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

Oh Wow!  OWA!  

3 Things You Must Do At Owa

Owa is The Alabama Gulf Coast’s newest entertainment, dining and shopping venue.  OWA, which is a Muscogee Creek term for “water”, offers something for the whole family.  Located between AL Hwy 59 and The Foley Beach Express at 1501 South OWA Boulevard in Foley, Alabama, Owa should definitely be part of your next beach adventure!   While there is way more stuff than you can do in one day, here are 3 things we recommend you not miss while in our area:

1. Ride a coaster or a frog

Owa is proud to offer 21 amusement park rides.  For the thrill seekers among us, Owa is sure to please!  Whether you prefer rides that spin like the Wave Runner or have G-force thrusts like the Air Racer or swing high over the park like the Freedom Flyer, you’re sure to have a blast experiencing them all.  Oh, and don’t miss the roller coaster.  Rollin’ Thunder, a super fast thrill coaster, has drops, loops, hairpin turns and speed sure to get your adrenaline going!  You’ll be telling your friends about that ride for years to come!  

Owa also has several family friendly amusement park rides.  The Flying Carousel, Sky Balloons and Tea Time spinning teacup rides are just a few.

And what would an amusement park be without kid specific rides?  Don’t let the kiddos miss the Zip Zap Race, the Gully Washer or the Leap Frog ride.  After all, who wouldn’t want to ride an actual leaping frog?

For specific guidelines like height requirements for these must-do attractions, visit OWA amusement park guidelines.

2. Eat something good

If you’re looking for a quick snack between rides, check out one of Owa’s many food carts.  Yummy hot dogs, tacos, shaved ice and ice cream are just some of the choices available at the food carts.

Not quite what you were craving?  Then check out Shady Arbor or the Veranda.  For mouth-watering pulled pork, fresh delicious salads and perfectly prepared beef brisket, visit the Veranda.  Nachos, popcorn shrimp and gator bites are also available.  Shady Arbor’s menu includes hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza and chicken.  And, of course, there is ice cream!

For a whole different dining experience, visit the Groovy Goat or Wahlburgers located right outside the park.  The Groovy Goat offers a vast menu including breakfast all day, specialty burgers, steaks and salads.  They offer a wide variety of beers, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.  And TVs.  There are TVs all around so you can watch your favorite sporting event while you dine!

And Wahlburgers is at Owa, too.  We all love Wahlburgers!  Known for hamburgers as famous as the Wahlberg Family, Wahlburgers is sure to be a hit with your whole family!  From mac and cheese, to specialty burgers to chili, there is something on the menu for everyone.  Wahlburgers also has drink menu that is unmatched!  Featuring Coke products, coffee and tea, locally brewed beers, and adult frappes, the drink menu has something for everyone.  Wahlburgers also has a tee-shirt shop right on site, so don’t forget to grab yourself a cool tee before heading out.

3. Visit the arcade

If your idea of a great day is not riding thrill rides, but playing arcade versions instead, you’re in luck!  One of the newest additions to the Owa property is an amazing arcade located right outside the park gate.  Showcasing 50 different arcade games, a variety of interactive video games and a redemption center, the arcade at Owa just opened in December 2017.

 

Owa is still growing.  This is just a short list of things we love and believe you will, too.  As more restaurants and attractions are added, we will be sure to highlight them in our blogs.

 

While you’re making your plans to visit OWA, don’t forget about our sugar white Alabama Gulf Coast Beaches and Mobile Bay just a short 20 minute drive away.  Sunset Properties has Gulf front beach houses, condos with and without boat parking, and fabulous penthouse rentals available for vacationers.

 

Make your plans to visit OWA, but be sure to stay with us!

www.sunsetproperties.com   or call 251.543.1370

2018 New Year’s Resolutions you can keep!

Have you made your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions yet?  Lose ten pounds.  Join a gym.  Save more money.  Learn a new trade or skill.  Read more.  Ugh.  Those sound more like punishments than resolutions!

How about this instead:

With the new year rapidly approaching and everyone making New Year’s Resolutions for 2018 that seem nearly impossible to keep, we, at Sunset Properties, suggest making resolutions that are fun, memorable and attainable.  

In short, make resolutions you can keep!

 

Resolve to:

 

  1. Take a nap on the beach

Stretch out on a comfy beach lounge chair under a big colorful umbrella and let the sounds of The Gulf of Mexico lull you to sleep.  

