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

5 Reasons to Visit Fort Morgan this Summer 2019

Located at the far west end of Alabama Highway 180, also known as Fort Morgan Road, stands one of Alabama’s oldest structures, Fort Morgan Historic Site.  Constructed on the site of an outdated Fort Bowyer in 1819, Fort Morgan’s interesting history intertwines with today’s modernization.  If you’ve never visited our beloved fort, The Summer of 2019 is a perfect time to go!  If you’ve been there before, you should definitely plan a trip back soon.  Here are five reasons why you should visit Fort Morgan Historic Site this summer:

1. Inexpensive Attraction

We know that when you go on vacation, everything seems to cost money.  Often, we decide which activities and attractions we are going to do, based on the cost for the whole family to participate.  If enjoying a whole day of family fun without breaking your budget, appeals to you, you’re in luck!  Fort Morgan is one of the least expensive attractions on the Alabama Gulf Coast.   The price of admission for adults is only $8 each and for kids and seniors it’s $5 each.  So basically, a family of four can visit Fort Morgan, tour the site, visit the beach and stay all do for less than $40.  That’s a deal!  We suggest visiting Rouse’s Market located at the intersection of Fort Morgan Road and Gulf Shores Parkway and grabbing a few things for a picnic, then enjoy the scenic ride all the way to the fort.

2. Abundant Wildlife

Because Fort Morgan Historic Site is a protected area, it is surrounded by natural sea oat covered dunes and plenty of local wildlife.  You will see seagulls, herons, sandpipers, sand crabs and different varieties fish.  On warm summer days, dolphins swim and play just offshore in Mobile Bay.  It is a treat to get to see them splashing around in the bay.   Be alert and watchful for snakes and perhaps even an alligator or two.  The beaches that surround the fort are home to several coastal plants and animals and several ecosystems can be observed.

If the heat of the day gets to you, go ahead and take a swim in the rolling waves of the bay.  There is no lifeguard on duty, but swimming in Mobile Bay is a great way to cool off on a summer afternoon.

3. Living History Explained

All summer long the staff at Fort Morgan Historic Site will offer daily walking tours.  Tours start at the fort museum and gift shop area and are led by knowledgeable staff members.  If a scheduled tour isn’t your idea of enjoying this attraction, feel free to take a self-guided tour.  When you pay your fees at the entrance gate, the attendant will provide you with a helpful brochure detailing specific facts about Fort Morgan.  Do you think it’s too hot to tour the fort during the day?  Well, we have a suggestion on how you can avoid the daytime heat and still visit the fort.   On Tuesday evenings at 6PM all summer long, there will be reenactments and interpretive performances based on information about the lives of fort inhabitants from the 1800s.  So if you choose to come to the fort at night, plan to take an actual step back in time and be surrounded by a living sample of 19th Century coastal Alabama life.

4. Pets Allowed

If you choose to bring your dog with you on vacation, we know you’re looking for dog friendly attractions as well at dog friendly accommodations.  Ellie Fish 2 in Gulf Shores is a fabulously decorated fully stocked beach home that welcomes guests with small dogs.  Fort Morgan also welcomes leashed dogs with their owners during the hours of operation.  In addition to traversing the fort grounds with you, your four-legged child can also enjoy Fort Morgan’s beach and museum.  Please remember to keep your fur baby on a leash and to clean up after any potty outings.

5. Great Fishing

Are you looking for a quiet place to fish either from waist deep waters of the bay or right from the shore?  Fort Morgan’s beaches and shallow areas just off shore are perfect places to fish!  You’ll need to check with Outdoor Alabama to get your licenses to fish in the salt waters of Mobile Bay and The Gulf of Mexico, but once you get there, we’re pretty sure you’ll catch something that’ll make you smile.   Mobile Point, the name of the area where the fort is located, is known for great fishing by locals and tourists alike.  We’re letting you in on the secret.  Check the local tide reports for the days you want to fish and visit one of our great local bait shops like Sam’s Stop and Shop or J&M Tackle in Orange Beach, and come fish at our fort.

This is just a short list of reasons to visit Fort Morgan this summer.  

We’re sure once you get inside the historic stone gates of Fort Morgan, that you will make irreplaceable memories and find other reasons why you’ll want to keep Fort Morgan Historic Site on your “to-do” list when you visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.  Remember, Sunset Properties has beach homes available all along Fort Morgan Road, in Gulf Shores and in Orange Beach.  Give us a call and let us help you get your vacation home reserved.

251.543.1370

www.sunsetproperties.com

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 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!