5 Amazing April Family Outings You Must Do in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

5 Amazing April Family Outings You Must Do in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

Have you ever thought about visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast in April?  Spring Break is over and summer hasn’t quite yet arrived.  The beaches are warming up and the Gulf is usually quite serene.  Flowers are blooming all around our island paradise and the sugar white sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are definitely calling your name!  There is so much to do here in the Spring.  It’s hard to list them all, but here is a list of

5 amazing April family outings you must do when you’re down our way:

1.      Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Spend a day with your family walking or running the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail.  With seven trails that traverse six different eco systems across fifteen miles, the trail has something for the whole family.  Be sure to visit the Pavilion and Butterfly Garden this spring.  Covered in brightly colored flowers, the garden is a butterfly haven.  Stop in at the pavilion and relax in the swing.  Be sure to bring your camera and take lots of pictures.  Memories made on the trail are meant to be shared!  Not too far from the trail, just down Fort Morgan Road, is Dream.  Dream is a seven bedroom, seven bath brand new Gulf front beach home.  Complete with its own pool, Dream is the place to stay if  you’re looking for a quiet evening and a relaxing swim after a long walk through the trail.  This tastefully decorated, fully stocked beach home truly is a dream come true.  We know you and your family will cherish all the memories you make this April in Gulf Shores and we know you will love staying with Sunset Properties in our newest rental, Dream.

2.      Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is one of our favorite outing spots any time of year.  It is especially nice in the spring.  The weather is just perfect and the animals are quite active.  While you’re at the zoo, but sure to check out the Gulf Coast Mining Company.  This fun new attraction at The Little Zoo That Could features old fashioned mining.  After the water washes away your sandy mixture, you’ll find gemstones, arrowheads and other fun items to take home with you.  What a great way to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs!  Family pictures with animals make great keepsakes photos!  You simply cannot go wrong with a day outing to our local zoo.  Each time you go, you’ll see and experience something new.  Located about ten minutes from the zoo, is Grand Caribbean 215. This two bedroom, two bath condo faces The Gulf of Mexico on Beach Boulevard in Gulf Shores.  After you and your family have enjoyed your zoo outing, you can walk right across the street to enjoy an afternoon on our pristine white sandy beaches.  Who knows?  You may just be able to add some colorful sea shells to your already wonderful collection of natural souvenirs.

3.      Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Located on Canal Road in Orange Beach, Orange Beach Waterfront Park is a kid’s outdoor paradise!  Parents will love it, too!  Designed for the whole family and overlooking Wolf Bay, Orange Beach Waterfront Park features a kid’s park area and an amazing 400 foot long pier.  There is no cost to enter the park and no reservations can be made.  The park has grills, pavilions and restrooms for public use.  This is truly the perfect place to plan a nice April family cookout or picnic.  About ten minutes away from the park, Enclave 206 is located on Beach Boulevard.  It is a three bedroom, three bath Gulf front condo that sleeps eight. Enclave 206 has plenty of room for your whole family to spread out.  This is the perfect place to come home to after you’ve spent a day outside in the beautiful April sun.  

4.      Gulf State Park Pier

Another great family venue located near Grand Caribbean 215 is our Alabama Gulf State Park Pier.  The State Park Pier has an amazing 2448 feet of rail space.  That’s a lot of room for fishermen!  There is also indoor seating for concessions.  The pier is open all day every day, but there is a small fee to enter.  There are comfort stations and a bait shop.   Whether you visit  the Gulf State Park Pier  just to sight see or fish, you will enjoy one of the best views of The Gulf of Mexico as you gaze over the pier rails to see the water and wildlife below.  Have some ice cream and take lots of pictures.  This is one family outing your whole family will enjoy.  Take a sneak peak of the pier by clicking on their webcam here.  Spring is one of the best times to walk out on the pier.  The sea breeze is nice and the weather is warm.  Don’t miss your chance to experience this unique family venue!

5.      Hummingbird Zipline Course

Thrill seekers who visit the Alabama Gulf Coast in April will love The Hummingbird Zipline.  Located at The Wharf in Orange Beach, the Hummingbird Zipline will thrill everyone!  With speeds up to 30 miles per hour and heights up to 115 feet, this Alabama Gulf Coast attraction remains one of our all time favorite outdoor activities.  The zipline tour takes about two hours and flies over protected wetlands, the intracoastal waterway and even the bays that surround The Wharf.  What a great way to see nature!  Another great way to see nature is from the deck of The Boathouse, located on Fort Morgan Road.    This uniquely designed beach home is a venue all on its own.  The Boathouse has two bedrooms and two bathrooms and is a dog friendly beach home.  It is located right on Mobile Bay and has unmatched views.  So when you’re done zipping around at The Wharf, come on home to your own special spot in a beach home like no other.

The weather in April in Gulf Shores is amazing!  Orange Beach is begging to be visited and Fort Morgan is just a short drive away.  Go ahead, plan a weekend getaway to our fun little beach paradise.  The crowds are smaller than in the summer and the Spring Breakers have all gone back to school.  Pack up the kiddos and even bring your dog to one of our many dog friendly beach homes and don’t miss an opportunity to experience our beach in the Spring.  And, hey, if the April Showers start, we, at Sunset Properties,  have a blog for that, too!  We’ll see you soon!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

7 Fun Things to do for Easter 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

7 Fun Things to do for Easter 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

Easter is a magical time for most kids.  The Easter Bunny comes and brings baskets full of goodies and brightly colored eggs.  You may want to attend a church service  and spend the afternoon hiding eggs and eating wonderfully prepared feasts with your family.  Easter truly is a happy holiday and most of us consider it the beginning of Spring.  How can Easter get any better?  Spend it at the beach!  Join your friends in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan for Easter Weekend and make some of the best memories all year!  If you’re wondering what to do at Easter at the beach, wonder no more!  Here is a list of 7 fun things to do at Easter 2019 while you’re visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast:

  1.  Find lots of eggs at Lulu’s Easter Egg Dash

Our friends at Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s always have something fun planned.  Easter is no exception!  If an Easter Egg hunt is in your plans, you won’t want to miss this.  The fun begins at Lulu’s on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019 with the arrival of the Easter Bunny.  At 2PM, the dash begins!  There will be egg hunts for all ages.  All around Lulu’s famous Gulf Shores location, eggs will be hidden (some in plain sight) for the kiddos to find.  This is one of the best ways to spend an Easter afternoon.  After the dash, stay for the fabulous food Lulu’s has become known for!  