 

  1.  Wear flip flops all day

Spend a whole day shopping in shoes that pop when you walk.  SanRoc Cay in Orange Beach and Pelican Place in Gulf Shores offer superior retail therapy options.  Flip flops welcome!

 

  1.  Leave your phone and tablet turned off

Let the only calls you hear be the ones seagulls make to each other.

 

  1.  Walk a nature trail

Take a leisurely stroll along one of Gulf State Park’s fabulous nature trails and just unwind within your surroundings.  

 

  1.  Cast a line from a pier

Watch a bobber dance in the waves from Alabama’s 1540 foot long Gulf State Park Pier.  Fishing licenses are available online and day permits are available right from the pier office.

 

  1.  Visit a Fort

Listen for the sounds of soldiers’ conversations from centuries ago you tour historic Fort Morgan.  Built in 1812, Fort Morgan is surrounded with some of the most beautiful and peaceful beaches in Alabama.

 

  1.  Ride a ferris wheel

Enjoy an amazing view from atop the ferris wheel at The Wharf.  Check out the concert schedule for the Amphitheatre at The Wharf, as well.  One of your faves may be playing soon!

 

  1.  Eat oysters

Add some Tabasco, salt, and lemon to top off your raw or fried oysters at Doc’s Seafood Shack in Orange Beach or Tacky Jacks in Gulf Shores.

 

  1.  Take a dolphin cruise

Book a day or evening trip out on the water and watch dolphins play.  Sunset Properties has a program called Xplorie, where when you stay with us you receive one free ticket everyday during your stay to some of the local attractions, one of them being Cetacean Cruises.

  1. Volunteer

Participate in the Alabama Coastal Cleanup in September or The Annual National Shrimp Festival in October and make new friends who love the beach just as much as you do.

 

Don’t these sound so much better than the traditional resolutions we’re supposed to make?  We think so, too!  

We, at Sunset Properties,  want to welcome you to the Alabama Gulf Coast in 2018 where resolutions are enjoyable, memorable and even relaxing.  Happy New Year and we’ll see you soon!

Top 5 Ways to Spend New Year’s Eve on the Alabama Gulf Coast

Top 5 Ways to Spend New Year’s Eve on the Alabama Gulf Coast

Any day at the beach is a good day, but New Year’s Eve is a great day to be on the Alabama Gulf Coast!  There are so many fun things to do as you say “so long” to 2017 and “hello!” to 2018.  The hard part won’t be finding a place to go to take your family or meet some friends.  The tough part will be deciding which place to choose!   As you plan your annual countdown to midnight, consider these five options:

#5  Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s

The fun starts at 10 AM at Lulu’s in Gulf Shores.  For those of you who are not looking for a late New Year’s Eve Celebration, but an early one, this is for you!   Grab your camera, throw on your shades and flip flops, and bring the kiddos to Lulu’s early on December 31.  They will be getting ready for their massive Beach Ball Drop at noon.  Expect kid friendly events and lots of entertainment for the whole family.  Oh, and about the flip flops, you might want to bring along some warm shoes, too, just in case!

#4 Moon Pie Drop in Mobile

Yep!  You read that right!  There is a giant 600 pound Moon Pie that shines over downtown Mobile on New Year’s Eve and it drops at exactly midnight!  If you’ve experienced an Alabama Mardi Gras, you know the significance of the Moon Pie in Mobile.   However, if you’ve never seen the giant pie in the sky, you’re in for a treat that can only be rivaled by catching the real thing during carnival season.  This is the 10th year for this fun event where you can expect to see fireworks, hear live music and get some great local food and drinks as you look forward to all that 2018 has to offer.  This event is fun for families, friends and couples, alike.

#3 Marlin Drop at The Wharf

If seeing a Moon Pie lowering over the Port City isn’t your idea of an amazing way to  ring in the New Year, how about seeing a giant Marlin lower at The Wharf?  The Wharf in Orange Beach is known for its fabulous lights, amazing ferris wheel, superior retail shops,  and superb resturaunts all year long.  Seeing it all aglow with holiday lights while listening to the sounds of live music is a celebration no one should miss!  Plan on attending kid friendly activities early in the evening and adult-centered fun as midnight draws near. Get ready to raise your glass and welcome 2018 as you watch The Wharf’s own Giant Marlin lower as the clock ticks down.

