10 Fun Family Late Summer Things to Do at The Beach

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

 

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

 

  1. Dine with pirates and princesses

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

 

  1. Enjoy a live play

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

 

  1. Dance in the streets

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

 

  1. Take a segway tour

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

 

  1. Visit a Nature Center

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

 

  1. Have a family date night

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

 

  1. Check out some cool fireworks

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

 

  1. Be a groupie

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

 

  1. Walk on water

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

 

  1. Marvel at the Blue Angels

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

 

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

 

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

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

Phone 251.543.1370

info@sunsetproperties.com

 

Top 10 Ways to Avoid the Mid-Summer Heat in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and Fort Morgan

Welcome to your mid-summer vacation  to vacation on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  You have chosen a perfect time to come down, right before school starts back, when the Gulf Coast is in full swing!  There is so much to do around our island paradise, but we know it can get pretty warm in the middle of the day in July and August.    The Gulf is usually a wonderful 82 or 83 degrees and the pools are always just right.  But with average high temps hovering around 83 degrees during July and August, coupled with our usual humidity, the mid-day summer heat can maybe make you a little cranky.  You love hanging out on the beach, I mean, who doesn’t, right?  But what do you do in the middle of those rare days when it seems like it’s just too hot to hang out?   Here is a list of ten ways to cool off while you’re vacationing with Sunset Properties in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan in July and August:

 

1  RIDE A PERSONAL WATERCRAFT

Did you forget and leave your personal watercraft at home?  No worries!  You can rent a jet ski and a go pro from Alabama Extreme Watersports right here on the island.  How much fun would that be?  Jet skis are the perfect way to beat the heat by riding on the water.  Maybe striking out on your own in unfamiliar waters doesn’t feel comfortable to you.  Then how about trying a waverunner dolphin tour with about 4 of your friends?  The good folks at Alabama Extreme Watersports will take you on a guided tour of the waters of Orange Beach.   Seeing dolphins is always a great thing, but seeing them from a waverunner is sure to be a thrilling outing everyone!

 

2  VISIT A MUSEUM

Did you know our island is home to three unique local museums?  If the weather feels too hot outside, stop by and cool off inside the Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum, originally built at a school house in the early 1900s, now houses a wonderful collection of artifacts relating to Orange Beach’s fishing heritage and Native American roots. The Gulf Shores Museum , another local favorite, hosts permanent collection of items relating to island life and our island’s history, as well as a rotating exhibit that changes often.  Maybe you’ve stopped by before?  Stop in again!  Chances are you won’t see the same thing you saw last time.  Our third museum is the Museum at Fort Morgan and has artifacts dating back to when the fort was built on display.  This museum also has a wonderful little gift shop, so plan some extra time stay and shop for a bit!  There are so many cool things to see at the these three venues.  You’ll enjoy the family outing and, as a bonus, you guys will probably learn something you didn’t already know about your vacation home.

 

3  CHECK OUT THE REC CENTER

The  David L Bodenhamer Recreation Center in Gulf Shores has racquetball courts, indoor pools, and a full service fitness room.  This state of the art facility welcomes island guests and locals alike.  Day passes are available.  Reservations are not required.   There is a complimentary fitness towel service and a game area that kiddos just love.   The Bodenhamer Center is ADA accessible and open every day.  This is a great place to go any time of the year!  The climate is always perfect inside the rec center!   It is conveniently located at 319 West 19th Avenue, about two minutes from the Gulf Shores Museum.

 

4  PLAY LASER TAG

Have you ever played laser tag?  Arena The Next Level takes laser tag to “a whole nother level” (as we say down here) .  Located at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Arena The Next Level, is a perfect place to take the whole family.  Everyone can play laser tag in this 4000 square foot indoor arena showcasing a super cool sci-fi laser tag arena with lights, sounds and lasers.

And while you’re at Arena The Next Level, you must give Bazooka Ball a try, too.  This electronic glow-in-the-dark combat game features two inch round foam balls that can be shot out of low impact toy guns and travel up to 100 feet.  Come inside to get away from the midday heat and stay for the afternoon!

 

5  SPEND A DAY AT WATERVILLE

No matter where you’re staying in Gulf Shores, you’re only about ten minutes away from Waterville USA, the island’s only water park.  Enjoy the day outside minus the feel of the heat while you play your way through Waterville’s 12 water attractions including The Flowrider, Jet Scream and Screamin’ Demon.  In addition to water rides and slides, you’re going to want ride the Cannonball Run roller coaster, play in a fabulous arcade, and bungee jump on the trampoline called The Trampoline Thing.  Waterville is also home to some of the fastest go-karts around.  Waterville also hosts an Escape House mystery game.  This is an inside game that your whole family can play together!  Plan on spending a whole day at Waterville and enjoy the summer without scorching in the heat.  Once you get there, you won’t want to leave.

 

6  SPLASH AROUND AT OWA

Owa, the Alabama Gulf Coast’s newest entertainment venue is located in Foley.  In addition to Owa’s 21 thrill rides, super cool arcade and great places to eat, they recently added a splash pad for the kiddos!  Wacky Waters is a 9500 square foot splash pad that features everything from a super tall water dump bucket, a water dome and 15 other splashy and cool attractions.  Wacky Waters was most likely built with kids in mind, but adults love it, too.

 

7  ENJOY SOME RETAIL THERAPY

One of the best ways to avoid the midday heat, is to go inside a great store and shop.  We know you’re going to be looking for that perfect souvenir to take back home for yourself or someone special.  Stop inside one of the many boutiques scattered around our little island paradise. With great venues to shop like SanRoc Cay in Orange Beach and Pelican Place at Craft Farms, the midday heat will be the last thing on your mind.  Shopping  at The Wharf at Orange Beach or taking a thrilling ride on the Ferris Wheel will make the whole family happy.  Don’t forget about The Shops at The Boardwalk in Gulf Shores next to The Original Oyster House where your whole family can take a break and enjoy some fresh seafood and a tall, cold beverage.  You may even see an alligator or two just below the boardwalk.  Have your camera ready.  While our local wildlife doesn’t mind pictures, feeding or provoking them is not ever advised.

 

8  CATCH A MOVIE

Have you ever noticed how good movie theatre popcorn tastes?  And those little boxes of chocolate covered raisins?    And nacho chips with all that gooey, yummy cheese?  Why not cool off with a great snack and a current movie release?  Cobb Pinnacle 14 , located at Pelican Place, is one of our favorite places to go when it’s just a little too warm outside to hang out on the beach.  Watching a movie is always a special memory.  Often we think things like, “I saw that movie at this place” or “I was fourteen the first time I saw that movie.”  Why not make a special memory your whole family will hold onto?  With so many great summer releases to check out,  stopping by Cobb Pinnacle 14 is a perfect way to pass an afternoon.  With closed caption, assisted listening, and descriptive narration available on most films during most showtimes, everyone can enjoy a popular film.  You’ll be in a nice cool movie theatre, making a great memory, and enjoying some of the best popcorn around.  We say “that’s the ticket!”

 

9  CHILL OUT WITH SOME ICE CREAM

Scoops ice cream shop is one of the coolest places around.  Literally!  Located on in the heart of Gulf Shores, Scoops should be on your “to-do” list whether it’s hot outside or not.  Scoops has been serving locals and guests alike in Gulf Shores since 1980.  The truly have some of the best ice cream around and some of the best service, too.  Scoops ice cream is real  treat!  From banana splits, to malts, to milkshakes, to just a scoop of your favorite flavor, this little ice cream shop is sure to put smiles on everyone’s face.  So when you’re headed south on Gulf Shores Parkway, don’t just drive by.  Stop in Scoop’s and cool off the old fashioned way…with some delicious vanilla ice cream and the perfect toppings!

