7 Fun Things to do for Easter 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

7 Fun Things to do for Easter 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

Easter is a magical time for most kids.  The Easter Bunny comes and brings baskets full of goodies and brightly colored eggs.  You may want to attend a church service  and spend the afternoon hiding eggs and eating wonderfully prepared feasts with your family.  Easter truly is a happy holiday and most of us consider it the beginning of Spring.  How can Easter get any better?  Spend it at the beach!  Join your friends in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan for Easter Weekend and make some of the best memories all year!  If you’re wondering what to do at Easter at the beach, wonder no more!  Here is a list of 7 fun things to do at Easter 2019 while you’re visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast:

  1.  Find lots of eggs at Lulu’s Easter Egg Dash

Our friends at Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s always have something fun planned.  Easter is no exception!  If an Easter Egg hunt is in your plans, you won’t want to miss this.  The fun begins at Lulu’s on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019 with the arrival of the Easter Bunny.  At 2PM, the dash begins!  There will be egg hunts for all ages.  All around Lulu’s famous Gulf Shores location, eggs will be hidden (some in plain sight) for the kiddos to find.  This is one of the best ways to spend an Easter afternoon.  After the dash, stay for the fabulous food Lulu’s has become known for!  

  • Meet your friends at The Hangout’s Easter Sunrise Service on the Beach

If starting your day off with an Easter Sunrise Service is in your plans, then you will want to make your first stop at The Hangout in Gulf Shores.  Known worldwide for The Hangout Music Festival, this hoppin’ fun local venue will host Gulf Shores United Methodist Church for a sunrise service beginning at 6:30AM on Sunday, April 21, 2019.   The public is invited.  What better way to welcome Easter morning than to have a sunrise service on the beach next to the Gulf of Mexico?  After the service, stay for the Easter Bunny’s arrival at 9AM.  Be sure to dress your kiddos up as bunnies.  There will be a costume contest.  The Hangout will be serving brunch from 7:30AM – 11AM.  With so many fun things to do at The Hangout, we’re sure you’ll want to come for the Sunrise Service and then just Hang Out for a while!

  • Learn something new at the Coastal Alabama Bird Banding Project

How about spending a day learning about nature?  The Coastal Alabama Bird Banding Project will take place at historic Fort Morgan for several days leading up to Easter.  If you’d like to see this amazing project in person, plan on being at Fort Morgan on Saturday, April 20 between the hours of 8AM and noon.  During this session, guests are able to see a personal view of some of Alabama’s spring migratory birds.  These birds are banded and released so that their migration can be tracked.  This is an outdoor event, so don’t forget to bring bug spray and sunscreen.  A folding chair is also a good idea.  With Easter being the beginning of Spring for most of us, attending this is a great way to kick off this wonderful season!

  • Fish in the Alabama Gulf Coast Slam Professional Fishing Tournament

This tournament is new to our area and runs through mid-May.  There is no cost to enter if you’re on a registered vessel.  Some restrictions do apply if you’re fishing from other boats or from the shores.  This tournament is open to anglers of all ages and participants are welcome to fish from registered charter fishing boats or from personal watercraft.  For more information contact The Alabama Gulf Coast Slam Professional Fishing Tournament at AlabamaGulfCoastSlam@gmail.com .  This is sure to be one spring tradition you’ll want to repeat year after year!

  • Visit the Zydeco & Crawfish Festival

How about a little crawfish and Zydeco music to liven up your Easter Weekend?  On Saturday, April 20 between the from 10AM – 6PM at Waterway Village in Gulf Shores, the 5th annual Zydeco & Crawfish Festival will be in full swing!  You’ve never had crawfish and you don’t know what Zydeco is?  Well, crawfish is about the yummiest, most seafoodish, non-seafood food you can eat!  And Zydeco is the perfect music to enjoy while you savor one of the coast’s favorite boiled freshwater shellfish.   And if dancing and eating crawfish is not quite what you had in mind for a wonderful Spring afternoon, how about a run?  Enter the 5K/1 mile fun run that is a big part of this local festival.  The festival is located under the Holmes (intracoastal waterway) Bridge, just off Highway 59 in Gulf Shores.

  • Check out the Flora Bama Easter Eggstravangaza

Did you know the kids can have a great time at The Flora-Bama?  Well, they can?  In fact, for Easter, the good folks at America’s favorite beach road house have a whole afternoon of fun planned just for the kiddos!  Beginning at 1PM on March 31, there will be face painting and crafts for kids at the beach tent.  At 2PM, all eyes will be on the sky at the Easter Bunny, himself, will skydive into the party!  Then one of the largest Easter Egg hunts on any state line will begin.  Participants must bring their own baskets.  This is the one day each year there are more eggs on the beach than shells!  Bring your camera, too.  You will want to capture every minute of this unique and fun family experience.

  • Walk on the beach with your family

What beach trip would be complete without a beach walk with your family?  The weather along the Alabama Gulf Coast in April is perfect for beach walking.  Maybe you’ll find an amazing sea shell to take home.  Maybe you’ll see dolphins playing just off shore.  Maybe you’ll see fun shapes in the clouds.  No matter what you see, take lots of pictures.  With or without The Easter Bunny, Easter Sunday walks on the beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are special.

We hope you will join us at Sunset Properties and plan to celebrate your Easter vacation week or weekend with us.  We have so many rental properties to choose from, we are sure we have the perfect place for you and your family to stay!  Remember to pack your sunshades, flip flops and sunscreen. Don’t forget your Easter baskets and cameras.  And come on down to your favorite beach!  Sunset Properties has your holiday vacation home ready for you to check-in!

Welcome to Spring on the Alabama Gulf Coast!  

Welcome Easter!  

And welcome to you, our guests!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251-543.1370

Top 10 Favorite Things To Do During Spring Break 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

With Spring Break 2019 just around the corner, isn’t time you started making your family spring break plans?  Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are perfect places to spend a week sharing fun times with you family and making memories that will last long after this Spring Break Week 2019 is gone.  The Alabama Gulf Coast is full of family friendly entertainment venues and we, at Sunset Properties, love hosting guests.  With so many attractions to choose from, folks often ask us for our personal faves.  

Here is a list of our Top 10 Favorite Spring Break Activities.

  1. Get back to nature

After being cooped up inside for the cold winter months, getting outside in the Spring is usually on everyone’s mind.  Here along the Alabama Gulf Coast, we love the outdoors, too.  Our Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is a great outdoor place to visit on a sunny Spring day.  With so many animals to see in our “Little Zoo That Could” we urge you to set aside at least a whole afternoon for your visit.  Wear comfy shoes and clothes, because our zoo is a walking attraction.   Located right in the heart of Gulf Shores, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is open year-round, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.   Recently, The Gulf Coast Mining Company was added to the zoo.  This is a gemstone mining attraction and it is fun for the whole family.  Visit the zoo, make some great pictures and take home a beautiful gemstone souvenir!

