Fall into A Fantastic Beach Vacation!!!!

baby sea turtleI have said it before and will say it again Fall is my favorite time at the beach.  The weather is perfect.  The crowds are small unless you are coming to Shrimp Festival!  There are amazing things to see and do constantly between the festivles and all the comings and goings in nature. I wanted to take some time and share some of my favorite fall memories with you.

I have fantastic memories of spending entire weekends in crystal clear water diving for whole seashells just off shore with some of my best friends.  I think back about chasing piles of blue crabs through water with nets and filling up buckets with them for dinner.  We laughed and squeeled like little kids it was so much fun.  Watching the first little baby sea turtle poke his nose through the sand on a moonlit night.  Then suddenly that one special spot on the beach was boiling with a hundred baby sea turtles who immediately began marching to the safety of the water.  Humming birds sneaking in through an open door in the office because the weather was so nice we wanted to leave the doors open.  Watching the tireless team of Bird Banders weigh and measure someof the most beautiful creatures that visit or little piece of the island.  Then getting to let the bird go from my hand for it to continue on its southern migration.  At night watching metor showers from the quiet darkness of the beach.

My new favorite is Fall memory is enjoying the cooler weather with my husband.  Walking hand and hand down the shore exploring all the way down to Fort Morgan and back.  I get a chance to show him my favorite things and share childhood memories.  It is always such a special time for us.

Please join us this fall at the beach with your girlfriends, on a fishing trip, or just you and someone special!   You will make wonderful memories for a lifetime.  We hope to see you very soon!!!

 

 

SEC FEST!! Are you ready for Football!!!!!!

It is that time again!!! FOOTBALL!  I can hear the fans yelling already.  This year our Alex the newest member of the Sunset Properties Staff is joining all of you to cheer on her favorite team at SEC FEST!!! Be sure to look for her she will be handing out SPECIALS GIFTS in the costume you choose.  Be sure to find us on facebook and pick her costume.  Give us a call for specials to go along with this event.Sunset
Aug 15, 2013 – Aug 18, 2013

Location

Gulf Shores Public Beach
Gulf Shores Main Public Beach (Gulf Place), 101 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

About

Before your favorite team takes the field in the Fall of 2013, bring the entire family to the white, sandy beaches of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL for the 2nd SEC BeachFest, a championship celebration that will kick-off the 2013 college football season. Join us August 15 – 18 as we kick off the SEC fall football season with legendary coaches and players, football clinics, a fishing tournament, a golf scramble, a 5k run, concerts and alumni happy hours.
The SEC BeachFest Friday night concert will feature “Bayou Soul” style of Louisiana native, Marc Broussard (below left). The singer-songwriter is known for blending rock, R&B and blues and wrapping it all up with a Southern twist. His song “Home” was a hit on the radio and has been performed by the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton. Broussard has performed on several late-night talk shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

On Saturday night, “Take a Back Road” down to the beach and catch Rodney Atkins (above left).. The hard-working country star has been nominated for several Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards and was named ACM’s Top New Male Vocalist in 2006. The Knoxville native’s no. 1 singles include “If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows),” “These Are My People,” and Platinum hits like “Take a Back Road” and “Farmer’s Daughter.” Both concerts are scheduled to start at 8 p.m. and are free with your SEC BeachFest ticket.

The 2013 SEC BeachFest will bring some of your favorite legendary….and boy, do mean LEGENDARY, coaches and players from around the SEC. As if the fishing, golf, food, music, beach and FanZone fueled by BP aren’t enough, the event gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with these sports greats and listen to their stories. We’ve already started lining up these renowned coaches that include College Football Hall of Fame Inductees such as Billy Brewer (Ole Miss), Frank Broyles (Arkansas), Vince Dooley (Georgia), Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee), Pat Dye (Auburn) Gene Stallings (Alabama) and RC Slocum (Texas A&M). Former players include Chris Doering (Florida), Ben Leard (Auburn) and Howard Schnellenberger who played and coached at Kentucky, in the NFL, and then started a successful football program at Florida Atlantic University. These are just a few of the legends that will be on hand to entertain and inspire you.

