Top 10 Things to Do in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan for Memorial Day Weekend 2021

Flexcation.  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

Ahhhh…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 and 

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!

Welcome Guests!  Welcome Summer!

Be sure to check out our dog friendly homes, we welcome your Fur Babies, too!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

The Interstate Mullet Toss is Back and You’re Invited!

What a year 2020 was!  Whew!  We are glad it’s behind us.  Between viruses and hurricanes and lock downs, we feel like we missed out on a whole year of beach fun.  We know you’re probably feeling it, too.  But rest assured, Spring 2021 is looking great along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Folks in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are starting to fill their calendars with lots of unique, fun local events coming up this year.  Spring Break is already here, and we’re seeing lots of sun-kissed faces all around our island.  Isn’t it about time you let our Gulf Coast Sun kiss your skin?  Well, the fun is just getting started!  April is right around the corner and you know what that means:  April Showers.  NOPE!  (Good guess, though!) It means it’s time to throw a fish!  The Interstate Mullet Toss is back and you’re invited!

 Here are five reasons you need to plan to be at the 2021 Interstate Mullet Toss:

 1.      Throwing a Fish is Fun

The Interstate Mullet Toss is held each April on the beaches of The World-Famous Flora-Bama located on the Alabama Florida State line because throwing a fish is fun.  Down here, in South Alabama and in the Florida Panhandle, we actually throw fish.  Dead ones.  Mullet, to be exact.  We use our bare hands and throw them as far as we can.  Across the sand and across state lines. Yes, you read that right.  For more than thirty years, locals and visitors alike have gathered on the beaches adjacent to our favorite coastal roadhouse to toss mullet (fish not hairstyles) as far as they will fly.  It is challenging.  It is a little stinky.  It is a bit of a slimy sport.  And it is fun! There actually is an amazing sense of accomplishment when you’re able to hurl a fish farther than anyone else in your competition category.  If you’ve never tossed a mullet, make your reservation now with Sunset Properties and plan to come join the fun!

  2.    This is a Family Event

There is a mullet tossing category for all ages and skill sets.  From kids to adults, young in years to young at heart, everyone is invited!  In order to make sure everyone has a chance to win, the good folks at the Flora-Bama have divided the competition into different categories, and this is a three-day event.  From April 23-25, 2021, the fish will fly.  Believe me!  You’ll see more fish fly than (dare I say it?) than Carter has little liver pills!  And Carter has a lot of pills!  And the best part of this family-friendly event is it’s all for a good cause – as it turns out – or several good causes.  This event has raised over $40,000 to help local charities in both Florida and Alabama.  The best kind fun is fun that benefits someone in need!  Kudos to the folks at the Flora-Bama and all those who participate in this event for your kindness!  And what happens to the fish after the event is over?  They get donated to our friends at Alligator Alley in Summerdale.  The gators have mullet for supper.  How cool is that?!

  3.    Social Distancing is Easy on The Beach

We know you have all been conditioned to observe social distancing guidelines over the last year.  We can’t think of a better place to practice social distancing than at the beach.  Getting outside, soaking up some good old Vitamin D, and spending time with your family and friends does everyone good!  There are tents and chairs spaces available to rent from local vendors at the Flora-Bama.  Check out this link for details.  You can’t bring your own alcohol to this event, but there will be plenty of adult beverages available for sale onsite for the grownups to enjoy.  Be sure to pack your sunscreen, shades and flip flops.  Even in April, without proper skin protection, you can catch a pretty bad sunburn while tossing fish.

  4.    Affordable Accommodations are Close

 So, we’ve piqued your interest, huh?  You’re sitting at your desk in your dull office thinking about how great it would be to spend a spring weekend at the beach.  You smile as you imagine how nice it will be to pack up the kiddos and head south to the warm sandy beaches that border the Northern Gulf of Mexico.  Just to get to throw a fish or two would actually be a bonus.  We totally get it!  If we didn’t already live here, we’d be headed toward the Alabama Gulf Coast, too.  But where’s a great place to stay?  Lots of places are already booked.  Lots of places have minimum stays that might not work for your weekend trip.  Well, we have some great ideas just for you!  Take a look at Sugar Beach 138.  This efficiency condo is just perfect for a family of four.  It’s only about a ten-minute drive from this cozy beach home to the Alabama- Florida state line, where your personal mullet-throwing-championship-trophy awaits.   Do you need a bit more space?  How about Sugar Beach 201?  This is a two-bedroom beach home in the same complex.   Need even more room, but you still want to spend the weekend in Orange Beach?  Check out Family Tides located right in the heart of Orange Beach.  This lovely beach home sleeps up to eight folks comfortably.     If you’d like to stay in Gulf Shores, give Spyglass 106-B a look.  This unit has such a neat layout!  It sleeps six comfortably and one bedroom is a loft.  At Sunset Properties, we’ve got just the perfect beach home for you to enjoy after a long day of tossing mullet!

 5.      Memories are Priceless

You’re probably asking how much does it cost to enter the Interstate Mullet Toss?  Fifteen dollars.  That’s all.  For $15, you get to sail your mullet from Florida into Alabama and you get a souvenir t-shirt.  And if your fish flies far enough, you win!  How much more do you get?  You’ll have a wonderful weekend of priceless memories and we hope you’ll take some pretty good pics of your trip. Get ready to catch some funny Snaps and make some hilarious Tik Tok videos.   Your friends at home will wish they had planned a whole weekend around tossing fish.  We know it sounds crazy, but trust us, they will be so jealous!  