  • Enjoy some arcade time

Remember back in the 80s when everyone hung out at the mall arcade?  We loved the flashing lights and loud music and joystick challenges that lay before us!  Seems those fun times are somewhere in our past.  How about this?  While you’re on Spring Break 2019 with your kids, why not let your own inner kid come out?  Down here in our island paradise, we still love a good video game challenge and the excitement of the flashing lights and great music!   You can find all of that at a couple of very cool local arcades:   Adventure Island and Fat Daddy’s Arcade .  Both of these entertainment venues are located in Orange Beach.  Adventure Island is so much more than just your typical arcade.  While they do house some of the best video games anywhere, they also are home to go-karts, laser tag and a mini-golf course.  Adventure Island is super easy to find.  Just ride along Beach Boulevard until you see the big volcano.  It is the only volcano on our island, so you won’t have to look too hard to find it.  Can’t get enough arcading at Adventure Island?  Well, trek on over to Fat Daddy’s Arcade.  With over 80 arcade games, including claw challenges, Deal or No Deal and the big wheel, there is something for your whole family to enjoy.  Follow Fat Daddy’s on Facebook for special offers and when you get down here, don’t miss a chance to go!  For great games and exciting prizes, both Adventure Island and Fat Daddy’s Arcades are definitely two of our faves!  Just down the road from these fun arcades is Enclave 206.  This 3 bedroom, 3 bath condominium is located right on the Gulf in Orange Beach.  Once you’re family has played all the video games possible, you’ll be happy to drive just a short way to your vacation home where you’ll find a beautifully decorated, fully stocked home that has both an indoor and outdoor pool.  We loved arcades back in the 80s, and we still enjoy the thrill now and then, but some days, we just want to relax beside a pool and enjoy the sounds of the beach.

  • Hangout near the public beach

The Hangout has been a favorite local beach spot since we can’t remember when, and it still tops our list of groovy things to do.  The face of The Hangout has changed over the years, but the vibe is still the same.  Stop by for easy-to-have fun and great food.  Located right at the public beach in Gulf Shores, The Hangout, home of The Hangout Music Festival, is nearly impossible to miss.  Known for their famous festival in May, great adult beverages and awesome menu, The Hangout is actually a very family friendly place to go.  Your whole family will enjoy putting toes in the sand while eating in the picnic area.  Kids will love the Wish Wall, foam party and sand pit.  Adults will love the fact that the service is top-notch and food is awesome.  We know you’ve driven by the big yellow Hangout sign many times.  Why not stop, go in, and relax a little.  Give it a try.  You’ll thank us for the suggestion.

  • Drive hard and go fast

Driving in between Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan can be a bit challenging for adults.  With some many places to go and so many things to do, we tend to spend a great deal of time in our cars.  Why not let the kids drive for a while?  Located just north of the Intracoastal Waterway bridge on Gulf Shores Parkway, The Track- Gulf Shores is a great place to do just that.  Let your young folks take the wheel in a super cool go-kart that is sized perfectly for them.  The Track is a fun and challenging course for kids and adults alike.  With rides ranging from The Wild Woody to the Kiddie Karts, there is a perfectly sized track for everyone.  The Track also offers a Sky Coaster and Spinning Coaster.  There is also a great arcade and mini-golf course.  With so many fun things to do at this one venue, The Track is sure to be a great way to spend a whole spring break day.

  • Chill out with some good ice cream

After all the thrill seekers in your family have been entertained, why not slow down a bit for some fabulous ice cream?  Matt’s Homemade Alabama Ice Cream, located on Gulf Shores Parkway near the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, is a great place to stop and chill for a bit.  With 40 flavors to choose from, your whole family will love Matt’s Ice Cream.  From banana splits to waffle cones, stop by Matt’s and create your own unique favorite Gulf Coast Ice Cream treat.  Another one of our favorite ice creams shops is Callaway’s Creamery.   Just a little off the beaten path on East 2nd Street in Gulf Shores, the folks at Callaway’s Creamery serve ice cream with a twist.  They start out with liquid ice cream mix and pass it through liquid nitrogen for flash freezing.  Not only is this ice cream a treat for your tongue, it is entertaining to watch them make it.  They have plenty of flavors and “toss ins” like fruit and candy.  Stop by Callaway’s Creamery and create the perfect ice cream treat to fit your taste.  They also have sugar free and keto friendly ice cream, too, so everyone can enjoy a tasty treat at this cool place.

  • Get some sand in your shorts

With 32 miles of pristine shoreline, of course spending a day at the beach will be on our list of favorite things to do.  After all, that is what draws us down to our beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast in the first place, right?   How about staying in a fabulous beach house right on the Gulf?  USA2 is a 5 bedroom, 5 bath home that sits directly on the beachfront.  Talk about a fabulous vacation home with an amazing view!  Imagine walking right down from you living room and onto the sand.  The sand that covers the beaches that surround us are sugary while quartz crystals.  You’re sure to find plenty of shells to collect, seagulls to entertain you and waves to play in.  You also will find sea oats growing in our dunes.  While it may be tempting to play in the oats or even pick them, please don’t.  They are a protected plant and they help hold the dunes in place.  Instead, take your blanket or your favorite beach chair and get close to the lapping waves and just relax with your favorite book or music.  Please leave all glass containers in your vacation home and bring only paper or plastic with you to the beach.  Also, remember that the sun in March here along our Alabama Gulf Coast can burn winter skin very quickly.  Wearing sunblock, shades and hats, along with limiting your sun exposure,  are always good ideas.  For more ideas on what to pack in your beach bag, check our beach bag blog.  We hope you enjoy your time in the sun on the sand, but please remember to take down your tents and remove all your trash when you go.   While you make take home a little sand in your shorts, please “leave only footprints” on the beach at the end of each day.

  • Eat some great local seafood

We have so many great places to eat around here, it is hard for us to narrow it down to just a couple.  But for Spring Break 2019, we encourage you to give Doc’s Seafood Shack and Mikee’s Seafood a try.  Doc’s Seafood Shack is located on Canal Road in Orange Beach.  Locally owned since 1984, Doc’s Seafood Shack has been an island staple and favorite among locals.  They have some of the best shrimp you’ll ever eat.  Do you like raw oysters?  Doc’s has you covered.  Cold beer and excellent service are what you can expect when you dine at Doc’s.  Doc’s has a great kids’ menu, too.  Mikee’s, like Doc’s, also offers all these things.  That’s why we  recommend you try them both while you’re visiting us for Spring Break.  Mikee’s Seafood is located on East 2nd Avenue in Gulf Shores.  With affordable menu items ranging from po-boys to pastas and great appetizers coupled with an awesome kids’ menu, Mikee’s is a great place for the whole family to eat.