 

10  SCORE HIGH ON YOUR FAVORITE VIDEO GAME

We can’t say enough about how much fun you’ll have at Adventure Island, located on Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach  This is seriously one of the best arcades around.  This inviting is also home to a rock wall and a roller coaster simulator  If you’re not wanting to spend too much time inside, Adventure Island has you covered on that, too.  Outside, you’ll find mini golf, go-carts, bumper boats and paddle boats.  Everyone loves bumper boats!  Adventure Island is not too hard to find, either.  Just look for the only volcano in Orange Beach.  Once you see the volcano, you’ll know you’re only minutes away for hours of fun.

 

So we’ve given you a short list of fun and cool things to do while you’re on vacation in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan.  We know sometimes the heat can be a bit overwhelming, but your vacation can still be a boat load of fun!  If you’d rather not venture out away from your condo, remember the pristine pools at The Dunes in Fort Morgan and The Grand Caribbean in Gulf Shores are always perfect.  The lazy river that atop the Caribe in Orange Beach and the saltwater pool at The Indies in Fort Morgan are easily accessible family favorites!  If you’re looking for a beach house, contact us at Sunset Properties.  We have several of those, too, and we can help you find exactly what you’re looking in exactly the right spot.

We are glad you’ve chosen to vacation on the Alabama Gulf Coast with Sunset Properties.

We hope this is your “coolest” trip ever!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

info@sunsetproperties.com

 

5 WAYS TO MAKE A FATHER’S DAY BEACH TRIP EXTRA SPECIAL FOR YOUR DAD

Father’s Day is right around the corner and you’re wondering what to get for Dear Old Dad.  What do you get for the guy who is your family grill master, your Mr. Fixit, your go-to-guy when your $20 short?  Dad pretty much has everything he wants.  If he sees something he needs or likes, he just buys it.  Makes it tough for a kid to get him anything new and original.  And we understand.   You’ve probably already tried all the standard Father’s Day gifts – ties, tools,  things for his truck, those tiny little pool tables for his desk.  This year you want to do something extra special for him, but you’re fresh out of ideas.  Well, we have the perfect gift plan!  Take Dad to the beach for Father’s Day Weekend!  He might never ask to go to the beach in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan, but we’re pretty sure he will have a blast if you just follow these simple suggestions:

 

1       BOOK DAD A FISHING CHARTER OR WATERSPORTS OUTING

Dads like to fish.  And dads like fast boats.   Your dad may have never been on a charter trip or he may have been on several. Most dads like to fish. Being out on the open waters of The Gulf of Mexico just seem to make guys happy and your dad will probably be no exception.  Orange Beach is home to some of the best charter boat services along the Gulf Coast.  Whether you’re looking to book a short trip or a long one, we are confident you will find the right outing if you follow this Charter Boat Link.  Red Snapper Season opens June 1st, so if you hurry, you can get him registered to go on a great fishing trip!  Do you think he’d rather just spend the day on a boat or jetski?  Maybe your dad is the self navigating type.  Consider reserving him a jet ski or boat from Flora-Bama Marina located on Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach or Alabama Extreme Watersports located on Bay La Launch Avenue in Orange Beach.  Either of these will make the thrill-seeker in your dad as happy as a seagull with a french fry!

 

2       SET DAD UP WITH A ROUND OF GOLF

Gulf Shores is home to some of the best golfing anywhere!  With perfect golfing weather in early June, you can’t go wrong with a golf package.  Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club located on Fort Morgan Road is a local favorite.  Nestled in the Peninsula subdivision, this pristinely kept course will surely make Dad smile.  How about trying one of the Craft Farms courses?  Designed by golf icon Arnold Palmer, Craft Farms’ Cypress Bend and Cotton Creek courses offer 36 holes of amazing golf.

 

3       GO ON A GUY SHOPPING SPREE WITH DAD

Contrary to what some would have us believe, most dads like to shop.  The trick is to find the right shopping venue.  We have some pretty good suggestions that make our dads smile, and we think you should give them a try, too.  Harbor Freight located on South McKenzie Street in Foley is a guy’s paradise!  This store is chock full of everything from great tools, to car parts, to lawn equipment and it is all at great prices.  Once Dad gets in this store, we wish you luck getting him out!  Maybe Dad would rather shop for a golf cart, boat, motorcycle or even a new generator.  If that sounds more like something your Dad would enjoy, visit Gulf Shores Power Sports.  This is one of the coolest stores around!  Or maybe your dad is more of an all around sports fan.  Some Dads are!  Some dads love everything sports related.  If that sounds like your Dad, Academy Sports and Outdoors is the place to go.  Also located on McKenzie Street in Foley, this is one store you don’t need to miss.  They have everything from balls, to goals, to guns, to socks.  Yep!  They even have socks! Your Dad may not act like he likes to shop, but we’re pretty sure if you take him to one or all of these local retailers, he’ll surprise you!  You might just see your Dad shop til he drops!

 

4       TAKE DAD TO THE FLORA-BAMA

What guy’s weekend would be complete without a trip to the original beach front roadhouse?  The Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Bar has something fun going all the time.  It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night you visit this coastal landmark, you and Dad are sure to have a blast!  The Flora-Bama was voted America’s #1 best beach bar in 2017.  Live music, great seafood and cold drinks are always available at The Flora-Bama.  Make sure to put this on your list.  You and Dad will make a fun memory that’ll last a lifetime!

 

5       RESERVE DAD A CONDO AT THE DUNES OR THE INDIES

Of all the great places you could rent for Dad, why would we suggest The Dunes or The Indies? Two reasons:  no crazy traffic for him to fight and great food is right across the street.  Because The Dunes and The Indies are perfectly placed near the end of Fort Morgan Road away from all the busy early summer traffic in Gulf Shores, we know Dad will like staying here.  He will enjoy a slower pace, a private uncrowded beach, a super clean pool or lazy river, and he won’t even have to drive to get his supper.  We all know he is not going to cook while he’s on his Mini-Dad-Vacation for Father’s Day Weekend anyway, so staying at one of these condos is perfect.  He is literally right across the road from Tacky Jacks 2 where they have great food and cold drinks every night.   What makes Dad happier than a clean cozy place to sleep, good food in his tummy, and a bill his kid covers?  We’re betting there isn’t much!

 

So now you have some really good suggestions on how to make this Father’s Day special for your Dad.  What are you waiting for?  Go ahead and call us at Sunset Properties today to make your condo reservation.   If you need other suggestions on how to give Dad the perfect Father’s Day in Gulf Shores, just ask us.  We have plenty more we will be happy to share with you.  We want your Father’s Day gift to your Dad to be the best it’s ever been and we are excited to help you plan it!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

 

 

Top 5 Family Outings for Memorial Day 2018 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

Memorial Day 2018 is rapidly approaching.  Most of us look forward to the last Monday in May and see it as the unofficial start to the summer season.   Our winters have been dictated by school or work schedules, and we are ready for the summer.

Sometimes, we overlook the origin of this Memorial Day and forget that is was started as a day of remembrance to honor those who served in our military and lost their lives in service to our great country.