Lace up your running shoes and put on your team colors! You can show your school pride in the SEC BeachFest 5K and 1-mile fun run. Your registration fee includes a ticket to the SEC BeachFest FanZone and the end-of-race breakfast.
New for 2013! Have the chance to catch the fish of a lifetime and meet legendary SEC coaches and players in the 1st Annual SEC BeachFest Fishing Challenge on Saturday, August 17th at Zeke’s Landing.

Enjoy a half day charter trip with your friends, family, or co-workers, followed by free food, drinks, and prizes as you see how your catch stacks up against legendary SEC coaches and players at the Weigh-In Party presented by Wolf Bay Lodge. Bring your kids to the pier in Gulf Shores State Park on Sunday, August 18 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. for a chance to meet former Heisman Trophy winners and win one of many prizes! Children 15 years and under. Free Admission!

Want to hang out with your fellow fans and raise a few cheers during SEC BeachFest? We’ve got the spots for you! Happy hours are from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Auburn Fans – Compleat Angler Seafood Grille & Bar, SEC East Fans – Baumhower’s Restaurant, Alabama Fans – LuLu’s at Homeport Marina, SEC West Fans – Cobalt the Restaurant

The FanZone fueled by BP is the place to be during SEC BeachFest. Here you can take a picture with the Dr. Pepper National Championship Coaches Trophy, visit the Plan Your Next Vacation Station tent and learn more about Gulf Shores & Orange Beach and even attend the Impulse Clinics and town hall chalk talks with the coaches. Plus you can enjoy beach football, beach volleyball, corn hole competitions, inflatables and more.

Talk about bragging rights! You could swing your way to a serious claim to fame by winning the SEC BeachFest Golf Scramble. And even if your foursome doesn’t win, you’ll still get to enjoy two rounds of amazing golf, four free tickets to the SEC BeachFest FanZone, two days of complimentary buffet breakfast and lunch, a gift bag and chance to meet SEC coaching legends. The fee to participate in the golf scramble is $1,200 per four-person team. Craft Farms, Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club and Gulf Shores Golf Club will host the scramble. Kiva Dunes will host the top qualifying teams for the finals.

Warning Flags For The Beach!!!

Play it Safe

The beaches within Orange Beach, Gulf Shores andGulf State Park have adopted the following flag system
to alert beach goers of surf conditions. Flags are posted at all public beach areas and conditions are monitored
throughout each day. Please remember that the absence of red flags does not assure safe conditions. On Gulf Shores city beaches, it is illegal to enter the water when the double red flag is being flown.

The Dunes Beach has recently adopted this flag system as well.  Our flag system is a little difference, If all is safe to go in the water there will be an American Flag flying.

As always if you have questions ask someone.  We are happy to help.  Just keep in mind American Flag safe to play Red Flag stay away.

149th Anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay

Cannons are booming and the ground shakes you can see the smoke rising from gun fire in the distance and smell the black powder.  Suddenly a regement of men in full civil war era dress run past you and take cover for incoming cannon fodder and enemy fire.  You are not watching a historic film or documentary on the big screen this is live action hitory!!!

All you have to do is show up in Fort Morgan on August 3rd.  You can witness history in action.  Live battles and demonstrations on daily living at the fort.  You can enjoy demonstrations on cooking, the life of women at the fort, candle making, stable work, and a doctor’s visit.  These demonstrations are eye opening on thier own and when combined with the anniversary reinactment you will feel as though you stepped back in time at Fort Morgan.

This is an all day event so be sure to pack your tennis shoes and comfy clothes becaues it will be warm.  You can enjoy the festivities from 9 am until 4 that afternoon.  This is a don’t miss event.  So be sure to make plans to take the short trip to Fort Morgan on August 3rd!

How to Find the Best Vacation Deals!!!!

Everyone is on a budget these days.  Many times vacation gets pushed to the back burner of priorities or does not happen at all.  We wanted to give you some helpful hints and secrets about where to find the best deals so you can make the most of every dollar while you are on vacation!