  • Play a round of golf

Everyone loves a round of golf, right?  With so many great golf courses around the Alabama Gulf Coast to choose from, how do you decide where to go?  With choices like Craft Farms and The Peninsula, how do you pick just one?  We actually have a couple of suggestions that will appeal to your whole family.  How about Pirate’s Island and Tiki’s Mini Golf?  Sure our fabulously kept professional courses like Craft Farms and Peninsula are always great, but how about trying mini golf for Spring Break fun this year?  Pirate’s Island Mini Golf is located on Gulf Shores Parkway right across from The Track.  When you spot the only landlocked pirate ship in our area, you’ll know you’re in the right place.  Pirate’s Island Mini Golf has been a fun family place to go for many years.  Whether you choose to play in the day or after dark, your whole family will have a blast, Matey!  Does golfing under very old oaks appeal to you?  If so, Tiki’s Mini Golf is where you need to be.  Located on Gulf Shores Parkway near The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Tiki’s not only offers mini golf, but also bike rentals.  If you’ve never pedaled your way around our island, give it a try!  See our island at a slower pace as you take a self-guided bike tour with your family and we are sure you’ll see a few things you missed while driving in your car.  We encourage you to take a bike ride down beautiful Fort Morgan Road.  Near the fort is Indies 410.  This 3 bedroom, 3 bath condominium is waiting for you and your family to arrive.  With plenty of room for everyone, Indies 410 is a perfect place to call “home” for Spring Break 2019.  So come by bike or come by car, but don’t miss the opportunity to experience this amazing beach home!

  • Ride a Ferris wheel

The highest place on our island cannot be reached driving a conventional car.  You can’t get there on a bike or even roller skates.  But you can get there from Main Street at The Wharf.  The highest place on our little island paradise is the top of the Ferris Wheel at The Wharf.  Open daily, the 112 foot tall Ferris wheel has become one of our local favorites.  With 24 gondolas, this fabulous landmark can hold up to 140 people at a time.  Plan a day at The Wharf during Spring Break 2019.  There is always something fun happening on Main Street.  Be sure to check out Spectra, an amazing light and laser show each night.  The Wharf recently added The Hummingbird Zipline.  Fly over this part of our island on one of the best ziplines anywhere.  And don’t forget to check out The Amphitheatre at The Wharf.  This March, we are expecting Luke Combs and the Zac Brown Band to perform.  

10.    Get a cool tee

What Spring Break would be complete without a cool t-shirt to take back home?  Most all restaurants offer great souvenir t-shirts.  Certainly, The Hangout has a great selection and you may want to shop Souvenir City and get a personalized airbrushed shirt, but we have a couple of faves we want to tell you about.  Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s in Gulf Shores not only has great food, including food for those with shellfish allergies, but they have great shirts, too.  With so many colorful and fun tees to choose from, everyone in your family will want to get a shirt from Lulu’s.  And of course, there’s Tacky Jacks.  Tacky Jacks has been offering up one of the best breakfasts on our island for years.  In addition to their well-known food and bushwackers, Tacky Jacks definitely needs to be on your t-shirt radar.

We are glad you’re coming to spend Spring Break 2019 with us here on the Alabama Gulf Coast.  If you haven’t made your Spring Break reservation yet, what are you waiting for?  We at Sunset Properties have many great vacation homes to choose from.  We have condos, houses, and penthouses available still for much of the Spring Break Season, but they are filling up fast.  Give us a call and let us help you find the perfect family vacation home for you!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

7 Reasons Why You Should Skip New Orleans and Spend Mardi Gras on the Alabama Gulf Coast

7 Reasons Why You Should Skip New Orleans and Spend Mardi Gras on the Alabama Gulf Coast

Mardi Gras is Tuesday, March 5, 2019, and we, along the Alabama Gulf Coast, are already gearing up for our first big party of the year.  Everyone knows the beach is a great place to spend New Years, Independence Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day, but did you know Coastal Alabama does Mardi Gras in a big way, too?  That’s right!  We do!  Here in our island paradise, we have some of the best gumbo, brightest beads, and host the most family friendly Mardi Gras day anywhere.  In short, we can laissez les bon temps rouler with the best of ‘em!  We just prefer to do it in our flip-flops and shorts!  As for the upcoming Mardi Gras Season, we have so much fun planned, we need to start early getting the word out.  Here are seven reasons why you should skip New Orleans and spend Mardi Gras 2019 in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:

  1. Fresh Alabama Seafood makes the best gumbo

The term Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.  What better way is there to enjoy Fat Tuesday than with a bowl of some of the best gumbo anywhere?  While we will agree that the first recorded references to gumbo were around 1803 in New Orleans, we strongly disagree when folks say the best gumbo is still found there.  We actually believe we live where the best gumbo is made.  Talented chefs at local restaurants like DeSoto’s, Doc’s, and Sea-N-Suds make gumbo that can challenge (and we think top!) any gumbo made anywhere in Louisiana.  DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen, located just a block or so off West Beach in Gulf Shores, has some of the best gumbo around.  DeSoto’s serves gumbo in a cup or a bowl.  We suggest a bowl (because you’re gonna love the stuff!), and add a side of fried green tomatoes, too!  Next, you need to try the gumbo at Doc’s.  Doc’s Seafood Shack is located on Canal Road and its been there so long, we can’t even remember a time when it didn’t exist.  A local favorite for many years (34 years to be exact) , the folks at Doc’s have perfected the art of making gumbo.  They say they “have the best fried shrimp in the entire civilized world”.  We think their gumbo is pretty alright, too!  Sea-N-Suds Restaurant and Oyster Bar, located right on the Gulf in Gulf Shores, has been serving their amazing gumbo for over 40 years.  We have been in love with it for just that long, too!  They are so sure you will love their gumbo, they will actually give you a free cup with an entree.  Check with them for details.  Don’t just take our word for it, give our Alabama Seafood gumbo a try!  You’ll agree fresh Alabama Seafood makes the best gumbo!

  • Beads are better if you can actually catch them

What does that mean?  It means you have a much better chance of catching beads if half the folks who live south of Nashville are not blocking your view of the floats.  Why would you drive all the way to Louisiana only to find yourself lost somewhere in a crowd of revelers five, six or maybe ten people deep?  Because the crowds are smaller in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, you can position yourself closer to the parade route.  You can actually make eye contact with the masked revelers and, therefore, strongly increase your odds of catching more beads than you can comfortably wear.  The goal of Mardi Gras for most folks is to catch a ton of beads.  Come to our parades and get ready to collect your share.  After all, beads are so much better if you can actually catch them!