So, what are you waiting for?  Grab yourself some new flip flops.  Dust off that beach straw hat and pack your sunscreen.  Pull out that super bright beach towel and tell the kiddos to load up!  It’s been a whole year since your toes touched the wonderful sandy white beaches of the Alabama Gulf Coast, and that’s long enough for anyone to stay away.  Your beach is open.  Your new friends are waiting.  Sunset Properties has the perfect weekend beach home for you.  And we know there’s a fish with your name on it!  See you soon!!

Oh…and while you’re down here, ask a local, “Why do mullet jump?” There are lots of theories.

Angie’s answer, “They jump for joy!”

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Let Your Imagination Blossom as You Tour Gulf Coast Museums This Spring 2021

Spring along the Alabama Gulf Coast is one of the nicer times of the year to visit.  The flowers are blooming and the sand is starting to warm up.  The weather is wonderful!

It’s warm enough to get outside and enjoy all that our coastal Alabama home has to offer.  When folks visit us in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan in the spring, they often ask what to do to pass their time as  days lengthen.  Everyone loves the beach in the middle of the day, but what about the longer afternoons and early evenings?  We, at Sunset Properties, love to suggest visiting our local museums!  Filled with our unique history and enticing ideas about the future of Coastal Alabama, the museums in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan and surrounding areas should definitely be part of your spring trip to the beach.  Local museums are open and taking precautions to keep down the spread of COVID-19, so this will be a great way to social distance with your family!  While you’re visiting us this Spring Season, we hope you will let you imagination blossom as you tour our local museums.

Gulf Shores Museum

Located in the heart of Gulf Shores at 244 West 19th Avenue,  in a house that predates World War II, the Gulf Shores Museum, itself, is of historic value.  The home once stood proudly on West Beach and belonged to the Cole family of Mobile. After Hurricane Fredric ravaged our Gulf Coast in 1979, the Coles graciously donated the house to the City of Gulf Shores.  For years, the former beach home served as the public library for our little town, but in 1999, it was converted into the museum we love to visit now. Additionally, when the museum was created, the Oyster Bay Baptist Church donated their steeple and it adorns the garden surrounding the museum.  Since 1999, the museum has been filled with artifacts and information about the history of Gulf Shores from its small beginnings to the thriving little beach town it is today.  Local families and families who love for our local area have made invaluable contributions of time and resources to this museum.  Museum guests will find information about industries in our area.  Insightful details about storms that have impacted us is readily available.  And there are always a few hidden treasures that we do not want to spoil here.  Take our word for it, a trip to the Gulf Shores Museum will be a great way to spend a warm spring afternoon!

Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum

Located at 25805 John M. Snook Drive, not far from Orange Beach City Hall, is The Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum Right off, you may be asking who is John M. Snook and what is an “Indian and Sea” museum?  Well, John McClure Snook was an entrepreneur, businessman, and forward-thinking resident of South Baldwin County who led and grew our very first telephone company.  Snook’s father, Ward Snook, founded Gulf Telephone in 1929.  For more information on the Snook family, check out The Snook Foundation’s website. The contributions this family made and continue to make to our area are irreplaceable.  And why Indian and sea?  Those two entities are the foundations on which Orange Beach was built.  Our first settlers inhabited an area near what we know as Caswell, near modern-day Bear Point.  These Native Americans preceded any European settlers and were the first to live in and love our beach home.  As for the “sea” part of the museum, that is a little more obvious.  Orange Beach is known for professional and recreational fishing, as well as being a great place to enjoy other water sports.  The Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum is located in what was formerly a one-room schoolhouse built in 1910.  Today the museum houses many Native American artifacts, information about the farming industry that once thrived on our island, and plenty of information about the Gulf.  Make sure you stop by and visit the Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum.  The building may be small, but the information inside is way bigger than you can imagine!

Baldwin County Heritage Museum

The Baldwin County Heritage Museum is a great place to spend an afternoon discovering the history of our whole county.  Located at 25521 US Highway 98

Elberta, Alabama (home to the world famous Elberta German Sausage Festival), which is about an hour drive from Gulf Shores, The Baldwin County Heritage Museum is filled with local history.  In addition to our fishing and water-based businesses, Baldwin County, Alabama, historically and even today, boasts a strong agricultural economy.  As is evident by all the beautiful flowers all around our island home, we just love to grow stuff!  We grow satsumas, lemons, cotton, beans, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries and even grass (sod) for homes and golf courses.  This tradition and love for the land started with the earliest families who lived here.   Our love of the outdoors extends from the Gulf to the far northern tip of our county.  The Baldwin County Heritage Museum allows visitors to step back in time and see displays of some of the most common household items and farm equipment that many folks used years ago.  Set up like little rooms, complete with everything you’d commonly find in each, the museum is such fun to explore.   If you like antiques, you will absolutely love this place!  The folks at the museum are friendly and knowledgeable about all that they showcase and they love educating locals and visitors alike about life in the 1900s in what was largely rural South Alabama.  If you’re a homeschool parent, this outing would make a great field trip.  If you’re working from home due to COVID-19, this outing will offer a bit of stress relief.  And we’re pretty sure you’ll not only learn something from this visit, but leave with a happy feeling, as well.  Make sure to put the Baldwin County Heritage Museum on your ‘must-see’ list as visit our Coastal Alabama Museums this spring!