  • Meet your friends at The Hangout’s Easter Sunrise Service on the Beach

If starting your day off with an Easter Sunrise Service is in your plans, then you will want to make your first stop at The Hangout in Gulf Shores.  Known worldwide for The Hangout Music Festival, this hoppin’ fun local venue will host Gulf Shores United Methodist Church for a sunrise service beginning at 6:30AM on Sunday, April 21, 2019.   The public is invited.  What better way to welcome Easter morning than to have a sunrise service on the beach next to the Gulf of Mexico?  After the service, stay for the Easter Bunny’s arrival at 9AM.  Be sure to dress your kiddos up as bunnies.  There will be a costume contest.  The Hangout will be serving brunch from 7:30AM – 11AM.  With so many fun things to do at The Hangout, we’re sure you’ll want to come for the Sunrise Service and then just Hang Out for a while!

  • Learn something new at the Coastal Alabama Bird Banding Project

How about spending a day learning about nature?  The Coastal Alabama Bird Banding Project will take place at historic Fort Morgan for several days leading up to Easter.  If you’d like to see this amazing project in person, plan on being at Fort Morgan on Saturday, April 20 between the hours of 8AM and noon.  During this session, guests are able to see a personal view of some of Alabama’s spring migratory birds.  These birds are banded and released so that their migration can be tracked.  This is an outdoor event, so don’t forget to bring bug spray and sunscreen.  A folding chair is also a good idea.  With Easter being the beginning of Spring for most of us, attending this is a great way to kick off this wonderful season!

  • Fish in the Alabama Gulf Coast Slam Professional Fishing Tournament

This tournament is new to our area and runs through mid-May.  There is no cost to enter if you’re on a registered vessel.  Some restrictions do apply if you’re fishing from other boats or from the shores.  This tournament is open to anglers of all ages and participants are welcome to fish from registered charter fishing boats or from personal watercraft.  For more information contact The Alabama Gulf Coast Slam Professional Fishing Tournament at AlabamaGulfCoastSlam@gmail.com .  This is sure to be one spring tradition you’ll want to repeat year after year!

  • Visit the Zydeco & Crawfish Festival

How about a little crawfish and Zydeco music to liven up your Easter Weekend?  On Saturday, April 20 between the from 10AM – 6PM at Waterway Village in Gulf Shores, the 5th annual Zydeco & Crawfish Festival will be in full swing!  You’ve never had crawfish and you don’t know what Zydeco is?  Well, crawfish is about the yummiest, most seafoodish, non-seafood food you can eat!  And Zydeco is the perfect music to enjoy while you savor one of the coast’s favorite boiled freshwater shellfish.   And if dancing and eating crawfish is not quite what you had in mind for a wonderful Spring afternoon, how about a run?  Enter the 5K/1 mile fun run that is a big part of this local festival.  The festival is located under the Holmes (intracoastal waterway) Bridge, just off Highway 59 in Gulf Shores.

  • Check out the Flora Bama Easter Eggstravangaza

Did you know the kids can have a great time at The Flora-Bama?  Well, they can?  In fact, for Easter, the good folks at America’s favorite beach road house have a whole afternoon of fun planned just for the kiddos!  Beginning at 1PM on March 31, there will be face painting and crafts for kids at the beach tent.  At 2PM, all eyes will be on the sky at the Easter Bunny, himself, will skydive into the party!  Then one of the largest Easter Egg hunts on any state line will begin.  Participants must bring their own baskets.  This is the one day each year there are more eggs on the beach than shells!  Bring your camera, too.  You will want to capture every minute of this unique and fun family experience.

  • Walk on the beach with your family

What beach trip would be complete without a beach walk with your family?  The weather along the Alabama Gulf Coast in April is perfect for beach walking.  Maybe you’ll find an amazing sea shell to take home.  Maybe you’ll see dolphins playing just off shore.  Maybe you’ll see fun shapes in the clouds.  No matter what you see, take lots of pictures.  With or without The Easter Bunny, Easter Sunday walks on the beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are special.

We hope you will join us at Sunset Properties and plan to celebrate your Easter vacation week or weekend with us.  We have so many rental properties to choose from, we are sure we have the perfect place for you and your family to stay!  Remember to pack your sunshades, flip flops and sunscreen. Don’t forget your Easter baskets and cameras.  And come on down to your favorite beach!  Sunset Properties has your holiday vacation home ready for you to check-in!

Welcome to Spring on the Alabama Gulf Coast!  

Welcome Easter!  

And welcome to you, our guests!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251-543.1370

7 Reasons Why You Should Skip New Orleans and Spend Mardi Gras on the Alabama Gulf Coast

7 Reasons Why You Should Skip New Orleans and Spend Mardi Gras on the Alabama Gulf Coast

Mardi Gras is Tuesday, March 5, 2019, and we, along the Alabama Gulf Coast, are already gearing up for our first big party of the year.  Everyone knows the beach is a great place to spend New Years, Independence Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day, but did you know Coastal Alabama does Mardi Gras in a big way, too?  That’s right!  We do!  Here in our island paradise, we have some of the best gumbo, brightest beads, and host the most family friendly Mardi Gras day anywhere.  In short, we can laissez les bon temps rouler with the best of ‘em!  We just prefer to do it in our flip-flops and shorts!  As for the upcoming Mardi Gras Season, we have so much fun planned, we need to start early getting the word out.  Here are seven reasons why you should skip New Orleans and spend Mardi Gras 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:

  1. Fresh Alabama Seafood makes the best gumbo

The term Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.  What better way is there to enjoy Fat Tuesday than with a bowl of some of the best gumbo anywhere?  While we will agree that the first recorded references to gumbo were around 1803 in New Orleans, we strongly disagree when folks say the best gumbo is still found there.  We actually believe we live where the best gumbo is made.  Talented chefs at local restaurants like DeSoto’s, Doc’s, and Sea-N-Suds make gumbo that can challenge (and we think top!) any gumbo made anywhere in Louisiana.  DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen, located just a block or so off West Beach in Gulf Shores, has some of the best gumbo around.  DeSoto’s serves gumbo in a cup or a bowl.  We suggest a bowl (because you’re gonna love the stuff!), and add a side of fried green tomatoes, too!  Next, you need to try the gumbo at Doc’s.  Doc’s Seafood Shack is located on Canal Road and its been there so long, we can’t even remember a time when it didn’t exist.  A local favorite for many years (34 years to be exact) , the folks at Doc’s have perfected the art of making gumbo.  They say they “have the best fried shrimp in the entire civilized world”.  We think their gumbo is pretty alright, too!  Sea-N-Suds Restaurant and Oyster Bar, located right on the Gulf in Gulf Shores, has been serving their amazing gumbo for over 40 years.  We have been in love with it for just that long, too!  They are so sure you will love their gumbo, they will actually give you a free cup with an entree.  Check with them for details.  Don’t just take our word for it, give our Alabama Seafood gumbo a try!  You’ll agree fresh Alabama Seafood makes the best gumbo!