#2 The Flora-Bama

How about spending New Year’s Eve at the best bar on any state line?  The World Famous Flora Bama Lounge located on the AL/FL state line will be hosting their annual New Year’s Eve bash.   With live music on three stages, a buffet from 7-midnight and party favors, this is sure to be one for the record books!  The Flora-Bama New Year’s Eve Bash is a ticketed event and it will most certainly sell out, so if you’re planning to attend this celebration, buy your tickets early! Sunset Properties rents two Penthouse Condos at the Caribe, which is only a half mile away from the Flora-Bama! 

#1 The Hangout in Gulf Shores

We round out our countdown of the top 5 things to do for New Year’s Eve on the Alabama Gulf Coast with one of Gulf Shores’ own original beach destinations:   The Hangout.  Located at the intersection of Highways 59 and 181 in the heart of Gulf Shores, The Hangout will be hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration for both families and adults.   Bring the wole family and come early for movies, face painting and a balloon drop.   Or wait a little later for the 21 and up celebration to enjoy a delicious buffet, complimentary midnight toast and balloon drop with great prizes.

If you have a little too much fun and decide you don’t need to drive yourself back to your condo or beach house, remember to call one of our taxi services to take you home.  Before your head out, check out www.gulfshores.com and search Taxi for a list of our fine transportation service companies.  We want to have a great time celebrating, but we also want you to arrive safely back at your vacation home when the party’s over. We also rent a studio condo directly across the street from the restaurant and one just a couple of blocks down! 

Wherever you choose to spend the last day of 2017, as long as you’re on the Alabama Gulf Coast,  we’re sure you’re in for a day and night filled with great food, music, laughter and lots of happy beachgoers.  Happy New Year from all of us locals on the Alabama Gulf Coast!  We hope your 2018 is filled with sunny days, perfect waves and a little sugar white sand between your toes!

What Stores Will You Find at the Tanger Outlets in Foley, Alabama?

Shopping and vacation go hand in hand like Gulf Shores and seafood! And, some of the best shopping can be found at the Tanger Outlets in Foley, Alabama! There, you’ll find a variety of shops, boutiques, and stores designed to give you the ideal shopping experience on Alabama’s Gulf Coast. So, when you’re on vacation, you’ll definitely want to plan a trip to the Tanger Outlets in Foley, Alabama! Here are some of the stores you’ll find there!

Looking for fun ways to enjoy Alabama’s Gulf Coast? Luckily for you, there are plenty of them! You’ll find them in our free Vacation Guide download along with the best restaurants and shopping to suit your vacation needs. At Sunset Properties, we want you to have the very best vacation possible. So, download it today!