Foley Railroad Museum

Everyone seems to know about the Tanger Outlets located just north of Gulf Shores in Foley.  But did you know that just to the north of the Tanger Outlets, Foley has one of the nicest railroad museums around?  That’s right!  At the intersection of Alabama Highway 59 (Gulf Shores Parkway) and Highway 98 (Laurel Avenue) is The Foley Railroad Museum and Model Train Exhibit.   This unique collection is housed inside the historic depot which was built in 1909, because the first depot built in 1905 was destroyed by fire. The Foley Railroad Museum should definitely be on your list of stops as you discover Baldwin County’s history.  At the turn of the 20th Century, railway travel and transport in Alabama was booming.  Train tracks were being constructed to connect our coastal towns to the ones far north of the beach.  Mr. John B. Foley, a businessman who was originally from Chicago and the person for whom Foley is named, made a personal investment to help build the railroad from Bay Minette to Foley.  This later became known as the Louisville and Nashville or  L & N RailroadThe Foley Railroad Museum also houses one of the most in-depth model train displays anywhere.  Some modifications have had to be made to this exhibit’s schedule due to the pandemic, so you should reach out to them directly for dates and times this part of the museum is open to the public.  And, hey….while you’re in Foley, why not go ahead and visit the Tanger Outlets, as well? 

Fort Morgan Museum and Gift Shop

So, we have given you a simple way to tour the history of Baldwin County, Alabama by visiting the museums in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Elberta, and Foley.  But what about Fort Morgan?  No museum tour would be complete without a stop at the beautiful Fort Morgan Historic Site.  And no fort visit would be complete without a visit to the Fort Morgan Museum and Gift Shop.  Located at the far west end of Fort Morgan Road just outside Gulf Shores, just past The Dunes Subdivision, is the pristinely kept fort, itself, surrounded by a picturesque nature-filled part of our island.  We mention the fort frequently in our blogs, because there really is a lot to see and do year-round here.  Any day is a good day to visit Fort Morgan.  You can fish from the beaches, walk your dog inside the historic walls of this former battleground or just take some time and stroll around and learn about Coastal Alabama HistoryFort Morgan’s Museum and Gift Shop is filled with memorabilia from the wars that affected Alabamians.  Personal letters, uniforms and even household utensils are on display.  We love this museum and gift shop because there are not only eye-catching things to look at and learn from, but also unique little souvenirs you won’t find anywhere else in our area.  We believe that if you visit Fort Morgan, you will come to love it, just as we do!

We know most folks come to south Alabama to visit our sugar white sandy beaches, enjoy the Gulf breeze and float in The Gulf of Mexico and visiting a museum isn’t always the first thing folks think of.  But beautiful coastal Alabama is so much more than a great place to enjoy the beach.  It is an all-around great place to visit!  And no matter what time of year you’re planning on coming, there is always something great to do.  

At Sunset Properties, we offer our guests vacation homes that become more than just ordinary places to stay.  From one bedroom poolside condos, to multi-room Gulf front luxury houses, we offer our guests an Alabama Beach Home.  We hope you will take some time this Spring to explore the museums that are all around your beach home.  We hope you will let your imagination blossom as you discover the bright history that led us all to today.  And when you’re making your vacation home decision, we hope you will keep Sunset Properties in mind.  You’re already on ours!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

It’s Fall along the Alabama Gulf Coast! It’s Shrimp Feastival Time!

Like y’all, we at Sunset Properties were all pretty bummed when we heard the 2020 Annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores was cancelled due to the pandemic and amidst COVID-19 concerns.  We love supporting our Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and gathering with our besties and hanging out for hours at the Shrimp Festival and it hit us pretty hard when we found out this year’s event was cancelled.  But, here on the Alabama Gulf Coast, we always try to make the best of any situation and we started thinking about finding other ways to celebrate our favorite local crustacean and still manage to stay within the CDC guidelines for social distancing.

We decided to have our own Shrimp Feast-ival!  And we think you might like our idea…so here goes:   You were planning on coming to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan anyway with your family or closest friends, right?  So, go ahead and come on down and spend a weekend with us Feasting on our favorite local seafood Alabama Gulf Shrimp!  But, where should we go?  Well, that’s easy thanks to Sunny 105.7 FM, our local radio station.  Each year, they hold a People’s Choice Awards allowing locals to choose their faves, and this year’s winners were just announced.  Here are some great places to have your own 2020 Shrimp Feast-ival by visiting our 2020 Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winners:

Duck’s Diner

This year’s winner of the People’s Choice Award for breakfast and lunch is one of our faves, too. We have to give a big ole shout out to the fine folks at Duck’s Diner in Orange Beach.  Start your Shrimp Feastival at Duck’s for breakfast. This fun restaurant is located at 4560 Easy Street, right off Canal Road in Orange Beach.  We love their shrimp and cheese omelet and we think you will, too. Pair it with a side of French toast and a slice of tomato and you’re talking about a plate full of island goodness!  If coffee is your breakfast drink of choice, you can have it with or without Bailey’s Irish Cream.  And if a Bloody Mary rounds out your perfect morning meal, make sure to order one while you’re dining at Duck’s.  Congratulations to Duck’s Diner for being named a Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner!

DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen

If you haven’t been to DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen, before now, you have really been missing out!  DeSoto’s was voted this year’s People’s Choice Winner for the Dinner Restaurant category, but this isn’t their first win.  DeSoto’s has been consistently providing great food and a wonderful atmosphere for more years than we can count.  They are located a block off Gulf Shores Parkway at 138 West 1st Avenue.  They offer inside and outside dining.  But what will you eat while your Feastival-ing?  That’s easy!  Steamed Royal Reds!  (Royal Red Shrimp 1 lb).  You may not know it, but you do want this! (thank us later!) What are Royal Reds, you ask? Royal Reds are beautiful crimson shrimp.  They are larger than other shrimp, much sweeter and have a texture like a lobster.  They can be harvested all year long, but their actual “season” is from mid summer to late fall, making October a great month to enjoy them.  How perfect is that?  You’re planning on coming to your own Shrimp Feastival and we believe you’re coming at the exact perfect time to enjoy the best our island has to offer!  Congratulations to the whole crew at DeSoto’s, 2020 Sunny 105 People’s Choice Winner, for yet another thumbs up from your island neighbors and friends!

