Four Fall Festivals You Shouldn’t Miss in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

We know when you plan your vacation to the Alabama Gulf Coast, visiting our sandy white beaches is always at the top of your list.  We get it. Everyone loves listening to the sounds of the waves hitting the shore and watching the seagulls play overhead.  In the summer, the beach is all abuzz with swimmers, surfers and watercraft riders.  There are so many things to do right there on the beach, you may not think about anything else.  But what about when the fall comes?  Trips tend to be shorter and the beaches are not quite as busy as they are in the summer.  What is there to do in the fall when you only have a couple of days to enjoy South Baldwin County?  We want you to know about Four Fall Festivals you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  From seafood, to wildlife, to some of the best music and art anywhere, fall festival season down here is just getting started!  You really need to come on down to Coastal Alabama, stay with Sunset Properties and check these out:

Alabama Coastal BirdFest

The 16th Annual Alabama Coastal Birdfest:  A Birding & Nature Festival will be held October 2-5, 2019.  BirdFest showcases great bird- and nature-watching spots all around Baldwin and Mobile counties, including Fort Morgan, Dauphin Island, Weeks Bay, Gulf Shores, and more. BirdFest offers excellent bird and nature watching experiences for both experts and novices alike.  Festival goers can expect to see a wide variety of coastal and migratory birds, alligators, dolphins and an array of local wildflowers.  Many BirdFest activities are ticketed, however there is one event that is free to the public.  In addition to the different ticketed locations of this festival, a Bird and Conservation Expo is planned for Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Fairhope campus of Coastal Alabama Community College in the Halstead Amphitheatre.  This outdoor expo is free to the public and everyone is invited.  The 16th Annual Alabama Coastal Birdfest is a production of The Weeks Bay Foundation and proceeds will benefit this local conservation group.

Annual National Shrimp Festival

A production of the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, The 48th Annual National Shrimp Festival is planned for October 10-13, 2019 at the public beach area in the heart of Gulf Shores.  The Shrimp Festival, a locally produced and nationally recognized festival celebrating one of our favorite crustaceans, continues to be volunteer-driven.  Dozens of locals come together and collaborate to produce one of the best food, music, arts and crafts festivals anywhere.   This year’s music lineup is sure to please all who attend.  Look for musicians to be performing on two stages.  Groups expected to perform include:  The Tip Tops, Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster,  and the Velcro Pygmies.  There will be tribute bands celebrating the music of Def Leppard, Elvis and AC/DC.  Local faves Tophat & Jackie, Brent Burns and Elaine Petty are also scheduled.  Be sure to check out the fine arts area featuring local and national artisans.  And don’t forget the food.  As is tradition, we expect to have shrimp in all kinds of recipes.  We love our Alabama Gulf Shrimp and hope you will try some while you’re here.  The Annual National Shrimp Festival is free to the public.  For guidelines on what you can bring into the festival site or for shuttle stop locations, check out their website.  We will see you there!

Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend

If you thought the Annual National Shrimp Festival was the last thing going on this fall along the Alabama Gulf Coast, think again!  We have a couple of more festivals you need to try!  Join several of your besties at the Hangout in Gulf Shores November 1-2, 2019 for the 12th Annual Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend.  This ticketed event is slam full of all the things we love about Gulf Shores:  beachfront, seafood, music, good friends and fun!  While not every oyster will give you a pearl, you’re sure to make a treasure chest full of memories when you meet your friends at the Hangout in early November.  There will be restaurant tastings, celebrity chefs cooking and craft beer sampling.  You can expect cocktail demos and an oyster shucking contest.  There will be a champagne lounge and a tailgating experience.  In addition to all this, there will be live music right on site!  Your ticket covers so much, we can’t even list it all here.  But you can check it all out for yourself on the Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend website.  Everyone knows the Hangout is always a great place to…well…hang out…but when they do a festival, they do it up right!  Be sure to put this weekend on your calendar and stay with Sunset Properties while you’re in our neighborhood.  We have several condos and beach homes that are really close to the Hangout and we are sure we can find you the perfect place to stay!

Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival

Since 1984, the good folks at The Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store have produced the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.   This eleven-day multi-venue event will take place November 7-17, 2019 in both Alabama and Florida along our beautiful Gulf Coast.  Named for a beloved night watchman at the Flora-Bama, the late Frank Brown, this festival celebrates people who otherwise might not get public recognition.  This unique festival allows seasoned song-writers and up-and-comers alike, the opportunity to showcase their talents.  Because this festival “moves” from venue to venue, festival goers not only are exposed to a variety of songwriting talent, but also get to experience the best our coastal communities have to offer in food and drinks.  This year the Southeast Tourism Society has named the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival one of the Top 20 STS Events in the Southeast for November 2019.  With great venues like The Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store, the Coastal Arts Center in Orange Beach, Lucy Buffet’s Lulu’s in Gulf Shores and the Sandshaker at The Wharf, we are inclined to agree.  We can’t wait to see songwriters like Mac Davis, Dean Dillon and Mark Dreyer perform.  For a list of all songwriters represented, check out their website.  