  • Beads are better if you can actually catch them

What does that mean?  It means you have a much better chance of catching beads if half the folks who live south of Nashville are not blocking your view of the floats.  Why would you drive all the way to Louisiana only to find yourself lost somewhere in a crowd of revelers five, six or maybe ten people deep?  Because the crowds are smaller in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you can position yourself closer to the parade route.  You can actually make eye contact with the masked revelers and, therefore, strongly increase your odds of catching more beads than you can comfortably wear.  The goal of Mardi Gras for most folks is to catch a ton of beads.  Come to our parades and get ready to collect your share.  After all, beads are so much better if you can actually catch them!

  • We love you to the Moon(Pie) and back

Over 100 years ago, the Chattanooga Bakery started producing MoonPies.  Made originally of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows, MoonPies have become one of America’s favorite treats.   MoonPies and Mardi Gras married up in Mobile in the early 1970s.  Before then, revelers threw Cracker Jacks to parade goers.  As you can imagine, getting smacked in the head with a sharp cornered box of popcorn and peanuts was no fun.  A ladies’ parading group thought it would be safer and more fun to toss round, lightweight MoonPies.  Those ladies started a tradition that is still going strong today.  Now, in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, just like with our neighbor across the bay, MoonPies are a parade staple.  Even though Chattanooga is some 425 miles away from Gulf Shores, locals have adopted the tasty round treat as a Mardi Gras must and we can honestly say, “we will love you to the MoonPie and back!”

  • Local folks are friendly

While I tease about “love” and “MoonPies” I am definitely not teasing when I say local folks are really friendly.  Being from South Alabama, we say “yes ma’am” and “thank you” and “y’all come back again”.  We don’t consider it (like some folks do) as talking “southern”.  Instead, we just think its the right way to treat people.  Treat folks with kindness and respect and they become more than just visitors to our little island paradise, they become a part of our extended family.  We, at Sunset Properties, have grafted in quite a few of our guests.  Some of our best family members are not technically related to us at all.  Nevertheless, they liked our friendly disposition and we liked them right back.  Locals are not only friendly folks, they might become some of your best friends anywhere!

  • Parade access is super easy

Have you ever tried to park on Bourbon Street?  I guess the better question is:  why would you try to park on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras?  How about this:  skip the whole thing and just come to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach and park literally right off our parade routes.  With parking options all along the parade routes on Alabama Highway 59 and Beach Boulevard, parking is a breeze ( a sea breeze, even!).  You won’t have to walk far from your car to get the best spot to stand as the floats pass by and your walk back to your car won’t exhaust you either.  Another great thing about our parade parking, you start out and end up right near our best retail shops, restaurants and local pubs.  The Original Oyster House Boardwalk, for example, right on Highway 59 has all three!  And access to our Gulf Shores parade route from the boardwalk, is as easy as pie!

  • Accommodations are affordable

Affordable accommodations..now this is big deal, especially if you’re coming to the beach for more than a couple of days.  While Mardi Gras is technically only on Tuesday, we believe in hanging out for a few days.  After all, who goes to the beach just for one day?  At Sunset Properties, we have several great properties to choose from.  If you’d like to stay close the the Gulf Shores route, take a look at Beachview 223.  If Orange Beach is more your style, check out Moorings 414.  Looking to stay a little off the beaten path where the scenery is fabulous, but the pace is a tad bit slower?  Check out My Sunshine, Big Pelican and Sundown.  Our accommodations are tastefully decorated, spacious enough for your whole family and affordable so that you can enjoy your Mardi Gras week or weekend in our area without killing your entertainment budget.

  • The beach is your backdrop

With thirty-two miles of sugary white sandy beaches, the Alabama Gulf Coast should not only be your first choice for summer vacations, but for Mardi Gras, as well.  We love to have fun on Pleasure Island and our beaches make any day a great day!  While you’re in town getting a jump start on your summer tan, be sure to take some time to visit the Alabama Gulf State Park Pier and Pavilion, located in Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.  Visit our public beach areas in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.  The days are getting longer and the sea oats are starting to rustle in the spring breezes.  Summer is right around the corner and you can feel the happiness in the air.  Mardi Gras is a fun time of each year, but there is something super special about it when the beach as your backdrop.

So what are you waiting on?  Get your sunblock, shades, flip flops together.  Grab a big ole bag to carry all your throws home in, and come on down!  Plan on spending Mardi Gras on the Alabama Gulf Coast and plan to stay with Sunset Properties.  We are ready to help you “let the good times roll!”

Come for Mardi Gras, stay for Spring Break!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251-543-1370

10 Coastal Alabama Holiday Outings That Make Great Family Traditions

Christmas traditions vary all around the world.  In Alabama, they vary from county to county.  And they can even change from city to city.  Here along the Alabama Gulf Coast, we have a few local traditions we love and we wanted to share some of them with you.  For example, don’t be surprised if a Christmas Dinner includes some amazing Seafood Gumbo made with fresh Alabama Gulf Shrimp.  Our pecan pies are usually made with Baldwin County Pecans we picked up and shelled ourselves earlier in the year.  Most of us yell Roll Tide or War Eagle, even on days when our teams are not playing.  We will hug you when we see you at church and we will hug you when we see you at the mall.  And it is completely acceptable to wear flip-flops, even on Christmas Day around here, as long as your mother approves.  We have some pretty great events open to the public going on, as well.  If you’re our guest this holiday season, we want you to know:  you’re invited!  Here is a list of 10 Coastal Alabama holiday outings that make great family traditions:  

 

  • Get a picture with Santa at The Wharf

Santa arrives at The Wharf in Orange Beach on November 17 and he will be there every weekend until Christmas Eve for visits and pictures.  Everyone has a Christmas List.  So get your wishes together and bring your whole family to The Wharf to visit Santa and tell him what your heart desires.

 

  • Watch the Lighted Boat Parade

The Nautical Night of Lights, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores’ annual Christmas lighted boat parade will be held on the evening of December 8th.  The boats will depart Lulu’s in Gulf Shores around 5PM and travel our beautiful back bays around to the Flora-Bama.  If you can’t make it to Lulu’s or the Flora-Bama, find yourself a nice spot along any of the bays.  Bring a blanket and a snuggle buddy and prepare to watch one of the best nautical Christmas parades in all of Alabama.

 

  • Come watch us perform at The South Baldwin Community Theatre

This holiday season, the local actors of The South Baldwin Community Theatre are performing “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on December 7-9 and 14-16.  Show times vary and this is a ticketed event.  A lot of rehearsing has gone into making this one of the best performances ever.  Please come!  Contact the nice folks at the theatre box office to reserve your seats.

 

  • Ride through the Nights of Lights at The Hank

Each year, the good folks at Hank Aaron Stadium set up a drive-thru Christmas lights display called Nights of Lights.  This is one of the few in our area.  Fix yourself a thermos of hot chocolate.  Pack some Christmas cookies and take a short trip to Mobile to experience this one-of-a-kind light display set to music.  Kids and adults alike love this wonderland adventure!