Papa Rocco’s

This year’s winner for best place to eat pizza should surprise no one.  Papa Rocco’s (home of warm beer, lousy pizza–not really!)  since 1985, is one of our favorites, too.  How will you celebrate your Shrimp Feastival with these guys?  We don’t even have to ponder that a second…order Papa Rocco’s Seafood Primavera Pizza.  Don’t even think about it, just do it.  Then pair it with a seriously cold beer and enjoy!  Your pizza will be slam full of perfectly cooked seafood, including your little celebratory crustacean, and overflowing with melty-gooey-cheese.  If that doesn’t make your mouth water just thinking about it, your tongue must be sleeping!  Wake it up and don’t miss an opportunity to stop by Papa Rocco’s located at 101 West 6th Avenue, right off Gulf Shores Parkway, while you’re in Gulf Shores.  Congratulations to our buddies at Papa Rocco’s Pizza for being named a 2020 Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner!  

Tacky Jack’s

You cannot really have the complete Shrimp Feastival experience without enjoying the best atmosphere along the Alabama Gulf Coast, so you definitely need to stop by Tacky Jack’s and you’ll quickly see why they were voted this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner for Island Atmosphere. And while you’re at Tacky Jacks, you can have your choice of “feastible” shrimp.  We love the Firecracker Shrimp.  But it comes with a bit of a bang!  So, if you’d rather enjoy something a little less explosive, go with everyone’s favorite Peel & Eat Shrimp.  No matter which you choose, if you’re in the mood for an adult beverage, we suggest having a bushwacker while you’re there. Tacky Jacks has three locations on our island, so no matter if you’re staying with Sunset Properties at the Caribe in Orange Beach, or at Lighthouse 607 in Gulf Shores or at Dream in Fort Morgan, there is a Tacky Jacks, complete with the best Island Atmosphere around, near you!  Congratulations to all our friends at Tacky Jacks for being one of this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winners!  We are definitely fans, too!

Flora-Bama

What kind of festival or Feastival would be complete without a trip to the World Famous Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Bar?  It just so happens that our friends at our favorite local beach bar/honky tonk won the People’s Choice Awards for Best Live Music.  We were so not surprised to hear this.  After all, The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival starts and ends with the Flora-Bama.  You can hear some of the best music anywhere when it’s Songwriters Season!  But for your Shrimp Feastival, what do we recommend?  Visit the Ole River Grill and order Key Lime Shrimp and enjoy this unique appetizer outside on their open air deck.  The food and service are fantastic and the view is phenomenal!  The Old River Grill is located at 17400 Perdido Key Drive in Perdido Key, Florida, which is (as we say) just on the other side of Orange Beach right across the Florida State Line.  No Shrimp Feastival weekend would be complete without at least one stop at the Flora-Bama! Congratulations to the whole team at the Flora-Bama for being chosen this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner for Best Live Music!

We know 2020 has been a year of uncomfortable changes resulting from the pandemic.   Having a year without the Annual National Shrimp Festival is unlike one we’ve seen in over 45 years.   We, at Sunset Properties, want you to know that even though we are saddened by all the cancellations that have happened this year, that we take your health and the health of our team seriously.  The Alabama Gulf Coast is open.  Our beaches are open.  Fun places to play are open.  Great places to eat are open.  Sunset Properties is open.  We are open and operating under the guidelines set forth by health officials.  And you are welcome to come hang out with us.  If your kids are attending school virtually this year, why not come on down?  Use the Wi-Fi in our vacation homes and enjoy the view of the pristine Alabama Beaches as the kiddos learn.  If you’re working remotely, go ahead and pack up your laptop and head south.  Why not set up your office right on a balcony facing the Gulf? And if you had planned time off to attend the Shrimp Festival, why not come anyway and have your own Shrimp Feastival?!  Give us a call, and we’ll get your reservation ready.  See you this fall in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan!

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Helpful links:

For more information on this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winners, check out Sunny 105’s website and Facebook page.

For more information on The Annual National Shrimp Festival or to shop their online store,

check out their website and

to virtually visit our Coastal Alabama Business Chamber click here.

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370



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

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

Alabama Coastal BirdFest

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

Annual National Shrimp Festival

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

Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend

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

Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival

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

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

Happy Fall, Y’all! 

We’ll see ya soon!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

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

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

  1. Relax under a beach umbrella and read a book

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

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

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

  • Stroll the boardwalks at Wade Ward Nature Park

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

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

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

  • Watch the boats travel through Perdido Pass

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

  • Watch the sunset over Mobile Bay

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

  • Watch the dolphins play at Orange Beach Waterfront Park

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

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

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

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

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

10.    Shell hunt on Fort Morgan Beach

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

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

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

www.sunsetpropertie.com

251.543.1310

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

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

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

  • Breakfast with Pirates and Princesses

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

  • Midmorning Mini Golf and Ice Cream -Crustacean Style

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

  • Lunch at Lulu’s

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

  • Be Lazy and Cool All Afternoon

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

  • Dine at Doc’s

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

  • Finally Fireworks

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

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

Happy Birthday, America!  God bless you!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Father’s Day 2019 – Gulf Shores – Great Places to Dine and Bushwacker Crawl

Father’s Day 2019 – Gulf Shores – Great Places to Dine and Bushwacker Crawl

Father’s Day 2019 is coming up and you’re planning a weekend getaway to the beach in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan to celebrate Dad.  What an awesome idea! Weekends seem to fly by down here, and we tend to spend so much trying to decide where to eat and what to drink that time can just get away.  Sometimes in haste, we can make bad decisions and end up regretting our choices.  To help you make your food and beverage choices easy, I decided to put together this blog highlighting some of my local faves.