The summer may be over down here along our Alabama Gulf Coast, but the fun sure isn’t!  We hope to see you this fall.  Whether you’re just coming down for one of our great festivals or to stay for a couple of weeks, we at Sunset Properties are anxiously awaiting your arrival!  We have condos and beach homes located in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  We have vacation rental properties that will sleep from 2 to 22 and everything in between.  Want to bring your fur baby with you for your fall getaway?  We’ve got you covered on that, too!  So go ahead, plan your festival outing and plan on staying with us at Sunset Properties.  

Happy Fall, Y’all! 

We’ll see ya soon!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

5 Tips to Help You Enjoy Your 2019 Annual National Shrimp Festival Weekend

Welcome to The 48th Annual National Shrimp Festival in beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama!  We are so glad you’ve decided to spend an October weekend with us!  For four fun fall days, October 10-13, 2019, Shrimp Festival Fever will take over Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  And we know many of you have been to visit our lovely island during Shrimp Fest, but for those of you who haven’t yet come down to experience the crustacean celebration, we invite you to give us a try!  The Shrimp Festival, with its 250,000 estimated attendance, can be a bit intimidating.  We thought we’d give you a few tips to help you enjoy your 2019 Annual National Shrimp Festival Weekend:

1       Know Where You’re Staying

With so many options on where to stay during Shrimp Festival Weekend, how do you decide what’s best for you?  At Sunset Properties, we are happy to help you with that!  If you want to stay within walking distance of the festival, check out Bare Foot.  This lovely three bedroom home sleeps up to eight people and is only a short walk to the main public beach in Gulf Shores.  If you’d like to stay in a condominium in Gulf Shores, take a look at Island Sunrise 468.  This super cute condo sleeps up to eight people comfortably and has an amazing Gulf front beach view.  Maybe you want to stay a little farther away from the festival site and use a shuttle for part of your trip to it.  Check out Dunes 704.  This one bedroom condo sleeps up to six people and has two full baths.  It is located near Fort Morgan and will allow you all the quietness of the Fort Morgan community after you leave Shrimp Fest each evening.  If a penthouse appeals to you,  be sure to check out Caribe C Penthouse 14 in Orange Beach.  While you’ll need to plan your transportation to the festival site, you’re sure to love this elegantly decorated penthouse condominium that overlooks Perdido Pass.  

2       Know How to Get to The Shrimp Fest Site

So getting to the Shrimp Fest site can be a bit complicated.  With the roads blocked off just north of the public beaches in Gulf Shores, parking can be pretty challenging.  We suggest taking BRATS.  Baldwin Rural Area Transit Service, lovingly known by us locals as BRATS, is the best way to get there.  BRATS shuttles will pick you up and drop you off outside the festival site making access a breeze!  Festival goers can purchase an all day rider’s pass and shuttles run about every 15 minutes.  For a complete list of shuttle stops, check out this link to the Festival Shuttle Guide.

3       Know Your Art and Entertainment Options

This is the 48th Annual National Shrimp Festival and the Arts and Crafts and Music continue to just get better with each year.   The fine arts section of The Shrimp Fest is a juried show and awards are given to the best of the best.  The Crafts section is slam full of crafters who create everything from clothes to household items and just plain unique art.  If you’re having a hard time deciding what to get your special someone for Christmas, make a plan to shop the Shrimp Festival.  We are sure you’ll find something for your someone who seemingly has everything.  There are so many unique items to choose from, your Christmas shopping will be super easy while you’re here.  And of course, you’ll want to know the music lineup.  We  have included the music lineup here, but remember things can change a little:

Thursday, October 10, 2019

EAST STAGE 

• Lisa Christian: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

• Poarch Ninjas: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• Ryan Balthrop: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• Tobacco RD: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• Style the Band: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

• Doctor Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

 WEST STAGE

• Logan Lassiter: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

• Hannah McFarland: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• Roxy & The Magic Johnsons: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• Bruce Smelley: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• David Jones & Friends: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

• The Tip Tops: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

Friday, October 11, 2019

EAST STAGE

• Tophat and Jackie: 10:00 AM -11:30 AM

• Tracey & Alan: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• The Defrosters: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• Will Smith: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• Journey2Mars: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

• Category 6: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

WEST STAGE

​• Brent Burns: 10:00 AM -11:30 AM

• Christina Christian: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• Shiny Objects: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• Yeah, Probably: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• The Wildflowers: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

• Doctor Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

Saturday, October 12, 2019

EAST STAGE

• Elaine Petty: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

• Ten Penny Gypsy: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• JoJo Pres: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

​• Miles Flatt: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• Cort Carpenter: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

• Mustache’ The Band: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

WEST STAGE

• Singing for Scholarships Contest: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

• Elvis Remembered: 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

• Ultimate Def Leppard: An Incredible Tribute: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