In addition to all the great year-round family attractions found in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan and throughout The Alabama Gulf Coast, there are a couple of special Memorial Day outings we wanted you to know about.  At Sunset Properties, we love our guests and want to make sure you know about all the fun things going on in our area.  So, including two special Memorial Day Weekend activities, here are the

Top 5 Gulf Shores Family Outings for Memorial Day 2018:

 

  1. Visit Owa

Owa is one of the newest attractions on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Located in Foley off highway 59 on South Owa Boulevard, it is a one-of-a-kind amusement park and entertainment venue.  Owa is chock full of fun for the whole family.    With 21 amusement park rides, there is something for everyone in your family to enjoy.  Rides at Owa range from a fabulous thrill roller coaster called Rollin’ Thunder to the Happy Haulers, a cute ride for the kiddos featuring old time trucks on a fixed track.

 

Don’t forget to try the fabulous food while you’re at Owa.  With great dining options from restaurants like The Groovy Goat, Wahlburgers, and Cinnabon, no one should leave Owa hungry!  Oh, and did we mention the shopping?  Plan on checking out Alvin’s Island, The Fairhope Soap Company and Pepper Palace.  While you’re out, you probably need to get a couple of gifts from some folks back home, don’t you?

 

  1. Experience Waterville USA

That’s right:  Experience Waterville!  After all, Waterville really is quite an experience!  And it’s one your whole family will enjoy.  Once you’re inside the gates, you’ll see you’re visiting two theme parks with one ticket entry!  First, you must try all the water attractions.  There are 17 water slides (yep!  Seventeen!!), a lazy river, the flow rider, Shrimp Boat Village, a wave pool, and WaWa World.  WaWa World is a perfect little pint sized water park area for the kiddos.  After you’ve tried all these rides, and ridden a couple of the super fast slides two or three times, you have to ride the amusement park rides, too.  The Cannonball Run roller coaster has to be on your to-do list.  There are Nascart Go-carts and The Trampoline Thing to experience, as well!  Save some energy for mini-golf and the arcade.  And after you’ve done all those things, you must check out The Escape House. This mystery game is Waterville’s newest attraction and has a separate entry fee.   Gulf Shores has been home to Waterville since 1986 and the park just keeps getting better and better!  Whether you’re on The Alabama Gulf Coast for a weekend or an extended stay, Waterville USA needs to be a definite stop on your family’s vacation adventure.

 

  1.  Delight in a Day Out at The Wharf

The Wharf in Orange Beach is home to some of the island’s best dining spots, family entertainment venues and superb retail stores.  Have you ever dined at Villaggio Grille?  What a menu they have!  The specialize in Italian entrees and offer everything from rib eyes to chicken pesto to shrimp and crawfish.  If you’re more in the mood for a delicious steak burger prepared after you order with your choice of toppings, stop in and see the folks at STKburger.  We’re pretty sure they’ve got what you are craving. How about a little retail therapy?  For some really fun beach clothing for both girls and guys, check out Ocean Eddies.  Looking for some trendy jewelry?  Stop by Bungalows to pick up a special gift for your favorite mom or daughter.  We can’t forget the special guys on this trip.  How about grabbing a new pair of shades while you’re on vacation?  Shades has one of the best selections of sun glasses and tees around.  Girls will love Shades, too.

 

Once you’ve shopped til you’re about to drop, don’t!  Don’t drop, that is.  You still have the zipline to soar, a Ferris Wheel to ride, and a game of laser tag to play.  The Hummingbird Zipline has just opened and the reviews are great!  We encourage you to be among the first to soar over The Wharf on this new ride.  The Ferris Wheel at The Wharf has become and island landmark and is an attraction your whole family will love.  See the island from new heights while you’re at the top of this beautiful wheel.  Arena the Next Level is an unmatched 4,000 square foot laser tag arena.  Before you head back home, be sure to stop by and show off your laser tag skills.

 

And by the way, have you heard there’s a concert in town?  That’s right.  As part of the C-Spire Concert Series, The Amphitheatre at The Wharf is hosting Dave Matthews Band on Sunday, May 27, 2018.  Tickets may still be available.  Click Tickets for more information.

 

  1. Immerse Yourself in History at Fort Morgan

Fort Morgan located at the end of Fort Morgan Road just west of Gulf Shores, is an historical landmark no one visiting our island should miss.  Built on the original site of Fort Bower (circa 1812), Fort Morgan is a remarkable work of masonry that is almost 200 years old.  The Fort park entrance serves as the Mobile Bay Ferry landing.  Inside the Fort, you’ll find a museum packed with artifacts from two centuries.  Additionally, inside the museum is a wonderful little gift shop with items that represent our area.  Adjacent to the exterior walls of Fort Morgan, a sandy white beach borders Mobile Bay and stretches all the way to the mouth of the bay where it meets The Gulf of Mexico.  Fishing, swimming and sightseeing are all permitted from Fort Morgan’s beaches.  The waves in Mobile Bay are usually much gentler than the waves in The Gulf, so swimming in the bay is usually not as taxing as swimming in The Gulf can be.  However, unlike the public beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, there are no lifeguards on duty at Fort Morgan.   Swim at your own risk.  Sea life is usually pretty active along the beaches of our fort.  Fish, gulls, pelicans and even dolphins can be seen most days.  Shells are often plentiful here, too.  Be sure to bring a big beach bag so you’ll have to something to hold your shell treasure collection.

 

Throughout the year, the Fort Morgan staff holds guided tours.  For Memorial Day Weekend, however, there will be a Living History Memorial Day Tribute.  On Saturday, May 26, fort staff will dress in historical uniforms and clothing from the last 200 years.  They will entertain guests with stories about battles and lifestyles from long ago.  This event will be both educational and entertaining for the whole family.  Be sure to pack a camera for this one.  We’re certain you’re going to have some great photo ops.

 

  1. Tour the USS Alabama

About an hour from Gulf Shores via highway 59 and highway 90, the USS Alabama battleship is parked at her permanent home at Battleship Memorial Park located at 2703 Battleship Parkway in Mobile.  The park is accessible from highway 90 also called the Mobile Causeway or Battleship Causeway.  The USS Alabama was first sent to defend her country during WWII in the North Atlantic then later the South Pacific.  In 1965, the “Mighty A”, as she was called, was brought home to Alabama to take her place at Battleship Memorial Park.  More than 15 million folks have visited her since then.  The park will be open during normal hours for Memorial Day 2018.   On that day, guests will find The US Flag at half staff in honor of fallen American Heroes.  There is a fee to visit the park of $4 for general public admission.  Active duty military will receive free admission and retired and former military members will receive a discounted admission.

 

The park is a great place to spend an afternoon watching the seagulls play over Mobile Bay and touring the war monuments.  Bring a picnic lunch.  There are tables available for public use.  Bring plenty of sunscreen.  The sun’s rays stronger than you think.   Along with enjoying the park, we encourage you to tour The Alabama.  There is a separate fee to take this tour.   Bring your camera and get ready to capture some great memories.  You and your kids are going to love this!  With hatches and rooms to explore, go below her top deck into the actual living and working quarters of her former crews.  This is a real treat for anyone who has never been.  Even if you’ve been before, visiting the USS Alabama on Memorial Day is a great way to remember those who served on board this mighty vessel.

 

Now that you have some great ideas of things to do with your family as you gather and vacation with Sunset Properties this Memorial Day, all that’s left to do is make your reservation.  Would you like to stay in a condo near Fort Morgan?  The Indies, The Dunes and Navy Cove are located about two miles from the fort.  With one, two and three bedroom options, private beaches and enticing swimming pools, these are sure to please any family.  If your larger family needs some room to spread out, consider SAND-Y-SOL, a super cute duplex beach house with four bedrooms that can sleep up to thirteen guests.  How about a little AMERICAN FUN for an American holiday?  This charming beach home has three bedrooms and sleeps up to eight guests.