Here are some great places to dine during Father’s Day Weekend 2019 and then go on a Father’s Day Bushwacker Crawl.

  •  Breakfast

To begin with, let’s begin at the beginning of the day with breakfast.  And no breakfast blog is complete without mentioning Hazel’s Nook.  Hazel’s Nook, located at the intersection of Fort Morgan Road and Gulf Shores Parkway, has been nestled right there under those ancient oaks serving breakfast since we actually can’t remember when.  They have been there, no joke, somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 years.  And you don’t make it in a small beach town that long unless you’re doing something right.  Hazel’s Nook does breakfast right!  If a hot, home cooked breakfast buffet featuring fresh eggs served with a side of grits and home fries, great coffee, a fun staff, and a local place that has stood the test of time appeals to you, then you need to take Dad to Hazel’s Nook while you’re here.  And by the way…yes, the eggs really are that fresh and yes, there really was a Ms. Hazel!  Hazel’s Nook is located, like I said, in a great place.  It’s not too far from West Beach near 4 Shore, a fabulous beach home that’ll sleep up to eleven people! This West Beach home is located in Gulf Shores not far from another can’t-miss breakfast spot:  The Ruby Slipper Café.  And since you’ll be here for two mornings, I can’t leave them out of this blog, either.  Unlike Hazel’s, The Ruby Slipper Café, located on Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach, is not a buffet style restaurant.  Instead, it’s a go-inside, sit-down and relax-and-chat kind of place.  When you first arrive, you’ll find the staff is so accommodating while you wait.  And you’re probably going to have to wait for a few minutes for a table.  But do it!  It’s worth it!  So, once you get your table, what do you order?  Choosing what to have at The Ruby Slipper is challenging for all of us.  That’s why I always seem to settle on thePeaceMaker.  This appropriately named breakfast entrée allows you to “make peace” with your tummy and mind and just have two entrees in one!  I like the Eggs Cochon paired with the Shrimp Boogaloo Benedict.  These are two totally different breakfast entrees and they go great together.  And don’t forget to have a couple of cups of their coffee.  I prefer at least one of those to be an Irish Coffee, but that’s just me.  Their coffee tastes like NOLA in a cup.  It’s some of the best I’ve ever had, and I drink a lot of coffee!  If you’d like something sweet for breakfast, try the Bananas Foster Pain Perdu.  This is an island favorite and it’s hard to make a trip down here and not have Bananas Foster at least once.  If Dorothy, herself, found her way to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan, she’d definitely find herself dining at The Ruby Slipper.  Don’t miss an opportunity to treat Dad to The Ruby Slipper while you’re in town!  There may be no place like home, but Dad will certainly thank you for taking him out for breakfast at two or our beach home faves:  Hazel’s Nook and The Ruby Slipper Cafe.

  •  Lunch

Located on Fort Morgan Road about five minutes from Navy Cove 2113, Dunes 705 and Dream, Sassy Bass Amazin’ Grill is a great place to go for lunch.  The service is outstanding, the drinks are refreshingly chilled, and the food is amazing.  While Sassy Bass is a great place to take the whole family for dinner, I strongly suggest trying them for lunch, as well.  The atmosphere is great for families or a couple of friends just hanging out.  Dine inside or on their screened porch.  The super friendly staff will be happy to seat you where you’re comfortable.  And their menu item choices are sure to please anyone.  With food for both land and sea lovers, there is something for everyone at Sassy Bass.  Their burgers are piled high with perfectly cooked beef and smothered with the freshest of toppings.  Their seafood po-boys are literally overflowing with seafood and toppings, and their hand cut fries are a comfort food like none other.  If you choose to have a salad, try the vinaigrette dressing.  It is zippy sweet summery taste of yum and it seems to make the taste of the veggies sort of pop.  I can’t let their slaw go without mentioning either.  If you like the old timey Pool Room Slaw, you are going to love Sassy Bass’s slaw.  It is served in a quarter cup size side cup, but you’re gonna want a whole-big-ole-bowl of it. And, if an adult beverage appeals to you, try one of their signature fishbowl drinks.  I’d love to make a recommendation on which one, after all, there are quite a few. But I just can’t choose one fave.  They are all great!  If non-alcoholic drinks are your choice, they have plenty of those to choose from, too.