  • We love you to the Moon(Pie) and back

Over 100 years ago, the Chattanooga Bakery started producing MoonPies.  Made originally of graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows, MoonPies have become one of America’s favorite treats.   MoonPies and Mardi Gras married up in Mobile in the early 1970s.  Before then, revelers threw Cracker Jacks to parade goers.  As you can imagine, getting smacked in the head with a sharp cornered box of popcorn and peanuts was no fun.  A ladies’ parading group thought it would be safer and more fun to toss round, lightweight MoonPies.  Those ladies started a tradition that is still going strong today.  Now, in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, just like with our neighbor across the bay, MoonPies are a parade staple.  Even though Chattanooga is some 425 miles away from Gulf Shores, locals have adopted the tasty round treat as a Mardi Gras must and we can honestly say, “we will love you to the MoonPie and back!”

  • Local folks are friendly

While I tease about “love” and “MoonPies” I am definitely not teasing when I say local folks are really friendly.  Being from South Alabama, we say “yes ma’am” and “thank you” and “y’all come back again”.  We don’t consider it (like some folks do) as talking “southern”.  Instead, we just think its the right way to treat people.  Treat folks with kindness and respect and they become more than just visitors to our little island paradise, they become a part of our extended family.  We, at Sunset Properties, have grafted in quite a few of our guests.  Some of our best family members are not technically related to us at all.  Nevertheless, they liked our friendly disposition and we liked them right back.  Locals are not only friendly folks, they might become some of your best friends anywhere!

  • Parade access is super easy

Have you ever tried to park on Bourbon Street?  I guess the better question is:  why would you try to park on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras?  How about this:  skip the whole thing and just come to Gulf Shores or Orange Beach and park literally right off our parade routes.  With parking options all along the parade routes on Alabama Highway 59 and Beach Boulevard, parking is a breeze ( a sea breeze, even!).  You won’t have to walk far from your car to get the best spot to stand as the floats pass by and your walk back to your car won’t exhaust you either.  Another great thing about our parade parking, you start out and end up right near our best retail shops, restaurants and local pubs.  The Original Oyster House Boardwalk, for example, right on Highway 59 has all three!  And access to our Gulf Shores parade route from the boardwalk, is as easy as pie!

  • Accommodations are affordable

Affordable accommodations..now this is big deal, especially if you’re coming to the beach for more than a couple of days.  While Mardi Gras is technically only on Tuesday, we believe in hanging out for a few days.  After all, who goes to the beach just for one day?  At Sunset Properties, we have several great properties to choose from.  If you’d like to stay close the the Gulf Shores route, take a look at Beachview 223.  If Orange Beach is more your style, check out Moorings 414.  Looking to stay a little off the beaten path where the scenery is fabulous, but the pace is a tad bit slower?  Check out My Sunshine, Big Pelican and Sundown.  Our accommodations are tastefully decorated, spacious enough for your whole family and affordable so that you can enjoy your Mardi Gras week or weekend in our area without killing your entertainment budget.

  • The beach is your backdrop

With thirty-two miles of sugary white sandy beaches, the Alabama Gulf Coast should not only be your first choice for summer vacations, but for Mardi Gras, as well.  We love to have fun on Pleasure Island and our beaches make any day a great day!  While you’re in town getting a jump start on your summer tan, be sure to take some time to visit the Alabama Gulf State Park Pier and Pavilion, located in Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores.  Visit our public beach areas in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.  The days are getting longer and the sea oats are starting to rustle in the spring breezes.  Summer is right around the corner and you can feel the happiness in the air.  Mardi Gras is a fun time of each year, but there is something super special about it when the beach as your backdrop.

So what are you waiting on?  Get your sunblock, shades, flip flops together.  Grab a big ole bag to carry all your throws home in, and come on down!  Plan on spending Mardi Gras on the Alabama Gulf Coast and plan to stay with Sunset Properties.  We are ready to help you “let the good times roll!”

Come for Mardi Gras, stay for Spring Break!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251-543-1370

Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2018 in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2018 in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

With Christmas only a short time ahead and a brand new year following quickly just behind, you’re probably already thinking about where you’ll be when the ole clock strikes midnight on December 31.  Why not make some amazing memories with you family or just your sweetheart right here on the Alabama Gulf Coast?  We are proud to have some of the best night spots anywhere in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and we, at Sunset Properties, hope you will make plans to visit one or all of them on New Year’s Eve 2018.

  • The Wharf

The Wharf is so much more than just a shopping mall.  It is an entertainment district unlike any other we’ve found.  It’s like a mini-city located inside one of our favorite beach towns, Orange Beach. We all know what Main Street at Disney looks like, but have you ever spent New Years on Main Street at The Wharf?  With attractions like one of the the largest Ferris Wheels in the southeast and a seasonal ice skating rink just a few minutes from The Gulf, holidays at The Wharf are unmatched.  This year you can expect to find kids activities beginning at 11 AM and ending at 9 PM.  Bring the kiddos out to see the confetti drop at noon, stay for face painting, a bouncy house and even a mechanical bull, along with so much more!  Adults can expect to have a blast, too!  Live music begins at 7PM and lasts til midnight, when the best fireworks show on our island will blow you away!  With coffee shops and dress shops, fireworks and music, food and fun; with a giant marlin drop at midnight, it should come as no surprise, that we recommend spending some or all of your New Years Eve at The Wharf in Orange Beach.  

  • Lulu’s

Lucy Buffet’s Lulu’s in Gulf Shores is an entertaining place to go all year, so the fact that we recommend it for New Years fun should come as a shock to no one.  With great food, fabulous beverages and actual cool stuff for the kids to do, Lulu’s in Gulf Shores should be on your short list of places to visit holiday season!  The New Year’s Eve Celebration at Lulu’s starts at 10AM on December 31st and lasts all day til 3PM.  What’s different about New Year’s Eve at Lulu’s?  We for starters, their beach ball drop.  Have you ever been under a beach ball drop?  Not just one beach ball, hundreds of colorful beach balls drop from the ceiling at Lulu’s at noon on New Year’s Eve.  Just to be there to see that should be in your plans!  Along with that super fun event, there will be face painting, live music, sand castle building and crafts.  And lets not forget Lulu’s great food!  It’s the holidays and what is a must-have dessert in the south during the holidays?  Bread pudding!  Lulu’s has bread pudding with a wonderful twist:  they make theirs with Krispy Kreme brand donuts.  If that doesn’t make your mouth water, your tongue must be dead!  Lulu’s also has menus to accommodate folks with allergies to gluten, shellfish, eggs, dairy and more.  If a family friendly, affordable event is what you’re looking to do for New Year’s Eve, go to Lulu’s.  We think you’ll be glad you did!