  1. Plan Ahead.  Many companies will give deals on booking rates, (like the same as this year, or a certain percentage off), if you book while you are here this year and even allow you to put a smaller deposit down if you will plan ahead.
  2. Last Minute Deals!  This is for those who didn’t get to plan ahead or who are looking for a getaway at the last moment.  I mean the LAST MINUTE.  If you are coming that week or within 7 days of booking your reservation many places will give you a great deal especially in the summer to get the rooms filled.
  3. Look for featured properties.  If a property is featured many times it is because it is new or maybe needs to be rented for whatever reason.  Call the company or owner and they will tell you more about this amazing featured property for a special rate!
  4. Come in the off Season!  If you are coming to the beach maybe try coming in early May or October, or September.  Even the winter is beautiful but a little cooler.  You can get a great deal there are almost no crowds and the beach is still beautiful and the weather is not so hot.
  5. Look for the events to come see at the beach, Concerts, Shrimp Fest, Sec Fest, Hangout Fest, many companies will offer special deals to book during those times.  Some even offer tickets!
  6. Ask if paying a certain way can get you a better deal?  If cash is king or a company prefers a credit card it does not hurt to ask you may save a few dollars.
  7. Go off of the beaten path.  Look for the places that are not in the heart of everything, maybe a few miles away or even 20 miles away but still on the beach.  You will have fewer people to contend with and prices are better to draw in the renters.  You have a little further to go for the amusement parks and shopping, but when you come back to your condo or house you are away from it all!
  8. Look for specials to celebrate unusual events to go on vacation.  Look for Back to school Specials, or After Christmas or Thanksgiving specials.  Especially in the Gulf Shores area the rental companies try to partner with the special shopping events that go on at the Outlet malls so you can a great deal on rentals to coincide with these sales.
  9. Become a Social Media stalker, companies want to raise their awareness on social media outlets.  They hold contests, Flash sales, and offer specials that you cannot see anywhere else because they are trying to advertise in the most efficient way possible.  Watch your favorite destinations like a hawk because these specials pop up out of the blue and are gone in an instant.
  10. Look for deals on restaurants, and amusement parks, and even shopping with the companies you rented from, at the local convention and visitors bureau, and even on the website for that special place you want to go.
  11. There is always a deal.  Ask, call, look online talk to friends there is always a deal out there you just have to be patient enough to find it!

Summer Excursions with The Dolphin Island Sea Lab

For all of your nature lovers, dolphin fanatics, little fishers, or young ecologists the day excursions are for you!  The Dolphin Island Sea Lab is a research facility run by Auburn University.  This lab also hosts the Estuarium which is a hands on, up close experience for visitors to our area.

Salt Marsh Field Excursion

Salt marshes may not be as beautiful as a beach to some, but they are a fascinating coastal wetland and a critical part of the estuarine ecosystem. After meeting outside the Estuarium, we’ll travel by bus from the Estuarium to the Dauphin Island salt marsh to explore the salt marsh ecosystem.

Dates: June 21, June 27, July 5, July 9,

Salt marshes may not be as beautiful as a beach to some, but they are a fascinating coastal wetland and a critical part of the estuarine ecosystem. After meeting outside the Estuarium, we’ll travel by bus from the Estuarium to the Dauphin Island salt marsh to explore the salt marsh ecosystem.July 16, and August 1, 2013
Time: 9:45 am to 12:15 pm

You’ll learn about nature’s needle, oysters and oyster drill, the unusual chemistry of marsh muds, the role marshes play in producing seafood for us to enjoy and more. You’ll also have the opportunity to use seine nets, yabby pumps and sieve boxes just like a marine scientist! (Please no collecting as we want our marsh to stay healthy.)

Because of the danger posed by sharp oyster shells, participants need to wear closed-toe shoes that tie or strap on, such as old tennis shoes. Please no flip-flops, Crocs or rubber boots as they get ‘eaten’ by the marsh mud. Showers and changing facilities will be available after the marsh trip. We also recommend sunscreen, a hat, water to drink camera (if you like), binoculars (if you like), extra dry clothes to change into afterwards, a towel, and a plastic bag for muddy items. Due to sharp shells, pointy plants, and other potential dangers, we do not recommend this trip for pre-school children.