  •  Dinner

We covered breakfast and lunch.  So, what about dinner?  Or as we affectionately call it in South Alabama:  supper.  Where are you going to take Dad for supper?  Suppertime down here at the beach is one of our favorite times of the day.  It’s a time when we all sit down together and talk about our day.   Dinner is usually around 7PM or so, but supper can happen most any time after lunch.  If you choose to stop mid-to-late afternoon and eat, then it’s Lupper!  But, no matter what you choose to call it, just make sure you call Fin & Fork in Orange Beach and make a reservation for it.  While reservations are not required, I do suggest making one.  This place is so good and so conveniently located on Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach not too far from Grand Caribbean 215, they are packed most all the time.  You can choose to eat outside at a picnic area, on their screened-in porch or inside the restaurant.  Regardless of which area you choose, try the grouper.  It’s not called “Local’s Favorite Grouper” for nothing.  You’ll get a huge helping of fresh panko (that yummy bready stuff they put on fish) covered grouper topped with a mushroom and crab sauce that’s been placed delicately and deliciously inside a cabbage leaf.  Oh-Em-Gee!  It’s one of the prettiest plates of food that’ll ever be laid in front of you and the taste is just as Oh-em-gee-able.  You’ll probably just sit there and admire it for a minute before you taste it.  If you’re like most, you’ll have the urge to snap a picture of it and Facebook post it.  But try to refrain.  Posting your food on Facebook, according to most millennials, is so last year.  But then…. there’s always SnapChat!  Picture this:  alongside your grouper, you’ll get these perfectly seasoned whole green beans and whipped Yukon gold mashed potatoes.  The sweetness of the potatoes and the zingy-ness of the green beans is a perfect pairing for the fish.  If your Dad is more of fried fish guy, try the Whole Fried Snapper.  Our Alabama Gulf Coast is famous for our great Snapper Seasons, and Fin & Fork is celebrated for their Whole Fried Snapper.   Also, while you’re there, order some Sushi.  You might not expect to get great Sushi in Orange Beach, but you will!  Fin & Fork has a great Sushi Chef preparing Sushi to order.   Take Dad to Fin & Fork for his Father’s Day Dinner, Supper, Lupper or all three.  He’ll thank you for it!

  •  Bushwacker Crawl

No trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast is complete with a Bushwacker.  So why not take Dad on a Father’s Day Bushwacker Crawl? (which, by the way, I just invented for this blog!)  Why do we affectionately call it a “crawl”?  Well, when you have your first Bushwacker, the answer is not so obvious.  But by the time Dad tries all three Bushwackers I suggest here, he might need some help walking.   Hence the name:  crawl.  Remember, someone sober must drive Dad so he can enjoy his outing.  If everyone in your group wants to try these, I strongly suggest you plan ahead and contact a taxi to drive you.  Uber and Lyft are not available in our area, but this link will give you lots of choices for local drivers.  While we love our Bushwackers down here, safety is always our first concern.  Drink responsibly and let someone else drive!  For your first stop, take Dad to Anchor Bar & Grill located off Canal Road on Wilson Boulevard in Orange Beach.  I say start your crawl here, because they make unique and specialty Bushwackers.  While most Bushwacker bartenders use rum, the good folks at the Anchor Bar & Grill use Vodka.  It’s a great twist on an old favorite and they are soooo good!   And, by the way, so is the view from Anchor Bar & Grill.  It overlooks beautiful Terry Cove in Orange Beach.  While you guys enjoy your first taste of frozen goodness on your Father’s Day Bushwacker Crawl, you’ll get to watch seagulls play and maybe even catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two.  You’re also almost guaranteed to see our local pirate ship that docks right outside the Anchor Bar & Grill at Hudson Marina.  Maybe you could even squeeze in a Pirate Cruise while you’re down.  Your second stop on your Father’s Day Bushwacker Crawl needs to be Flippers Seafood & Oysterbar located at Bear Point Marina, just a bit down Canal Road from The Keg (which is a great place to highlight in another blog!)  Bushwackers at Flippers are worth the drive.  While you’re there, go ahead and have some oysters on the half shell, too.  Oysters go so good with Bushwackers!  Flippers has a wonderful full menu.  If raw oysters aren’t your thing, I know there is something on their menu that will make your tummy smile!  The last place I’ll suggest for a great Bushwacker is Tacky Jacks in Gulf Shores.  Head back from Flippers toward Gulf Shores on Canal Road, and just keep going.  Right where the road makes a sharp (really sharp!) left, you’ll find Tacky Jacks.  Tacky Jacks overlooks the intracoastal waterway.  I’d like to suggest an appetizer to go with your Tacky Jacks Bushwacker, but everything on their menu is a winner.  So, I’ll leave this one to you.  By now, you should know why we call this little outing a crawl.  While I hope you guys are having a great time on your Father’s Day Bushwacker Crawl, I can’t stress enough the importance of a sober driver and the willingness of locals in the transportation industry to help you out.  Don’t drink and drive.  But if you’re having a good time on this little crawl, and want to keep it going, check out our blog on 5 Best Bushwackers to give you some suggestions on a couple more places to try!

I hope this blog helps make your decisions on where to take Dad for food and drink easier than you expect.  You know, at Sunset Properties, we celebrate families.  We are a family owned, family-oriented company.  We are flattered that you are planning to spend a weekend with us celebrating your Dad this Father’s Day 2019 with us and we hope you’ll plan a week later this summer to celebrate your whole family and stay with us again!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Have a safe and happy Father’s Day Weekend and Summer 2019!