  • The Hangout

Everyone who has ever been to the heart of Gulf Shores knows The Hangout is a groovy place to go!  You may have heard about the world famous Hangout Music Festival, but did you know they also host fabulous New Year’s Eve events?  That’s right!  They have a family friendly event that starts on December 31st at 2PM and lasts for five hours.  At The Hangout, on New Year’s Eve afternoon, your family can enjoy a yummy buffet, movies on a big screen, hair braiding, football playoff previews, and a colorful balloon drop with prizes in every balloon.  This is truly a fun event for the whole family!  With the public beach right in front of The Hangout, what better way is there to watch the last sunset of 2018?  After the sun goes down, the fun doesn’t stop!  Evening events at The Hangout are geared more toward adults.  Beginning at 2PM and lasting til at least midnight, The Hangout will provide a buffet, complimentary champagne at midnight, a balloon drop with great prizes and, of course, football playoff previews on TV.  So get a group of your favorite kiddos together to enjoy the afternoon events at The Hangout and stay with your adult friends to ring in the New Year in the heart of your favorite Small Town with a Big Beach!

  • Flora-Bama

If an adult-only New Year’s Eve is more your thing, you have to get to state line before the calendar flips!  New Year’s Eve in one of America’s most celebrated road house bars The Flora-Bama Lounge Package & Oyster Bar is like nothing you’ve ever done before.  The celebration and music will begin at 7PM and last until 3AM on New Year’s Day.  For one all-inclusive ticket, you’ll get an all-you-can-eat buffet starting at 7PM an lasting until around midnight, breakfast sandwiches starting at midnight, champagne, party favors and music music music!  We strongly encourage you to purchase your tickets in advance.  This party is a big party and folks come from all over to be at the Flora Bama when the clock strikes twelve!  Tickets can sell out and we don’t want you to miss out, so if this party on the beach sounds like something you will enjoy, go ahead and get your tickets now!   And don’t forget to come back to the Flora-Bama at noon on New Year’s Day 2019 for the Annual Polar Bear Dip.  Join a couple of hundred of your next best friends for a dip in The Gulf of Mexico followed by a traditional New Year’s Day lunch of black-eyed peas, cornbread and ham.

  • Cosmos or Cobalt

So you don’t really care about face painting and fireworks.  You rode the Ferris Wheel back in the summer and climbing a rock wall just isn’t your idea of ringing in the New Year.  Instead you have a nice romantic evening in mind. Or maybe you just want to have a really great dinner with your family.  You want to get dressed up in your favorite new holiday clothes and go out to eat where a friendly, professional staff serves you amazing food that makes your eyes shine and your mouth happy.  We totally understand.  For you, we suggest Cobalt, The Restaurant located on Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach or Cosmos Restaurant & Bar located on Canal Road.  Both of these wonderful restaurants have special menus planned for New Years Eve.  During the summer, reservations are not customary for these places.  However, for New Years Eve, reservations are not only accepted, but strongly encouraged.  A limited number of walk-in guests will be seated, but we can’t stress enough how important a reservation for December 31st will be.  Seating will begin at 4PM and the last guests will be seated at 9PM.  A full bar will be available and you can expect specially prepared menu items like a seared filet or creme brulee.  We know champagne is the drink of choice for New Year’s Eve, but you are on Island Time and you can never go wrong with a great rum drink.  At Cosmos, try Momos Rum Runner and at Cobalt, try a Dragonfly.  If you’ve eaten at either or both of these great dinner spots during the summer, expect something totally different for New Year’s Eve.  At Cosmos and Cobalt they believe a special night deserves a special menu and they are creating one only available on this date.  

We know how you choose to send out the old year and ring in the new one is an event as individual and exceptional as you are.  We have given you a list of our five favorite ways to do it and we hope one of these works for you!  Don’t forget to check out our list of New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep and when you’re planning your vacations, large or small, in 2019, give us a call at 251-543-1370 or hit us up online at info@sunsetproperties.com.  We will be thrilled to help you find just the perfect vacation home to fit your needs. 


Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from all of us at Sunset Properties and we wish for your family much joy and prosperity in 2019.

Come back and see us again real soon!

5 Great Places to Stay at the Beach for Christmas 2018

So you decided to take a Christmas Vacation this year.  You’re not sure where to go.  You have five nights available for your vacation and you want to drive there, but where?  Where do you go?  We have a great idea for you:  Come to the beach!  The Alabama Gulf Coast is only about 6 hours away from Atlanta, Jackson, Birmingham and we’re even closer to New Orleans, so why not come stay with us?

 

You have the whole family to think about, and, of course, you can’t leave your fur baby at home, Time is short, so you need some last minute ideas.  We have you covered.  Here is a list of 5 great places to stay, some fun things to do and great places to eat while you’re in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan for Christmas 2018.

 

  • Spunky Sandpiper

Located in the Fort Morgan community, the Spunky Sandpiper is an exquisitely decorated three bedroom, two bath home that sleeps up to 12.  Dogs weighing 50 pounds or less are also welcome, with some restrictions.  You will love the way Spunky Sandpiper is laid out, with plenty of room for your whole family and a well stocked kitchen.  You will also love the great view you have of Mobile Bay.  What better way to spend a comfortable Christmas morning than to sit on your private deck and watch the ships pass on the bay as you sip your coffee or hot chocolate?  With the average daily temperature in Gulf Shores ranging from 62-68 degrees around this time of year, who can resist the opportunity to escape the bitter cold north of the coast and enjoy a milder Christmas morning?  While you’re in Gulf Shores, be sure to visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.  Our “little zoo that could” is open every day all year except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  The Zoo will be open on Christmas Eve, but they may close early, so give them a call just to be sure the animals aren’t already opening their gifts from Santa when you guys want to stop by!

 

  • Gentle Winds East B4

Gentle Winds East B4 is a great condo located just off Beach Boulevard in Gulf Shores.  If you’re planning to leave your pets at home and bring up to 8 people, this condo facing Gulf State Park may just be the perfect Christmas vacation destination home for you!  This lovely one bedroom, one bath unit is convenient to just about anything you want to do while you’re staying on our island.  Want to go to The Hangout for some music and fun?  From Gentle Winds East B4, you’re just a short walk away.  How about eating breakfast at the Ruby Slipper?  If you have never tried one of their amazing eggs Benedict dishes, you are really missing out!  The friendly, professional staff at the Ruby Slipper, along with their fabulous breakfast menu items and mouth-watering cocktails, make this one breakfast stop you shouldn’t miss!  How about going to the Flora-Bama for their Christmas Day Potluck Lunch?  The good folks at The Flora-Bama will provide the main dish for your Christmas Day Lunch and they ask that you bring a side dish or dessert.  There will be music starting at 11AM and lunch will be served at 1PM.  This is an annual family friendly event and everyone is welcome!