• Highway to Hell: The Ultimate AC/DC Tribute Band: 6:00 PM  – 7:30 PM

• Velcro Pygmies: 8:15 PM – 10:00 PM

Sunday, October 13, 2019

EAST STAGE

• Worship Service: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

• Al & Cathy: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• Sandra Kaye & The Legend Band: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• Voodoo Bayou: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

WEST STAGE

• Marcus & Ebony: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

• Andy Smith: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

• Wavelength: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

• The Groovinators: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

4       Know How to Dress

Fall along the Alabama Gulf Coast can be a bit tricky.  One day it might be a clear beautiful 80 degree day with low humidity and the next day it may rain and be a cool 60 degrees outside.  So what do you wear to Shrimp Fest?  We suggest packing some fun tees and shorts and your flip flops.  You’re probably going to need them at least one of the days you’re here.  Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, too!  The Gulf is still warm enough to take a dip and all of our beach vacation homes have available pools.  Some even have hot tubs on site and you won’t want to miss out on those!  Also, bring some comfy jeans.  Nights in October can be a bit chilly.  We can’t predict the evening air temps from year to year, but it’s better to be prepared than to be chilled while you’re watching your favorite bands perform at the festival.  And it’s a good idea to pack your frog tog or wind breaker.  Like we mentioned before, sometimes it does rain a little in October.

5       Know What You Can Take Inside

The Festival grounds are gated, but entrance is free.  The National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores is a family event.  Bring your kids, in-laws, and best buds and plan to stay a while.  Phones and cameras are allowed.  And they have a wonderful Kids Area all planned out.  You will want to take pictures and make life-long memories while you’re here.  Having said that, though, there are a few things you cannot bring into the festival site.  Pets are not allowed.  If you choose to bring your dog with you on your Shrimp Festival Weekend Vacation to stay in one of our many dog friendly rentals, we strongly suggest your reach out to the good folks at Sea Paws Dog Resort to schedule a play time for your fur baby.  Coolers are not allowed.  Why would you need one anyway?  The best food available anywhere and the coldest beer and sodas will be available right inside the festival.  For other FAQs, follow this link to the Shrimp Festival page for information.

We at Sunset Properties are thrilled to know you’re coming to celebrate Shrimp Fest Weekend with us.  If you have any questions about your vacation home reservation, call, text or email us.  We are happy to help.  And remember, our Shrimp Festival Weekend is four days long, so you’ll want to plan to come early and be there Thursday when it opens.  Thursday is less crowded than any other day and it’s the day when most of us locals go and hang out.  So come on down a day early and hang out with us!  We are looking forward to your arrival!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Best Places to Golf in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

When you think about the pristine white beaches of beautiful coastal Alabama and all there is to do in our neighborhood, going golfing might not come to mind.  In your mind’s eye, you may envision brightly colored parasails being towed behind ski boats or, perhaps the tall extended outriggers of a shrimp boat.  Maybe you think of the familiar blue and white striped umbrellas and beach chairs that decorate our beaches.  Or maybe you just smile at the thought of enjoying a local musician play on a restaurant deck while you slowly sip a perfectly prepared Bushwacker.  Whether golf comes to mind or not, it is certainly true that Gulf Shores and our surrounding communities are blessed with some of the best golf courses anywhere.  If golfing is a sport you’re passionate about or something you’d just like to try while you’re on vacation, we want you to know where to go.  Here is a list of our five favorite golf courses in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan:

  • Craft Farms Golf Resort

Craft Farms Golf Resort is one of the top resorts in the country.  The Cotton Creek Course and The Cypress Bend Course were both designed by the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer.  With perfectly trimmed fairways and surrounding areas unmatched in beauty, these 18 hole courses are a must for any golfer, pro or otherwise.  You will enjoy beautifully furnished clubhouses and be assisted by a knowledgeable and professional staff.  These courses are both challenging and entertaining.   Craft Farms Golf Resort is located at 3840 Cotton Creek Circle in Gulf Shores.  Check out their website for tee times and fees.  Make it a point to go by and visit Craft Farms while you’re in our area.  You never know, Arnold Palmer may have just designed the perfect course for You!

  • Kiva Dunes Resort and Golf

The Golf Course at Kiva Dunes has just over 7,100 yards of play area and is one of the top courses in Alabama.  Located just off Fort Morgan Road at 815 Plantation Road, Kiva Dunes is a completely public course.  In April 2018, it was ranked the top public course in Alabama by Golf Advisor.  Reviewers complimented the course as well as the staff.  Because of its unique location, literally between The Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay, the winds change frequently.  The course, itself, changes with the winds and each golfing experience at Kiva will be a unique one. For tee times and fees, visit Kiva Dunes online.

  • Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club 

Also located just off Fort Morgan Road, Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club is another of our local favorites.  Peninsula offers three separate 9 hole courses:  Lakes, Cypress and Marsh and we encourage you to play all three.  Combine two of the three to make an 18-hole round.  Each provides a distinctly different challenge and reward.  Finding this type of variety in one resort location is not always easy.  Make sure to visit the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club website  to learn about tee times and fees.  Don’t forget to put Peninsula on your list of courses to check out while you’re staying with Sunset Properties.