 

  • Have pancakes with Santa at Erie H. Meyer Center

What better way to start off a day than to have breakfast with Santa?  This annual event will be held Saturday, December 15 at 8 AM at the Erie H. Meyer Civic Center in Gulf Shores.  A full breakfast will be served and pictures with Santa will be available.  The cost is $5.

 

  • Ice Skate at The Wharf

A new island tradition is to go ice skating at The Wharf.  This seasonal ice skating rink will be open from November 23- January 10.  This is a family outing that no one should miss.  After all, how many times can you say you can actually ice skate in a beach town?

 

  • Visit a Merry Downtown Owa

Downtown Owa has been decorated for Christmas.  Don’t miss a chance to walk through this merry little downtown located in Foley just off the Beach Express highway.  We are so glad to have our own amusement park just a few short minutes from our beautiful sandy white beaches.

 

  • See the Christmas lights at Bellingrath Gardens

Each year, Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile is all lit up with the Magic Christmas in Lights.  With more than 3 million lights, this is one walking tour everyone should experience.  Magic Christmas in Lights is open from November 23- December 31.

 

  • Spend New Year’s Eve Day at Lulu’s

A family friendly New Year’s Eve day event is planned for Lulu’s in Gulf Shores.  One of our favorite parts of the day is the beach ball drop.  Hundreds of brightly colored beach balls will be dropped from the ceiling at Lulu’s.  This is something kids of all ages love!

 

  • Polar Bear Dip at the Flora-Bama

On New Year’s Day, plan to gather with several hundred folks and participate in the annual Polar Bear Dip at the Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Bar.  This event is one your whole family will enjoy.  Stay for a traditional New Year’s Day lunch following a chilly run in to The Gulf of Mexico.

 

At Sunset Properties, we are all about traditions because we know the importance of family.  We are a family-owned, family-run rental management company.  Our whole staff is one big family, kin or not.  We also have several guests who have been grafted into our Sunset Properties Family.  We love each of you!

We want to wish all of y’all, old friends and new, a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of holiday seasons.  We appreciate the relationships we formed or continued 2018 and we are looking to seeing you again in 2019.  Blessings and Peace!

 

251.543.1370

www.sunsetproperties.com

 

5 Great Ways to Watch Dolphins Play

Dolphin watching is a great way to spend an afternoon.  Because dolphins are thinking mammals, they can put on quite a show for onlookers.  Dolphins are actually small whales and the most common type of dolphin found along the Alabama Gulf Coast is the bottlenose dolphin.  They can be seen just off shore in the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile Bay and in the back bays that surround Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.  Dolphins are a protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, so getting too close to them in not advised.

However, we know 5 Great Ways to Watch Dolphins Play in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan without causing them any harm:

 

  1.       From the Sunny Lady

The Sunny Lady, docked at The Wharf in Orange Beach, offers dolphin tours daily.  With wheelchair accessibility, the Sunny Lady is a great option for anyone to get a close up view of dolphins in our back bays.  The Sunny Lady is 65 feet long and has three decks for viewing.  There are also restrooms and indoor and outdoor seating.  The crew of the Sunny Lady will offer snacks and drinks during the cruise.  Cruises last an hour and a half.  The Sunny Lady departs two or three times daily from The Wharf.  Be sure to check out their website for times and prices.

 

  1.       From the beach at Fort Morgan

Did you know you can watch dolphins right from the beach at Fort Morgan?  That’s right!  After taking a tour of the famous fort located on Mobile Bay, be sure to walk the beautiful beaches that wrap the fort.  Keep an eye out toward the horizon and you’re sure to see a few dolphins schooling and playing in the waters of the bay.  If you’re staying with Sunset Properties at one of the wonderful beach homes located in The Dunes subdivision, you may be able to sit on your deck or balcony and watch dolphins right from there.

 

  1.       From the Mobile Bay Ferry

How about visiting Dauphin Island on board the Mobile Bay Ferry?  This trip takes around an hour and leaves from Fort Morgan.  While you’re riding the ferry across the bay, be sure to watch for dolphins.  The dolphins are familiar with the ferry’s path and often swim right alongside it.  Keep your camera handy because you will certainly want to snap a few pictures to share on your favorite social media outlet. When you reach Dauphin Island, don’t forget to visit the Mobile Bay Estuarium.  You will love seeing all the marine life housed there.  And on your way back to Fort Morgan, you’ll  get a second chance to see dolphins in their natural habitat.

 

  1.       From the Gulf State Park Pier

Great for more than just fishing, the Gulf State Park Pier is a wonderful place to observe sea animals.  With almost 2 miles of rail space from which to watch sea life, the pier is a local favorite for family outings.  Dolphins can often be seen in the warm waters of The Gulf of Mexico just off shore near the pier.  While you’re out on the pier, be sure to visit the concession stand and treat yourself to some ice cream or a soda.  Snacks always make dolphin watching more fun!

 

  1.       From a personal watercraft

Ever rented a waverunner while you’re vacationing along the Alabama Gulf Coast?   Did you know you could take a dolphin tour right from one?  Yep!   This is one more great ways to see dolphins.  Alabama Extreme Watersports offers a dolphin tour from a Waverunner.  You can take a guided tour of the back bays or Orange Beach.  Viewing our local marine life from a safe distance, you should be able to get some great pictures.  Contact the good folks at Alabama Extreme Watersports for schedules and tour times.  Don’t miss this unique opportunity to view dolphins.

 

As locals, we at Sunset Properties, love giving quick hints to our guests and potential guests.  We love dolphin watching and we know the suggestions we listed here are great ways to watch them.  We also love helping guests find the perfect vacation home to fit both their wants and needs.  We have vacation rentals available to fit almost any budget and we can house almost any number of guests.  From two to twenty folks, we are ready to help you find your perfect vacation home or homes.  We have homes with WiFi and many are pet friendly.  We have beach front homes and homes nestled along a quiet golf course.  We have one bedroom condos and penthouses and all in between available.   We are pretty sure we can help you locate your ideal beach vacation home.

 

As you make your vacation plans, give us a call at 251.543.1370 or contact us right from our website www.sunsetproperties.com and we will do our best to help you get your vacation stay planned.  And after you’ve finished watching the dolphins in the way that appealed to you, drop us a line and let us know how your experience was!

 

10 THINGS LOCALS KNOW ABOUT WINTER AT THE BEACH AND YOU SHOULD TOO

 

I’ve heard folks say:  I want to go to Gulf Shores and do what the locals do.  I want to know what they know.  I think those statements are a bit funny, because we, at Sunset Properties, are always sharing our knowledge with you, our readers and guests.  But I will admit, there are a few cool things we locals know about winters in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan that not a lot of folks outside our area are aware of.  I decided to write this blog to share

10 Things Locals Know About Winter At The Beach And You Should, Too just in case you’re contemplating a winter getaway vacation to our happy part of Alabama.