 

  • Dunes 607

Have you ever considered staying in a condo in the Fort Morgan community?  Think about this:  Dunes 607 is a one bedroom, two bath super cozy condo at The Dunes on Fort Morgan Road.  Located right across the road from Tacky Jacks 2, The Dunes condos have a wonderful indoor pool and jacuzzi hot tub right on the ground floor.  With a great view of The Gulf of Mexico from your private balcony and an amazing view of Mobile Bay right out your other door, you cannot go wrong bringing your family of 6 to The Dunes 607 for Christmas.  You say you want a White Christmas?  I say you’re only a short walk away!  On Christmas Day, you can easily enjoy the beautiful white sandy beaches of Fort Morgan. And don’t worry, Santa loves the beach, too!  And he stops at The Dunes every year, so he won’t pass you by!  Santa also loves Tacky Jacks 2!  We want you and him to know that they’ll be open for most of the days you’re in town.  They won’t be open on Christmas Day and they’ll only be there about half a day on Christmas Eve, so if you’re planning to go on Christmas Eve, be sure to stop in early and grab some great food and a bushwacker.  If you’re planning to cook while you’re in town, you’re in luck!  Dunes 607 has a fully stocked kitchen, so plan a quick trip to Rouses and you’re all set!

 

  • Indies 410

Next door to The Dunes on Fort Morgan Road is a fabulous condominium called The Indies.  Indies 410 will be the perfect Christmas vacation home for your family of 8.  This beautiful three bedroom, three bath home located just off the Gulf is one you should not miss!  With a wrap around deck, your views of The Gulf of Mexico from Indies 410 are spectacular.  Why not plan to make yourself a hot toddy, put on your snuggly Christmas PJs and favorite fuzzy boots and sit out on your balcony and watch for Rudolph to come flying across The Gulf?  Doesn’t that sound like a great way to spend one of the happiest nights of the year?  While you’re in Gulf Shores, you won’t want to miss an opportunity to take your family ice skating.  You read that right.  You can visit the beach and ice skate all in the same day!  The Wharf in Orange Beach has a seasonal ice skating rink and everyone loves to hang out there.  This holiday tradition is one locals and guests alike enjoy.  The Christmas lights at The Wharf are pretty great, also.   Make a point to visit after dark so you and your family can enjoy all The Wharf has to offer this holiday season.

 

  • Sip N Sea

Are you looking for a Christmas vacation home all dressed up with a pretty red bow?  Well, how about a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree, instead?  Sip N Sea is a gorgeous beach home that is nothing short of stunning.  Located in Fort Morgan, this four bedroom, four and a half bath home sleeps up to 16 guests.  There is plenty of room for, not only a Christmas family vacation, but a Christmas family reunion!  Bring your whole family to Sip N Sea and enjoy this grand little slice of pure island paradise!  With breathtaking views of The Gulf of Mexico and two decks that will let you easily find Orion in the December sky, you are sure to love this home.  The kitchen is extremely well-stocked, there are enough beds for everyone and there are plenty of TVs to catch your favorite Hallmark Channel holiday movies or football games.  Sip N Sea has more than enough room for the whole family to spread out or cozily spend time together.  Staying here is absolutely a Christmas Wish come true!  Did we mention the Christmas Tree?  That’s right!  With your five night stay, Sunset Properties will provide a specially decorated and well lit Christmas Tree for you to put your presents under.  Santa will love stopping by for milk and cookies as he makes his Christmas Eve trip.  And you and your family will make Christmas Beach Memories like you’ve never done before.

 

Now you know where to stay and what to do while you’re visiting The Alabama Gulf Coast for Christmas 2018.  What are you waiting for?  There are Christmas shopping specials you’ll miss if you don’t get down here soon.  There are seafood dinners calling your name!  There are only a few sunsets left to watch in 2018 and we, at Sunset Properties, are ready for your arrival.  Call us at Sunset Properties at 251.543.1370 or email us at info@sunsetproperties.com to make your reservations today.  You holidays can be happier and your Christmas merrier if you spend it with us at the beach.  Give us a call today!  We literally have the front door key to your happiest holiday vacation ever!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

5 REASONS TO PLAN A GIRLS WEEKEND AT THE BEACH

So you and your soul sisters are daydreaming about a weekend getaway.  You’re thinking you might like to take a weekend and get away from everyday life, but you’re not sure where to go and what to do.  You’re not even completely convinced you should take a mini-vaca, but you think it might be fun.  We think it’s time you “take the plunge” and let yourselves get away and have some fun at the beach!

Here are 5 Reasons to Plan a Girls Weekend at the Beach in Gulf Shores:

 

  1. Take a break

You have all worked all year taking care of your husbands or boyfriends, the kids and your jobs.  You’ve given just about as much as you can give to them all, and you’re actually a bit tired.  You know you need a break from your everyday responsibilities, clients, contracts and time clocks.  You looked in the mirror and said to yourself:  it’s about time I did something for me! You got together with your sister friends and y’all all agree you need just a couple of days of barefooted fun.  What better place to take a break than the beach in Gulf Shores?   After all, it’s only a short road trip away!

 

  1. Let someone else cook

Sure, you love to cook.  Preparing a culinary masterpiece is something you’re proud of.  You take pictures and share your fabulous creations with your besties on social media.  But why not let someone else cook for you?  Why not just sit a cozy table surrounded with your favorite advice-givers and gossip-partners, share a bottle of wine (or two) and let someone else serve you for a bit?  The Alabama Gulf Coast is packed with fabulous places to do just that!

With so many great choices for seafood, steaks, pizza and burgers in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, you’re sure to find the perfect place .  For great seafood, try local faves CostAL or King Neptunes.  Want a delicious steak?  Check out Cosmos for great food and a super friendly staff.  Hungry for a big ole seafood pizza?  You must visit Papa Rocco’s!  How about some gumbo sure to make your mouth happy?  Sea-n-Suds is the place for gumbo.  Would you like a yummy cold Bushwhacker to sit  beside your meal?   Flippers  has one of the best Bushwhackers on our island!  What’s the best part about all this?  You won’t have to cook or clear the dishes!  All you have to do is enjoy!

 

  1. Shop and buy stuff for yourself

We understand.  Sometimes you just want to shop and buy things for yourself.  Sometimes you just need to indulge your inner shopping Queen Beast!  Retail therapy at its finest is all around.  You and your besties could spend a whole day at  SanRoc Cay in Orange Beach just shopping and chatting.  Pelican Place in Gulf Shores is also a great place to spend some time.  And you cannot forget Main Street at the The Wharf in Orange Beach.  Along with these fabulous shopping centers and malls, there are also lots of smaller boutiques and shops all along Gulf Shores Parkway and Beach Boulevard.

 

  1. Kick off your shoes and kick up your heels

After a day of shopping and beach combing with your tribe, you want to sing along with a band and do a little dancing.  Well, you’re in luck!  The Flora-Bama, our favorite road house is just a few minutes away.  If you planned your mini-vaca for late fall, you might even get to enjoy The Frank Brown Songwriters Festival. There is always someone singing and dancing there!