Drinking and Driving – A Threat to Everyone. Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes. Driving drunk is never OK. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.” CDC

Four A-MAY-ZING reasons to visit Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan in May 2019

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Spring is folding into summer and down here along the Alabama Gulf Coast, May is a wonderful month to visit our Island Paradise.  The flowers are in full bloom, everything is new and fresh, and our sugar white sandy beaches and rolling tides of the Gulf of Mexico just seem to welcome summer in a way nowhere else can.  We have shaken off the cold of the winter, restocked our shelves, brightened up our beach homes and our staffs are ready to greet you.  Come on down to the Alabama Gulf Coast and stay with us at Sunset Properties.  We, like the warm early summer sun, are ready for your arrival!  There are four fabulous weeks in May and here are Four A-MAY-ZING reasons you need to be on the Alabama Gulf Coast in May:

1.      Annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival   May 2-4, 2019

For fifteen years, locals and guests alike have looked to the skies on the first weekend in May to see amazingly colorful hot air balloons drifting brilliantly in the sun.  A rainbow filled thrill for everyone,  the Annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival is an event you won’t want to miss.  Be at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Foley on the evening of Friday, May 2 and see the balloons glow from 6-8PM.  It’s an almost magical to see these towering balloons illuminate the horizon with their giant gas flames.  Meet the balloon crews and teams who make this all possible.  Bring the kids and watch their eyes light up with wonder!  Then be sure to visit the festival grounds on Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd and 4th,  for a full weekend of fun.  There will be a carnival, food vendors, tethered balloon rides, a the Disconnected K9 Dog Show, and the fabulous bands Dr Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster and Werewolf the legendary 80s cover band are scheduled to perform.  This 15-year old Alabama Gulf Coast even is one that continues to grow and thrill attendees.  Don’t forget to contact Sunset Properties to book you amazing accommodations and don’t miss your chance to come out and make some great memories that will last a lifetime!

2.      Mother’s Day    May 12, 2019

Can’t seem to swing a beach trip to see the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival?  What about Mother’s Day?  Most of us celebrate our Moms every day.  We know that she alone is the person who always has our back.  She’s always been our friend, our cheerleader, our taxi driver and the one who always has great advice.  When we were kids, she helped us balance on skates, kissed our knees when we fell and skinned them, and gave us ice cream to help the hurt go away.  As we became adults and our life challenges changed, so did Mom’s help.  But she’s the one who never lets us down.  For someone who has done so much for us, how do we ever even begin to show her how much we appreciate her?  What’s a great way to celebrate Mom on Mother’s Day 2019?  Why not bring Mom at the beach this year?   Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are three of her favorite places.  How about instead of the same-old, same-old easy-peasy card and chocolate, why not give Mom a Mother’s Day Memory she will always cherish?  Bring Mom to the Alabama Gulf Coast, stay in one of Sunset Properties’ fabulous beach homes, treat Mom to some delightfully mouth-watering Fresh Alabama Gulf Seafood and shop in some of the best retail venues in the whole state.  What are you waiting for?  You know this is a great idea!  Mother’s Day is special anywhere, but make your Mom’s weekend extra special by spending it with us, here at the beach.  Contact Sunset Properties and mention code MOTHER19 for a special discount offer on some beach homes.  Go ahead!  Be Mom’s hero, just like she’s always been yours!

3.      Hangout Music Festival   May 17-19

Maybe you can’t get down here for Mother’s Day and the Hot Air Balloon Festival is not the kind of festival you had in mind.  Well, in that case, you won’t want to miss the annual Hangout Music Festival which rocks the public beaches in Gulf Shores from May 17-19, 2019, with a kick-off party scheduled on Thursday, May 16.  With a band line-up like no other and music that lasts from 11-11 each day, you will have a blast with your besties as you celebrate mid-May on the beach while your favorite live music plays. Hangout Fest is a gated, ticketed event and the tickets usually sell out, so if you’re planning on coming, you probably need to act quickly to ensure your spot.  If you need some help planning your Hangout experience, check out our blog 5 Tips to Make Your Hangout Festival Experience Super Groovy for some great ideas.  And if you need a place to stay, we can help with that, too.  Sunset Properties has several beach homes near the Hangout venue.  Call or email us and we’ll help you find just the perfect place for you.

4.      Memorial Day    May 27

So you were saving the best for last?  The a-MAY-zing fun continues along the beaches here all month long.  Memorial Day Weekend is the last weekend in May, but it’s the first weekend of Summer at the Beach!  The kiddos are finally out of school and you’re planning to come to the beach for the unofficial summer kick-off week, Memorial Day 2019.  Awesome!  We are so glad you’re choosing to spend your first summer vacation week with us!  At Sunset Properties, we have several wonderful beach homes to choose from and here on the Alabama Gulf Coast, the summer fun ramps up on Memorial Day!  And here in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, we have great attractions for your whole family.  The kiddos will love Waterville USA , The Track and Adventure Island .  Your whole family will love The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.  With great places to dine like King Neptunes, Cobalt and Doc’s Seafood Shack, you won’t have to worry about cooking.  But if you choose to prepare your own meal, shop Rouses Market and then enjoy a fully stocked kitchen in any of our supremely decorated beach homes.  If you want to bring your fur baby, you’re in luck!  We have quite a few dog friendly homes to choose from and we even can recommend a wonderful locally owned doggie daycare Sea Paws Dog Resort so your fur baby gets to enjoy vacation, too.  

Vacation.  Ahhh….just saying that word makes us smile.  May, here in our Island Paradise is truly a month for a vacation.  Whether you choose a quick weekend getaway vacation, or a week long stay with us, we are truly excited to know you’re coming.  If you need any help making your reservations or have questions about any of our wonderful beach homes, please call or email us.  We are always ready to assist our guests.  Don’t wait!  Our homes fill up fast all month long, so call us now!  Get ready to plan your own A-MAY-ZING vacation and we will see you soon!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

5 Things You and Mom Must Do for Mother’s Day in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

5 Things You and Mom Must Do for Mother’s Day in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

So you’ve decided to take Mom to the beach for Mother’s Day Weekend 2019, but you’re not sure what to do or where to stay.  It is going to be a short quick trip so you’re in need of a little advice.  To make the most of your time here, you need a plan.  We, at Sunset Properties, have a few great ideas and we know you and Mom will make some great memories.  