Recommended items: sunscreen, hat, dry clothes, towel, plastic bag for muddy shoes/clothes, water
Suggested items: camera, binoculars

Beach, Dune and Forest Excursion
Dates: June 20, June 25, July 2, July 11,
July 17, and July 30, 2013
Time: 9:45 am to 12:15 pm

It’s not just sand and water – the beach is a thriving habitat with a dynamic dune system and fascinating plants and animals. After meeting outside the Estuarium, we’ll walk through the Audubon Bird Sanctuary’s maritime forest, then on to the dunes and beach

You will learn about worms that live in the beach sand, clams that burrow using water jets, plants that Indians used for medicines, the benefits of an intact dune system and more. We’ll bring hand lenses, critter containers and hand nets, so we can get up close and personal with the flora and fauna.We’ll walk about a mile and a half, and feet may get wet, so participants should wear comfortable walking shoes they don’t mind getting wet. We also recommend sunscreen, a hat, camera (if you like), binoculars (if you like), bug spray and water to drink.

Recommended items: sunscreen, hat, bug spray, water
Suggested items: camera, binoculars

Fort Morgan Is The Place To Be In July

Take a little time to enjoy some of our beautiful history while at the beach.  With an amazing history and fantastic guided tours Historic Fort Morgan should be on your list of places to visit while in Gulf Shores.

Completed in 1834, Fort Morgan was active during four wars — the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World Wars I and II. The fort is most famous for its role in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. Union Admiral David Farragut damned the torpedoes and went full speed ahead to win the battle. The massive fort contains more than 40 million bricks and pays tribute to the skilled masons, many of whom were enslaved African Americans.

The fort features an active living history program that interprets all the military periods and holds an annual event commemorating the Battle of Mobile Bay.  Since 1834 Fort Morgan has stood as the guardian of Mobile Bay.

The military site and National Historic Landmark is located 22 miles west of Gulf Shores. During the Civil War on August 5, 1864, Fort Morgan played a key role during the Battle of Mobile Bay before surrendering to Union forces after a two-week siege. Alabama’s largest permanent military post between 1900 and 1923, the fort served during the Spanish-American War and World Wars I and II.

A third system masonry fort constructed between 1819 and 1834, the 479-acre site contains concrete artillery batteries constructed between 1895 and 1904, and historic military buildings dating from 1899 to 1910. A museum details the American military history of Mobile Point from 1814 to 1945. Exhibits feature weapons, uniforms, letters, photographs, and personal items of soldiers who served at the fort.

Salute to American Independence Thursday, July 4, 2013

At Fort Morgan on Thursday, July 4th, uniformed interpreters representing different periods of the fort’s history will salute America’s Independence at Fort Morgan with artillery firing, special tours, and Civil War weapons demonstrations. Hours for this event are 9 A.M. to 4 P.M.

2013 calendar

Tours Daily at Fort Morgan
Call (251) 540-7127 to schedule. Seasonal guided tours are available daily June through August at 10:00 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Except Wednesdays

Twilight Tours on Tuesday’s in June and July- the War in 1863 – Evenings

Commemoration of the 149th Anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay and Siege of Fort Morgan

Saturday, August 3, 2013

All scheduled events are included in the regular price of admission unless otherwise noted.Please call (251) 540-5257 to confirm dates and times of scheduled events. Copyright © 2013Fort Morgan. Fort Morgan is a property of the Alabama Historical Commission, the State of Alabama Historic Preservation office.