  • One Club Golf

For one of the most distinctive golfing experiences around, try One Club Golf.  Along with traditional golfing outings, One Club Golf offers golfing after dark.  This fun and unique way to enjoy the sport is sure to please anyone.  With Sunset Golf, Glow Golf and Golf Happy Hour, we are sure everyone in your family will have a blast.  Conveniently located at 4000 Gulf Shores Parkway in Gulf Shores, One Club Golf is located only a short distance from most any beach home in our inventory.

  • Gulf Shores Golf Club 

Located in the heart of Gulf Shores at 520 Clubhouse Drive, Gulf Shores Golf Club is a semi-private club.  Guests are welcome to play this top-rated Alabama golf course, along with members.   This beautifully kept 18-hole course is home to several local non-golfing residents.  Raccoons, squirrels and alligators can sometimes be found on or near the course.  The course has some challenging holes, as well.  Trees and ponds make navigating this local favorite fun and exciting. While you’re here, be sure to visit the Pro Shop and clubhouse.  Gulf Shores Golf Club, built in the 1960s, is an icon in our area and we know you will want to visit it while you’re in our neighborhood.  Be sure to check out their website to make your reservation while you’re in town!

As a bonus to this blog, we don’t want to miss an opportunity to highlight our favorite place to practice.   The City of Orange Beach has opened Orange Beach Golf Center located at 4700 Easy Street in Orange Beach.  Easy Street is just off Canal Road near The Wharf in Orange Beach.  The Orange Beach Golf Center features 9-hole course with a lighted driving range, practice putting/chipping greens, practice sand bunker, and a Pro Shop.  This golf venue is so lovely and well-kept.  We encourage island guests to visit The Orange Beach Golf Center for a relaxing afternoon of golf.

We know many of you come to visit our beaches and stay with us at Sunset Properties and golf isn’t even in your plans.  You may not have even known about all the great ways to enjoy the sport in our coastal towns.  We encourage you to venture out and try something new.  You and your family may just fall in love with golfing here with us in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  If you’re already an avid golfer, and you knew about all our great courses, we encourage you to give Sunset Properties a try!  Our vacation homes range from one bedroom condos to multi-bedroom luxury beach homes.  We have homes that welcome small dogs and homes with private pools, and pretty much anything in between.  Just as we are sure you will find your best golf experience here in our area, we are equally sure you will find your perfect Sunset Properties vacation home.

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Five Unique Foods You Must Try in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

We know most of you come to our beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast and stay with us at Sunset Properties with the intention of having somefresh Alabama Gulf seafood while you’re visiting.  For some great ideas on where to find the best seafood around, check out our seafood blog. If you have seafood allergies, we have a blog for that, too.  Most locally owned restaurants offer seafood-free menus.  Several have gluten-free foods, as well.  But what about trying something just a little bit unexpected?  Several of our favorite local restaurants have kicked it up a notch with some of their menu items.  But a few have some really great unique food choices and we wanted to highlight those here.  Here are five foods you really should try while you’re in our neighborhood:

  1. The Ole Spider Burger

So don’t let the name of this local fave scare ya!  The Ole Spider Burger, a staple at Doc’s Seafood Shack & Oyster Bar for many years, definitely deserves to be on our Top 5 List!  A spider burger is a “big ole (soft shell) crab” on a bun with all the toppings you’d expect on any burger.   Crabs are trapped while they are in between hard and soft outer shells.  While their shells are soft, they can be fried whole and eaten.  You might be surprised just how good this local treat really is!  Inside the crispy outer coating, you will get a mouthful of delicious sweet crab.   We suggest topping it with lettuce, tomato and onion, just like you would your favorite beef burger.  Add some ketchup, mustard or mayo; or try our favorite:  cocktail sauce!   The Ole Spider Burger comes with fries and slaw, but we suggest adding an extra side of Doc’s World Famous Homemade Onion Rings and a cold beer or a tall glass of southern sweet tea.

  • Seafood Primavera Pizza

We all love pizza, right?  We can honestly say, you’ve never had a pizza like this.  If alfredo sauce topped with gooey mozzarella, shrimp and scallops sounds good to you, you will love the Seafood Primavera Pizza at Papa-Rocco’s.  The pizza also comes with broccoli and onions.  Papa-Rocco’s has been a local’s favorite restaurant for more than 30 years.  Located just north of the public beach in Gulf Shores, you really must stop by and visit the good folks at Papa-Rocco’s.  They call themselves the “home of warm beer, lousy pizza” but we respectfully disagree.  The beer is consistently some of the coldest anywhere and we have yet to get a bad pizza from there!  Recently, Papa-Rocco’s has added delivery to their services.  So if you don’t want to leave your beach home and go out to eat, give them a call.   Delivery just may be the answer for you!

