Workcation. Schoolcation. Staycation. Vacation. With so
many variants of the word, we thought you might want to try a Maycation!
How about doing it for Memorial Day Weekend 2021. Extend your weekend stay out just a bit
and kick off summer the right way: in beautiful Gulf Shores, Orange
Beach or Fort Morgan, Alabama. Looking for something fun to do
while you’re staying with us, check out these ten suggestions:
1. Go Shelling
Shelling is something
we’ve all done for years as we visited the beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. What is Shelling? Simply put, it
is the act of collecting sea shells. The beaches that surround our island
are varied and wonderfully decorated with so many different shells.
Finding two alike is usually a challenge. While no two are exactly alike,
there are similarities. Mollusks, animals like clams and oysters, who live inside shells, create
their shell homes by using calcium carbonate. Similar mollusks create
similar looking shells. These shell homes grow with the animals as the
animals get larger. However, the shells are never actually alive.
When the animal dies, the shell is left behind. We ask visitors to our
beautiful Gulf coast beaches to be mindful of animals who are still living in
their shells. When you’re shelling, please do not take ones with marine animals
living inside. Instead, look for the empty ones. Most days, you’ll
find lots of abandoned clam and oyster “houses” all up and down our
beaches. Stop by one of our Alabama Gulf Coast Visitor Centers for more information on shelling.
2. Tour the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and Dine
at the Safari Club
How many times have you
driven past the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and thought about stopping? Well, this
should be the year you stop in! But we need to remind you, the zoo
moved! It is now located at its new home at 20499 Oak Road East in
Gulf Shores. Instead of being located on the island, the zoo moved
just a bit inland. Actually, it’s only about ten minutes north of the
intracoastal bridge, just off Gulf Shores Parkway (Alabama Hwy 59). Did
you notice we tell distance in time? It’s kind of a locals thing.
You’ll get used to it! Anyway, this new location allows our “Little Zoo That Could” for many years, be all it can be… today! Did you know our
zoo is home to over 300 animals? In fact, more than 20 of those are
listed on the endangered or threatened species lists. Preservation of our
wildlife and our surroundings is so important to us all. That brings us
to The Safari Club. You’ll want to stop in and dine at this
unique restaurant that is Alabama’s first certified “Green Restaurant”. But what’s an eco-friendly restaurant
without a great menu, right? The good folks at The Safari Club have one
of the most mouth-watering menus around! Go ahead, take a peek here and
plan your Memorial Day Weekend outing to include not only a visit to the
Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, but also to one of our favorite dining spots, The Safari Club.
3. Enjoy a Dolphin Cruise
Dolphin cruises are one of the most entertaining ways to spend a weekend afternoon! This
unusual outing is something most people cannot do where they live. So,
while you’re visiting our little piece of paradise here on earth, be sure to
book your family a dolphin cruise. Most dolphin cruises leave out of
marinas in Orange Beach. The friendly folks at our Alabama
Gulf Coast Convention and Tourist Bureau can help you make an educated decision on which kind of cruise
will work for your family and your schedule. Some dolphin cruises are
sunset cruises. Some are in glass bottom boats. And some are just a
couple of hours out in a boat watching these super smart, very entertaining
mammals play in our back bays. No matter which dolphin cruise you choose,
be sure your phone battery is charged! You’ll want to take lots of
pictures or even a few videos.
4. Visit the Gulf State Park Pier
The world famous Gulf State Park Pier is open! It was damaged last year during Hurricane Sally and has been under reconstruction ever since, but the first 725
feet of our favorite public pier is now ready for your visit. Covid
prevention restrictions remain in place and the number of guests who can use
the pier at one time is lower than we are all accustomed to. But to a
real fisherman (or fisher lady) this absolutely does not matter. Any
chance to fish off the pier is worth not passing up! Folks who just want
to walk out on the pier and get a view of the Gulf unlike any other on the
island are also welcome. Again, the number of pier visitors at any one
time is limited, so you may have to wait a bit for folks to come off this amazing,
suspended walkway, but we assure you it’s worth the wait! Looking down
over the waves of one of the most powerful bodies of water on earth is quite awe
inspiring. You’ll be able to see lots of fish, rays and maybe even a
small dolphin or two. Be sure to plan your visit to our Gulf State Park
Pier while you’re in Gulf Shores for Memorial Day Weekend 2021.
5. See the Fireworks at Owa
Speaking of awe
inspiring, have you ever seen the fireworks at Owa? Owa, our Alabama Gulf Coast’s own family
amusement park venue, is planning to have an amazing fireworks show on the night of Saturday, May 29, 2021. Owa is located in
Foley at 1501 South Owa Boulevard, about fifteen minutes north of the
intracoastal bridge. It’s really not that far past the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo if you go there by way of Gulf Shores Parkway. If you get
to the Tanger Outlets, though, you went too far. It’s super
easy to find Owa from the Foley Beach Express. You can see it just off that highway.