 

If your family will feel more at home in Gulf Shores near the public beaches, consider BEACHVIEW 223.  This cozy condo has one bedroom and sleeps three guests comfortably.  LIGHTHOUSE 607 has two full bedrooms and sleeps up to eight folks.

 

If Orange Beach is your ideal vacation location, we propose you stay MOORINGS 414 . With one bedroom, this lovely condo sleeps up to four.  Larger families might like GRAND CARIBBEAN 215.  With two bedrooms this condo, located right across from the Gulf State Park Beaches, sleeps up to six guests.  If staying closer to Alabama Point is your desire, you should take a look at CARIBE B PENTHOUSE 4.  This magnificent unit has all that a family of six could ask for, including a private lazy river and two water slides.

We have other properties around the island and we welcome the opportunity to talk about your family’s needs with you.  Just give us a call at 251.543.1370 or email at info@sunsetproperties.com and we’ll get you all fixed up with  the perfect home away from home.  Happy Memorial Day and we are looking forward to your arrival!

5 REASONS TO TAKE MOM TO THE BEACH IN GULF SHORES FOR MOTHER’S DAY

So you let Mother’s Day slip up on you again, huh?  And you find yourself unprepared to celebrate one of the most important women in your life.  Now you’re scrambling trying to think of something amazing to give Mom for her special day.  Last year you got her that great hanging flower for her patio.  The year before you got her a gift card to her favorite store.  And just a few short years ago, you made her that really cute construction paper card and macaroni necklace.  Now what?  What do you get for the woman who gave you everything, but she already seems to have all she wants?  You’re at a loss!  Don’t fret!  We understand.  We’ve all been there.  Lucky for you, we have an idea!  We think Mom needs a beach trip and we have compiled a list of

5 Reasons to Take Mom to the Beach for Mother’s Day 2018.

 

  1. Moms need downtime, too

Mom needs a day or two at the beach.  Every Mom needs this.  She needs a day to enjoy a beach stroll, putting her toes in the edge of the water, and just relaxing.  She needs a chair in the sun and an umbrella and her favorite tunes on her radio.  She needs to be able to put on her shades and kick back and watch the cotton white clouds float by.  Mom worked hard all year taking care of everybody’s everything. And for every little emergency that popped up, she found a solution.  She’s everyone’s super warrior, prayer queen and in-house doctor.  Her kisses are magic and her food unmatched.  She’s a laundry beast and the taxi driver for her kids and grandkids.  But this super lady needs some downtime sometimes, just like you do.  Mom needs a weekend at the beach.  And what better weekend is there to celebrate Mom than Mother’s Day Weekend?

 

  1. Mom won’t have to cook to get fabulous food

With so many great choices for seafood and steaks in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, you’re sure to find the perfect place to take Mom for her special outing.  For great seafood, try local faves Tacky Jacks or King Neptunes.  Want a delicious steak?  Check out Cosmos for great food and a super friendly staff.  How about some gumbo to brag to her friends about?  Sea-n-Suds is the place for gumbo.  Think Mom would enjoy a Bloody Mary?  Bills by the Beach has a Bloody Mary that’ll make her whole mouth happy.  What’s the best part about taking Mom out to dinner?  She doesn’t have to do the dishes!  Who will be a winner in her eyes?  You will!

 

  1. Mom will be surrounded with amazing shopping and spa opportunities

So you gave Mom a gift card last year?  That’s a thoughtful gift, but this year you’re ready to take it up a notch.  Instead of just a gift card to one store, give her so many shopping opportunities, she won’t be able to do them all in one day.  By bringing her to the beach, you give her malls like SanRoc Cay and Pelican Place at Craft Farms to shop.  She will love the shops at The Wharf at Orange Beach and she may even need to ride the Ferris Wheel while she’s there.  Don’t forget about The Shops at The Boardwalk in Gulf Shores next to The Original Oyster House where she’ll find great appetizers when she needs a shopping break.

 

Would she rather spend the day at a spa getting her hair or nails done?  Or maybe she needs a massage?  You can arrange for Mom to have a massage done right in her vacation home. Check out Austin Massage Therapy  for details and booking an appointment.  For hair, skin and nail pampering, visit Spas of Eden or Serenity at the Beach.  Either of these salons are sure to make Mom look and feel like the special beautiful person we all know she is.

 

  1. Mom can experience a fun night out filled with music and cocktails

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach night spots are known for cold beverages and great live local entertainment.  LuLu’s is always a great place to start.  With the last name “Buffett” Lucy Buffett is certainly an expert when it comes to great music and cold drinks! Another fun place Mom is sure to enjoy is Live Bait.  With fabulous cocktails, great music you can sing along with and a unique appetizer menu, Live Bait has been an island favorite for years.  Make sure you try the Greek Seafood Nachos at Live Bait.  Mom will love these!

 

  1. Mom can stay in a beach home fit for a queen

You know how picky Mom is about staying in nice places.  She likes clean and well-stocked vacation homes when she’s away from her own home.  You’re in luck!  Sunset Properties has an array of tastefully decorated and fully stocked beach homes and condos ready for Mom’s arrival.  Some of our homes are located in the quiet Fort Morgan area.  Check out The Dunes and The Indies if this area appeals to Mom.   How about a beachfront cottage in Gulf Shores or maybe a beach home with a boat slip for her jet ski?  Or is Mom more of the ‘let’s-go-float-the-lazy-river” type?  Well, we have penthouse condos at The Caribe in Orange Beach with one of those, too. We, at Sunset Properties, have you taken care of no matter what Mom’s preference is.  Would you rather stay home and get some of Mom’s friends to come with her?  We’ve got you covered on that, too!  How about a three bedroom condo or multi-bedroom beach home?  No problem!  Call us and we’ll make you the hero of Mother’s Day!

 

Convinced yet?  Well, we have one more reason you should take Mom to the beach for Mother’s Day 2018.  We are going to save you 15% off your two-night booking with code* MOTHER18.

Mom will be so proud of you for being so frugal.  After all, she always told you to spend your money wisely.

 

So go ahead!  Make Mom proud!  Be her hero!  Call or click Sunset Properties today and get Mom’s special weekend booked before we are all sold out!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com 251-543-1370

For code* MOTHER18 – restrictions may apply; contact us for more details

10 Things to do at The Beach When It’s Raining

April Showers bring May flowers.  We’ve all heard that.  Though it probably won’t rain every day while you’re spending your April Vacation week with Sunset Properties along the Alabama Gulf Coast, you can expect rain at least one day or maybe a day and a half while you’re here.

 

A cool soggy beach is not much fun, so what do you do while it’s raining at the beach?

 

1       Enjoy some fresh Gulf Seafood.

You can’t very well fish in the rain, but you can still get some fresh Gulf Seafood.  Shop for fresh off-the-boat shrimp, fish, oysters and more at Fresh Seafood in Gulf Shores.  This locally owned seafood market has been providing locals and visitors with the freshest Gulf Seafood at some of the best prices around.  Your Sunset Properties vacation condo or beach house has a fully stocked kitchen ready for you to prepare a delicious seafood meal for your family right in the comfort of your own home-away-from-home.

 

2       Shop a local favorite for cute jewelry and henna tattoos.

Island Girl Jewelry & Souvenirs located in Gulf Shores.   Island Girl is a locally owned, unique beach shop offering year round services such as henna and temporary tattoos, hair braids and hair wraps. They also have a large selection of t-shirts, beach hats, souvenirs, cute and trendy clothes, boho-style and magic silk wrap skirts.