 

  • Shell collecting is the best

The beaches are less crowded and shell collecting during the winter months at the beach is so great!  With smaller crowds and fewer people walking the beaches, there is, quite literally, less competition to find the best shells.  Walking the beach along the Alabama Gulf Coast on winter days can be a bit breezy and sometimes it is a little cool, so you might want to wear a jacket or windbreaker for your outing.  Some days, however, the temps can reach the high sixties and even the low seventies, so don’t be surprised if you work up a little sweat while you’re treasure hunting.

 

  • Painting or writing a memory is a breeze

The winter sun reflecting off The Gulf of Mexico will make the water and sky sparkle and shine in amazing hues of blues and greens.  It’s easy to photograph our local beauty with a camera or phone, but why not take some watercolors or artist chalks and artists paper and capture your own memory?  Often you’ll find locals just sitting and relaxing on our vacant Gulf Shores beaches and making notes about or painting what they see.  If you take the time, we know our wonderful little island’s environment will speak to you.  You may not know it, but there may just be an artist inside you and this may just be the place to set him free.

 

  • The timing is perfect for great photography

If painting is not in your wheelhouse, why not take some breathtaking pictures of our island?  Less crowded beaches means you’ll have less opportunities for those crazy photobombers who seem to be everywhere in the summer.  Try shooting a few pictures in black and white and see how great they look!  The air is just crisper and cleaner during the winter months and the sunlight’s reflection off seemingly everything is amazing.  Sea oats are always great models.  We urge you to take pictures, but please do not disturb the sea oats.  They help hold our dunes in place and they are protected by law.  If you’re not the best photographer, but you want to capture some memories while you’re here, contact the good folks at Chasing the Son Photogrpahy and see if they can’t help you out.  

 

  • Local seafood is surprisingly affordable and there usually is not a wait to be seated

How long have you waited to be seated for dinner in the summer at the beach?  We suspect you’ve waited at least thirty minutes.  In the winter, however, seating is much quicker.  Locals know that most restaurants offer early-bird dinner specials, too.  It’s like eating at happy hour every night!  We cannot think of a better way to try a new menu item than to sample our great local Alabama Gulf Seafood at a reduced cost.

 

  • Fort Morgan is the perfect place for a December picnic

If you’ve never been inside the magnificent walls of Fort Morgan, we cannot think of a better day outing than planning a picnic on the fort grounds.  Take your picnic basket and blanket and spread out on the grassy area inside the fort for a cozy winter meal.  The walls of the fort help deflect some of the chilly breezes that can meander off Mobile Bay.  You’ll love the way the warm sun feels on your face and you’ll enjoy a making personal memory with your family or special someone.

 

  • Adult beverages taste better when you only have a few folks around

Everyone loves a great crowded night spot in the summer.  The fast pace of summers at our beach make our nights even hotter.  But there is something special about visiting a beach bar in the winter.  Sitting by a window where you can see the gulls playing outside or boats passing by as you sip your favorite adult beverage with just a few friends nearby gives you a whole new perspective on our laid-back beach life.  It is so nice to be able to enjoy a simple glass of wine or a rum topped bushwacker and have nice conversations with our friends.  If you want to meet a few of us, come on down to the Pink Pony or Bill’s By the Beach or Big Beach Brewing Company.  We might just be the folks sitting right beside you.

 

  • Shopping for beach attire and small gifts is easy

Did you know that many of our local shops run amazing sales on swimwear and local tees during the winter months?  Yep!  One of the best times to get amazing deals on fashionable swimwear is during the winter.  All those cool tees you were eyeing during your summer visit, those are on sale, too.  How about getting someone back home a great gift at a reduced price?  We are pretty sure you can find the perfect souvenir to take back home at an amount that won’t cut into your adult beverage budget.  Visit www.gulfshores.com for a complete listing of local retailers.  

 

  • Tanning is still a thing and flip flops are still acceptable footwear

That’s right!  You can still tan in the winter and you can wear your flip flops in January.  We do!  You can actually get a pretty bad sunburn if you aren’t careful.  While you may not want to don that string bikini in late December, you will most likely find days when shorts and t-shirts are comfortable.  Always, always, always use sunscreen while you’re visiting our happy little island.  Even on winter days, when it’s cold and snowing back where you come from, down here, the sun continues to tan us all winter.

 

  • Volunteer opportunities are all around

Want to become an intrinsic part of our little community while you’re here?  Great!  Locals are big on volunteering and we welcome our guests who want to participate.  Our local United Way is always looking for kind hearted folks who want to volunteer at their partner agencies.  The Thomas Norton Library usually likes to have volunteers around.  And our museums in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach may have volunteer opportunities.  

 

  • You can sleep cheap

This is one of the biggest secrets locals know.  After this blog posts, I guess it won’t be a secret anymore.  Lodging and vacation rental prices are at our yearly low, so finding an affordable place to stay is super easy.  You will get to stay in the same great places you did last summer but for about half the cost.  Sometimes it is even less than half!  Check out our website www.sunsetproperties.com or better yet, give us a call.  We may have a weekend special that isn’t posted and you might just be the lucky person who gets our rental deal of the week!


So we have you thinking about a winter beach getaway, huh?  Awesome!  Check out some of our amazing accommodations options in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  Don’t have time to look for yourself, that’s ok!  We are ready to answer your call at 251.543.1370 and help you find your perfect winter getaway vacation home!

5 REASONS TO ATTEND THE 2018 FRANK BROWN INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITERS’ FESTIVAL

Fall has reached the northern Gulf Coast and that means it is time to attend the 2018 Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.  Locals know this 11 day event, held November 8-18, 2018, is the one of the best things that happens around here all year.  We love the Shrimp Festival, please don’t get me wrong, but the Songwriters’ Festival is a whole different kind of festival and one we know you’re sure to love once you experience it.

You’re probably asking:  Who is Frank Brown?  Or What is the festival about?  The festival, which highlights both up-and-coming singer/songwriters as well as those who are more seasoned and perhaps even Grammy winners, is named for Mr. Frank Brown.  Mr. Frank was the night watchman at the Flora-Bama for 28 years before he retired at the age of 91.  He was a man of high morale character and one who loved the music at the Flora-Bama.

 

If this hasn’t peaked your interest and given you reason enough to check out this cool event, here are our top 5 reasons we believe YOU should experience the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.

 

  1. You get to meet the people who wrote your favorite songs

We all have that one favorite song.  You know that song…the one that when it comes on the radio you actually turn up the volume really high and sing along.  You probably think your favorite performer wrote the song, and, in some instances, they did.  But often times the writers of your favorite lyrics are not the ones who sing them on the radio.  Often times, the writers are lesser known folks, at least to the general public.  You might think you’d have to go to Nashville to meet some of these talented individuals.  I have great news for you!  The good folks at the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival know who the best songwriters are and they invite them to perform for us, right here along the Alabama Gulf Coast and surrounding areas.  The performance line-up changes every year, but you may have an opportunity to enjoy your favorite song performed by the person who penned it.  How cool is that?