No matter how you get to Owa from your Sunset Properties beach home, you’re sure to enjoy the fireworks show. But
don’t just go for the fireworks. Owa is one of the nicest family entertainment
venues anywhere. Go for the day! The amusement park has rides for
the whole family. The big kids will love the Rollin Thunder coaster. The little guys will laugh and
giggle as they ride The Tea Cups. And, with so many great places to eat at
Owa, the whole family will enjoy this Memorial Day adventure!
6. Eat Breakfast at The Ruby Slipper Cafe
One of the best ways to
start off one of the best days of your 2021 Memorial Day Weekend is to have a
great breakfast. One of our favorite places to enjoy a blend of Coastal
Alabama hospitality and New Orleans cuisine is The Ruby Slipper Cafe. This family friendly restaurant in Orange Beach has one of the most varied menus this side of Lake
Pontchartrain. In fact, you’d have to drive west about 198 miles to get a
breakfast that compares with The Ruby Slipper Cafe. What should you order?
The Peace Maker is a favorite choice. With this, you get
your choice of two eggs benedict mini meals. This is a must-try for
someone who has a hard time making up their mind. Kids will love eating
here, too! The Cinnamon Swirl Pancake is usually a hit with the under-18
crowd. And while we don’t suggest overindulging in adult beverages so
early in the day, we do suggest trying at least one. A Ruby Mimosa is not
only a pretty drink sitting beside your Peace Maker, it’s also delicious.
7. Attend a Church Service at the Flora-Bama
Speaking of adult
beverages, did you know your favorite coastal roadhouse has church services
each week? That’s right! The World Famous Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store holds weekly worship services on Sundays at
9:00AM and 11:00AM. Yes. Church. In a bar. Under a
tent. And, yes, you are invited. This is probably one of the most
unique Bible studies and praise music experiences you’ll ever have. Put Central Church at Flora Bama on your list of things to do while you’re in
our area. And if you go one time, we’re pretty sure you’ll want to go
back again. Attend with an open mind. And leave with a blessed
heart. What a great way to start off your summer season and what a great
Memorial Day memory to take home.
8. Race Around The Track
Just as you’re about to cross the Holmes (intracoastal) Bridge onto our little island home in Gulf Shores,
you’ll see a huge go-kart park off to your left. The
Track. It’s big.
It’s fun. And it’s fast. The Track looks like a place just for kids.
But don’t let looks fool you. The Track was built with the whole family
in mind. If you’ve never raced your kids around a go-kart track, you’re
missing out on some of the funniest memories you could ever make! And
after your second grader pulls ahead of you in that last curve, and leaves you
in her dust, you’ll definitely want to go inside the arcade and cool off.
Have a soda, win a few arcade games. (It’ll help build your ego back up after
being smoked by an 8-year-old in a pink go-kart!) Collect your tickets and
choose your favorite prize option. When we tell you, The Track is for the
whole family, trust us. When we tell you it’s genuinely fun, trust us
again. You all are sure to have a family adventure like no other and make
unmatched memories here.
9. Take a Sand Castle Building Class
So we know no trip to
the beautiful white coastline that borders Fort
Morgan, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is complete without at least one sand castle
construction. Most of us take our little yellow dollar store buckets to
the beach and work for hours and construct something that looks like…well, an
upside-down bucket. Despite our most determined efforts, we somehow lack
the engineering skills we need to construct a bona fide, award-winning sandcastle.
What if we told you there’s a class for that? Yep! There are a few
experts around our island home who will show you how to make something remarkable
out of sand. While you’re visiting with us and staying in your welcoming Sunset Properties beach home, your whole family can take a sandcastle building
class from our friends at Sand Castle University. The good folks at Sand
Castle U will meet you and your family on the beach and give you expert lessons
on how to build the perfect sand art creation. You’ll need to register
online. Follow this link to Sand Castle University to get your group class set-up. Then get
ready to experience something uniquely beachy this Memorial Day.
10. Get a Family Photo
One of the most
important things you can do this year is take a family photo. 2020
Covid -19 were terrible.
Between lockdowns and sickness and the seemingly endless restrictions that kept
us away from our loved ones, we all experienced some kind of loneliness.
Thankfully, this year seems to be moving more toward happy times and happy
memories. We want to remind you to take pictures. Take lots of
pictures with your family. Those smiling sun kissed faces need to be
photographed. Professional beach portraits are always a good idea.
We suggest giving our friends at Chasing the Son Photography a call. They will treat you like they’ve
always known you. They will meet you at the beach and help you and your
family get the finest possible shot. Capturing memories is what they do all
day every day. These experts treat their clients like family, and they
tend to make quite a few friends along the way.
While having the perfect
beach vacation home makes any trip wonderful, we at Sunset Properties, want to help you have one of most pleasurable vacation
experiences imaginable. Whether you’re staying in one of our Alabama Gulf Coast Luxury Beach Homes, a one, two or three bedroom beachy condos or a perfectly placed Mobile Bay front home with a boat slip, we know what you do away from
your paradise address is just as important as where you sleep. Knowing
where to go, how long it takes to get there, and having some idea of what to
expect when you arrive is always helpful. We hope you will consider
staying with us for Memorial Day Weekend 2021. Starting your
Maycation is just a phone call away!
Be sure to check out our
dog friendly homes, we welcome your Fur Babies, too!