  • World Famous Award Winning Keg Burger 

If you happen to be one of those folks who have seafood allergies, you’re gonna love our next suggestion:  The World Famous Award Winning Keg Burger from the Keg Lounge and Grill located on Canal Road in Orange Beach.   Cooked to order, this beef hamburger piled high with lettuce, tomato and grilled onions is sure to please any burger connoisseur.   Add a side of cheese fries and a cold beer for pure tasty mouth-watering bliss!  Who would ever think of having a beef burger at the beach, right?  We are so glad the good folks at The Keg did!  For years, we have found ourselves happily parked inside The Keg enjoying the flavor-filled Keg Burger they are so famous for.  Don’t let the name “The Keg”  fool you into thinking you have to be 21 to enter.  They offer a great menu for kids, too!

  • Beignets and Cafe’ au lait

How about a little  taste of New Orleans while you’re visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast?  How about enjoying some fresh, hot beignetsCafe’ Beignets of Alabama has a location in Gulf Shores and one in Orange Beach.  Well-known around south Baldwin County, Cafe Beignet is a popular breakfast or brunch spot for a light, quick sweet meal.  You cannot have French New Orleans style beignets without a cup of cafe’ au lait.  For most of us, that’s puffy powder-sugar coated pastries with a delicious cup of chicory with steamed milk.   Beignets are definitely a morning treat, so you’ll want to stop by before they close daily ‘round about noon.  Be sure to give this family-friendly easy to find locals spot a try!

  • Joe & Dave’s Alligator Bites

If you peek in our bayous around our island, you’ll most likely see some alligators.  While we do not encourage feeding, molesting or killing them, we do suggest you try some already prepared to eat.  Most people agree alligator meat is a tasty delight.  Stop by the Original Oyster House and try some of Joe & Dave’s Alligator Bites.  Fried to a golden brown, a basket of  perfectly portioned gator bites with a side of their wonderful dipping sauce, is certainly a reason to dine in Gulf Shores’ own Original Oyster House located in the heart of Gulf Shores.  Add an ice cold adult beverage or soda and we’re sure you’ll be glad you stopped in.  Don’t forget to grab one of their super stylish t-shirts, while you’re there.  Enjoy great food and take home a great souvenir from the Original Oyster House!

These unique menu items available from some of our favorite local restaurants are just a few reasons why we love our island.  Whether you’re staying with us at Sunset Properties for a weekend or all winter long, we encourage you to shop local and try new foods!   And remember, for all your vacation rental needs, Sunset Properties has you covered.  From single bedroom condos to multi-bedroom beach homes, we have exactly what you’re looking for in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or in Fort Morgan.  Call us, text us or email us and we will be happy to get your next beach vacation reservation ready for your arrival!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Top 10 Ways to Destress in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan for Labor Day Weekend 2019

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With Labor Day 2019 right around the corner, we know you’re probably trying to squeeze in one last summer beach vacation getaway.  At Sunset Properties, we are ready for your arrival.  Not only are we looking forward to you coming to visit us along the Alabama Gulf Coast, we have ten great ideas how to spend your Labor Day 2019 stress-free and without laboring at all!

  1. Relax under a beach umbrella and read a book

How does stretching out one last time this summer on a beach chair, book in hand, as you relax to the unmatched sounds of the waves of The Gulf of Mexico sound?  To us it sounds pretty good!  Be sure to pack your sunscreen.  We know it’s late in the season, but you can still catch a pretty bad burn if you’re not careful.  So pack your favorite novel, your cozy towel, and come on down to Gulf Shores, stay in Dunes 401, located in the Fort Morgan community, and you beach relaxation moment is only a few steps away!  

  • Watch the sun rise and set from your own beach home balcony

Maybe you’re an early riser.  Why not enjoy a hot cup of coffee as you watch the sun come up over The Gulf from your own private balcony in Indies 603?  Maybe you’d rather sleep in.  We get it.  After all, you’re on vacation.  Well, be sure to watch one of the last summer day’s sunsets with an amazing view of Perdido Pass and Alabama Point from Caribe C Penthouse 14.  With a view unlike any other on the island, this penthouse with its exquisite decor is perfectly placed for amazing views any time of day.

  • Stroll the boardwalks at Wade Ward Nature Park

The boardwalks at Wade Ward Park, located over an amazing wetland area in the heart of Gulf Shores, provide a place for a relaxing stroll.  You’ll be able to become a part of your surroundings while walking safely above any wildlife that could seem threatening.  This city park is located only about five minutes from your vacation home Lighthouse 607.  So getting here won’t create any stress, either.

  • Watch the tide ebb and flow under the Gulf State Park Pier

The Gulf State Park Pier has almost a half mile of railing and the view underneath changes almost minute-by-minute.  We’ve heard about people who have glass aquariums or fish bowls in their offices for stress relief.  We suggest taking a walk out on our pier to enjoy an unmatched view of the best natural open aquarium anywhere:  The Gulf of Mexico.  You’re almost guaranteed to see schools of fish swimming in the waves no matter what time you go visit the pier.  For extra entertainment, make it a night trip.  The waves lapping against the pier make a sound that is soothing to not only your ears, but also to your mind, body and soul.   Couple that with the feel of the night air along the Alabama Gulf Coast, and we believe you’ll forget all about labor of any sort.

