How to have the perfect Beach Vacation

You can’t plan for everything and often times the unplanned things are what turn vacations into memories that last a lifetime.  So of my favorite beach memories are when things went a little wrong.  As I child instead of catching fish I caught a fire worm!

Fire worm
Fire worm not at all what we wanted to catch.

This is not at all what we wanted to catch but it is the one of the most fun memories I have fishing.  It still makes me love fishing.  Not for the fight of it but for the beauty of what will come out of the water.  It is always an adventure.

Then I think about the time I got sunburned so badly and the wind was blowing really hard so we got sand blasted too.  But the water was perfectly clear and we could pick up huge shells we could see rightbelow us.  It is always the crazy things that give you the best laughs or most vivid memories when you look back.

Do it all even the cheesy stuff!
do it all even the cheesy stuff!

So how do you have the best most perfect vacation.  My suggestions are do some planning but roll with the wacky unplanned things as well.

1. Plan an adventure or two.

2.  Try some new or differnet  food

3.  Learn a little history

4.  Be Brave, try something new don’t let fear hold you back from an amazing adventure!

5.  Don’t count out the cheesy stuff  The cheesy goofy tourist stuff is popular for a reason!

6.  Also don’t count out the simple stuff.  sometimes a day in the sun listening to the waves or just a walk on the beach is just what you need.

7.  Mostly comfy shoes, and comfy clothes.  ! night out in fancy clothes and uncomfortable shoes.

8.  Family time is always a plus!  Get as much as you can.  Cook together, play together,  adventure together!

Treasure the family time
treasure the family time

9.  Rest!  It is no fun to come back from vacation tired and in need of  another vacation.

10.  Take some pictures and let everyone tell you their favorite parts of each day.  Don’t forget to write it down.

Most importantly,  if things don’t always go as plan try not to loose your cool.  You are here to have fun.  It is never fun for kids to see their parents yelling nor is it a great example to embarrass or belittle the person you are dealing with.   Get to the beach make some memories!  We’ll see you soon!

Fresh Market Seafood

So you are at the beach and love to cook!  You don’t mind eating out but you can cook seafood as good or better than any restaurant so where do you go to get your fresh seafood???  Fresh Market Seafood is a family seafood business owned and operated by the Wallace Family. The Wallace family is one of the oldest families in the area. It was the Wallace’s who founded the Lagoon fishing village in 1861 located just a few miles from the market. The Wallace’s have been local area fishermen and shrimpers for generations. Owner, Hal Wallace, his Father, Johnny and several cousins catch the bulk of the shrimp sold at Fresh Market Seafood. Our Seafood is hand selected, and only the best quality is sold in the market.

Fresh Fish

Be sure to check out their website to get current pricing on seafood and what is in season right now. They carry everything from Popcorn to Royal Red’s in shrimp, there is always a variety of seasonal fish, Crabs whole, claws, or lump meat,  Oysters, and lots of other treats  and don’t miss the gumbo, it is the best in the area!!!  Fresh Market now has three locations.  The original on Hwy 59 on your way to the beach on the west side at the corner of County Road 10.  The second location on Ft. Morgan Rd. between the Chevron and Ocean’s restaurant.  The newest location is in Orange Beach!  Give them a call to find out which location is closest to you 251-955-5550.

Fresh Shrimp


Fresh Market also has everything you need to prepare for your next fishing trip.  If you need bait, poles, tackle, something to entertain the kiddos, or the spices to cook your catch Fresh Market is your place.

Fishing Poles

They cater as well.  if you like your seafood cooked when you get it or you have a party to feed.  Call them ahead and they will have your order ready for you!  Get ready for some yummy seafood!


Indies 410 Beautiful Sunset Views!!!

We rent several different sizes of condo but in the Indies there are a few that are quite a bit larger.  We rent a couple of these large Indies condos.  One is one the east end and has a city view and the other is one the west end and it has a Sunset View!  The west end condo is Indies 410 it sits on the end of the 4th floor of the Indies building.  Not only is this condo a beautiful mix of cozy and kid friendliness it has some of the most gorgeous views on the island.

This condo sleeps eight comfortably.  Each bedroom has its own bath attached.  The bathattached to the twin bedroom is a bath shared by the living room which is the first bedroom to your left as you walk in the front door.  If you continue straight down that happy you will find yourself in the living room.  The tan sofas and dining room set welcomeyou and your family to come and relax.  While the beautiful kitchen behind you has everything you need to make wonderful meals together.  The master bedroom has a king size bed with a large garden tub and separate shower.  The third bedroom has a queen sized bed and there is a shower only in this bathroom.   

The balcony is definitely the showplace in this balcony!  You have beautiful views of the bay and the Gulf from this wraparound balcony.  Our Favorite part of this condo you have a view that is ideal for taking sunset pictures, or just enjoying  a quietevening with your sweetie watching the sunset.