 

3       Visit Pelican Place at Craft Farms.

Anchored with big box stores Target, Books-A-Million, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Publix, Pelican Place is located on Alabama Highway 59 north of the Holmes Bridge.  This trendy mall also hosts several boutiques and smaller chain retail  stores.  In addition to the fabulous retail therapy you’ll get at Pelican Place, you’ll want to stop and enjoy a wonderful meal and a cocktail while you watch the rain shower pass.

 

4       Take in a movie.

Located at Pelican Place is Cobb Pinnacle 14 , a local favorite for the latest movie releases and wonderful popcorn!  If it’s still raining and you’ve shopped till you’re about to drop, stop by Cobb Pinnacle 14.  With closed caption, assisted listening, and descriptive narration available on most films during most show times, everyone can enjoy a popular film.

 

How about visiting a museum or three?

 

5       Check out the Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum.

Located on John Snook Drive behind The Orange Beach City Hall Complex, this local favorite is just a few minutes from the beach.  This inviting little historical building was originally built as a school in the early 1900s, but now houses artifacts relating to Orange Beach’s fishing heritage and Native American roots.

 

6       Gulf Shores has a Museum, too.

The Gulf Shores Museum is located on West 19th Avenue in Gulf Shores.  This historical building is home to both permanent exhibits relating to island life and houses seasonal rotating exhibits.   Much like the weather down here, the carefully chosen displays located within this museum change frequently.

 

7       So does Fort Morgan!

The Museum at Fort Morgan is home to a whole lifetime of memories.  Artifacts dating back to when the fort was first occupied to current day exhibits will keep you intrigued for an afternoon.  In addition to the historical aspect of the Fort Morgan Museum, there is also a quaint little gift shop area.  After your explore all that this museum has to offer, you’re sure to find the perfect souvenir.

 

8       Spend some quality family time in The Factory.

The Factory in Gulf Shores is one of Gulf Shores’ premiere indoor attractions.  The Factory features over 50 large trampolines, foam pits and an arcade.  There is also a Ninja Course located inside.  There is a rock climbing wall and trick trampolines, too.  Surely there is something for everyone to do at The Factory. Located at 18948 Oak Road West in Gulf Shores, The Factory is a great place to go play around whether it’s raining or not!

 

9       Enjoy some indoor recreation.

The  David L Bodenhamer Recreation Center in Gulf Shores has racquetball courts, indoor pools, and a full service fitness room.  This state of the art facility welcomes island guests and locals alike.  Day passes are available.  There is a complimentary fitness towel service and a game area.   The Bodenhamer Center is ADA accessible and is open from 5:30 AM until 9:00 PM on weekdays and from 8:00 AM -6:00 PM on Saturday and 1:00 PM -6:00 PM on Sundays.  It is conveniently located at 319 West 19th Avenue, about two minutes from the Gulf Shores Museum.

 

10     Chill out with some tasty ice cream.   

Scoops ice cream shop located on Alabama Highway 59 in Gulf Shores is a must for any vacationer.  Scoops has been a staple in Gulf Shores since 1980.  You don’t make it in a small town for that many years unless you truly have something great to offer.  Scoops ice cream is definitely a treat!  From banana splits, to malts, to milkshakes, to just a scoop of your favorite flavor, this little ice cream shop is sure to brighten any rainy day!

 

When the rain stops, we hope you enjoy your visit outside to our sugary white sandy beaches and all the attractions Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have to offer.  For a list of several outdoor activities, check out our blog on New Years Resolutions you can keep!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

10 Fun Wheelchair Accessible Things to Do in Gulf Shores

Restricted mobility can present challenges most people don’t realize.  For folks who aren’t able to walk, accessing a beach or vacation attraction may be difficult or impossible.  The City of Gulf Shores recently installed a wheelchair accessible beach mat that will make accessing The Gulf from the public beach parking lot a great deal easier for those in wheelchairs, on scooters, or pushing strollers.

 

In addition to visiting the pristine beaches of the Alabama Gulf Coast, there are several other fun activities around our Island Paradise we’d like to suggest:

 

1       Explore the Hugh S Branyon Backcountry Trail

The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is a great place for folks with limited mobility to spend a day.  The trail complex, located within Gulf State Park, consists of 25 miles of 15 paved trails.  While you’re on the trail, you’ll pass through up to six distinct ecosystems and explore almost 6200 acres of wildlife.  That’s a lot of exploring!  The paved pathways are easy on wheels, as well as on feet, so anyone can enjoy a day outing on The Trail.  Remember to bring your camera.  You’re going to see our local wildlife and we’re pretty sure you’re going to want to share what you see with your friends back home.

 

2       Take a Dolphin Cruise aboard the Sunny Lady

The Sunny Lady , a fun family tour boat, offers tours of the back bays of Orange Beach and leaves out of The Wharf.   While this cruise does not go into The Gulf of Mexico, you’re still set to enjoy an outing filled with fun, waves and wildlife viewing.  Dolphin cruises last about an hour and a half.  The Sunny Lady has a ramp available making it easy for folks in wheelchairs to board.  Guests are permitted to bring a small six-pack cooler but if you forget yours…no worries!  Light snacks like sodas and chips are available for purchase during the cruises.  Bring your camera and sunscreen and prepare to see some dolphins!

 

3       Ride the Ferris Wheel at The Wharf

After your dolphin cruise, stay at The Wharf for a little while longer and ride the Ferris wheel!  The Ferris wheel at The Wharf has a 4.0 rating from TripAdvisor and has become a local landmark.  The Ferris Wheel at The Wharf is wheelchair accessible and we love the view from the top.  With its great location at The Wharf, this incredibly tall ride will provide a view of our island you won’t soon forget.  Give it a try and don’t forget let us know what you think.

 

4       Fish from Gulf State Park Pier

The Gulf State Park Pier , located on Beach Boulevard in Gulf Shores has always been a favorite stop for locals and guests, alike.  Whether you’re on a date, a fishing outing or just wanting to spend a day listening to the lapping of the waves, Gulf State Park Pier is sure to please.  On extra warm days, visit the indoor seating at the concession area.  You’ll also be able to purchase fishing tackle and souvenirs while you’re on the pier.  Comfort stations are located at the midpoint of the pier. The pier has 2,448 feet of fishing space available along the rails.  The pier office and bait shop hours are 6am until 6pm only, but the pier itself is open 24 hours.  There is an honor box to pay fees if you want to go out on the pier when the office is closed.  Did we mention how cool the moon looks as it rises over the Gulf when you’re watching it from the pier.  If you’ve never witnessed this, you should definitely put it on your “to do” list!

 

 

5       Ride the Mobile Bay Ferry

Want to visit Dauphin Island while you’re nearby?  One of the most enjoyable ways to get there is to cross Mobile Bay from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island inside your own vehicle on the Mobile Bay Ferry.  If you’ve never ridden a ferry, now’s the time!  You’ll probably pass large ocean going vessels, fishing boats and maybe even see someone on a kayak.  Did we mention dolphins?  Yep!  You’re probably going to see a few dolphins along the way.  The Mobile Bay Ferry runs all day, most days, weather permitting.  The trip takes about 40 minutes.  Once you’re on Dauphin Island, check out the Sea Lab Estuarium.

 

6       Peek inside aquariums at the Estuarium

Once you depart the ferry on Dauphin Island, you must visit The Estuarium.   It is located at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.   With 31 aquariums and hosting more than 100 species of sea life, The Estuarium, is sure to entertain and educate your whole family.  It showcases plants, animals and natural resources found all around the Mobile Bay Area.  The Estuarium is open most days and does have an entry fee.  Enjoy your time at the Sea Lab, but keep a watch on the ferry times!  You don’t want to miss your ride back!