Another great place for food, spirits and laughter is Lucy Buffett’s  LuLu’s located in Gulf Shores.  Another fun place to spend an evening is Live Bait.  With fabulous cocktails, great music you can sing along with and a unique appetizer menu, Live Bait has been an island favorite for years. Oh, and don’t forget to get a tee shirt from each place you all visit!  What a great way to have a cool souvenir collection and remember one of the best weekends ever!

 

  1. Stay in an amazing beach home

You don’t know where to stay.  We can help with that!  At Sunset Properties, we have just the perfect mini-vaca spot for you and all your girls!  If you all want to stay together, we have the perfect beach home for you!  We have beach homes like SEA LA VIE and IMAGINE that sleep 10-12 guests comfortably.  If you’d like to reserve a penthouse condo for your girls weekend, check out Caribe C Penthouse 14.  Talk about luxury!!  Or maybe you’d all like an individual condo, but want to be in the same building.  The Dunes  and The Indies will probably be perfect for your group. With one, two and three bedroom condos available, finding the perfect condos in the same building shouldn’t be too hard. When we tell you amazing accommodations are waiting, we aren’t kidding.  All of our beach homes come with plentifully stocked kitchens, comfy beds and amazing deck or balcony views of our beautiful island.  Do you have that one bestie who simply cannot leave her fur baby at home?  Not a problem!  We have several homes that allow dogs to stay with their owners!  We even have a beach home located near a golf course for the golfers in your group!  At Sunset Properties, we have a home for just about anyone!

 

So what are you waiting for?  It’s time to book your girls weekend in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan with Sunset Properties!  Go ahead, give us a call!  We are ready to help you move your daydream into reality!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

251-543-1370

 

5 REASONS TO ATTEND THE 2018 FRANK BROWN INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITERS’ FESTIVAL

Fall has reached the northern Gulf Coast and that means it is time to attend the 2018 Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.  Locals know this 11 day event, held November 8-18, 2018, is the one of the best things that happens around here all year.  We love the Shrimp Festival, please don’t get me wrong, but the Songwriters’ Festival is a whole different kind of festival and one we know you’re sure to love once you experience it.

You’re probably asking:  Who is Frank Brown?  Or What is the festival about?  The festival, which highlights both up-and-coming singer/songwriters as well as those who are more seasoned and perhaps even Grammy winners, is named for Mr. Frank Brown.  Mr. Frank was the night watchman at the Flora-Bama for 28 years before he retired at the age of 91.  He was a man of high morale character and one who loved the music at the Flora-Bama.

 

If this hasn’t peaked your interest and given you reason enough to check out this cool event, here are our top 5 reasons we believe YOU should experience the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.

 

  1. You get to meet the people who wrote your favorite songs

We all have that one favorite song.  You know that song…the one that when it comes on the radio you actually turn up the volume really high and sing along.  You probably think your favorite performer wrote the song, and, in some instances, they did.  But often times the writers of your favorite lyrics are not the ones who sing them on the radio.  Often times, the writers are lesser known folks, at least to the general public.  You might think you’d have to go to Nashville to meet some of these talented individuals.  I have great news for you!  The good folks at the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival know who the best songwriters are and they invite them to perform for us, right here along the Alabama Gulf Coast and surrounding areas.  The performance line-up changes every year, but you may have an opportunity to enjoy your favorite song performed by the person who penned it.  How cool is that?

 

  1. You can visit venues as diverse as the performers

Another cool thing about this unique festival experience is the venues change and are as diverse as the festival goers.  With so much talent in one small geographical area, the need for lots of places to perform is evident.  With that, you have lots of choices of locations where you’d like to enjoy the events.  Locations vary from everyone’s favorite beachside roadhouse the Flora-Bama Lounge and Package where the festival began and the Bushwackers are world-famous, to Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s in Gulf Shores where the t-shirts are as happy and fun as the dining experience.  Bill-E’s Old 27 Grill in Fairhope, where the performers are serenaded by Bill-E’s Small Batch Bacon is also scheduled to host performances.  For a totally different musical experience, visit the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach during the festival.  The acoustics in this beautiful center overlooking Wolf Bay are amazing!  How about watching festival performances at a local church?  St. Andrews by the Sea- A Community Church located on Fort Morgan Road is a host site.  For a complete list of the 20+ venues where performances are scheduled,  check out the Venue Page of the festival.

  1. You can enjoy fabulous coastal dinners and

beverages

A few of the venues we have already listed are known for their great food and beverages.  The Flora-Bama has some of the best seafood on any state line!  Lulus’s in Gulf Shores offers not only an amazing menu as listed, but they also will prepare special meals for patrons with shellfish and seafood allergies.  How cool is that?!  Old 27 Grill never disappoints with their amazing burgers and ice cold beer.  Other great places to eat that area also festival venues include the Sunset Cork Room Restaurant and Wine Bar where your favorite wine and their fabulous grouper or blackened chicken breast are a perfect match.  While you’re enjoying the festivities, give Pirate’s Cove a try!  Also known for wonderful bushwackers and fat, juicy, sloppy, yummy hamburgers, Pirate’s Cove is a fun outing for couples and families alike.

 

  1. You are showing your support for veterans and

newcomers to the music industry

To be a writer of any sort is a challenge and a craft.  To be a songwriter, takes a special kind of gift turned skill.  Knowledge of the language, coupled with the perfect rhyme, and the placement of each exact word to tell a story that touches someone, is undeniably a gift only a few select folks have.  By visiting the venues of the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival, you are not only going to come away with a new appreciation for  these gifted individuals, you are showing them your support just by going.  Some writers are Grammy winners and some are just getting started on their journey, but all of them appreciate public support.  Go the festival to for the great feeling you’ll get by attending, but know your being there is making someone else happy, too.

 

  1. You become a part of history in the making

This is the 34th year of the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival.  For thirty-four years, our coast has been honored to host hundreds of writers, singers and musicians.  For 34 years, we have had the privilege of seeing first-hand the artists who shape our music airways.  We know you will feel a deep sense of awe once you’ve experienced the festival for yourself.  We actually know of no one who has ever attended this festival who didn’t come away with a new perspective on songwriting and the historical importance these guys play in our everyday lives.  Come for the music.  Come meet the artists.  Come be a part of history.

 

At Sunset Properties, we are pleased to recommend local events to our guests and website visitors.  Because we are blessed to be “locals”, we get to enjoy all that our Alabama Gulf Coast has to offer.  We are also pleased to host any guests who plan to come and enjoy the Songwriters’ Festival.  We have rental properties located in Orange Beach, near the Flora Bama and only a short drive to the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach .  We would love for you to stay in one of our beautiful condos in Gulf Shores, just a short drive from Lulu’s or any venue in Baldwin County.  And we have lots of homes located on beautiful Fort Morgan Road, just a short drive from St. Andrews Church.  We, at Sunset Properties, are just as versatile as the songwriters and venues, themselves.  Give us a call and let us help you find your perfect vacation home for your festival stay.