The living room has a little secret in it!  There is a sleeper sofa for a couple of extra friends!  You can view Indies 410 here!  This beachy condois large enough for you and your friends or you can bring the grandparents along for a beach vacation.  Either way you are sure to enjoy a great stay in its comfy, beach setting with the amazing views just out the window!  Keep in mind this great big beautiful condo only books for seven night stays.  If you need a shorter stay just give us a call we are happy to help you find the perfect fit!

Sunday at Behind The Pines

Every Sunday you have a chance to hear one of our local treasures, Brandiwine, not just once but twice.   Sunday mornings starting at 11 Brandi sings along with Jim, Eric and Luther and of course the crowd sings along at a gospel brunch until 2.  They are sure to preform your favorites along with all the great classic gospel songs.  You can get the best bloody mary, a fantastic breakfast and hear Brandiwine sing crowd favorites for Sunday Gospel Brunch.  Breakfast choices are traditional brunch and southern fare such as Eggs Benedict, and Steak and Eggs.

Sunday evening the crowd and the music amps up a step or two with Sunday Blues at behind the Pines.  Brandiwine sings Blues and is accompanied by our own head of maintenance Jim.  Blues starts at  4 and goes until close.  Come by have a ” Nookie”  burger, home fries  or the best Shrimp and Grits in the south.  The dance off your dinner with blues that will get you moving.  Take a sneak peek at Brandiwine!

Money Saving Tips

All individuals are feeling the strain of the economy–so, with much less expendable income in most people’s pockets, extras like hobbies, going out to eat, and traveling to Fort Morgan, AL are often sacrificed. If you still want to vacate without busting your budget, think blue and white, as in the sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast. There are always free or low-cost events and activities for every age, and we have a few vacation ideas to save you even more money!

  1. Skip hotels–Stay in a Condo – Renting a private Fort Morgan cond, as opposed to a hotel room, might sound like it would be much more expensive. A condo, however, can save you money in a couple of different ways. First, if your rental has a kitchen, you can cut back on eating out. You can grab some groceries once you get to town, and stock the kitchen with all your favorites. If you don’t feel like laboring at the stove each morning, get quick fixes like cereal and frozen waffles. If you’ll be out all day, you could even pack some sandwiches for a picnic lunch–there is no shortage of locations to picnic in Fort Morgan. Lastly, if you are traveling in a large group, you can get better prices renting a beach house or three bedroom condo rental.
  2. Shoulder Season–Stay during low season –If you’re willing to vacation in off season, you can save a lot of money. Rates are already cheaper when it is less busy, and Sunset Properties offers even more money-saving deals during this time. If you can be flexible about your travel plans, you can get much better deals.
  3. Keep an eye out for specials – Much different than our competitors, Sunset Properties loves to offer flash sales and discounts on our Facebook fan page. Follow us on our page and you may be able to sneak away for pennies on the dollar!
  4. Stay Away from it all – One of the best things about visiting the beach and Fort Morgan is it’s quaint, secluded atmosphere. Something of a novelty these days around tourist destinations, Fort Morgan has embraced this label and the tourists love it. Fort Morgan, in reality, is just a short drive from Gulf Shores but far enough way from everything to enjoy the coasts major attraction…the beach. Did we mention laying out all day and playing in the ocean is free?

An Awesome Day-Excursion to Dauphin Island, AL

An Awesome Day-Excursion to Dauphin Island, AL

Traverse Mobile Bay by Ferry and Arrive on a Fun, Island Getaway

by Mike Turner | July 26, 2011


Here is a great, day trip that will be a boat load of fun (literally) for the entire family.

It begins with a family style breakfast at Hazel’s Nook in Gulf Shores. Pancakes, yup, Waffles – yup, and my favorite- made to order omelets. (Bacon, onions, cheddar cheese, and salsa for me please).

Next, is a stop at the local store to stock up on munchies, water, soda, and sunscreen for the day of adventure, followed by a leisurely 25 mile drive down State Road 180 (West Fort Morgan Rd.) to the Dauphin Island Ferry Terminal. The Ferry runs every 45 minutes, and here is a link for specific times, etc.

Cost runs $30 for a car plus $10 per passenger over the age of 12. If you want to save some dough, you can park at the terminal and walk on or take a bicycle with you for $5. I have taken the bike route and it was a blast. Or if you have a Harley, you can grab a round trip ticket for $8. But you need to plan ahead and take some rain gear, just in case. Dauphin Island is very bike/motorcycle friendly.

The boat ride is a treat in itself, taking in the sights of other boats, maybe a tanker, or perhaps if you are lucky a dolphin playing in the boat’s wake.

As you arrive onto Dauphin Island, you feel like you have been transported back in time. It is 17 miles long and ¾ of mile wide barrier island that is parallel to the Gulf of Mexico.  It is a sleepy, fishing village with tons of charm, miles of undiscovered beaches, quaint eateries, and another great attraction – The Dauphin Island Sea Lab, home to the State of Alabama’s Marine Science Institute.

Here you will find a treasure trove full of adventure. Huge aquariums, touch-tanks, The Living Marsh Boardwalk, and Weather Station.