1.      Ride our Ferris Wheel

As soon as you get to our Island Paradise, you will most likely see the Ferris Wheel at The Wharf in Orange Beach.  With the top gondola towering at an astounding 112 feet high, The Ferris Wheel at The Wharf is truly one of our favorite island landmarks.  It is the largest Ferris Wheel in the Southeast.  Day or night, The Ferris Wheel welcomes guests to ride one of its 24 gondolas.  It can hold up to 140 people at a time.  Even if you’ve ridden our Ferris Wheel before, you will definitely want to make it one of your planned stops while you and Mom enjoy Mother’s Day Weekend on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  While you’re at The Wharf, don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the many fine retail shops.  Mom will love a new fun outfit from Sand Dollar Lifestyles or a nice cold daiquiri from Island Time Daiquiris.   In addition to all the other great things to do at The Wharf, they have a great summer concert series lined up, too.   Bryan Adams will play at The Wharf Amphitheatre on Friday night May 10th.  While you and Mom are at The Wharf, why not take in a great concert?  The weather is perfect in May for outdoor shows and we know you’ll have a blast!

2.      Eat at Cobalt

With so many great places to dine around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, how to do you choose?  We suggest trying Cobalt, The Restaurant in Orange Beach.  Located next to The Caribe under the Perdido Pass Bridge in Orange Beach, not only is the food great, but so are the views!  With menu items like yellowfin tuna and grilled chicken, how can you go wrong?  Oh, and did I mention their delicious desserts?  You must try the bread pudding or triple layer chocolate cake!  Mom will certainly thank you for this special Mother’s Day meal!  Sunset Properties has two great penthouses available for reservations at The Caribe right next to Cobalt.  For a Mother’s Day Stay Mom won’t soon forget, consider reserving Caribe C Penthouse 14 or Caribe B Penthouse 4.  

3.      Enjoy a Flora-Bama Bushwacker

How can you have a weekend at the beach and not have a Bushwacker?  No other island drink is like a Bushwacker and with several great places to have one, how do you choose?  We recently published a blog about our favorite local Bushwackers, but if we have to choose just one, we suggest visiting the Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store and trying theirs.  A Bushwacker is a frozen drink that consists of several liquors usually mixed with chocolatey goodness and topped with a cherry.  Located on the Alabama/Florida State Line, the Flora-Bama is known worldwide for great Bushwackers, unmatched entertainment, cold beer and fresh oysters.   There is always a great band playing and the service is second to none.  One of America’s oldest roadhouses, the Flora-Bama is not just a local bar, its a local landmark!  Moms are always welcome and we can’t think of a better time to share one of our favorite local beverages with your Mom than on her special day.  Don’t forget to take lots of pictures while you’re there.  A visit to the Flora-Bama anytime is always the right time to make memories!

4.      Shop at SanRoc Cay

With so many great retail venues to shop, how do you decide?  From The Tanger Outlets in Foley, to the great shops at Pelican Place, to a plethora of local island shops, the choices are vast.  We want to suggest you check out SanRoc Cay for Mother’s Day.  Located across from the beach in Orange Beach, SanRoc Cay is a unique shopping and entertainment district.  You will love spending the day with Mom here.  With upscale boutiques like Sweet Dreams and Blue Lagoon Swimwear, Mom is sure to find herself the perfect Mother’s Day gift here.  When Mom is all shopped out, be sure to visit Louisiana Lagniappe for some great food!  After lunch, how about taking Mom out on the water for a charter trip?  Contact the good folks at SanRoc Cay Marina for details on charters and rentals.  SanRoc Cay is so much more than just a shopping venue.  It is a place to spend the whole day with Mom making memories that will last long after you’ve gone back home.

5.      Sunbathe on Fort Morgan Beach

If you’ve never been to Fort Morgan Beach, you are certainly missing out on a great local experience.  The gently rolling waves of Mobile Bay that kiss the beach of Fort Morgan are perfect for floating, swimming and sunbathing.  Fort Morgan Beach surrounds our famous fort and then stretches around from Mobile Bay to meet the Gulf of Mexico in front of The Dunes condominiums and The Dunes subdivision.  To avoid the business of the public beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, many locals and guests alike choose to pass their lazy beach days on the beaches of the Fort Morgan area.  Because you’re planning to try out these hidden gems located near the end of Fort Morgan Road, why not stay there, too?  Dunes 407 is a tastefully decorated one bedroom, two bath condo that sleeps up to six people, and it is perfect for a Mother’s Day weekend getaway.  The Dunes faces the Gulf and has a private beach.  If you’d prefer to stay on Mobile Bay, check out Navy Cove 2113.  This two bedroom, two bath condo comes  with a private boat slip.  Want to see a complete list of available beach homes?  Visit SunsetProperties.com and use code MOTHER19 for a special offer on some homes.  What better way is there to spend Mother’s Day weekend than in a great waterfront beach home?  We simply cannot think of one! 

With all that Mom has done for us, it seems so little just to celebrate her one day a year.  We suggest celebrating Mom all year long, but if you have to squeeze it all into one weekend, we hope you will take our suggestions and make Mom’s weekend extra special.  Come on down to the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Come stay with us at Sunset Properties.  Our beaches are beautiful and our waterfront views are spectacular.  Our entertainment districts are welcoming and our southern hospitality unsurpassed.   Our accommodations are superb and our pools are sparkling.  All we’re missing is you, and of course, Mom.  Join us at Sunset Properties this year for Mother’s Day as we celebrate our Moms and help you celebrate yours!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370