 

www.sunsetproperties.com                                                                                    251.543.1370

10 Things to Know About the Annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores

The Annual National Shrimp Festival has been a staple event in Gulf Shores in October for almost 50 years.  This year’s festival dates are October 11-14.  Each year, the Gulf Shores Public Beach area is packed with artists, musicians and festival goes expecting to have a fun-filled family weekend.  Each year, festival planners bring their A-Game and this year is sure to be no exception.  Whether you’re staying with Sunset Properties at Pat-Ti-O or Beachview 223 right in the heart of Gulf Shores or at Just Write in the Fort Morgan community, here are a few tips to make your Shrimp Festival Adventure a fun one:

 

  1.       Bring your camera

There is so much to see at the Shrimp Festival.  You won’t want to miss a single memory.  From the wonderful musical groups performing on the stages around the venue, to the fun sand castle contest going on along the beach, there will be so much to do and see.  You and your family will want lots of picture to take home to show your friends or to post to your favorite social media account.  A camera is a must for this year’s Shrimp Festival.

 

  1.       Leave pets at home

Many of our rental properties are dog friendly places.  We encourage you to check out our list of places to stay where your pet is welcome.  Please know, however, the Shrimp Festival is not a place for pets.  If you’re not comfortable leaving your fur baby in your rental unit, reach out to the good folks at Sea Paws Dog Resort, a local doggie daycare.  Reservations to play may be necessary, so give them a call to get all the details on what you need to bring so your dog can have a day out while you and your family enjoy the festival.

 

  1.       Plenty of cold drinks available

October days on the Alabama Gulf Coast can get pretty warm.  There will be plenty of cold beverages available all throughout the Shrimp Festival venue.  From water, to sodas to lemonade, you’re sure to find your favorite drink available.  For those of you over 21, adult beverages are also available inside the venue.  Please enjoy adult beverages responsibly.  If you must drive back to your vacation home, please don’t drink.  If you really want to let your hair down and have a few beers, please call one of our fine taxi services to take you back to your vacation home.

 

  1.       Entertainment is non-stop

This year, country music recording artist Joe Diffie will be headlining at the Shrimp Festival.  Local favorites like Tophat & Jackie, The Tip Tops, Brent Burns and Kristy Lee are also scheduled to perform.  On Sunday, there will be a church service provided by Liberty Church.  Check out the Entertainment Lineup for specifics, and rest assured there will certainly will be something for everyone to enjoy on the stages at the 2018 Annual National Shrimp Festival.

 

  1.       Fine Artists are unmatched

As you walk through the Fine Arts section of the Shrimp Festival, you will see museum quality hand created items from paintings, to photography to pottery.  With the artist personally present a the festival, you will be able to not only enjoy the creations, but chat with the creators.  This is a great place to find Christmas gifts for those folks who have everything.  There are so many one-of-a-kind pieces, shopping for that hard-to-shop-for person will be a breeze!

 

  1.       Crafters have fun affordable wares

Sometimes fine art pieces can be a bit pricey.  Maybe you want to buy a handmade gift but you don’t have a huge budget or a lot of room in your car to take it back home.  Don’t miss the Arts and Crafts section of the festival.  You are sure to find just the right handmade gift.  No factory made items are allowed in this section of the festival.  Just like in the Fine Arts area, all crafts are handmade and the craftsmen and crafts-ladies are right on site to talk with your about their wares.  Sometimes half the fun is finding out what skills it takes to create such fun and unique pieces of art.

 

  1.       Souvenirs are one-of-a-kind

Because the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber is the leading entity producing the Shrimp Festival, they have the best souvenirs.  Be sure to visit one of their booths and get an official tee shirt or koozie.  There is only one Annual National Shrimp Festival and only one place to get the official souvenirs:  right on site during the festival dates.

 

  1.       Kids have a special area

There is always something cool and fun for the kiddos!  From the Sand Castle contest to The Kids Area, your little mermaids and pirates will have a great time at the festival, too. And don’t forget about enjoying the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast Beaches while you’re in town.  Gulf Shores has some of the prettiest beaches in the world and we hope you will allot some of your weekend time to just enjoy the sugary white sand that wraps our shoreline.

 

  1.       BRATS shuttles are the best way to get there

There are plenty of ways to get to the Shrimp Festival, but parking in the festival venue is probably not an option for most folks.  Baldwin Rural Area Transit Service, our county’s own public transportation service, is available to pick up and drop off festival goers from several locations around the island.  We suggest riding BRATS.  It is convenient, inexpensive and the drivers are some of the nicest folks around!  For a complete list of BRATS services and fees, please check their website.

 

  1.   There’ll be lots of Shrimp!  Shrimp! And More Shrimp!

And you cannot forget to have some shrimp while you’re in Gulf Shores!  Famously named for the cute little pink crustacean, The Annual National Shrimp Festival is home to some of the best shrimp around.  You’ll find fried shrimp, boiled shrimp and grilled shrimp.  You’ll see shrimp on a stick and shrimp with veggies or fries.  Come hungry and plan to stay for a day and enjoy on of the best festivals anywhere!

 

If you’ve never been to the Annual National Shrimp Festival, you’re definitely missing out.  If you’ve never stayed with Sunset Properties, you should give us a try, too, for your next visit to the Alabama Gulf Coast.  With rentals in Orange Beach like Moorings 414 and Grand Caribbean 215, you can’t go wrong.  How about staying in Gulf Shores at Light House 607 or Peninsula 401 ?  Or if you’d prefer to stay in the Fort Morgan community, check out Navy Cove 2113 or Southern Comfort.  No matter where you choose to stay for your Shrimp Festival Weekend getaway, we at Sunset Properties know we have the perfect rental accommodations for you and your family!

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

241.543.1360

 

10 Fun Family Late Summer Things to Do at The Beach

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

 

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

 

  1. Dine with pirates and princesses

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

 

  1. Enjoy a live play

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

 

  1. Dance in the streets

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

 

  1. Take a segway tour

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

 

  1. Visit a Nature Center

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

 

  1. Have a family date night

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

 

  1. Check out some cool fireworks

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

 

  1. Be a groupie

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

 

  1. Walk on water

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

 

  1. Marvel at the Blue Angels

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

 

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

 

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

 

www.sunsetproperties.com

Phone 251.543.1370

info@sunsetproperties.com

 

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

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

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

  1. Dates and Location

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

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

 

  1. Artists

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

 

  1. Admission and Parking

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

 

  1. Family Friendly

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

 

  1. What to Wear

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

 

  1. Volunteer Opportunity

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

 

  1. Snacks, Potties, ATMs

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

 

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

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