 

7       Tour Fort Morgan

When you arrive back at the ferry landing, you’re at the gates of Fort Morgan.  Go ahead and take some time to tour this Alabama Landmark. The original fort at Fort Morgan was constructed over 200 years ago in 1812 and was called Fort Bowyer.  Now an Alabama State Historic Site, Fort Morgan is one attraction you won’t want to miss.  Family events are planned throughout the year, but even on days when there is no organized event, we suggest checking out all of the fort’s grounds including the paved walkway that leads out to the fort beaches.  No outing at Fort Morgan is complete without a trip through the museum.  In addition to all the great historical artifacts housed there, you’ll find a gift shop unlike any other in this area.  Take home a piece of history from the museum gift shop when you finish your day at Fort Morgan.

 

8       Visit The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Did you have fun at the Estuarium?  How about seeing a larger and more diverse group of animals?  Did you know there is a zoo right here in Gulf Shores?  Famously deemed “The Little Zoo That CouldThe Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo has been an island favorite since 1989 when it was called Zooland Animal Park.  Home to more than 500 animals, The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo has well-kept pathways that wind throughout making wheelchair access easy.  Special “encounters” are available.  If you’re a fan of snakes and gators, check out the Reptile Garden encounter.  The Lemurs are sure to have you laughing and the Tamanduas are a treat for everyone!

The zoo sits on 17 acres located on Gulf Shores Parkway in the heart of our little beach town and welcomes visitors every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

 

9       Shop in the Shark Store

You’ve seen it right?  “The Shark Store”, better known as Souvenir City is located in the heart of Gulf Shores right across from the public beach.  You’ve wondered what could possibly be inside a store with a giant shark mouth as its entrance.  Souvenir City has been a Gulf Shores favorite since 1956, but it isn’t your average souvenir store.  After you literally pass right through a giant shark’s mouth to get inside this locally-owned store, you’ll find rows and rows of fun things to see, touch and buy.   You’ll find everything from shells, to tees, to Hermit Crab pets.  Whether you’re looking for a gift to take back to your bestie or just a little souvenir memorabilia for yourself, don’t miss a chance to spend some time in Souvenir City.

 

10     Visit the Public Beach in Gulf Shores

As we mentioned in the header of this blog, the City of Gulf Shores has literally rolled out a wonderful new addition to the public beach.  Just west of the Hangout, the wheelchair access mat is welcoming beach goers each day.  The mat eliminates the struggle of navigating wheels over and through sand, thus making accessing and enjoying The Gulf of Mexico so much easier!  Reviews by users have been great and we encourage you to give it a try.  Don’t forget your sunscreen and shades.  We’re pretty sure once you get so close to The Gulf, you’re probably going to want to stay a while and enjoy the sound of the lapping waves as you watch the gulls splash and dive for their dinner.

 

We, at Sunset Properties, hope you find some of these suggestions helpful when you’re planning your beach vacation.  While there are many more attractions with wheelchair and stroller accessibility in our area, these are just some of our favorites.

 

Do you already have a place to stay while you’re in Gulf Shores?  Sunset Properties has two vacation rental properties that are wheelchair accessible.  Before you finalize your vacation plans, we would love for you to see Grace and Endless Summer.

Grace, located in the Fort Morgan community has 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms. Grace will comfortably accommodate 20 people and has its own elevator.  With amazing views, Grace stands magnificently among her neighbors.

Endless Summer, also located in the Fort Morgan area, has 6 bedrooms and 6 baths.  Endless Summer sleeps up to 18 people comfortably and also has an elevator.  With a roll-in shower and extra wide doors, this vacation home is sure to please.

 

If you need additional information about these homes or other properties we manage, please reach out to us at info@sunsetproperties.com or call us at 251.543.1370.

5 Things Every Tween Should Do While in Gulf Shores

Tweens:  the kids who aren’t quite teenagers but they’re not babies anymore, either.  They’re kind of stuck in “b-tween”.  We love those guys! When you’re too old for baby stuff but not quite old enough to enjoy the things teenagers do it can sometimes be hard to find activities to entertain you.

We want you and them to know they will not be bored while vacationing in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan and Orange Beach.   Our Island Paradise is a great place for families and we are surrounded with lots of things for tweens to do.

Additionally, Sunset Properties features condos and beach homes all over the island making it easy for your family to lodge near all the fun.

We know you’re here to play on our sugar white sandy beaches and swim in The Gulf of Mexico, but then… after that… then what?  Here are 5 Things Every Tween Should Do While in Gulf Shores:  

Hang Out at The Hangout

Only minutes from Island Sunrise 468  and Lighthouse 607, The Hangout in Gulf Shores has always been a great spot for kids of all ages to play.  First opened back in the 1950s, the Hangout in Gulf Shores is one of the original places to go to have fun.  The Hangout is conveniently located at the Public Beach in Gulf Shores at the intersection of Alabama Hwy 59 and Beach Boulevard.

The location encompasses two and a half acres and has a 50 foot tower.  You can’t miss it and tweens won’t want to!   In addition to super easy beach access, The Hangout features ping pong, foosball and a Wish Wall.  They also have a foam bubble party every hour on the hour.  Tweens love that!  The food is amazing and so is the live entertainment.   Opportunities for great Snapchat and Facebook pictures are all around.  Don’t forget to visit one of the tee shirt shops, to while you’re hangin’ out.  After all, every tween needs a great tee to take home and show their friends!

Spend a Day at Adventure Island

Adventure Island, located on Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach, is a tween’s dream!  If you’re staying in Orange Beach at Moorings 414  or at the Grand Caribbean 425, you’ll love just how close Adventure Island is to your condo!   This fun-filled attraction is only a few minutes away.  It is really easy to find.  Just look for the only volcano in Orange Beach!  When you’re planning your day outing to Adventure Island, you’ll want to plan to visit for at least half a day to let your tween do it all.   Go-karts, bumper boats and paddle boats are a great way to start off your day of fun.  Then you’ll want to play a round of mini golf and laser tag.  And don’t forget about the arcade at Adventure Island.  More than 100 games will keep you tween happy and entertained for hours!  Your tween can win and redeem tickets for prizes.  Inside the arcade is a rock wall and there’s even a roller coaster simulator.

Make a Splash at Waterville

If you’re staying in Fort Morgan, you’re only about twenty-five minutes away from Waterville USA, the island’s only water amusement park.  Since 1986, Waterville has been offering up fun for kids and adults.  Perfect for a day out with your tween, Waterville has 12 water attractions including The Flowrider, Jet Scream and Screamin’ Demon.  In addition to water rides and slides, there is the Cannonball Run roller coaster, a super cool arcade, and bungee trampoline call The Trampoline Thing.  Waterville is also home to some of the best go-karts around.  Recently, the folks at Waterville added an Escape House mystery game.  While tweens will certainly enjoy this thrill-filled attraction, folks under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Get Tagged at Arena The Next Level

If you’re staying at Endless Summer, located in Fort Morgan, you’re going to experience an amazing vacation home that sleeps up to 18 people.  And if you’re looking for nearly endless fun, you’re need to take your tween to Arena The Next Level.  Located at The Wharf in Orange Beach, Arena The Next Level, is one of our island’s newest attractions.  This 4000 square foot arena showcases a super cool sci-fi laser tag arena with lights, sounds and lasers.

While you’re at Arena The Next Level, give Bazooka Ball a try, too.  This electronic glow-in-the-dark combat game features two inch round foam balls that can be shot out of low impact toy guns and travel up to 100 feet.

