfortable clean place to sleep.  We have you covered!  If staying near Fort Morgan appeals to you, check out these amazing  homes in Navy Cove:  Navy Cove 1207 (sleeps 6 groovy peeps), Navy Cove 2113 (sleeps 6 sunburned bodies) and Navy Cove 2114  (sleeps 8 folks who have danced their fanny packs off all day).  Do those not sound like a place you and your crew want to stay?  Need something a little bigger?  Check out the Harbor House.  It sleeps nine and comes with a private pier!  Need more room?  Sea La Vie sleeps 12 and guests have access to the indoor and outdoor pools at The Dunes condos.  Are you bringing your fur baby with you?  While you can’t take your dog to the festival unless your baby is your service animal, you can bring him or her along with you if you stay at one of our 25 dog friendly properties.  We strongly recommend you look over our pet guidelines and maybe plan to leave your fur baby at a doggie daycare while you’re at the festival.  After all, our fur babies need some play time, too.  Give  the nice folks at Paw Dogs Resort a call to make arrangements for your pup to hang out with some new friends!

4.      YOUR FRIENDS WILL ALL BE THERE

Hangout Fest is a time for friends to gather and share some of the best music ever.  It truly is a friends or family outing that everyone should experience at least once.  With an estimated attendance of as many as 35,000 per day, even if your friends don’t come with you, chances are you’re going to make a few hundred new ones.  We love it when families come to our island together and not only attend the Hangout Music Festival, but also experience as much of our island as you can squeeze in three days.  Check out The Wharf while you’re in town.  Stop by Lulu’s for some great food.  Don’t miss an opportunity to visit our “little zoo that could” The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.  And if you’re choosing to stay near Fort Morgan, why not take a walk on the quietest beach around?  Come for the Hangout Festival, but be sure to check out all that our wonderful island home has to offer!

5.      YOU’LL MAKE LASTING MEMORIES

If you’ve never experienced the world famous Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores and you ask someone who has this question:  besides the music, what was your favorite part?  We bet they’ll say “the memories”.  Memories made at the beach can never be replaced by those made anywhere else.  There is just something fun, exciting and even romantic about the beach.  Couple that with an amazing music venue and hour after hour of your favorite musicians playing live in one of the largest outdoor concerts anywhere.  How can you go wrong?  We think you need to charge your phone, pack your flip flops, sunblock and shade, and come on down.  When you get here, load up your SnapChat, Insta and Facebook with pic after pic of one of the best weekends you’ll probably ever have.  If your friends cannot come with, at least they can see how much you’re having!  Memories! Come to Gulf Shores and make some great memories!

At Sunset Properties, we want to be an important part of your Hangout weekend.  We want to be part of your memories and we want you to feel right at home when you stay with us.

Contact us as soon as you buy your Hangout Tickets and reserve your favorite beach home.  We know you’ll love staying with us and we hope to see you soon!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251-543-1370