At the west end of the beach, there are vendors providing umbrellas, jet ski rentals, parasailing, water slides and certified lifeguards, clean restrooms and showers. Entrance fees are $2 to park, and $3 for each person over the age of 12. No alcoholic beverages, pets, glass or grills are allowed however.

There is also the Audubon Bird Sanctuary,  Dauphin Island has been recognized as one of the ten most globally important sites for bird migrations. The Sanctuary includes more than 150 acres of maritime forest, marshes, and dunes, including a lake, a swamp and a beach. It is located on the Eastern end of the Island and has walking trails and boardwalks in which to experience this unique natural treasure. Migrating birds utilize this area after their long flight across the Gulf from Central and South America to rest up before heading on. They also utilized the Sanctuary as their final feeding and resting area before their return flight. (And you thought the Atlanta Hub was busy).

And if that isn’t enough to do, don’t forget to check out Fort Gaines for an awesome view of Mobile Bay, and you can image yourself as a sentry watching out for enemy ships!

Have fun!

Body Surfing in Ft. Morgan

Have you ever been surfing?  What about Body surfing?  There is a big difference between the two but both are worth trying. If you want to start out on easy waves Ft. Morgan is the place to try.  Of course, surfing is standing on a surf board riding a wave.  Body surfing is using your body like a surf board and riding a wave in.  My boss took a great video body surfing in Ft. Morgan.  Give us a call to book a trip and try out your surfing skills.

Tiki Beach, Luxary Gulf Front home Beautiful view

We have a gorgeous new home called Tiki Beach.  It is located just to the east of The Dunes community and it is a walk out the back door on to the beach home.  Luxury at every turn, this home is a joy to be in because comfort was key in every purchase.  With 6 bedrooms and 5 baths you have enough room for your entire party.  You have 3 master bedrooms with views of the gulf.  The other 3 rooms you have a queen bed and then two rooms with bunk beds.  One has two sets of bunks and the other a single set of bunks.  This home sleeps 16 people total.  With sweeping views and limited visitors to that area, this is the perfect house for your getaway.  Take a look at the sneek preview!  Sneak Peek of Tiki Beach

Tennis Time at the Beach!

For all of you tennis fans, Gulf Shores is now part of the Alabama Tennis Tour.  This means there are outstanding courts within 20 minutes of your vacation spot.  Oh, and did I mention they are, FREE!!!!  Gulf Shores has an immaculate 5000 square foot state of the art facility right in the heart of town.  These courts are located at the George C. Meyer Tennis Center which is on West 2nd Street, just behind the Post Office. 

This Center boasts 12 hard surface courts, 6 Rubico courts, 4 covered courts, and 2 open.  There is seating for 150 and the courts are lighted so you can enjoy evening games and bring your cheering section along.  There are also covered pavilions a tennis lounge, restrooms, and observation decks. 

The hours of operation are as follows; courts are open 7 days a week 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. The Tennis center is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5p.m.  So pack your rackets don’t forget your tennis shoes, and get ready to enjoy cool gulf breezes while you play a match or two. Special thanks to Pam Livingston for the great photos!!!

Benefits of Liking us on Facebook

Benefits of Liking us on Facebook

Why Like Sunset Properties on Facebook?

Sunset Properties is always trying to find ways to connect with the friends and the fans of our great beach rental company.   There are many ways that we have connected with you over the years, but we’ve gotten really excited about our Facebook page lately. So excited in fact, that we’ve gone a little crazy. Our Facebook page not only offers great information about Ft. Morgan, Gulf Shores, and the Gulf Coast, but we’ve also started giving stuff away, holding fun contests, and offering killer deals.

Here are some reasons for you and your friends to Like our Sunset Properties:

  1. All of the great Contests– Sunset Properties is holding all kinds of contests.  We are posting the information onto our Facebook Page. This will be a great way to keep up with our photo contests, blogging, story contests, and more. Most of our competitions are open to everyone and are simple to enter, but you can’t win a contest if you don’t know about it. So, follow our blog or just like us on Facebook!
  2. All of the great Giveaways– Sunset Properties gives away Condo stays, tickets to shows and attractions and prizes. We announce our giveaways on Facebook and often, they’re time sensitive so liking our page might just be the best way to win.
  3. All of the great Fan Deals – Sunset Properties announces Fan Deals that are too good to pass up. We might announce a last minute two night stay for just $75.00 total for the first person that calls the company with a specific phrase. Again, the best way to be notified of the deal is to like our page.
  4. All of the great Gulf Shores / Ft. Morgan Information – Sunset Properties posts pictures, event info, links to articles, and interesting facts about Ft. Morgan, Gulf Shores and the beach. Anyone that loves to come to the beach will love the information.
  5. We’re Cool – Everyone likes cool people, right?! (Okay, so we like to THINK we’re cool:)

If you haven’t liked Sunset Properties on Facebook, now is the time to do it! And, spread the word to your friends and family. You never know when you or a friend might get a chance to win some really cool stuff!!  (Hint: we’re giving stuff away in the next two months)