And Visit the Zoo, Too

Only a short drive from About Time, an amazing beach home that sleeps 10, The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is an outing no tween should miss!   Famously deemed “The Little Zoo That Could” The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo has been an island favorite since 1989 when it was called Zooland Animal Park.  The zoo sits on 17 acres located on Gulf Shores Parkway in the heart of our little beach town and welcomes visitors every day except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Today, the zoo is home to 500 animals.  Pathways that wind through the zoo campus allow up close and personal (as we say down here) access to many of the animals.  Expect to see lions, tigers and bears (oh my!), in addition to leopards, monkeys, wolves, birds, and snakes.  There are so many animals to visit, we encourage you to plan at least four hours for this adventure.  Bring your sunscreen and insect spray.  The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is an outdoor attraction and we’re sure you and your tween will want to stay for a while without getting sunburned or being some bug’s dinner.  We know you’ll enjoy all the indoor attractions and the water park, but don’t forget to visit the zoo, too!

 

The Alabama Gulf Coast has something to offer every member of your family.  While we penned this blog with the focus on tweens, we know all of the ideas we shared here will appeal to the adults in your family, too.  After all, how can you not have fun if you’re hangin’ out, on an adventure, making a splash, tagging your bestie or watching monkeys play?  If you’d like some more ideas for fun things for your whole family, check out our Convention and Visitors website at www.gulfshores.com or just call us at 251.543.1370.  Our vacation rental specialists here at Sunset Properties will be happy to make attractions recommendations while they help you book your vacation condo or beach home.

 

 

 

 

7 Things to Know About The Orange Beach Festival of Art 2018

There is so much to do while you’re vacationing with Sunset Properties in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan.   The wonderful vacation homes and pristine beaches of the Alabama Gulf Coast call to your spirit all year long.  Spring is an especially nice time to visit our area and enjoy the welcoming beaches and soothing waters of The Gulf of Mexico.  Along with all the year-long attractions that we never seem to tire of, The Orange Beach Festival of Art, held in March, is one event you won’t want to miss.

Here are 7 things to know about The Orange Beach Festival of Art 2018 to help make your outing a fun and memorable one:

  1. Dates and Location

For more than 40 years, this arts festival has been an island staple and a local family favorite.  Mark your calendar for March 10-11, 2018 and plan to attend the Orange Beach Festival of Art 2018.

The setting for this festival is unmatched.  Held at Waterfront Park located at 26389 Canal Road and nestled among the hundred year old oaks that line Wolf Bay, this year’s event features not only the fine art mediums, but performing arts, as well.  The Orange Beach Festival of Art will be open from 10-5 on Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday.

 

  1. Artists

Expect to see potters, watercolorists, glass blowers, wood carvers and textile artists, just to name a few.  This is a juried show with spaces for 100 artists so you can be sure you’ll see the best of the best artists displaying and selling their wares.   Musical guests including Lisa Zanghi, Roman Street, Three Bean Soup and Strickly Isbell are scheduled for Saturday.  Island Youth Band, Poarch Ninjas, and All Star Band are slated to perform on Sunday.

 

  1. Admission and Parking

Admission to the festival is free, but there is no vehicle parking on site.  All parking for the Art Festival will be located at the Orange Beach Sportsplex on Williams Silvers Parkway.  Baldwin Regional Area Transit Service (BRATS) will provide a shuttle service and will offer rides to the festival site throughout the entire two-day event.  Why walk when you can catch a ride and get dropped off right at the festival site?   A daily BRATS pass can be purchased for $5. If you prefer to ride your bike to the festival, there will be an area for bicycle parking within the festival grounds.  You are encouraged to bring your own bike lock.

 

  1. Family Friendly

All of us here along the Alabama Gulf Coast love family friendly events.  This festival is no exception!  A Kids Art Alley will open at noon on Sunday.  Your little guys and girls will get the opportunity to have some hands-on fun while you all enjoy your weekend outing.  The newly renovated Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach will also be open.  This 10,000 square foot art gallery is definitely an island attraction worth a visit.  Adjacent to the gallery, you’ll want to check out the Hot Shop and Clay Studio.  Throughout the year, the Coastal Arts Center offers classes in glass blowing and pottery.

 

  1. What to Wear

The average high temperature in Orange Beach in March is 71 degrees.  That’s a perfect shorts-and-flip-flop-perfect-day if there ever was one!   You’ll need to bring some sunscreen, too.  It’s probably a good idea to thrown on a ball cap and your shades.  While it is not nearly as hot as the summer sun, the springtime sun’s rays in our area can quickly burn winter skin.

 

  1. Volunteer Opportunity

If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity while you’re vacationing, the staff at The Orange Beach Festival of Art may be looking for you.  For more information on volunteering, visit Festival VolunteersVolunteers will receive a tee shirt and a special gift from the Clay Studio, while supplies last.  Please remember to register with the festival folks if you’re planning to donate 4 or 5 hours of your time to help make this event continue to be the first class festival it is.

 

  1. Snacks, Potties, ATMs

Festival planners will have food booths on site and have sodas and snacks available.  Restrooms will be conveniently located, as well.  You’re should also plan to take a look at the festival merchandise stand while you’re visiting the venue.  We’re sure they will have the perfect tee for each member of your family.  Forgot your cash?  No problem!  ATMs are also scheduled to be available.

 

Spring is truly a magical time on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Azaleas and oleanders adorn yards and streets.  Sea oats are starting to reach new leaves toward the sun.  And the animals are starting to come out from their winter habitats.   If you haven’t ever visited our beach neighborhood in the spring, now is the time to do it.  Plan on staying with Sunset Properties in one of our stylishly decorated and fully stocked condos or beach houses located in Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores and Orange BeachWe even have pet friendly rentals available, so you can bring the whole family!  With so many options available, we know we have your perfect vacation home ready.

We look forward to helping you make your March 2018 Beach Reservation and to seeing you at The Orange Beach Festival of Art 2018.

Top 10 Most Romantic Things To Do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

One of the most romantic places on earth is the beach.   Beaches offer a natural ambiance unmatched by any other venue.  The beaches that wrap the Alabama Gulf Coast are no exception.  The sugary white sandy beaches that stretch 32 miles along the Alabama Gulf Coast are a remarkable site.  Just beyond the dunes covered with sea oats blowing in the Gulf breeze, the lapping waves of the Gulf of Mexico kiss the shore.  Whether you prefer long walks into the sunset holding your sweetheart’s hand or a brisk jog at dawn before your morning coffee, for romance, you’ve come to the right place!

Have you made your reservation yet?  Let’s start there!  For an incredible view of the beaches of Fort Morgan, check out The Dunes or The Indies. Consider Beachview 223 if you want to stay in Gulf Shores.  Would you prefer Orange Beach?  Check out Moorings 414Sunset Properties also has beach homes and cottages available if that’s your preference.  Truly, the beach is for lovers and these condos are sure to please!

But what do you do if you want to kick it up a notch? What can you and your sweetie do to make something that’s already great just a tad bit better?  Well, we have a few suggestions that we believe might make your romantic getaway one neither of you will soon forget.

Here are 10 Romantic Things to do while you’re staying with Sunset Properties in Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores or Orange Beach:

1     SAVOR A GOURMET DINNER

You drove all this way down to the coast and you’re too tired to cook.  It happens.  We know and we understand.  You want to rest, relax, unpack and enjoy your time with your honey.  How nice would it be to have a gourmet meal available or a bag of snacks and fruit waiting on your when you arrive at your beach home?  Orange Beach Concierge Services located at The Wharf offers both.  If you’d like to have your dinner prepared, they have an extensive list of menu items including lasagna, New Orleans dishes, salads and seafood to choose from.  In addition, they offer grocery shopping and will deliver your groceries right to your condo or beach house.