9th Annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival

Dates & TimesJun 14, 2013 – Jun 16, 2013

Location

Foley Sportspark,18507 U.S. Highway 98, Foley, AL 36535
South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, 18507 U.S. Highway 98, Foley, AL 36535

About

The Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, presented by Tanger Outlets, welcomes more than 50 hot air balloonists from across the country. Enjoy the floating works of art as they grace the skies of South Baldwin County on Friday and Saturday morning*. Get up close and personal as the hot air balloons and their pilots light up the evening skies at the nightly balloon glows, held Friday and Saturday night*.
Guests enjoy free, fun entertainment featuring something for every member of your family. Spread out your blanket, grab an ice cold drink and enjoy a variety of live music daily, from country to rock and roll. Be sure to catch one of the many shows by the Disc Connected K-9 World Famous Frisbee Dog Show. Toss after toss you will be amazed as man’s best friend defies gravity catching their prized flying saucers.
Pet a baby alligator, dance like a butterfly to fun kid’s tunes, paint your face like a tiger or try a little family friendly game of limbo. The free Kid’s Fun Zone offers hours of fun for any age.
Grab a cone of homemade ice cream or delicious BBQ plate as you shop through an eclectic array of local crafters, artisans, and retailers. Many crafters provide onsite demonstrations, find a one of kind piece of art, or grab a souvenir to commemorate your visit.
Admission: Shuttle service is FREE to the public and will be available Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Shuttle pick up is from the Tanger Center, behind the Nike store and shuttle passengers will be dropped off conveniently at the front of the Festival grounds. Parking is available on the Festival grounds for $5 per day.

Contact Us

Phone: 251-943-3291
Website:https://www.gulfcoastballoonfestival.com

Sinking of the Lulu!

It has been a blustery day today with tropical storm Andrea hitting land today near Tallahassee.  The weather today reminded me of the show “Reef Wranglers” that comes on the weather channel.  It is about a local company, “Walter Marine”, that sinks artificial fishing reefs and memorial reefs off the coast of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Pensacola.

You see the weather in this area is subject to change at any moment.  The gentlemen who do this work of creating reefs always say the weather is unpredictable in this area and they are certainly telling the truth.  The weather was beautiful today
despite the closeness of the storm but the waves were too dangerous to get in the water.  Everyone is enjoying themselves this week though and things should be back to normal beach weather tomorrow!

Recently, The Reef Wranglers set “The Lulu” to rest just off the coast of Gulf Shores / Orange Beach.   This is the first local reef that I am aware of that was sponsored by a local business and the community as a whole.  We are very excited about this addition to our local wildlife.  This reef will be great for fishing and diving for our diving enthusiast.

We wanted to share some great videos with you of the sinking of our newest local attraction, The Lulu!  We hope you enjoy the video.  Give us a call if you are ready to make your vacation plans we are running some great specials!

New Fun Happenings in Gulf Shores!

We have so many new things in going on the the Gulf Shores area we wanted to make sure you guys were in on the FUN!

Waterville, our local water park has added a new slide to the FUN.

This is a racing slide where you and all of your friends can race each other. It is called the Dune Racer and up to 6 people can race down the slide at one time!  They call it the Dune Racer because it is taller than a Sand Dune!   Be sure to try it on your trip to Waterville.

The University of Alabama, is thrilled to announce that 2013 marks the tenth anniversaryof bringing professional musical theatre to Gulf Shores. In June 2013, SummerTide Theatre will present Jubilee – Songs of and about Alabama. Running Friday, May 31through Friday, June 28, 2013, performances are Tuesday to Sunday evenings at 8:00PM.

Paying homage to the great musical heritage of Alabama, Jubilee is a riveting compilation of songs about or invoking the “Heart of Dixie” state. From blues and country to rock and gospel, the state of Alabama has played a central role in the development of America’s musical legacy. Jubilee showcases the rich and varied musical flavors, from the foothills of the Appalachian mountains to the white sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast. 

Jubileewill run Friday, May 31 to Friday, June 28, 2013, with performances every Tuesday through Sunday evening at 8:00PM. Tickets may be purchased, starting in April 2013, by visiting the SummerTide online ticketing system or by calling The University of Alabama Box Office at 205/348-3400. Tickets prices are $20.00 for adults, $15.00 for children under 12. More information on group rates, theatre location and on-site theatre box office hours will be available later in 2013.

Phoenix Rising: Judgement Day by William W. & J. A. Johnstone

The newest book in a trilogy about the Fort Morgan area.

This is a fictional story about the collapse of the American society and what the locals in Fort Morgan do to uphold the American society in their little part of the world.  Take a look at the promotional video on Phoenix Rising to learn more about about this thrilling series.