  • Watch the boats travel through Perdido Pass

Just steps from Caribe C Penthouse 14, is Perdido Pass.  This is one of our favorite fishing spots.  But if fishing seems too much like work to you, just find a bench and watch the boats go in and out from our back bays.  We’ve also seen sea turtles swim by and you may even catch a glimpse of a manatee or two.   This is definitely a relaxing way to spend a few lazy hours while you’re in Orange Beach.

  • Watch the sunset over Mobile Bay

From your deck at Navy Cove 2113, you’ll have a spectacular view of the sunset over Mobile Bay.  Why not fix yourself a cold beverage and just sit back on your private deck and watch the summer sun’s rays fade away into the bay.  As the summer draws to an end, the sun’s rays seem to soften and stretch across the bay in a way you can only see this time of year.  Make plans to stay in one evening and see for yourself.

  • Watch the dolphins play at Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Have you ever been to Orange Beach Waterfront Park?  This is a great place for a family picnic and to spend an afternoon enjoying the outdoors. You can also walk out on the pier and you might be able to see dolphins playing just off shore in Wolf Bay. With clean public restrooms and a large kids area, this family friendly local park is a great place to relax and unwind.  There is no charge to use the park and everyone is welcome.

  • Kick back and float in your beach home’s pool

We cannot forget about this special way to relax and recharge.  All of our condominium beach homes have pools on site.  Many of our beach houses have pools available in their communities and a couple of our homes have private pools attached to them.  Check out Dream, Kiva and Sip N Sea to see what a luxury beach home with a private pool looks like.  Talk about a great way to spend a few hours before you have to return to work.  Bring your float and kick back and let the gentle rolling waters of your nearest pool wash away your stress.

  • Walk your fur baby at Unleashed Dog Park in Orange Beach

We know walking your fur baby at home is relaxing.  Why not bring your furry kiddo to the beach with you and walk him or her at Orange Beach’s own doggie park:  UnleashedSunset Properties has several homes that allow small dogs with some restrictions, so bringing your four legged friend on your weekend vacation can be stress-free, too!

10.    Shell hunt on Fort Morgan Beach

For some of the best treasures the Gulf can provide, we suggest walking Fort Morgan Beach.  Because the waves of the Mobile Bay are softer and gentler than those the Gulf produces, we often find larger shells and sand dollars on Fort Morgan Beach.  Remember, any artifacts you may uncover belong to the Fort and cannot be removed, but shells, sand dollars and the like are yours to take home.  These make wonderful natural souvenirs and will help you remember your trip for many years to come.

We at Sunset Properties, know your last beach weekend this summer is important to you.  We want you to have a relaxing 2019 Labor Day Weekend.  We are proud to offer clean, fully stocked beach homes to fit any need and are ready to make your reservation with you.

If you need us during your stay, we have two office locations on the island to serve you.  You can also reach us by phone, text and email.  It is our goal to make your Labor Day getaway, just like any other vacation with Sunset Properties, as stress-free and pleasant as possible.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!

www.sunsetpropertie.com

251.543.1310

The Best Places to Picnic in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

So you want to spend a day out in about enjoying the natural scenery in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  We, at Sunset Properties, know your indoor accommodations are important, but now you’re ready to just get outdoors.  You’ve got your comfy walking shoes on, applied some insect repellent and sunscreen and you’re looking for ideas.  Here are six easy-to-access places that you should drive to, then get out of your car and enjoy a little of our island paradise on foot.  Take your family and a picnic basket filled with fresh local Alabama Seafood and make memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

  • Wade Ward Nature Park

Located just off the sidewalk along Highway 59 in Gulf Shores near Scoop’s Ice Cream, Wade Ward Nature Park is one of our favorite places to explore.  With free public parking nearby on East 1st Street, accessibility for the whole family is easy.  You’ll enter the park area as you cross a wooden boardwalk bridge and under a pavilion.  The walkway is an elevated boardwalk that sits above the wetlands below.  It’s an easy walk and you’re almost guaranteed to have great views of alligators, heron, and other coastal wildlife.  In the marshes, you’ll find an array of plant life indigenous to this type of ecosystem.  Bring along your camera!  Wade Ward Nature Park is part of our Alabama Coastal  Birding Trail.  Migrating birds are often spotted here.  Your whole family will enjoy this outing where you’re sure to see plants and animals unlike any in your own front yard north of our beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast.

  • Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Established in 2003, Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is actually seven trails in one.  It is made up of over 15 miles of trail paths and passes through six distinctly different ecosystems in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and around Gulf State Park.  A fun trail destination is Boulder Park.  You will find giant boulders perfect for kids to climb.  It is located  next to the Pavilion and Butterfly Garden; about 1½ miles from the Catman Road trailhead on Highway 161.  Rock climbing venues along our Alabama Gulf Coast are uncommon, but this one’s sure to please.  For a complete map of all the trails to explore along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail follow this MAP link.  In the meantime, don’t miss an opportunity to bring your kids to Boulder Park for some memorable outdoor fun!

  • Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Located on Canal Road to the east of Doc’s Seafood, Orange Beach Waterfront Park is a great place for a family outing.  With pavilions and restrooms and an unmatched view of Wolf Bay, your whole family will enjoy an afternoon here.  Be sure to walk out on the 400-foot-long fishing pier to get the absolute best view possible!  While alcohol is not allowed in Orange Beach Waterfront Park, pets are!  Remember to visit this family-friendly, exceptionally clean outdoor park when you’re planning to get your whole family out for an afternoon of sightseeing and picnicking opportunities.

  • Fort Morgan Beaches

What blog about natural walking trails and outdoor family venues would be complete without mentioning the serene beaches of Fort Morgan?  Most island guests are accustomed to seeing the clean, swept, sandy white beaches in front of condos and places like The Hangout in Gulf Shores.  While those beaches are always nice and welcoming, the undeveloped beaches of Fort Morgan are some of our favorites.  The dunes are a little more covered with sea oats and the island wildlife is often more visible.  To get here, travel all the way to the end of Fort Morgan Road and enter the fort.  Park near the restrooms and walk out the brick walkway to the beaches.  At the end of the walkway, go left and head towards the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile Point or choose to walk to the right and explore The Mobile Bay side of this beach.  If you need more reasons to visit Fort Morgan this summer, check out our blog about the Fort.  And if you happen to look out across the water and see Dauphin Island bridge and wonder what’s over there, we’ll tell you:  The Dauphin Island Sea Lab.  Catch the Mobile Bay Ferry, which leaves from the entrance gates at Fort Morgan,  to cross Mobile Bay and extend your nature outing around this area by including a trip to the The Estuarium.  You’ll be glad you did!

  • Romar Beach

Romar Beach, located nearly 7 miles from Highway 59 on Perdido Beach Boulevard, has been a local’s favorite Gulf access point for years.  There is only a limited amount of free parking around this Alabama State Park beach access, but if you’re just looking to run out across the sand and put your toes in the water, you have to stop here at Romar Beach. Don’t forget to bring a picnic basket.  This little stretch of public access is a great place to spread a blanket and have a snack.  Many people have asked us about the name “Romar”.  Romar is a combination of two last names:  Roche and Martin.  These two gentlemen were the first to build homes in this area of our island around 1924.  Stop by and see for yourself what attracted them all those years ago!  The years have changed, but the beauty of Romar Beach remains.

  • Lake Shelby

Lake Shelby is located inside Gulf State Park just off Perdido Beach Boulevard on Highway 135.  This well-kept outdoor venue welcomes pets and people, alike.  Pets, however, must be leashed.  Lake Shelby is known for its wild alligator population and they are protected, so be aware if you choose to bring your fur babies. Leashing them is an absolute must and any type of feeding or molesting the gators is a crime.  Fishing is also allowed in Lake Shelby.  There are picnic areas, designated swimming areas and restrooms available, as well.  Lake Shelby is a unique body of water in our area.  It is considered a freshwater lake, even though it is so close to the Gulf.  You’ll notice the color of the water is not like most other lakes you’ve seen, too.  But it is safe for swimming and fishing.  Freshwater bass, bream and crappie all live in Lake Shelby, along with trout and mullet.  Be sure to visit this unique lake and adjoining park. 

We’re glad you’re choosing to spend part of your summer with us in our island paradise.  At Sunset Properties, we have several beautifully decorated and fully stocked beach homes around the island available for your family’s use.Imagine, Dunes 206 and Navy Cove 2113 are located just minutes from Fort Morgan.  Lighthouse 607 is not too far from Lake Shelby.  If you’re looking for a penthouse, check out Caribe C Penthouse 14.  If none of these fit your vacation stay needs, email us atinfo@sunsetproperties.com or just give us a call 251.543.1370 .  We will be happy to help you find the perfect beach home to make the indoor part of your beach vacation unforgettable!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Things to do On July 4th in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

Things to do On July 4th in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

Here on the Alabama Gulf Coast, we love celebrating birthdays and our nation’s birthday is no exception!  Welcome to our Island Paradise.  We are so excited you’ve chosen to spend this Independence Day 2019 with us!  We know you’re looking forward to the awesome fireworks display sponsored by The City of Gulf Shores on July 4, 2019 at 9PM, but what will you do until the fireworks start?  Here are some suggestions on how to spend your Independence Day with your family:

  • Breakfast with Pirates and Princesses

This is a great way to start off any vacation day.  Dress the kiddos (and Mom and Dad) in their best pirate or princess costume and stop by The Hangout located at Gulf Place in Gulf Shores for a great breakfast buffet with Pirates and Princesses.  Costumes are not required, but are always fun!  Breakfast is served from 8AM until 11AM.  While you’re at The Hangout, you’ll most likely meet some of our local maidens and scallywags.  Be sure to ask one of them to help you search for buried treasure on a guided treasure hunt.  And bring your camera along, too.  The photographs you’ll catch are sure the be the most valuable treasures of the day!