If you’d rather go out for dinner, we suggest Wolf Bay Lodge located in Orange Beach. The folks at Wolf Bay Lodge have been preparing local seafood dishes since 1973. With menu items like lump crab cakes, rib eye steaks, and oysters rockefeller, you cannot go wrong with a dinner from Wolf Bay Lodge.

2     STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES

There isn’t a much more romantic gesture than giving your true love a bouquet.  It really doesn’t  matter if your prefer roses or a pretty vase of mixed seasonal flowers, we know just who to call to arrange your delivery.

The talented staff at Flowers by the Shore has been serving the Gulf Coast for over 20 years.  Check out their website for pictures of their colorful bouquets, cut flowers, fine wines and gift baskets.  Order early and have your special arrangement ready to be delivered when you arrive.

Another option for flowers and gift baskets is All Island Flowers.  Browse their website to see the most popular floral arrangements currently trending on the Gulf Coast.  They also offer a great selection of snack and fruit baskets ready for delivery.

3     FEED YOUR SWEET TOOTH

You have a craving for something sweet and you don’t know where to go.  Visit the Chocolate Corner located near the intersection of Fort Morgan Road and Gulf Shores Parkway for delicious homemade butter fudge, pecan caramel paws, gourmet truffles and other chocolates.  And we have to mention their barks.  They have the best barks!  From Sea Salted Almond Bark to Peppermint Bark to their famous Beachy Bark, they have you covered.   They also serve Blue Bell Ice Cream, Frappuccinos, fruit smoothies and espresso.  Stop by and try a treat or two, your whole mouth will thank you.

If you happen to be on Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach, stop by Kayden’s Candy Factory for so “oh-my-goodness-yummy” treats!  From truffles, to fudge, to coconut clusters to caramel apples, Kayden’s has something for everyone’s sweet tooth.  They also serve ice cream and shakes.  Gift boxes available, as well, and we know you’ll want to grab one of those to take back home.

4     WATCH THE SUN SET FROM THE SKY

Have you ever seen the sun set from 500 feet above the ground?  What an amazing site!  Contact the folks at Orange Beach Helicopters and book your evening outing. You’ll fly over the beaches and waters near the Caribe Resort for about 30 minutes as you watch the sun’s rays fade and the evening’s darkness take over.  This ride is a special way to end a day of romance or begin an evening of enchantment.

Ever considered skydiving with your sweetie?  The good folks at Lost Bay Helicopters, a veteran owned and operated Gulf Shores company that leaves out of Jack Edwards National Airport in Gulf Shores, will fly you up and allow you to skydive down.  You don’t have to skydive if you choose to ride with these guys, but if you want to give it a try, skydiving could be a lot of fun!  Beach tours and special occasion tours are also available.  Contact them for reservations and details.

5     PAMPER YOURSELVES

You’re at the beach.  You just went skydiving with your sweetie, took some amazing pictures on the way down, and now you need to relax a bit.  It’s time to book a couples’ massage or salon outing.  It’s time to pamper yourselves.   To have a massage right in the comfort of your own beach house, contact Austin Massage Therapy located on Gulf Shores Parkway in Gulf Shores.  They have a 5.0 rating from TripAdvisor and, with an appointment, they will come to you.  If you’re in Orange Beach, visit Spas of Eden for a day of pampering.  They offer facials, skin, nail and hair services from their location at Palm Pointe Shopping  Plaza.   Serenity at the Beach, located in Orange Beach, features Aveda products.  For deep tissue or hot rocks massages, check out this lovely salon.  If your romance happens to lead to a marriage, they also offer wedding services.

6     DELIGHT IN A DOLPHIN CRUISE

You’ve heard about dolphin cruises.  Your friends have been out on the bays and coves that surround Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to see the dolphins up close, but you haven’t.  Well, it’s time to take the plunge, so to speak.  While you can’t swim with the dolphins when you book an outing on The Southern Rose, you will surely see a few swimming alongside.  This double-decker cruiser has both inside and outside seating.  Choose from an open-air view or an air conditioned one.  Cruises last from one to two hours and there is a snack bar on the boat offering sodas, chips, wine, beer and other snacks.  We know you will have a delightful time watching some of our area’s most playful and friendly local wildlife.

7     LET OUR LOCAL THEATRE CAPTIVATE YOU

You don’t have to be in NYC to see a great live performance.  Gulf Shores is home to the South Baldwin Community Theatre.   That’s right!  You and your honey can experience a well directed, tastefully staged, live play right here.  Our actors are locals from all around South Baldwin County and, though we’re probably a little biased, we believe they are every bit as good as those guys in the big cities.  The theatre is located at 2022 West 2nd Street in Gulf Shores.  Upcoming plays this year include:  Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Snow White Variety Show, and Disney’s The Lion King Jr.  Give them a call.  The box office folks are waiting to make your reservation now!

8     WISH UPON A STAR

It is so hard to see the stars when you’re surrounded by city lights.  We often miss meteor showers, too.  They happen all year long, but we’re just too busy to even notice them.  How about doing a little star gazing while you’re in our neighborhood?  Grab your sweetheart, you favorite blanket and something cool to sip on.  Then kick back and watch the night sky from a perfect vantage point:  the beach.    Let the sound of the Gulf waves lull you into relaxation, while the sky flickers and dances with the natural lights of the stars, planets and meteors.  EarthSky.org provides a list of all the meteor showers and their visibility times.  We suggest paying special attention to the Leonid, Orionid and Perseid Meteor Showers.  Those star shows are usually pretty awesome!  Oh, and don’t forget to make your wish!

9     CREATE YOUR OWN SOUVENIR

Creating something together is a great way to make a special memory.  Visiting an art gallery is also a great way to spend a day.  Why not do both in one place?  The Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach, located on Canal Road, is a 10,000 square foot art gallery overlooking Wolf Bay.  The center itself is a sight you won’t want to miss.  This art center is not only a gallery, but also a place to create.  Visit The Hot Shop and make your own blown glass sculpture or visit the The Clay Studio to create a personal piece of pottery.  Instructional classes on watercolor painting, mixed media and acrylic are also available throughout the year.  We know the quality time you spend together here, coupled with the personal treasure you make and take home, will make an imprint on your heart that will last a lifetime.

10   PHOTOGRAPH YOUR MEMORY

Your stay has been an amazing one.  You’ve made some great memories and you know the time is coming when you’ll have to go back to your busy job and home life.  Why not take a professional snapshot of your trip back with you?  Sure your phone takes nice pictures, but wouldn’t you love to have a professionally done, beautiful portrait reminder of your special romantic getaway hanging in your family room?  The good folks at Chasing the Son and Sun Shots Photography can work with you in an effort to get you exactly the portrait you want.  They will meet you at your desired location and make every effort to get the exact pictorial memory you can see in your mind’s eye.  Both of these local companies offer extensive information about their services on their websites and, as you’ll see, their photography is wonderful!

Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan towns and beaches are spectacular all year long.  Any time is a great time to visit them.  Sometimes, though, we know the best time to go is when you’re celebrating the love you share with someone special.  We also know planning a romantic getaway can be a challenge and we hope these ideas are helpful. We, at Sunset Properties, will be happy to offer any assistance we can when you contact us to make your accommodations reservation and we’re looking forward to seeing you when you arrive.

When you visit, we ask that you leave only footprints.  However, when you leave, we hope you take home romantic memories that will last a lifetime.

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370