 

  1. You can visit venues as diverse as the performers

Another cool thing about this unique festival experience is the venues change and are as diverse as the festival goers.  With so much talent in one small geographical area, the need for lots of places to perform is evident.  With that, you have lots of choices of locations where you’d like to enjoy the events.  Locations vary from everyone’s favorite beachside roadhouse the Flora-Bama Lounge and Package where the festival began and the Bushwackers are world-famous, to Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s in Gulf Shores where the t-shirts are as happy and fun as the dining experience.  Bill-E’s Old 27 Grill in Fairhope, where the performers are serenaded by Bill-E’s Small Batch Bacon is also scheduled to host performances.  For a totally different musical experience, visit the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach during the festival.  The acoustics in this beautiful center overlooking Wolf Bay are amazing!  How about watching festival performances at a local church?  St. Andrews by the Sea- A Community Church located on Fort Morgan Road is a host site.  For a complete list of the 20+ venues where performances are scheduled,  check out the Venue Page of the festival.

  1. You can enjoy fabulous coastal dinners and

beverages

A few of the venues we have already listed are known for their great food and beverages.  The Flora-Bama has some of the best seafood on any state line!  Lulus’s in Gulf Shores offers not only an amazing menu as listed, but they also will prepare special meals for patrons with shellfish and seafood allergies.  How cool is that?!  Old 27 Grill never disappoints with their amazing burgers and ice cold beer.  Other great places to eat that area also festival venues include the Sunset Cork Room Restaurant and Wine Bar where your favorite wine and their fabulous grouper or blackened chicken breast are a perfect match.  While you’re enjoying the festivities, give Pirate’s Cove a try!  Also known for wonderful bushwackers and fat, juicy, sloppy, yummy hamburgers, Pirate’s Cove is a fun outing for couples and families alike.

 

  1. You are showing your support for veterans and

newcomers to the music industry

To be a writer of any sort is a challenge and a craft.  To be a songwriter, takes a special kind of gift turned skill.  Knowledge of the language, coupled with the perfect rhyme, and the placement of each exact word to tell a story that touches someone, is undeniably a gift only a few select folks have.  By visiting the venues of the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival, you are not only going to come away with a new appreciation for  these gifted individuals, you are showing them your support just by going.  Some writers are Grammy winners and some are just getting started on their journey, but all of them appreciate public support.  Go the festival to for the great feeling you’ll get by attending, but know your being there is making someone else happy, too.

 

  1. You become a part of history in the making

This is the 34th year of the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.  For thirty-four years, our coast has been honored to host hundreds of writers, singers and musicians.  For 34 years, we have had the privilege of seeing first-hand the artists who shape our music airways.  We know you will feel a deep sense of awe once you’ve experienced the festival for yourself.  We actually know of no one who has ever attended this festival who didn’t come away with a new perspective on songwriting and the historical importance these guys play in our everyday lives.  Come for the music.  Come meet the artists.  Come be a part of history.

 

At Sunset Properties, we are pleased to recommend local events to our guests and website visitors.  Because we are blessed to be “locals”, we get to enjoy all that our Alabama Gulf Coast has to offer.  We are also pleased to host any guests who plan to come and enjoy the Songwriters’ Festival.  We have rental properties located in Orange Beach, near the Flora Bama and only a short drive to the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach .  We would love for you to stay in one of our beautiful condos in Gulf Shores, just a short drive from Lulu’s or any venue in Baldwin County.  And we have lots of homes located on beautiful Fort Morgan Road, just a short drive from St. Andrews Church.  We, at Sunset Properties, are just as versatile as the songwriters and venues, themselves.  Give us a call and let us help you find your perfect vacation home for your festival stay.

 

www.sunsetproperties.com                                                                                    251.543.1370

5 Best Places to Watch a September Sun Set in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan

September sunsets, when the sun’s rays seem to stretch across The Gulf of Mexico, long and slow across the water, can be some of the most spectacular all year.  To see a late summer sunset on the Alabama Gulf Coast is truly a treat!  At Sunset Properties, we get asked all the time:  where’s a good place to watch the sun go down?  While the public beaches in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are always great places to watch an Alabama day end, we have a few more suggestions of places to check out if you’re hoping to see an amazing September Sunset.

 

  1.       Sea-N-Suds

Do you like seafood gumbo?  How about a cold beer? Do you like eating outside watching The Gulf waves ebb and flow?  Put the beer beside the gumbo and add the fabulous Gulf view and you have a perfect evening at Sea-N-Suds!  For 43 years Sea-N-Suds has been a Gulf Shores favorite. We think it should be a state landmark!  If you’ve never eaten at Sea-N-Suds, you’re so  missing out.  If you’ve never have  tried their gumbo, you need to put that on your list of must-do-things!  This unique restaurant is located only about five minutes from Beachview 223. If watching the September sun sink below the horizon is in your vacation plans, you really should do it from the deck at Sea-N-Suds while you lazily eat a bowl of yummy gumbo and sip a cold beer.

 

  1.       Alabama Point Beach

Located just three-tenths of a mile past the Perdido Pass Bridge on the AL Highway 182 (Beach Boulevard) is Alabama Point East, a part of Gulf State Park.  The sand peninsula that forms Alabama Point East is a great place to go to watch the sun go down.  With plenty of parking, boardwalk access to the beach and an unmatched view of The Gulf, Alabama Point East is a great place to end a fun day at the beach.  If you’re staying with us at Grand Caribbean 425, you already have a great view.  However, just for fun, go ahead and check out the sunset from the beach just a few minutes away from your condo.

 

  1.       Fort Morgan Beaches

We can’t say enough about the beauty of the beaches of the Fort Morgan community.  For our guests who choose to vacation in Sea Turtle, USA 2, or The Dunes or The Indies, you already know the amazing views that your vacation home has.  However, for sunsets, you are doubly blessed!  Facing West from your favorite chari on your private beach, you have one of the best views on our island to watch the sun’s rays change colors as they shorten.  Be sure to bring a flashlight, too.  After the sun disappears, you’ll need your flashlight to do some great beach crab watching!

 

  1.       On the waters of The Alabama Gulf Coast

Watching a sunset from on board a vessel is always a cool thing to get to do.  Book a sunset cruise on the Wild Hearts and expect to see a sunset like you’ve not seen before.  The reflection of the setting sun on the waters of The Alabama Gulf Coast is a vision never duplicated.  If you’re staying with us in Orange Beach at Caribe B Penthouse 4 or in Gulf Shores at Grand Caribbean 215, catching a ride on Wild Hearts is so easy!  It leaves out of the back bay of Orange Beach , which is just a short drive away.  Each day has something a little different to see on our island and each sunset memory is uniquely perfect.  Contact the good folks at Wild Hearts to make your reservation and bring along your camera!  You’ll probably see some dolphins, too.