Stores at the Tanger Outlets in Foley, Alabama

Accessories and Jewelry

Claire’s | 116 | (251) 943-4244

Coach | 220 | (251) 943-1772

Fossil | 182 | (251) 317-3070

Francesca’s | 474 | (251) 971-1198

H&M | 200 | (855) 466-7467

Kate Spade New York | 104 | (251) 943-1736

Kay Jewelers Outlet | 102 | (251) 943-3477

Michael Kors | 100 | (251) 943-8010

Sunglass Hut | 130 | (251) 943-5899

Vera Bradley | 106 | (251) 943-3163

Zales The Diamond Store Outlet | 112 | (251) 970-1171

Apparel

Adidas | 254 | (251) 971-1018

Aeropostale | 422 | (251) 971-2834

Ann Taylor Factory Store | 494 | (251) 970-5613

Banana Republic Factory | 472 | (251) 971-1975

Bass Factory Outlet | 124 | (251) 943-2792

Brooks Brothers Factory Store | 480 | (251) 943-2829

Dressbarn | 410 | (251) 943-5281

Eddie Bauer Outlet | 260 | (251) 943-5110

Express Factory Outlet | 454 | (251) 968-0050

Francesca’s | 474 | (251) 971-1198

Gap Outlet | 140 | (251) 943-9691

Footwear

Adidas | 254 | (251) 971-1018

Clarks Outlet | 412 | (251) 943-3702

Famous Footwear Outlet | 228 | (251) 943-2022

Johnston & Murphy | 232 | (251) 943-3699

Journeys | 180 | (251) 971-6347

Nike Factory Store | 300 | (251) 970-2900

Rack Room Shoes | 108 | (251) 971-2525

Reebok | 334 | (251) 943-7802

SAS Shoes | 244 | (251) 943-7557

Shoe Carnival | 328 | (251) 970-2922

Skechers | 488 | (251) 943-9101

Under Armour | 404 | (251) 943-9357

Housewares and Home Furnishings

Corningware Corelle & More | 432 | (251) 943-7997

Kitchen Collection | 168 | (251) 943-3252

Le Creuset | 170 | (251) 943-7600

T.J.Maxx | 150 | (251) 943-6684

Westpoint Home | 308 | (251) 929-9017

Specialty Stores

Bath & Body Works | 218 | (251) 943-2666

Harry & David | 256 | (251) 943-1907

Perfumania | 240 | (251) 943-4331

Toys”R”Us Outlet | 310 | (251) 677-6112

Yankee Candle | 440 | (251) 952-0002

Incredible Candies & Gifts | 114 | (251) 952-2639

Plan Your Vacation Shopping Trip On Alabama’s Gulf Coast

These stores are just the beginning of what you’ll find at the Tanger Outlets in Foley, Alabama! There are many more from where these came. You could spend all day out with the girls shopping to your heart’s delight! Find the perfect souvenir or the perfect pair of shoes. You’ll love the selection and more you’ll find at the Tanger Outlets in Foley, Alabama. So, when you plan your vacation shopping trip, be just minutes away from the best shopping! Stay in a beautiful beach house or condo from Sunset Properties. Our spacious rentals are the perfect way to stay along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. So, browse our availability and contact us to book your vacation today!

 

The Top 10 Reasons to Plan Your Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores

thanksgiving in gulf shores
When it’s chilly up north and you’re looking for somewhere warmer to celebrate the holidays, Gulf Shores has to be at the top of your list. In fact, when you plan your Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores, you’ll find that the holiday itself is easier and more relaxing for everyone involved. Take advantage of our beautiful beaches, enjoy our delicious seafood, and escape the holiday stress here in Gulf Shores. When you plan your Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores, you’ll be in for a real treat. Here are our top 10 reasons to visit Gulf Shores this Thanksgiving!

Alabama’s Gulf Coast is beautiful any time of year! So, plan your getaway here with our free Vacation Guide! You’ll find some of the best things to do in Gulf Shores right here in our guide. That’s because, here at Sunset Properties, we want you to have the very best visit! You’re going to love it here!

10 Great Reasons to Celebrate Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores

  1.  Great memories are guaranteed any time of year at the beach! Beautiful weather and beautiful beaches combine for a truly memorable holiday.
  2.  Cooking or not, when all is done you’ll still be right by the beach! Warm days, beautiful sunsets, sandy toes, and salty air are the good things for which to give thanks.
  3. There’s plenty of space for the whole family! There are houses available if you want to stay together or everyone can have their own condo and go their separate ways at the end of the day.
  4.  No cleaning prior to company coming and no big cleaning after they leave. Do your dishes, take the trash out, and put the dirty linens by the washer. That’s it!     
  5.  Black Friday shopping at the Tanger Outlets is only 40 minutes away! You’ll find great deals on Christmas shopping after you’ve had your fill of turkey.
  6.  Swimming on Thanksgiving Day will be some of your favorite memories! Go swimming with all the family before and after dinner.
  7.  No Snow! Escape the cold weather for warm sunny days and cool evenings.
  8.  No Decorating! You don’t have to worry about holiday decorations when you have the beautiful beach scenery just out your door.
  9.  No fancy china! When you come to the beach for Thanksgiving, your vacation rental is fully-equipped with all you need for a simple or fancy dinner.
  10. You can bring your traditions with you or leave them home. Turkey at the beach is great but seafood is our specialty here. Pick up your Thanksgiving seafood to go and enjoy the afternoon at the beach.

Plan Your Holiday at the Beach This Year

Spend your Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores this year and enjoy all of these great reasons to be here! You’ll love your time at the beach, fantastic seafood, fun shopping, and incredible family activities while you’re here. So, browse the beautiful condos and beach houses from Sunset Properties! Our vacation rentals are the perfect idea for a holiday away with family, no matter how many people you have. Come make special holiday memories here in Gulf Shores! Contact us today to book your Thanksgiving getaway!