  • Midmorning Mini Golf and Ice Cream -Crustacean Style

After breakfast, be sure to head over to Shrimpy’s Mini Golf & Ice Cream located only a couple of blocks from The Hangout at 204 East 2nd Avenue.  This super cute fishing village themed 18 hole mini golf course will be a bit of challenging fun for your whole family.  We know its hot to play outside on the 4th of July, so that’s why we suggest mini golfing at Shrimpy’s in the morning.  As soon as you’ve mastered all 18 holes, you can go inside to cool off with something delightfully frozen.  Shrimpy’s is home to more than 20 flavors of ice cream.  And the good folks at Shrimpy’s make a delicious Bananas Foster ice cream treat you’re sure to enjoy.

  • Lunch at Lulu’s

Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s in Gulf Shores , located at 200 East 25th Avenue in Gulf Shores, is more than just a great dining experience.  It’s an entertainment experience, also.   We don’t have to tell you how great the food is at Lulu’s.  We know that by now, you’ve already heard.  But did you know Lulu’s offers menu items specifically for folks with seafood and other allergies?  Yep!  They do.  Just ask your server to tell you about it.  While you wait for your table, you and the kiddos will love the arcade.   If video games don’t appeal to you, load up on the sunscreen and head outside to the rope courses.  There is a course for the tiny tots and one for bigger kids.  Both are challenging and fun.  If waiting for a table today doesn’t appeal to you, you’re in luck!  Lulu’s has a “go online and get in line” option that will allow you to get your name on the waitlist from a “Beat the Wait link on the website.  So plan to have lunch at Lulu’s on the 4th of July and don’t forget to get one of their iconic t-shirts while you’re there.

  • Be Lazy and Cool All Afternoon

As the heat of the day takes over, all we want to do is be lazy.  Why not do it in the Crystal Waters River at Waterville USA?  This slow moving water ride will allow you to simply relax on your tube and float the ⅓ mile course around the park.  This is a great way to cool off from the mid-summer heat while still enjoying the outdoors of our island paradise.   While the kiddos enjoy the fast paced waterslides like the Screamin’ Demon and Rainbow Falls, the adults can just kick back and relax.  Don’t forget your sunscreen.  Maybe chilling in your own private cabana appeals to you.  Rent your own space at Cabana Cove inside the park.  Enjoy seating for up to eight people including two beach recliners.  You’ll have a server assigned to your cabana and your server will bring your food and drink orders right to you.  As a bonus, each cabana rental comes with two free beach towels that are yours to keep.  That’s a pretty cool souvenir to take home after a fun afternoon enjoying one of the oldest, and yet most modern,  theme parks in Gulf Shores. 

  • Dine at Doc’s

After a long day that included everything from pirates to screamin’ demons, you’re gonna need a comfortable, casual place to have dinner.  Give Doc’s Seafood Shack located on Canal Road in Orange Beach a try.  For some of the best local seafood, the nicest servers and one of the most laid back atmospheres around, Doc’s is sure to please.  If you like raw half-shell oysters or fresh fried shrimp, you’ll love Doc’s.  Not a seafood lover?  That’s okay!  Doc’s serves fried chicken that’s so good, we’ve heard the Colonel is jealous.  If you’d like to peek at their menu before you go, follow this MENU link for a look.

  • Finally Fireworks

The City of Gulf Shores will once again this year host a fireworks show unlike any other around.  Beginning at 9PM, fireworks will be shot from the Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier.   Fireworks will be shot from the southernmost end of the 1500 foot long pier making viewing from most any point in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach pretty amazing.  For a great vantage point, find a spot on one of our State Park Beaches, or watch from your vacation home atBare Foot, Flip Flop or Ellie Fish II.   If you’d like to stay a little more out of the hustle and bustle of Gulf Shores and just come into town for the day or to see the fireworks, check outSpunky Sandpiper, Imagine, Pelicans Rest and Wits Inn.  All of these immaculate beach homes are fully stocked with linens and kitchen accessories, exceptionally clean, and ready for your arrival.  Sunset Properties rental management company manages a wide variety of beach homes around the island, ranging from condos to houses with sleeping arrangements for up to 20 people.  Many of our beach homes are dog friendly and we will be happy to recommend a great 4th of July outing for your fur baby, as well.  We want your whole family to enjoy America’s Birthday Celebration.

As you plan your 4th of July Independence Day Celebration in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan, we hope you’re planning to stay with us at Sunset Properties.

Happy Birthday, America!  God bless you!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

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

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

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

  1.  Beach Volleyball

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

  •  Geocaching

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

  •  Escape Room

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

  •  Mini Golf

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

  •  Biking

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

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

www.susnetproperties.com

251.543.1370

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

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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