 

  1.       Gulf State Park Pier

So everyone knows the pier is a great place to go fishing, but what about sunset watching?  Yep!  It’s perfect for that, too!  Whether you’re staying nearby at Pat-Ti-O or a little farther away at Dunes 709,  you’re sure to enjoy watching a late summer setting sun from the pier.  The Gulf State Park Pier is open 24 hours, so even after the sun sinks for the day, you’re welcome to stay as long as you like and enjoy the evening from the pier.   The sound of the waves hitting the pier pilings is so relaxing.  We can’t think of a better way to end a perfect day in Gulf Shores.

 

Septembers on the Alabama Gulf Coast are usually pretty quiet.  Most folks have traveled back home to go to school and back to work before the holidays.  We think this is the perfect time to visit our island.  If you haven’t made your plans to visit in September, what are you waiting for?  Here is your invitation to experience Island Life in late summer!  We believe the best way to enjoy a September Sunset starts by reserving your vacation home with a rental management company named for Sunsets!  Contact us at Sunset Properties today!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

 

10 Things to Know About the Annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores

The Annual National Shrimp Festival has been a staple event in Gulf Shores in October for almost 50 years.  This year’s festival dates are October 11-14.  Each year, the Gulf Shores Public Beach area is packed with artists, musicians and festival goes expecting to have a fun-filled family weekend.  Each year, festival planners bring their A-Game and this year is sure to be no exception.  Whether you’re staying with Sunset Properties at Pat-Ti-O or Beachview 223 right in the heart of Gulf Shores or at Just Write in the Fort Morgan community, here are a few tips to make your Shrimp Festival Adventure a fun one:

 

  1.       Bring your camera

There is so much to see at the Shrimp Festival.  You won’t want to miss a single memory.  From the wonderful musical groups performing on the stages around the venue, to the fun sand castle contest going on along the beach, there will be so much to do and see.  You and your family will want lots of picture to take home to show your friends or to post to your favorite social media account.  A camera is a must for this year’s Shrimp Festival.

 

  1.       Leave pets at home

Many of our rental properties are dog friendly places.  We encourage you to check out our list of places to stay where your pet is welcome.  Please know, however, the Shrimp Festival is not a place for pets.  If you’re not comfortable leaving your fur baby in your rental unit, reach out to the good folks at Sea Paws Dog Resort, a local doggie daycare.  Reservations to play may be necessary, so give them a call to get all the details on what you need to bring so your dog can have a day out while you and your family enjoy the festival.

 

  1.       Plenty of cold drinks available

October days on the Alabama Gulf Coast can get pretty warm.  There will be plenty of cold beverages available all throughout the Shrimp Festival venue.  From water, to sodas to lemonade, you’re sure to find your favorite drink available.  For those of you over 21, adult beverages are also available inside the venue.  Please enjoy adult beverages responsibly.  If you must drive back to your vacation home, please don’t drink.  If you really want to let your hair down and have a few beers, please call one of our fine taxi services to take you back to your vacation home.

 

  1.       Entertainment is non-stop

This year, country music recording artist Joe Diffie will be headlining at the Shrimp Festival.  Local favorites like Tophat & Jackie, The Tip Tops, Brent Burns and Kristy Lee are also scheduled to perform.  On Sunday, there will be a church service provided by Liberty Church.  Check out the Entertainment Lineup for specifics, and rest assured there will certainly will be something for everyone to enjoy on the stages at the 2018 Annual National Shrimp Festival.

 

  1.       Fine Artists are unmatched

As you walk through the Fine Arts section of the Shrimp Festival, you will see museum quality hand created items from paintings, to photography to pottery.  With the artist personally present a the festival, you will be able to not only enjoy the creations, but chat with the creators.  This is a great place to find Christmas gifts for those folks who have everything.  There are so many one-of-a-kind pieces, shopping for that hard-to-shop-for person will be a breeze!

 

  1.       Crafters have fun affordable wares

Sometimes fine art pieces can be a bit pricey.  Maybe you want to buy a handmade gift but you don’t have a huge budget or a lot of room in your car to take it back home.  Don’t miss the Arts and Crafts section of the festival.  You are sure to find just the right handmade gift.  No factory made items are allowed in this section of the festival.  Just like in the Fine Arts area, all crafts are handmade and the craftsmen and crafts-ladies are right on site to talk with your about their wares.  Sometimes half the fun is finding out what skills it takes to create such fun and unique pieces of art.

 

  1.       Souvenirs are one-of-a-kind

Because the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber is the leading entity producing the Shrimp Festival, they have the best souvenirs.  Be sure to visit one of their booths and get an official tee shirt or koozie.  There is only one Annual National Shrimp Festival and only one place to get the official souvenirs:  right on site during the festival dates.

 

  1.       Kids have a special area

There is always something cool and fun for the kiddos!  From the Sand Castle contest to The Kids Area, your little mermaids and pirates will have a great time at the festival, too. And don’t forget about enjoying the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast Beaches while you’re in town.  Gulf Shores has some of the prettiest beaches in the world and we hope you will allot some of your weekend time to just enjoy the sugary white sand that wraps our shoreline.

 

  1.       BRATS shuttles are the best way to get there

There are plenty of ways to get to the Shrimp Festival, but parking in the festival venue is probably not an option for most folks.  Baldwin Rural Area Transit Service, our county’s own public transportation service, is available to pick up and drop off festival goers from several locations around the island.  We suggest riding BRATS.  It is convenient, inexpensive and the drivers are some of the nicest folks around!  For a complete list of BRATS services and fees, please check their website.

 

  1.   There’ll be lots of Shrimp!  Shrimp! And More Shrimp!

And you cannot forget to have some shrimp while you’re in Gulf Shores!  Famously named for the cute little pink crustacean, The Annual National Shrimp Festival is home to some of the best shrimp around.  You’ll find fried shrimp, boiled shrimp and grilled shrimp.  You’ll see shrimp on a stick and shrimp with veggies or fries.  Come hungry and plan to stay for a day and enjoy on of the best festivals anywhere!

 

If you’ve never been to the Annual National Shrimp Festival, you’re definitely missing out.  If you’ve never stayed with Sunset Properties, you should give us a try, too, for your next visit to the Alabama Gulf Coast.  With rentals in Orange Beach like Moorings 414 and Grand Caribbean 215, you can’t go wrong.  How about staying in Gulf Shores at Light House 607 or Peninsula 401 ?  Or if you’d prefer to stay in the Fort Morgan community, check out Navy Cove 2113 or Southern Comfort.  No matter where you choose to stay for your Shrimp Festival Weekend getaway, we at Sunset Properties know we have the perfect rental accommodations for you and your family!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

241.543.1360

 

10 Fun Family Late Summer Things to Do at The Beach

So your summer’s almost over and you are taking the kiddos to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan one last time before you have to get back to PTA, homework and, of course, football.  But what do you do?  When you guys came down to the Alabama Gulf Coast and stayed with Sunset Properties earlier this year, you did it all, right?  You hit all the great spots:  Waterville, The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and Adventure Island.  So what’s left?

 

Here are ten great family outings that you must do before everyone goes back to school:

 

  1. Dine with pirates and princesses

“Arrgh, Matey!  Pass me them there eggs,”  might be what you hear when you having breakfast at The Hangout with pirates and princesses.  These unusual characters can be found most mornings at this local spot.   Have you ever dined with pirates before?  Most folks haven’t.  But, trust me on this,  you’re in for a treat!  This summer at The Hangout, you can have breakfast with these infamous folks from the High Seas. Come dressed in your best costume, enjoy some great food and stay for the treasure hunt.  This is a really cool way to start off any late summer day in Gulf Shores.  Contact the groovy staff at The Hangout for exact times and dates of this unique breakfast experience.

 

  1. Enjoy a live play

Remember The Lion King?  Everyone loves The Lion King!  Bring the whole family to see a live production of this timeless classic at the South Baldwin Community Theatre.  With several show times in August, there is sure to be one to fit your vacation schedule.  This production features bright costumes, great music and, of course, your favorites from the jungle including Simba and Rafiki.  If you enjoyed the animated version (and who didn’t, right?!) this live version is sure to take it to the next level.  Tickets are limited, so you will need to grab those as soon as you decide to put this fun outing on your “must do list”!

 

  1. Dance in the streets

The Wharf hosts the biggest street party on the island.  Enjoy island life outside in the evening summer breeze when DJ Matt and mascot Starla the Starfish get the party started around 7 PM on Saturday nights.   There are contests and prizes at this summertime event.  With all kinds of retail shops and restaurants right in front of you, once you get to The Wharf, you won’t want to leave before you see and do it all!  So throw on your boogie shoes or your favorite flip flops and head on over to Main Street at the Wharf and dance the night away with your whole crew.

 

  1. Take a segway tour

Coastal Segway Adventures offers 2-hour guided Segway® Personal Transporter tours through the beautiful Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail.  The Trail features seven pathways through six different ecosystems totalling a 15 mile outing.  For two hours, your guide from Coastal Segway Adventures will lead you through the trail and talk about what you’re seeing all around.  We can’t think of a better way to enjoy nature in Gulf Shores than to explore your way through Gulf State Park.  Make sure you bring your insect repellent and sunscreen.  Oh, and don’t forget your camera.  You’ll probably see plants and animals not found in your own backyard!

 

  1. Visit a Nature Center

Speaking of Gulf State Park, have you ever been to the nature center at the campground on Lake Shelby? The nature center is a living museum of plants and animals that are native to our Alabama Gulf Coast region.  The good folks at the nature center want to create awareness about the plant and animal life in our area.  As much as this is educational, it is entertaining.  It’s a fun hands-on learning experience unlike any other around.  Through this kind of personal connection with nature, the staff there hopes to encourage others to share the same love for our environment that they have.  Don’t just visit Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, then leave without seeing this.  Stop by our little nature center and become a nature-loving part of our extended family!

 

  1. Have a family date night

Who says “date night” can only be for couples?  We think Family Date Nights are amazing, too!  But what do you do for a Family Date Night?  Gather up your whole crew and head on over to the Gulf State Park Pier.  It is great for way more than just fishing from.  Did you know that you can walk out on the pier even if you’re not fishing?  Yep!  It’s a great little walk, too!  The pier is 1540 feet long and 20 feet wide and features indoor seating as well as rail seating.  Here’s a fun fact:  they have Blue Bell ice cream in the concession store.  This outing may not be as flashy and sparkly as some of the others you and your family go on, but how great would it be to just get some ice cream, find a nice peaceful spot, sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of The Gulf of Mexico as the waves roll around underneath you?   Sometimes the simplest things make the best memories.

 

  1. Check out some cool fireworks

There is always something cool going on at The Wharf.  In addition to being your Saturday night boogie spot, come to The Wharf on Monday nights all summer to catch some great fireworks!  Sparks after Dark Fireworks has become a summer tradition at The Wharf.  Find your spot on Main Street before 8:45 PM and get ready to watch the skies light up in all kinds of fabulous colors.  Be sure to follow this link for more details on this weekly fireworks show.  We definitely don’t want you to miss this!

 

  1. Be a groupie

All summer long, Pelican Place at Craft Farms is hosting their annual Sounds of Summer Event.  Every Saturday night from 6:00-8:30 PM bring your lawn chair and see a free concert.  What better way is there to start your own groupie “career” than at a free outdoor concert at the beach? This is a family friendly event, so the kiddos can officially become concert groupies, too!  There will be food and other vendors on site, so all you really need to bring is a lawn chair or a blanket.  Expect to see some of the best entertainment around and we are pretty sure you won’t be disappointed!

 

  1. Walk on water

Ever thought about walking on water?  Wouldn’t it be great if you could just strike out across a body of water and not sink?  Well, now you can!  Lucy Buffett’s Lulus now hasl Water Walkers.  A water walker is an inflatable sphere that you can get inside of and actually walk across the water without getting wet.  You can run, roll, flip and flop inside your Water Walker and enjoy seeing down through the water with a whole new perspective.  While you’re at Lulus, you’re probably going to want to stay for a while and enjoy some of the best seafood on the island, so set aside a couple of hours for this adventure.

 

  1. Marvel at the Blue Angels

Oh my goodness!  Have you ever seen the Blue Angels in action?  This is thrill like none other.  Grown ups and kids alike love watching from the ground as the Blues fly overhead, barely missing each other in the air.  You will find yourself saying the word “wow” out loud before you even know it.  The Blue Angels practice at the museum at NAS Pensacola on just a select few days each year.  But you’re in luck, they should be in the air at least one of the days while you’re down this way.  Practices last almost an hour and admission is free.  With some careful planning, you can schedule your outing to include meeting these amazingly skilled Navy pilots and maybe even getting their autographs. Who wouldn’t want to get a Blue Angel’s autograph?  They truly are the heros and stars of the American skies.

 

Using this list as a guide, we know you’re sure to enjoy your late summer stay in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  But what if you’re not quite ready to make this your last beach trip for the year?  Well, here are two more reasons you need to come back to the Alabama Gulf Coast before the holidays:  The Annual National Shrimp Festival and The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.  

 

Don’t forget to contact us at Sunset Properties and make all your reservations early!  We still have a few rentals available in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan during these festival times, but keep in mind, our island tends to be pretty full of out-of-town folks who attend both of these and we don’t want you to miss out!  Book early and ensure you get the perfect vacation home for your family’s needs.  We look forward to speaking with you and helping you get on your way to having a perfect later summer vacation!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

Phone 251.543.1370

info@sunsetproperties.com